Dept. of Justice to investigate San Diego Mayor Filner's return of $100K donation

Federal investigators interested, sources say

SAN DIEGO - The Department of Justice will investigate a $100,000 donation made to the city of San Diego in exchange for public land, according to sources inside the DOJ. The donation was later returned by the mayor's office.

The sources would only discuss the development on the condition of anonymity.

The donation was made by San Diego developer Sunroad Enterprises, and requested by the mayor's office.

According to memos and a voicemail obtained by Team 10, the donation was in exchange for public land. The city property allows Sunroad Enterprises to complete an apartment development in Kearny Mesa.

The money was to have gone to two pet projects of the mayor's -- a veterans memorial and promotion for bicycling, but the city returned the money.

Filner has blamed his former deputy chief of staff, Allen Jones, and claims Jones made a deal with Sunroad Enterprises.

City Councilmembers and City Attorney Jan Goldsmith have criticized the mayor for making contradictory remarks about the donation.

On June 17, Filner said, "We asked (Sunroad), and they volunteered to contribute to certain projects that mean something to the city."

On June 28, the mayor said he had not been contacted by authorities regarding the donation, adding, "I knew nothing about this."

Team 10 has requested a comment from the mayor's office concerning the latest news from confidential sources about an investigation by the DOJ.

The mayor's spokeswoman said in an email response, "I will check on that for you."


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