Sunroad Tower Dispute Claims Second City Employee

Marcela Escobar-Eck 'No Longer With City,' Official Says

A second San Diego official central to the scandal over Sunroad Enterprises' controversial office tower project is no longer employed by the city, it was announced Thursday.

Marcela Escobar-Eck, director of the city's Development Services Department, left Wednesday, according to Fred Sainz, spokesman for Mayor Jerry Sanders.

Sainz declined to say whether Escobar-Eck was fired or resigned, saying only that "she is no longer with the city."

Escobar-Eck, the former planning director for the city of Carlsbad, was appointed director of Development Services by Sanders last September.

Her boss, Jim Waring, the city's deputy chief operating officer for land use and economic development, resigned last week amid criticism over his handling of the Sunroad project.

The Federal Aviation Administration has determined that the 180-foot building, which is located next to the Montgomery Field airport, exceeds its safe height limit by 20 feet.

Despite the determination that the tower poses a hazard to pilots, city officials allowed the structure to be built to 180 feet.

Sunroad has now begun work to lower the building to an acceptable height.

As director of the city's Development Services Department, Escobar-Eck was in charge of building permit applications.

She was criticized for modifying a stop-work order on the building that allowed Sunroad to "winterize" the tower. The amendment, critics charge, essentially gave Sunroad the green light to complete the building.

Sanders Thursday named Patti Boekamp, an 18-year city employee, as interim head of the Development Services Department. Boekamp was previously director of the city's Engineering and Capital Projects Department.

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