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Tuesday, September 27, 2005 | Will Griffith, director of the city’s Real Estate Assets Department, resigned his post today in a memo to City Manager P. Lamont Ewell.
Griffith announced his resignation in an unapologetic letter that touted his successes as a fund-raiser for the department. He thanked his staff for their service and commitment.
Griffith had been facing a rocky future since Friday when Councilman Brian Maienschein made public a call for him to be fired.
Citing long-running problems with the department and with Griffith in particular, Maienschein said his decision was not based on a recent story in The San Diego Union-Tribune that painted Griffith’s department in a very negative light.
Certainly, some of Griffith’s staff disagree.
“I think (the city council) should trust their city staff more than they trust the Union-Tribune,” said Susan Taylor, a real estate records supervisor who has been in the department for more than 23 years.
Calling that article, which alleged numerous failures by Griffith’s department, “blown way out of proportion” and “highly inaccurate,” Taylor lamented that Griffith had been made the fall guy for what she thinks what was essentially a biased and badly-researched attempt at sensationalism by a San Diego newspaper.
Maienschein said that Griffith’s firing was necessary for the smooth running of a department that has been in disarray for a long time.
“I think it’s good for San Diego,” he said. “It’s a department that needs wholesale changes and I think that’s a positive step.”
Griffith didn’t have much to say about his resignation Monday. He said his letter of resignation speaks for itself.
“To leave the organization at a time when the City needs all the best efforts it can muster is a difficult decision for me,” reads that letter, “yet I depart knowing that I have made important contributions to the city’s success.”
Ewell’s response, in a brief statement, says that he has regrettably accepted the resignation and that he is working to develop a transition plan for Griffith’s position.
San Diego’s Deputy Director of Real Estate Assets Jack Farris said Griffith will be missed from the department.
“I respect Will a lot,” said Farris. “I think he’s extremely professional and very knowledgeable and yes, he has been an asset with the city.”
Griffith would not comment regarding what he plans to do next.
Please contact Will Carless directly at