Friday, July 28, 2006 | Based on nearly 20 years investigating and prosecuting white-collar crime, this appears to me to have been nothing more than self-serving, pre-indictment alibi-building on the part of the author of the email for himself and others. In the fall of 2004, Gwinn held three or four “farewell lunchtime forums” at 1200 Third Ave. that I and others attended during which he made it a point to repeatedly express to us in attendance that he knew nothing about the facts or the law pertaining to pensions in general and the City’s employee pension fund in particular, all the while huge sections of our own office were off-limits due to federal investigators on board. A proud moment for a City Attorney in his eighth year serving his one and only client, to be sure. Gwinn repeatedly used the term “a perfect storm” to describe the causes of the pension mess, to wit: unpredictable and unpreventable – especially as it related to himself.

I recall quite well the last of these forums; it had recently been reported in the newspaper that Gwinn was buying a house in El Cajon and would soon no longer reside in the city. When the “questions” portion of this particular fireside chat commenced, I couldn’t resist. In front of about 50 people in attendance, I asked Gwinn if there was any connection between the City falling apart and his decision to get out of town and live elsewhere? …

The silence in the room: deafening.

The scowl on Gwinn’s face: priceless.

The retaliation-risk incurred: worth it.

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