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Jose Betancourt, San Diego’s former “Navy mayor” and the current chief administrative officer of the city’s school system, has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of violating federal conflict-of-interest law, the San Diego U.S. Attorney’s Office announced Wednesday.
A federal judge has ordered Betancourt to pay a $15,000 fine and serve a year of probation for lobbying the Navy on a contract shortly after retiring from the military, violating the federally mandated one-year “cooling off” period.
Prosecutors charged that Betancourt accepted a position with the Accela Group, which was working to get a $300 million Navy contract, just a month after retiring in October 2005. In the Accela Group’s proposal, Betancourt listed himself as the person negotiating with the military on the contract, which was to be awarded in San Diego.
The company’s bid was not considered after Navy officials noticed Betancourt’s conflict of interest in the deal.