Late last night, I got an e-mail from Pam Hardy, a spokeswoman for Council President Scott Peters.
Hardy wanted to offer some background to the City Council’s decision not to prosecute Tom Story, the Sunroad executive who was charged with violations of lobbying laws by City Attorney Mike Aguirre. When Aguirre was finally disqualified from prosecuting Story a couple of weeks ago, Mayor Jerry Sanders asked the City Council to appoint a special prosecutor to go after the executive. The City Council deadlocked in a 4-4 vote and Story was effectively off the hook.
Hardy pointed out that though the City Council voted down the appointment of the special prosecutor, they did vote to send the matter to the city’s Ethics Commission, which, she states, has jurisdiction over this type of misdemeanor.
The mayor was asking the Council to spend $250,000 on a special prosecutor. The fine for this type of misdemeanor is $5000-$6000. If the Ethics Commission brings the fine, the City recovers all of that money. If the Council hired a special prosecutor, not only would the taxpayers have to pay that attorney, the City would not recover all of the fine money. It’s kind of a no-brainer.
I’ve put in a call to Fred Sainz, the mayor’s spokesman, to ask him why the special prosecutor would have been a good idea.