Councilman Tony Young said it’s a shame that a consultant who has been paid thousands of dollars by the Southeastern Economic Development Corp. has launched a recall effort against him.

The councilman was responding to reports that a group led by SEDC consultant Angela Harris has launched an effort to have him recalled in the wake of a scandal at SEDC over hidden bonuses and extra compensation that culminated in the firing last week of SEDC’s president, Carolyn Y. Smith.

We had heard rumors about the effort earlier this week, and called Harris to confirm. She did not reply. Earlier today, The San Diego Daily Transcript reported the news.

The newspaper said it received a statement that read in part: “His constituents feel that his loyalties are to everyone except them. Several meetings have been held calling him to account and he has completely disregarded those seeking his assistance.”

Harris, as my colleague Andrew Donohue reported in this story, was also awarded one of SEDC’s coveted “affordable” homes in 2004. That sale, among other irregularities, led to the first of several SEDC-related scandals in recent years as well as an audit of the agency.

“Really, this is a good example of why we need to reform SEDC because you have a person who’s benefited personally from SEDC when it comes to housing opportunities, who is making this effort,” Young said.

The councilman also said he’s spent the last couple of days talking to church leaders and other community leaders in his district, and that he has received overwhelming support from his constituents for calling for Smith’s resignation.

“(The recall effort) is not going to be supported,” he said. “It’s just unfortunate because it detracts from the real work we have to do at SEDC.”


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