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Federal prosecutors have opened a grand jury investigation in the wake of the Southeastern Economic Development Corp.’s bonus scandal, subpoenaing computers and the public agency’s computer server.

Subpoenas obtained today from SEDC indicate that federal prosecutors from Washington, D.C., requested computers as part of a grand jury proceeding. It appears that the prosecutors have requested computers used by specific individuals, although the names of the individuals have been redacted.

A voiceofsandiego.org investigation in July revealed a clandestine system of bonuses at the public agency that paid employees more than $1 million over five years. Agency documents revealed that over the past five years, former President Carolyn Y. Smith received more than $293,000 in the extra payments. Finance Director Dante Dayacap, her top deputy, received more than $195,000 over those five years. He has since left the agency.

Smith, who oversaw the bonus system without board or City Council oversight, was fired after the program was uncovered.

We’ve previously reported that FBI agents had interviewed at least two SEDC board members and seized agency computers.

The subpoenas obtained today confirm the involvement of prosecutors from the Department of Justice and the existence of a grand jury, which must ultimately approve or reject criminal charges sought by prosecutors.

ANDREW DONOHUE

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