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The Centre City Development Corp.’s board will consider at 1 p.m. whether to require its next top executive to submit to a rigorous financial audit to ensure that whoever is chosen to replace its former president does not repeat her mistakes.
Nancy Graham, CCDC’s former president, resigned in July and now faces criminal charges stemming from her failure to disclose $125,000 in income from developers with business pending downtown. She admitted receiving the money in 2007 while testifying under oath in a Florida court deposition, but didn’t disclose it when filling out her annual conflict-of-interest forms at the city. Those forms are reviewed when they’re turned in to make sure, for example, that they’ve been signed. But they are not audited.
If the board of CCDC, the city’s downtown redevelopment agency, decides to approve the measure when it meets this afternoon, it would be one of the only local governmental bodies in the country to require such scrutiny.
But the scrutiny only applies to one person — whoever is president. While the new requirement will keep CCDC’s top official from turning in incomplete forms, it won’t stop other employees or board members from doing it.
The recommendation stems from a review of CCDC’s conflict-of-interest and ethics policies launched in the wake of Graham’s problems. It comes from Bob Stern, the president of the nonpartisan, Los Angeles-based Center for Governmental Studies, whom CCDC hired for $50,000 to examine the agency’s internal policies.
While Stern recommended the audit for the agency president, he didn’t recommend it for CCDC’s board members or any other senior staffers. All of them are required to disclose their economic interests on forms that aren’t audited. Stern said he did not recommend auditing board members because it would dissuade people from volunteering for the posts.
The San Diego Ethics Commission has considered whether it should randomly audit disclosures, though it has delayed that discussion until next year.