Over a decade, the CEO of a National City military subcontractor spawned one monster of a corruption case.

She admits spending nearly $600,000 to bribe a Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center official, according to a federal grand jury indictment. Her company got almost $5 million in contracts in return.

Now, the CEO and her husband are paying a bigger price: as many as 20 years behind bars. Five others — including the official, his wife and his mistress — face charges related to the corruption investigation.

This will hardly be the last case of its kind, accountability watchdogs say, thanks to what they consider to be poor oversight. “We have a system that seeks not to discover these things,” one says.

San Diego, of course, has had its own problems with oversight and accountability in recent years.

But despite its iffy finances, the city is pursing a new downtown library/school and an expanded convention center. We’ve got updates on both projects today.

The task force assigned to explore the convention center expansion has released a draft final report. There are no big surprises — as expected, it says an expansion is a good idea if someone could just find the money — but we found some interesting tidbits.

For one thing, the draft report estimates that just 3-5 major conventions annually could be enough to make the expansion worth building. Also, an outspoken Texas professor who rails against albatross convention-center expansions gets lots of ink — more than the mayor! — and almost all of it’s negative.

As for the proposed downtown “schoobrary,” San Diego schools are planning for it to be built as soon as the 2010-2011 school year, four years earlier than before.

Wow, that would be quick. Does the school district know something we don’t? Perhaps not: it apparently is just covering all the bases.

We also have news about local economic indicators (they’re up again) and a look at what homeless advocates have on the drawing board: a plan to identify costly homeless people who frequently use emergency or government services and find them a place to live with support.

Elsewhere, the U-T says the county has unclaimed refunds in hand but time is running out before they disappear.

The Sacramento Bee finds that children are less likely to be kidnapped by strangers in San Diego County than in many other counties in the state. But Imperial County next door has a high kidnapping rate.

While it’s home to fewer people than Oceanside, Imperial County has been making a splash in the media lately, thanks to a 1,306-page book by a gonzo-style writer exploring everything from border life and narco-ballads to pollution and prostitution.

Imperial County has another distinction: The AP Economic Stress Index — which measures the impact of bankruptcy, foreclosures and unemployment — gives it one of the worst scores in the nation.

San Diego County, by contrast, fares better than Riverside and San Bernardino counties.

Finally, downtown’s Stingaree bar tells E! Online that it wouldn’t shell out dough for an appearance by Jon Gosselin, the tabloid favorite from TV’s “Jon & Kate Plus 8” show.

Bummer. But if Gosselin dropped by, bottle service would be on the house.

Sweet! Excuse me while I go develop my own scandal-plagued reality show.


Dagny Salas

Dagny Salas was web editor at Voice of San Diego from 2010 to 2013. She was an investigative fellow at VOSD from 2009 to 2010.

Leave a comment

We expect all commenters to be constructive and civil. We reserve the right to delete comments without explanation. You are welcome to flag comments to us. You are welcome to submit an opinion piece for our editors to review.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.