Nancy Graham, the former Centre City Development Corp. president, appeared in San Diego Superior Court today, her first such appearance after her resignation last year from the city’s downtown redevelopment agency.
|Nancy Graham leaves court on Friday with her attorney Paul Pfingst.|
While sitting in the courtroom waiting for counsel to emerge from chambers and for proceedings to start, Graham approached me and motioned me over to talk. I had originally approached her in the hallway before the scheduled hearing as she stared out a window onto downtown, but she declined to comment.
She would not say what she has been doing in the year since she left San Diego in the wake of a scandal over her financial connections to a developer.
“I don’t believe I did anything wrong. I’m not going to get into it,” Graham said.
“Ever since all this started, I never got to say my side because the lawyers tell you to keep your mouth shut,” she said.
“I’m fighting it, because I don’t believe I committed an ethical …,” she said, trailing off. “I’m intending to fight it all the way.”
Graham was instructed by Judge Ronald F. Frazier on Tuesday to appear in court today to address why it had taken her six months to submit records that the San Diego Ethics Commission wanted in its investigation of whether Graham violated city laws that forbid officials to influence decisions that could help their business partners.
The Ethics Commission agreed to drop its request for the judge to hold Graham in contempt for ignoring the subpoena, but asked the judge to fine Graham $1,500 for violating court orders and to pay for the commission’s attorney fees, which total $21,354.
Judge Frazier said he would not rule on those issues until he had time to consider it more, while acknowledging that both sides had fought “tooth and nail” to get to this point and that if he didn’t award the commission those monies, it would be because he had not been the judge throughout the process. He did not give a date when he would do so.
Graham’s attorney, Paul Pfingst, provided records of wire transfers to the court today and correspondence demonstrating Graham’s attempts to secure them in the past few months.
“I truly did not have the records,” Graham said. “I was going through the path of discovery. I think I did it very fast.”