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Statement: “I believe it’s been about two weeks,” Frank Alessi, executive vice president of the Centre City Development Corp., on when he first learned about a push to get the state Legislature to extend his agency’s life, Oct. 12.

Determination: False

Analysis: Downtown redevelopment chief Frank Alessi faced a grilling at San Diego City Council days after last-minute state legislation effectively extended his agency’s lifespan for 20 years.

City Councilwoman Marti Emerald, who like her colleagues wasn’t consulted about the deal, wanted to know who knew about the move and when they knew it.

The questioning turned to Alessi’s personal knowledge of the idea. “I believe it’s been about two weeks,” he said.

But as our story on Alessi’s testimony revealed, he was involved in discussions on the deal as far back as August, six weeks earlier than when he said he was.

In response our questions, Alessi said he was wrong about the timeframe he told Emerald during the meeting. But he maintained he was as truthful as he could have been given the situation. Discussions involving the legislation, he said, didn’t heat up until weeks before it passed.

“There’s always a failure, not always, but periodically there’s a failure to recognize a moment in time six months ago or three months ago or four months ago, especially when you’re being interrogated,” Alessi said in an interview. “I don’t care if you’re in a court or you’re in someplace else.”

Because Alessi was wrong about when he first knew about the idea, we’re calling his statement false.

If you disagree with our determination or analysis, please express your thoughts in the comments section of this blog post. Explain your reasoning.

Here’s a video of the exchange between Emerald and Alessi.

You can also e-mail new Fact Check suggestions to factcheck@voiceofsandiego.org. What claim should we explore next?

Please contact Liam Dillon directly at liam.dillon@voiceofsandiego.org or 619.550.5663 and follow him on Twitter: twitter.com/dillonliam.

Liam Dillon

Liam Dillon was formerly a senior reporter and assistant editor for Voice of San Diego. He led VOSD’s investigations and wrote about how regular people...

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