Back in 2005, Michael Zucchet took a shocking and unexpected detour from his role as a prominent San Diego politician.
He was forced to resign his seat on the City Council after being slammed with dozens of corruption charges involving a Las Vegas businessman – allegations he denied from the start.
“My wife and I talked about moving,” he said. “Not fleeing justice or anything, but however it was going to be resolved, moving to North Carolina and starting over.”
For the next few years, Zucchet fought the jury’s verdict and eventually was acquitted due to the lack of evidence against him.
He eventually got back into local politics as the general manager of San Diego Municipal Employees Association, the city’s white collar labor union, but the damage to his political future was done.
That was the assumption, anyway, until last week when he made a big comeback and was named a commissioner for the Port of San Diego. The Port board makes major land-use decisions about the waterfront properties it oversees from Imperial Beach to San Diego.
Zucchet joins hosts Scott Lewis and Andrew Keatts on this week’s podcast to talk about his path to redemption and his new role in San Diego politics.
Also on the podcast, Lewis and Keatts examine how Mayor Kevin Falconer’s recent aggressive push for a special election stems back to a long history of power struggle in San Diego and the two geek out on urban design in Germany.
Hero of the Week
This week’s big winners are Assemblyman Todd Gloria and the California State Legislature for dramatically increasing state funding for homeless youth. Assemblyman Gloria helped get $10 million in this year’s budget – up from the just $1.1 million currently allocated and he has said he will continue to advocate for a more permanent influx of cash.
Goat of the Week
San Diego Unified School District gets goated yet again, this time for their plan to get rid of emails after just six months starting July 1, which brings up accountability and transparency concerns.