Oceanside City Hall / Photo by Megan Wood

The findings from an internal investigation into claims made against Oceanside City Treasurer Victor Roy are expected to be released by Sept. 14, City Attorney John Mullen told Voice of San Diego.

Roy was first accused of a slew of things by the city’s treasury manager, Steve Hodges, in a widely circulated June 6 email. In the email, Hodges claimed that Roy lost the city money with risky investments, illegally tried to get city employees to donate to his election campaign, mistreated city employees and more.

The city opened an investigation into most of the claims in July and is now finalizing the report.

The only allegation the city decided not to investigate was the city’s investments, so we did. We also found some major revelations along the way.

Hodges was partially right about the city’s lost earnings, but it was because of legal callable investments that were impacted by a drop in interest rates during the pandemic.

What we didn’t expect to find was Hodges’ hidden past, one where he seemingly has a habit of rocking the boat at almost every public agency he’s previously worked at.

This week’s North County Report provides a recap of the Oceanside saga including the twist that no one saw coming. Subscribe to Tigist Layne’s newsletter here.

Click here to read more.

State OKs City’s Arena Redevelopment Redo

A rendering of Midway Rising. / Rendering by Safdie Rabines Architects courtesy of Midway Rising

San Diego had to restart its attempt to redevelop the blighted Sports Arena area over a year ago when the California housing department said the city failed to follow a state law giving affordable housing developers first dibs on public land.

Now, the state says the city’s redo has complied with the relevant laws and can move forward, as the Union-Tribune reported Wednesday.

The second bidding process forced affordable housing to be a larger component of the development proposals, and of the city’s selection criteria, though it still allowed the city to prioritize a new arena as part of any project on the nearly 50-acre site of city-owned land.

The legislature changed the longstanding “surplus land act” in 2019, when Mayor Todd Gloria was in the Assembly, to give affordable housing developers a leg up in any redevelopment of public land, but the city was surprised to learn in early 2021 that it had not followed the updated law. (MTS, a board including city officials, managed to be aware of and follow the law on its own redevelopment project at the same time).

Gloria’s office has now selected Midway Rising as its preferred project. It includes 4,250 homes, about 2,000 of which would be restricted for below-market rents, the most income-restricted units of any of the bidders. It would also include a new arena with 16,000 seats.

Is SDSU’s Move to Chula Vista a Sign More to Come? 

San Diego State University / Photo by Adriana Heldiz

For more than 30 years, Chula Vista elected officials have talked about attracting a four-year university, but time and time again, projects have fallen apart. It’s become a perennial issue that still animates some local politics.

But the lack of a four-year university presence in the city could soon change. The Union-Tribune reports that San Diego State University is planning to open a satellite location for its film, TV and media production programs in Chula Vista’s Otay Ranch neighborhood – two miles from the 375-acre “University and Innovation District” the city set aside for university development. 

The proposed $89 million development would include a new academic and library center. This is all being done in partnership with Southwestern College, a community college in Chula Vista, SDSU and the city of Chula Vista, which is pitching in $59 million to the project. An additional $25 million and $5 million is coming from state funding secured by Assemblyman David Alvarez and State Senator Toni Atkins respectively.

Chula Vista hopes this new development may attract other universities to expand their footprint into South County. The chair of the University of California’s Board of Regents expressed support for a potential expansion of UCSD into Chula Vista and a similar partnership with Southwestern College just a couple of months ago. 

The development is a far cry from the ambitious push to open a brand new California State University campus in the city, which was stymied by a 2020 report released by the university’s board of regents that determined there was insufficient enrollment demand for a standalone university in the city. 

But the new project could be the first step toward something bigger.

In Other News 

  • Two San Diego County detectives have filed a lawsuit  alleging sexual harrassment against a former sheriff’s sergeant who retired amid a harassment investigation. The detectives also named the county in the lawsuit, claiming it didn’t protect them from the harassment. (Union-Tribune) 
  • The heat wave that hit the region will continue through the week, but Hurricane Kay will likely bring winds and rain over the weekend. (NBC San Diego) 
  • Seventeen current and former SDSU student-athletes have filed a Title IX complaint against the university alleging that from 2019-2021 male athletes received over $1 million more in athletic financial aid despite only making up 43 percent of all athletes at the university. Title IX requires federally funded institutions and organizations to provide equal opportunities to men and women. (Fox San Diego)
  • A limited number of doses of the latest COVID-19 booster shot will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis on Thursday and Friday at the Central Region Public Health Center on University Avenue, the South Region Live Well Center in Chula Vista and the East Public Health Center in El Cajon. Thus far the booster has only been available to some working in the medical field. (KPBS) 

The Morning Report was written by Tigist Layne, Andrew Keatts and Jakob McWhinney. It was edited by Andrea Lopez-Villafaña.

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