The city’s high-profile civil lawsuits against a former city real estate adviser, who was paid millions of dollars by its ex-landlord, were hit with a legal setback late Friday.
Our Lisa Halverstadt reports that Superior Court Judge Timothy Taylor last week ordered the city refile its conflict-of-interest suits against ex-real estate adviser Jason Hughes. He decided that a controversial settlement with the city’s ex-landlord wasn’t explicit enough in excluding the broker.
Taylor ruled that lacking settlement language made it necessary for the city to clarify in new complaints that it isn’t arguing that Hughes was an agent of ex-landlord Cisterra Development, which paid Hughes $9.4 million for his work on the city’s 101 Ash St. and Civic Center Plaza leases.
Refresher: The city alleges that Hughes violated a state conflict-of-interest law barring officials from financially benefiting from contracts they work on. Hughes’ attorneys have argued he isn’t covered by the law and that he told multiple city officials he wanted to be paid for his work on complex city lease deals. Cisterra and its lenders were also named in the two civil lawsuits until the City Council approved a controversial settlement in July allowing the city to buy out the two leases and collect some of Cisterra’s net profits.
Politics Report: Early Tension in New All-Dem San Diego Council
The new all-Democratic San Diego City Council unanimously chose to keep Councilman Sean Elo-Rivera as council president. But there already seems to be some tension.
What happened: On Thursday, Elo-Rivera released committee assignments for the other eight members. It’s the first major decision the Council president makes each year.
Councilwoman Marni von Wilpert was not happy.
Elo-Rivera put her in charge of a new committee and appointed a new member to the council to the city’s infrastructure committee, which she used to chair.
The Politics Report has what von Wilpert and Elo-Rivera had to say on the matter.
Plus: Get ready for another chapter in the story of We Should Get a New City Hall, Right? Read it here.
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VOSD Podcast: This week on the podcast, Voice journalists Jesse Marx and Will Huntsberry unleash an authoritative account of Covid: Year Two. They sit down with pod hosts Andrew Keatts and Andrea Lopez-Villafaña to discuss their findings. Listen to the episode here.
In Other News
- The city of San Diego is reopening applications for short-term vacation rentals because it did not receive enough applications during the first round. (Union-Tribune)
- Argentina won the World Cup. Here’s how San Diegans celebrated. (Union-Tribune)
- Times of San Diego reports that San Diego Council President Sean Elo-Rivera announced that he plans to seek the vice chair seat on the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) board.
The Morning Report was written by Lisa Halverstadt and Andrea Lopez-Villafaña.