February 9, 2001


Editorial

U.S. Attorney Wide of Mark in Stallings Ruling

The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of California, Gregory Vega, in our opinion, has white- washed a very serious issue that impacts on the entire city and county of San Diego: The apparent bribery of San Diego City Councilwoman Valerie Stallings by the owner of the PADRES baseball team; John Moores.

Attorney Vega recently ruled that PADRES owner John Moores had not attempted to bribe or buy San Diego Councilwoman Valerie Stallings. Erroneously ignoring that he had given Councilwoman Stallings numerous gifts, plane tickets, stock and insider information over a period of time. In addition he "overlooked," that while he was giving her substantial monetary gifts, Stallings changed her vote in favor of the City of San Diego to provide enormous sums of public money for construction of his baseball park and redevelopment district to be given him for essentially no cost!

Much of the billion dollar redevelopment project would be paid by funds provided by the City of San Diego, the CCDC, an agency whose funds are provided by the taxpayers, and financial support and guarantees, to be provided by the San Diego Port District, another publicly funded entity. It is odd that the U.S. Attorney Gregory Vega could not follow the money trail and smell a raid on the Public trough. Millionaire John Moores must be laughing all the way to the bank!

Attorney Gregory Vegas ruling cries out for justice and investigation by the United States Department of Justice. President G.W. Bush won his election promising a new ethic & morality in the conduct of the public's business. Our recently elected Mayor of San Diego, former Judge Dick Murphy, of the Superior Court of San Diego, ran on a campaign promise to the voters that he would bring ethics and morality to the office of the Mayor and in the conduct of this city's business. He has now been undermined, before he has had an opportunity to change the way the city has been doing business, by U.S. Attorney Gregory Vega who apparently is happy with the past actions of our elected officials (actions that were condemned by the County Grand Jury).

U.S. Attorney Gregory Vega should be removed as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of California and an immediate investigation be made by the U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft into the conduct of his office. The fiscal stability and security of San Diego is at stake!

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