HillcrestBlog by "San Diego News Service" (619) 757-4909

"San Diego News Service" covers hard news, features and reviews for local and national print media, and maintains, "HillcrestBlog." Address: 3907 Georgia St., #15, San Diego 92103-3548. Our editor is Leo E. Laurence, J.D., Copy Ed.: Martin Brickson. Member: Society of Professional Journalists, Latino Journalists of California. Call news tips to (619) 757-4909 (days), Nights: (619) 220-8686 (fax also). leopowerhere@msn.com Copyright 2008 by San Diego News Service

Saturday, October 11, 2008

COMPLAINT FILED AGAINST MAYOR'S OFFICE FOR UNLAWFUL CAMPAIGNING AGAINST AGUIRRE

City Heights -- A complaint for alleged, unlawful campaigning in the city attorney's race has been filed against the mayor's office with the state's Fair Political Practices Commission in Sacramento.
Representing the mayor's office, Community Outreach officer Ronald L. Lacey on Oct. 8th attending the annual meeting of the City Heights Business Association. After giving a routine report on city business and finances, the issue of 20 bus shelters (long a hot issue in City Heights) came up.
Suddenly, Lacey changed from providing routine information on the mayor's activities. He became overtly political - attacking City Attorney Michael Aguirre.
Lacey then candidly admitted that his boss - the mayor - was actively supporting Aguirre's opponent in the November election.
Lacey participated in a long discussion, led by CHBA outgoing president Joe Sciarretta and involving several CHBA board members, that openly and repeatedly attacked the record and personality of the incumbent city attorney.
That discussion was vicious.
"The city attorney's office just does whatever it wants to do. Of course, my boss (the mayor) has endorsed (the city attorney's) opponent," Lacey said.
"(Aguirre) is getting more reckless as his retention chances (re-election) are diminishing," Lacey added, speaking at a time when he was officially representing the mayor's office at the CHBA's annual meeting.
"The political insults fired at the city attorney were bouncing off the wall, with Lacey's continued participation.
Lacey "never said he was expressing his own, personal opinions on the campaign for city attorney of San Diego," the sworn complaint with the state's Fair Political Practices Commission reads. San Diego News Service obtained a copy when it was filed.
Lacey claimed he did not know there was a reporter in the room when he openly campaigned against Aguirre, and while officially representing the mayor's office.
Lacey got very, very nervous when he learned that the press was present.
"What are you going to write about me," Lacey worriedly asked the reporter.
Lacey was also visibly uncomfortable when that reporter took close-up photos of him at the CHBA's annual meeting.
It may be a week or more before the staff of the state's Fair Political Practices Commission in Sacramento decides if it will assume jurisdiction on the complaint against Mayor Sander's office, and launch an investigation.
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Copyright, 2008, by journalist Leo E. Laurence, J.D. leopowerhere@msn.com (619) 757-4909

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