Saturday, Nov. 8, 2008 | Agents from the FBI arrived at the headquarters of the Southeastern Economic Development Corp. on Imperial Avenue last month with a subpoena and took away several of the agency’s computers, SEDC board Chairman D. Cruz Gonzalez said Friday.
Gonzalez wouldn’t say whose computers had been removed or how many computers were taken by the agents. The FBI kept the computers for “a couple of days” before returning them, he said.
In August, in the wake of a bonus scandal at the public agency, two SEDC board members were questioned by FBI agents at their homes. Gonzalez and board member Rich Geisler said they were questioned about a clandestine system of bonuses former SEDC President Carolyn Y. Smith gave herself and her staff.
Gonzalez said one of the agents who took away the computers two weeks ago was the same agent who questioned him in August.
“They were very polite,” Gonzalez said of the agents. “We weren’t raided or anything.”
The SEDC board terminated Smith in July after a voiceofsandiego.org investigation revealed that she had allocated more than $1 million in unbudgeted bonuses and extra compensation for herself and her staff without seeking the approval of the City Council or the SEDC board.