San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore and District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis met with Jose Susumo Azano Matsura during the same time prosecutors allege Azano was illegally funneling hundreds of thousands of dollars to Dumanis’ failed 2012 mayoral campaign.
The meeting took place in Gore’s office on March 2, 2012, according to Gore’s calendar. Azano wanted to introduce himself to Gore, a Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman said.
Azano, a Mexican national, was charged in February for allegedly illegally contributing more than half a million dollars to various San Diego political campaigns starting in late 2011. He’s pleaded not guilty.
This is the first time the sheriff has been linked in any way to Azano. Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Melissa Aquino said Gore, Dumanis, Azano and former San Diego police detective Ernesto Encinas attended the March 2012 meeting. Encinas is a confidante of both Dumanis and Azano and has pleaded guilty to facilitating Azano’s campaign donations.