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.
Gore’s calendar indicates that Kelli Maruccia, the campaign fundraiser for both Dumanis and Gore, helped set up the meeting. The calendar blocks off 90 minutes for the meeting, but Aquino believed the discussion lasted no longer than 40 minutes.
“The sheriff does not recall many specifics, but does remember that Mr. Azano discussed his affection for golf, his residence in Coronado and that he mentioned at length all the government officials he knew in Mexico,” Aquino said.
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This is very fine reporting. In law the issues raised about Dumanis are known as "red flags." For me they started when Dumanis showed up at City Hall with a plan to divert misdemeanor prosecutions from the City Attorney to herself, They continued when she killed the search warrant arising out of the conflict of interest case involving the Sunroad principals; her failure to prosecute the case after she orchestrated the fallacious disqualification of the City Attorney raised my concerns further. Then after she won before the Supreme Court the right to prosecute the pension fraud case against Ron Saathoff she dropped it when she was preparing to run for Mayor. (the city had to pick up his legal fees because of it) And now the revelations about her meeting with someone who could not legally vote in the Mayor's race or contribute to a Mayoral candidate, while he poured thousands of illegal dollars into her campaign. Thankfully these storm warnings are starting to draw attention. The problem is so much damage has been inflicted on the quality of law enforcement by Ms. Dumanis it will take many years to restore our community.
Many people believe Bill Gore 's repeated endorsements of Dumanis is the reason she won. Remember the article "Why I trust Bonnie Dumanis", that was written after the Azano connection was revealed? At the time, he wrote that he knew she was lying about her "one time meeting with Azano". Why he vouched for her, knowing what he knew about her is unfathomable.
Remember Azano became wealty in Mexico and learned how "mordida" brings power. Note that an ex cop set Dumanis up with the money cow in Jan 2012. The money begins to flow to her in February and she takes Azano to Gore in March. The Mafia learned 60 years ago wrap up the cops and the politicians will follow.!!. That must have been some meeting. An ex cop, the 2 top law enforcement officials for the county and the crook. Doesn't get any better than that.
San Diego is extremely fortunate to still have a few "independent investigative journalist and reporters" like Liam Dillion whose brave uncanny ability to delve deep into the dark underworld of "The Blue Code of Silence" and especially the San Diego's Police departments "The Club" poses an incredible risk to his own News Organization "Voice of San Diego," his family, his associates, his staff, and to himself and his own career, so that his community of San Diego may stay informed of the dangers that lurk hidden deep within our society today. In a town where the wealthy Republican Union Tribune has unlimited resources and Bandwidth to control the ideology of millions, yet continuously turns a blind eye on many of the social issues of our times, because of special interest and a unwavering desire to hold fast to the Republican GOP hard line of half truths and twisted hyperbole. Thanks to independent writers like Liam Dillion whose conscience, integrity and great passion to seek out the real truth against the strong tide of political propaganda, the facts of this important story are finally surfacing to the top, for all to see. In a world where whistle blowers and those who stand up for the truth must now face an army of political oppression, immense amounts of personal humiliation and character assassination, waves of unsavory computer trolls financially motivated to use clever words of persuasion in order to discredit noble journalistic inspirations of intelligence and healthy inquiry, you Mr Dillion do your community a great service that we can never be fully appreciate or repaid back in our collective lifetimes. In a life of living dangerously, amidst a vortex of conspiracy and false illusions, filled with artificial salesmen and racist divide, your words are a refreshing reminder of what it is to be a true American Patriot. Your noteworthy articles carry with them a strong sense of truth and justice, shining a bright light of hope and inspiration, an uncompromising suspicion of the true reality that we must all face head on if we are to ever initiate and bring about real change within our society. I thank you for standing tall, your bravery and authentic magnanimity is truly contagious to us all,... Sincerely Thomas DeSoto, a huge fan, and proud citizen of San Diego North County.
What is beautiful to watch is Dumanis flipping off the UT every time they ask about this case and they can't do anything because they endorsed her. Now the Sheriff can do the same and they have to shut up. Great... our two top law enforcement officials in the county are involved in a growing corruption case and the paper is powerless. Remember the ex cop was present at and arranged all these meetings and HE is feeding the FBI with information.
Now this is a sexy story...keep digging, Mr. Dillon. This is the kind of information that could develop into a prize-winning narrative! Might be better than SEDC/CCDC or the criminals in the South Bay schools. Just one question...since I readily believe all the people named in your story are fully capable of any and all of these nefarious activities--what is in it for Azano? I could understand it if Azano wanted cover to run drugs through here or some other thing that would give him a great return on his monetary investment. They needed his money for their campaigns--what was he getting for it? BTW, do you feel a little nervous bearding local legal royalty in their dens and throwing in some Mexican criminals to boot? Who will protect you?
.....and some here kept giving me grief about how I portrayed Bonnie as the crook that she is. I can hardly wait 'til the dam breaks. Of course, Azano has probably been on the FBI watch list for at least a decade, and Gore used to work there, so........maybe he knew.
Hopefully everything comes out and we have 2 political powerhouses indicted while in office.
@Tyred And on a DEA watch list. He definitely has ties to/with the Mexican cartels.
How deep does the corruption go? What was she doing? Introducing her Mexican millionaire to Gore in case he, too, wanted to get on the illegal money train? Dumanis and Gore are joined at the hip. It's well known she gave "Ruby Ridge" Gore a job at the DA's Office until it was safe for Kolender to bring him over to the sheriff's office.
And is it any wonder Dumanis refuses to be interviewed? Just like she won't release the copy of the letter she wrote for the Mexican moneyman's son -- the same guy she claims she barely knew, the same guy who just happened to dump $200,000 into her mayoral campaign. No, in my opinion, Dumanis refuses to be interviewed because she knows if she slips and tells a lie that doesn't match up with all her earlier lies that whole corrupt house of card will fall down.
It’s comforting to know the DA and Sheriff work so smoothly together. If Gore’s staffer says the meeting lasted no more than 40 minutes of a scheduled 90, that must be true, so it’s impressive to realize how quickly major officials can reach agreement........on how much money each needs for reelection.
And of course, all big deals involve golf, right? Plus, it’s totally reassuring to learn that our sheriff doesn’t want to enter into contracts with people under indictment. Duh.
Surprise! Our perennial poster boy for clean deportment in office, the “honorable” Juan Vargas, is also named as receiving mucho dinero, as is our dear, departed, recently unmourned mayor. This guy Azano really cuts a wide swath among local politicians. He must be a very persuasive guy. And, he’s non-partisan! He’ll give money to anyone who can help him, regardless or race, sexual preference, creed, or political beliefs. A real winner!
@PRProSanDiego thanks Gayle
If the Sherriff has enough time to block off 40 minute meeting with a stranger so that person can discuss golf with him, then perhaps we should consider making the job part-time, with a substantial salary cut.
Your article says "half a million" but your emailed "Special Report" alert says "half a billion."
"....contributing more than half a billion dollars to various San Diego political campaigns starting in late 2011."
@Kristen Aliotti It was a typo. It's half a million.