The state of California filed criminal charges against two former top San Diego redevelopment officials today, accusing them of embezzlement and misappropriation of public funds nearly three years after a voiceofsandiego.org investigation uncovered their clandestine bonus scheme.

Carolyn Y. Smith and Dante Dayacap face a maximum of seven years and four months in prison if convicted of the charges brought against them by State Attorney General Kamala Harris. They were president and finance director, respectively, at the city’s Southeastern Economic Development Corp., an organization that oversees taxpayer-sponsored development in San Diego’s southeastern neighborhoods.

Law enforcement officials arrested Dayacap today. Smith wasn’t immediately taken into custody.

Each was charged with five felony counts: conspiracy to commit a crime, three counts of embezzlement of public funds and one count of misappropriation of public funds.

In 2008, will.carless@voiceofsandiego.org. Follow them on Twitter: @AndrewDonohue @WillCarless.

    This article relates to: Government, News, Public Safety, Redevelopment
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    Written by K Hernandez

    28 comments
    Fred Logan
    Fred Logan subscriber

    Fix potholes, provide police and fire enforce code and zoning. Leave everything else to the free market.

    FredL29
    FredL29

    Fix potholes, provide police and fire enforce code and zoning. Leave everything else to the free market.

    Will Dawson
    Will Dawson subscriber

    Again we have San Diego Public Officials caught with their hand in the cookie jar and prosecution seems to "JUST FADE AWAY" Again in San Diego Crime seems to pay and pay very well.

    Sandawg
    Sandawg

    Again we have San Diego Public Officials caught with their hand in the cookie jar and prosecution seems to "JUST FADE AWAY" Again in San Diego Crime seems to pay and pay very well.

    christine mann
    christine mann subscriber

    so "affordable housing", solving homelessness, all these benevolent sounding things have become absurdly profitable and the solutions do not fix blight or create a sense of well being or fix communities...they destroy communities w/ no accountability whatsoever. try calling 1 of these redevelopment projects and asking for info. they will practically hang up on you telling you they owe you nothing....you just have to pay for it...try calling Todd Gloria,,,he will tell you the developer is entitled so stop fighting it like the 15 million dollar plan to build a 7 story monstrosity at el cajon and florida destroying an entire historic block w/ your $..

    cma52572
    cma52572

    so "affordable housing", solving homelessness, all these benevolent sounding things have become absurdly profitable and the solutions do not fix blight or create a sense of well being or fix communities...they destroy communities w/ no accountability whatsoever. try calling 1 of these redevelopment projects and asking for info. they will practically hang up on you telling you they owe you nothing....you just have to pay for it...try calling Todd Gloria,,,he will tell you the developer is entitled so stop fighting it like the 15 million dollar plan to build a 7 story monstrosity at el cajon and florida destroying an entire historic block w/ your $..

    christine mann
    christine mann subscriber

    Its about darn time!! This is why we need to get RID of redevelopment agencies alltogether and not support this faux "reform bill" that will likely do nothing at all but solidify their existence and Atkins should have to recuse herself from any vote on the bill since she is married to a redevelopment developer.

    cma52572
    cma52572

    Its about darn time!! This is why we need to get RID of redevelopment agencies alltogether and not support this faux "reform bill" that will likely do nothing at all but solidify their existence and Atkins should have to recuse herself from any vote on the bill since she is married to a redevelopment developer.

    Michael Reaves
    Michael Reaves subscriber

    They can't manage internal departments.. How are they going to manage outside providers.

    MikeNSantee
    MikeNSantee

    They can't manage internal departments.. How are they going to manage outside providers.

    William Sweeney
    William Sweeney subscriber

    Gee, I wonder why this isn't being covered by the mainstream media. Why do you think?

    Macsvens
    Macsvens

    Gee, I wonder why this isn't being covered by the mainstream media. Why do you think?

    William Sweeney
    William Sweeney subscriber

    Why, I'm shocked! Simply shocked! And gee, I wonder why it isn't getting any coverage? Now why do you think?

    Macsvens
    Macsvens

    Why, I'm shocked! Simply shocked! And gee, I wonder why it isn't getting any coverage? Now why do you think?

    Kathleen MacLeod
    Kathleen MacLeod subscribermember

    As a governance wonk, this case is a poster child for the failure of blurred boundaries between the public and private sectors. We had contracted services sans oversight by design. A community planner told me that the City regarded SEDC as a private developer so didn't expect it to adhere to the same transparency rules as the City's Redevelopment division. In defense of the Controller at the time, I assume s/he felt that claims signed by a department head sufficed - it wasn't up to him/her to compare SEDC's budget with its claims - that's the job of the non-existent staff to the Redevelopment Agency. Councilmember Marti Emerald's plan proposes to correct this governance failure by having the Redevelopment Agency have its own staff to provide this long overdue oversight and control.

    kmacleod
    kmacleod

    As a governance wonk, this case is a poster child for the failure of blurred boundaries between the public and private sectors. We had contracted services sans oversight by design. A community planner told me that the City regarded SEDC as a private developer so didn't expect it to adhere to the same transparency rules as the City's Redevelopment division. In defense of the Controller at the time, I assume s/he felt that claims signed by a department head sufficed - it wasn't up to him/her to compare SEDC's budget with its claims - that's the job of the non-existent staff to the Redevelopment Agency. Councilmember Marti Emerald's plan proposes to correct this governance failure by having the Redevelopment Agency have its own staff to provide this long overdue oversight and control.

    Robert Castaneda
    Robert Castaneda subscriber

    Great work by the VOSD's Careless on this story. If any readers have not noticed the U/T and their partner KGTV has yet (to my knowledge) printed or broadcast this story at the time of this post. Why? Is it not newsworthy? Not of interest to the public? Well, certainly it is. My sense is that unless these media sources can be the primary judge, jury and executioner in the media there is little or no coverage. Much like the same questions as to why the local D.A., now Mayoral candidate, Bonnie Dumanis did not pursue this issue. Is the sanctity of the public dollar given possible embezzlement not of interest to San Diegans? Was it not a crime? Well, that may or not be the case based on the presumption of innocence, but clearly there was enough HARD EVIDENCE there for the A.G. to issue charges.

    Castaneda
    Castaneda

    Great work by the VOSD's Careless on this story. If any readers have not noticed the U/T and their partner KGTV has yet (to my knowledge) printed or broadcast this story at the time of this post. Why? Is it not newsworthy? Not of interest to the public? Well, certainly it is. My sense is that unless these media sources can be the primary judge, jury and executioner in the media there is little or no coverage. Much like the same questions as to why the local D.A., now Mayoral candidate, Bonnie Dumanis did not pursue this issue. Is the sanctity of the public dollar given possible embezzlement not of interest to San Diegans? Was it not a crime? Well, that may or not be the case based on the presumption of innocence, but clearly there was enough HARD EVIDENCE there for the A.G. to issue charges.

    Mel Shapiro
    Mel Shapiro subscribermember

    I dont know if the Staate knows that the City Controller is involved since his department reimbursed every cent of the illegal bonuses with a City of San Diego check. SEDC sent a funds request to the Contoller every month for reimbursment. He asked no questions.

    melshap
    melshap

    I dont know if the Staate knows that the City Controller is involved since his department reimbursed every cent of the illegal bonuses with a City of San Diego check. SEDC sent a funds request to the Contoller every month for reimbursment. He asked no questions.

    Bob Jones
    Bob Jones subscriber

    Great work Will. I too thought this case had fallen off the radar somewhere. Obviously there was little or no oversight, and that falls directly on the mayor and council. Dayacap with a history of a financial meltdown personally has no business being employed in a position of trust like this. I hope VOSD stays on top of this story. Thanks

    Bobbaloo
    Bobbaloo

    Great work Will. I too thought this case had fallen off the radar somewhere. Obviously there was little or no oversight, and that falls directly on the mayor and council. Dayacap with a history of a financial meltdown personally has no business being employed in a position of trust like this. I hope VOSD stays on top of this story. Thanks


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