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For more than a year after the SANDAG financial scandal broke, the agency continued to insist it would be able to complete the projects promised in TransNet, a sales tax hike to fund transportation projects.
Those days are over.
As Andrew Keatts reports, “SANDAG staff now regularly remind the board just how bad TransNet’s finances are. Pending a rescue from billions in new state and federal government transportation stimulus, many of the projects included in the measure won’t be built.”
Each new staff update on the state of TransNet seems to bring more bad news.
“For instance, in late 2017 the agency estimated that it would need to bring in $3.40 from state and federal sources for every $1 it collected in local revenue,” Keatts reports. But now “the agency will need to collect a whopping $9.60 from outside San Diego for every $1 it collects from local residents in order to build everything included in the TransNet ballot measure.”
Federal prosecutors accused a retired sheriff’s captain of selling an excessive number of guns that are only available for other cops to friends and acquaintances, and then scheming with others to cover their tracks. The Union-Tribune reports that Marco Garmo, a 27-year veteran who ran the Rancho San Diego Station, had political ambitions and, according to the indictment, was looking not only to make money but win favor with potential donors.
Four others were indicted, including a sheriff’s lieutenant and a prominent San Diego jeweler who’s run for office before, both of whom pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting charges. Another man was accused of bribing a clerk at the sheriff’s licensing division to push their clients to the front of the concealed-carry permit line.
The U.S. attorney announced the charges Friday shortly after the indictment was unsealed. A press release also notes that Garmo tipped off a cousin who’s a partner at an illegal marijuana dispensary in Spring Valley about a possible raid. Spring Valley is the Wild West of the underground pot market, and authorities have struggled to pull it up.
“Acts such as these are a violation of public trust and tarnish the reputation of law enforcement,” said Sheriff Bill Gore in a statement.
A statewide investigation by more than 30 media outlets, including Voice of San Diego, reported earlier this month that hundreds of California cops have been convicted of crimes over the last decade.
The Morning Report was written by Jesse Marx, and edited by Sara Libby.