Politics

San Diego's scandalous past

Updated 8:01 PM ET, Tue August 6, 2013
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The sexual harassment allegations against San Diego Mayor Bob Filner are not the first time this Pacific Coast city has seen scandal. Look back at some of the other political missteps, morasses and quagmires in which the city's politicians have found themselves: Getty Images
San Diego's first mayor, Joshua Bean, reportedly sold City Hall and the land it sat on to himself and a drinking buddy for $2.50. He eventually deeded the property back to the city after a lawsuit and later resigned as mayor over a pay dispute. He was mayor from 1850 to 1851. From City of San Diego
Louis J. Wilde, who became mayor in 1917, ran a scheme where he encouraged residents to invest in $100 stock shares of the Community Oil company, which would drill for crude in the area. But the drilling never made good, and Wilde reportedly took in far more cash than he spent on the search, lining his pockets and leaving his investors as dry as the oil wells. He did not seek re-election. From City of San Diego
Rutherford Irones, whose mayoral term only lasted six months, was convicted in 1935 of felony hit-and-run driving. He was driving a city-provided car while drunk and struck a car. Irones fled the scene, leaving the two people in the car he struck injured and without medical attention. He resigned as mayor and later served a six-month jail sentence. from city of san diego
Frank Curran, who was mayor from 1963 to 1971, was indicted in 1970 after being accused of taking bribes from the Yellow Cab company to clear a taxi rate hike. A Superior Court jury cleared him of the charges, but his career never recovered. From the City of San Diedo
Jess Haro was appointed to fill an empty seat on the City Council, later winning an election. In 1978, he served 90 days for misdemeanor customs fraud resulting from the failure to report the true value of items he imported from Mexico. After he hit the city charter's limit of eight missed council meetings in a row, he was removed from office. U-T San Diego/Zuma Press
Roger Hedgecock was elected as mayor in 1983 and resigned in 1986 over charges that he accepted illegal campaign donations and covered them up. The California Supreme Court threw out 12 felony perjury counts against him. He did plead guilty to one felony, which was later reduced to a misdemeanor and eventually expunged from his record. He is now a radio talk show host. Dylan Brown/The Independent Record/AP
Robert Spaulding, the city planning director, and Susan Bray, a planner who worked for him, were involved in a two-and-a-half year sexual relationship that ended in 1991. Bray filled a sexual harassment complaint against Spaulding saying she only participated because she feared for her job. A hush-hush settlement was arranged in such a way that the City Council wouldn't be informed. The whole thing eventually came out, forcing Spaulding to resign and costing the city more money to clean up the mess. SAM HODGSON/REuters/LANDOV
Councilman Uvaldo Martinez resigned in 1986 after allegations that he used his city-issued credit card to treat himself and his friends to meals and drinks, claiming it was city business. He reimbursed the city just over $600 as part of his plea bargain, in addition to going on probation and performing community service. U-T San Diego/Zuma Press
Valerie Stallings stepped down from the City Council in 2001 after pleading guilty to misdemeanor charges. She was accused of accepting gifts from Padres owner John Moores while voting in favor of the downtown ballpark. Stalling maintains she did nothing wrong. Construction on the ballpark was halted while the charges were investigated by a federal grand jury. John Gastaldo/U-T San Diego/Zuma Press/file
Dick Murphy was elected to two terms as San Diego's mayor starting in 2000. He resigned in 2005, only seven months into his second term, under accusations of financial mismanagement surrounding the city's pension program and after credit-rating agencies cutting the city's ability to borrow money. In addition, Time magazine named him one of the worst mayors in the country. His second run for mayor also sparked controversy, as thousands of write-in votes for his main competitor, Donna Frye, were disqualified over a technicality. Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images)
Three days after Murphy resigned, two city councilmen, including then-acting mayor Michael Zucchet, were convicted of conspiracy, extortion and fraud. Zucchet, left, and Ralph Inzunza were convicted for taking campaign contributions in exchange for pushing the repeal of a city regulation that banned strip-club dancers from touching patrons. A third councilman, Charles Lewis, was also indicted, but he died before he could be brought to court. The regulation still stands, and there was never a vote on whether it should be repealed. Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images/Lenny Ignelzi/AP