Thursday, September 17, 2009

Bob Watkins failed to report his conflicts of interest as airport authority chairman

This story makes me wonder if there is perhaps a whole lot of information, other than mere yearly updates, that Bob Watkins has failed to report. And it also makes me wonder if Watkins charged San Diego County Office of Education for Charger games or airplane tickets. What was the grand total of his expenses at SDCOE?

See all Bob Watkins posts.

Watkins' Interests Not Disclosed
Voice of San Diego
by Rob Davis
Sept.16, 2009

When Bob Watkins, the airport authority chairman, took office in 2006, he reported owning his consulting business, property near the airport and more than $100,000 in stock. He reported the investments on his annual conflict-of-interest report.

In the two years since, Watkins hasn't disclosed anything on the annual forms. He has ticked a box that says he has nothing to report. The airport authority's conflict of interest code requires board members such as Watkins to disclose "all investments, business positions, interests in real property and sources of income."

But county records show that Watkins still owns property near the airport as well as a home in Alpine. His business, R.J. Watkins & Co. is located at 2515 Brant St., eight blocks from Lindbergh Field. He listed its fair market value at being more than $1 million when he took office. He stopped reporting it in 2008.

The lack of disclosure is potentially problematic. The property sits in an area that the airport authority's board has land-use planning powers over, giving Watkins the power to influence future land uses there. And Watkins signed the annual disclosure forms under penalty of perjury. Such disclosures are made to alert the public about potential conflicts of interest. Officials who fail to fully report their interests can be fined up to $5,000 per violation by the state Fair Political Practices Commission...

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