Mayor Lee Testifies in Corruption Lawsuit
That Could Cost the City $10 Million

Written by Luke Thomas. Posted in News, Politics

Tagged: , , , , , , , ,

Published on February 14, 2012 with 2 Comments

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee (with attorney Joe Crotchet by his side) testified in a civil trial, February 6, in which the city's allegations of corruption and fraud against a #1-ranked minority business were effectively dropped - but not until the company, Cobra Solutions, was financially destroyed by the actions of high-ranking city officials. Photo by Luke Thomas.

By Luke Thomas, first published in San Francisco Bay Guardian

February 14, 2012

A complicated civil lawsuit alleging corruption and fraud and involving several prominent current and former city officials — including Mayor Ed Lee, who took the witness stand to discuss actions he took as city purchaser a decade ago — could end up costing city taxpayers as much as $10 million.

City and County of San Francisco vs. Cobra Solutions and Telecon was being deliberated by jurors in Superior Court at press time. It centers on a fraud and kickback scheme engineered by convicted felon Marcus Armstrong, a former Department of Building Inspection information technology manager who bilked the city out of at least $482,000 between 1999 and 2001.

Continue reading Mayor Lee Testifies in Corruption Lawsuit That Could Cost the City $10 Million

Luke Thomas

Luke Thomas

Luke Thomas is a former software developer and computer consultant who proudly hails from London, England. In 2001, Thomas took a yearlong sabbatical to travel and develop a photographic portfolio. Upon his return to the US, Thomas studied photojournalism to pursue a career in journalism. In 2004, Thomas worked for several neighborhood newspapers in San Francisco before accepting a partnership agreement with the SanFranciscoSentinel.com, a news website formerly covering local, state and national politics. In September 2006, Thomas launched FogCityJournal.com. The BBC, CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox News, New York Times, Der Spiegel, San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco Magazine, 7×7, San Francisco Examiner, San Francisco Bay Guardian and the San Francisco Weekly, among other publications and news outlets, have published his work. Thomas is a member of the Freelance Unit of the Pacific Media Workers Guild, TNG-CWA Local 39521 and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.

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  • Ann Garrison

    What’d’ya know? Willie Brown wiggles out from under, yet again . . .

    “Of note, Lee was not questioned about his and Brown’s involvement in awarding GCSI its master contract status in 1998. Time restrictions placed on attorneys by Judge James McBride limited the scope of witness examinations, so the most politically explosive charges went largely unexplored in court.”

  • Ann Garrison

    HIt the same paste twice. Companion was:

    “Deborah Vincent James — then-director of COIT and now deceased — testified in a pre-trial deposition that GCSI was “fraudulent,” that city staffers recommended against certifying the company, and that it was only awarded master contract status because of its political ties to Brown, who directed Lee to overrule the staff recommendation. In his deposition, Lee claimed he could not remember GCSI.”

    I sat in on some of this trial to watch Whitney Leigh and Matt Gonzalez work, since I may be in court as a self-represented litigant soon. This is giving a lot of context to their arguments that DBI was setting Cobra up to fail, that tit was giving them no choice but to hire these shell companies as subcontractors.