Leaders at the San Diego Association of Governments decided Friday to solicit proposals from law firms with investigative expertise for an independent probe.
The law firms would conduct an independent investigation of the agency’s faulty revenue forecast for a proposed sales tax hike that failed to get enough votes at the ballot box in November.
SANDAG’s Board of Directors voted last month to commission an examination of who knew what and when regarding the details of Measure A, which would have raised money for infrastructure and environmental improvements in the region.
The proposition gained the backing of a majority of voters — but not the two-thirds necessary for passage.
Several directors said the credibility of the regional planning agency was damaged by revelations that staff knew before the election that the figures for Measure A were incorrect.
The SANDAG Executive Committee voted to collect the proposals and have three of its members — Poway Mayor Steve Vaus, San Diego City Council President Myrtle Cole and Del Mar Mayor Terry Sinnott — evaluate them and return with a recommendation in April.
The Board of Directors, made up of elected officials from around the area, will need to approve the hiring of a firm.
SANDAG officials supported the proposition last fall by arguing that passage would result in $18 billion of revenue to spend on transportation and environmental projects over the next four decades.
Documents obtained by the online publication Voice of San Diego indicated that staff discovered a modeling error that overstated the likely proceeds but didn’t change the projection or alert board members.
— City News Service
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