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Thursday, March 4, 2010

Judas! Sacked Official's Protege Tapped to Oversee Sale of State Buildings.

Posted By on Thu, Mar 4, 2010 at 4:30 PM

click to enlarge Instead of 30 pieces of Silver, the state will pay DeNunzio $50 per year for his new post
  • Instead of 30 pieces of Silver, the state will pay DeNunzio $50 per year for his new post
After sacking Don Casper from an obscure joint powers authority overseeing financing of two state-owned buildings in the Civic Center area, state officials rubbed salt in his wound by replacing him with his political understudy, Mike DeNunzio.

"I recruited him for the San Francisco Republican Central Committee. And he succeeded me as chairman, which I supported whole-heartedly," said Casper. "He really is a good friend."

As reported earlier, Casper, who until Wednesday afternoon sat

on the three-person San Francisco State Building Authority, last week

voiced objections to a state plan to raise $2

billion by selling 11 state-owned structures, including San Francisco's PUC and Supreme Court Buildings. This

financial practice -- in which the state would lease back the buildings

from future buyers -- is akin to taking out a large loan. While California

would certainly lose scads of money in the long-term, the cash-poor

state would get an infusion in the short-term.

Casper had told SF Weekly that he would seek to block investors from purchasing the buildings, on the theory that these buyers might seek to influence regulatory agencies such as the Department of Insurance and the PUC, which are housed within.

This afternoon, Casper said he planned to show up at the state Supreme Court conference room Friday morning, where the Authority's meeting had been scheduled -- despite his firing. He theorized that that state rules dictate he retained powers as an Authority member until officially replaced. Since the Authority only meets once per year, Casper seemed poised to muddle Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's plans to sell the San Francisco buildings.

Not long thereafter, however, Casper learned the state had foiled his plan. Worse, they'd tapped his close friend DeNunzio to do the dirty work.

DeNunzio apparently hadn't been aware of the scrum that proceeded his new appointment.

Now that he is, I asked, will he honor the wishes of the man who gave him a boost into the infinitesimal world of San Francisco Republican politics?

"I honestly am not prepared to talk. I am running out right now. I really can't talk to you," DeNunzio said. "I'm not prepared to answer that right now, because I've got so many thing's I'm trying to deal with right now. I'mrreally busy. I'm going out of town."

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Matt Smith

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