Citizen's arrest of Sanders fails
Union Tribune (2012-01-30) Craig Gustafson
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A group of about 20 Occupy San Diego protesters attempted a citizen’s arrest Monday of Mayor Jerry Sanders for allowing a temporary name change of Qualcomm Stadium last month to the financial benefit of a corporation.
The unsuccessful attempt was led by Ray Lutz, an East County activist and former congressional candidate, who claimed the mayor gave awayas much as a half-million dollars in advertising to Qualcomm for $1,000. The group, which held signs such as “Jail Jerry,” went to his office shortly after 10 a.m. and was told the mayor wasn’t there.
They waited about an hour and then proceeded to the City Attorney’s Office and the District Attorney’s Office to file their complaint.
Sanders allowed Qualcomm to change the stadium’s name to Snapdragon, a smartphone processor made by the wireless chip giant, despite receiving a Dec. 7 opinion from the City Attorney’s Office that the move wasn’t legal without City Council approval. The name switch — for which the city received a nominal $1,000 to cover staff costs — began five days later and continued through three nationally televised football games.
The agreement between the mayor and Qualcomm wasn’t signed until Dec. 20 after the change had already been made. Sanders has repeatedly said he has no regrets about his decision. The Mayor’s Office declined to comment on the citizen’s arrest attempt.
Lutz, flanked by supporters who held crime scene tape, called on prosecutors to charge Sanders and said the city should come up with a fair price and ask Qualcomm for more money.
“This mayor thinks that he’s above the law,” he said. “He thinks that he’s a strong mayor and he can do anything and actually he’s a weak mayor that has been misused by a strong local corporation.”
At least nine police officers were in the lobby of the Mayor’s Office during the mostly civil protest. No arrests — citizen or otherwise — were made.