DPLU Uses Blackwater Attorney As Planner

LoriSpar.jpg Attorney Lori Spar represented herself as Blackwater's attorney at one planning group meeting and at the next, she was suddenly a key planner for the County on the Blackwater project! More to come...

Called the law firm, and they said she worked there from ... left msg for Joanne Sherwin(?) who is the admin person about the dates of her employment at Stephenson Worley Garratt Schwartz Garfield & Prairie (http://www.swgsgp.com/). (Never received a response from this company).

The Raw Story article about Blackwater West, published April 3rd (Massive Security Contractor Faces Growing Protest), reported that an attorney named Lori Spar, "listed with the California Bar Association as an attorney with a law firm representing Blackwater on July 31, 2006 . . . has since unexpectedly surfaced as a land use/environmental planner for the Department of Planning and Land Use." The article also reported that Spar showed up at the Save Potrero meeting held on March 1, 2007, and "after Raw Story inquired about her ties to Blackwater, the Department of Planning dismissed her from the board."

Lori Spar worked for a San Diego law firm called Stephenson Worley Garratt Schwartz Garfield & Prairie (SWGSGP). (http://www.SWGSGP.com/) Spar had her own Web page (now not available), which states that "[s]he worked as an Environmental Analyst and Land Use Planner for the County of San Diego for two years before joining the firm in January 2005."
  • LoriSparsWebPagefrom-swgsgp.pdf: Lori Spar's Web Page when she worked for the firm representing Blackwater
  • I (Raymond Lutz) called the firm on 4/25/2007 and asked for information regarding Ms. Spar's employment history. I left a voicemail with the administration person but did not receive a call back.

Spar apparently continued to work for DPLU after she joined SWGSGP, and may still been employed by DPLU during that period. Her name appears on a January 27, 2007 "CEQA Initial Study," for a project in Alpine, which lists her as the contact person and "Project Manager" for DPLU, and provides her County email address. (http://www.sdcounty.ca.gov/dplu/docs/PR/2-23-07/GPA06005-ISF.pdf)

Do we know for a fact that Lori Spar was "an attorney with a law firm representing Blackwater on July 31, 2006," as reported in the Raw Story article? Perhaps Miriam Raftery, one of the co-authors of the article, can provide this information. I talked with Miriam and she said there was no doubt about that.

One comment from an email:
  • Female employed by county quits county to work for blackwater, then quits blackwater and returns to county job.
  • Blackwater then files for major use permit, rezoning permits, and removal of agricultural preserve permit (Dec. 06).
  • Recently, county project manager originally assigned to blackwater proposal (greg) quits county job (april 07).

The DPLU says Lori Spar is still working at DPLU as of May 7, 2007.

Glenn Russell, a chief in the regulatory section of DPLU

858 694-2981


“She actually used to work for us as a planner and then she decided to go off and work as a lawyer, and then she decided she didn’t like being a lawyer and wanted to be a land use planner and then she came back to us. She actuallly was working on the project team. As soon as it was brought to our attention that her firm was actually the firm representing the applicant, we took her off the project. We are very concerned that there might be an appearance of a conflict of interest.

-- Raymond Lutz - 25 Apr 2007

  • DPLU_Phone_List_14Feb2007.pdf: DPLU Phone list from Feb 2007 listing Lori Spar.
  • Spar, Lori (858) 694-2969 KM <-- Her listing. I called on 4/25/2007 and received her voice mail.

Email sequence showing that Spar was working on the Blackwater project.

From: Charlene Ayers [mailto:char.ayers@worldnet.att.net]
Sent: Tuesday, April 10, 2007 11:47 AM
To: 'Ranters Roost'
Subject: Message from Lori: Blackwater planner change...

-----Original Message-----
From: Tosh, Claire [mailto:Claire.Tosh@sdcounty.ca.gov]
Sent: Tuesday, April 10, 2007 8:35 AM
To: Charlene Ayers
Subject: FW: Blackwater planner change...


Ms. Ayers,

I stand Corrected.  I found the original information in KIVA.


From: Spar, Lori
Sent: Monday, April 09, 2007 11:48 AM
To: Tosh, Claire
Cc: Maxson, Alyssa; Farace, Joseph
Subject: RE: Blackwater planner change...

Hi Claire-

As you know, it is important that Ms. Ayers is given accurate information. 
I am not sure where you saw that I worked on the transportation study. 
My role was as the project environmental coordinator. From approximately 
February until the end of March I worked with the project applicant on EIR 
related issues assisting in the identification of impact areas requiring analysis, 
thresholds to determine significance of those impacts and methodologies for 
analysis. Please clarify this information with Ms. Ayers. Thanks.

From: Tosh, Claire
Sent: Monday, April 09, 2007 11:14 AM
To: 'Charlene Ayers'
Subject: RE: Blackwater planner change...

Good Morning Ms. Ayers,

According to KIVA the case was assigned to Greg Kryzs 12-28-06.  Lori 
assisted with the transportation study in January.


Claire Tosh
Administrative Analyst II
Project Processing Control Center
Department of Planning & Land Use
County of San Diego
5201 Ruffin Road, Suite B, Mail Stop O-650
San Diego, CA  92123



From: Charlene Ayers [mailto:char.ayers@worldnet.att.net]
Sent: Friday, April 06, 2007 5:46 PM
To: Tosh, Claire
Subject: Blackwater planner change...


At last night’s Blackwater Scoping Meeting, Glen Russell told us 
that Greg Kryzs was assigned as planner to the project in place of Lori Spar 

When did that change take place?  The date.




Comments by the DPLU

You may want to watch the scoping meeting

Scroll to 41:00

Glenn Russell, a chief in the regulatory section of DPLU, said

"Lori Spar worked for us for several years as an environmental planner. And then she decided, "You know, I think I want to go be a lawyer. So she went off to be a lawyer and she worked for the firm that is, in fact, representing Blackwater. I don't know to what extent she had to do with the project, but she decided she didn't want to do law anymore, that she wanted to come back and be a planner. So she came back, she works for us now, and when we found that she had worked for the firm that had represented Blackwater, we said, "Oh my gosh, there could be an appearance of a conflict of interest there." (Laughter from the audience) "And we immediately removed her from the project, she has absolutely nothing to do with the project, nor will she have, for as long as the project is with us. And there is no one else."

See also: Cops.T 00016
I Attachment Action Size Date Who Comment
DPLU_Phone_List_14Feb2007.pdfpdf DPLU_Phone_List_14Feb2007.pdf manage 71 K 26 Jun 2014 - 21:23 Raymond Lutz DPLU Phone list from Feb 2007 listing Lori Spar.
LoriSpar.jpgjpg LoriSpar.jpg manage 3 K 26 Jun 2014 - 21:23 Raymond Lutz Lori Spar
LoriSparsWebPagefrom-swgsgp.pdfpdf LoriSparsWebPagefrom-swgsgp.pdf manage 84 K 26 Jun 2014 - 21:23 Raymond Lutz Lori Spar's Web Page when she worked for the firm representing Blackwater
Topic revision: r15 - 11 Mar 2015, RaymondLutz
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