Political corruption is "trumped up?"

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For real, Natalie?

The truly shocking aspect of the latest fallout from the City College scandal is the response of incumbent Trustee Natalie Berg, who is up for re-election.

Bad enough that Berg allowed Stephen Herman, who was directly involved in the scandal and pled guilty to two felonies, to hold a fundraiser for her. But his offenses were reduced to misdemeanors, he's paid his fine -- and Berg has every right to say that he's learned his lesson and deserves a chance to continue in the political world.

That's not what she's saying, though:

Berg, first elected to the college’s board in 1996, saw nothing wrong with having Herman host the fundraiser, calling him, “completely honest and honorable.” Of the criminal charges, she said: “The whole thing was trumped up. Nobody benefited from that, and it ruined people’s careers.”

Trumped up? Seriously?

Nobody has thus far disputed the basic evidence: Former Chancellor Phil Day and Herman diverted tens of thousands of dollars in public money into political campaigns. They never denied doing it. The documents showing what happened were completely clear. And just about everyone with any sense of law or ethics agrees it was a serious problem.

Nobody benefited? How about the taxpayers and the students, who have the right to honest oversight of their money?

Wow. I knew Berg was a bad trustee, but this is over the top.

 

 

Comments

Perhaps this is the way that Forest City operates, since she is their VP here. Explains some of their city contracts and permits, doesn't it?

Not to mention that some of the money was spent on club dues, etc.

Posted by CitiReport on Aug. 27, 2012 @ 10:59 am

And we scratch our heads wondering how SF CC imploded, wonder no more with trustees like Natalie Berg.

Posted by Guest on Aug. 27, 2012 @ 2:22 pm

Does SFCC need a new board of trustees?

Posted by Guest on Aug. 27, 2012 @ 3:02 pm

I was initially surprised to read Trustee Natalie Berg's comment, but, in retrospect, it is not surprising that Berg felt compelled to downplay and dismiss the money laundering conviction. A review of the published evidence suggests that she may have known it was going on. The Churchwell investigation report commissioned by the City College Board of Trustees to figure out what happened in 2005 found the following:

1. Around July 2005, Rodel Rodis, then President of the College Board of Trustees, appointed Berg, Johnnie Carter, and Lawrence Wong to the Steering Committee for the bond campaign;
2. The bond campaign committee regularly met in the offices of Forest City Development, where Berg is and was a Vice President;
3. The campaign obtained lists of City College contractors and vendors and targeted them for campaign contributions. College administration officials went on to convince some contractors to divert their payments due to the College to the bond campaign;
4. At least one administrator who diverted payments due to the College claimed ignorance of the law regarding misuse of public funds.

If administrators did not know diverting public funds was wrong, their openness presumably resulted in openness about their actions with other members of the campaign committee. Thus, were these repeated funding diversions discussed during the regular meetings at Forest City? Berg's comments sure suggest that she approved of the conduct by the administrators.

If one supposes that the administrators actually did know the funds diversion was wrong and hid it from the bond committee, including Berg, then why her rush to defend them? If I worked on a campaign and discovered one of my fellow campaigners had been laundering funds, bringing disrepute to the campaign, I'd be pissed, no matter how well I otherwise thought of them. I think a normal reaction would be to feel let down by your colleague, yet Berg rushes to defend his criminal activity.

Sure seems like an odd reaction however you slice it, but I suppose "honest and honorable" is a relative concept.

Posted by Oliver Luby on Aug. 28, 2012 @ 4:04 pm

is it a shock to anyone that has followed natalie berg's career or ccsf's history that she is caught up in this scandal. she is an embarrassment and should be tossed out if not tossed in jail.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 08, 2013 @ 2:48 am

I wonder why Berg won in the election where most people here hates her. She must be replaced in the first place and won’t allow here to be part of the election to avoid any unnecessary issues.

Posted by Farming Simulator 2013 Crack on Apr. 15, 2013 @ 6:47 pm

Now a days politician treat politics as a business. In the days of election they only invest to get it return with the profit.

Posted by Erric on Jun. 13, 2013 @ 12:42 am