San Diego

Councilman Fined $5K for Leaking City Memo to SoccerCity Group

Chris Cate admits he forwarded a city memo to officials behind the SoccerCity proposal but says he did so that they could respond to the concerns.

A member of the San Diego City Council was fined thousands of dollars for leaking a confidential document to developers hoping to build a soccer stadium in Mission Valley, according to a published report. 

Councilman Chris Cate (District 6) must pay $5,000 for violating city ethics regulations, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported Friday. He represents Sorrento Valley, Rancho Penasquitos, Mira Mesa, Kearny Mesa and Clairemont Mesa. 

Cate released a statement to NBC 7 saying he had reached a settlement with the Ethics Commission and agreed to pay the fine.

"I believe I am entitled to seek information in my capacity as a policymaker and also believe the City Charter clearly establishes that authority. While the City Attorney did not introduce the Soccer City memo in closed session, it became clear she did intend it as privileged information. I regret breaking her confidence," Cate said Thursday.

The SoccerCity initiative would include a new stadium for MLS soccer, a river park, housing and a sports and entertainment district in the area occupied by the SDCCU Stadium (formerly known as Qualcomm Stadium.)  

In June, the San Diego City Council voted unanimously, 8-0, to put the SoccerCity initiative on the November 2018 ballot, shooting down the option for a special election this fall. 

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