Internal investigation of City College complete

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Remember those stories from Lance Williams at the Chronicle that surfaced awhile back about City College of San Francisco improperly diverting public funds to a campaign committee? The school's Board of Trustees promptly called for an internal probe, and all 232 pages of it are now publicly available. The executive summary downplays the significance of the allegations and lauds the school's administration for fully cooperating with the investigation:

"The proponents of California ballot measures tend to seek contributions from those who stand to benefit financially from the passage of the measure. This can lead to the criticism that such fundraising has the appearance of "pay to play." One need only conduct a cursory review of each campaign statement ... filed by the Committee to Support Our City College to find numerous engineering firms, building trades and other construction businesses who could benefit from the proceeds of the bond.

"On the other hand, bond campaigns must be financed with private donations, so it is logical (and lawful) to seek contributions from those who support the College and its growth. It is, therefore, somewhat surprising that the three City College contractors mentioned in the press articles that precipitated this report, were not in the construction business.

"Moreover, they did not stand to gain one penny from the proceeds of the Measure A bond. In fact, they were not paid any money at all by the College under their contracts. Rather, each was a lessee who paid the school (their emphasis). Two rented space outdoors, and the other a small space in an existing building. Each had little or no experience with contributing to ballot measure campaigns.

"The Board of Trustees asked us to investigate whether any College contractor received a contract -- or extension of an existing contract -- in return for a contribution, a quid pro quo. The evidence does not support such a finding."

There's still a lot more for us to read in the report, but this is what we've got for now.

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