101 Ash St. dumpster fire gets hotter and hotter

101 Ash St. and Civic Center Plaza / Photos by Adriana Heldiz

Few local public affairs stories are as crazy as this one.

It’s a long, winding series of asbestos-laden events that began in 2013, when the city of San Diego was surveying downtown buildings to house its employees.

Then-mayor Bob Filner appointed a volunteer real estate advisor, Jason Hughes, to assist him. If you’ve been following the podcast for awhile, you know a lot of what happened: The next mayor kept Hughes, employees moved in, they were evacuated due to asbestos, officials and journalists moved in. started investigating violations of the buildings and the parties involved. , and a whole mess of details slowly spread.

The latest, according to VOSD host Andrew Keatts on this week’s podcast, could be the most damning of all for the man who is now at the center of the controversy: Hughes. It turns out the real estate advisor was paid around $ 9.5 million – as a volunteer – for the deals he facilitated. This week’s scoop by Lisa Halverstadt of VOSD was that Hughes had struck a deal with Cisterra Development (the eventual owner of the town) to either make a 45% profit on the deals or be held financially responsible if the deals collapsed.

In this episode, Keatts and co-host Scott Lewis discuss how this week’s reveal fits into the larger controversy over 101 Ash St. and why it matters.

Also on deck this week …

Lewis and Keatts recap this really crazy story about how local hotel mogul Bill Evans caused a sensation with reporters during the Elizabeth Holmes trial. You can read this story from NPR here.

And immunologist Shane Crotty joined Lewis for an interview on the state of the pandemic and vaccinations. Quote on money: “You are either vaccinated or you are going to catch Delta.” Find out in the episode released Thursday and read some of the highlights here. Share this with your friends.

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