Graduate Students

City College of San Francisco Admits Spending Money to Pass Local Bond Measure

January 11, 2008

An internal investigation by the City College of San Francisco has confirmed that officials there inappropriately diverted $30,000 in lease payments from the community college to a political-action committee. The committee supported a bond measure, ultimately approved by San Franciscans in 2005, to supply $246.3-million for construction projects at the college.

A report outlining the investigation was made public by the institution on Thursday. It confirmed that one $20,000 lease check and one $10,000 lease check, from businesses that rented space on the campus, were sent directly to the committee.

The money was later returned to City College, after an official with the committee realized that the college was the donor. State laws prohibit such campaign contributions from colleges and universities.

The investigation was prompted by a series of articles in the San Francisco Chronicle last year. An article on Sunday suggested that City College trustees were resisting efforts to make the report public.

The report did not recommend punishment for officials involved in the fund diversion, but it is possible for California prosecutors to continue their own investigation.

The report said the college’s chancellor, Philip R. Day, was closely engaged in the effort to pass the bond measure, but did not break the law. Mr. Day is leaving the college in March to become the new president of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators. —JJ Hermes