When the plea bargaining began this week in Superior Court Judge Ross G. Tharp's court, Mayor Roger Hedgecock stayed away.
But an elite group of 13 of the city's business leaders and lawyers, including those directly involved in his first case, one representing the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC), and former Hedgecock campaign officials, met Thursday to discuss what to do about the criminal and civil charges against the mayor.
Tharp ordered them not to publicly discuss the meeting, which could determine Hedgecock's--and San Diego's--political future.
Here is the list of participants:
Richard Alexander Burt--A senior partner with the firm of Gray Carey Ames & Frye, Burt is also a past president of the San Diego Chamber of Commerce, for which he is honorary director. Burt accompanied the mayor on a fruitful promotional trip to Washington last year. His role in the negotiations is unclear, but despite rumors to the contrary, he does not represent the Chamber of Commerce in these discussions, chamber officials said.
Roger Brown--Chief of enforcement for the FPPC in Sacramento
Malin Burnham--Chairman of First National Bank and president of John Burnham Co., an insurance and real estate firm, Burnham is also a world-class yachtsman. For months, he has served as an adviser to Hedgecock. Along with San Diego Padres president Ballard Smith and banker Murray Galinson, he met with Dist. Atty. Edwin Miller two weeks ago to broach the possibility of a plea bargain for Hedgecock.
Peter Q. Davis--President of the Bank of Commerce and the treasurer for Hedgecock's 1983 mayoral campaign. He is a co-defendant with Hedgecock in a $1.2-million suit by the FPPC that alleges more than 450 campaign reporting violations in Hedgecock's first run for mayor.
Richard D. Huffman--Assistant Dist. Atty. Huffman has spent the last six months prosecuting Mayor Hedgecock. Before the Hedgecock case, Huffman won all of the nearly 30 cases he tried in 14 years in the district attorney's office. He also serves as director of the University of San Diego's Center for Criminal Justice. Huffman is a candidate for a judgeship, and there is speculation that he would like to wrap up the Hedgecock case before any gubernatorial appointment.
Murray L. Galinson--President of San Diego National Bank, Galinson is the former director of administration for Walter Mondale's 1984 presidential campaign. He is a long-time supporter of Hedgecock's.
J. Michael McDade--A lawyer, McDade was Hedgecock's campaign manager in 1983 and since his election as mayor has been his chief of staff, chief adviser and close friend.
Edwin Miller--San Diego County's district attorney, elected in 1970, has for nine years been a political foe of Hedgecock's. He accused Hedgecock of violating county campaign laws in 1976 when Hedgecock first ran for county supervisor. Hedgecock claimed Miller's criminal suit, charging him with felony and perjury for illegally funneling money into his 1983 campaign, was part of Miller's continuing vendetta against him--a charge Miller vehemently denies.
Michael Pancer--A UCLA Law School graduate, Pancer has earned a reputation as an excellent criminal defense attorney here, particularly in federal drug-smuggling cases. His biggest case to date has been Hedgecock's, but as it heads toward a second trial, he has asked to be relieved as the mayor's attorney.
Daniel L. Stanford--Chairman of the FPPC, the 34-year-old attorney is a well-connected Republican who used to work for the San Diego firm of Luce Forward Hamilton & Scripps. Under Stanford's direction, the FPPC filed a $1.2-million suit against Hedgecock and his 1983 mayoral campaign committee, claiming they committed more than 450 violations of the city campaign reporting law. Three days after the suit was filed--in an action that was strongly criticized--Stanford appeared before a San Diego Rotary Club luncheon, offering details on the suit and joking about some of the alleged violations.
Leo Sullivan--A San Diego civil attorney, Sullivan is a partner in the firm of Oliver Sullivan Cummins & Wertz. He is defending Hedgecock in the $1.2-million FPPC suit. Also, on behalf of Hedgecock and his fund raising campaign, Californians for the Future, Sullivan is contesting the city attorney's ruling that the city's $250 minimum campaign contribution also applies to a legal defense fund.
John Seitman--An attorney in the firm of Ellsworth Corbett Seitman & McLeod, Seitman is defending former Hedgecock treasurer Peter Q. Davis in the FPPC suit.
John R. Wertz--A partner in the firm of Oliver Sullivan Cummins & Wertz, Wertz, like Sullivan, is defending Hedgecock in the FPPC suit that alleges campaign law violations.