February 21, 2024
El Cajon mayor and LAFCO member Invoice Wells listened to Julian-Cuyamaca Fireplace Safety District debate. Photograph by Ken Stone

El Cajon Mayor Invoice Wells Tuesday referred to as on the San Diego Affiliation of Governments to conduct an impartial investigation into the South Bay Expressway presumably incorrectly charging tens of 1000’s of motorists.

That determine is quoted in a lawsuit filed Friday by Lauren Warrem, the previous director of accounting at SANDAG who was fired Nov. 7. Her lawsuit alleges retaliation and wrongful termination and likewise that SANDAG charged the flawed accounts on the 10-mile stretch of State Route 125, which serves as a toll highway.

“We’re not capable of touch upon personnel issues or doable litigation,” Hassan Ikhrata, SANDAG government director, instructed the Instances of San Diego. “Concerning the remaining questions, administration has suggested our auditors and the board that there are issues with the brand new operational system on the SR 125 and are taking energetic steps to handle these issues.”

SR-125 stretches from Santee within the north to Otay Mesa, practically to the U.S.-Mexico border. The portion that runs via Chula Vista is a toll highway. Warrem claimed that as many as 45,000 folks had been incorrectly charged whereas utilizing the expressway.

“Regrettably, it has develop into obvious that each the SANDAG Board and the general public have skilled a decline in confidence within the company as a result of a perceived lack of transparency from SANDAG administration,” Wells wrote in a letter to Nora Vargas, chairwoman of the SANDAG board, and Ikhrata. “To assist restore confidence, I name for an impartial investigation from an outdoor entity. The first goal of this investigation is to comprehensively perceive and disclose the foundation trigger(s) of the challenges dealing with the toll operations.”

Wells requested Vargas to put the matter on the agenda for SANDAG’s Dec. 8 Board of Administrators assembly, and to name on the board to rent an outdoor group to find out if there was monetary discrepancies associated to the South Bay Expressway, and in that case, who knew about them and when.

Wells serves as a member on the board, which options not less than one consultant from each municipality within the county and two from town of San Diego and the County Board of Supervisors.

Ikhrata, who took over as head of the regional transportation planning company in 2018, submitted his discover of resignation in July. His final day will probably be Dec. 29.

–Metropolis Information Service