Planning commissioner says he was offered bribe – then changes mind

When is an offer of a gift from a developer to a city official a bribe?

Planning Commission Chairman Ron Miguel has apparently changed his mind about the definition of the word “bribe” since last Thursday.

Miguel on Monday said he “spoke out of turn” when he used the word “bribe” during a Thursday evening commission meeting after voting with colleagues to deny an application to demolish and construct residences in the Outer Richmond.

“There was an item before us today in which I was offered a bribe, which I turned down,” Miguel said at the end of Thursday’s meeting. “I just wanted it made quite public that anyone who’s going to attempt that is not going to get through my vote.”

Miguel told the Examiner on Monday that he was referring to an offer of a bottle of wine from the sponsors of the 673-675 44th Avenue project.

Miguel said he was angry over the incident at the time and shouldn’t have used the word “bribe.”

“It wasn’t legally a bribe,” said Miguel, who said the offer of the bottle of wine was not associated with a request to vote to approve the project. “It wasn’t a quid pro quo.”

 

This blog has been changed to reflect that the neighborhood where residences were to be demolished and constructed is the Outer RIchmond, not the Inner Richmond.

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