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Decade Old Scandal May Haunt Davis

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About to be made public after a decade of being held back in federal court is a convicted state official´s claim reportedly involving Governor Gray Davis. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, a source reported that coastal building permit bribes were allegedly linked to making campaign contributions to Davis. That was in the early 1990s when Davis was California´s state controller. A spokesman for the governor says the report is false.

Beverly Hills executive Mark Nathanson confessed in 1993 to running a $734,000 bribes-for-permit scheme while a member of the state Coastal Commission. It´s reported he tried to get a lighter sentence by offering information about a state official working with Nathanson to get campaign contributions from commission applicants.

At the time prosecutors dismissed Nathanson as a liar and refused to make a deal with him. He served three years in prison. Two letters detailing the allegations were eventually made public but key information naming the state official was withheld. Now the U.S. Supreme Court has refused to hear a bid to keep the documents secret. Their release could occur in a few days. That might make the material a campaign issue for the November fifth election in which Davis seeks re-election as governor.