Former councilman Michael Zucchet added to Port of San Diego Board of Commissioners

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — Michael Zucchet, the former councilman who leads the city’s largest employee union, was named Tuesday to the Port of San Diego Board of Commissioners.

Zucchet replaces Bob Nelson, a public relations executive who resigned last month to promote a plan to expand the San Diego Convention Center, which sits on port property.

Zucchet served on the City Council from 2002-05 and became head of the San Diego Municipal Employees Association three years later.

He also volunteers with charitable and community groups.

"Through all of that service, I’ve developed an amazing clarity that while I will not ever run for office again — and this is being recorded — I have not lost one bit of my love of this city or of my passion to look for opportunities to serve,” Zucchet said.

Also considered were Paola Avila, a San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce vice president of international business affairs; Laurie Black, an environmental activist and former port commissioner; Mary Jo Lanzafame, a former assistant city attorney; and Gary Wong, former senior vice president of Union Bank.

In the fifth round of voting, Zucchet defeated Avila on a 5-4 party-line vote.

Zucchet resigned from the City Council after being convicted of nine counts of wire fraud and extortion in connection with taking money from a strip club owner in exchange for trying to repeal a "no touch” rule. He appealed and the charges were ultimately dismissed.

The port board has seven commissioners, three of whom represent San Diego. The others serve Chula Vista, Coronado, Imperial Beach and National City. They regulate land use and environmental issues on San Diego Bay and the immediate coastline.

Zucchet will complete Nelson’s term, which expires Jan. 2, 2019.

Categories: Local San Diego News