Sweetheart Deal

Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox got the bargain of the century. Why?

So what does Mary Rose Wilcox have to say?

After repeated phone calls placed to two different county public information officers who assured me on June 10 that the supervisor had received my urgent request for comment, Mary Rose Wilcox finally returned my call a few minutes before 6 p.m. on June 13 -- just moments before my deadline.

Wilcox blamed the gross disparity between the fair market value and the price she and her husband paid for the prime real estate north of her restaurant on APS.

"APS gave us what they thought was a fair price," she said.

Then she said she was only buying the property as a service to the community, which wanted the APS parking lot to be developed and serve as a link between the Grant Park neighborhood and downtown.

If this was true, a nonprofit neighborhood association could have been formed to purchase the land rather than the Wilcoxes' personally acquiring the property for pennies on the dollar.

The county supervisor said no conflict of interest existed because her lucrative deal with APS was a one-time transaction.

That is simply ludicrous. A 2,000 percent return on investment in two years is something one tends to remember for a while, don'tcha think, Mary Rose?

As for good old Charlie Keating, Mary Rose says she and Earl have severed ties with the con man and his secretary because of the negative perceptions.

Sorry, Mary Rose, but your attempts at explanations don't obscure the obscene bottom line: You and your husband made a killing on an insider real estate deal with a company over which you wield immense power in your role as a county supervisor.

It's time for Attorney General Terry Goddard to bring on the grand jury and get to the bottom of this mess.

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