Former Stockton CFO Mark Moses is not the sole architect of Stockton’s bankruptcy. But he was a lead architect. Moses floated the $124 million pension obligation bond by which Stockton dug a hole halfway to China.
Possibly then-mayor Ed Chavez and City Manager Gordon Palmer directed him to do so against his better judgment. But possibly it was his brainchild. He recommended it to the council.
So it hardly enhances Moses’ stature that he has just paid a fine to the FPPC for influence peddling. Moses “was accused of negotiating a $1.1 million contract with a software firm on the city’s behalf while pursuing a job at the same company, Innoprise Inc.,” according to this story.
That’s just perfect.
Moses defends himself by saying he never made money off the situation. That is not the point. The point is he was negotiating for a $150,000 annual salary, stock options and perks while representing Stockton taxpayers in a software deal. Under those circumstances only a saint would represent taxpayers well and drive a hard bargain with a potential employer. So the point isn’t whether he made money; the point is whether taxpayers lost money.
Again — to be fair — possibly Moses wanted out because he saw both the city’s fiscal train wreck coming and of the gallingly irresponsible failure of Stockton’s leaders to avert it. That does not excuse his complicity. This alleged double-dealing is just icing on the cake.