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After auditor critique of San Diego real estate deals, City Council debates how to prevent future failures

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Members of the San Diego City Council agreed Tuesday that wholesale changes are needed to improve the way real estate deals are approved at City Hall, but there was less consensus on how to implement those reforms.

As City Auditor Andy Hanau presented critical findings of a months-long study of how five property acquisitions were mishandled by former Mayor Kevin Faulconer and his staff, council members charged with making sure the missteps are not repeated did not settle on specific remedies.

Several of the elected officials backed a recommendation from Hanau that any employee found to have lied to the City Council should face criminal prosecution.

Others joined City Attorney Mara Elliott and the union that represents the city’s white-collar workers in saying that idea is unworkable and perhaps illegal.

“It’s a standard that’s not defined, and I don’t know that we can define it,” Elliott told the elected officials. “We don’t know how to…

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