Exclusive: Azano Juror “Bonnie Dumanis Is Not An Honest Person”

*Note – “Juror Andy’s” name and voice have been modified for their protection

“I used to like Bonnie Dumanis, but ever since that trial I view her as a very dishonest person.” ~ Juror Andy

San Diego, Calif.- Two years ago a jury convicted billionaire businessman Jose Susumo Azano of making illegal campaign contributions of about $600,000 in San Diego local elections.

Azano is serving a 3 year prison sentence.

The recipients of Azano’s donations were identified in court as former San Diego Mayor Bob Filner and current Board of Supervisor candidate Bonnie Dumanis.

Now, for the first time, one of the jurors from that highly publicized, politically charged trial is speaking out.

“Juror Andy” who resides in San Diego County sat down with IVN San Diego to discuss the trial, how it impacted the jurors life, and thoughts on Bonnie Dumanis.

The BackStory

In 2011 Dumanis was San Diego County District Attorney and announced she would run for what would become an unsuccessful mayoral campaign.

Azano, the Mexican billionaire, wanted to turn the San Diego waterfront into “Miami West,” but needed mayoral support to accomplish the feat. So, he set out to “buy” San Diego mayoral candidates.

It’s illegal for a foreign citizen without legal status in the U.S. to contribute to campaigns. Dumanis has long maintained she was unaware of the tainted money, and that she barely knew Azano.

IVN San Diego recently spoke with Knut Johnson, one of two attorneys who represented Azano at trial.

Court papers filed by Johnson noted that Dumanis knew Azano was a foreign citizen and legally barred from funding her campaign, yet “sought his money in an unrelenting solicitation.”

U-T columnist Michael Smolens noted in a piece last year, “In response to the Johnson memo, Dumanis said she was ‘never made aware’ that Azano was a foreign national and reiterated he didn’t contribute directly to her campaign or to political committees she controlled.”

The Juror

Dumanis announced last year she was resigning her position as District Attorney and running for a position with the County Board of Supervisors. I asked “Juror Andy” if Dumanis would make a good County Supervisor, “It doesn’t sit well with me, her lack of sincerity and honesty. The exchanging of money that went on with Azano really proved she is not a trustworthy person,” Andy continued, “I think she has a sincerity issue. She’s been at this a long time. She needs a break and we can use fresh faces and fresh minds.”

The exchanging of money that went on with Azano really proved she is not a trustworthy person. I think she has a sincerity issue. She's been at this a long time. She needs a break and we can use fresh faces and fresh minds.
Juror Andy, Jose Susumo Azano Trial

Juror Andy says fellow jurors were very concerned during the trial with “all the fishy stuff happening.”

Andy says jurors knew Dumanis’ trial testimony had serious holes, “We could tell she wasn’t telling us the truth. She tried to convince us too hard.”

Though two years ago, the weight of the trial was clearly impacting Andy. I asked if Dumanis should have been indicted. Andy didn’t answer.

The juror closed with this thought, “Her decisions are troubling, she doesn’t make sincere political decisions, she’s making a decision based on how she feels, like she’s too tired to go through the process, so she says yes to make everybody happy.”

The Attorneys

IVN contacted both Azano attorneys for this story, in each case Knut Johnson and Michael Wynne were helpful but didn’t want to go on the record.

*Note – “Juror Andy’s” name and voice have been modified for their protection