Cory Briggs. Photo by Sam Hodgson

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An environmental consulting company will pay the city of San Diego $143,382 to resolve a claim of potential conflict of interest between one of its former employees and well-known attorney Cory Briggs.

The city paid La Mesa-based Helix Environmental Planning to conduct an environmental review of its stormwater master plan. Unbeknownst to the company, one of its employees at the time, Sarichia Cacciatore, was also vice president of Briggs’ law firm. Briggs later sued the city over the project, claiming that the environmental review was inadequate.

The City Council voted unanimously Tuesday morning to approve the settlement, which comes a little more than a month after inewsource exposed the Briggs-Cacciatore conflict of interest in an ongoing investigation. Cacciatore is not only an executive in Briggs’ firm, she also is his significant other. On public documents, they have described themselves as husband and wife but Cacciatore said in a sworn statement they are not married.

“We were able to review the matter and negotiate an early resolution because of Helix’s cooperation,” City Attorney Jan Goldsmith said in a news release Tuesday morning. “We appreciate that Helix stepped up to ensure that San Diego taxpayers will get their money back.”

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