A district attorney's investigation
into allegations of fraud pushed Michael Portantino, the former
publisher of San Diego gay weekly Gay & Lesbian Times,
over the edge, Portantino lawyer Marc Carlos says.
The 52-year-old publisher on Wednesday
jumped off the Park Manor Suites Hotel to his death. His body was
discovered by passers-by, who called emergency services.
Portantino abruptly shut down his
22-year-old publication in October, leaving behind irate staffers who
complained that their checks had bounced.
Lawyer Marc Carlos told alternative the
San Diego Reader that an ongoing investigation pushed his
client into despair.
“There was never any discussion that
[Portantino] would not be charged,” Carlos said. “We were
discussing potential charges that we could negotiate. I wanted
“The investigation involved
allegations of inflating circulation to advertisers.”
“He was distraught over the whole
thing – people impugning his integrity. That is what pushed him
over the edge,” Carlos added.
Authorities began investigating
Portantino after the now defunct San Diego News Network reported the
allegations in a May 11 story. The story, and subsequent
investigation, sent advertisers packing.
Portantion was the brother of
California Assemblyman Anthony Portantino.