San Diego The controversial police chief of Milwaukee is on a short list to become head of San Diego cops, though he may yet end up running for mayor of his hometown, reports the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Arthur Jones, who was criticized by Milwaukee County sheriff David A. Clarke Jr. after a record 14 people were shot in the city over the Memorial Day weekend, wraps up a seven-year term as chief in November, and recruiters for San Diego have been sounding him out about the top cop job here. "How much bloodshed do we need? Personally, I've had enough," Clarke told a radio talk-show host. "What has David Clarke done other than criticize?" Jones fired back. Supporters of the chief argue that racism has played a big role in his difficulties. Last month the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ruled that Jones -- who has accused Milwaukee mayor John Norquist and other members of city government of harassing him because he is black -- has grounds to claim retaliation in a possible lawsuit against the city. If Jones does decide to come west, he would become the most prominent black staffer at city hall since the 1986 departure of city manager Sylvester Murray, forced out after being quoted in the Los Angeles Times as saying he got "an orgasm" every time he contemplated his influence over the city's cops. It's lately been a national sellers' market for police chiefs, with Milwaukee, Sacramento, and Eugene, Oregon, currently looking, along with San Diego ... There's something about Las Vegas and Encinitas contractor Steve Roel. Builder of such local landmarks-to-be as the new downtown baseball stadium, the high-rolling Roel sued the Vegas Hilton and the Mandalay Bay Resort in January 2000 for allegedly taking advantage after he went on a wild drinking binge and dropped more than $1 million at the tables. The case was settled for an undisclosed sum six months later. This March 31, according to records, Roel, now said to be a recovering alcoholic, contributed $1000 to the reelection campaign of Vegas mayor Oscar Goodman. Other donors to Goodman, the ex-attorney to the mob, include Alex Spanos's AGS, Inc. ($1000) and Peter Luster, San Diego manager for the Déjà Vu strip-club chain ($500) ... The Legal Intelligencer lists the San Diego law firm of Bernstein, Litowitz Berger & Grossman on its list of the 25 biggest winners in the Fen-Phen litigation derby, with total fees of $1,195,363.72.
Blackballing Nuffer, Smith, Tucker -- the local PR outfit that's been helping San Diego city retirement-board chairman Fred Pierce IV damp down anxieties about the financial health of the city's besieged pension fund -- is being well rewarded for its efforts. Board records show that the firm is being paid $175 an hour, with a total of $100,000 budgeted for the next fiscal year ... The case of that nude dancer from Atlanta who won a $900,000 slander award against strip-club owner Jack Galardi -- who allegedly blackballed her after she refused to let him slurp whipped cream off her bare breasts at a golf tournament -- isn't over quite yet. Galardi, father of Cheetahs owner Mike Galardi, appealed the verdict, and the Georgia Court of Appeals has agreed to reconsider the matter, as soon as a lower court unearths some old videotapes, reports the Fulton County Daily Report ... Keen observers of the local media scene might beg to differ, but the Consumer Federation of America says San Diego is tenth on the list of cities in America most "eligible for cross-ownership mergers." The study, released prior to the FCC ruling earlier this week allowing newspapers and TV stations in a given market to be gobbled up by the same corporate owner, concludes that, in San Diego, ownership of TV stations is "not highly concentrated." That may be good news for the giant Chicago-based Tribune Co., owner of Channel 69 here, which has long been said to be interested in buying the Union-Tribune from owner Helen Copley, whose son David is current publisher. Leading the "mergers OK" list are New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, and San Francisco.
Oh, Jerusalem A Jewish student group at UCSD has come under fire from traditionalists for giving away condoms and T-shirts bearing the phrase "Israel -- It's still safe to come." Other handouts included a card favorably comparing sexual freedoms and women's rights in Israel to those of its Muslim neighbors, reports the Jewish Bulletin. When word of the campaign made it into the San Diego Jewish Heritage, the campus Hillel was flooded with angry calls from unhappy elders ... The New York Times, still struggling with the Jayson Blair scandal, got it wrong again last week when it reported that Anthony Wagner, a figure in the Cheetahs investigation, worked for San Diego city councilman Ralph Inzunza before quitting two weeks ago. Wagner was actually employed by councilman Michael Zucchet ... Ex-D.A. Paul Pfingst has turned up as a courthouse commentator for MSNBC in the Laci Peterson murder case.
Contributor: Matt Potter