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Stories by Don Bauder

Florida biotech subsidies not working

Though Florida is a biotech backwater, Scripps had to go there.

Jeb Bush, who wants to be president, claims he rejuvenated Florida's economy. But his subsidization of San Diego biotech research operations proves otherwise.

Pump 'n dump? Nope. Forge 'n dump

Real estate swindlers preyed on internet buyers and others in a hurry

San Diego has its variation on the stock-market swindle of pump 'n' dump; it's forge 'n' dump. Between 2012 and 2014, a ring of schemers would forge false deeds indicating that they owned certain homes. ...

You wish we'd shut up, Peevey

Attorney general seeks documents from Edison executive, CPUC official

On June 5, the attorney general's office demanded documents from the California Public Utilities Commission related to the so-called settlement when it was decided that ratepayers would pick up the tab for more than $3 ...

Young, black, and...hassled?

Beaten and jailed 20-year-old woman sues city, cops

Christina Dorsey, a 20-year-old African-American woman, filed suit July 1 in federal court against the City of San Diego, the police department, and several police officers. In the early morning of July 20, 2014, she ...

"Legal Baller" suspended two years

Bar charges Raymundo Pacello with moral turpitude

The California State Bar has suspended Raymundo Pacello Jr., who practiced law in San Diego but is now in Baja California, for two years. The flamboyant Pacello was written up in abovethelaw.com in 2012 for ...

In fact, there's not a doctor in the house

Kaiser psychiatrist claims constructive termination

Laura Wakil, M.D., a psychiatrist, has sued Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and related Kaiser organizations for violation of the state health and safety code, retaliation, negligent supervision, and wrongful constructive termination. (Constructive termination is a ...

California's farm economy "ruined"

Unemployment rates in El Centro and Yuma — over 20% — blamed on drought

June unemployment rates for the nation came out today (July 2), showing there are only two metropolitan areas out of 387 with unemployment rates of more than 20 percent. Both are agricultural areas within San ...

Maybe they come for the low hotel taxes?

Occupancy growth tops other major state metro areas

The San Diego hotel business had a booming May compared with a year ago, according to Smith Travel Research. The occupancy rate in May rose 1.9 percent to 76.3 percent — topping growth of San ...

Wasn't me...it was my brother

Michael J. Conrad produced false documents to keep getting federal contracts

In 2012, Asgard Associates, a company owned by Michael J. Conrad and his wife, pleaded guilty to storing hazardous waste at its facility on Roselle Street in Sorrento Valley. On June 30, Conrad pleaded guilty ...

Pro golfer problems

Phil Mickelson linked to confessed money launderer

ESPN's Outside the Lines named pro golfer Phil Mickelson as a bettor whose money led a handicapper to plead guilty to three federal counts of money laundering, according to national media. Mickelson, a longtime San ...

Confidential emails ought to jog the memory

Commissioner Florio attended post-Warsaw huddle with Peevey

Previously undisclosed emails between Southern California Edison and the California Public Utilities Commission, received this week by San Diego attorney Mike Aguirre, reveal that there was a post-Warsaw huddle not long after former commission president ...

Padres' good young blood gone

Team criticized as having gone from "win now" to "what now?"

Buster Olney, a columnist for ESPN and former New York Times and Union-Tribune sports scribe, says the Padres probably erred by trading off young talent to get former all-stars. Instead of trying to "win-now for ...

Reverse "rape of the ratepayer"

Consumer group retracts opinion regarding San Onofre shutdown

In a strongly worded statement, San Francisco–based consumer group TURN (The Utility Reform Network) asked the California Public Utilities Commission to set aside its decision to stick ratepayers with an almost $3.3 billion bill for ...

Swiss secrecy bolsters soccer corruption

Bribes, kickbacks part of the game for two generations

Sports and secrecy go together. Hut-hut and hush-hush are almost one and the same. Look at all those disguised traps in the stadium task force’s plan for a Chargers subsidy that could purloin a billion ...

San Diego is no Charleston

Cost of housing makes us look a lot less like other cities

Some United States metropolitan areas take pride in being an economic and demographic model of the nation — that is, having qualities that make it most like the nation as a whole. San Diego County ...

Counterfeit 5-Hour Energy for sale

Five county residents arrested for selling fake goods

Five San Diego County residents were among eleven people charged this week with illegally packaging, counterfeiting, and distributing 5-Hour Energy drinks in the United States. Joseph and Adriana Shayota and Kevin and Fadi Attiq of ...

But what are we manufacturing?

Unemployment rate and jobs increase

The county unemployment rate rose to 4.9 percent in May, up from 4.8 in April, but nonfarm jobs rose by 9500. Such seeming aberrations often occur when the school year ends, says Ann Marshall, labor ...

West Nile high

Infected mosquito batches equal number for all of last year

County vector control inspectors have now collected as many mosquitoes infected with West Nile virus as were collected all of last year, according to the Department of Environmental Health. This year could be a tough ...

Energy-hog plug by SDG&E

But letter from CEO to commission doesn't mention bonus pay

On June 1, Jeff Martin, chief executive officer of San Diego Gas & Electric, wrote to Michael Picker, the new president of the California Public Utilities Commission. Martin was plugging the plan of SDG&E to ...

Casino biz is no cash cow

Company based in San Diego, incorporated offshore, in debt

Casino operator Thunderbird Resorts is a bit of an odd duck: it is based in San Diego but incorporated in the offshore tax and secrecy haven of the British Virgin Islands. The company gets more ...

Newspapers' bleak picture be damned

Take it from a securities analyst disguised as an ugly duckling...

A securities analyst who goes by the name Ugly Duckling wrote for Seeking Alpha June 11 that stock of Tribune Publishing, which in May bought the Union-Tribune, could go up while stock of New York ...

Don't move here for great childcare or education

Stats indicate that San Diego is a so-so place to live

WalletHub, which compiles statistical data on cities, metro areas, and states, has come out with an inclusive study ranking cities on livability. Cities are ranked on family activities, health and safety, education and child care, ...

Plead guilty or else we drop all charges

Outlandish tactics by D.A. in pursuing drug conviction

On Tuesday (June 9), Devin Whitaker, a 23-year-old African-American with dreadlocks, filed suit against the county, sheriff William Gore, three sheriff's deputies, and others for unlawful arrest, excessive force, battery, negligence, and other alleged offenses. ...

DeMaio accuser lied to the FBI

Todd Bosnich admits he sent threatening emails to himself

Todd Bosnich, who made charges against House of Representatives candidate Carl DeMaio last fall, today (June 12) in federal court pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice. In May of 2014, Bosnich had been terminated from ...

Convention center sails in some choppy financial waters

Ragged condition, ragged balance sheet

There is no way to justify a convention center expansion when the insides are coming apart, and so are the finances. Grand jury, independent budget analyst raise questions.

Chad and Akis get popped

Two brokers guilty of insider trading in biotech stock

Two local stockbrokers, Chad Wiegand and Akis Eracleous, pleaded guilty in federal court today (June 9) to insider trading in the stock of San Diego–based biotech Ardea Biosciences, now a wholly owned subsidiary of London-based ...

Life insurance in reverse

Prison time for San Diegan who bilked $5.2 million from investors

Last Friday (June 5) in Santa Ana federal court, San Diegan Daniel Christian Stanley Powell was sentenced to more than ten years (121 months) in prison for running what he called a "reverse life insurance" ...

Qualcomm's "bounteous" executive pay noted

Company's stock buyback may not be benefiting shareholders

Columnist Gretchen Morgenson of the New York Times highlights Qualcomm in her column today (June 7), showing that stock buybacks don't always benefit shareholders. Over the last five years, Qualcomm has repurchased 238 million of ...

Military records prove the lie

Human smuggler claimed he served three tours in Iraq

Scotty Kamakahohie White was sentenced Tuesday (June 2) to 30 months in federal prison. He had earlier been convicted in federal court for smuggling an undocumented foreign national into the United States. At his initial ...

The doctor put his hand where?

Fallbrook Ob-Gyn doctor charged with sexual abuse

The Medical Board of California has filed a second complaint against Falbrook's Anthony Steven Bianchi, M.D., who practices obstetrics and gynecology. According to an accusation filed May 5, Bianchi had been seeing a patient since ...

Gulp! Where'd that bourbon come from?

Lawsuit charges that label on Bulleit isn't truthful

Law firms Hyde & Swigart of San Diego and Kazerouni Law Group of Costa Mesa on June 1 filed a suit in federal court claiming that Diageo, the big London distributor of alcohol brands, is ...

There's gold in that burgh

Jewish center's CFO and accounting clerk stole half a million, combined

Nancy Johnson, the former chief financial officer of La Jolla's Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center, pleaded guilty Tuesday (June 2) to embezzling $412,289.64 from the organization between 2008 and 2014. During the period, she was ...

One could trust international investor guy

Sunil Sharma fleeced investors of $6 million

Sunil Sharma of Carlsbad pleaded guilty yesterday (June 2) of scamming local investors of more than $6 million through a fraudulent day-trading strategy. Through one of his companies, Gold Coast Holding, Sharma told investors they ...

Don't seek legal help from these guys

California Bar disbars one, suspends two

One San Diego lawyer has been disbarred and two have been suspended by the California State Bar. Joseph James Rego of San Diego (now living in Joshua Tree) has been disbarred for collecting advanced fees ...

San Diego ranks 30th as baseball city

Padres tickets cheapest in majors, averaging $16.37

WalletHub, which crunches numbers about cities, metro areas, and states, is out with its ranking of the best baseball cities. To no one's surprise, St, Louis comes in first, and the others in the top ...

White-collar lash

Hundreds of thousands in bribes equal six months in pokey

Lynda Sanabria, a banker for J.P. Morgan Chase, was sentenced today (June 1) to six months in prison followed by six months of home confinement. She had taken hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of ...

Megan's Law, Step-Grandpa — deal with it

Court decides Terrence Lee Yohner won't be excluded from website

The Court of Appeal of the Fourth Appellate District has upheld a Superior Court decision stating that a step-grandparent cannot get exclusion from a Megan's Law website. In May of 2009, Terrence Lee Yohner was ...

Longtime residents will bear water conservation burden

Despite drought, SANDAG says real estate development should continue.

Long-range drought forecasts get bleaker, while long-range economic and demographic forecasts get giddier. Something’s gotta give, San Diego. Both forecasts aren’t likely to be right. The reality is that the people who really run the ...

As we whistle past the graveyard...

Union-Tribune employees got layoff announcements today

As expected, today (May 26) was the Union-Tribune's layoff announcement date. According to whispers among employees at the company, 179 employees got a layoff notice, but that is not confirmed. I could not get a ...

Power company's Darling

Utilities commission judge and Edison had cozy relationship

A new batch of emails released Friday, May 22, in the California Public Utilities Commission probe show snug and questionable relationships between an administrative law judge and Southern California Edison. The role of Michael Peevey, ...

Better read than dead

U-T layoff plans supposed to be announced Tuesday

On Tuesday, May 26, the new ownership of the U-T is expected to announce layoff plans. The press room will certainly be wiped away, as Douglas Manchester will retain the Mission Valley building and the ...

SD unemployment rate down to 4.8 percent

County gained 40,900 jobs from a year ago

The San Diego County employment rate was 4.8 percent in April, down from 5.1 percent in March and below the 6.1 percent of a year earlier. Between March and April, the number of nonfarm jobs ...

NFL team could play in L.A. in 2016

Goodell upbeat on L.A. at S.F. meeting

The Associated Press is reporting today (May 20) that a National Football League team could be playing in the Los Angeles metropolitan area in the 2016 season. The window for applications would be moved up ...

On the value of fish wrap...

Expert says Tribune Co. wanted to buy U-T in gloomy 2008

Ken Doctor, probably the reigning expert on the economics of the newspaper industry, said yesterday (May 19) in a story for capitalnewyork.com that Chicago's Tribune Co. wanted to buy the U-T in depressed 2008 for ...

This Chargers stadium proposal? Watch it.

Is city really on solid financial footing? What about the plume?

The Citizens' Stadium Advisory Group today, May 18, offered a plan for a new, municipally owned Chargers Mission Valley stadium that supposedly does not raise taxes and therefore averts any two-thirds public vote. The plan ...

Fallbook Hospital spanked by court

Problems with facility's former management still being unravelled

On May 8, Fallbrook Hospital (which closed in December) got a spanking from the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. In April of last year, the National Labor Relations Board had ...

No hard drive, no sex neither

But ample lies and hidden video camera convict Border Patrol supervisor

Supervisory Border Patrol agent Armando Gonzalez pleaded guilty in federal court today (May 14) to video voyeurism and lying to cover up the crime. He admitted to placing a hidden camera in the floor drain ...

Alibaba and ten executives

Local law firms open (sesame) a case against Chinese company

China's Alibaba Group Holding, one of the hottest initial public offerings in the United States last fall, is being sued by San Diego law firms as well as other firms across America. Early this year, ...

California public utilities vs. us

“The legal system is rigged for the corrupt [California] Public Utilities Commission.”

Utilities commissioner Peevey accused of terrorizing colleagues who stood up for consumers.

Former U-T head keeps rolling around the desert

During Platinum Equity era, Ed Moss was president during staff axings

Ed Moss was president and publisher of the U-T from May of 2009 to December 2011 — a period marked by mass layoffs. He lasted two years and eight months. He had been president of ...