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Stories by Dorian Hargrove

Sloppy cops and robbers

After caught casing a bank, thieves continued with spree

According to documents filed in federal court, two men, Thomas Ferguson of La Mesa and Duane Bowen of Chula Vista, are responsible for a spate of bank robberies in San Diego and Riverside counties. Also, ...

His bark wasn't worse than the gun

Pacific Beach dog owner sues police for killing his animal

Pacific Beach resident Ian Anderson has filed a lawsuit against the City of San Diego and the police department over the March 15, 2015, police shooting that killed Anderson's six-year-old pit bull, Burberry. On that ...

Chained in a police van for hours

Unsettled lawsuits involve Occupy San Diego protesters

Three women arrested during the October 2011 police raids on Occupy San Diego protesters and left in police vans for up to six hours without access to restrooms continue their legal fight with the city. ...

Cheetahs' choice

Former dancer sues strip club for not paying minimum wage

In a class-action lawsuit filed June 22 against Kearny Mesa strip joint Cheetahs, a former dancer says the club should be paying the talent a minimum wage. Jasmine Hayes, who worked at the club for ...

The reefer made him do it

Former doctor Nelson Leone admits to pot-shop shenanigans

On June 24, a former doctor who had been stripped of his license in 1995 admitted to issuing medical marijuana recommendations to patients under a false name. Nelson Leone, owner of Green Cross Evaluations, pled ...

Wild Wild Wets play the waiting game

San Diego pysch-rockers did DIY, this time they want a record label

Seeing Wild Wild Wets live is more of an experience than a musical performance. The psychedelic rock group, which describes their sound as a post-punk, krautrock version of Velvet Underground, has a full-time projectionist in ...

Boltman tackles Fabiani and Spanos

Chargers mascot urges city attorney and mayor to take legal action

Mayor Kevin Faulconer is going forward with plans to release an expedited environmental review of a new stadium for the San Diego Chargers, the first step before sending the item to a public vote in ...

The booted heel of a data state

Border Patrol to purchase license-plate readers

On June 16, the Customs and Border Protection division of Homeland Security announced it was awarding a sole source, no-bid contract to Vigilant Solutions for automated license-plate readers to be used by Border Patrol agents ...

Don’t take this personal, Joe

"Rude, arrogant, pompous, and ill-mannered… Aren’t you precious?"

The beef between attorney Cory Briggs and city attorney Jan Goldsmith has lasted years. It was furthered on the morning of May 29, when San Diego superior court judge Gregory Pollack issued Briggs a stern, ...

Truck you, ethics commission!

Towing company won't give up documents to satisfy investigators

The owner of a towing company seems to be hampering a City of San Diego Ethics Commission investigation into an alleged campaign-fund-laundering scheme. The alleged improprieties occurred during 2012's mayoral election. During that time, according ...

Trust fund gravy for Civic San Diego

City agency gets a 10 percent budget bump

Civic San Diego, the city-owned nonprofit tasked with winding down San Diego’s redevelopment agency and permitting decisions in downtown, needs more money. The nonprofit, which was formed in 2013 from the ashes of the Centre ...

Did city opt to not bounce Briggs from case?

Paperwork and newspapers don't vanish — but conversations conveniently do

On Friday, May 29, superior court judge Gregory Pollack handed environmental attorney Cory Briggs both a victory and a warning. Pollack complimented Briggs for his work in defeating a proposal to impose new taxes on ...

In the line of booty

How much the police department spends on lap dances is none of our business.

On April 24, 2014, a Hispanic female exotic dancer walked across the neon-lit room inside Cheetahs Gentlemen’s Club dressed in black lingerie. According to an undercover officer from the San Diego Police Department’s vice unit ...

Hillcrest loves them some cars

Revised Uptown bike corridor plan up for a vote June 5

The business owners and small group of residents who opposed turning University Avenue into a more pedestrian-friendly street appear to have won over planners of the San Diego Association of Governments. During a June 5 ...

A mugshot is what they seek

San Diegans for Open Government CEO surfaces, speaks out

Over the course of several years, San Diego city attorney Jan Goldsmith has accused environmental lawyer Cory Briggs of filing frivolous lawsuits and of conflicts of interest involving his wife's former employer. Now, attorneys for ...

Church in limbo

City's new zoning squeezes out San Diego Christian Worship Center

On May 28, the San Diego Christian Worship Center in Kearny Mesa filed a lawsuit against the city over zoning changes that will force the church to move from its location east of Interstate 15 ...

Tased into submission and amputations

Sheriff and deputies sued for excessive force, causing brain damage

Attorneys for a man who suffered permanent brain damage after being repeatedly stunned by a sheriff deputy's taser are suing the County of San Diego, two deputies, and sheriff William Gore for failing to properly ...

Four hours to find the shutoff valve?!

Business owner sues city for $48,941 water bill

It took four hours for City of San Diego Public Utilities Department workers to respond to a water-line break at a La Jolla business in September 2014. During that four-hour window, amid numerous calls and ...

What will One Paseo look like?

Despite compromise and progress, new design isn't drawn yet

After six years of fighting, some residents of Carmel Valley got what they wanted on May 21: a scaled-down version of Los Angeles–based Kilroy Realty's mixed-use project, One Paseo. Moments before a city-council hearing to ...

A drummer's dance with Mr. Booze

When Dave Madden sprung back to life, a priest was reading him his last rites...

When Dave Madden, drummer for indie-pop group Kingdom of Lights, sprung back to life after his heart stopped beating from organ failure, a priest was reading him his last rites. It was then that Madden ...

No more playtime for Pepper

Multiple witnesses say cop shot dogs after being urged not to

A Lemon Grove man is suing the City of San Diego and its police department for the shooting death of his dog, Pepper, a 14-year-old shepherd mix, in July 2014. Kenneth Stetler filed the complaint ...

Carmel Valley residents displeased with limbo

City council postpones decision on Kilroy Realty's One Paseo plan

At a May 18 hearing, San Diego's city councilmembers postponed a decision on whether to rescind their approval of Kilroy Realty's 1.45-million-square-foot mixed-use project, One Paseo, or send it to the ballot at taxpayer cost. ...

Who's frivolous?

City attorney gets dinged in court again — so does Briggs

In a May 15 ruling, San Diego Superior Court judge Joel Wohlfeil denied a motion from the City of San Diego to impose sanctions on environmental attorney Cory Briggs for filing a frivolous action accusing ...

Plastic-bag ban a no-brainer

Could be why the city ordered an environmental impact report. Seriously.

The proposal to ban plastic bags in the City of San Diego is moving forward but not before the city conducts an environmental impact report. According to a city notice, San Diego's Planning Department is ...

Plummer, rhymes with...

Drummer Joe Plummer's got an impressive résumé and a new record

A few years have passed since the one-time drummer for Black Heart Procession and Modest Mouse, and current drummer of the Shins and Cold War Kids, Joe Plummer, considered San Diego his part-time home. Despite ...

Plans on community plan updates soon to come

Brace for City of Villages concept…looking at you first, Grantville

On May 13, city planners will update a city-council committee on the long-delayed Community Plan Updates. The gist: the 12 communities’ plans slated for revision in 2008 will have to wait longer than expected. Over ...

SDSU ham-hands itself a lawsuit

Student accused — then cleared — of sexual assault says damage was done

A former San Diego State University student who was accused — charges were later dismissed — of sexual assault on a student in December of last year plans to take legal action against San Diego ...

Floodgates at fire department remain closed

Firefighter sues for not being allowed to review test and grading criteria

A San Diego firefighter who has accused the department of racial discrimination and harassment has filed a new complaint against the city and department for refusing to provide testing materials for a captain's exam that ...

NightmAirbnb

Nosy neighbors call down city’s wrath upon room sharer

Rachel Smith purchased her Burlingame home in 2007 after receiving an inheritance. The 70-year-old retired high school teacher fell in love with the five-bedroom three-bath, 2996-square-foot historical Craftsman home built in 1912. It was more ...

We Complain. She Listens.

My mom walks funny. It’s not a physical problem. It’s a mindset. There’s pride in her steps. She walks strongly. She walks as if she is the first line of defense in case of ambush. ...

Squee! Like a hog at the trough

Lawsuit says SDG&E has been collecting an illegal undergrounding tax

Call it a tax, a surcharge, or "utility user taxes," it doesn't matter: the 3 percent electricity tax and .03 percent gas tax that San Diego Gas and Electric collects from customers and later remits ...

City attorney and council call it a surcharge

Tax fight in Santa Barbara brings out the lawyerly side of San Diego

The City of San Diego is asking the California Supreme Court to overturn an appellate court ruling that found a 1 percent utility surcharge paid for by Santa Barbara residents was in fact a tax. ...

Brains…if only the city had brains

Woman in car trapped in Zombie Walk sues for not requiring parade permit

The City of San Diego failed to protect motorists and the hundreds of wannabe zombies during last year's Zombie Walk. The city also failed to obtain the permits required for any parade or procession with ...

It's Kilroy, from L.A. We're suing again.

Hopeful developer of One Paseo files suit over neighbor's eye-raising tactics

The cost incurred by the City of San Diego over the proposed mixed-use development in Carmel Valley, One Paseo, is increasing. The city has been slapped with a third lawsuit over the now-overturned development. On ...

Park of dreams remains that way

Budget doesn’t include $5 million needed for Ocean View Hills project

Residents of Ocean View Hills, a residential community east of Otay Mesa in South San Diego, have been waiting for a park to be built for 13 years. A site has been selected on Del ...

Two lawyers walk into a swamp...

Cory Briggs and Sarichia Cacciatore mired in details of deposition

Adding Sarichia Cacciatore's name to the list of members of San Diegans for Open Government available for depositions in the lawsuit over the hotel tax was a costly error by the group's attorney — and ...

Not high but dry in Oceanside

Pot dispensary claims their above-board dealings with sheriff led to bust

Eighteen members of a medical marijuana collective are suing San Diego County and the sheriff's department for false arrest and for conducting an illegal search and seizure of marijuana plants in September of 2014. The ...

Going off the rails on a gravy train?

Alleged conflicts of interest within county office of education

For years, the San Diego County Office of Education, the agency responsible for overseeing and allocating funding for 35 school districts in San Diego County, has turned to legal firm Stutz Artiano Shinoff & Holtz ...

Bicycle trap

Despite improvements, lawsuits still being paid out

On Tuesday, April 21, San Diego city councilmembers are expected to approve a settlement offer in the amount of $225,000 to a cyclist who sued over the city's inadequate and defective bike lanes. The lawsuit, ...

What kind of racket is Civic San Diego?

Agency’s backers seek less oversight while one of their boardmembers sues

The Downtown San Diego Partnership, a nonprofit business-minded organization, is stepping up its defense of Civic San Diego, the private nonprofit in charge of permitting in select neighborhoods and handling redevelopment functions throughout the city. ...

Hillcrest Business Association awards contracts to its own president

Business leader Johnathan Hale has no comment about the no-bid contracts for his business.

Charger Girls finally have something to celebrate

Assembly Bill 202 affords cheerleaders a little more dignity and respect

On April 8, the state Assembly's Committee on Labor and Employment moved forward a bill authored by San Diego's former labor leader and current assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez that requires sports teams to pay fair wages ...

More money for city attorney's attorneys

Closed-session vote to fund fight to keep Goldsmith's emails private

San Diego city councilmembers voted in closed session on March 24 to appeal a judge's decision ordering city attorney Jan Goldsmith to turn over 25,000 pages of city emails sent from his private account. Recipients ...

Hot and bothered at San Diego State

Student claims he was booted without a hearing of sexual assault allegations

San Diego State University is under scrutiny for its handling of a sexual assault investigation. In a lawsuit filed on April 8 in San Diego Superior Court, a now-expelled student is suing the college for ...

Shoegazi

Set in Italy, the romance-horror flick Spring was scored by Jimmy LaValle (the Album Leaf), and half a dozen tracks he chose were from San Diego’s melancholic indie-folkies Manuok. Scott Mercado, the creative force behind ...

Too late for the baby who died

City's response to intersection hazard came too slow

The intersection of Catalina Boulevard and Cañon Street has been on the City's radar for a number of years, documents obtained through a public records request show. Seven-month-old Juniper Aavang died and her father John ...

Nah, don't want to spend it on low-income housing

City ordered to distribute $12M in unspent funds

The city can no longer stash more than $12 million in former redevelopment money intended for building low- and moderate-income housing, says a January 20 letter from California's Department of Finance. On April 6, the ...

Jacked by the Box

Residents appeal decision to allow overhaul of North Park fast-food joint

North Park residents are appealing a decision from Superior Court judge Robert Prager to dismiss the lawsuit they filed over the massive overhaul of a Jack in the Box restaurant in North Park. The basis ...

Pup killer

Lawsuit claims deputies entered illegally and shot dog without cause

A San Marcos family whose pit bull puppy was shot and killed by a sheriff's deputy during an unannounced and non-warranted visit to the home is suing the county and the deputies for unlawful search ...

Um, your agenda is showing

Was Cheetahs punished for airing their grievances to the media?

Suzanne Coe, president of the Kearny Mesa strip joint known as Cheetahs, claims the San Diego Police Department's vice unit revoked the club's entertainment permit in retaliation against her and her club after her manager ...

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