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Stories by Dorian Hargrove

Goldsmith loses, Briggs wins

Attorney to be paid $107,000 for fees in email case

The legal fight over city-related emails that former San Diego city attorney Jan Goldsmith sent over his private server during his time in public office has concluded, almost three years to the date that watchdog ...

La Jolla crosswalk horror story

No warning lights results in broken bones, amputations, lawsuit

A New Jersey man on vacation in San Diego who was hit by a truck while using a crosswalk in La Jolla is suing the City of San Diego. Attorneys for Santo Bencivenni, 72, filed ...

Grossmont school district sued

Open government attorney Briggs sniffs out potential campaign violations

The fight over public employees' use of private devices to send emails and texts and the refusal from agencies they work for to turn over those missives has landed Grossmont Union High School District in ...

City to block mayor's testimony in accident case?

Residents complained of crosswalk danger to then-councilman Faulconer

The City of San Diego doesn't want mayor Kevin Faulconer to testify in a wrongful-death lawsuit filed by the parents of a seven-month-old girl who was struck by a car and died while crossing Catalina ...

Regents Road bridge, deleted

University City residents sue over council decision

A group of San Diego residents is suing the City of San Diego for deleting long-term plans to build the Regents Road bridge from the University City Community Plan. The proposed bridge, in discussion for ...

Uptown preservationists sue city

Environmental impacts and historic considerations ignored, they say

On January 4, 2017, preservationist groups Save Our Heritage Organisation and Mission Hills Heritage filed suit against the City of San Diego for allowing last-minute changes to Uptown's community-plan update. The revised plan would include ...

After the Goldsmith, his politics on trial

Former asst. city attorney sues ex-boss on basis of illegal conduct

The politicization of San Diego's city attorney's office under Jan Goldsmith's lead has landed the city in court again. On December 3, Goldsmith's former assistant city attorney, Marlea Dell'Anno, sued the city and Goldsmith, alleging ...

San Diego's porn studios

Lights. Camera. Legal action.

The Hard Rock Hotel in San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter wants to make you feel like a star. Adhered to the wall behind the front desk is a colorful photo looking out at a raucous crowd ...

Former Poway schools chief claims innocence

Evidence against John Collins includes financial reports "replete with errors"

The civil trial against former Poway Unified School District superintendent John Collins — accused of collecting $345,263 in unauthorized vacation pay over the course of a three-year period — continues in San Diego Superior Court. ...

Wheelchairs can't roll over pipes

Lawsuit settled over a year after city sued subcontractor

The City of San Diego has tentatively settled a lawsuit brought by a woman who says the city failed to meet Americans with Disabilities Act requirements while crews were repairing sections El Cajon Boulevard. As ...

SeaWorld sees the tank as half full

Theme park goes ahead with revamp plans amid revenue drawbacks

SeaWorld is moving forward with plans to pump millions in new attractions at its San Diego theme park. On December 19, the City of San Diego provided notice that SeaWorld has applied for the necessary ...

City to pay for cops' mother-and-son tussle

Excessive-force suit settled

The City of San Diego has agreed to settle a long-running excessive-force lawsuit filed against four San Diego police officers who allegedly assaulted members of a family during an incident in 2014. According to documents ...

City sued over storm-drain failure

Apartment residents in City Heights victims of bad decision-making?

The City of San Diego may have to fork over yet another hefty settlement over its crumbling and inadequate storm-water system. On December 13, the Chicano Federation of San Diego County filed a lawsuit against ...

Civic San Diego commits foul, says group

Agency allegedly used outdated environmental impact reports

Civic San Diego, the city-owned nonprofit corporation in charge of permitting and planning in downtown and surrounding communities, is again under fire for the process in which it approves development proposals. On December 6, a ...

Torrey Pines cyclists' pothole nightmare continues

"I hate to state the obvious, but this is completely avoidable."

The City of San Diego is poised to pay out another large sum for failing to maintain safe bike lanes and roads for pedestrians. On Tuesday (December 13) city councilmembers are expected to finalize a ...

Confusion as to what's classified "sustainable" construction

Who's minding the Development Services Department?

A City of San Diego program to incentivize affordable housing developments and sustainable buildings by offering permitting in half the time of standard projects is underperforming, says a December 2 report from San Diego's city ...

Uber as designated driver choice backfires

On the street at bar-closing time sparks presumption of intoxication

In an effort to cut back on public intoxication and loud noise from drunken bar patrons leaving Encinitas' burgeoning bar scene, the San Diego County Sheriff's Department is targeting minorities and chasing out “undesirables" from ...

Not fake news: Trump sued for $2 trillion

Prison inmate files handwritten complaint...you can stop reading this story now

Less than two weeks after president-elect Donald Trump agreed to pay $25 million to settle two lawsuits filed in San Diego over his for-profit university, the New York City mogul has been slapped with another ...

San Diego Guide to Holiday Fun

Even if yuletide music burns your cochlea on contact ... something for you

I read somewhere that the reason you’re sad around Christmastime is because it’s a reminder of what you’ve lost since childhood: the belief that the world is a magical place that is interested in your ...

Ex-councilman dodges domestic violence charges

Tony Young's former position allegedly had no bearing on the case

Former city-council president Tony Young will not face criminal charges for his August 2016 domestic violence arrest, says a spokesperson for San Diego's city attorney. Young, who served as councilmember for San Diego's District 4 ...

Hoteliers and city sued for "ill-gotten gains"

New challenge to Tourism Marketing District hotel-room fee

As attorneys for the city and Tourism Marketing District fight over legal fees in a lawsuit filed in 2012 over a hotel-room fee imposed by hotel owners to pay for promoting San Diego as a ...

No settlements in SDPD harassment cases

Policewomen allege gender-related discrimination

Sexual harassment lawsuits filed by two female San Diego Police Department officers are heading to trial. Recent court documents show attempts to settle the two cases have failed and both sides are now preparing for ...

Parent sues Grossmont school district over denied access

Father of student told officials he was registered sex offender

A father of a Grossmont Union High School District student is suing the district for refusing him access to his child's school because he is a registered sex offender. The lawsuit, filed in Superior Court ...

K-9s unleashed!

Big city bucks for naked midnight canyon walker

The City of San Diego is poised to settle a lawsuit brought by a man who was bitten by a police dog while he walking in a La Jolla canyon in the early hours of ...

More violence in low-income communities no duh

Gang-prevention commission issues favorable report

Gang-related crimes have decreased by 44.5 percent since 2009, says a new report from the City of San Diego's Commission on Gang Prevention and Intervention. Despite the downward trend, there are still 4005 documented gang ...

Cop allegedly didn't seek sex from women only

City pays man who says Officer Hays forced a favor from him

A San Diego man who was allegedly sexually assaulted by former San Diego police officer Christopher Hays will receive $160,000 in exchange for settling his lawsuit against the city. On Tuesday, November 16, city councilmembers ...

Wrongly fired by the city

Another sign of troubled Purchasing and Contracting Department

Last week, on November 4, a San Diego Superior Court judge ordered the City of San Diego to reimburse a city employee nearly two years' worth of wages that had been withheld due to an ...

Issa sues Applegate

Accused of misrepresenting New York Times article in campaign ad

Congressman Darrell Issa, who represents portions of northern San Diego County, has filed a defamation lawsuit against his opponent, democratic challenger Doug Applegate. Issa filed the suit on November 7, one day before he narrowly ...

No day at the park for antennae opponents

Judge says cell-phone tower lease to Verizon is legal

A San Diego Superior court judge says the City of San Diego can continue to lease portions of public parkland to cell-phone companies in order to install wireless antennas. On October 31, judge Judith Hayes ...

Lilac Hills opponents mum on money source

Well-funded Measure B proponents file lawsuit to force transparency

Lilac Hills Ranch is a <a href="http://proposed master-planned community that developer Accretive Investments hopes to build east of Bonsall in northeastern San Diego County. Yesterday (November 2), proponents of the development filed a formal legal ...

Tourism Marketing District navigates lawsuit maelstrom

Measures C and D won't necessarily settle hotel-tax issue

On November 8, residents will cast votes on Measures C and D. If passed, either one would alter the hotel-room tax as it currently stands. Measure C would raise the hotel taxes on guests to ...

Hot battle re Measure D

Counselor Briggs says ads broke the law; no, they didn't, says taxpayers association

The fight between San Diego hoteliers and attorney Cory Briggs continues on. Briggs, whose client San Diegans for Open Government sued the city and San Diego's Tourism Marketing District for what they claimed is an ...

Cop who shot unarmed man faces civil lawsuit

Parole violator was likely giving up when shot with submachine gun

The San Diego police officer who shot and killed an unarmed man in January 2013 is not entitled to immunity in a civil lawsuit filed by the deceased man's wife. On October 25, a federal ...

Pacific Imperial Railroad opts for bankruptcy

Metropolitan Transit System plans to ride along with troubled company

Pacific Imperial Railroad, the leaseholder of the publicly owned 70-mile stretch of railroad from Campo to Plaster City known as the Desert Line, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. As reported by the Reader on ...

Did an unwritten city policy result in death?

“Public servants only care about their pensions.”

Traffic Engineering division plays it street-smart — no emails

Cal State San Marcos sued for botched sexual assault case

Student says school failed to conduct proper and timely hearings

A Cal State San Marcos student accused of assaulting a female student is suing the college over its handling of the investigation. According to a lawsuit filed in Superior Court on October 21, the student, ...

Ambulance provider fined for being late

Majority of calls involved life-threatening situations

Slow response times continue to plague Arizona-based Rural/Metro Ambulance Services, which serves the City of San Diego. In an October 3, 2016, letter from Rural/Metro director of communications Mike Rice to San Diego fire chief ...

Last chance for neighbors of Francis Parker School

Residents hope for successful appeal to halt expansion

Community members in Linda Vista hope to overturn a San Diego Planning Commission approval of a massive expansion of one of San Diego's most elite private schools, the Francis Parker School in Linda Vista. As ...

Jehovah’s Witnesses get relief from appellate court

Judge Lewis could have gotten documents with lighter sanctions in Linda Vista case

The Watchotwer Tract Society, commonly referred to as the Jehovah's Witnesses, is asking a San Diego Superior Court judge to return the bond money it posted as a result of an August ruling from a ...

County supervisors to consider Julian development

Residents say developer and General Atomics owner Linden Blue are asking to develop 1416 acres while keeping tax breaks

On Wednesday, October 19, San Diego County supervisors will consider whether to approve a proposal to transform 1416 acres of untouched wilderness in Julian into 24 residential properties called Hoskings Ranch II. They will consider ...

A road through your urban village

Quaint neighborhood vision disrupted

ON A HOT AUGUST AFTERNOON in Mission Valley, 47 men, women, and children stand on newly laid squares of sod at the temporary park inside San Diego’s largest mixed-use, environmentally sustainable communities, Civita. It sits ...

Second sex assault suit against San Diego Unified

Last time Crawford, this time Lincoln

In an October 4 lawsuit a former Lincoln High School student is accusing the school's soccer coach and part-time student-teacher of sexually assaulting her and is blaming the school district for allowing the assault to ...

Deputy roughs up SDSU religion professor

Officer grabs purse, victim hangs onto it and then is arrested

A San Diego State University professor is suing the San Diego County Sheriff's Department for violating her Fourth Amendment Rights after a pair of alleged scam artists attempted to stage an auto accident. In a ...

Shots fired! But where?

Acoustic sensors will give origin of gunfire to police

Acoustic sensors tuned to capture and record the sound of gunshots and report them to the police department are coming to Southeastern San Diego. According to a September 26 public notice the city and its ...

Fallen tree costs city

Injury by eucalyptus in Chicano Park leads to settlement

On Tuesday, October 4, city councilmembers are expected to settle a 2015 lawsuit filed by Randy Edelbrock who in September 2014 was struck by a fallen eucalyptus tree at Barrio Logan's Chicano Park. According to ...

Encanto residents feel snubbed by Civic San Diego

"We demand a more visionary project that brings together community benefits."

Encanto residents have waited for nearly 30 years for the city-owned vacant lot at Hilltop Drive and Euclid Avenue to be developed. Now that the process is underway and a developer has been selected, they ...

Cheetahs strip club faces closure

Appellate court ruled in favor of city's decision to revoke club's permit

The City of San Diego's decision to revoke a popular strip club's permit stands, ruled an appellate court. On September 28, California's Fourth District Appellate Court found that the Kearny Mesa all-nude club had a ...

Paul Gaspar is not a medical doctor

Encinitas mayoral candidate accused of exaggerating qualifications

Some Encinitas residents are accusing mayoral candidate Paul Gaspar of misleading voters by using the "Dr." title without attaching the appropriate suffix in campaign brochures and on his website. Also on his website are pictures ...

Chula Vista sued over Third and K residential tower

Lawsuit filed by wealthy landlord

A well-heeled Chula Vista landlord known for funneling millions of dollars towards city ballot measures and city councilmembers is now suing the city over a controversial development on Third Avenue and K Street in downtown ...

Trump attorneys told no again

Can't argue for witnesses who aren't suing his defunct real estate university

Donald Trump's attorneys have been denied a request as they go about defending their client from charges related to the Trump University case. According to a ruling posted on the federal court's website today (September ...

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