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Stories by Dorian Hargrove

Cop-on-cop lawsuit

Officer Hart also questioned Mayor Faulconer's sports package

A 15-year veteran of the San Diego Police Department is suing the city for kicking him off the force upon learning he suffered from post traumatic stress disorder caused by witnessing several officer-involved shootings. The ...

Judge sanctions Jehovah's Witnesses

Imposes $4000-a-day penalty for not producing documents in sex-abuse case

A San Diego Superior Court judge has ordered the Church of Jehovah's Witnesses, also known as the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, to pay $4000 a day for every day that it fails ...

Metropolitan Transit System's been working on the railroad...

Recently released documents indicate loss of faith in Desert Line operatives

October 2015 nearly marked the end of the road — rather, railroad, for Pacific Imperial Railroad, the company that leases the 100-year-old Desert Line from the Metropolitan Transit System. According to documents released by Metropolitan ...

Julian residents object to Linden Blue’s backcountry development plans

General Atomics co-owner’s plans for 1416 acres

Regardless of how you slice it, if approved, a proposed development of 1416 acres of untouched wilderness in Julian, known as the Hosking’s Ranch Development, violates state law, reads a February 4 letter from California’s ...

Excessive force lawsuits against SDPD officer dismissed

Second of two lawsuits now over

On Tuesday, June 21, San Diego city councilmembers are expected to settle the second excessive-force lawsuits against San Diego police officer Laura Smith. While the amount has not yet been made public, court documents filed ...

Hillcrest historical district plan wiped out

"I am outraged, as a resident of Hillcrest and as a gay man."

The nearly 20-year-old proposal to designate portions of Hillcrest as a historical district was scrapped on Friday, June 10. The City of San Diego released the community plan update on its website. A 60-day countdown ...

Fun things to do in San Diego

A million things under the sun — we offer a few (some indoors)

County Administration Center Waterfront Park In 2014, 12 acres of former parking lots were converted into a public park facing San Diego Bay. Running both north and south of the county government headquarters established in ...

Smaller One Paseo project heads toward approval

Peace in Carmel Valley as neighbors give long-delayed nod

After a four-year-long feud with Carmel Valley neighbors and several lawsuits, a new scaled-down version of Kilroy Realty's One Paseo development will likely be approved. On June 27, city councilmembers will be asked to approve ...

Turmoil in parking-enforcement department

Longtime employee says new boss disregarded medical condition

A San Diego parking-enforcement officer is suing the City of San Diego for discrimination and harassment for refusing to follow his supervisor's request to issue a higher number of parking tickets on a daily basis. ...

Former Desert Line railroad prez penalized

End of the line for Donald Stoecklein?

The former president and chief operating officer (now “director of compliance”) for Pacific Imperial Railroad, the company that leases the rights to the binational railroad from Metropolitan Transit System, is in trouble with the Securities ...

San Diego council guilty of limiting access?

"The City is supposed to be the guardian of the public’s rights."

A government watchdog group that sued the city for denying citizens a chance to speak on non-agenda items during San Diego City Council hearings should have their day in court, ruled a panel of appellate ...

College Area residents thwart shiftily contrived project

Councilmembers okayed decade-old environmental impact report

The City of San Diego failed to conduct the proper environmental reports for a 91-unit student-housing facility on the campus of San Diego State University, ruled a Superior Court judge on Friday, May 27. The ...

San Diego Unified stonewalls Sally Smith

Citizen on a mission sues district for violating state public records act

San Diego Unified School District is discriminating against a student advocate in her quest to obtain public records, says a newly filed lawsuit filed on behalf of San Diego resident Sally Smith. Over the past ...

Jack in the Box headed to court over North Park "remodel"

Appellate court springs some justice on fast-food chain and city

A group of North Park residents will have another chance in court to show that fast-food company Jack in the Box illegally rebuilt a restaurant against current zoning regulations. On May 23, appellate judges from ...

Paralyzed Fiesta Island bicyclist sues city

"Simple and inexpensive remedies" could have prevented collision

Fiesta Island is more of a death trap than a "water wonderland biking bliss" (as described on the City of San Diego's website), says a new lawsuit filed by a bicyclist who was paralyzed after ...

Sidewalk casualty vs. the City vs. Little Italy

Maintenance assessment district said not to have done its job

On May 24, city-council members will consider whether to end a yearlong legal fight over a broken sidewalk in Little Italy that caused a woman to fall and break both of her ankles. According to ...

Crawford student/ex-lover sues district over teacher-sex case

San Diego Unified had "a special duty of care, in addition to a duty of ordinary care..."

The 16-year-old boy and his legal guardian Loretta Sinette accuse the district of negligence in hiring former 37-year-old former Spanish teacher and volleyball coach Toni Sutton. The suit also faults the district for failing to ...

Widow sues city over preservation of 57-year-old tree

Despite mayor's word it could remain, attorney suspects "political stunt"

Marie Ostwald, a 91-year-old widow, is suing the City of San Diego to ensure that the pepper tree her husband planted in front of their Allied Gardens home in 1959 stays put. Ostwald made headlines ...

City sued over Mission Beach Elementary School site redevelopment

Unacceptable: private roads, larger lot sizes, increased density...

As promised, a group of Mission Beach residents has filed a lawsuit against the city and developer Christopher McKellar over a proposed residential development to be built on the site of the former Mission Beach ...

SDG&E undergrounding case goes to court..next year

City agreed to 62-year deal with utility — over $1.6 billion at stake

The legality of a hidden surcharge that San Diego residents pay SDG&E and the City of San Diego to fund the burying of utility lines is slated for trial in April 2017. In the meantime, ...

Investigation into Green Elementary School sex scandal closes

District officials admit mishandling of harassment complaint

More needs to be done by San Diego Unified School District administrators to prevent sexual assaults from occurring at public schools, says Esther Warkov, cofounder and executive director of Stop Sexual Assaults in Schools. Warkov, ...

Ooh, you're in trouble, Civic San Diego

Agency denied more tax revenue; council to discuss budget discrepancy

Regarding next year's budget, there's some good but mostly bad news for Civic San Diego (the nonprofit agency that manages the dissolution of San Diego’s redevelopment agency and performs planning and permitting duties in downtown ...

Show us the numbers, Civic San Diego

Hundred-million-dollar question

Murky financial reporting from San Diego’s former redevelopment agency.

Cell-phone companies want more antennae in parks

City to entertain proposals from Sprint and T-Mobile May 12

The City of San Diego continues to lease public park space to cell-phone companies as attorneys for the city prepare to defend the practice in court. On May 12, planning commissioners will consider a proposal ...

The gun problem at Miramar College

Lawsuit claims professor was told to hush about missing firearms

A part-time professor at Miramar College is suing the school for retaliating against him after he complained that several guns used for police training courses were unregistered, not stored properly, and in some cases turned ...

SDPD sgt.'s racism case to go forward

Judge rejects city attorney's bid to keep evidence from public

The discrimination lawsuit brought by an African-American police sergeant that accuses the San Diego Police Department of racial discrimination and harassment will move forward, according to a Friday, April 29, court ruling. Superior Court judge ...

Tough to build Jehovah's Witness sex-abuse case

Without documents, says plaintiff, he can’t get justice

On Friday, April 29, an attorney for Osbaldo Padron will ask a judge to impose severe sanctions on the Jehovah's Witness Church for refusing to turn over documents. The documents allegedly show the church was ...

Gay Pride kilt case isn't over yet

City pulls ace card in effort to halt reinstatement by appeals court

The City of San Diego is calling on federal judges from nine states and two U.S. territories — the areas that make up the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals — to overturn an appellate-court decision ...

Torrey Pines Road pothole problems never stopped

Case involving injured bicyclist reveals city made patches to no avail

The pothole on Torrey Pines Road that cyclist Jonathan Sammartino struck in March 2015 — sending him over his handlebars head first into the concrete — had been on the city's radar for more than ...

Mission Beach land-use ordinance kicked in the teeth

“...a classic example of a developer trying to stick it to the community.”

Residents in Mission Beach are accusing a La Jolla–based developer of using outdated maps and other tricks to try and skirt local planning laws and to avoid building a community park. They claim that doing ...

Briggs and Goldsmith go another round

"The city attorney’s just cherry-picking issues to call out."

San Diego's city attorney's office is sticking by an April 11 memo that questioned the legality of a proposed ballot initiative brought forth by local attorney Cory Briggs that would reconfigure the Tourism Marketing District. ...

Mayor's pot-shop busters report due on 4/20

Three employees cover city's medical marijuana ordinance enforcement

Three city employees spend 40 hours a week scouring publications for advertisements, researching citizens’ complaints, and patrolling communities in search of illegal medical marijuana dispensaries. A new report from the Development Services Department — to ...

Truax House for sale for sure?

Preservationist calls Gloria's recommendation "wordsmithing"

The City of San Diego is moving closer to selling two potentially historic properties abutting Maple Canyon in San Diego's Bankers Hill neighborhood. On April 12, city councilmembers are expected to approve setting a $2.7 ...

Student grabbed buttocks, school sought expulsion

San Diego Unified sued for handling of case involving off-campus incident

The father of a 13-year-old middle-school student is suing San Diego Unified School District and the vice principal of Wangenheim Middle School for threatening his son with a year’s suspension for grabbing a fellow student's ...

Off-duty deputy v. off-duty security guard

Resisting-arrest case goes to prelim trial this week

The preliminary criminal trial of a man who was involved in a near car collision with a plain-clothed San Diego County Sheriff's detective who later followed the driver and choked him out will begin on ...

Police dust-up with family a sizable can of worms

Department of Justice report won't be struck from case against cops

Attorneys for the City of San Diego are trying to put distance between the police department and a Department of Justice report that found San Diego police officers are more apt to stop Hispanic and ...

Disabled man's "leering" leads to suspension at Cal State San Marcos

Autistic and with Asperger's and Tourette's syndromes is no excuse

A Cal State San Marcos student diagnosed with autism, Asperger's syndrome, and Tourette's syndrome claims the college unjustly suspended him for "leering" at a female student while in class. In the complaint, student Jason Lo ...

Little Italy restaurant makes noise over Civic San Diego tactics

Red-line the audio!

Civic San Diego's handling of permitting and planning functions for downtown and neighboring communities is under fire in a new lawsuit from a Little Italy restaurant owner. The lawsuit is another challenge to the City ...

Quality of life allegedly threatened in Point Loma

Could 900 residents be wrong about Jessop estate project?

The dispute over the San Diego City Council's decision to stop a development of the former Jessop property in Point Loma will move on to the appellate court. On March 15, a majority of city-council ...

Civic San Diego sued by its own boardmember

The agency illegally performs government functions, suit alleges

To pay salaries and stay afloat, Civic San Diego relies on the revenues it receives from issuing permits and approving development projects in downtown San Diego. The nonprofit oversees the dissolution of San Diego’s former ...

Transparency tempest looms over council committee

Private device + city business = public record?

On Wednesday, March 23, a city-council committee will discuss an ordinance to classify city business conducted on private devices as a public record. The ordinance was proposed by open-government organization Californians Aware and is meant ...

De Anza Cove's next chapter

Former residents get more equitable relocation compensation

In December 2014, San Diego's elected officials celebrated the end to the 11-year legal fight over the closure of De Anza Cove Mobile Home Park and the relocation of hundreds of residents. The residents and ...

Stingray may limit your free speech beginning now

Police cell-phone site simulator has huge capacity to filter private messages

The legal fight over the use and public disclosure of Stingray, a device that allows law-enforcement agencies to locate cell-phone signals and collect data by acting as a cell-phone tower, is coming to an end. ...

City Attorney's Office vs. People of Mission Beach

"We tried to get the city to settle this with no cost to the taxpayers."

Despite the City of San Diego's best efforts, the $250,000 in bond money that a group of Mission Beach residents raised to challenge the construction of a new, state-of-the-art lifeguard station will be returned. On ...

Appeal set for Gay Pride leather-kilt case

Legs, hips, and thighs offensive depending on eye of the beholder?

Do San Diego police officers interpret public nudity laws differently for a gay man at a Gay Pride event than, say, a woman in a g-string at the beach? A federal appellate court will consider ...

City lacks street smarts

Audit points out road-repair inefficiencies likely to hinder mayor's goal

According to a March 3 audit, street conditions will deteriorate as long as city crews continue to ignore the guidelines set forth when tearing up the street to access storm drains, underground utilities, and sewer ...

Big break for San Diegans for Open Government?

Hotel group's attorney fought and won case that may present conflict

While San Diego's Tourism Marketing District has spent more than three years defending a lawsuit over the legality of the 2 percent hotel tax, the marketing district's attorney, Michael Colantuono, was using many of the ...

Bikers can take a hike

Business districts resist giving up parking spaces for bicycle lanes

Little Italy's Business Improvement District prefers to preserve parking spaces rather than allocate street space for bike lanes through the heart of the district. In a February 23 letter to business owners and residents, Little ...

Who wants a new Mission Beach lifeguard tower again?

City attorney's office of stonewalling in order to keep project alive

On February 25, district court judge Katherine Bacal denied a request from the City of San Diego to wait until an appeal could be heard before returning a $250,000 bond that a group of residents ...

Gap-Toothed Bandit tries to take bite out of justice

Jailed robber requests info on GPS device placed on car by cops

From inside his San Quentin cell, the Gap-Toothed Bandit is trying to get his hands on travel logs that the San Diego Police Department used to tie him to a string of bank robberies he ...

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