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Stories by Dorian Hargrove

Virtually electrocuted at the shopping center

Now–brain damaged amputee sues sheriff's dept. for tasing

A 30-year-old North County man who suffered a brain injury and multiple amputations after being repeatedly tased by a sheriff's deputy has agreed to settle his lawsuit. According to court documents obtained by the Reader, ...

Drop the shovel  — more court for Plaza de Panama plan

Critics consider the financing scheme as a "total scam"

A proposed road from Cabrillo Bridge that bypasses Balboa Park's Plaza de Panama and leads to a newly constructed parking garage must make another stop in San Diego Superior Court. Earlier this month, Cory Briggs ...

No gold star for Bonsall school district

Taxpayer advocacy group's lawsuit frivolous, says superintendant

A taxpayer advocacy group is suing the Bonsall Unified School District for skirting state environmental laws in its pursuit to build a new high school. The group, California Taxpayers Action Network, filed the lawsuit on ...

North Park Jack in the Box rebuild permit has yet to pop up

Cheeseburger, fries, and a long lawsuit, please

Jack in the Box and North Park neighbors return to court.

Ethical lapses blamed on Tourism Marketing District

Document given to attorney in error becomes basis of latest court joust

Looking to avoid a $2.6 million payout to opposing attorney Cory Briggs, legal counsel for San Diego's Tourism Marketing District is asking that a judge disqualify Briggs and his firm and wipe out any opportunity ...

La Jolla sea lion resolution lies in "political sphere"

Court denies appeal that claims city fencing promoted feces stench

A California appellate court ruled yesterday (February 9) that the City of San Diego is not responsible for the mitigation of the foul odors wafting from the seal lions at La Jolla Cove. The ruling ...

Fake Twitter account prompts lawsuit

USD student sues for Trump-related defamation

A University of San Diego law student says a fellow student defamed her on Twitter for her unwavering support of then-candidate Donald Trump. The woman, Tiffany Dehen, is suing the student (who has not been ...

MTS responds to Baja Rail charges

Agency confident of progress on binational railroad

Metropolitan Transit System officials say that in spite of new litigation, progress is being made on the rehabilitation of the 100-year-old binational railroad. Earlier this week, the Reader reported on a new lawsuit filed by ...

Likely not the last binational railroad story

Lawsuits fly among Desert Line executives

Big things are happening on the binational railroad — unfortunately, they are transpiring in courtrooms and not on the 108 miles of track that stretches from Tijuana up through the border at Campo and into ...

Former lieutenant guns for Goldsmith

“All that seemed to matter to him were politics.”

Jan Goldsmith completed his eight-year term as San Diego’s city attorney on December 13, 2016. His legacy will remain present at San Diego city hall for years to come, possibly not as much for major ...

Green Elementary assault trial starts today

Girls allegedly preyed on special-needs student

A civil trial begins today (January 30) in a molestation case of a special-needs student who was allegedly assaulted by three older students inside a bathroom at Green Elementary School in San Carlos. The lawsuit ...

More pressure on Mickey Kasparian

Donna Frye protests against union chief accused of sexual misconduct

In a lawsuit filed in December, United Food and Commercial Workers Union president Mickey Kasparian was accused of sexual harassment and denigrating employees. Demands for him to step down are increasing, and the protests continue. ...

Kindergarten sexual harassment case continues

Green Elementary School incident puts officials in the spotlight

New details have emerged regarding an alleged sexual assault by an elementary-school student on another student at San Diego Unified School District's Green Elementary School. On August 18, 2016, San Diego Unified School District superintendent ...

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 ...

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