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Stories by Dorian Hargrove

To L.A. for Olango justice

Activists call for special prosecutor in El Cajon police shooting

Community leaders in San Diego are continuing their quest to have a special prosecutor review the fatal September 2016 police shooting of 38-year-old El Cajon resident Alfred Olango. On March 24 activist Shane Harris, president ...

Rat-bite fever? It's a big thing for Petco

In case involving deceased boy, judge says corporation hid extent of problem

Rat-bite fever, an infectious and sometimes fatal bacterial disease spread from rats via bites, scratches, or their contaminated food or water, has been a much larger problem for San Diego–based Petco Animal Supplies than attorneys ...

Hotel taxes lost due to city’s internet ineptitude

Expedia, Hotwire, and Priceline cost the city millions in taxes

In December 2016, the California Supreme Court ended a 13-year legal fight waged by San Diego to collect tens of millions of dollars in hotel occupancy taxes from online travel companies such as Expedia, Hotwire, ...

SDSU to pay $95K for severed finger

Gate latch caused injury to Duke tennis player during match

A Duke University tennis player whose left index finger was mangled and partially severed after getting caught in a broken gate latch at San Diego State University's Aztec Tennis Center has agreed to settle his ...

Developer sues convention center corp.

Lawsuit says Steve Cushman was involved in email shenanigans

The developer of a $300 million hotel project at San Diego's convention center has filed a lawsuit against the public agency that manages the 525,000-square-foot meeting space, accusing a boardmember for the agency, Steve Cushman, ...

Kasparian conflict continues

Complaint says union boss backers unduly fired employee

The controversy surrounding union boss Mickey Kasparian and the sexual harassment and intimidation allegations against him have now spilled over to another influential union and an affiliated nonprofit. On March 9, Nohelia Ramos Campos filed ...

ROTC instructor's illicit sexcapade reverberates

Coronado and I.B. school districts sued

A former Mar Vista High School student is suing the Sweetwater and Coronado school districts for failing to prevent a Navy Junior ROTC instructor from luring her into a sexual affair. In September 2016 ROTC ...

He said he wasn't suicidal is why

Review board says deputies screened Robert Lubsen adequately

A San Diego County law-enforcement review board did not find sufficient evidence that deputies could have prevented the suicide of a 26-year-old man who had been arrested for stealing laptops from dorm rooms at Cal ...

What we need is a faster ambulance

Rural/Metro improves emergency response times

This week, representatives from the Arizona-based ambulance company will appear in front of San Diego's Public Safety and Livable Neighborhoods council committee to present a report on emergency response times for the months of December ...

San Ysidro School District supe sued

Julio Fonseca accused of sexy-times fumble involving hush money

In a new lawsuit, San Ysidro School District superintendent Dr. Julio Fonseca is accused of using $113,433 in public funds to silence a whistleblower who threatened to go public with allegations that Fonseca had hired ...

Lawsuit on top of lawsuit at office of education

Big earner accused of hostile environment claims unjust termination

Six months after San Diego County Office of Education superintendent Randolph Ward resigned amid allegations of fraud and mismanagement, turmoil at the office continues. The agency is responsible for financial and curriculum oversight of the ...

City’s shocking crosswalk cover-up

The city’s bottom line seems more important than a dead baby.

Lawsuit alleges officials were warned but failed to fix the problem.

Council supports transgender teen in Virginia

Vote to back student's bathroom choice reveals conflict in chambers

On Monday, February 27, the majority of city councilmembers entered into the national debate over the use of bathrooms for transgender students. During a closed-session meeting, a majority of councilmembers voted to file an amicus ...

Rainy winter causes streets to crumble

City inundated with pothole complaints and lawsuits

On C Street in San Diego’s Golden Hill neighborhood, cracks in the asphalt meander like fault lines. Near C Street’s intersection with 23rd Street, in a block where single-family homes are valued anywhere from $750,000 ...

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 ...

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