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Stories by Dorian Hargrove

Poway Unified sued over choosing Marian Kim-Phelps as superintendent

Group says district trustees approved hiring and compensation without public input.

Public advocacy group San Diegans for Open Government has filed a lawsuit against the Poway Unified School District over the hiring of the district's new superintendent Marian Kim-Phelps in March of this year. According to ...

Elephant rages in East Village

Sex, violence, and lawsuits at Underground Elephant

“Combat,” “extortion,” “sociopath” and other unsavory terms are swirling around in the tornado of bad publicity blowing through the East Village company once listed by a local publication as one of San Diego’s best places ...

Aryan Brotherhood murderer Elliott Scott Grizzle sues county over solitary confinement

Bright lights, loud TV cause loss of sleep

Convicted murderer and longtime member of a powerful white supremacist gang, Elliott Scott Grizzle, has filed a lawsuit against the County of San Diego for improperly placing him in solitary confinement. According to his handwritten ...

Woman files appeal in Mira Mesa shooting of husband by San Diego police

Shakina Ortega says judge failed to inform the jury that officer not liable for monetary judgement.

The family of a man who was shot and killed by a police officer will ask a federal appellate court to overturn a jury's March 2017 verdict that found the officer acted in self-defense. Shakina ...

City reaches settlement in pedestrian death of 7-month-old girl

City withheld Pt. Loma neighbor complaints from the Reader's request.

The City of San Diego has tentatively agreed to settle a lawsuit filed by a family whose 7-month-old daughter was killed while her father was pushing her stroller across a busy Point Loma crosswalk in ...

Second excessive force lawsuit since beginning of year is dismissed

Witness to a beating in 2016, Cassandra Harris was arrested instead of assailants

On April 17, 2017 attorneys for Cassandra Harris, 28, filed a motion to dismiss a claim of excessive force against the city of San Diego. The terms of how the case was resolved have not ...

Driver in Scripps Ranch collision files suit over the center median

Intoxicated woman slammed into vintage Porsche killing passenger

The victim of a head-on collision which killed his partner and left him with a severe brain injury has filed a lawsuit against the city for failing to design and maintain a safe roadway. Jon ...

City to pay $3.2 million for stormwater enforcement lapses

Will fund work at Penasquitos, San Diego River, Chollas Creek

The City of San Diego has agreed to pay the state water board $3.2 million for water pollution resulting from lax enforcement of sediment-control measures at construction sites near the Los Peñasquitos Lagoon, Tijuana River ...

Sheriff deputy cleared in 2015 "suicide by cop" death in Encinitas

Despondent Kendrick aimed the shotgun at Block which prompted the deputy to shoot six rounds

A law enforcement review board has ruled that San Diego County Sheriff's deputy Steven Block was justified in the shooting death of 56-year-old Gary Kendrick in Encinitas on March 27, 2015. The Community Law Enforcement ...

City spent $29,689 for cars damaged due to potholes

Over 520 requests for payments so far this year

Since January 1, 2017 drivers in San Diego have submitted more than 520 claims to the city's Risk Management Department seeking compensation for damage done to their car as a result of running over potholes. ...

Former Chargers' intern struck by hit-and-run driver files claim against the city

J'Ron Erby alleges the city was aware of defective street design at Bayard and Garnet

Former San Diego Chargers public relations intern, J'Ron Erby who was struck while crossing a busy street in Pacific Beach by a hit-and-run driver has filed a claim against the City of San Diego, alleging ...

Man falsely suspected of killing officer files claim against the city

Claim alleges "false detainment" and property damage in hours after officer Jonathan DeGuzman was killed while on patrol

A man and several of his family members have filed claims against San Diego's police force for property damage and false arrest during the July 2016 investigation into a shooting which killed police officer Jonathan ...

City to pay $150,000 settlement to Lobaton family for excessive force

San Diego police officers beating man at City Heights home

The City of San Diego has agreed to pay Hedy Julca and Luis Lobaton $150,000, not including attorney's fees, for allegations that four police officers used excessive force during a July 29, 2014 incident inside ...

Off-duty sheriff’s detective chokes driver who cut him off

DA’s office charges motorist

Young, black, and choked out by a questionable detective.

Grossmont Union High School distances itself from sexual abuse lawsuits by former drama teacher

One case has since been dismissed while the other in mediation

The Grossmont Union High School District is looking to put to rest two sexual abuse lawsuits filed by former students against a drama teacher at Granite Hills High School in El Cajon. On March 17 ...

Dog did hunt

Two women sue San Diego County Sheriffs over use of police dog in Fallbrook

A married couple trying to elude San Diego County Sheriff''s deputies are suing the county and the deputies involved for excessive force used during their apprehension. The women say the San Diego County Sheriff's deputies, ...

City still hopes to prevent mayor from taking stand in deadly crosswalk lawsuit

Attorneys for the family of seven-month-old girl who died in 2015 accuse city of stonewalling

Attorneys for the City of San Diego hope to prevent mayor Kevin Faulconer from taking the witness stand in the wrongful death lawsuit filed by parents of a 7-month-old girl who was killed as her ...

SDSU area mini-dorm group sues city of San Diego again

Family homes and yards vs. low-income students

The City of San Diego's efforts to prevent the proliferation of mini-dorms near San Diego State University is under attack, this time from a group calling itself the College Area Students, Tenants, and Landlords Association. ...

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 ...

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