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Stories by Dorian Hargrove

Cory Briggs, environmental ambulance-chaser?

City attorney takes aim at lawyer and his non-profits

City attorney Jan Goldsmith and the attorneys working for him are doing their best to try and dig out the thorn in their side whose name is Cory Briggs. Briggs is an environmental lawyer who ...

Balboa Park Golf Course plan gets go-ahead

City attorney's office deems funding method sound

The City of San Diego, golfers who frequent the Balboa Park Golf Course, and pedestrians who traipse and cycle the the winding road where the clubhouse is located hope to replace the 1930s clubhouse, pathways, ...

SDPD officer says fellow cop abused power

Same officer has been in the news before…

On May 23, officer John Ampol and the San Diego Police Officers Association filed a formal complaint against the SDPD, alleging that a department hearing officer abused his power and failed to provide Ampol with ...

The Carmel Valley battle for square footage

L.A.-based Kilroy Realty sues SD for illegally giving away easements

The bell has sounded in a heavyweight battle between two Carmel Valley developers and the City is caught in the middle of it all. Kilroy Realty, the Los Angeles–based developer of the massive One Paseo ...

Are we fluoridated? Or not?

Dentist sues city for not releasing documents

On May 20, David Kennedy, a local dentist who was turned away after requesting documents pertaining to the addition of fluoride compounds in the city's water supply, filed what is the latest legal complaint against ...

You got a permit for that trail?

Trails of Tierrasanta are paved with good intentions.

On weekends, in the canyons surrounding San Diego’s community of Tierrasanta, urban guerrillas hack through chapparal with picks and other tools, transforming once-narrow coyote paths into smooth, broad hiking trails. The urban vigilantes have carved ...

Garbage truckers’ gripes

Lawsuit claims city devised computer program to cheat workers

While some members on the city council push to increase the minimum wage, attorneys for the city will be preparing their defense in a class-action lawsuit from an employee who says the city violated California's ...

City hit up for storm-water violations

Public and private projects to blame, taxpayers to pay

Cash continues to flow from San Diego's coffers to pay for storm-water drain violations and to remediate pollution sites throughout the city and bay. More funds will be needed. On May 13, the San Diego ...

Tax and spend on salaries and council campaigns

Does Downtown San Diego Partnership play by the rules? Are there rules?

City-council candidates Lorie Zapf and Chris Cate have a solid partner in the Downtown San Diego Partnership. The agency that manages the city's largest property-based improvement district and its CEO Kris Michell has gone to ...

City can’t drag its heels any longer

Residents to get reimbursed for illegal maintenance assessment district

It was a long time coming for attorneys and volunteers in Golden Hill and South Park to get reimbursed, at least partially, for their time and money spent to fight the city over their illegally ...

John McCann for Chula Vista City Council? No, thanks

Law-enforcement committee opposes Sweetwater trustee's bid for seat

Whether it was during his time on the Chula Vista City Council or during his current residency as school-board trustee for the Sweetwater Union High School District, John McCann's list of political opponents has grown. ...

Sunroad slurry to ooze through court

Reduced park space, environmental and safety concerns to be addressed

Sunroad Enterprises and the city will be heading back to court to fight yet another lawsuit over the developer's Sunroad Centrum development in Kearny Mesa. The city will be right alongside, defending their decision to ...

Crackdown on college kids

College Area wants its own code-enforcement officer

College Area residents are calling on the city to hire a full-time code-enforcement officer to patrol neighborhoods for violations. Examples of some types of code violations rampant around San Diego State University include houses with ...

Case against Filner/city gets prickly

"Every woman on the planet has had her butt grabbed."

The sexual harassment lawsuit brought against former mayor Bob Filner by a wounded Marine and her nurse has turned ugly — not by Filner's accusers but between their respective attorneys. New court documents filed with ...

SDPD detective aims at “good old boy” contingent

Officers Flood, Jones, McDonald allegedly made “grunting, animal sounds”

It's been a rough couple of years for the San Diego Police Department. Numerous allegations of sexual assault and domestic violence claims have been filed. Residents have registered profiling complaints. In February, the chief of ...

Pursuit of green meds impacts environment

Lawsuit says city didn't estimate impacts

The city's approach to establish a medical marijuana ordinance is not only overly restrictive, it's illegal, says Los Angeles–based patient rights advocacy group, Union for Medical Marijuana Patients. On April 29, the organization filed a ...

Will money defeat Barrio Logan residents?

Big bucks pour in to defeat community plan that would lessen pollution

San Diego's largest military contractors continue to shovel money toward a political campaign whose goal is to sink the Barrio Logan community plan update at ballot boxes on June 3. General Dynamics spinoff National Steel ...

Kilroy is here. Whatcha gonna do about it?

Carmel Valley developer’s project to increase fire-response times

When it comes to increased fire-response times as a result of a proposed development in Carmel Valley, according to Dennis Ridz, the city's thought process appears to be, “Oh, well. Service is poor throughout the ...

Welcome to City Hall, now go home

Amazing audacity of local government leaders.

The claim that an elected city attorney’s discussions of city business with reporters were off limits to other reporters didn’t sit well with those at NBC.

Would-be railroad barons face steep grade

Note to MTS: Backers of Pacific Imperial Railroad have controversial past

Conflict of interest and other financial wrongdoings continue to appear around every bend for the binational railroad meant to link factories in Mexico and the U.S. Yet, despite allegations of fraud and links to dozens ...

Former mayor Bob Filner and city face new lawsuit

Alleged harassment occurred at Johnson Elementary School

Bob Filner's legacy as mayor continues to leave a mark on the City of San Diego. On April 9, more than six months after the former mayor was forced from office amid allegations of sexual ...

San Diego and Arizona Eastern Railway to roll?

Executive from company to address allegations of fraud

Problem: Two trains leave opposite ends of San Diego. Train A is traveling at 100 miles per hour loaded with allegations of fraud; Train B is traveling on the same track at the same rate ...

FreePB.org wins records act lawsuit against city

Judge says Chief Lansdowne’s SDPD was wrong to deny request

Emails, memos, and other communication explaining the San Diego's Police Department's reasoning for allowing some special events to be exempt from the city's alcohol ban must be turned over to the nonprofit anti-booze-ban group FreePB, ...

City cracks down on another pot dispensary

“[J]uvenile, who appeared to be 13 years old,” mentioned in complaint

While the city's newly adopted medical marijuana ordinance awaits final approval from the California Coastal Commission, city attorney Jan Goldsmith has continued his legal assault on dispensary owners and the property owners who lease to ...

Longtime city employee claims discrimination

Iranian says ethnicity and age hindered promotion in transportation dept.

A longtime San Diego city employee has sued for discrimination, claiming that his Iranian descent and age kept him from moving up the ranks in the transportation department. Seyed Ahmadi, 62, has worked as a ...

Toni Atkins pulls Community Benefit District legislation

Bill would have made it easier to create assessment districts

Assemblymember Toni Atkins will not move ahead with legislation that would make it easier for large property owners to form assessment districts in San Diego County. As first reported by the Reader, Atkins introduced the ...

Judge rules Barrio Logan referendum should be on the ballot

Judge admitted petition drive was based on lies, however, said not enough to keep it off ballot.

It's settled. The Port of San Diego Ship Repair Association's petition drive to overturn the Barrio Logan Community Plan Update was steeped in lies and false representations, ruled Superior Court Judge Randa Trapp at today's ...

What the emails tell us

Did shipping companies push petition signers in Barrio Logan referendum?

Did signature gatherers hired by San Diego's shipping conglomerates purposely spread misinformation in order to collect enough signatures to overturn the Barrio Logan Community Plan Update? Emails released in court from those in charge of ...

City sued over murals

Art is in the eye of the permit holder.

In December 2013, Pam Anderson, founder and owner of the now-defunct ArchitectureArt, a company that specialized in large hand-painted murals, filed a lawsuit against the City of San Diego for violating her right to free ...

Atkins pushes bill so 30% of your neighbors can redevelop you

Marco LiMandri weeps elephant tears over end of assessment districts.

Assembly Speaker-elect Toni Atkins wants to make it easier for property owners to levy assessments on their neighbors property tax bills to pay for community improvements. Last month, on February 21, Atkins introduced legislation aimed ...

Gloria and Goldsmith vindicated so far

Appellate court rules that private emails from city officials are off limits to public

Open government advocates' hopes for transparent government were partially shut on Thursday when California's appellate court overturned a Santa Clara County judge's ruling that deemed private email messages and text messages pertaining to government business ...

Pro-Faulconer money goes to Zapf

She collects more than double her nearest opponent.

After raising a cool million to help get Kevin Faulconer into the mayor's office, the political action committee spearheaded by San Diego's Chamber of Commerce and the Associated General Contractors of America is shifting its ...

Impeachment bragging may bite Goldsmith

Either they had control over Filner or they didn’t

City Attorney Jan Goldsmith took pride, and much credit, for ousting Bob Filner from the mayor's office. After Filner's departure, Goldsmith turned to media outlets and social media sites such as Twitter boasting about the ...

North Park memorial for 1978 PSA crash that killed 144

Relatives want more than small plaques

Aside from the 22 newer homes and buildings in North Park, a newcomer to San Diego would never know that on September 25, 1978 a total of 144 people died as the result of a ...

Council to rescind permit for University Town Center neon sign

Judge Timothy Taylor nails staff for double standard.

On Tuesday, city councilmembers will rescind a permit granted to shopping mall conglomerate Westfield Group to hang a 672-square-foot neon sign at Westfield's UTC Shopping Mall. City staff as well as city councilmembers granted the ...

City attorney's office accused of blocking campaign application

Wannabe District 2 candidate Bryan Pease files complaint in federal court

Bryan Pease, an animal-rights activist and attorney best known for his defense of La Jolla seals, is fighting to be included on the list of potential appointees to fill newly elected mayor Kevin Faulconer's council ...

Todd Gloria ordered to round up e-messages

Lawsuit challenged councilman’s use of electronics during hearings

Council president Todd Gloria may have to turn over city-related text messages and emails from his private email account after all. In a March 14 tentative ruling, superior-court judge Joel Wohlfeil ordered Gloria to begin ...

City sued for racial discrimination

Woman says she was passed over for a promotion due to skin color

A city employee of nearly 24 years filed a racial discrimination suit against the city on March 4, claiming higher-ups in the Purchasing & Contracting Department denied her a promotion because she is African American. ...

Dear Mayor Faulconer: repeal the email retention policy

"We disagree that it would be legal, either on its face or as applied."

Kevin Faulconer's decision to suspend a city policy to delete all city emails one year or older was good news for open-government advocates. But since that announcement, the mayor and city staff have been silent; ...

Judge to rule on privacy of Gloria’s e-correspondence

Lawsuit says council president’s text messages should be made public

Should the text messages that council president Todd Gloria sends during council hearings be made available to the public? And, if so, should Gloria have to appear in court or under oath to discuss those ...

City attorney Goldsmith fights to keep his emails private

Mayor Faulconer's regime says "all communications related to public business" subject to California Public Records Act

San Diego's city attorney Jan Goldsmith is above the law — California's public records law, that is, says a February 27 legal briefing filed in San Diego Superior Court. According to attorneys for Goldsmith, public ...

SD’s Tourism Marketing District’s odd strategy

Boardmembers expected to approve expenditure to file brief in case in Ontario and Rancho Cucamonga

What better way to promote San Diego than for the Tourism Marketing District to pay attorneys to file legal briefs in other cities’ fights to keep their hotel tax up and running? On March 7, ...

City distances itself from Filner harassment case

Ex-mayor's alleged deeds "completely outside the scope of his employment"

Court documents filed in the case of military veteran Katherine Ragazzino and her nurse Michelle Tyler — who allege that former mayor Bob Filner sexually harassed them during a meeting last year — shows the ...

More caution against city plan to purge emails

After Calaware, San Diegans for Open Government threatens lawsuit

Much of the money that the city plans to save by purging all year-old emails may be spent fighting lawsuits. The policy change was announced in a February 27 memo to city employees. The reason, ...

City of San Diego to purge year-old emails

Cost of storage declared prohibitive; action could result in litigation

The City of San Diego is running out of space to store all those old emails — internal emails between staff and elected officials and correspondence from constituents. To remedy that, city officials have opted ...

Danzig sues distribution company in federal court

Heavy metal singer accuses company of not paying proceeds

Glenn Danzig, former Misfits frontman and lead singer for the heavy metal band Danzig, is ready to bang heads with his former distributor in court. On February 27, the self-proclaimed "Evil Elvis" filed a lawsuit ...

Study determines food-truck regulations insensible

SDSU students measure foot traffic and decibel levels for facts

A group of students from San Diego State University, inspired by a social science course, gave a closer look at the newly proposed food-truck regulations set to go before the city council on March 3. ...

Improper payment for Barrio Logan maintenance district?

Resident says a lawsuit is on the way

In April of this year, residents of Barrio Logan will once again see an extra fee on their property-tax bill. The pot of cash will go toward Barrio Logan's Maintenance Assessment District, which was officially ...

County clerk has infused $147K into reelection campaign

Dronenberg loans “Friends of Ernest Dronenburg 2014” $50,000

San Diego county clerk Ernest Dronenburg is relying on one well-heeled financial supporter to fund his reelection campaign: himself. Disclosures filed with the county show Dronenburg loaned his campaign committee (“Friends of Ernest Dronenburg 2014”) ...

Rolando residents fight dorm-style project

District 9 councilmember Marti Emerald declines to comment

Details on the controversial Boulevard at 63rd development, formerly known as Centrepointe Luxury Apartments, are beginning to emerge as construction proceeds and as the lawsuit filed by residents opposed to the project makes its way ...

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