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Stories by Dorian Hargrove

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 ...

Bicyclist vs. city's pothole

Devastating injury could have been prevented, says lawsuit

March 21, 2015, was a perfect day for a bike ride in La Jolla…until cyclist Jonathan Sammartino struck a two-and-a-half-foot by four-foot pothole on Torrey Pines Road and was thrown from his bike head-first onto ...

War rages on against apartment project

City poised to rely on irrelevant environmental study

The proposed College Avenue Apartments is essentially a dormitory in an apartment building’s clothing, says a group of residents in a newly filed lawsuit against the City of San Diego, San Diego State University Foundation, ...

Truax House repair costs a wild guess?

Inspector who arrived at the $1.47 million didn't step inside the house

At first listen, the $1.47 million in repairs needed to restore the potentially historic Truax House in Bankers Hill sounded like a good reason why the city should sell the property. After all, the estimated ...

A matter bigger than the city attorney

League of California Cities denied right to keep emails private

A request from the League of California Cities to distance itself from San Diego city attorney Jan Goldsmith's use of private email backfired on February 3 when the California Supreme Court rejected retrying the case ...

Babewatch is over, SD

Female lifeguard sues city for discrimination

A female lifeguard is suing the City of San Diego for gender discrimination — the fifth such lawsuit filed by female lifeguards over the past ten years. The suit, filed on February 9 by lifeguard ...

Window dressing on Truax House...meh

Critic unimpressed with Councilman Gloria's decision on historic house

Despite numerous objections from Uptown residents, open-space advocates, and historic preservationists, a city-council committee on February 10 supported a proposal to sell two properties abutting Maple Canyon in Bankers Hill. One of the houses, built ...

Hillcrest hashes high-rise housing heights

Does this make uptown homes more affordable? Or less?

A group of property owners in Hillcrest want the freedom to build higher residential and commercial buildings. And if that freedom isn’t granted, members of the newly formed Uptown Gateway Council warn, local housing prices ...

Wrecking ball to swing past Truax House?

Airtight protections for historic residence/hospice sought

During a February 10 meeting, San Diego city councilmembers on the Smart Growth and Land Use Committee will hear a proposal to sell two city-owned properties in Bankers Hill, one of which housed a former ...

Cheese mistaken for meth

Lawsuit charges border patrol agents used faulty drug test

A woman is suing three U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents and a drug-test kit-manufacturer after enforcement officials falsely identified a food enzyme she was carrying in her car used for making cheese as methamphetamine ...

Can we read it now?

Councilman Alvarez pushes for open government

The San Diego City Council is expected this month to consider an ordinance that would make public record of emails and text messages sent from elected officials’ and non-union employees’ private electronic devices as long ...

Hoteliers, brace for your backlash

San Diegans for Open Government passes “microscopic” test

San Diegans for Open Government's lawsuit challenging San Diego's hotel tax will now go to the second phase of the trial after what has been more than a year's worth of court hearings, depositions, and ...

As Irving spins in his grave...

Case involving historic Gill house in La Jolla has city on the ropes

Score one for proponents of property rights and at the same time mark a loss in the columns of historical preservation and the City of San Diego. On Wednesday, January 27, a California appellate court ...

The long-desired transnational railroad

Latest incarnation as bizarre as its predecessors

Pacific Imperial Railroad has yet to roll out of the tunnel.

"Eat him Up" the officer allegedly said to his dog

Homeless man says he was treated like a "runaway slave"

A San Diego police officer is accused of commanding his police dog to "eat up" a defenseless man like a "runaway slave," according to a lawsuit filed in federal court on January 22. In his ...

SDPD under the influence of power?

Officer Laura Smith hit with second lawsuit within three-year period

A San Diego police officer has been slapped with a second lawsuit in the span of three years for using excessive force. On January 13, 2016, Whitney Mathis filed a lawsuit against the City of ...

Cross-complaint filed over deadly crosswalk accident

City says homeowners' association failed to maintain adjacent property

The father of a seven-month-old girl who died after being struck by a vehicle in March 2015 while crossing a busy street in Point Loma was careless and negligent, reads a newly filed court document ...

Phew. No fees for SOHO

Judge says preservation group not required to pay opponent's legal fees in Balboa Park case

The lawsuit challenging Balboa Park's Plaza de Panama renovation project is officially over, with a judge issuing his ruling that Save Our Heritage Organisation, the group that challenged the legality of the proposal, was not ...

Lawsuit filed over paramilitary training facility in Alpine

Shoot first. Ask later

As promised, environmental attorney Marco Gonzalez has filed a lawsuit against the County of San Diego for granting a permit to a 160-acre firearms training facility called Covert Canyon tucked away in the mountains of ...

Historical or perfect for a park?

Options abound for old houses at access point to Maple Canyon

Stephen Hill, policy advisor for councilmember Todd Gloria, says city staff has determined that due to uneven terrain, dilapidated houses, and absent a clear path to Maple Canyon, the city-owned property in Bankers Hill should ...

Frye comes in for the kill

Ex-councilwoman introduces ballot measure aimed at elected knuckleheads

In January 2014, former city councilmember Donna Frye, now president of open-government group Californians Aware, and the group's lead attorney, Terry Francke, urged San Diego city councilmembers to place an initiative on the 2014 ballot ...

He said, San Diego Unified said

Elementary school sexual assault investigations not so elementary

Attorneys for San Diego Unified School District reject claims made by former investigator Michael Gurrieri that he was terminated after finding the district was trying to hide sexual assaults on a local elementary school campus. ...

What about Mission Bay's toxins, SeaWorld?

Lawsuit claims orca-pool expansion will stir up decades-old dump

The land SeaWorld sits on is a toxic wasteland and the City of San Diego or the California Coastal Commission is ignoring this, says a January 4 lawsuit from a group calling itself Save Everyone's ...

Contract killers

Did the City of San Diego kill Epic Pest Control?

Eleanor and Claude Thedford, owners of Epic Pest Control and Landscape Services, believe employees in San Diego’s Purchasing and Contracting Department are trying to shut down their business. The reason for the vendetta, says Eleanor ...

Time's up. No sexual harassment claim possible.

Alleged Filner victim contends with city's claim of missed deadline

On December 29, appellate court judges overturned a San Diego County Superior Court judge ruling that allowed a late claim to be filed by a woman who was allegedly groped by former mayor Bob Filner ...

No new Mission Beach lifeguard station

Construction stopped following judge's ruling

On December 24, superior-court judge Katherine Bacal ruled that the City of San Diego violated the city's own site development permit while going about the construction of a state-of-the-art lifeguard tower in South Mission Beach. ...

Hoteliers versus the "creature"

San Diegans for Open Government again cast as profit vehicle for attorney Briggs

As of November, as reported by the Reader, boardmembers for the San Diego Tourism Marketing District have spent more than $2.1 million on outside attorneys trying to get a lawsuit dismissed. Attorney Cory Briggs for ...

Councilman Kersey quiet

District 5 representative won't address cell towers in parks issue

If all goes as planned, a cell-phone tower, disguised as a eucalyptus tree, and a 20-foot-by-9-foot concrete enclosure will be placed less than 10 feet from a sidewalk and approximately 300 feet from the nearest ...

Prisoners' mail privileges restored

County to resume policy of allowing more than postcards and emails

Inmates in San Diego County jails will soon be allowed to receive letters, books, and magazines, according to a settlement reached on November 18. The county will be required to return to the former policy ...

Palomar Card Club's string of bad luck

Sexual and racial discrimination lawsuit follows raid by feds

On December 9, the Palomar Card Club was named as one of many illegal gambling operations that had laundered a total of approximately $10 million in proceeds. Two days later, on December 11, the club ...

More Filner business to settle

Complaints allegedly fell on communications director's deaf ears

Tomorrow, December 15, attorneys for the City of San Diego will update councilmembers and the mayor on one of four unresolved legal cases stemming from former mayor Bob Filner's sexual harassment scandal. The case to ...

Storm drain didn't do its job

City deals with flooding cases that will likely lead to $1 million payout

On Tuesday, December 15, the San Diego City Council is expected to finalize payment of $1 million to two property owners in San Diego's San Carlos neighborhood for flood damage resulting from a backed-up storm ...

Angel's no angel

Baggy shorts, tats, he ran, unarmed, now dead.

“The inequity here is that a civilian goes to jail and is presumed guilty, whereas an officer is given a leave with pay.”

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