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Stories by Dorian Hargrove

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 ...

City attorney’s report on medical marijuana ordinance

Councilmembers' questions addressed

City councilmembers now have the legal advice they need to move ahead with a medical marijuana ordinance. Last week, the city attorney's office issued a report to council and the mayor answering in detail many ...

Food-truck regulations expected to rankle operators

New proposed rules most fair for who?

Interim mayor Todd Gloria has taken to the media to dispel some misconceptions swirling on the internet and in media reports on new food-truck regulations soon to be discussed, quite possibly adopted, at an upcoming ...

San Diego Christian College sued for firing pregnant woman

School says she was fired for having premarital sex, violating agreement

A former employee at San Diego Christian College claims administrators fired her after learning she had engaged in premarital sex with her then-fiancé, becoming pregnant out of wedlock, a violation of the school's contract with ...

Goldsmith and Code Enforcement dept. out for bud

No easing in litigation against pot dispensary and landlord

Two weeks before the San Diego City Council is set to discuss a new medical marijuana ordinance, the Code Enforcement department, under the direction of city attorney Jan Goldsmith, remains poised to shut down and ...

"Hispanic 100" backs Faulconer

Same Tea Party–backed group bashed Romney in 2012

A political action committee going by the name "Hispanic 100" has taken to the airwaves in an effort to attract voters to their cause. Only, the candidate they support isn't the one with Hispanic heritage. ...

Council to discuss new pot ordinance

To limit number, places, and quantities sold

Nearly three years after city councilmembers repealed San Diego's first medical marijuana ordinance instead of placing it on the ballot, a new ordinance has finally made its way back to the dais. The council will ...

San Diego food trucks to oppose proposed regulations

"Unfair to the consumer that the city is protecting [restaurants]."

Next week, February 12, a council committee is set to discuss new regulations governing food trucks in San Diego. The proposed regulations would essentially ban truck operators from pulling up in San Diego's busiest entertainment ...

County Office of Education loves to pay lawyers

Rodger Hartnett won’t stop fighting the San Diego County Office of Education.

Protect Our Jobs Coalition financially underwater

Spent $287,000 more than they collected to fight Barrio Logan plan

The Protect Our Jobs Coalition — the group spearheading the referendum aimed at overturning the Barrio Logan Community Plan — has spent $730,000 on the petition drive, legal fees, and consultants who were working to ...

City attorney considers conflict of interest

Unwise to have hoteliers on convention center board, says memo.

Turns out, it probably isn't the best idea to appoint a hotelier to San Diego's Convention Center board of directors. Considering that many hotels depend on revenue from large conventions but also due to the ...

City sued by bicyclist who spent ten days in hospital

Uneven sidewalk led to serious injuries on Carmel Valley Road

Regardless of how difficult court victories might be for those suing the city for dangerous sidewalk conditions, as long as conditions on city streets and sidewalks remain subpar, the lawsuits will continue. In the latest ...

City attorney sued regarding private emails

Lawyer Cory Briggs accuses Goldsmith of violating Public Records Act

The battle with San Diego city attorney Jan Goldsmith over public records requests is heating up. Yesterday, Cory Briggs, attorney for watchdog group San Diegans for Open Government, filed a lawsuit against the city and ...

Allred and Filner lawyers agree to 30-day delay

Time made for settlement talks in McCormack Jackson case

Attorneys for the city who are representing former mayor Bob Filner have made an agreement with Gloria Allred to delay the discovery phase of the lawsuit against Filner to give time for settlement talks, says ...

New allegations against San Diego county clerk

LGBT leaders oppose Dronenburg due to his gay-marriage stance

County clerk Ernest Dronenburg remains a target for those who wish to unseat him for petitioning the state supreme court to reconsider their decision to overturn the same-sex marriage ban, also known as Prop 8. ...

Ex–pension-board members to rake in $5.4 million?

Appellate court says city is required to pay criminal defense costs

The court case over whether the city should pay the legal costs for six former pension-board members is now one step closer to being a done deal. The most recent appeal filed by the city ...

Pot political action committee forms

Will access to politicians thwart federal crackdowns?

In this age of political action committees, it's hard to fathom that there wasn't already a committee dedicated to fight for medical marijuana initiatives and boost pro-pot politicians. Well, now there is. On January 6, ...

Councilmember Lightner mum on One Paseo development

Neighbors say public safety will be impacted by massive development

Up until now, the battle over One Paseo, the 1.4-million-square-foot mixed-use development proposal, has been fought in Carmel Valley. Residents there claim cramming the super-sized project on 23 acres of land will clog nearby streets ...

Off the record: city attorney and U-T reporters

Did Jan Goldsmith use personal email for communications?

Reporters for the UT San Diego have a friend in city attorney Jan Goldsmith. Whether it was the flap over the Tourism Marketing District, the project-labor agreement for the convention center, the pension deficit, Goldsmith’s ...

Otay rec center contractor sues city

Breach of contract, withheld payments, claims Speedway Construction

A contractor hired to revamp Otay Mesa's Silver Wing Recreation Center is suing the City of San Diego, saying staffers targeted the small minority-owned business and demanded additional work for no pay and impeded progress ...

E-cigs face enormous obstacles

San Diego vaporizer salesmen see the devices as instrumental in weaning smokers from tobacco smoke. They refute the notion that “vaping” is attracting children. Legislators seem to be lumping the practice in with tobacco smoking and all its accompanying prohibitions.

SANDAG's Uptown bikeway plan not widely accepted

Agency seeks to hold up funding intended for pedestrian improvements

Some residents of Uptown fear that the San Diego Association of Governments is trying to grab money meant for pedestrian improvements in order to install a dedicated bikeway for cyclists to commute on Fourth and ...

San Diego hotel tax heads back to court

Opponents file appeal in hopes of overturning previous ruling

The question of whether it is legal to tax hotel guests for the purpose of expanding San Diego's convention center is far from over. On Tuesday, January 7, opponents of the 3 percent tourist tax ...

Pacific Beach residents fight Denny’s liquor license

“There are just too many licenses already packed into one area.”

Diners in Pacific Beach may soon be able to order a beer with their bacon and eggs — that is, if the state Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control board grants the Denny's restaurant on Mission ...

Chula Vista resident files class action lawsuit against Target for network breach

One San Diego resident has taken aim against big-box retailer Target and the retailer's recent admission that their credit card database had been compromised, revealing the credit card and pin numbers for nearly 40 million ...

Two donations $50k or more for pro-Faulconer committee

SD chamber of commerce and Associated General Contractors give big

The money-slinging has officially begun for the special mayoral election to be held on February 11. On December 29, the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Associated General Contractors of America wrote big ...

Cable companies fight undergrounding advisory committee

Legal counsel for Cox and Time Warner sent letters to city

Residents of Kensington and Talmadge say the city must take a greater role in regulating where the green utility boxes are placed during the massive effort to bury overhead utility lines. Cable companies disagree, claiming ...

Environmental Health Coalition files second lawsuit

City officials challenged over Barrio Logan referendum signatures

Now that the date for voters to decide on the Barrio Logan Community Plan update is set for June 2014, the legal fight will resume. Earlier this week, attorneys for the Environmental Health Coalition — ...

City attorney Goldsmith met with NASSCO shipbuilders

Before signatures were turned in for referendum to change Barrio Logan plan

One week before a coalition of shipbuilders submitted more than 53,000 signatures to initiate a referendum aimed at overturning the city council's update of the Barrio Logan Community Plan, city attorney Jan Goldsmith was at ...

Former dean sues University of San Diego

Details of secret recordings, nude photos in Edward Luck’s lawsuit

University of San Diego's Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies is more a crock than a well-run, properly managed school, says a new federal lawsuit filed by the school's former dean, Dr. Edward Luck. ...

Family of injured Grossmont High football player loses lawsuit

Appellate court judges dismissed the case

Are high schools liable for students injured during high-school sports? On December 16, the Fourth District Court of Appeal weighed in on that question by dismissing a lawsuit brought against the Grossmont Union High School ...

City named as second defendant in Filner lawsuit

Complaint says City failed to provide proper sexual harassment training

So much for keeping the city's legal expenses at $90,000 when defending sexual harassment allegations against former mayor Bob Filner. The city is instead forced to fight the level of sexual harassment training it provides ...

City employee fired for refusing to join union?

Or did he create a hostile work environment"?

A former employee of the city's Economic Development Department says his bosses fired him because he refused to join the Municipal Employees Association. Trevor Howell, a former Community Development Specialist, claims that his bosses Eliana ...

The City’s Code Monitoring Team: Foxes guard the henhouse

The City of San Diego’s Code Monitoring Team is comprised of 18 members responsible for finding holes in San Diego’s code and offering ideas on how to fill them. But over the years, the team has become policy-driven, concerned more with crafting ordinances than drafting fixes to the current code.

Lawsuit over wheelchair access at Torrey Pines Gliderport

"Caused Plaintiffs difficulty, anger, frustration and embarrassment"

It's a bumpy ride for disabled persons hoping to catch a glimpse of the hang gliders and paragliders at the Torrey Pines Gliderport — at least that's the claim made by two men in a ...

City to pay illegally detained San Diego couple $450K

Officer mistakenly ID'ed car as stolen — punched in wrong tag number

A San Diego couple falsely detained, pepper-sprayed, and stung with a taser gun will receive $450,000 in exchange for dropping their case against the city and police officers who errantly flagged their Pontiac Sunfire as ...

SeaWorld's Cheap Trick booking dries up

Captive killer whale issue following popularity of Blackfish likely the reason

Cheap Trick is the latest band to back out of a booking at SeaWorld Orlando over the theme park's treatment of orcas, as shown in the recent documentary Blackfish. Rick Nielsen, Robin Zander, and the ...

City attorney loses two more First Amendment battles

Overturned conviction; also, $60K settlement likely in Ray Lutz case

The First Amendment is alive and well in San Diego, however, not without the help of attorneys and the courts. On Tuesday, December 10, the city council is expected to approve a $60,000 payout to ...

Liquor-store owners sue the City of El Cajon

New alcohol-sales regulations are claimed to favor big-box retailers

The City of El Cajon will have to defend in federal court a newly adopted ordinance that places tougher regulations on liquor stores. Two liquor-store owners who own and operate three stores in El Cajon ...

City to pay in full for illegal maintenance assessment districts

Litigation expenses of Golden Hill and South Park residents to be recouped

For many residents of Golden Hill and South Park, the fight to dissolve their maintenance assessment district was long, hard, and expensive. In 2011, more than four years after filing a complaint against the city, ...

Infighting among East County Chaldean community

Businessman Mark Paul Arabo accused of unfairly wielding his influence

Members of San Diego County's large Chaldean community are clashing with one another in hopes of gaining power, and naming rights, to a Chaldean business community. On November 27, a group of Iraqi Christians known ...

Libertarian Mark Schwartz joins District 2 council race

Going against Lorie Zapf, he'll be needing plenty of campaign cash

There's a new city-council candidate in town. On November 29, former long-shot mayoral hopeful and self-proclaimed Libertarian Mark Schwartz filed papers to join the race to replace termed-out District 2 councilmember and mayoral candidate Kevin ...

Televangelist Morris Cerullo's latest legal fray

TV network claims the preacher never paid balance on previous contract

Television evangelist Morris Cerullo is appealing to a higher power — the courts, to force Michigan-based religious broadcasting television network World Religious Relief, Inc., to resurrect airing Cerullo's faith-based programming. Cerullo, a longtime San Diego-based ...

San Diego Puppy sues slew of entities over pet-store ban

Store owner disagrees with ordinance preventing commercial pet sales

In a federal complaint, the owner of San Diego Puppy has attacked a citywide ban on the sale of dogs, cats, and rabbits at pet stores. David and Veronica Salinas, the owners of the pet ...

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