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Diann Shipione, the former member of the City pension board who exposed the frailty of San Diego finances and the dishonesty of pension information provided by the government, has been admitted to the Harvard Kennedy School Masters Program in Public Administration. She starts July 21 and graduates in 2010. In 2002, she warned city council that a sharp increase in pension benefits combined with a decrease in pension funding would drive the City off the financial cliff. She was ignored -- and ridiculed. In 2003, she challenged the veracity of a $500 million sewer bond offering. The City ultimately canceled the offering and was forced to confess in 2004 that prospectus information had been misleading, and the City was in deep fiscal trouble because of the problems she had pointed out. But the smears continued; there was even a plot to put her under citizens' arrest. There were several investigations of the egregious irregularities. Studies by Kroll Inc., the city attorney, and the Securities and Exchange Commission showed that Shipione was right. Her husband, attorney Pat Shea, will accompany her to Cambridge, although he will return to San Diego once a month for meetings and the like. Shea got both an MBA and law degree from Harvard in 1975. He ran for mayor in 2005, stating that the City should go into bankruptcy. That view may ultimately prevail, too.

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Comments

Visduh June 20, 2009 @ 9:37 a.m.

One can only wonder what Shipione plans to do with the masters degree. She's no kid, and her career prospects are, one can only assume, zilch in San Diego. Only if there is a real revolt by San Diego voters (a remote possibility I fear) could she expect to have any role in municipal affairs. But we should all with her well "in her future endeavors", as is often said.

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JustWondering June 20, 2009 @ 11:59 a.m.

Well with Marty Emerald's complete total failure already, I'd think she do well in going for council seat...

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Don Bauder June 20, 2009 @ 2:46 p.m.

Response to post #1: Shipione is extremely bright. She may want to have a master's in public administration simply to expand her knowledge. But I fervently hope that she does play a role again in San Diego. She is desperately needed. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder June 20, 2009 @ 2:47 p.m.

Response to post #2: I never even noticed the slip. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder June 20, 2009 @ 2:51 p.m.

Response to post #3: When Diann and Pat return, they will still be in La Jolla, I presume. It is now well represented, after having one of the worst councilmembers in history, Scott Peters -- one of those who tried to undermine Diann. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 June 20, 2009 @ 6:15 p.m.

Shipione is extremely bright. She may want to have a master's in public administration simply to expand her knowledge.

A Professional degree from Harvard just to expand your knowledge is not a smart choice unless you're independantly wealthy- because of costs.

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SurfPuppy619 June 20, 2009 @ 6:17 p.m.

Well with Marty Emerald's complete total failure already, I'd think she do well in going for council seat...

By JustWondering

Why don't you give Marti (with an I) at least a year before you start throwing stones at her.

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Don Bauder June 20, 2009 @ 8:21 p.m.

Response to post #7: Diann Shipione and Pat Shea are not paupers. But I hope that Shipione wants to be active in San Diego once again. Without her, it would have been years before the public realized the muck the City was wallowing in. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder June 20, 2009 @ 8:22 p.m.

Response to post #8: I agree. Give Marti time. Best, Don Bauder

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JustWondering June 21, 2009 @ 9:09 a.m.

So you're both saying if you hired someone to clean your house and they did nothing other than take your money you'd be okay with it.

So far Emerald hasn't done anything except suggest, propose and get approved a new method for dipping into the taxpayer's pocket. By going into the City reserves to maintain funding for her office she proven she no house cleaner.

I will grant you and Johnny one thing for certain, she a quick study. She quickly found the money to support herself and staff while the rest of the city suffers. If this is what you two support, this more of the same, then both of you are hypocrites.

Emerald was suppose to be about making changes as an outsider. But withing a few months we've already discovered she's doing for herself first and we're getting the same old San Diego dirty self-serving politics.

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Don Bauder June 21, 2009 @ 12:13 p.m.

Response to post #11: I still want to give her the benefit of the doubt. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 June 21, 2009 @ 1:26 p.m.

So you're both saying if you hired someone to clean your house and they did nothing other than take your money you'd be okay with it.

JW, that is the most ridiculous statement you have ever made.

She has been on the job a couple of months and you're already throwing hate bombs at her.

Relax and give her some time.

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Don Bauder June 21, 2009 @ 3:13 p.m.

Response to post #13: For a politician, being a target of invective goes with the territory. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 June 21, 2009 @ 3:27 p.m.

For a politician, being a target of invective goes with the territory.

Very true Don, but everyone deserves to be given a chance.

When someone has been in office only a matter of weeks and has had no real chance to prove themselves then anyone who starts in bashing them is in the wrong-it's that simple.

Marti is far more aligned with JW's political views than I am (which is makes the bashing even more bizarre), but I have faith in Marti and I will give her at LEAST 1 year before I start throwing hate bombs her way.

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JF June 21, 2009 @ 5 p.m.

Gee Don, didn't you say a few months ago that there was a study showing that Harvard MBA's reduced the value of the businesses that employed them? Maybe the city is better off without her...

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Don Bauder June 21, 2009 @ 6:35 p.m.

Response to post #15: If you give someone in the House of Representatives a year before you start throwing hate bombs, you have let them off the hook for half of their term. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder June 21, 2009 @ 6:37 p.m.

Response to post #16: She is not getting an MBA at Harvard. She is getting a master's in public administration from the Kennedy School. Best, Don Bauder

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JustWondering June 22, 2009 @ 6:28 a.m.

Johnny, I not the only one throwing bombs...

http://www3.signonsandiego.com/stories/2009/jun/22/1m22calendar215858-emeralds-calendar-not-yet-open-/?uniontrib

It seems we have the beginnings of the tried and true politician behavior...

I suspect I am tired and disappointed in finding the old promises made, promised broken and she's been in office for six months. Like I said before, she's either a quick study or it's monkey see monkey do, I not sure which.

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JustWondering June 22, 2009 @ 6:52 a.m.

Don Both you and Johnny have been in consistent in your messages and have remained on point until now. What's changed? Both of you are being more lenient on Ms. Emerald, what gives?

Over the past 25 years these are the reasons we in the mess we find ourselves in today, that is, few if any, would point out promises made and then broken with falsehoods or different interpretations.

Ms. Emerald was hired by her district to clean house. However, only a few months after her election were getting excuses not action. Worse, she is finding ways completely contrary to promises made, to spend money on herself and her staff, rather than fixing any of the existing problems.

Johnny says, give her some time. The underlying message to that statement is an admission, he agrees nothing is getting done, but she needs more time. Well John, how much time is reasonable in your mind? A year maybe two? If it's two then we run into the issue Don raises about half the term wasted.

BTW John, there's no hate here, it's simply time to hold them accountable immediately, there is no reason to let this go on for a year or two.

ALL of the council candidates know the City's problems! It's not like they walked into the office and someone said SURPRISE. No my friend, I'm just sick and tired of hearing the lies, only to find out after we've been suckered into thinking he or she will be different, only to find out it's another person out for themselves first.

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SurfPuppy619 June 22, 2009 @ 7:47 a.m.

Johnny says, give her some time. The underlying message to that statement is an admission, he agrees nothing is getting done, but she needs more time.

That is NOT an "admission" of any kind whatsoever.

It's like starting a marathon race and after the first 5 miles JW says "look, the person has not finished so they must not be very good at marathon races". I say give them time to finish.

I don't know when she was sworn into office-has it been 6 full months?? Maybe, maybe not, but I know 6 months is not enough time to make a valid and reliable statement as to the job she is doing.

Im not saying she is going to be the saviour-just let me see her in office for a fulll year so I can make an informed comment about her work product. . . . "Emerald said her online calendar is still a “work in progress” and acknowledged more should be disclosed."

Like I said, she is working a new job and she needs to be given a fair shot at it.

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JustWondering June 22, 2009 @ 8:58 a.m.

It's been more than six months already...

http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/metro/20081209-9999-1m9inaug.html

So Johnny what your take on the her office budget and dipping into city reserves to fund it and others? Please tell me how it going to help!

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SurfPuppy619 June 22, 2009 @ 10:46 a.m.

6 months and a few days.

I think Marti should have taken the budget cut to lead by example.

But that is just one factor, of many, that will determine her overall performance.

The link to the article on the calanders shows just her and DeMaio as opening their books for public scrutiny-so I think she is off to a decent start- in my book-for now.

I will wait for a year and see how it works out .

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JustWondering June 22, 2009 @ 11:32 a.m.

Remember John it's a slippery slope. You're right, we the taxpayer do expect our leaders to err ah LEAD. Her example in this instance is exactly the opposite...that slope sure is slippery... wonder how far she'll slide before regaining her grip?

So you think a year is sufficient, we should call it on-the-job training period... well let's hope you're more correct than some of your past predictions in this case.

Let's remember her words and hold her accountable in Dec 2009." Marti said;

“The public has lost faith in our city. I will work hard to restore integrity, honesty and openness to city government.

----nothing much so far...so let's give her six more months to learn the ropes. Never mind she's been dealing with government for the last 20 years as a news reporter.

No more sweetheart deals for lobbyists and campaign contributors.

....well looking at some of her votes...one begins to wonder if she's fallen into the morass already??

"No more secret meetings. My calendar will be public – who I meet with and what we discuss."

...well her calendar is PUBLIC .... it just doesn't really say anything. Isn't this what tried and true politicians do?

"Make the calendars of all top city officials public."

...Not much going on with this effort... Just how long should this one take, Johnny?

"Enact 'Clean Contracting' legislation to restrict government contracts for major campaign contributors.”

....has anyone ever accomplished this? Careful there is double speak here too... let's see if she does anything with this at all.

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Don Bauder June 22, 2009 @ 12:21 p.m.

Response to post #19: She is a quick study -- that is, bright lady. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder June 22, 2009 @ 12:26 p.m.

Response to post #20: I do know Marti Emerald personally and like her, but we are not close friends; we haven't spoken for more than six years. When she was at Channel 10 and I was at the U-T, we both worked on scams, and several times were on panels together. But I don't think that has colored my opinion. I just believe she should be given more time. As to SurfPuppy, I don't know if he knows her personally or not. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder June 22, 2009 @ 12:30 p.m.

Response to post #21: Again, agreed. Give her a fair shot. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder June 22, 2009 @ 12:32 p.m.

Response to post #22: You're up, SurfPuppy. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder June 22, 2009 @ 12:33 p.m.

Response to post #23: Your turn, JW. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder June 22, 2009 @ 12:36 p.m.

Response to post #24: Maybe there should be a big study of the votes of all the councilmembers the last six months. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 June 22, 2009 @ 4:41 p.m.

As to SurfPuppy, I don't know if he knows her personally or not. Best, Don Bauder

By dbauder

I've ALWAYS liked Marti fromher days as the troubleshooter", she was the scam buster.

I have only met/spoken to Marti one time, it was when Duke Cunningham was in the begining stages of his fraud scheme coming apart, and on this particular day Duke had held a news conference at around 4PM at Cal State San Marcos (???) stating he was NOT going to seek re election.

Marti and her crew were up the Powerhouse Park in Del Mar (the park/bluffs just south of Jakes and the Poseidon Restaurants) looking to get some comments from the citizens. So after hitting up 4 or 5 tourists that had no idea who Duke was Marti asked me if I wanted to comment-I told Marti I was a BIG fan and I was interviewed.

Now the funny part-when Marti asked me what I thought I told her Duke not running for re election is the LEAST of Duke's problems. I then said Duke better hope he does not get sent to the BigHouse.

Now fastforward to today. Here we are 4, 5 years down the road and Duke is in the BigHouse.

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Visduh June 22, 2009 @ 7:46 p.m.

Gosh it's so interesting to see how a short blog piece about Diann Shipione going for a masters degree can turn into a huge debate about . . . Marti Emerald. No mention of Marti in Don's blog, but she soon surfaces, and then there are two dozen replies.

Gee guys, can we stay on subject?

By the way, as as I type this, I learn that SDPD policeman Frank White was acquitted in Vista today of the charges that he misused his firearm in shooting into a car that held an 8-year old kid, whom he wounded. Let me see, what's the connection between that and Shipione? I'm stumped. But give me a few minutes and I'll find one. Be right back.

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Visduh June 22, 2009 @ 7:59 p.m.

I've got it! Shipione's whistleblowing was putting 29-year old Officer White's retirement into jeopardy. He was agonizing over that when the crazy woman started harassing him in the parking lot, and screamed at him. So, he had every reason to use lethal force on her and her car and her 8-year old son. If it hadn't been for Shipione, that would never have happened.

I KNEW I could find the connection!

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SurfPuppy619 June 22, 2009 @ 9:08 p.m.

I've got it! Shipione's whistleblowing was putting 29-year old Officer White's retirement into jeopardy. He was agonizing over that when the crazy woman started harassing him in the parking lot, and screamed at him. So, he had every reason to use lethal force on her and her car and her 8-year old son. If it hadn't been for Shipione, that would never have happened.

I KNEW I could find the connection!

LOL....Frank White is thanking his lucky stars tonight.

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Don Bauder June 22, 2009 @ 10:33 p.m.

Response to post #31: He is in the Big House and apparently spent some time with some ladies of the evening who would otherwise have been employed in a different kind of House. Best, Don bauder

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Don Bauder June 22, 2009 @ 10:35 p.m.

Response to post #32: Some blogs have a policeman to make sure that every post is on the original topic. That is not true of this blog. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder June 22, 2009 @ 10:38 p.m.

Response to post #33: There is a word for this: discursive. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder June 22, 2009 @ 10:39 p.m.

Response to post #34: I am so out of it that the name Frank White means nothing to me. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 June 23, 2009 @ 7:43 a.m.

I am so out of it that the name Frank White means nothing to me

=========================

Frank was another one of our GED educated cops "serving" our great City-with a Smith and Wesson lightweight .38 snub nose revolver, (Frank reminds me of a guy names Aaron "John Wayne" Mansker).

Frank "The Sheriff" White;

http://www3.signonsandiego.com/stories/2009/jun/22/bn22white-not-guilty/?northcounty

Aaron "John Wayne" Mansker;

http://www.qando.net/details.aspx?Entry=4565

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Don Bauder June 23, 2009 @ 9:53 a.m.

Response to post #39: Seems to me that I read today (June 23) that he was exonerated. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 June 23, 2009 @ 1:09 p.m.

Seems to me that I read today (June 23) that he was exonerated.

He was aquitted in a criminal trial, not really exonerated. Not guilty is not the same as innocent.

Let's see if civil liability attaches for blasting an 8 year old child with a deadly weapon.

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Don Bauder June 23, 2009 @ 3:39 p.m.

Response to post #41: Yes, I went back and checked. He is the guy who got off yesterday. Best, Don Bauder

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JustWondering June 23, 2009 @ 7:35 p.m.

Jeez Johnny.... Is innocent a finding a jury may reach in a criminal trial?

The guy was found not guilty by a jury of his peers. The prosecution has not proved the defendant guilty of crime.

Because, my friend, a person accused of and prosecuted for the commission of a crime is presumed innocent until proved guilty. You know a basic premise held dearly in our nation and rooted as an unwritten tenant of English Common Law.

Since the prosecution failed to prove White guilty he is, in the eyes of the law an innocent man.

But you knew that being a lawyer and all that...

What was the name of that law school you attended? You did graduate, didn't you?

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SurfPuppy619 June 23, 2009 @ 8:30 p.m.

Jeez Johnny.... Is innocent a finding a jury may reach in a criminal trial?

LOL ... yes, I was being very sarcastic, because when a deputy district attorney loses a case they always make the claim that the person was not found "innocent".

The fact is if you lose a (major) case like this one you should have never gone to trial. You don't go to trial unless there is a 95% or better chance of winning. I think Frank W was in the wrong and could have been convicted under these circumstances, but Silva's background torpedoed the entire case.

The City will do an out of court settlement with the kid for minimum 6 figures (IMO) and I think that will prove up there was merit to White engaging in misconduct.

I have a simple rule, don't carry a gun and you won't end up shooting people over non life threatening situations. With the power to take a persons life with a weapon comes great responsibility-I think Frank W lacks that responsibility.

The strange thing about this guy is he went on a voluntary leave of absence from PD, from 11/08 until this week. He didn't have to do that, and now he cannot get back pay for the weeks he was on voluntary leave.

Do you know if the SDPOA paid his legal costs????

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Don Bauder June 23, 2009 @ 9:48 p.m.

Response to post #43: SurfPuppy was using the legal terminology, and it is "not guilty," at least according to prosecutors. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder June 23, 2009 @ 9:53 p.m.

Response to post #44: Since I normally don't follow shootings, I apparently missed out on one that generated a lot of controversy. Best, Don Bauder

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SomeoneElse June 24, 2009 @ 6:33 a.m.

http://www.thetruthaboutfrank.com/

Most POAs have part of their dues available for their members to use for any type of off-duty case like this. Obviously from that site, he's taking donations too.

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JustWondering June 24, 2009 @ 6:35 a.m.

Yes, I agree the City will probably settle any civil litigation. They will claim it's business decision, and, knowing juries are capable of awarding some outrageous amounts of money, (since they see as not theirs) it makes the best business sense. But it would worth the price of adminssion to see the whole civil trial and then find out how the jury apportions responsiblity to the adults.

And you're also correct, if this case had been evaluated properly and not politically it would have never gone to trial, which is a very sad commentary on our D.A.

Finally I have no idea who is paying for his attorney fees... I have nothing to do with SDPOA so I have no insider knowledge.

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Don Bauder June 24, 2009 @ 7:33 a.m.

Response to post #47: The costs of such a case can eat up someone who is vindicated. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder June 24, 2009 @ 7:38 a.m.

Response to post #48: The civil end of that case will be an interesting one. Lawyers on both side have to make some big decisions. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 June 24, 2009 @ 8 a.m.

Most POAs have part of their dues available for their members to use for any type of off-duty case like this. Obviously from that site, he's taking donations too.

By SomeoneElse

True-but the POA does not always pay-in cases like this where the guy is on unpaid leave would be an example where they may hold back.

White can certainly sue the City for a malicious prosecution should he be personally liable for legal fees and costs. He can do that even without being personally liable.

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SurfPuppy619 June 24, 2009 @ 8:03 a.m.

The civil end of that case will be an interesting one. Lawyers on both side have to make some big decisions. Best, Don Bauder

By dbauder

Minimum 6 figures and my guess is they will try to keep the amount conmfidential-which they won't be able to do because the settlement will come from public funds.

It will settle out of court though.

If White had been found guilty then who knows what the settlement would have been, winning in criminal court certainly gave him a much better hand to play.

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Don Bauder June 24, 2009 @ 8:48 a.m.

Response to post #51: That's just what's needed: more lawsuits against the City. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder June 24, 2009 @ 8:49 a.m.

Response to post #52: I don't think anyone would disagree with the notion that he has a better hand now that he has won the criminal suit. Best, Don Bauder

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JakeSD June 24, 2009 @ 9:26 a.m.

I'm disappointed that both Demaio and Emerald confirmed Waring for Housing Commission. I expected most of the other hacks (Gloria, Hueso, etc.) to approve him. Emerald's lack of public calendar is also annoying, come on its not rocket science to get it organized and online. And if she is that disorganized (which I dont believe) we are in trouble.

Its becoming more clear that its all about fundraising and that those with the most cash who can get their name out will get votes merely on name recognition (as long as its not associated with a scandal). The voters are swayed by union money/ads/flyers as well as the special interest (read: developers) money/ads/flyers.

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SurfPuppy619 June 24, 2009 @ 11:35 a.m.

I'm disappointed that both Demaio and Emerald confirmed Waring for Housing Commission.

An awful choice and I too am very disappointed they let that Alan Bersin wannabe back into a high paying gov job.

Waring has a law degree, let him go out and make money on his own ... oh wait...he never made it as a lawyer, my bad.

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Don Bauder June 24, 2009 @ 1:58 p.m.

Response to post #55: Politicians spend much of their time raising money for their re-election race. The higher the pol ascends, the more time and money are involved. Say, a Congressional representative would have to devote more time than a state representative, etc. But even councilmembers have to spend a good deal of time raising money. Why do you think real estate developers run the city? Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder June 24, 2009 @ 2:01 p.m.

Response to post #56: What do you mean he never made it as a lawyer? He assisted the daughter of notorious gangster Moe Dalitz. He was involved with Dalitz trusts. That would be lucrative lawyering. Best, Don Bauder

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JustWondering June 24, 2009 @ 3:08 p.m.

Don Check out San Diego latest scam involving a family member of the "Ethics Commission's Executive Director... Will this ever end in San Diego or are we destined to corruption at one level or the next forever?

http://www.voiceofsandiego.org/articles/2009/06/24/this_just_in/082surfcamps062409.txt

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Don Bauder June 24, 2009 @ 3:28 p.m.

Response to post #59: Every city is destined to enduring corruption. But proportionally, San Diego will get more of it. Best, Don Bauder

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JustWondering June 24, 2009 @ 3:47 p.m.

But why is this so, I mean in San Diego. I'm I wrong or does there seem to be an unusually high amount of corruption? Especially with its so-called leaders... Why do San Diegan's find this acceptable at any level?

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JF June 24, 2009 @ 6:48 p.m.

JW, Go back and read "Under a Perfect Sun" by Mike Davis.

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JF June 24, 2009 @ 6:51 p.m.

Johnny, it would appear that you're equating settling in a civil case with being guilty. I suppose you've never heard that defendants often settle because it costs less than the defense and potential greater loss? The city settling with Rachael Silva is by no means an indication of White's guilt.

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SurfPuppy619 June 24, 2009 @ 10:09 p.m.

Johnny, it would appear that you're equating settling in a civil case with being guilty. I suppose you've never heard that defendants often settle because it costs less than the defense and potential greater loss?

And I guess you have never heard that by settling a bogus case because it is cheaper than fighting it is not a strategy most large entities practice or engage in-because once you settle with one person on a bogus case-there will be 1,000 other bogus cases right behind it because they think you're an easy mark. By spending 10 times what it would cost to settle you send a messege to all parties that you're not going to roll over-and then you don't get bogus cases filed against you. I was in a lawsuit with the gov a few years back where the gov agency spent $1,000 dollars fighting me for every $1 dollar I spent fighting them (my time/labor was free because I did the case myself-only costs were paper, copying and postage) .

It is very common for insurance companies to spend 10 times the amount to fight a bogus case than what they could settle for because of what I stated in the first paragraph.

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Don Bauder June 24, 2009 @ 10:52 p.m.

Response to post #61: More than in most cities, real estate developers are in charge of San Diego. That always leads to corruption. Land use is a major question for city councils everywhere. In San Diego, an inordinately high percentage of deliberations focus on land use questions. That's where much of the corruption comes from. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder June 24, 2009 @ 10:54 p.m.

Response to post #62: Yes, Davis's book is considered a primer on San Diego. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder June 24, 2009 @ 10:55 p.m.

Response to post #63: A settlement in a civil suit is often unrelated to the guilty or not guilty finding in the criminal suit. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder June 24, 2009 @ 10:58 p.m.

Response to post #64: But some defendants do roll over because of the cost. Plenty of companies rolled over for Bill Lerach, now a felon. Best, Don Bauder

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JustWondering June 25, 2009 @ 6:20 a.m.

Excellent example of gaming the system.

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Don Bauder June 25, 2009 @ 6:53 a.m.

Response to post #69: Lerach had a real racket going: he looked at stocks that had dropped, found some semi-plausible reason, charged the company with various transgressions, and collected when the company decided not to bother with going to court. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 June 25, 2009 @ 7:43 a.m.

Excellent example of gaming the system.

By JustWondering

I don't know if Lerach gamed the system (putting aside for the moment the built in lead plaintiff he had going-illegaly). He certainly was greedy though and benefited far more than the class action plaintiff's he represented.

But if you have ever seen a class action complaint filed by Milberg (or the successor law firms) you would see a first class, all the bases covered, you're not wiggling out of this, lawsuit. The Enron comnplaint was in excess of 500 pages-looked like a phone book.

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Don Bauder June 25, 2009 @ 10:02 a.m.

Response too post #71: Yes, Lerach's (Milberg Weiss's) complaints were very professional. And the man has a grasp of the fraud that is so wildly out of control in corporate America. But I do think he was shaking down clients. That was probably legal. His having a lead plaintiff in his back pocket was not legal, and that's why he is a felon. You have to wonder, though, about Milberg Weiss. About ten years ago I broke a helluva story: Milberg Weiss's San Diego office had sued a company that was a client of its New York office. Now, well-run law firms should have systems in place to sift out such conflicts. Milberg Weiss obviously did not -- at least in that case. Best, Don Bauder

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realnews June 26, 2009 @ 2:49 p.m.

Wow. 71 comments not a single word about Michael Jackson.

Thank you all.

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JustWondering June 26, 2009 @ 4:14 p.m.

That's nothing... Don's City Lights piece on SDCERS received more that 1,370 comments over a couple of months sans that name too.

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SurfPuppy619 June 26, 2009 @ 8:50 p.m.

Wow. 71 comments not a single word about Michael Jackson.

MJ got one of the baddest raps a person could get in life- falsely accused of child molestation after an abusive upbringing. That 2005 trial is what killed him-it broke him.

Forced to live his life in seclusion with hanger-oners. Abusive father. Mentally a broken person with no healthy role models in life.

RIP MJ.

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Don Bauder June 26, 2009 @ 9:56 p.m.

Response to post #73: Just about the only TV I watch (other than sports) is Bloomberg and CNBC. And even they were talking about Michael Jackson, as well as Fawcett and McMahon. You can't escape it. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder June 26, 2009 @ 9:57 p.m.

Response to post #74: Yeah, I will never forget that one. It happened while Michael Jackson was alive. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder June 26, 2009 @ 10:01 p.m.

Response to post #75: I heard that when he was very young, and already a successful singer, his family fed him female hormones so his voice would stay high. Might as well have castrated him. That's what they did to boy singers in baroque days. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 June 27, 2009 @ 7:45 a.m.

I heard that when he was very young, and already a successful singer, his family fed him female hormones so his voice would stay high.

Would not doubt any of that. His father was a child abuser. He never allowed those kids to have a childhood.

Sad all the way around.

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Don Bauder June 27, 2009 @ 10:43 p.m.

Response to post #79: Yes, sad. But is it worth the media obsessing over? Hell, no. Best, Don Baueer

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