Austin Mackin 11 a.m., March 7
Portantino's Criminal Lawyer Talks of DA Investigation, Discussion over Charges
San Diego lawyer Marc Carlos, who represented the late Michael Portantino in the district attorney's investigation of Portantino's Gay & Lesbian Times, says that discussions of how Portantino would be charged were ongoing with the DA's office. Carlos was talking regularly with a deputy district attorney. "There was never any discussion that [Portantino] would not be charged," says Carlos. "We were discussing potential charges that we could negotiate. I wanted misdemeanor charges." Says Carlos, "The investigation involved allegations of inflating circulation to advertisers." Carlos informed Portantino of his discussions with the deputy DA, and told him that it was unlikely that the owner of Gay & Lesbian Times would actually go to prison. But the DA investigator had interviewed advertisers who began dropping out of the publication, worsening Portantino's financial situation. "He [Portantino] was distraught over the whole thing -- people impugning his integrity. That is what pushed him over the edge." This week, Portantino took his own life.
As I have said several times on this blog, there should be an investigation of the DA's investigation of Mike Portantino. There should also be an investigation of cases that DA Bonnie Dumanis has refused to prosecute.