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The City of San Diego has filed a protective order directing that the deposition of Mayor Jerry Sanders either not be taken or the scope of the deposition be limited. The case in question was filed by Scott Kessler, a former City employee whose job was riding herd on business improvement districts. Kessler cooperated with an FBI agent and a police detective in an investigation of Little Italy powerhouse Marco Li Mandri and ex-felon Paul (Joe) Mannino. The investigation found that the pair had committed fraud and various offenses running a business improvement district. Despite the detailed investigation, District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis did not prosecute. Kessler got fired. In his suit, Kessler mentions how the mayor's office was upset that Kessler cooperated. Kessler believes Sanders was instrumental in Kessler's firing. The entire story has been presented in two installments in the Reader.

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Comments

a2zresource June 1, 2010 @ 11:49 a.m.

It would be reasonable to limit a deposition of a "strong" mayor to those topics directly related to City management of business improvement districts (BIDs) and similar redevelopment agencies generally to establish ordinary patterns of conduct, formal and informal contacts and contracts with developers and other firms reached by BIDs to further City objectives, and any City representations made to voters, the media, and other interested members of the public regarding any BID or other redevelopment agency that might have anything to do with HUD Office of Inspector General investigations into block grant irregularities as mentioned in Kessler's initial lawsuit filing.

In other words, the only limit is that there ain't no stinking limits.

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Don Bauder June 1, 2010 @ 12:29 p.m.

Response to post #1: I hope that there won't be any limits. Let's get to the heart of this scandal. Let's get Jerry Sanders under oath. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 June 1, 2010 @ 1:33 p.m.

I agree with a2z, there is no discovery limit on anything relevant to the firing.

And the rules of discovery are to be applied LIBERALLY-the last thing an appeals court wants to do is send a case back over an issue like discovery-they hate doing that.

On a risk/benefit ratio-You never want to limit discovery, it is too much hassle to redo a case that was limting the discovery, as opposed to allowing too much discovery.

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Don Bauder June 1, 2010 @ 2:26 p.m.

Response to post #3: The hearing before Judge John S. Meyer is July 9 at 10:30 a.m. Best, Don Baudert

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SurfPuppy619 June 1, 2010 @ 4:42 p.m.

So the case is in state court.

I would never file a case against a gov agency in a state court unless there was simply no other way to into federal court. Too many bad expoeriences with dirty judges at in the state system.

Not that there are not bad judges in the federal system, but far fewer :)

Hopefully Kessler will get a fair shake.

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Burwell June 1, 2010 @ 8:14 p.m.

If the judge orders Sanders to answer questions, I predict the City will settle with Kessler in short order.

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David Dodd June 1, 2010 @ 8:28 p.m.

I have to wonder if the City hasn't already offered to settle with Kessler.

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Don Bauder June 1, 2010 @ 9:22 p.m.

Response to post #5: That has been my concern all along. However, Kessler's lawyer thinks the judge handling it will be very fair. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder June 1, 2010 @ 9:23 p.m.

Response to post #6: I think you are right on that point. Best, Don Bauder

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a2zresource June 1, 2010 @ 9:24 p.m.

July 9 @ 10:30... only another heart attack will keep me outta downtown's Justice Complex that day.

I can only hope for the sake of real journalists (not hobby types like me) that the pre-hearing filings are not sealed. Even if they don't contain "facts", the City's arguments RE mayoral protective order ought to be illuminating...

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Don Bauder June 1, 2010 @ 9:25 p.m.

Response to post #7: I'm quite sure the City has not agreed to settle. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder June 1, 2010 @ 9:27 p.m.

Response to post #10: If the City gets away with this, it will be one more example of corruption. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 June 1, 2010 @ 10:30 p.m.

July 9 @ 10:30... only another heart attack will keep me outta downtown's Justice Complex that day.

By a2zresource

Oh, if you go in person you have to give a full accounting to us!

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Don Bauder June 2, 2010 @ 6:33 a.m.

Response to post #13: I hope to get a full accounting, too. Best, Don Bauder

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SanDiegoParrothead June 2, 2010 @ 2:51 p.m.

"However, Kessler's lawyer thinks the judge handling it will be very fair."

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

Uh, is his lawyer from around here???

I haven't seen a fair judge yet, here in SD.

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Don Bauder June 2, 2010 @ 7:15 p.m.

Response to post #15: Well, if you're a member of the establishment, you think the local judges are very fair. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 June 2, 2010 @ 7:52 p.m.

The local state court has a number of yahoos sitting as judges-the bad out number the good 5-1.

Part of that is you don't need any intellectual skill to be a judge, just money to buy an election and the backing of other yahoos.

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Don Bauder June 2, 2010 @ 10:20 p.m.

Response to post #17: Yes, the really good lawyers make big money, often with the big firms. But the judges get to be called "Your Honor." Best, Don Bauder

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MURPHYJUNK June 3, 2010 @ 11:34 a.m.

probably would be easier ( a short list) just to name those not involved in all the b.s. in this deal.

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Don Bauder June 3, 2010 @ 7:05 p.m.

Response to post #19: Reminds me of the story about a Chicago alderman who was murdered. The FBI began looking at all the people that had a motive: businessmen he had fleeced; Mafiosi he had double-crossed; women he had loved, looted, and left, etc. The list got so long that the investigators all looked at each other and decided to look at the other end of the pipe: who in Chicago DIDN'T have a motive to kill him. Best, Don Bauder

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srichey June 4, 2010 @ 7:53 a.m.

"Despite the detailed investigation, District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis did not prosecute."

She may have been busy orchestrating an overhyped marijuana bust.

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Don Bauder June 4, 2010 @ 8:15 a.m.

Response to post #21: She will not touch any case involving somebody in the establishment or even on its periphery. Li Mandri is a powerhouse in Little Italy. Best, Don Bauder

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a2zresource July 8, 2010 @ 5:23 p.m.

FLASH, FLASH, FLASH

RE: #14

"SUPERIOR COURT OF CALIFORNIA, "HALL OF JUSTICE "TENTATIVE RULINGS - July 08, 2010 "Event Date: 07/09/2010 "Time: 10:30:00 AM "Dept: C-61

"Defendant City of San Diego brings this motion for a protective order to preclude the taking of Mayor Jerry Sanders' deposition in this matter.

"The general rule in California and federal court is that agency heads and other top governmental executives are not subject to deposition absent compelling reasons." [Westly v. Superior Court (2004) 125 Cal. App. 4th 907, 910] "An exception to the rule exists only when the official has direct personal factual information pertaining to material issues in the action and the deposing party shows the information to be gained from the deposition is not available through any other source." [Id., at 911]

"Plaintiff contends that his termination was motivated by his cooperation with Detective Vile, Agent Cook, the Ethics Commission, and with a HUD investigation. According to plaintiff, Mayor Sanders was upset that plaintiff distributed the police investigation report to the Ethics Commission, and for speaking to the SDPD and FBI. These factual issues are material to plaintiff's complaint.

"Based upon the evidence submitted in relation to this motion, it appears that Mayor Sanders has direct personal factual information pertaining to these material issues and the information sought is not available through any other source.

"THEREFORE, the motion for a protective order precluding the taking of Mayor Sanders' deposition is DENIED."

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SurfPuppy619 July 8, 2010 @ 6:21 p.m.

Wow, good job on that a2z, Sanders has his neck half way in the noose now.

Maybe we will get lucky and get him to committ some perjury, or at the very least tie down his statements so they are locked in and not subject to change.

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