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At 10 a.m. Friday, Superior Court Judge John S. Meyer will hear a request by the City of San Diego to have the Kessler vs. San Diego suit thrown out. Scott Kessler was fired by the City after giving information to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and a Police Department detective who were putting together an investigation on alleged corruption involving Little Italy political powerhouse Marco Li Mandri and convicted felon Joe Mannino. The detailed study of corruption was passed to the district attorney, who did not pursue the case. On July 9, Meyer ruled that Mayor Jerry Sanders should be deposed in the case. The City had argued that he should be exempted. Now the City wants summary judgment. "I am betting a thousand hours of my time that the City will lose," says Josh Gruenberg, Kessler's attorney.

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Comments

SurfPuppy619 Oct. 13, 2010 @ 7:38 p.m.

Josh Gruenberg is going to be singing the happy song if he wins the SJ motion, and based on the fact that the judge has already ruled that Sanders could be deposed (which he certainly can-LA Mayor Richard Riordon was deposed under similar circumstances about 12 years ago) he has a good reason.

Gruenberg knows that if he wins the case he is going to be able to have the City cover virtually all of his costs, which could easily total into the 7 figures, and that is just for HIS fees and costs, not counting any judgment liability-this is why you NEVER let a strong civil rights lawsuit get close to a SJ motion.

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Don Bauder Oct. 13, 2010 @ 10 p.m.

Response to post #1: I have a low opinion of the San Diego judiciary. I certainly hope I am proved wrong Friday. This suit should go to trial. And the people should demand to know why Bonnie Dumanis didn't prosecute this case (as if we didn't know already). Best, Don Bauder

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Ponzi Oct. 13, 2010 @ 11:15 p.m.

Bonnie Dumanis is the most political DA San Diego has ever had. I hope for the sake of the city, she doesn't run unopposed again. It makes you wonder why she ran unopposed last time. Did she bring some of the east coast mafia with here?

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Burwell Oct. 13, 2010 @ 11:40 p.m.

If Judge Meyer allows the case to go to trial, I predict the City will settle with Kessler right away to protect Gerald "Pudge" Sanders from having to testify. Pudge may have to assert his fifth amendment rights if compelled to testify in order to protect himself from potential jeopardy in the Little Italy affair. His taking the fifth would ruin him politically. The City will avoid this at all costs.

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Burwell Oct. 13, 2010 @ 11:45 p.m.

It makes you wonder why she ran unopposed last time. Did she bring some of the east coast mafia with here?

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Dumanis prosecuted the Wilkening case. She has the Rolodex of clients. The Rolodex is the source of her power.

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Don Bauder Oct. 14, 2010 @ 7:57 a.m.

Response to post #3: It is generally assumed that Bonnie Dumanis wants to be mayor. She could even be worse than Golding, Murphy, and Sanders, if that is possible. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Oct. 14, 2010 @ 8 a.m.

Response to post #4: It's obvious that Dumanis, handed a thoroughly-researched fraud suit, looked the other way because pursuing it would be embarrassing and incriminating to Sanders and his staff. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Oct. 14, 2010 @ 8:02 a.m.

Response to post #5: If this case goes to trial -- which it MUST -- you will learn some things about the East Coast Mafia. Best, Don Bauder

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a2zresource Oct. 14, 2010 @ 8:39 a.m.

RE "Gruenberg knows [after City Attorney lost motion on Mayor's protective order RE deposition] that if he wins the case he is going to be able to have the City cover virtually all of his costs, which could easily total into the 7 figures, and that is just for HIS fees and costs, not counting any judgment liability-this is why you NEVER let a strong civil rights lawsuit get close to a SJ motion":

I'm no lawyer. The highest degree I have with honors is in mathematics. But Surfpuppy's comments resonate with me.

Dynamic systems in the real world tend to be well behaved when only one variable is changing, and the change is manageable. As a counter-example, BP in the Gulf of Mexico is a study of systemic failure when numerous variables were changing, including the degree of safety sacrificed when multiple corporations chose to cut costs, the minimal to maximum reported amount of crude spilled daily, and the resulting final cleanup and recovery bill that under current management could be tens of billions.

With the KESSLER trial pending, Nathan Fletcher's CCDC contribution to the budget on what appears to be a new $8 billion tax increment cap, a sales tax measure that requires mystical faith in civic leaders well after the election to be valid, and the rest of the pension/electricity rate hikes/natural and SDG&E-made disaster conditions, and we've got trouble in the tower of power here in San Diego. The only way any of that litany are manageable by City Hall is to avoid the press, conduct CCDC funding business behind closed doors in Sacramento to avoid open debate by San Diego voters, and pray that the citizens don't have the time to question why none of the Fitch Ratings city council training seems to be making a dent through the armor-plated Redevelopment Agency hats our city council members wear regularly when dealing with off-city-budget billions for developers seeking another public sports stadium for a privately-held NFL franchise.

If things go bad at trial, then all Sanders will lose is his chance to be governor; he can take a lesson from Michael Zucchet and go to work for a union afterwards. On the other hand, we will end up picking the continuously increasing tab on Kessler's wrongful termination and the on-going political maneuverings between rogue redevelopment corporations, business improvement districts and City Hall.

I WOULD HAVE TO BE INSANE to vote yes on Prop. D to fund any continuation of this... especially since I really can't seem to find the legislative text inserted by Fletcher in the budget deal that prevents CCDC from taking all increased sales tax revenues in CCDC project boundaries for itself if Prop. D. passes, as previously specified for any increased redevelopment area tax revenues as a tax increment by statute. With the all-over-the-map fiscal impact statement from our City Attorney on the proposed sales tax increase, I have no rational basis for supporting it.

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David Dodd Oct. 14, 2010 @ 9:05 a.m.

This case will not go to trial; a deal will be cut. While this will be the proof that astute citizens will recognize as to the corrupt level local politics has risen to, most will not pay much attention to it. Unfortunately, even Kessler and Gruenberg have their price, and they will be bought out. I hope I am wrong, but I doubt it.

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a2zresource Oct. 14, 2010 @ 9:06 a.m.

If Dumanis becomes mayor of San Diego, then I'd rather be a homeless person in the newly independent charter city of La Jolla.

I'm pretty sure none of the federal crime victims from Encantostan and Lemon Grove identified during the 2007 UNITED STATES OF AMERICA v. SDG&E trial are included in that county prosecutor's Rolodex. We got a lot better treatment from the County Counsel's office and US Attorney instead, not from the District Attorney.

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Founder Oct. 14, 2010 @ 9:48 a.m.

Reply #1 I guess we will see if this Friday is "Good Friday", but I'm guessing the case will be continued until after the election for some Political reason... + I wonder if Gruenberg will hire Aguirre to help, since this case will be a big platform for everyone involved!

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Founder Oct. 14, 2010 @ 9:58 a.m.

Reply #2, #3, #5, #6, #7, & #8

It's a good thing Justice is blind, because things are beginning to "look" scary in $D.

In previous posts, I referred to the "New York-ing" of San Diego but I was thinking more about the Promotion of Density and control of City Services by outside Contractors...

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Founder Oct. 14, 2010 @ 10:04 a.m.

Reply #4 I think your commentt is spot on!

No way San Diego's Mayor will take the stand, if he can avoided it and a settlement reached!

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Visduh Oct. 14, 2010 @ 10:13 a.m.

When this case is over and done with, it would make an excellent case study for either or both political science studies and law schools. It could be labeled "Political Corruption in Eden; How San Diego Sold its Soul for a Bowl of Guacamole."

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Founder Oct. 14, 2010 @ 10:22 a.m.

Reply #9 Great analysis of the case... + RE:Prop D I checked and you are incorrect about "the budget deal that prevents CCDC from taking all increased sales tax revenues in CCDC project boundaries for itself if Prop. D. passes, as previously specified for any increased redevelopment area tax revenues as a tax increment by statute."

because Redevelopment funds are based on Property taxes not sales tax...

http://www.sandiego.gov/redevelopment-agency/overview.shtml

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Founder Oct. 14, 2010 @ 10:44 a.m.

Reply #15 I think you are correct!

BTW: This case has all the makings for a great courtroom thriller: Big Money Political Power Greed FBI District Attorney Lawyers Freedom of Speech Police Corruption (Alleged)!

Maybe the City can sell the Book & Movie Rights: $an Diego $ELLOUT: A Political Corruption Eruption

As for our "NEW" GREEN (as in Big money) $tadium, I'm suggesting we name it the Guacamole Bowl...

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SurfPuppy619 Oct. 14, 2010 @ 12:52 p.m.

If Judge Meyer allows the case to go to trial, I predict the City will settle with Kessler right away to protect Gerald "Pudge" Sanders from having to testify. Pudge may have to assert his fifth amendment rights if compelled to testify in order to protect himself from potential jeopardy in the Little Italy affair.

Sanders already has to testify, in the depostiion, so testifying at trial should produce no surprises, nothing new.

If KFC Sanders takes the 5th on any issue, he should be tarred, feathered and ran out of town on a pitch fork.

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mel Oct. 14, 2010 @ 12:53 p.m.

This case was investigated by the Organized Crime Division of the FBI. This can be confirmed by Don Bauder. Special Agent Cook wanted Marco Limandri and Joe Mannino arrested.See March 10 issue of SD Reader. Bonnie Dumanis refused and the FBI backed down.

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SurfPuppy619 Oct. 14, 2010 @ 12:54 p.m.

The Rolodex is the source of her power.

LOL!!...the ONLY person whose name was made public from that Rolodex was medical malpractice attorney (and Coronado resident) Wesley Harris..........he said if they released his name he was going to start naming names too, but he folded when his name leaked and kept his mouth shut... I always wondered if his wife ever divorced him over that one.......

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Don Bauder Oct. 14, 2010 @ 1:05 p.m.

Response to post #19: Mel is right. The organized crime section of the FBI took on this case. It appears that the investigation was part of a probe into New York's Genovese family. Now THAT would have been embarrassing to Mayor Sanders. This case must go forward. San Diegans deserve to know the sordid details. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Oct. 14, 2010 @ 1:07 p.m.

Response to post #20: I wonder if pressure was applied to him, and who applied it. Best, Don Bauder

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a2zresource Oct. 14, 2010 @ 8:59 p.m.

RE "I checked and you are incorrect... because Redevelopment funds are based on Property taxes not sales tax..."

You just may be right pursuant to Health & Safety Code at section 33670 regarding assessments "levied upon taxable property in a redevelopment project each year by or for the benefit of the State of California, any city, county, city and county, district, or other public corporation... ".

Furthermore, you may have just shown us the way to kill off CCDC and SEDC by strangulation: stop taxing property and just impose sales taxes to make up the difference.

HOWEVER California law distinguishes between real property and other forms of property throughout the Codes AND the definitions in the division of the Health and Safety Code that refers to redevelopment agencies DO NOT REDEFINE THE UNMODIFIED NOUN "PROPERTY" OR "REAL PROPERTY" BUT DO REFER IN PLACES TO "REAL PROPERTY", implicitly incorporating any applicable definition from elsewhere in the California Codes. Section 33670 refers to "taxable property" which COULD include a tax on the transfer of all forms of property, and while to most people the meaning is clear, the statute does not appear to directly prevent inclusion of sales taxes on any form of taxable personal or other non-real-estate property BECAUSE IT FAILS TO INCLUDE THE ADJECTIVE "REAL". A clever CCDC lawyer would make some grand complex argument that "levied each year" really means "levied periodically or at any time" or anybody flipping properties really fast could cause a municipality to withhold some portion of tax increment money that the law would otherwise give to redevelopment agencies, then argue that all forms of property that are taxable at any time must be included in the tax increment calculation per H&SC section 33670. This is gonna require a search into H&SC section 33670 case law for clarification...

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Don Bauder Oct. 15, 2010 @ 3:39 p.m.

Response to post #23: I am for anything that will kill off CCDC and SEDC by strangulation, or any other method. Best, Don Bauder

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