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Bail Out

— With less than a week to go until the June 6 primary, last-minute money continues to roll into local campaign coffers. Among the more notable contributors, Rancho Santa Fe's Robert Spencer Douglass. Douglass owned the state's biggest bailbond operation until he was nabbed by Riverside County authorities who alleged that he had schemed to pay off jail inmates in exchange for referring bail business to his companies. Striking a June 2004 deal with prosecutors to avoid a felony conviction, Spencer pled guilty to 123 misdemeanor counts of illegal solicitation, agreed to pay $425,000 in penalties, and served 93 days of house arrest on the grounds of his lavish estate. He also gave up his California bail bond license and was barred from doing bail business anywhere else in the country.

Last Thursday, according to federal campaign disclosure records, Douglass gave $2100 to Democratic congressional candidate Juan Vargas, who is seeking to unseat incumbent Bob Filner in the 51st District primary.

Since getting out of stir himself, Douglass has established Liberty Lawyers, a criminal defense firm where he is managing partner. Featured on the firm's website is a video clip of Douglass urging potential clients to contact him: "We can save you money on the bail. If the bail amount is a low amount, we can put you with bondsmen who can give you discounts because you've hired a lawyer. If you're a union member, you can get discounts from some bondsmen because you're a union member. This is important money, and you should save it. If the bail is set too high, we can save you money with bail-reduction motions.... It is absolutely a disgrace that people have to spend their hard-earned dollars on bail amounts that are way too high." Reached by phone, Douglass declined comment.

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— With less than a week to go until the June 6 primary, last-minute money continues to roll into local campaign coffers. Among the more notable contributors, Rancho Santa Fe's Robert Spencer Douglass. Douglass owned the state's biggest bailbond operation until he was nabbed by Riverside County authorities who alleged that he had schemed to pay off jail inmates in exchange for referring bail business to his companies. Striking a June 2004 deal with prosecutors to avoid a felony conviction, Spencer pled guilty to 123 misdemeanor counts of illegal solicitation, agreed to pay $425,000 in penalties, and served 93 days of house arrest on the grounds of his lavish estate. He also gave up his California bail bond license and was barred from doing bail business anywhere else in the country.

Last Thursday, according to federal campaign disclosure records, Douglass gave $2100 to Democratic congressional candidate Juan Vargas, who is seeking to unseat incumbent Bob Filner in the 51st District primary.

Since getting out of stir himself, Douglass has established Liberty Lawyers, a criminal defense firm where he is managing partner. Featured on the firm's website is a video clip of Douglass urging potential clients to contact him: "We can save you money on the bail. If the bail amount is a low amount, we can put you with bondsmen who can give you discounts because you've hired a lawyer. If you're a union member, you can get discounts from some bondsmen because you're a union member. This is important money, and you should save it. If the bail is set too high, we can save you money with bail-reduction motions.... It is absolutely a disgrace that people have to spend their hard-earned dollars on bail amounts that are way too high." Reached by phone, Douglass declined comment.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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