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KUSI joins Bill Walton in attacking San Diego homeless dilemma

San Diego Sheriff under fire for loose guns

After parents installed lights at a city-owned park so their kids could play softball after dark, the City of San Diego informed them they could not use the lights.
After parents installed lights at a city-owned park so their kids could play softball after dark, the City of San Diego informed them they could not use the lights.

Media shipwreck

Can Downtown’s homeless woes be linked to softball lighting in Clairemont? So argues the non-profit Lucky Duck Foundation, which has bestowed its latest “Shipwreck” anti-homelessness award on the City of San Diego for banning homegrown sports lighting at a neighborhood softball field.

“After parents installed lights at a city-owned park so their kids could play softball after dark, the City of San Diego informed them they could not use the lights, even though the parents covered all costs to improve the city’s asset,” says a February 21 Lucky Duck online post, apparently based on a February 15 account by KUSI, the TV station owned by longtime GOP stalwart Mike McKinnon, which frequently bashes Democratic mayor Todd Gloria for not doing enough about the city’s homeless crisis.

“It appears the city is more focused on removing safe and healthy opportunities for youth rather than focusing on removing the criminal element surrounding the homeless population. Few activities are more safe, healthy, and enriching than competing in youth sports. Few things are more dangerous than failing to address the continued criminal behavior surrounding San Diego’s unsheltered homeless population.”

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Per Lucky Duck, “Reducing the criminal element by removing criminal behavior and the criminals who are committing crimes will immediately reduce the number of people on the streets, while also protecting the public and those who are literally homeless, such as youth and seniors.” The post goes on to say that “removing opportunities for youth to participate in sports rather than removing the criminal element is, in our view, significantly missing the mark.”

Former Celtic Bill Walton knows a thing or two about shamrocks.

One of KUSI’s latest direct salvos against Gloria came on February 14, when the station’s website reported, “As we all know, San Diego’s homeless crisis is only getting worse under the leadership of Mayor Todd Gloria, who continues to pretend like he is working to fix the issue.

In September of 2022, local icon Bill Walton partnered with the Lucky Duck Foundation to call out Gloria’s failures, which made national news.” Lucky Duck announced its first “Shamrocks & Shipwrecks” awards last September, saying, “We have established this scoring system in order to publicly highlight tangible, positive action and to call out shortcomings of elected leaders for addressing homelessness throughout San Diego County. It is compiled and organized by the Lucky Duck Foundation, which meets weekly to follow facts, collaborate with and survive generations of politicians, and apply sound business principles to fund, activate, and lead high-impact programs designed to immediately help those suffering from homelessness.”

Loose guns and unsafe cash

Last April’s handoff of the Sheriff’s Office from the early-retiring Sheriff Bill Gore to interim Sheriff Anthony C. Ray revealed some potentially dangerous deficiencies, according to a recently posted November 18, 2022 review of the leadership changeover by the county’s chief auditor, Juan Perez. “We sighted 1050 weapons pending destruction that were not outlined in the [Minor Equipment Inventory Listing],” says the report, noting that such lethal items should stay in the official inventory until they are actually destroyed, lest they inadvertently disappear or get stolen.

“These weapons are maintained inside one of the Weapons Training Center buildings and secured by a metal gate inside the building. Only full-time sworn Weapons Training Unit staff have access to that building. However, they do not keep an access log recording the access to that location.” The story was the same with the handling of a horde of cash and other valuables.

Did Bill Gore fumble the handoff?

“Civil Division does not change the combination of their safe box regularly and does not have a Safe Activity Log,” according to the audit. “The Licensing Division did not have a Safe Activity Log to record safe activity. Additionally, the cashier drawer is shared by all the employees working at the front counter.” Sheriff’s officials told auditors that “the deficiencies noted were the result of staff not receiving proper cash handling training,” but the report warns that any lapses could be costly. “Improper internal controls over revolving funds management increase the risk of mishandling or misappropriation of funds.”

In a November 10, 2022, response, Ray agreed with most of the auditor’s findings, promising a fix by September of this year. He disputed an auditor’s observation that “a Glock, asset tag 870292, was sighted but not listed on the [Minor Equipment Inventory Listing].” According to Ray’s letter, the Sheriff’s “Weapons Training Unit confirmed the Glock identified as unlisted, waiting for disposal is included in the [Minor Equipment Inventory Listing], and has not been removed from [Minor Equipment Inventory Listing] pending disposal or destruction.”

...Kelly Martinez, Gore’s Undersheriff, who won a four-year term as permanent San Diego Sheriff in November of last year, disbanded her election committee on February 9, paying out a $25,000 election win bonus to political consultant Jennifer Tierney’s Gemini Group and spending $4435 on a swearing-in blowout at downtown’s Westin Hotel. Just before closing the books, Martinez personally gave $2100 to her committee on February 7.

According to Tierney’s website, “Jen splits her time between San Diego and Williamsburg, Virginia. When she isn’t working in California, Jen stays busy in Virginia, where she is chair of the Historic Triangle Democrats, a member of the Virginia Democratic Party Central Committee for the 1st Congressional District, and Vice Chair for the Eastern Region of the Virginia Association of Democratic Chairs. She volunteers for many candidates on the Peninsula and has helped guide the campaigns of Monty Mason for Delegate (93rd) and State Senate (1st) and Mike Mullin for Delegate (93rd).”

— Matt Potter

(@sdmattpotter)

The Reader offers $25 for news tips published in this column. Call our voice mail at 619-235-3000, ext. 440, or sandiegoreader.com/staff/matt-potter/contact/.

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After parents installed lights at a city-owned park so their kids could play softball after dark, the City of San Diego informed them they could not use the lights.
After parents installed lights at a city-owned park so their kids could play softball after dark, the City of San Diego informed them they could not use the lights.

Media shipwreck

Can Downtown’s homeless woes be linked to softball lighting in Clairemont? So argues the non-profit Lucky Duck Foundation, which has bestowed its latest “Shipwreck” anti-homelessness award on the City of San Diego for banning homegrown sports lighting at a neighborhood softball field.

“After parents installed lights at a city-owned park so their kids could play softball after dark, the City of San Diego informed them they could not use the lights, even though the parents covered all costs to improve the city’s asset,” says a February 21 Lucky Duck online post, apparently based on a February 15 account by KUSI, the TV station owned by longtime GOP stalwart Mike McKinnon, which frequently bashes Democratic mayor Todd Gloria for not doing enough about the city’s homeless crisis.

“It appears the city is more focused on removing safe and healthy opportunities for youth rather than focusing on removing the criminal element surrounding the homeless population. Few activities are more safe, healthy, and enriching than competing in youth sports. Few things are more dangerous than failing to address the continued criminal behavior surrounding San Diego’s unsheltered homeless population.”

Sponsored
Sponsored

Per Lucky Duck, “Reducing the criminal element by removing criminal behavior and the criminals who are committing crimes will immediately reduce the number of people on the streets, while also protecting the public and those who are literally homeless, such as youth and seniors.” The post goes on to say that “removing opportunities for youth to participate in sports rather than removing the criminal element is, in our view, significantly missing the mark.”

Former Celtic Bill Walton knows a thing or two about shamrocks.

One of KUSI’s latest direct salvos against Gloria came on February 14, when the station’s website reported, “As we all know, San Diego’s homeless crisis is only getting worse under the leadership of Mayor Todd Gloria, who continues to pretend like he is working to fix the issue.

In September of 2022, local icon Bill Walton partnered with the Lucky Duck Foundation to call out Gloria’s failures, which made national news.” Lucky Duck announced its first “Shamrocks & Shipwrecks” awards last September, saying, “We have established this scoring system in order to publicly highlight tangible, positive action and to call out shortcomings of elected leaders for addressing homelessness throughout San Diego County. It is compiled and organized by the Lucky Duck Foundation, which meets weekly to follow facts, collaborate with and survive generations of politicians, and apply sound business principles to fund, activate, and lead high-impact programs designed to immediately help those suffering from homelessness.”

Loose guns and unsafe cash

Last April’s handoff of the Sheriff’s Office from the early-retiring Sheriff Bill Gore to interim Sheriff Anthony C. Ray revealed some potentially dangerous deficiencies, according to a recently posted November 18, 2022 review of the leadership changeover by the county’s chief auditor, Juan Perez. “We sighted 1050 weapons pending destruction that were not outlined in the [Minor Equipment Inventory Listing],” says the report, noting that such lethal items should stay in the official inventory until they are actually destroyed, lest they inadvertently disappear or get stolen.

“These weapons are maintained inside one of the Weapons Training Center buildings and secured by a metal gate inside the building. Only full-time sworn Weapons Training Unit staff have access to that building. However, they do not keep an access log recording the access to that location.” The story was the same with the handling of a horde of cash and other valuables.

Did Bill Gore fumble the handoff?

“Civil Division does not change the combination of their safe box regularly and does not have a Safe Activity Log,” according to the audit. “The Licensing Division did not have a Safe Activity Log to record safe activity. Additionally, the cashier drawer is shared by all the employees working at the front counter.” Sheriff’s officials told auditors that “the deficiencies noted were the result of staff not receiving proper cash handling training,” but the report warns that any lapses could be costly. “Improper internal controls over revolving funds management increase the risk of mishandling or misappropriation of funds.”

In a November 10, 2022, response, Ray agreed with most of the auditor’s findings, promising a fix by September of this year. He disputed an auditor’s observation that “a Glock, asset tag 870292, was sighted but not listed on the [Minor Equipment Inventory Listing].” According to Ray’s letter, the Sheriff’s “Weapons Training Unit confirmed the Glock identified as unlisted, waiting for disposal is included in the [Minor Equipment Inventory Listing], and has not been removed from [Minor Equipment Inventory Listing] pending disposal or destruction.”

...Kelly Martinez, Gore’s Undersheriff, who won a four-year term as permanent San Diego Sheriff in November of last year, disbanded her election committee on February 9, paying out a $25,000 election win bonus to political consultant Jennifer Tierney’s Gemini Group and spending $4435 on a swearing-in blowout at downtown’s Westin Hotel. Just before closing the books, Martinez personally gave $2100 to her committee on February 7.

According to Tierney’s website, “Jen splits her time between San Diego and Williamsburg, Virginia. When she isn’t working in California, Jen stays busy in Virginia, where she is chair of the Historic Triangle Democrats, a member of the Virginia Democratic Party Central Committee for the 1st Congressional District, and Vice Chair for the Eastern Region of the Virginia Association of Democratic Chairs. She volunteers for many candidates on the Peninsula and has helped guide the campaigns of Monty Mason for Delegate (93rd) and State Senate (1st) and Mike Mullin for Delegate (93rd).”

— Matt Potter

(@sdmattpotter)

The Reader offers $25 for news tips published in this column. Call our voice mail at 619-235-3000, ext. 440, or sandiegoreader.com/staff/matt-potter/contact/.

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