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Stories by Dorian Hargrove

County worker’s racial slur didn’t infer he was a “lover”

“I have that vibe that I…empathize or have an affinity towards, um, black folks.”

Tyler Fowler, an appraiser for the County Assessor's Office who is African-American, says her supervisor Mark Sitzer made racially disparaging remarks on numerous occasions and county administrators failed to address it. She is suing Sitzer ...

City to pay for public-records case fumble

Inability to produce documents for defendant deemed irrelevant

A state appellate court on August 15 ruled the City of San Diego failed to turn over documents requested in a Public Records Act request and is liable to pay attorney fees. On August 7, ...

Contraceptive device nightmare

Bleeding, cramping, and then another surgery to remove Essure coils, suit claims

An El Cajon woman is one of 73 plaintiffs in a lawsuit filed in San Diego Superior Court against the Bayer Corporation. The major pharmaceutical company is being sued over their permanent contraceptive device, Essure. ...

Chula Vista Fire Department heads back to court

Firefighter says he was passed over because of his work with the union

Two months after settling a discrimination lawsuit filed by a former deputy fire chief for $2.1 million, attorneys for the city of Chula Vista are preparing for another trial in an unrelated discrimination case filed ...

Youth pastor sues Rancho Bernardo Community Presbyterian Church over sexual harassment

Dawn Neldon says she was forced to resign after complaining about new pastor's inappropriate acts

A former associate pastor at the Rancho Bernardo Community Presbyterian Church is suing the church and it's new pastor Bryan Stamper for sexual harassment and for terminating her after she complained to church administrators. Dawn ...

Black teenagers stopped in Memorial Park, patted down, handcuffed

But it was the DNA samples that ended up in ACLU suit

The city of San Diego has "substantially settled," according to the federal court's website, a lawsuit filed on behalf of a black teenager who was coerced into giving his DNA sample to police without parental ...

El Cajon councilman sued over Miss Middle East pageant

Former contestant alleges Ben Kalasho propositioned her

In El Cajon city councilmember Ben Kalasho’s words, he created the Miss Middle East Beauty Pageant to “empower” Middle Eastern women and award them the freedom to “wear what you want, marry who you want, ...

Lockheed Martin to pay $5.8 million to clean up bay

Settlement finalized in June

Aerospace and defense contractor Lockheed Martin has agreed to pay the Port of San Diego $5.8 million to clean up the contamination in San Diego Bay. In 1970 Lockheed Martin leased a 61,000 square-foot property ...

Owner of fact-checking website, Snopes.com, considers lawsuit allegations to be fake news

Divorce filings and court depositions paint Mikkelson as greedy and uncouth

Snopes.com, the fact checking-website with ties to San Diego once commissioned by social media giant Facebook to determine fake from] factual news, is in financial peril. The website's founder, David MIkkelson, is now soliciting donations ...

San Diego cop worried she might have miscarriage, blamed for late notice

You're what?

The City of San Diego will pay $175,000 to settle a lawsuit filed by a San Diego police officer who said her supervisors discriminated against her for becoming pregnant. On August 1, city councilmembers are ...

District Attorney yet to file charges against former Poway Schools chief

John Collins accused of stealing $345K in school funds

It's been more than one year and two months since former superintendent for Poway Unified School District John Collins was placed on administrative leave over accusations that he collected $345,263 in vacation pay over the ...

Former Chipotle co-CEO to revamp La Jolla home

Remodel to Barber Tract home will increase home by 4000 square feet.

Former Chipotle co-CEO Montgomery Moran, who stepped down from his role in the burrito chain in December 2016, looks to add 4000 square feet on to his La Jolla home at 7348 Vista Del Mar ...

Another mess for San Ysidro School District

Hush money or severance payment?

“It’s a typo,” Arturo Sanchez-Macias, assistant superintendent for San Ysidro School District says. The “it” to which Sanchez-Macias refers is the date, January 15, 2016, on a settlement agreement between the district and a San ...

The potholes of Harbor Drive

23-year-old sailor killed

The City of San Diego had been warned numerous times about potholes and dangerous road conditions on Harbor Drive near the Naval shipyard. Those complaints specifically stated the potholes and depressions in the street were ...

Top female researchers claim old boys network at Salk Institute — updated

Two of the three full time professors say they are continuously overlooked

San Diego's Salk Institute has long been regarded as a bastion for scientific advancements. Two longtime researchers say those advancements do not apply to gender rights and equal pay for the institute's female scientists. In ...

Card room operator sues city for permit denial

Lucky Lady owner says city unfairly targeted his business

Stanley Penn, the longtime owner and operator of San Diego card room Lucky Lady, has filed a lawsuit against the city of San Diego for refusing to renew the 43-year-old card room's permit. The current ...

Port sues coastal commission for nixing hotel

500 rooms on Harbor Island short on low-cost options

In a July 5 legal complaint, the San Diego Unified Port District, the agency responsible for managing the San Diego Bay and surrounding tidewaters, has accused California Coastal Commissioners of overstepping their boundaries by striking ...

Man gets $1.5 million in accidental police shooting

National City detective misfired during traffic stop

Elected officials in National City have agreed to pay 22-year-old Jesus Flores a $1.5 million to dismiss the lawsuit he filed after a National City police officer accidentally shot him during a March, 2015 traffic ...

Maintenance assessment fee fight flares up

“The assumption is everyone in Del Cerro is wealthy. Well, that’s just not true.”

After 15 years of trying, residents of San Diego’s Del Cerro neighborhood may finally have a maintenance assessment district to call their own. Maintenance assessment districts are mechanisms wherein property owners within a certain area ...

Judge says no to regulating SDSU mini-dorms

Tenant could "be the quiet, neat type who uses bicycle"

On June 30, San Diego Superior Court judge Ronald Styn temporarily struck down San Diego's mini-dorm ordinance in San Diego's College Area. A group called College Area Students, Tenants, and Landlords Association filed the lawsuit ...

Civic San Diego employee says agency is ripe for corruption

Employee sends emails to board of directors

Civic San Diego's attempt to generate revenue by becoming a fiscal agent for those companies and organizations looking to make charitable donations is, according to Civic San Diego's asset and contract manager John Anderson, "ripe ...

City engineers nix changes at Kansas and El Cajon Blvd.

Site of pedestrian injuries, including death of Ethiopian leader

From 2001 to 2010, according to a city commissioned traffic study, eight pedestrians were struck by vehicles while crossing El Cajon Boulevard at Kansas Street in North Park. In 2012 the intersection was named the ...

Food and parking enough for San Diego police watchdogs

If they pay them, other volunteers will want money

Members of San Diego's Citizens Review Board on Police Practices, an oversight board on law enforcement, will have to be satisfied with the occasional free meal, validated parking at city hall, and unrestricted attendance to ...

He's an engineer, not a gay porn star

Plaza de Panama project construction manager Gordon Kovtun cyberbullied

Gordon Kovtun is not a “sissy.” And, he is not a “bottom boy.” Despite what it says on the Wordpress.com profile with his name on it, “gay porn” is not his sole interest. Also, those ...

San Diego police sex suit includes nepotism charge

Would Christopher Hays be cop without his father-in-law?

Today, June 20 San Diego city councilmembers are expected to approve a settlement to a woman sexually assaulted by former San Diego police officer Christopher Hays. Terms of the tentative settlement are not yet public, ...

San Diego police officers got the wrong Fred Washington

"He didn't assault anyone, or, hurt anyone's child"

On June 13 city councilmembers were asked to approve a six-figure settlement in a lawsuit filed by Fredrick Lee Washington who spent two weeks in jail in 2015 on two felony counts that he had ...

Former Civic San Diego financial officer says he was fired after finding accounting discrepancies

Robert Avery excluded from secret meetings

Former chief financial officer for Civic San Diego, Robert Avery, says he was wrongly terminated after raising concerns with questionable expenditures at the city-owned non-profit. Civic San Diego is a city-owned nonprofit which oversees the ...

Board finds deputies used proper force in death of mentally unstable 32-year-old

Lucky Phounsey called 911 because he was delusional and feared for his family's safety

San Diego County's Citizens Law Enforcement Review Board has found that the actions taken by 11 sheriff's deputies, which resulted in the death of 32-year-old Lucky Phounsey, were justified. According to a newly posted agenda, ...

Scripps Ranch median and/or pot smoker led to tragedy

Paralyzed man sues city over accident. But was a stoned driver the real cause?

Hyun Jeong Choi’s glass marijuana pipe rested inside the center console of her 2015 gray Toyota Corolla. The pipe was still hot to the touch on Easter Sunday, March 27, 2016, when traffic accident investigator ...

Beauty pageant run by El Cajon councilmember under attack

Miss Middle East says it's a sham — but Ben Kalasho has contract and checks issued

The $2,000 oversized check Zhala Tawfiq received upon being crowned Miss Middle East was not a real check. The accompanying cosmetic procedures, sponsorships, wardrobe, and television auditions, that accompanied the check, were just as fake, ...

School districts sue county for cash

Claim taxing agencies have stiffed them out of property tax revenues

A May 31 lawsuit filed on behalf of the County Office of Education and the county's school districts, accuse San Diego County and its auditor of taking property tax revenues that should have gone to ...

Water wars likely to add to rising customer costs

Otay Water District sues City of San Diego over reclaimed water

The Otay Water District, which provides water, sewage, and recycled water to communities in southeastern San Diego County including portions of Chula Vista, Spring Valley, Otay Mesa, Jamul, and others, is suing the city of ...

Tased again and again in Vista parking lot

County pays $3 million for deputy's aggressiveness

The County of San Diego has agreed to pay $3 million in damages to a man who suffered a severe brain injury and multiple amputations after a Sheriff's deputy repeatedly fired his taser at him ...

Opponents to Jessop Property subdivision win

Preserve Point Loma keeps lots on La Crescentia Drive intact

A state appellate court found that San Diego city councilmembers were within their right to rescind approval of a Point Loma development due to environmental concerns. At issue is the development of Point Loma Summit, ...

Project is not dense enough or land is too steep

Project on Indiana St. on edge of Florida Canyon opposed by neighbors

The City of San Diego's preliminary approval of a thirteen-unit condominium on the edge of Florida Canyon in North Park will now head to court. On May 22 attorneys for North Park residents Lark Holden ...

Lost control of car on Pearl Street and slammed into White Sands

Dead victim helped to create San Diego Aerospace Hall of Fame

The family of a 96-year-old man who was hit and killed by a runaway car that crashed into his room as he slept in his bed at an assisted living facility in October 2016 has ...

Chicano Park victims and surviving family members submit claims

In case of car that crashed down from Coronado bridge

Victims and family members of those who died as a result of being hit by a drunk driver who careened off the Coronado Bridge into a gathering at Chicano Park have filed claims against the ...

National City mayor and two councilmembers sued for changes to sanctuary city resolution

Lawsuit accuses them of Brown Act violations

A last-minute decision by National City's mayor Ron Morrison, and two councilmembers to water down a resolution to certify National City as a "welcoming community," is now the subject of a new lawsuit. South Bay ...

City faces yet another damaged sidewalk lawsuit

Lawsuit comes two months after $4.85 million payout for similar fall

Just over two months after the City of San Diego agreed to pay a cyclist $4.85 million for injuries suffered from hitting a damaged sidewalk, comes a similar lawsuit. On May 4, Van Nguyen filed ...

Amid a slumping recruiting class, San Diego's police department faces gender discrimination lawsuit

Lawsuit says department showed bias as a result of an on-job injury

Days after San Diego's police chief Shelley Zimmerman testified to city councilmembers about a shortage of uniformed police officers and slumping recruiting efforts comes a new lawsuit accusing the department of discriminating against female recruits. ...

Arrested trying to withdraw inheritance money from Pt. Loma Wells Fargo

19-year-old black man sues San Diego Police

Mark Hayward entered a Wells Fargo branch in Point Loma on August 5, 2016 and requested to withdraw $20,000 from his bank account he had opened ten days prior, reads an April 25 lawsuit Hayward ...

San Diego city attorney weighs in on limiting public comment at council meetings

Councilmember Sherman hopes to kill television feed.

San Diego city councilmember Scott Sherman's proposal to reduce the time residents are allowed to speak at council meetings and cut the television feed during non-agenda public comment has hit a road block. In an ...

San Diego State pays Francisco Sousa damages for false accusation bungling

SDSU will send campus police for more detailed training on sex assaults.

A former San Diego State University student who was falsely accused of sexual assault has settled his lawsuit against the university. As reported by the Reader, Francisco Sousa was accused of sexual assault on a ...

Poway Unified sued over choosing Marian Kim-Phelps as superintendent

Group says district trustees approved hiring and compensation without public input.

Public advocacy group San Diegans for Open Government has filed a lawsuit against the Poway Unified School District over the hiring of the district's new superintendent Marian Kim-Phelps in March of this year. According to ...

Elephant rages in East Village

Sex, violence, and lawsuits at Underground Elephant

“Combat,” “extortion,” “sociopath” and other unsavory terms are swirling around in the tornado of bad publicity blowing through the East Village company once listed by a local publication as one of San Diego’s best places ...

Aryan Brotherhood murderer Elliott Scott Grizzle sues county over solitary confinement

Bright lights, loud TV cause loss of sleep

Convicted murderer and longtime member of a powerful white supremacist gang, Elliott Scott Grizzle, has filed a lawsuit against the County of San Diego for improperly placing him in solitary confinement. According to his handwritten ...

Woman files appeal in Mira Mesa shooting of husband by San Diego police

Shakina Ortega says judge failed to inform the jury that officer not liable for monetary judgement.

The family of a man who was shot and killed by a police officer will ask a federal appellate court to overturn a jury's March 2017 verdict that found the officer acted in self-defense. Shakina ...

City reaches settlement in pedestrian death of 7-month-old girl

City withheld Pt. Loma neighbor complaints from the Reader's request.

The City of San Diego has tentatively agreed to settle a lawsuit filed by a family whose 7-month-old daughter was killed while her father was pushing her stroller across a busy Point Loma crosswalk in ...

Second excessive force lawsuit since beginning of year is dismissed

Witness to a beating in 2016, Cassandra Harris was arrested instead of assailants

On April 17, 2017 attorneys for Cassandra Harris, 28, filed a motion to dismiss a claim of excessive force against the city of San Diego. The terms of how the case was resolved have not ...

Driver in Scripps Ranch collision files suit over the center median

Intoxicated woman slammed into vintage Porsche killing passenger

The victim of a head-on collision which killed his partner and left him with a severe brain injury has filed a lawsuit against the city for failing to design and maintain a safe roadway. Jon ...

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