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Stories by Dorian Hargrove

Santana High over-reacts to gun

CHP patrolman arrested for weapon in fanny pack

On January 15, 2015 retied California Highway Patrolman Robert Pitt dropped his girlfriend's daughter off at Santana High School in Santee. The gun he carried was in his fanny pack when he went into the ...

Questions raised over police response to Chicano Park protests

Group sends letter to chief

Some Barrio Logan and Logan Heights residents want answers from the San Diego Police Department for its handling of last month's Patriot Picnic protest at Chicano Park. Co-founder of Chicano Park Josephine Talamantez presented those ...

Southeastern Planning Group says no to homeless storage

Sends letter to mayor

The Southeastern San Diego Planning Group is the latest group to come out against a proposed 1,000-bin storage facility for the homeless in Sherman Heights. The storage facility at Commercial ad 20th Streets will be ...

Two more abuse victims in Carlsbad

District paid $1.8 million to two others

In 2010 third-grade teacher from Carlsbad, Raymond Firth, pleaded guilty to fondling two of his students. In exchange for the plea, the district attorney's office agreed to drop six counts of child molestation. In 2012 ...

How can you check for deodorant?

Tow company accuses Chula Vista mayor of discrimination

The owner of one of San Diego County's largest towing companies says Chula Vista Mayor Mary Salas prohibited him from employing Middle Eastern workers in the city, calling them "terrorists" and demanding that his employees ...

A long-term wooing most rude

Chula Vista pays $400K in sexual harassment case

The City of Chula Vista has agreed to pay a former employee $400,000 to settle a sexual harassment claim against a current employee. According to court documents, Mariana Garcia filed to dismiss the case due ...

Lemon Grove councilman accused of drunken violence

Did David Arambula choke, bite, punch, and kick constituent?

Lemon Grove city councilmember David Arambula has been accused of hitting a constituent over the head with a beer bottle in a drunken rage. On Monday, March 5, the Lemon Grove City Council is expected ...

Watchtower done looking the other way?

Final lawsuit over sex abuse by Jehovah's Witness elder settled

The lawsuits over sexual molestation by Jehovah's Witness elders in San Diego are officially over. On February 18, former parishioner Osbaldo Padron, one of several children molested by former church elder Gonzalo Campos, agreed to ...

Raised sidewalk + broken kneecap = $137,500

Blame it on a root, charge the taxpayer

San Diego city councilmembers were expected on February 26th to give final approval for a payout over injuries caused by an uneven sidewalk. The city agreed to pay Lynn Whitehouse $137,500 to settle a complaint ...

Gay-bashed on the job in Coronado

Golf-course maintenance worker doesn't go for "shop talk" excuse

An employee for the City of Coronado says supervisors in the city's maintenance department harassed and demeaned him for being gay. Sean Ryan sued the city earlier this week after years of complaining about mistreatment ...

Reason for alarm in SD crosswalks

Pedestrians killed in nearly half of all traffic accidents

As the number of pedestrians hit by cars on San Diego streets increases, so, too, will the number of lawsuits that the city will have to fight over dangerous roadways and inadequate crosswalks. According to ...

College Area mini-dorm litigants win

San Diego taxpayers lose over $100K

The City of San Diego must pay $129,912 for its failed mini-dorm ordinance. A judge awarded attorneys' fees on February 16th to a group of landlords and students who sued the city over the 2017 ...

Pride's prejudiced, says former director

Hillcrest organization said to have bias against people over 40

San Diego Pride's former executive director is suing the organization for wrongful termination, age discrimination, and defamation of character. Stephen Whitburn, also a former city-council candidate, began working for San Diego Pride in 2013 as ...

Clues in lawsuit lead to Clews the pornographer

More sex-related trouble for Carmel Valley rancher just sent to prison?

On February 13th, a federal judge sentenced Christian Clews — a Carmel Valley rancher who pleaded guilty to possessing and distributing child pornography — to 210 months in prison. But Clews, a former member of ...

Past the 560,000-gallon sewage spill tipping point

Regional Water Quality Control Board to consider lawsuit

On Wednesday, February 14, members from San Diego's Regional Water Quality Control Board will discuss whether to file a lawsuit against the United States International Boundary and Water Commission, the agency responsible for overseeing water ...

Pacific Beach's high crime problem

"Police are doing the best job they can under impossible circumstances."

Pacific Beach continues to be one of San Diego's highest crime neighborhoods, according to new stats released by the San Diego Police Department. Public records indicate the beachside entertainment hotspot ranked in the top five ...

Trip on a crack, break the city's back

"Fixing sidewalks the same way we fix streets shouldn’t be controversial."

Complaints over San Diego's crumbling sidewalks continue to chip away at the city's bottom line: documents obtained through public records requests show the city received more than 50 claims for damages caused by broken sidewalks ...

Deputies not culpable in cellmate murder case

Richard Lee Dawson's suspected murderer wasn't suspect

A county law-enforcement board has found that sheriff's deputies failed to conduct inmate counts on March 28, 2014, the night that inmate Richard Lee Dawson was allegedly murdered by his cellmate. The County Law Enforcement ...

Councilman Kalasho's complaint

"It’s hard to understand why an elected official would commit perjury."

El Cajon City Council member Ben Kalasho is accusing the city's mayor and another colleague of discrimination and of refusing to let him put items on the agenda or talk during public events. The Reader ...

Camp Pendleton baby birth case settled

Doctors failed to perform proper neo-natal care

The U.S. government has agreed to pay $4 million to settle a medical malpractice case that resulted in severe brain injuries of a newborn. Dinah and Alejandro Nichols received neo-natal care at Naval Hospital Camp ...

Pastor accused of sexual healing

"He convinced her that it was a necessary...in order to get better."

In a new lawsuit, an unidentified woman accuses pastor John Wright of the Mid City Church of the Nazarene of sexual harassment and rape. It began in 2014 when the then-20-year-old woman (referred to as ...

Sandag causes my property to flood

Not our fault, says association of local governments

Trolley-line travesty — adjacent property owners keep an eye on Sandag.

Balboa statue for Balboa Park unlikely

"Be glad that he is already commemorated in the park's very name."

Jesus Benayas, the president of Balboa Park's House of Spain, has lobbied the Balboa Park Committee for three years to sign off on a statue of the park's namesake, Vasco Nuñez de Balboa. But judging ...

Damaged sidewalks cost city big bucks last year

Settlements of 35 claims amounted to $5.3 million

The City of San Diego paid out more than $5.3 million last year for injuries and property damage caused by broken sidewalks. Public records indicate there were 35 claims submitted to the city from January ...

El Cajon's homeless feeding ban reconsidered

Councilman suggests discussion as hep A epidemic wanes

A city councilmember in El Cajon has proposed rescinding the controversial ordinance that prohibits people from giving food to the homeless in city parks. In a January 18 memo, councilmember Ben Kalasho said that as ...

University of Saint Katherine coming to Chula Vista

Small San Marcos school wasn't on the city's short list

Chula Vista will soon have the four-year university that it hoped to lure to the city, though, it wasn't likely the first choice. On Tuesday, the city council is expected to approve an agreement with ...

Councilman plans for Sacramento

Mark Kersey funded state senate campaign with $99,000

San Diego city councilmember Mark Kersey's state senate campaign now has the money needed to get up and running. On December 31, Kersey contributed $99,000 to the Mark Kersey for Senate 2018 committee. Kersey formed ...

Jehovah's Witnesses to settle sex-abuse case

Victim filed lawsuit six (6) years ago

A lawsuit is now settled between a former victim of sexual abuse and Jehovah's Witnesses. According to the court's website, the case is under a "conditional settlement." The terms and conditions of the settlement are ...

Rent-control guy for city council

Rafael Bautista's good-works momentum could unseat Myrtle Cole

On January 8th, rent-control advocate Rafael Bautista filed paperwork with the city to run for the District 4 council seat now occupied by Myrtle Cole. As covered by the Reader, Bautista is a real estate ...

Pura Vida bracelets from El Salvador, not Costa Rica

Ex-employee joined by class action suit

A popular bracelet company based in San Diego which makes bracelets worn by celebrities is a fraud, says a new class action lawsuit filed in San Diego Superior Court. Pura Vida Bracelets was started by ...

Sprayed and tased in Hillcrest's commercial zone

Deaf man claims police didn't believe he was disabled

A deaf man says he was doused with pepper spray and tased for parking in a commercial loading zone in Hillcrest for two minutes. The man, Jeffrey Robinson, has since filed a claim to San ...

Salk Institute vs. Women?

Hints of cover-up following 2003 gender-bias study

Top administrators at San Diego's Salk Institute have been aware that female scientists were underpaid compared to their male colleagues as well as unfairly treated. According to documents obtained by the Reader, scientist Katherine Jones, ...

San Ysidro School District sued (again)

Former superintendant's $400,000 severance pay issue unresolved

Legal problems continue to mount for the San Ysidro School District over the $400,000 severance package it gave to former superintendent Julio Fonseca earlier this year. On December 15, public watchdog group San Diegans for ...

City okays USD plans to build on three sides of widow’s home

USD to neighbor: Sell us your house or we’ll build a six-story parking garage next door

The Spanish villa that Virginia LaGuardia and her husband built in the 1970s may soon be nestled against a massive parking garage, student housing, and an administrative building that the University of San Diego intends ...

Chula Vista firefighters get that overtime money

City says audits will make sure short paychecks don't happen again

The City of Chula Vista will pay more than $1 million to settle a lawsuit filed by more then 120 city firefighters over unpaid overtime pay. The Reader obtained a proposed settlement in a case ...

"Landmark" pine tree the culprit

Parents of Nicki Lyn Carano sue for wrongful death of their daughter

The City of San Diego says a Pacific Beach condominium complex has some liability in the death of a local musician who was killed when a large pine tree fell on her car in January ...

Deported U.S. Army vet wants in

Hector Barajas takes first step toward suing federal government

A U.S. Army veteran who was deported to Mexico has filed a complaint against the federal government in hopes of returning to the U.S. Hector Barajas, 40, filed the complaint on December 12, and while ...

Claim says deputies used excessive force

Overabundance of caution and/or taser zaps fried Mark Adkins

The widow of a man who was tasered to death by sheriff's deputies in May 2017 has filed a wrongful death claim against the County of San Diego. The claim is the first step before ...

Whistle-blowing firefighter's case settled

Former deputy chief reported safety issues, was passed up for promotion

The City of Chula Vista will pay a former deputy fire chief $350,000 over allegations that he was purposely passed up for promotions for blowing the whistle. Firefighter John Hess sued the city in 2014 ...

Tennis pro's dad in hospital? Or jail?

Troubles mount for accused child molester Nick Philippoussis

A hearing date has been set in the criminal prosecution of the father of a former tennis professional who was arrested for the rape of two nine-year-old girls. Nick Philippoussis will appear on January 4 ...

El Cajon pro-pot interests sue city

"Proposition 64 did not contain an opt-out provision."

A group of El Cajon residents and business owners is accusing city officials of criminalizing commercial marijuana activity. El Cajon Residents for Responsible Governance filed a lawsuit in Superior Court over a newly adopted land-use ...

Mini-dorms in College Area A-OK — for now

Injunction stops enforcement, judge notes iffy constitutionality

A Superior Court judge today (December 1) put a permanent stop to enforcement of the City of San Diego's mini-dorm ordinance. Judge Ronald Styn ruled that the city's Residential High Occupancy Permit, which forces landlords ...

U.S. Marine arrested on child-porn charges

Billy Joe Morton allegedly failed to cover his Facebook tracks

Additional evidence has come out in the case of a Camp Pendleton Marine who used a government computer on base to download and exchange images of child pornography. Special agent for the Naval Criminal Investigative ...

Save Civita Because Sudberry Won't

Disappointed homeowners sue city

A group of Mission Valley residents living in the Civita community are suing the City of San Diego for approving a plan to build a freeway connector directly through their development. The group, calling itself ...

Grizzly dog's death not entirely for naught

Settlement in case over police shooting of family dog

The City of San Diego and a City Heights family whose dog was shot and killed by a San Diego police officer has agreed to settle a lawsuit over the shooting. According to court documents, ...

Alleged sex, lies, and genital moles

Union boss Mickey Kasparian responds to deposition specifics

A former union employee who says her boss Mickey Kasparian forced her into a sexual relationship has given testimony that raises doubts as to Kasparian's denial of the relationship. In December of last year, Isabel ...

Error alleged in Rancho Bernardo High baseball

Player says former coach hit him in the back of the head

A Rancho Bernardo High School student is suing the school district and the school's legendary baseball coach for retaliating against him after he complained that a freshman coach sucker-punched him in the back of the ...

Jehovah's Witnesses' withheld info will cost them

Appellate court lets stand prior ruling that penalizes at rate of $4000 daily

The clock is ticking for Jehovah's Witnesses headquarters to turn over documents detailing sexual abuse of children by kingdom elders. For each day they do not, the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, Jehovah’s Witnesses’ organizational ...

Killed in jail while mentally ill

Claim filed against county for not considering violent cellmate

A mother and father whose mentally ill son was killed in the San Diego County Central Jail by an aspiring rapper and bank robber from New Zealand has filed a claim against the county. Lyle ...

Fled from cops, crashed, died, girlfriend survived

Claims police wrongfully pursued light-running motorcyclist

A woman who was injured during a police pursuit by San Diego police officers that resulted in her boyfriend's death has filed a claim against the city, a precursor to a lawsuit. Angelica Sanchez was ...

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