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Stories by Dorian Hargrove

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 ...

City to pay $3.2 million for stormwater enforcement lapses

Will fund work at Penasquitos, San Diego River, Chollas Creek

The City of San Diego has agreed to pay the state water board $3.2 million for water pollution resulting from lax enforcement of sediment-control measures at construction sites near the Los Peñasquitos Lagoon, Tijuana River ...

Sheriff deputy cleared in 2015 "suicide by cop" death in Encinitas

Despondent Kendrick aimed the shotgun at Block which prompted the deputy to shoot six rounds

A law enforcement review board has ruled that San Diego County Sheriff's deputy Steven Block was justified in the shooting death of 56-year-old Gary Kendrick in Encinitas on March 27, 2015. The Community Law Enforcement ...

City spent $29,689 for cars damaged due to potholes

Over 520 requests for payments so far this year

Since January 1, 2017 drivers in San Diego have submitted more than 520 claims to the city's Risk Management Department seeking compensation for damage done to their car as a result of running over potholes. ...

Former Chargers' intern struck by hit-and-run driver files claim against the city

J'Ron Erby alleges the city was aware of defective street design at Bayard and Garnet

Former San Diego Chargers public relations intern, J'Ron Erby who was struck while crossing a busy street in Pacific Beach by a hit-and-run driver has filed a claim against the City of San Diego, alleging ...

Man falsely suspected of killing officer files claim against the city

Claim alleges "false detainment" and property damage in hours after officer Jonathan DeGuzman was killed while on patrol

A man and several of his family members have filed claims against San Diego's police force for property damage and false arrest during the July 2016 investigation into a shooting which killed police officer Jonathan ...

City to pay $150,000 settlement to Lobaton family for excessive force

San Diego police officers beating man at City Heights home

The City of San Diego has agreed to pay Hedy Julca and Luis Lobaton $150,000, not including attorney's fees, for allegations that four police officers used excessive force during a July 29, 2014 incident inside ...

Off-duty sheriff’s detective chokes driver who cut him off

DA’s office charges motorist

Young, black, and choked out by a questionable detective.

Grossmont Union High School distances itself from sexual abuse lawsuits by former drama teacher

One case has since been dismissed while the other in mediation

The Grossmont Union High School District is looking to put to rest two sexual abuse lawsuits filed by former students against a drama teacher at Granite Hills High School in El Cajon. On March 17 ...

Dog did hunt

Two women sue San Diego County Sheriffs over use of police dog in Fallbrook

A married couple trying to elude San Diego County Sheriff''s deputies are suing the county and the deputies involved for excessive force used during their apprehension. The women say the San Diego County Sheriff's deputies, ...

City still hopes to prevent mayor from taking stand in deadly crosswalk lawsuit

Attorneys for the family of seven-month-old girl who died in 2015 accuse city of stonewalling

Attorneys for the City of San Diego hope to prevent mayor Kevin Faulconer from taking the witness stand in the wrongful death lawsuit filed by parents of a 7-month-old girl who was killed as her ...

SDSU area mini-dorm group sues city of San Diego again

Family homes and yards vs. low-income students

The City of San Diego's efforts to prevent the proliferation of mini-dorms near San Diego State University is under attack, this time from a group calling itself the College Area Students, Tenants, and Landlords Association. ...

To L.A. for Olango justice

Activists call for special prosecutor in El Cajon police shooting

Community leaders in San Diego are continuing their quest to have a special prosecutor review the fatal September 2016 police shooting of 38-year-old El Cajon resident Alfred Olango. On March 24 activist Shane Harris, president ...

Rat-bite fever? It's a big thing for Petco

In case involving deceased boy, judge says corporation hid extent of problem

Rat-bite fever, an infectious and sometimes fatal bacterial disease spread from rats via bites, scratches, or their contaminated food or water, has been a much larger problem for San Diego–based Petco Animal Supplies than attorneys ...

Hotel taxes lost due to city’s internet ineptitude

Expedia, Hotwire, and Priceline cost the city millions in taxes

In December 2016, the California Supreme Court ended a 13-year legal fight waged by San Diego to collect tens of millions of dollars in hotel occupancy taxes from online travel companies such as Expedia, Hotwire, ...

SDSU to pay $95K for severed finger

Gate latch caused injury to Duke tennis player during match

A Duke University tennis player whose left index finger was mangled and partially severed after getting caught in a broken gate latch at San Diego State University's Aztec Tennis Center has agreed to settle his ...

Developer sues convention center corp.

Lawsuit says Steve Cushman was involved in email shenanigans

The developer of a $300 million hotel project at San Diego's convention center has filed a lawsuit against the public agency that manages the 525,000-square-foot meeting space, accusing a boardmember for the agency, Steve Cushman, ...

Kasparian conflict continues

Complaint says union boss backers unduly fired employee

The controversy surrounding union boss Mickey Kasparian and the sexual harassment and intimidation allegations against him have now spilled over to another influential union and an affiliated nonprofit. On March 9, Nohelia Ramos Campos filed ...

ROTC instructor's illicit sexcapade reverberates

Coronado and I.B. school districts sued

A former Mar Vista High School student is suing the Sweetwater and Coronado school districts for failing to prevent a Navy Junior ROTC instructor from luring her into a sexual affair. In September 2016 ROTC ...

He said he wasn't suicidal is why

Review board says deputies screened Robert Lubsen adequately

A San Diego County law-enforcement review board did not find sufficient evidence that deputies could have prevented the suicide of a 26-year-old man who had been arrested for stealing laptops from dorm rooms at Cal ...

What we need is a faster ambulance

Rural/Metro improves emergency response times

This week, representatives from the Arizona-based ambulance company will appear in front of San Diego's Public Safety and Livable Neighborhoods council committee to present a report on emergency response times for the months of December ...

San Ysidro School District supe sued

Julio Fonseca accused of sexy-times fumble involving hush money

In a new lawsuit, San Ysidro School District superintendent Dr. Julio Fonseca is accused of using $113,433 in public funds to silence a whistleblower who threatened to go public with allegations that Fonseca had hired ...

Lawsuit on top of lawsuit at office of education

Big earner accused of hostile environment claims unjust termination

Six months after San Diego County Office of Education superintendent Randolph Ward resigned amid allegations of fraud and mismanagement, turmoil at the office continues. The agency is responsible for financial and curriculum oversight of the ...

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