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Stories by Matt Potter

Undisclosed sex felons pose risk to talent school

Mental health inmates could imperil Mission Valley children

A Mission Valley mental health clinic treating federal prison inmates has been operating steps away from a talent school, exposing unknowing neighborhood children to the risk of contacts with sex offenders, says a recently released ...

Money battle now favors SoccerCity foes

John Moores and allies help SDSU option

Since late August, more than $1.7 million has poured into the coffers of forces battling the takeover of city-owned Qualcomm Stadium by SoccerCity, a group of wealthy La Jolla investors who have a friend in ...

Koch-funded college journalism arrives at SDSU

Students "a check on the power of the administration," per sponsor

Could San Diego State University, a bastion of the local business establishment that has carefully guarded its political and financial perogatives, be in for a housecleaning, courtesy of donations from conservative billionaire Charles Koch's foundation ...

Issa aide lives high in corn country

Rachel Laing gets snarky

Corn-fueled junket The Midwest farm lobby, trying to counter Donald Trump’s threats to water down federal biofuel mandates, is spending big to make its point to the administration and the Republican Congress. As reported by ...

Soon-Shiong's Los Angeles-Sacramento-Fresno-San Diego Bee?

More consolidations and layoffs loom for California papers

If anyone is still around who thinks San Diego's future won't be determined by big business from afar, a new bout of behind-the-scenes boardroom jockeying by Union-Tribune and Los Angeles Times owner Patrick Soon-Shiong may ...

Border patrol agents not fully trained for assaults

Drop in clashes here may be due to records glitch, report says

Agents of U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement aren't getting sufficient training to handle the assaults they face along the Mexican border, including the San Diego region, which the government says ...

No In-N-Out burgers on Dem cruise to New Orleans

Patrick Soon-Shiong lists 25 job openings at L.A. Times

Death of an ex-U-T journalist A former Union-Tribune reporter linked to investigative websites funded by the Koch brothers and allied conservative donors has died of unannounced causes in Houston, Texas at the age of 47. ...

U.S. audit hits Sheriff 's crime lab

Justice Department criticism released weeks after re-election

It cost taxpayers $92.6 million to build, but at least the San Diego County Sheriff's Department Regional Crime Laboratory — said by a recently released federal audit report to have experienced extensive security breaches at ...

Cate's craft beer, cocktailing, and private jets

Councilman at the center of SoccerCity scandal finally files charity reports

It's been a busy political season of beer drinking, free cocktailing and glad-handing for Sixth District San Diego city councilman Chris Cate, thanks in part to a torrent of charitable cash anted up by some ...

Goring the golden fleece

Taxpayers association insider spills the beans re endorsement fixes

A key lobbying arm of San Diego's business establishment has taken a direct hit from a well-connected member of its board over repeated incidents of alleged endorsement hanky-panky, possibly damaging the group's longtime ability to ...

The Airbnb referendum money

New Chargers reporter, suit against Soon-Shiong

Cruel and unusual lack of showers Inadequate showering at the county jail has become a target for criticism at the Citizens’ Law Enforcement Review Board, where staff has sustained complaints that unidentified guards failed to ...

SDSU prez De la Torre gets raise to $441,504

Sacramento pumps more money into colleges

Adela’s big fat salary It didn’t take long for new San Diego State University president Adela de la Torre, on the job for less than a week, to collect a tidy boost to her already ...

City Auditor heads for the hills of Beverly

Long-time watchdog departs amidst San Diego mayoral meltdowns

San Diego city auditor Eduardo Luna, an eleven-year veteran of rooting out scandals at what insiders assert is an increasingly dysfunctional city hall, is heading for Beverly Hills to assume a similar role in the ...

Avarice and denial shadowed mayor's ballot bid

Short of cash and signatures, Faulconer lashes out

To San Diego campaign watchers, Kevin Faulconer's bid to hike taxes for expanding the city's convention center while lining the pockets of his friends in the public relations industry was an obvious non-starter, though true ...

Susan Davis itchy feet

Lobbyist dream jobs and SDSU nightmares

Summer with Susan Davis Democratic House member Susan Davis, accustomed to partaking of free travel to exotic world locations courtesy of the Aspen Institute, stuck closer to home for her most recent all-expense-paid junket, two ...

Zapf's legal defense gambit

Special interest history of providing legal fund cash

What's a termed-out city councilwoman - or at least one whose reelection eligibility is being challenged in court - to do? In the case of Second District Republican Lorie Zapf, she sets up a legal ...

U-T strange ads: the doctor is in

Roberts and Cox blow left-over money on Vietnam trip and staff party

U-T’s bitter medicine San Diego’s Union-Tribune, beset by plunging circulation and falling advertising, is filling its pages with display ads from a controversial new sponsor closely tied to billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong, who acquired the struggling ...

The city hall honesty test

Mayor seeking headhunter to replace city auditor Eduardo Luna

When it comes to new San Diego city hires, filling the high-profile job of chief of police is always most contentious, with supporters and detractors emerging from the municipal woodwork to expound their opinions of ...

City's ex-homeless honcho joins LeSar firm

Atkins spouse cashes in on San Diego consulting gigs

A newly-arrived principal in a homeless consulting outfit run by the spouse of state Senate leader Toni Atkins has been told by a San Diego ethics official that work for the firm on city contracts ...

Crooked city employees, Susan Davis beats Trump to Helsinki

LA Times steals Comic-con turf

Bums away Kept under wraps at city hall are punishments meted out to miscreant employees caught by complaints to the city auditor’s hotline. “An allegation regarding a City employee parking at a restaurant for extensive ...

Union-Tribune vet takes over N.Y. Daily News

Tronc dumps half of remaining staff, names ex-San Diegan editor

It's been a busy few months for veterans of the tumultuous San Diego Union-Tribune newsroom, which has now seen two former managing editors move into influential positions at two of America's most famous, if deeply ...

San Diego's no-helmet scooter documents under wraps

City refuses records request, cites attorney-client privilege

Critics who have suspected San Diego city hall of being in cahoots with electric scooter interests may raise their eyebrows at an email response by mayoral staffer Almis Udrys regarding a California bill allowing scooter ...

Meridian — many storied high-rise

Pete Wilson versus Chumash Indians

Murder at the Meridian? Downtown’s Meridian condo tower on Front Street is getting some help from San Diego cops in covering up the details of a mysterious death at the building, fueling growing speculation that ...

Local Dems hasten to give away private prison cash

GEO Group, CoreCivic give big to both parties

Following disclosures here regarding cash from private prisons making its way into campaigns of both local Democrats and Republicans — and San Diego GOP mayor Kevin Faulconer's convention center tax hike bid — California Democrats ...

Out-of-town money pushing the room tax hike

Nearly half of political proceeds come from outside San Diego

With its main newspaper in the hands of a Los Angeles billionaire and its TV stations mostly acquired by national mega-corporations — the latest KFMB, the venerable local broadcaster taken over by Virginia-based Tegna last ...

The Union-Tribune's revolving door

And who San Diego cops gave money to

Norm’s staff omissions Seventy-five-year-old ex-Time Magazine honcho Norm Pearlstine, who took charge of the Los Angeles Times when it was finally purchased by billionaire physician Patrick Soon-Shiong last month, has handed the San Diego Union-Tribune, ...

Pendleton general slapped by Pentagon audit

Female aide delivered food, held workout equipment open

A deputy commanding general of the First Marine Expeditionary Force at Camp Pendleton – an ex-Marine Corps Inspector General - has been called out for breaking ethics rules by using a female officer aide to ...

A well-timed contribution of special interest

Airbnb backs Faulconer-favored convention center measure

The convention center expansion tax hike initiative backed by Kevin Faulconer has gotten some last-minute cash from an Airbnb-funded political committee, weeks after the San Francisco-based short-term rental outfit pronounced its satisfaction with the mayor's ...

Luxury Airbnb hustler sought

And someone to dun those chamber of commerce delinquents

County’s nepotism An investigation by San Diego County’s Chief of Audits Juan Perez has found that certain unnamed key employees have failed to disclose their financial holdings, as required by state conflict of interest law. ...

When San Diego fat cats run out of cash

Volunteers few for costly tax hike drive

The late Democratic boss and Assembly Speaker Jesse "Big Daddy" Unruh got credit for the aphorism "Money is the mother's milk of politics" back in the 1970s, but its truth has never been more painful ...

The fall of Horton Plaza

What happened between 1985 and now?

Pete Wilson grins at a homeless man sprawled near Horton Plaza mall, the downtown shopping center he muscled through city hall in the late 1970s. Wilson’s eyes never blink; the coattails of his tailored suit ...

Patrick Soon-Shiong gets Chargers luxury suite

City employees' Jamie Hamrick gets luxury rooms in Shanghai and Santa Monica

Soon-Shiong’s Chargers suite Now that Los Angeles billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong has finally secured control of the Los Angeles Times and San Diego Union-Tribune from the Chicago newspaper chain tronc (which is said to be about ...

Dumanis hit on weapons inventory

District Attorney's Dodge minivan found in disposal lot

County auditors had to do some detective work in the District Attorney's office to find a range of missing county property after they were called in to conduct a changing-of-the-guard review triggered by the departure ...

Can synergies and layoffs save the U-T?

A ghost of Platinum past trails Soon-Shiong

On June 17, after the announcement that billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong had closed a $580 million deal to take over the Los Angeles Times and San Diego Union-Tribune, USC journalism professor and former Wall Street Journal ...

Private prison donations, Shirley Weber's timely support, Imperial County hanky-panky

The smell of money

Big contributions, bar none GEO group, the controversial private prison outfit from Boca Raton, Florida that operates a downtown lockup called the Western Region Detention Facility for the United States Marshal’s Service and the Midway ...

Saldaña hits Dems on private prison cash

Target of immigration protests helped California politicos

CoreCivic, the private prison-owning giant out of Nashville, Tennessee that runs the Otay Mesa Detention Center for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, has been drawing heat as a result of president Donald Trump's immigration crackdown, but ...

North County's dark money triumph

As Jacobs blew family jewels, mystery cash took down Gaspar

While a granddaughter of a La Jolla billionaire Democrat spent a chunk of her sizable inheritance coming in third in the North County open primary to replace departing Republican Congressman Darrell Issa, a fund with ...

Who gave money to San Diego politicians

Nathan Fletcher, Toni Atkins, Joel Anderson, Brian Maienschein, Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher

Big Oil and gas A group of well-heeled oil companies from Texas had a mixed record of success in last week’s California primaries after spending nearly $400,000 in the Golden State on campaign hits against ...

County supes sidle up to Trump

Cox lobbyists visit San Diego pols, Del Mar envisions flooding

Trump lobby San Diego County’s Board of Supervisors, which voted in April to back president Donald Trump’s legal war against California sanctuary laws, is seeking to acquire more muscle for its battle to boost federal ...

Tronc eludes John Lynch’s embrace

Ex-Union-Tribune chieftain misses deal’s gold ring

The newspaper dreams of Rancho Santa Fe's colorful John Lynch, one-time vice-chairman and CEO of the Union-Tribune under Republican kingpin Douglas Manchester, appear to have been shattered by the latest development in the tortured saga ...

Phillips 66 favors two San Diego Democrats

Bill-gutting beneficiaries kick in for Gonzalez Fletcher, Atkins

As a bitterly fought primary campaign for county supervisor finally grinds to an end, a pair of high-ranking San Diego legislative Democrats have been loading up on last-minute campaign cash from two of America’s mightiest ...

Convention center donor's styrofoam agenda

Will Dart’s cash pierce city’s wall?

The day before San Diego city councilmembers Chris Ward and Barbara Bry rolled out a sure-to-be-controversial proposal to ban so-called expanded polystyrene food and beverage containers in the city, an American plastics heavyweight weighed in ...

Hueso's fat bank account, county bureaucrats like Apple

Doug Machester's hotel woes

Doing fundraising time State Senate Democrat Ben Hueso, running for reelection in next month’s primary against retired Republican Superior Court Judge Luis Vargas, is seen as the likely winner in the majority Democratic 40th district, ...

City workers cheat and lie for disabled spaces

Handicapped parking space abuse epidemic at city, audit finds

Hot on the tail of San Diego's meter-reading scandal comes word that at least two city Public Utilities Department workers have illegally used Disabled Person Placards to park in handicapped spaces, and similar abuse may ...

Texas oil funds San Diego hit spots

Valero, Tesoro kick in against Lori Saldana

With San Diego's nastiest race of primary season 2018 hitting new lows almost daily, a political committee funded by Sacramento's oil lobby checked into the contest with $35,000 on May 18 to help pay for ...

Atkins's money counters DeMaio's recall efforts

and; unbecoming behavior at the Balboa Navy Hospital

Gassed-up recall San Diego’s Toni Atkins, leader of the state senate, has been digging deep into one of her campaign kitties in a rough-and-tumble effort to save the seat of fellow senate Democrat Josh Newman ...

Cleaning up at Parks and Rec

Custodian fingered for stealing cleaning supplies and water

San Diego city auditor Eduardo Luna has gotten to the bottom of a case involving some long-missing cleaning supplies and water theft: the custodian did it. "Our Office received an allegation that a Parks and ...

Fletcher couple rumbles over spousal support

Custody and visitation rights loom in candidate’s court fight

The public persona of Nathan Fletcher, Republican-turned-Independent running for county supervisor as a Democrat, is embodied in the photo atop his Facebook page as a portrait of a happily blended family: he and second wife, ...

Out-of-town money cascades into supervisor race

Hit pieces funded by N.Y. labor, drunk driver, and MDs lobby

Whether settling past scores or anticipating future favorable votes from the county board of supervisors, a host of well-heeled special interests funded from outside county borders are pouring big money into the race to replace ...

Voice needs an editor; Chula Vista mayor needs hotelier cash

La Jollans freaking about more UCSD traffic; Sempra spending big on lobbyists

Job of Voice The Voice of San Diego news and opinion website is seeking “an investigative reporter to dig into issues of education quality, inequity, youth issues and related criminal justice storylines.” Adds the online ...

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