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The judge in the case of the anti-Bank of America protester has issued a gag order, prohibiting the defendant or any witnesses from speaking to any members of the media.

Judge Howard Shore criticized the media coverage in the case, objecting to reports that defendant Jeff Olson is facing 13 years in jail for scribbling anti-big-bank messages outside of three San Diego Bank of America branches.

As was reported here, the City of San Diego's complaint filed on April 16 in San Diego Superior Court lists thirteen separate vandalism charges. Next to each charge, under sentence range is "1 Yr/$1,000."

"It's not going to happen and I would be surprised if it ever happened to any defendant with no criminal record," Shore told the lawyers and members of the media during today's hearing.

During the lunch break, Olson read a statement from his lawyer to reporters.

"My attorney has instructed me as follows," read Olson from a small crumbled up piece of paper. "This morning Judge Shore issued a gag order prohibiting all counsel and parties from commenting or expressing opinions on the case. All I am permitted to say is that I disagree."

The gag order came less than three hours after Olson appeared on the Mornings with Chip and Ladona radio show on KOGO. During the show, Olson was not shy with his opinions on the Bank of America security executive who continued to ask San Diego Police Officers and the City Attorney's Office for prosecution as well as on other issues.

The decision is in addition to a previous ruling from Shore which prohibits Olson's attorney Tom Tosdal from mentioning the First Amendment, free speech, free expression, public forum, expressive conduct, or political speech during the trial.

At today's hearing, Judge Shore didn't stop at voicing his disappointment with the media coverage. He then turned his attention to Mayor Filner for his statements in support of the defendant's right to free speech.

Shore said the Mayor was "irresponsible" for comments he made in a June 20 memo, as was reported here on June 23.

"This young man is being persecuted for thirteen counts of vandalism stemming from an expression of political protest that involved washable children's chalk on a City sidewalk," read Filner's statement. "It is alleged that he has no previous criminal record. If these assertions are correct, I believe this is a misuse and waste of taxpayer money. It could also be characterized as an abuse of power that infringes on First Amendment particularly when it is arbitrarily applied to some, but not all, similar speech."

Shore also stated that the Mayor has no place injecting himself in court trials, regardless of his opinion on the case.

Filner's office was asked for comment yesterday on this case but so far has failed to respond.

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SurfPuppy619 June 27, 2013 @ 1:25 p.m.

Shore also stated that the Mayor has no place injecting himself in court trials, regardless of his opinion on the case.

Judge Shore seems to HATE that pesky 1st Amendment right to free speech. Shore, go back to law school, and re-take Con Law 101 and learn a thing or two you fool.


fredjones2005 June 28, 2013 @ 10:02 a.m.

Shore just can't keep his foot out of his mouth.


SurfPuppy619 July 1, 2013 @ 6:17 p.m.

I would like to put MY FOOT up his and Goldies ass for this stunt..............


Visduh June 27, 2013 @ 2:11 p.m.

Just when you think it can't get any nuttier, it does. A gag order for a misdemeanor case? Those are reluctantly put on serious felony cases--think murder--some of the time. And so this judge doesn't like the negative publicity and imposes one in a vandalism case.

Filner ought to keep his mouth shut and his comments to himself, but hey guys, you elected him, and could have anticipated this sort of thing.

SurfPup, please tell us if this sort of speaking from the bench to defend the trial is the sort of thing judges are allowed to do. And, while you're at it, doesn't this announcement that the sentence definitely won't be 13 years presuppose the result of the trial? I thought judges were supposed to keep their own counsel and speak sparingly during testimony and deliberation. Judge Judy is a model of restrained judicial action compared to this nut job.


SurfPuppy619 June 27, 2013 @ 3:37 p.m.

SurfPup, please tell us if this sort of speaking from the bench to defend the trial is the sort of thing judges are allowed to do. And, while you're at it, doesn't this announcement that the sentence definitely won't be 13 years presuppose the result of the trial? This kind of bullshit happens all the time in state courts with state judges. As for the 13 years, technically he could get 13 years if convicted on all counts and as sentenced to the maximum with consecutive terms instead of concurrent terms, will that happen, no way. I would think ANY jail time is remote, and even a month would seem excessive to me. Also remember 13 years is not 13 years, as Penal Code section 4019 cuts all sentences in half. I do think the judge had a right to say that if there is a conviction there will be little if any jail time.


Don Bauder June 27, 2013 @ 3:38 p.m.

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN COMMENTS: Dorian, this great work of yours has gotten around the country via Huffington Post, Daily Kos, etc., with hundreds of trenchant comments. Sen. Elizabeth Warren just read about the Jeff Olson case on Huffington Post and tweeted, "You've got to be kidding me." Congratulations, Dorian. Best, Don Bauder


Dorian Hargrove June 27, 2013 @ 4:50 p.m.

Very cool. Thanks, Don. It means a lot coming from you.--dh


Fred Williams June 29, 2013 @ 4:29 a.m.

Let me add my kudos to your fine work, Dorian. You deserve the accolades your receiving for covering this case, and shining the light on the contacts between the ex-cop at BofA and the SDPD and City Attorney's office.

Please be sure to remind readers that back when he was in the legislature, Goldsmith defended civil disobedience and free speech for ferret owners. Willie Brown famously quiped that Goldsmith's bill to legalize ferrets was "as dead as that thing he wears on his head".


DavidnPB June 27, 2013 @ 4:01 p.m.

A GAG ORDER in a misdemeanor case?

This is one thin- skinned Judge [who has never been in private Practice---16 years as an assistant DA in San Diego, so he seems to be strongly favoring---even protecting the City Attorney here], who has issued an unconstitutional Order sua sponte--on his own---with no Motion by either Party to the dispute.

The Judge is becoming a Politician by critiquing the Mayor, who has an absolute First Amendment right to say anything he wishes about the City Attorney, this merits of this Case, and the Judge.

Perhaps large crowds of the general public should attend tomorrow's festivities. This has become a total Circus--the best show in town. If it were not such an abuse of power and waste of public resources.

Come on down. Bring your own chalk !!


BlueSouthPark June 27, 2013 @ 4:56 p.m.

Wow, great reporting, Dorian Hargrove! Sen. Warren, my hero, commenting is a huge compliment.

I'm proud to have voted for Mayor Bob, who is so "irresponsible" that he points out the ridiculous in San Diego. May he continue to be irresponsible in this way - he isn't likely to run out of issues that inspire him to be so.

I believe the "irresponsible" memo was sent to Councilman Todd Gloria, not to the media. In any case, can Judge Shore issue a gag order to shut down communications between City officials?


dwbat June 27, 2013 @ 5:08 p.m.

As a Valley Girl (years ago) would have said about this judge: Gag me with a spoon!


HonestGovernment June 27, 2013 @ 5:16 p.m.

Good job, Reader and Dorian. The whole world is gagging.

The Swedish news is on the story: http://blog.svd.se/wallstreet/2013/06/27/antikapitalistisk-kamp-13-ar-i-finkan/

Reader is cited: Till råga på allt har domaren, enligt San Diego Reader, förbjudit den åtalade 40-åringen att under rättegången ens hävda sin rätt att uttrycka sig fritt.

Rough translation: To top it all, the judge, according to the San Diego Reader, banned the accused 40-year-old to the trial even assert their right to free expression.

This undermines the Lincoln Club claiming Filner is ruining San Diego's reputation, doesn't it? But hey, on the positive side, maybe the TMD will see it as free advertising.


HonestGovernment June 27, 2013 @ 6:20 p.m.

I didn't think it was appropriate to criticize Judge Shore, unless he earned criticism. He has. He has spoken in a politically charged way about this simple misdemeanor. He obviously has an axe to grind. Well then, let's see what that might be:

Judge Shore has a history. He was overturned by the 4th Appellate on Oct 24, 2012, a ruling which was published (very important, as it becomes a legal precedent). The Superior Court trial at which Judge Shore presided concerned a defendant who was denied a defense. Sound familiar?

The OBRag reported that the defendant "was denied a defense and ultimately convicted. San Diego Superior Court Judge Howard Shore, ... referred to medical marijuana as “dope,” and called California’s medical marijuana laws “a scam,” ... sentenced Jackson to 180 days in jail."


BillRayDrums June 27, 2013 @ 6:21 p.m.

Sad when this stuff happens, the corporate interests are now deep in the nether regions of our legal system so flagrantly that they pull off things like this so overtly and in the open. It's pretty apparent on which side the judge's and city attorney's bread is buttered on.

Cause and effect will reign supreme here. This could very well be a career ender for a few people in the judicial system and Olson may end up owning the slabs of concrete under where stands every BofA in San Diego once the ACLU runs roughshod over this one.

I hope he follows through, maybe he'll turn them into concert venues, much like 4th & B was an old bank.

Anyhow, here's my my token "civil disobedience" http://missionfed.com Go open an account, so worth it. They are great.


HonestGovernment June 27, 2013 @ 7:30 p.m.

Here's a good acccounting of the decision Judge Howard H. Shore orchestrated in 2010, by denying a basic defense:



perlhaqr June 28, 2013 @ 9:50 a.m.

Always sad to see a judge and prosecutor behaving like corporate shills.


skinnerrick June 29, 2013 @ 10:19 a.m.

Several years ago I received a summons to Court. I don't recall the violation, but it was something to do with threatening phone calls. I went to Court on the date and was relieved to find I was being accused of sending threatening emails and the evidence was fabricated, by the accuser, Ian Jones--No relation to Jan Goldsmith's Jones. Over the next year it would not go away. My attorney subpoenaed the original evidence that was probably required to prosecute. It had no impact on Goldsmith or Jones when the accuser hired private counsel to quash the subpoena claiming it was overly broad. Sadly, as a non-attorney, I agreed and I couldn't figure out why 3 months of emails were subpoenaed. My guess is that Ian Jones had probably emailed friends as to his false allegation and evidence fabrication and it would have been incriminating. The subpoena would have proven conclusively (evidence that can not be refuted by any other evidence or testimony) that the allegations were false and the evidence was fabricated.

My attorney wanted to go to trial. I asked why we would risk going to trial when the conclusive evidence was a proper subpoena to google away? Then I learned a language that I have heard on occasion: It is the gobbldy-goo of people who really don't have an explanation. When my lawyer finished explaining that the subpoena had been quashed and why he didn't want to anger the Court by a more specific one, I looked at him and told him that I could hear the words and I could process what he was saying, but there was no logic to his explanation.

So, I subpoenaed the specific emails that were in evidence myself. The charges were dropped, but that was not the end of it. I wrote Mr. Goldsmith multiple letters and spoke with Mr. Jones begging him to get the evidence and file felony charges against Ian Jones for fabricating the evidence. I even spoke to Captain Ball of the Eastern Division after the police refused to take a police report on the alleged crime. Captain Ball told me he had been a Police Officer for 30 years and never seen someone prosecuted for false allegations. Goldsmith is a politician like most prosecutors--a lot more interested in their careers that truth or justice. The chalk prosecution is a joke--just like Goldsmith. All the defendant needs to do it walk into Court and say "Not Guilty"...back to court later...and eventually they will realize that no jury will find guilty and the whole thing will be dropped. Sadly, if a Judge/politician looked at this, the power many find guilt. The criminal may get a large fine and probation. Bonnie Dumanis suggested her office take over prosecution for the City Attorney's office. This would save the city money.


HarryC July 1, 2013 @ 1:59 p.m.

Judge Howard Shore you have created this mess and continue to make a mockery of the court system. The man wrote on sidewalks with chalk....give him a $13 fine and move on to real cases, unless you like looking like a jack-ass.


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