Suspect Used Drone to Deliver Drugs; Roscoe Chicken Robber Arrested; Couple Kidnapped During Zoom Call, and Other Stories: Monday Morning Memo
CA Attorney General Becerra's Office Admits They Flubbed Gun Registry; Real Firearms Disguised as Nerf Guns; LA Fails to Stop Illegal Dumping
April 2, 2021
Courts & Rulings
Commissioner Campos says DA's policy doesn't override CA's remand order
Los Angeles Superior Court Commissioner Benjamin Campos on Friday reconsidered his March 3 order that dispositional proceedings involving a man who was convicted in 2016, at age 22, of a murder committed six years earlier, while a minor, will take place in Juvenile Court, deciding that, instead, he will conduct a "transfer hearing" to determine if the case did belong in the criminal court, where it was originally filed.
Presiding Judge Eric C. Taylor issues new order to extend certain case deadlines while the court paces its safe resumption of jury trials and expands access to justice
Presiding Judge Eric C. Taylor today thanked Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye for granting him the emergency authority to issue a new General Order extending last-day deadlines for Criminal trials, as well as Juvenile Dependency matters. With the help of effective Department of Public Health-approved safety measures established in all courthouses, the Order assists the Court in the safe expansion of Civil and Criminal jury trials throughout the county.
LA Superior Court News Release
Supreme Court makes it easier to sue police for excessive force
In two decisions Thursday, the Supreme Court made it easier for consumers to sue companies that have a nationwide presence and to hold police accountable for excessive use of force. In a unanimous ruling, the court said Ford Motor Company could be sued for allegedly defective vehicles involved in accidents in Montana and Michigan. One case was brought by family members of a Montana woman who died in the crash of a 1996 Explorer that her family members said had a design flaw.
California high court: Judges must weigh ability to pay bail
The California Supreme Court ruled Thursday that judges must consider suspects' ability to pay when they set bail, essentially requiring that indigent defendants be freed unless they are deemed too dangerous to be released awaiting trial. "The common practice of conditioning freedom solely on whether an arrestee can afford bail is unconstitutional," the justices said in a unanimous decision.
Negligence claim against father in federal lawsuit revived, son killed himself with father's service weapon
A jury could side with the mother of a Marist Catholic High School student who used his father's publicly issued service weapon to commit suicide in 2017, an appeals panel found. Carol Manstrom filed a lawsuit in 2018 on behalf of her son's estate, blaming his father, his father's supervisor and Lane County for his death. The father, Glenn Greening, was a Lane County parole and probation officer at the time.
11-year delay between filing of petition under SVPA and decision permissible
An 11-year delay between the filing of a petition to civilly commit a man as a sexually violent predator and a bench trial at which the allegations of the petition were sustained did not constitute a deprivation of the man's due process rights, Div. Two of this district's Court of Appeal held in an opinion that was certified for publication yesterday. Justice Judith Ashmann-Gerst authored the opinion, filed March 2.
Trump appointee accuses Ninth Circuit of 'judge-jitsu' and 'mischief' in immigration ruling
An immigration ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit is quite literally laden with mischief. The word appears nine times, including a reference to "Harry Potter," in a 115-page ruling reflecting how Trump judges are changing the court's dynamic. The perpetrator of the alleged mischief is not one of the parties in the ruling, which attracted two concurrences and two dissents that did not squarely follow partisan lines.
Court orders padlocks on CA bar's doors over COVID violations, so owner removes doors
A Burbank restaurant has removed its doors after a court signed off on padlocking the bar's entrance because the business was accused of defying coronavirus orders. Lucas Lepejian, the co-owner of Tinhorn Flats Saloon & Grill, said the business was removing the doors of the restaurant after it was issued a temporary restraining order allowing Burbank to shut down the bar, NBC Los Angeles reported.
Supreme Court and Ninth Circuit limit reach of Freedom of Information Act
The Freedom of Information Act requires that federal agencies make records available to the public upon request, unless the records fall within one of nine exemptions. "Exemption 5" covers inter-agency or intra-agency communications that would be privileged in civil litigation, including under the attorney-client, work product or deliberative process privilege.
Iowa college officials denied immunity in religious freedom case
University of Iowa administrators who denied official recognition to a Christian organization of business students may be held individually liable for violating the First Amendment rights of the students, the Eighth Circuit ruled Monday. The St. Louis-based appeals court reversed a trial court ruling that said the university administrators enjoyed qualified immunity, which is a judicially created shield that protects public officials from individual liability who violate constitutional rights.
Courthouse News Service
'Non-infringement' judgment against LA porn studio stands
A man was properly granted summary judgment on a counterclaim seeking a declaration that he was not a copyright infringer and awarding him $47,776.63 in attorney fees and costs, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has held, rejecting the contention of the Los Angeles porn studio that sued him, that once it dropped its own suit for infringement, his action became pointless and should have been tossed out.
California Supreme Court rules insurers are not immune to lawsuits over excessive insurance costs
The California Supreme Court has ruled that insurance companies cannot avoid lawsuits filed by consumers over excessive title insurance costs – a ruling which could set an important precedent for all personal insurance lines, a consumer advocate says. In the case Villanueva v. Fidelity National Title Company, the court rejected Fidelity Insurance Company's argument that consumers have no right to go to court to challenge overcharges in connection with a sale or refinance of their homes.
Insurance Business America
2 Redondo Beach residents must pay nearly $900,000 in legal fees to mayor, councilman
A California appeals court has upheld a $900,000 ruling against two Redondo Beach residents who sued the mayor and a city councilman, among others, involved in a successful 2017 ballot measure campaign to limit waterfront development. The defendants cheered the decision while the plaintiffs in earlier proceedings vowed to appeal the ruling further if it did not favor them.
Torrance Daily Breeze
Chief Justice recognizes courts for remaining open and adapting to COVID-19
At the start of the council's Mar. 12 business meeting, Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye reviewed how courts over the past year have addressed challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Chief Justice explained how local court innovation, supported by state funding and branchwide emergency rules and technology planning, has delivered a variety of services and options for court users to access their justice system.
Orange County Breeze
Judge denies motion to dismiss BLM lawsuit against former LA County DA.
A judge Tuesday denied a motion to dismiss all civil allegations made by Black Lives Matter members against former Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey after her husband pointed a gun at the group when they showed up at the couple's home last year. However, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Theresa M. Traber found issues with half of the remaining four claims against Lacey in the lawsuit.
City News Service
California may end 'spousal rape' distinction in punishment
California would end what lawmakers called an archaic distinction between spousal rape and other forms of sexual assault under identical bills backed by proponents on Monday. While there is no difference in the maximum penalties, those convicted of spousal rape currently can be eligible for probation instead of prison or jail. They also may not have to register as a sex offender.
California bills would take badges from misbehaving officers
California would start licensing law enforcement officers, create a way to end their careers for misbehavior including racial bias, and make it easier to sue them for monetary damages under an expanded version of legislation that died at the end of last year's legislative session, supporters said Tuesday. California is one of just four states without a way to decertify police officers, alongside Hawaii, New Jersey and Rhode Island.
What do victims want? New California justice reforms expose divide among crime survivors
On Jan. 13, 2020, Tony and Terry Lopez's world came crashing down around them: Their 20-year-old son, whom they called Lil Tony, had been shot in Los Angeles' San Fernando Valley. He died the next day. A year later, his family said the loss remains unbearable. The motive for the killing remains unclear. "He was such a beautiful soul. He had a great personality. Everybody was drawn to him," said Terry Lopez.
California lawmakers push bill to decertify police, end qualified immunity
California lawmakers are eyeing new police reforms after having "mild successes" following the police killing of George Floyd and nationwide calls for increased police accountability last year. Among the proposals is a bill to create a process to strip badges from police officers who commit certain crimes or misconduct. A similar measure failed to pass last year.
Huntington Beach officer charged with impersonating another officer online
A Huntington Beach police officer accused of impersonating a fellow officer online is facing misdemeanor charges, prosecutors announced Friday. Steven Tennant, 32, is facing two misdemeanor count of internet impersonation for the purpose of harming, intimidating, threatening and defrauding after prosecutors allege he posted another officer's photo and phone number on an online personals website.
Orange County Register
California prosecutors sue Amazon for alleged misleading pricing
Amazon is being sued by a coalition of California prosecutors, including the San Diego County District Attorney's Office, for allegedly misleading consumers regarding pricing on its website. Amazon did not immediately respond for comment regarding the complaint. Prosecutors allege Amazon misleads buyers by featuring "reference pricing" in its advertisements for various products.
City News Service
Judge denies defense request in Ed Buck trial (Video)
A federal judge in LA has denied efforts by former political fundraiser and activist Ed Buck, to exclude some key evidence from his upcoming trial for the drug overdose deaths of two men. I-team's Eric Leonard reports for NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on March 25, 2021.
Woman charged for attacking, making racial remarks at South Bay McDonald's employees
A San Jose woman has been charged with hate crime after authorities say she attacked and made some racial remarks towards two employees of a Mountain View McDonald's. The incident occurred on March 20 at the McDonald's on the 900 block of El Monte Avenue. According to the Santa Clara District Attorney's Office, 40-year-old Alena Jenkins was eating inside without a mask on, violating the fast-food restaurant's COVID-19 restrictions.
Los Angeles District Attorney
LA County settles with veteran prosecutor after FOX 11 report details allegations of Gascon retaliation
Just about a day after a longtime prosecutor told FOX 11 about the allegations of retaliation from LA County DA George Gascón, the county has offered the prosecutor a settlement. Earlier in the week, FOX 11's Bill Melugin shared Richard Doyle's story, as the veteran prosecutor with the LA County DA's Office accused Gascón of reprimanding him and then punitively transferring Doyle for questioning Gascón's order to drop a case against three anti-police protesters who were charged with attempting to wreck a train.
Gascón stops effort to prosecute juvenile gang murderer as adult; victim's family outraged
The sister of a man who was shot and killed by a juvenile gang member is outraged after the motion to have him prosecuted as an adult was withdrawn by District Attorney George Gascón as part of his new reforms, despite the fact that the murderer has continued to post his allegiance to his gang on social media while in custody. In September 2017, 40-year-old Ontario Courtney's car broke down in the wrong neighborhood in South LA, in an area that was controlled by the Hoover's gang.
Parole hearings fuel backlash over George Gascón's justice reforms
Life doesn't always come with second chances, but after nine attempts to get parole, Sam Lewis got one. He worked on his anger issues through therapy and earned a college degree while serving 24 years of a potential life sentence for second degree murder. "It's not easy to get captains and wardens to support your release unless they see the change," Lewis said, who was convicted at age 18, "and they're able see the change because they see you 24 hours a day."
BLM leader assures LA County D.A. Gascón: 'We have your back'
The leader of Black Lives Matter's most prominent chapter has promised to support Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón amid a looming recall effort, assuring him that his policy changes so far align with the activist group's vision for transforming America's largest criminal justice jurisdiction. "We're going to hold you accountable, but right now, you're going hard, and we are standing with you," Melina Abdullah, lead organizer of BLM-L.A, said Sunday. "We have your back."
The Daily Wire
A horrible crime in Beverly Hills is made worse by George Gascón's policies
Patrons enjoying an outdoor meal at Il Pastaio restaurant on March 4th in Beverly Hills were terrified, as it would be for any of us. A targeted attack during a quiet lunchtime in a peaceful community had taken place before their eyes. A man was robbed of his watch and a bystander woman was shot and seriously injured. The City of Beverly Hills and Beverly Hills Police Department responded as citizens who care about public safety would hope.
Monique Munoz: Protesters in Los Angeles seek justice for woman killed in Lamborghini crash involving teen driver
Protesters held a demonstration in downtown Los Angeles Friday demanding justice for a 32-year-old woman killed in a crash involving a Lamborghini driven by a teenager. Family, friends and supporters joined the protest outside of the L.A. County District Attorney's office. They're asking for appropriate charges to be levied against the teenage driver.
LA County D.A. Gascón vows 'efforts to transform a dated approach' are 'just beginning'
Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón reached his 100th day in office on Wednesday and held a virtual press conference touting his policy changes that shook up the nation's largest criminal justice jurisdiction. "Since I took office, I've instituted a series of reforms based on data and science that will enhance the safety of our community while reducing racial disparities and the misuse of incarceration," Gascón said.
The Daily Wire
Gascón responds to speculation about gang unit
A source within the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office has voiced concern over unconfirmed reports that District Attorney George Gascón plans to disband or significantly downsize the office's Hardcore Gang Division. The latest speculation and criticism against the top lawyer in the county stems from a press conference he held with members of the media Wednesday to review his first 100 days in office.
Did LA Times bury important evidence about LA DA Gascón's dismissal of BLM-related attempted train derailment case?
Last week I brought you the story of Richard Doyle, a 34-year veteran of the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office, and the discipline and retaliation he faced from DA George Gascón after refusing to drop charges against three Black Lives Matter protesters who were charged with placing a "slinky" barricade on a train track as they left a protest at Compton City Hall in November.
LA County OKs DA Gascon's request for a special prosecutor on police misconduct
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, March 23, approved a special prosecutor to assist investigations of alleged police misconduct. With the board's go-ahead, District Attorney George Gascon can now appoint former federal prosecutor Lawrence Middleton to a four-year term at a cost of no more than $1.5 million each year. Middleton would provide recommendations on cases and assist in prosecuting cases under Gascon's direction.
District Attorney Recall
Reform-minded Los Angeles DA faces blowback in first months
Minutes after George Gascón was sworn in as Los Angeles County district attorney, he fulfilled a promise to institute sweeping criminal justice reform, sending a lengthy memo ordering prosecutors to stop seeking longer prison sentences, among other changes. To many of his deputies, it may as well have been a declaration of war. The union representing prosecutors quickly sued their new boss to block the policy.
Gascón responds to council's no confidence vote
On March 16, the Beverly Hills City Council passed a Resolution of No Confidence against Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón. The previous day, a representative for Gascón reached out to the Courier and arranged for an interview with him. The hour-long interview took place while the resolution was being considered by the City Council. In the interview, Gascón reacted to the resolution against him and responded to criticisms of his policies and directives that the Council brought up during both the afternoon Study Session and the evening Regular Session.
Beverly Hill Courier
Former LA City Councilman Dennis Zine on the recall of DA George Gascón
Representatives for the Recall George Gascón campaign include victims' rights advocates, former law enforcement officials and current and former prosecutors, including former L.A. County Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley. Former L.A. Councilman Dennis Zine is listed as the chairman and former county Supervisor Michael Antonovich is an honorary chairman.
Los Angeles County/City
What secret files on police officers tell us about law enforcement misconduct
For years, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department has kept under wraps a list of deputies with records of misconduct. When a former sheriff tried to hand over the roster to prosecutors, the union for rank-and-file deputies stepped in to block the disclosure, triggering a fierce legal fight that reached the California Supreme Court. In another case, the Sheriff's Department disregarded a federal judge's repeated orders to produce the list in a lawsuit brought by the mother of a man fatally shot by deputies.
Los Angeles Times
Simi Valley police investigate whether suspected drug dealer used drone to deliver heroin to customers
Police are investigating whether a suspected drug dealer used a drone to deliver heroin to customers. John Piani was arrested Friday as narcotics detectives were investigating possible heroin and methamphetamine sales in Simi Valley. At the time of the arrest, Piani was operating a drone, police said. When detectives recovered the remote-controlled aerial device, they found suspected heroin attached to it, the Ventura County Star reported.
How LA County will treat more people with mental illness outside of jail
The L.A. County Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to approve a measure that will increase funding for a program that works to reduce the population of people with mental illness in county jails. With the additional $34.7 million, the program will be able to serve 415 people, up from its current capacity of 215. There are about 400 people in the jails who would be eligible for this program at any given time, and about 1,100 each year, according to ODR Medical Director Dr. Kristen Ochoa.
Cerritos College receives grant to expand its Court to College program
Cerritos College has received a $225,000 grant to expand a program designed to help formerly incarcerated people stay out of prison and receive a college education. The Los Angeles County Department of Health Services provided the grant to expand the Court to College program, which has served nearly 90 students since it began six years ago - with an 81% success rate in preventing recidivism. Cerritos College, in Norwalk, announced the grant Wednesday, March 17.
Long Beach Press-Telegram
LA police, fire departments trying to convince their first responders to get vaccinated (Video)
There's a new effort to encourage employees to get the shot. Eric Leonard reports for the NBC4 News on Wednesday, March 24, 2021.
LA County sheriff fights subpoena over secret deputy gangs
Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva says he will not honor a subpoena from the county inspector general, suing to block the county from forcing him to sit down for an interview on what he knows about "deputy gangs" within the sheriff's ranks. Villanueva filed his petition Monday calling the subpoena "too broad, harassing" and said as the head of a government agency he's not subject to depositions.
Courthouse News Service
LA could roll back move to ticket sidewalk vendors who lack permits
Los Angeles is weighing whether to formally reinstate a moratorium on ticketing unpermitted vendors who sell hot dogs, elote and other street foods on its sidewalks, reversing a decision made in the early days of the pandemic. Under the proposal, the city would not issue citations to food vendors who lack permits, focusing instead on education and outreach to vendors.
Los Angeles Times
Protesters clash with police over shut down of Echo Park Lake homeless camps, several arrested
Dozens of people were arrested Thursday night during a protest against the removal of a large-scale homeless encampment at Echo Park Lake and the park's indefinite closure to clean up an estimated $500,000 in damage. 182 people were arrested on charges of failure to disperse, Los Angeles police announced Friday. The last two residents of the encampment, who police said refused to leave, were removed and arrested Friday on misdemeanor charges of erecting a tent in a city park, police said.
Suspect in custody after man stole chicken at gunpoint from Pasadena Roscoe's following mask dispute
The man who returned to a Pasadena Roscoe's to steal chicken at gunpoint following a mask dispute last month has been identified and arrested, police announced Thursday. The incident unfolded Feb. 3 when the man argued with an employee at Roscoe's House of Chicken & Waffles on Lake Avenue after he refused to a wear a mask, according to the Pasadena Police Department.
LA County law enforcement officials urge public to report hate crimes, incidents when they happen
Los Angeles County law enforcement officials urged the public to report hate crimes or incidents during a Thursday, March 18 virtual panel in which they gave updates on hate-fueled incidents, namely those directed at the Asian community. Sheriff Alex Villanueva, Undersheriff Tim Murakami and others, including Deputy District Attorney Jonathan Hatami, decried this week's Atlanta shootings in which eight people, including six Asian women, were killed by a white gunman.
Orange County Register
As catalytic converter thefts skyrocket, Southern California police promote tactics to fight back
Thefts of catalytic converters from vehicles have skyrocketed during the pandemic, prompting a more aggressive response from Southern California police agencies in warning car owners about the crime and helping them to fight back. Los Angeles County Sheriff's Lt. Thomas Giandomenico, who has been battling the problem, likened its trend to a "nationwide pandemic." LASD says such thefts in its jurisdictions leaped from 741 in 2019 to 2,767 in 2020.
Southern California News Group
2 fatally stabbed in Altadena as crime unfolds on Zoom call; suspect arrested
A man and a woman were stabbed to death at an Altadena home Monday afternoon in a crime that unfolded on a Zoom call. According to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, deputies responded to the 3000 block of North Marengo Avenue, near Athens Street, at about 2:45 p.m. for reports of a possible kidnap in progress after a person on a Zoom call with one of the victims saw something happen and called 911.
Amazon 'seller' liability to be argued in Texas toddler's case
Amazon.com Inc. is set to tell the Texas Supreme Court Thursday that it's not - and shouldn't be - liable under state law for a toddler's battery-ingestion injury, allegedly stemming from a product bought on the company's web marketplace. Whether Amazon is a "seller" of third parties' marketplace products where it doesn't hold title to them, but stores and ships them in fulfilling the order, is the question before the state high court.
Becerra quietly admits failure of CA gun registration site
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra's office quietly signed a settlement agreement in federal court admitting his agency's gun-registration website was so poorly designed that potentially thousands of Californians were unable to register their assault weapons and comply with state law.
California governor chooses progressive lawmaker as top cop
California Gov. Gavin Newsom nominated a progressive Filipino American state assemblyman as California's next attorney general Wednesday, ensuring a push from the top for criminal justice reform and other liberal priorities in the nation's most populous state. Assemblyman Rob Bonta, a 48-year-old Democrat from the east San Francisco Bay Area city of Alameda, would be the first Filipino American to hold the state's top law enforcement job, which has an outsize role in influencing national policy and moving financial markets.
NC deputies find real firearms disguised as Nerf guns while conducting drug arrest
Deputies found real guns disguised as toys at the home of a man arrested on drug charges Wednesday. On March 13 investigators with the Catawba County Sheriff's Office, Hickory Police and the Newton Police executed a search warrant at a home on Old Catawba Road in Catawba after learning that narcotics were possibly at the location.
Unbearable pain: How bear spray became a prized weapon for violent protesters
Bear spray has been used as a weapon by civilians in a number of high-profile incidents in recent months. The chemical irritant, which is similar to pepper spray but more potent, has been deployed by right-wing and left-wing protesters against one another and police in the Pacific Northwest. In Staten Island, New York, police say a man used it to incapacitate deli clerks in a series of robberies last December.
Researchers struggle to get access to gun violence data from state DOJ
Assemblymember Phil Ting wants the California Department of Justice to release gun violence data he says is vital to guiding public policy debates. In response to proposed regulations that would allow the state Department of Justice to withhold the personal information of people with gun violence restraining orders, Ting drafted Assembly Bill 1237, which would reiterate the department's duty to release such information to researchers.
San Francisco Examiner
Retired nurse handcuffed while recording Sacramento neighbor's arrest settles lawsuit
A retired nurse who says he was detained and handcuffed by Sacramento sheriff's deputies for recording them on video after they tackled a neighbor and held him as he screamed "I can't breathe" has agreed to settle his federal civil rights lawsuit against Sheriff Scott Jones. Orlando Truitt, a 66-year-old Black man, has agreed to settle the suit he filed last October for a payment of $50,000 from Sacramento County, but his lawyer says he would have settled for much less.
Gov. Gavin Newsom having an affair with a high-level staffer
Cerritos News has learned from high-level sources that Gov. Gavin Newsom is having a romantic relationship with one of his close staffers. With his recall heating up, this could be the last straw between voters and Newsom. The sources are telling HMG-CN that many of Newsom's other high-ranking staffers are aware of the relationship, and are ready to jump ship. Another said, "I have heard rumors!"
Los Cerritos News
Ex-UCLA coach gets 8 months in prison for admissions scam
A former University of California, Los Angeles men's soccer coach was sentenced to eight months behind bars Friday for pocketing $200,000 in bribes to help applicants get into the school as bogus athletic recruits. Jorge Salcedo told the judge that he joined in the college admissions bribery scheme because he was desperate for cash after buying a house his family couldn't afford.
East LA gang member who led firebomb attacks on African American residences sentenced to 16 years in federal prison
A senior member of the Big Hazard street gang was sentenced this morning to 192 months in federal prison for orchestrating and executing the nighttime firebombing of African American families at the Ramona Gardens Housing Development in Boyle Heights in 2014 in order to force the residents out of their homes. Carlos Hernandez, 36, aka "Rider" and "Creeper," was sentenced by United States District Judge Christina A. Snyder.
Department of Justice News Release
Corrections & Parole
Sexually violent predator ordered to live in Twentynine Palms leaving community outraged
An Orange County Judge has tentatively ordered a sexually violent predator to move to Twentynine Palms. "I was shocked, I can't believe that they were willing to endanger all of the kids out here," said Jami Mundi, a Twentynine Palms resident. Mundi is the mother of three young girls, and she says she's now concerned about their safety. "His record shows that every time he's been released he's hurt a young girl. I don't see any remorse. I don't see where they think this time will be different," said Mundi.
NBC Palm Springs
California correctional officers union asks retirees to pay more dues to keep death benefit
The California Correctional Peace Officers Association is asking retired correctional officers to pay more in dues or lose a life insurance benefit, according to a letter sent to the retirees. The union, which represents about 28,000 state correctional officers plus roughly 15,000 retirees, is holding a vote on the proposal. Ballots are due March 30, according to the letter.
Court docs, inmates say staff failures fueled Donovan State prison's COVID-19 outbreak
Attorneys, those incarcerated at Richard J. Donovan prison and their family members say prison officials have failed to protect the people in their care and to contain COVID-19 in the facility, which has experienced 18 deaths - one of the deadliest outbreaks in the state prison system. Donovan houses more than 3,500 people, and with over 1,000 confirmed cases, nearly one in three incarcerated people has tested positive for the virus.
Voice of San Diego
Articles of Interest
A lawsuit aims to stop private firms from claiming copyrights on California laws
Let's say you're a volunteer firefighter and you want to buy a copy of the California fire code and copy it for your fellow volunteers. By doing so, you're breaking the law, according to the state; each of them would have to buy it separately from a national fire safety organization, for a couple of hundred dollars a shot. "We think that's nuts," Carl Malamud told me. "Not only is the code binding law, it's binding law that's critical for public safety."
Los Angeles Times
Can't sue Astros in California? See you in Texas, Mike Bolsinger says
On the day a judge told Mike Bolsinger he had no business suing the Houston Astros in California, the pitcher had a swift response: Fine, I'll sue them in Texas. The lawsuit filed by Bolsinger, the pitcher who claimed the Astros' cheating ruined his career, was dismissed Wednesday by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Robert Draper. On Tuesday, Bolsinger signed with the Long Island Ducks of the independent Atlantic League.
Los Angeles Times
QAnon now pushes alarming conspiracy myths targeting China and Jewish people
Experts on extremism are warning about a troubling shift in the right-wing QAnon movement toward a new vein of conspiracy that blends anti-Chinese and anti-Jewish tropes with fears of vaccines and a global plot to take over the world. Broadly collected under the idea of a "new world order," it's a QAnon rebranding, said researcher Joel Finkelstein, director of Rutgers University's Network Contagion Research Institute, allowing conspiracy theorists to pivot after a year of political upheaval, scrutiny and disappointing predictions.
Los Angeles Times
Councilmember suing City of Santa Monica over conflict of interest decision
A Councilmember is suing Santa Monica over a conflict of interest decision relating to a voting rights case brought against the City by his wife. On March 3, Santa Monica City Councilmember Oscar de la Torre filed a lawsuit against the City of Santa Monica in Los Angeles County Superior Court. The lawsuit seeks an injunction against the City of barring him from taking part in discussion and voting on action relating to a voting rights case brought against the City by his wife.
Santa Monica Mirror
LA's illegally dumped garbage is 'piling up' with no end in sight
A scathing report released Wednesday by the Los Angeles City Controller details how LA has failed to stop garbage from being illegally dumped all over town, seriously impacting public health and the quality of life. "It's utterly unacceptable and we are all experiencing it, unfortunately, in every single neighborhood of Los Angeles," LA City Controller Ron Galperin told the NBC4 I-Team. Galperin authored the long-awaited audit.
How is a hate crime defined and charged in California?
People across the country are standing in solidarity with Asian American and Pacific Islander communities as women, elders and those most vulnerable have increasingly become targets of racism and violence. "It's so important that we understand that the assaults that we've seen against the AAPI community or previously any other community, is an assault on all of us," said Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón.
Rose Bowl organizer drops slander claim in trademark spat with Pasadena
The Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association sued its Southern California host city last month over a dispute on ownership of the Rose Bowl trade name. Now, the tournament organizer has dropped an accusation of slander from the broader suit. The Rose Bowl is the nation's oldest college football tournament and one its most celebrated and storied sporting events.
Courthouse News Service
The pension bailouts begin
Democrats left no liberal interest group behind in their $1.9 trillion spending bill this month. That includes private unions whose ailing multi-employer pension plans will get an $86 billion rescue. This is the first of many such air-drops to come. It was perhaps inevitable that Congress would bail out multi-employer pensions for the Teamsters and other private unions after doing so for coal miners in 2019. But the Democrats' spending bill does nothing to fix the structural problems that have made these union pensions funds so sick.
Wall Street Journal
How 401(k) accounts killed pensions to become one of the most popular retirement plans for US workers
About $33.1 trillion - that is how much Americans have saved up for retirement as of September 2020, according to the Investment Company Institute. Around $6.5 trillion of that is held in 401(k) accounts, representing nearly one-fifth of the U.S. retirement market. "It's part of what we call ... the three-legged stool of the U.S. retirement system, the other two parts being Social Security and private savings," said Anqi Chen, assistant director of savings research at the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College.