Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

Newsom Strikes the Word 'Alien' from All Laws; Downey is 31st City to Vote No Confidence in DA Gascon; CA Prison on the Hook for Cellmate Murder : Monday Morning Memo

YouTube and Twitter escape lawsuit for allowing terrorist propaganda; LAPD critic arrested for threatening homeless person; Prison staff mandated to get vaccines

 

October 13, 2021

Black Lives Matter

Mellina Abdullah, co-founder of Black Lives Matter LA, was the victim of another false alarm call bringing the police to her house

Courts & Rulings

Judge: California prison guards can't invoke qualified immunity after sticking homicide victim into cell with Aryan Brotherhood killer

A year after hearing arguments, a federal judge has given the green light to a lawsuit alleging prison officials were negligent when they placed a man listed as an Aryan Brotherhood enemy into a cell with a gang member who stabbed him to death within minutes.

Bay Area Newsgroup

Presiding Judge Eric C. Taylor amends general order to extend certain Criminal case deadlines by two weeks during ongoing Delta transmission in LA County

Presiding Judge Eric C. Taylor today announced he is extending deadlines for certain Criminal matters by an additional two (2) weeks under authority previously granted by Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye to safeguard the well-being of court users. Today's amended General Order extends the deadlines for applicable cases from September 26, 2021, to October 9, 2021.

LA Court News Release

Federal judge - somewhat reluctantly - upholds California law banning billy clubs

A San Diego federal judge ruled on Wednesday that a California law banning possession of a baton or billy club is constitutional, noting the prohibition's longstanding nature of being on the books for more than a century. The decision is the latest from U.S. District Court Judge Roger Benitez, who has been given jurisdiction over several cases filed in recent years challenging the state's strict laws regulating weapons.

San Diego Union-Tribune

C.A. reins-in actions under Unruh Civil Rights Act

Div. Two of the Fourth District Court of Appeal has affirmed a judgment in favor of Omni Hotels in an action brought by a blind woman who claimed a violation of the Unruh Civil Rights Act because she could not book a room via the hotel chain's website using a screen reader, with the justices holding that there's no breach of the act based on lack of access where the plaintiff had no actual intent to utilize the services.

Metropolitan News-Enterprise

Police lose appellate bid in bulletproof vest class action

The Eleventh Circuit has affirmed a Florida federal judge's dismissal of a proposed class action from police associations and officers alleging a

design defect in bulletproof vests made by Florida-based Point Blank Enterprises Inc., finding he did not abuse his discretion in denying

class certification.

Law360

Appellate court denies Proud Boys leader's appeal for release from jail

A federal appellate court denied the appeal of Proud Boys leader Charles Donohoe, who wanted to be released from jail pending trial, saying that the North Carolina man who helped plan the Jan. 6 Capitol riot was still a danger to the community. "Appellant has not shown that the district court clearly erred in finding that no condition or combination of conditions of release would reasonably assure the safety of the community," U.S. Circuit Judges Judith Rogers, Patricia Millett and Gregory Katsas wrote in a per curiam judgment for the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals.

Courthouse News Service

Sexual-misconduct allegations made to CNN mirroring those in lawsuit are protected

Allegations of sexual misconduct, even if baseless, were not actionable under California law, in light of the "fair-and-true-report" privilege, because they were related to claims set forth in a New York lawsuit, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals held on Friday. In a memorandum opinion, a three-judge panel declared that the District Court for the Central District of California erred in denying an anti-SLAPP motion in connection with an Aug. 16, 2018 CNN article.

Metropolitan News-Enterprise

California state judge's recusal highlights complexities of judicial endorsements

In a rare ethical quandary that experts say could serve as a warning for all jurists, a California state judge has recused himself from a murder case after he endorsed the judicial campaign of a prosecutor who's now accused of misconduct. Gregg Prickett is among 68 sitting Orange County Superior Court judges listed as public endorsers of senior assistant district attorney Ebrahim Baytieh's bid for the bench, but he's the only one who's since been assigned a case in which Baytieh's conduct is at issue.

The Recorder

California bar exam flaws hurt 2% of test takers, state finds

About 2% of California bar exam takers lost time or content from online technical glitches in July, according to the state's overseer of the tests. While about 31% of test takers experienced flaws with software memory utilization, the "vast majority" worked through the temporary difficulties, according to the State Bar of California.

Bloomberg Law

New York Times reporter dodges some defamation claims by Navy SEAL

A Pulitzer Prize-winning national correspondent for The New York Times dodged a lengthy list of defamation claims Monday in a case brought against him by the subject of his newly published book: former Navy SEAL Edward "Eddie" Gallagher. Gallagher was exonerated on the most egregious war crimes charges in a court martial held in San Diego in 2019 where he was accused of stabbing a teenage Islamic State group fighter to death after the young man had been wounded.

Courthouse News Service

Presiding Judge Eric C. Taylor announces new online Dispute Resolution program coming soon for parties with Unlawful Detainer cases as certain Covid-19-related eviction protections expire September 30

Presiding Judge Eric C. Taylor today announced the Court will expand its Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) program to Unlawful Detainer (UD) cases to enable parties to resolve their eviction cases online for free without Court involvement. Unlawful Detainer Online Dispute Resolution (UD ODR) is scheduled to launch next month to give litigants the option to conveniently and efficiently resolve eviction cases.

LA Court News Release

In U.S. v Wilson, the Ninth Circuit reaffirms Fourth Amendment protection for electronic communications

In a powerful new ruling for digital privacy rights, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has confirmed that the police need to get a warrant before they open your email attachments - even if a third party's automated system has flagged those attachments as potentially illegal. We filed an amicus brief in the case. Federal law prohibits the possession and distribution of child sexual assault material (also known as child pornography or CSAM).

Electronic Frontier Foundation

Social media companies not liable for Pulse nightclub shooting, 11th Circuit rules

The 11th Circuit on Monday rejected an appeal from victims of the Pulse nightclub massacre who were looking to hold YouTube, Facebook and Twitter liable for hosting terrorist propaganda that purportedly contributed to the killer's radicalization. A three-judge panel for the appeals court ruled that the Anti-Terrorism Act - the federal law under which the victims were suing - provides no relief because the 2016 Orlando club shooting did not amount to "international terrorism."

Courthouse News Service

Los Angeles District Attorney

Downey becomes 31st city to issue 'no confidence' vote in Gascón

Downey city council voted for "no-confidence" in Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon on September 28, becoming the 31st city in Los Angeles County to condemn Gascon's policies. The "no-confidence" motion, passed with a 3-1 vote, was brought forward by Mayor Claudia Frommetta, who insisted that the 2020 Special Directive on Criminal Prosecution Reform (SD) led by Gascone caused a massive increase in crime in Downey over last year.

LA ADDA

Downey City Council condemns Gascón with no-confidence vote

The City Council cast a symbolic vote of no confidence in Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón on Tuesday, joining 30 other cities in voicing their displeasure with the DA's controversial directives. A resolution placed on the agenda by Mayor Claudia M. Frometa criticized Gascón for implementing special directives that result in "undermining the criminal justice system's goal of protecting the general public and victim's rights."

The Downey Patriot

The new Maytag repairman of L.A. County

Remember those old "Maytag Repairman" commercials? For those too young to remember, the premise of the commercials was that Maytag appliances - washing machines and the like - were SO reliable, the Maytag Repairman was the least busy guy in town. They even called him, "Ol' Lonely." "At ease men!" he told some young Maytag recruits in one of the spots. "Now, you men have all volunteered to be Maytag Repairmen and so I'm gonna give it to you straight. Maytag washers and dryers are built to last. That makes the Maytag Repairman the loneliest guy in town."

The Signal

Prosecutors

Previously indicted ex-O.C. deputy charged with stealing credit cards from dead woman's Yorba Linda home

A former Orange County Sheriff's Department deputy who was previously indicted by a grand jury for stealing guns and other items from a dead man's home is now facing new charges for stealing credit cards from the Yorba Linda residence of a deceased woman. On Aug. 19, 2020, Steven Hortz, a 12-year veteran of the Sheriff's Department, was called out to the Yorba Linda home, where he allegedly took three credit cards.

KTLA5

PG&E charged in California wildfire last year that killed 4

Pacific Gas & Electric was charged Friday with involuntary manslaughter and other crimes after its equipment sparked a Northern California wildfire that killed four people and destroyed hundreds of homes last year, prosecutors said. It is the latest legal action against the nation's largest utility, which pleaded guilty last year to 84 counts of involuntary manslaughter in a 2018 blaze ignited by its long-neglected electrical grid that nearly destroyed the town of Paradise and became the deadliest U.S. wildfire in a century.

AP

Man charged in anti-Asian rant against Olympic athlete

Prosecutors filed a hate crime charge against a 26-year-old man Friday in connection with an anti-Asian rant targeted at a Japanese-American Olympic athlete in Southern California earlier this year. The defendant, Michael Orlando Vivona, was previously charged with attacking an elderly Asian couple while they took a walk in the park. Vivona remains in jail on $65,000 bail. It was not immediately clear if he had an attorney who could speak on his behalf.

AP

Mom charged in decapitation killings

The mother of two children found decapitated Dec. 4 in their Lancaster home has been arrested in Arizona in connection with the killings. Natalie Brothwell, 44, was charged Tuesday with two counts of murder and two counts of felony child endangerment of her 12-year-old son and 13-year-old daughter. She was arrested at her residence in Tucson, Arizona and will be held at the Pima County Jail pending extradition to California.

Antelope Valley Press

San Francisco sheriff's deputy charged after allegedly threatening to shoot partygoers

An off-duty San Francisco sheriff's deputy is facing criminal prosecution after authorities say he threatened to shoot partygoers at a potluck, damaged furnishings and grabbed a teen in an inappropriate manner. San Francisco's district attorney, Chesa Boudin, announced Tuesday that his office charged Dominic Barsetti, 32, with four counts of felony criminal threats, one count of misdemeanor vandalism and one count of misdemeanor sexual battery.

AP

Policy/Legal

Misdemeanor diversion law sparks confusion, disparities in DUI cases - Press Telegram

The new California law, which allows judges to allow misdemeanor drunk driving offenders to divert for the first time, creates a swamp in the legal system, criminal lawyers and prosecutors dispute its interpretation, and judges are clear. Conflict about lack. One lawyer described the law introduced as Parliamentary Bill 3234 by Congressman Filtin of D-San Francisco as the most litigation issue in the state since it came into force on January 1, last year.

Long Beach Press-Telegram

New California law tightens gun-buying loophole exposed by Poway synagogue shooting

Like the many gun safety bills that have come before it, the one just signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom is borne from tragedy. In 2019, John T. Earnest, a then-19-year-old Rancho Peñasquitos college student, opened fire on a Poway synagogue using a rifle he bought at a Grantville gun shop. He did so under a narrow provision that allows 18- to 20-year-olds to buy guns as long as they have a hunting license. Earnest had one - the license just wasn't valid yet.

San Diego Union-Tribune

Newsom approves decertification system for rogue cops

California Governor Gavin Newsom inked a broad package of criminal justice reforms Thursday, highlighted by a decertification process for officers who wrongly kill or use excessive force against civilians. The feature legislation, Senate Bill 2, aligns California with nearly every other state and creates an official process to strip badges from rogue officers. The new law also reduces immunity provisions for officers to make it easier for victims of police violence to pursue wrongful death and other civil rights claims in state court.

Courthouse News Service

Los Angeles County/City

SoCalGas, parent company Sempra to pay up to $1.8 billion over Aliso Canyon gas leak

Southern California Gas Co after nearly six years of proceedings and its parent company, Sempra Energy, will pay up to $ 1.8 billion to resolve the claims of more than 35,000 victims of Ariso Canyon natural gas storage in 2015. An explosion at a facility near Porter Ranch, plaintiffs' lawyers announced today.

City News Service

LA County oversight panel requests County Counsel forward potential illegal activity to the California Attorney General

The Sheriff Civilian Oversight Commission (Commission) hosted a virtual meeting today and acted on several important items, including unanimously approving a motion requesting that Los Angeles County Counsel forward potential illegal activity by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department (LASD) to the California Attorney General for investigation.

South Pasadenan

Sheriff Villanueva: Oversight commission a 'circus act'

Sheriff Alex Villanueva continues to resist the Civilian Oversight Commission's inquiries into allegations of wrongdoing within the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. Villanueva told KNX that the charges the commission has levied against his department are merely part of a "circus act." He added that the commission is acting on the behest of the Board of Supervisors in a "proxy war" with the department.

KNX 1070 Newsradio

LA County officials request inquests into three fatal shootings by deputies

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has requested inquests into the deaths of three men shot by sheriff's deputies in August, September and October of 2020. The men included 29-year-old Dijon Kizzee, who was Black, 41-year-old Samuel Herrera Jr., who was Hispanic, and 47-year-old Dana Mitchell "Malik" Young Jr., who was Black.

The Hill

Head of Police Commission slams unvaccinated LAPD officers, 'dubious' exemption claims

The head of the civilian panel that oversees the Los Angeles Police Department denounced in strong terms the resistance to COVID-19 vaccinations among LAPD officers on Tuesday morning, which he called "appalling." "I personally find it appalling that the personnel of a department charged with public safety would willfully, intentionally and brazenly endanger the lives of those who they have taken an oath to protect," Los Angeles Police Commission President William Briggs said.

Los Angeles Times

Crime/Public Safety

Cal State police association votes 'no confidence' in CSUSB chief

A nonprofit representing police officers, corporals and sergeants in the California State University police system has declared "no confidence" in Cal State San Bernardino Police Chief Nina Jamsen. Eight of the nine voting members of the Statewide University Police Association supported the vote, according to a news release. "As public safety professionals, the members of SUPA want only the best practices at the police department," union President Matt Kroner said in the Tuesday, Sept. 28 release.

San Bernardino Sun

California's new crime math alters FBI 2020 crime data showing murder rate increased 30%

The FBI announced Monday that the national murder rate increased 30% in 2020. Could anyone have predicted that calling for police to be defunded would lead to increased violent crime? The estimated number of violent crimes in the nation increased for the first time in 4 years, when compared with the previous year's statistics, according to FBI figures. In 2020, violent crime was up 5.6 percent from the 2019 number.

California Globe

After a pandemic-year surge in murders, Los Angeles sees even more bloodshed

When the coronavirus pandemic arrived, the murder rate in Los Angeles began rising. This was not an isolated trend, as the FBI revealed this week that homicides surged in cities across the United States in 2020. That the suffering was widespread provided little solace, and Los Angeles ended the year with 343 killings. It was the first time the city recorded more than 300 murders since 2009.

Crosstown

Video: Police chase suspect tries to fight off CHP officers arresting him

Shocking aerial footage captured the moment a man tried to fight off CHP officers trying to arrest him. Prior to the brief violent struggle, the man led CHP on a chase across the San Fernando Valley Sunday evening. The suspect eventually crashed his car after CHP used a pit maneuver against him on Rocky Peak Fire Road in the Simi Valley area. Following the crash, a brief - but violent struggle - broke out between the suspect and the two CHP officers trying to arrest him.

Fox11

Shoplifters casually rob California Marshalls as people watch, employees do not report crime

Multiple shoplifters in California were seen brazenly stealing from a Marshalls location as the crime continues in the state. "People shopping there were just kind of standing there watching. The only thing I figured I could do was get their identities and their license plates and give them to somebody who will do something with them," witness Lindsey Rodriguez, a resident of Hemet who recorded the suspects, told NBC4.

Fox Business

Black Lives Matter leader targeted in another 'swatting' incident, LAPD says

A leader of Black Lives Matter Los Angeles who was targeted in a swatting incident last year was the victim of another apparent false emergency call Thursday, authorities said. Los Angeles Police Department officers were called to the residence of Melina Abdullah about 9:30 a.m. in the 2100 block of Wellington Road, near Washington Boulevard after receiving a call that Abdullah's young son had contacted police claiming Abdullah had overdosed on pills and requested assistance, police Capt. Stacy Spell told the Los Angeles Times.

ABC7

FBI's Los Angeles office urges victims to report hate crimes

The FBI's Los Angeles field office launched a multi-lingual campaign Wednesday to raise awareness about hate crimes and encourage victims to report them. The FBI considers hate crimes to be criminal offenses against a person or property that is motivated at least in part "by an offender's bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender or gender identity."

City News Service

Among those who marched into the Capitol on Jan. 6: An F.B.I. informant

As scores of Proud Boys made their way, chanting and shouting, toward the Capitol on Jan. 6, one member of the far-right group was busy texting a real-time account of the march. The recipient was his F.B.I. handler. In the middle of an unfolding melee that shook a pillar of American democracy - the peaceful transfer of power - the bureau had an informant in the crowd, providing an inside glimpse of the action, according to confidential records obtained by The New York Times.

New York Times

Millions of Boppy Loungers recalled after products linked to infant deaths

The Boppy Company recalled about 3.3 million loungers today because the products have been tied to a reported eight deaths, according to an announcement from the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the federal agency that oversees thousands of home goods. Three models of loungers were recalled: the Boppy Original Newborn Lounger, the Boppy Preferred Newborn Lounger, and the Pottery Barn Kids Newborn Boppy Lounger.

Consumer Reports

American Airlines updates its contract of carriage again to further limit passenger rights

At the start of the month American Airlines updated its rules to make clear that they would not reimburse hotel stays you book yourself when your flights are severely delayed or cancelled (you have to wait for them to give you a hotel room if you want them to cover it) and to say they don't have any obligation to get you to your destination - they can just refund your ticket if they prefer.

View from the Wing

Well-known LAPD critic arrested in Hollywood on criminal threats charge

Los Angeles police arrested one of their most well-known critics Monday on suspicion of threatening a homeless person in Hollywood, a move that drew immediate outcry from area activists. William Gude - better known to his 10,000 Twitter followers as @FilmThePoliceLA - was arrested on suspicion of making criminal threats about 1:30 p.m. near Las Palmas Avenue and Leland Way, said LAPD Capt. Brent McGuyre, who oversees Hollywood Division.

Los Angeles Times

California/National

Poll finds Austin police union members prefer candidate from LA over Chacon for chief role

A poll done by the Austin Police Association found almost three-fourths of its members prefer a different candidate for Chief of the Austin Police Department outside of Joseph Chacon. Out of the three finalist candidates including Chacon, the poll found 74.35% of APA members who responded support Emada Tingirides of the Los Angeles Police Department to take over as chief. In fact, Chacon received the lowest amount of support out of the three finalists at just 10.38%, with Avery Moore of the Dallas Police Department receiving 15.27%.

KXAN

Opinion: John Hinckley is now free, but I can't forget the day he shot my father

Over the years, I have written other columns about John Hinckley, pretty much every time he has lobbied for - and gotten - more freedom. Every time I have weighed in my mind the value of informing people that this man who shot four people on a chilly March day in 1981 - shooting three of them out of the way so he could try to kill my father - shouldn't be granted more liberty. I have weighed that against the reality that by writing I was giving Hinckley, a diagnosed narcissist, the attention he craved.

Washington Post

Do long guns need to be registered in California?

Long guns have been a favorite among gun owners, and it's not hard to see why, given that it increases the sight radius of the shooter, making their aims at targets more precise over long distances. So we won't be surprised if you purchased a model for yourself. Frankly, the AR15 barrel profiles may matter to some degree, but it's not always the case since it's usually dependent on your desired application. But before getting excited about starting your gun's build, it's first critical that you ensure that this model adheres to the gun laws in California.

California News Times

Trump committed 'potential' crimes over Georgia election interference: Report

Former President Donald Trump could be charged with multiple crimes over election interference in Georgia, a new analysis says. The report by the Brookings Institution, a think tank in Washington, DC, analyzed publicly available evidence that showed that Trump and his allies attempted to pressure Georgia officials to "change the lawful outcome of the election."

Business Insider

Great police work, despite the sad outcome

While the nation has been transfixed by the disappearance of the late Gabrielle Petito, one thing has been overlooked: the excellent police work of the Moab police officer who interviewed her and her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie, on August 12, after getting a report of possible domestic violence. Now that Gabrielle's corpse has been found, I'm sure that Officer Daniel Robbins feels he could have/should have/might have done something differently. But I don't see what.

Courthouse News Service

L.A. police, fire agencies hotbeds of vaccine opposition - and coronavirus outbreaks

Los Angeles County health officials have identified hundreds of coronavirus outbreaks at police and fire agencies since the start of the pandemic, according to county data. Similar accusations have been directed at public safety employees elsewhere in the county and across the country. In response to questions about the outbreaks, both the LAPD and the LAFD said they care about the safety of their employees, their family members and the public, and have taken precautions to safeguard against outbreaks in their workplaces - including by encouraging their employees to get vaccinated.

Los Angeles Times

U.S. appeals court rules New York City can order teachers, staff to get COVID vaccine

A federal appeals court on Monday ruled that New York City can order all teachers and staff to get the COVID-19 vaccine, reversing a previous decision that had put the mandate on hold.

Reuters

Anti-maskers fighting Pennsylvania mandates face steep court climb

The Third Circuit looked unlikely Thursday to slap an injunction against coronavirus-safety measures that expired over the summer. Chad Parker and Mark Redman, along with their wives, challenged the mandates in court this time last year and now seek a reversal after facing defeat. In a December ruling, U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III highlighted how Covid-19 had claimed 12,066 lives in Pennsylvania alone, while leaving more than half a million sickened.

Courthouse News Service

L.A. County sheriff's deputy accidentally fired gun inside Van Nuys courtroom

A Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy accidentally fired a gun inside a courtroom last month, potentially injuring a colleague and prompting an internal investigation, officials said. The Sheriff's Department confirmed in a statement that the shooting took place in the Van Nuys' courthouse on Aug. 16, describing the incident as an "unintentional discharge," the Los Angeles Times reported Monday.

AP

Convictions/Sentences/Pleas

Ex-con found guilty of killing former Long Beach City College football player

An ex-con was found guilty Thursday, Sept. 30, of murdering a former Long Beach City College football player who lived in Hawthorne during a robbery outside a fast-food restaurant three years ago. Jurors deliberated just over two hours before finding Edward Jacobs, 32, guilty of first-degree murder for the early morning shooting of Guy Eugene Alford III, 20, on Sept. 26, 2018.

City News Service

Bus driver from Van Nuys gets jail time, community service for running over woman

A 27-year-old Van Nuys man was sentenced to 20 days in jail and community service Tuesday, Sept. 21, for running over a woman as she crossed a street in Downtown Long Beach last year, authorities said. Juan Castro-Alvarenga was driving a charter bus and taking people to and from the nearby One Love Cali Reggae Festival on Feb. 8, 2020, when he made a left hand turn from northbound Magnolia Avenue to westbound Third Street and struck Mamlekat Joseph, 71, of Long Beach as she crossed northbound in the crosswalk on a green light, city prosecutors said.

Torrance Daily Breeze

Jury convicts R. Kelly on sex-trafficking charges

A New York jury convicted R. Kelly on Monday of running a career-spanning sex ring that included the late singer Aaliyah among scores of underage girls. Kelly, 54, has been dogged by sexual abuse allegations dating back to the 1990s when his first hit song, "Bump N' Grind," spent a record-breaking 12 weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot R&B Singles chart. The singer sat motionless, his eyes trained down, as the guilty verdict from a jury of seven men and five women was delivered on day two of deliberations in the Brooklyn federal courthouse.

Courthouse News Service

Fresno County man sentenced to over 5 years in prison for illegal possession of ammunition

U.S. District Judge Dale A. Drozd sentenced Alejandro Chavarria, 34, of Mendota, on Friday, Sept. 24, to five years and four months in prison for being a felon in possession of ammunition, Acting U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced. According to court documents, on Oct. 10, 2020, Chavarria was arrested in Oakhurst in possession of a handgun with a loaded extended magazine, two disassembled AR-style rifles, and numerous rounds of ammunition.

Department of Justice News Release

Corrections & Parole

John Hinckley, who tried to assassinate Reagan, granted unconditional release

A federal judge approved a plan Monday to unconditionally release John Hinckley Jr., who had shot and wounded former President Ronald Reagan in 1981, from all remaining court-ordered restrictions, if he continues to follow rules and agrees to undergo regular mental health examinations. U.S. District Court Judge Paul L. Friedman said he plans on issuing his ruling on the plan later this week, the Associated Press reported.

ABC News

Judge orders California prison guards, staff to face mandatory COVID-19 vaccine

Rejecting opposition from California officials and the state's prison guard union, a federal judge on Monday ordered the state to come up with a plan in the next two weeks for mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations for guards, as well as inmates who work outside the prisons. The order by U.S. District Judge Jon S. Tigar in Oakland follows a hearing Friday over the issue and a recommendation in August by the federal prison receiver overseeing medical care that asked the judge to order mandatory vaccines for guards and staff, with some medical and religious exemptions.

Sacramento Bee

Officials seek COVID vaccine mandate for California prison guards, staff

Seeking a vaccine mandate for all state prison guards and staff, a federal court-appointed receiver overseeing the medical care of California's prisons argued Friday that there have been 11 coronavirus-related deaths since August among corrections employees who were not fully vaccinated and outbreaks at 21 prisons.

Los Angeles Times

FBI investigating corruption at San Quentin, now the second California state prison under federal investigation

The FBI is investigating alleged corruption by corrections officers at California's oldest prison, in an "ongoing" probe that has so far resulted in charges against one prison guard, the agency confirmed Thursday. In an email to this news organization, an FBI spokesperson confirmed the existence of the federal investigation at San Quentin State Prison, where a guard was recently charged for allegedly smuggling cellphones to a death row inmate.

Bay Area News Group

Articles of Interest

California Gov. Newsom signs law to replace term 'alien' with 'noncitizen' or 'immigrant'

California will strike the word "alien" from its state laws, getting rid of what Gov. Gavin Newsom called "an offensive term for a human being" that has "fueled a divisive and hurtful narrative." Newsom on Friday signed a law that removes the word from various sections of the California state code. California passed laws in 2015 and 2016 that removed the word from the state's labor and education code.

AP

Venture capitalist wanted to split California into six. Now, he wants to gut public unions

A proposed California ballot measure - filed by a Silicon Valley billionaire venture capitalist who had once proposed splitting the state into six - aims to end collective bargaining for public sector workers. Proponents of the constitutional amendment could start collecting signatures within the next few weeks to get it on the 2022 general election ballot, according to estimates from the Attorney General's Office.

Fresno Bee

A secret USC payout had a catch: Images of ex-dean using drugs had to be given up

On a November day in 2017, USC entered into a secret mediation agreement with the family of a young woman whose drug-fueled relationship with the former dean of the university's medical school had engulfed the institution in scandal. Carmen Puliafito, who was dean of the Keck School of Medicine of USC during the relationship, was also a party to the agreement, which paid Sarah Warren, her brother and their parents a combined $1.5 million to head off a lawsuit by the family against him and USC, The Times has learned.

Los Angeles Times

California's experiment with universal mail ballots now permanent

A welcomed side effect of the Covid-19 pandemic, universal mail balloting will become a lasting staple of California politics under legislation signed Monday by Governor Gavin Newsom. Joining states like Colorado, Oregon and Vermont, the Golden State will send all registered voters mail ballots in all future elections whether they want them or not.

Courthouse News Service

Other than prison, electronic monitoring is 'the most restrictive form' of control, research finds

In the past 18 months, as the judicial system has increasingly used electronic monitoring instead of prisons to monitor inmates through the coronavirus pandemic, newly released data confirm what activists and advocates have long argued: Ankle monitors are onerous, and they often subject wearers to vague rules, like avoiding people of "disreputable character."

NBC News

Hand count in Arizona (again) affirms Biden won 2020 election, draft version of audit report says

A monthslong hand recount of the count in Arizona's largest county once again confirmed President Joe Biden won the 2020 election and the race was not "stolen" from former President Donald Trump, according to early versions of a report prepared for the Arizona Senate. The three-volume report by the Cyber Ninjas, the Senate's lead contractor, that examined Maricopa County's 2020 vote includes results that show Trump lost by a wider margin than the county's official election results.

Arizona Republic

Widow of man who died after she infected him sues her employer

A longtime employee of See's Candy Shops Inc. is suing the company, alleging that poor coronavirus protocol in the packaging warehouse in Carson caused her to contract the disease in 2020 and later infect her husband and one of her daughters, ultimately causing her spouse's death at age 69.

City News Service

Firms will bring people back to the office, but they won't be the same

Whether they've set a general return date or not, many law firms are still going to bring people back to their offices. But the cohort that comes in won't be the same as the one that left in early 2020. Between new hires and departures and a new focus on maximizing in-office interactions, plus a new recognition of home-life stressors and the toll taken by a virus that's killed millions, firm leaders will have a new mix of employees on their hands, both literally and psychologically.

The Recorder

Compassion for Citibank? After billion-dollar payment blunder, panel weighs refund plea

John Hinckley Jr, who attempted to assassinate President Ronald Reagan, was granted unconditional release from his parole restrictions

A panel of the Second Circuit heard Citibank's demand for an enormous refund Tuesday, which turns on whether creditors should have had controls in place to put up red flags when it received repayment of a $900 million loan in full rather than the $7.8 million that was intended. The overpayment occurred in August 2020.

Courthouse News Service

Pensions

California custodians gain pay raise and pension in new contract

More than 20,000 custodians across California ratified a new contract this month that will include a US$20 an hour minimum wage for many of the workers and a union pension plan with employer contributions, The Modesto Bee reports. The statewide contract covers Service Employees International Union (SEIU) workers who clean large professional buildings, including spaces for companies such as Apple and Visa.

Cleaning & Maintenance Management

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