Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

Kobe Bryant's Widow Ordered to Take Psychiatric Exam; CA Attorney General Destroys 1.2 M Marijuana Plants; 51% More Police Officers Murdered in 2021; Soros Spends $1 M to Keep Austin From Hiring Cops and Other Stories: Monday Morning Memo

Gascon must prove in court he's following the law; LA pays more to give parking tickets than they generate; Illegals just as likely to report crimes

Courts & Rulings

Qualified immunity: Supreme Court sides with police, overturns denial of immunity in two cases

The Supreme Court sided Monday with police in two cases in which plaintiffs claimed officers used excessive force, overturning separate lower court rulings that had allowed the officers to be sued for civil rights violations. In two unsigned opinions, the court stressed police are entitled to be shielded from liability unless it is "clear to a reasonable officer" that their actions are unlawful.

USA Today

Judge won't release identifying documents in lawsuit alleging San Diego police bias at Trump rally

The city of San Diego does not have to disclose the identity of a suspect who allegedly threw an incendiary device at anti-Trump demonstrators at a Pacific Beach "Patriot March" on Jan. 9 where Trump supporters clashed with counter-protesters. Mandy Lien and Erin Smith sued the city, Mayor Todd Gloria and police chief David Nisleit over tactics police used to disperse the anti-Trump crowd after declaring it an unlawful assembly.

Courthouse News Service

Calif. judge tentatively rejects cutting inmate crowding

A Northern California judge tentatively ruled Friday that state prison officials acted with deliberate indifference when they caused a deadly coronavirus outbreak at one of the world's most famous prisons last year. But he said vaccines have since so changed the landscape that officials are no longer violating inmates' constitutional rights. The lawsuit stemmed from the botched transfer of infected inmates in May 2020 from a Southern California prison to San Quentin, which at the time had no infections.


The secret Supreme Court: Late nights, courtesy votes and the unwritten 6-vote rule

Much of the US Supreme Court's business occurs in private, as the nine justices meet alone around a rectangular table in a small oak-paneled room. The results of some of those internal deliberations become public when rulings in cases, fully briefed and openly argued, are handed down. But other decisions made in private are surrounded by more secrecy and are more mystifying, as when the justices decide which cases merit review or when the court issues orders without any publicly recorded votes or explanations late at night.


Supreme Court takes up pair of tribal law disputes

The Supreme Court added two new cases concerning Native American law to its docket Monday morning, one involving double jeopardy and the other centered on gaming rights. The double jeopardy case, Denezpi v. United States, asks the court to overturn a 10th Circuit order affirming Merle Denezpi's conviction for the same crime in the Court of Indian Offenses of Ute Mountain Ute Agency and a district court.

Courthouse News Service

Commission on Supreme Court reform struggles to find common ground

In their first full public meeting on Friday, members of President Joe Biden's Supreme Court commission expressed strong opposition to the panel's own draft materials released less than 24 hours earlier suggesting resistance to court expansion. The commission - created by Biden via executive order in April - is charged with creating a report detailing the role and operations of the high court, and perhaps most importantly it will provide arguments for and against possible reforms.

Courthouse News Service

Presiding Judge Eric C. Taylor announces expanded juror transportation programs to cover costs of public transit during jury service

Jurors serving at specified courthouses throughout Los Angeles County who waive their right to a mileage reimbursement can now opt for a free Metro TAP card or Metrolink tickets for the duration of their service, if they have been instructed to return for service on a second or subsequent day, Presiding Judge Eric C. Taylor announced today.

LA Court News Release

11th Circuit rejects Black women's challenge to Florida felon voting law

A Florida law passed in 2019 that conditions felons' voting rights on their payment of fines, fees and restitution does not unconstitutionally discriminate against low-income women of color, the 11th Circuit ruled Monday afternoon. A unanimous three-judge panel of the Atlanta-based appeals court found that two Sunshine State felons failed to show that Florida's Republican-controlled Legislature had any "discriminatory intent" in passing Senate Bill 7066, which requires felons to pay all fines and legal fees associated with their conviction before they can vote again.

Courthouse News Service

Twenty years later, media regains traditional on-receipt access in Orange County

It was in the lobby of a boutique Milwaukee hotel that I heard that on his own initiative a federal judge in Orange County was demanding that Courthouse News demonstrate it was a member of the media. The sua sponte order was a shock. No judge had ever raised the issue because, after 30 years of publishing news, Courthouse News is obviously a member of the media and within the umbrella of First Amendment. It was late in 2017 and Courthouse News had just a couple weeks earlier filed its complaint against the court clerk in Orange County.

Courthouse News Service

College student has no absolute right to live testimony

A student accused in a university disciplinary proceeding of having nonconsensual sex with a classmate in violation of a school policy was not entitled to present live testimony in light of his own inculpatory account of what occurred, Div. Two of the First District Court of Appeal said in an opinion that was certified for publication yesterday. Justice Douglas P. Miller authored the opinion, filed Sept. 30. In it, he declared inapplicable the Jan. 4, 2019 decision by Div. Four of this district's Court of Appeal in Doe v. Allee.

Metropolitan News-Enterprise

Court seeks applicants for the 2022-23 civil grand jury

The Superior Court of Los Angeles County is seeking civic-minded applicants for the 2022-23 Civil Grand Jury of Los Angeles County. The Civil Grand Jury acts as a government watchdog by examining the operations of various government agencies within Los Angeles County. Civil grand jurors may invest weeks or months of time reviewing government institutions after attending detailed briefings and training sessions.

LA Court News Release

Restitution properly awarded based solely on victim's unsworn statement to police

Div. Two of the Fourth District Court of Appeal has affirmed an order that a motorist who pled guilty to felony vandalism and misdemeanor reckless driving pay $108,487.36 in restitution to a man as a condition of probation although the only evidence that the defendant hit the man with his car was an assertion appearing in a police report by the purported victim, a motorcyclist, contradicted by eyewitnesses.

Metropolitan News-Enterprise

Los Angeles District Attorney

Up court's creek without a bat

You're a Little League team. Playing against the New York Yankees. Without a bat. That's how one deputy district attorney described the plight of prosecutors in the era of District Attorney George Gascón. The latest weight that we've found out has been stacked on the scales of justice in favor of criminals: Prosecutors are no longer allowed, per Gascón's dictates, to compel witnesses to testify in criminal trials. The tool he's taken out of their toolbox is called a "body attachment" subpoena.

The Signal

Judge rejects restraining order; DA, prosecutors due back in court

Although rejecting a request for a temporary restraining order on Friday, a Los Angeles County Superior Court ordered District Attorney George Gascón to return to court and argue why there should not be an injunction against him and his administration. The temporary restraining order that was a part of the injunction filed Thursday was struck down; however, the ADDA's request for an order to show cause hearing was granted, according to officials at the L.A. Association of Deputy District Attorneys - the union representing county prosecutors.

The Signal

Gascon faces lawsuit from deputy district attorney union

The union representing Los Angeles County deputy district attorneys has filed a legal action to prevent what they maintain is the hiring of unqualified people - including some from the Public Defender's Office - by District Attorney George Gascon to fill open positions for which veteran prosecutors are more qualified. The Association of Deputy District Attorneys brought the petition this week in Los Angeles Superior Court against Gascon and the District Attorney's Office, asking a judge to order the defendants to refrain from hiring public defenders or other candidates deemed unqualified under Civil Service rules for the deputy district attorney grade positions of two through five.

Our Weekly


California officer charged with assault after allegedly kicking teen during traffic stop

A police officer in Los Angeles County has been charged in connection to the arrest of a 16-year-old boy he allegedly kicked after the suspect had surrendered and was lying face down on the ground. Ryan Felton, 35, a former officer for the Baldwin Park Police Department, was arrested and charged with two felony counts of assault, according to a statement released by the district attorney's office. Felton pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The Hill

LAPD officer accused of inappropriately touching deceased woman's body to stand trial on felony charge

A Los Angeles police officer who testified to touching a deceased woman's breast while on duty, but testified that it was done as part of an investigation into her death was ordered Wednesday to stand trial on a felony charge. Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Keith H. Borjon said David Rojas tried very hard to present himself as a "diligent investigator," while noting that he found the officer's account "extremely unpersuasive."


Attorney General Bonta announces eradication of more than one million marijuana plants as part of interagency effort to combat illegal grows

California Attorney General Rob Bonta today announced the eradication of nearly 1.2 million illegally cultivated marijuana plants and the seizure of more than 180,000 pounds of illegally processed marijuana as part of the California Department of Justice's annual Campaign Against Marijuana Planting (CAMP) program.

Attorney General Rob Bonta Press Release

Second state worker charged in fraud case at California Office of AIDS

A second state worker has been charged in connection with a scandal inside California's Office of AIDS that prosecutors say has cost the state $2 million in fraudulent billings. Christine M. Iwamoto, who was a manager inside the office at the California Department of Public Health until March 2018, was charged in federal court in Sacramento last week with wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering, court records say.

Sacramento Bee

U.S. Rep. Jeff Fortenberry charged with scheme to deceive federal investigators probing illegal campaign contributions in 2016

A federal grand jury today charged U.S. Representative Jeff Fortenberry, who represents Nebraska's 1st Congressional District, with concealing information and making false statements to federal authorities who were investigating illegal contributions made by a foreign national to the congressman's 2016 re-election campaign. Fortenberry, 60, of Lincoln, Nebraska, was named in an indictment that charges him with one count of scheming to falsify and conceal material facts and two counts of making false statements to federal investigators.

Department of Justice Press Release

Alameda DA files charges: Reporting by East Bay Express led to investigation into predatory towing

The Alameda County District Attorney has filed charges against a notorious East Bay towing company for predatory towing, falsifying documents and tax evasion. Despite the charges and an upcoming trial, the company appears to still be in business. In a two-part cover series in 2018, the East Bay Express reported on Private Property Impound's predatory towing for dollars in the East Bay cities of Oakland, San Leandro and Alameda.

East Bay Express


Eric Siddall, vice president of the Association of Los Angeles Deputy District Attorneys, joins host Joshua Ritter to discuss prosecutors and public statements; social media and the Gabby Petito case; the Sirhan Sirhan parole recommendation; the Ahmaud Arbery case in Georgia; bail reform; mandatory/minimum sentencing; and much more. (Video)

True Crime Daily

Prosecutors warn Calif. court order is 'dangerous precedent'

More than 70 current and former elected prosecutors on Friday urged a California appellate court to overturn a trial court's decision declining to allow the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office to withdraw previously requested sentencing enhancements, saying the ruling sets a "dangerous precedent." The group told the appeals court in a brief spearheaded by the nonprofit Fair and Just Prosecution that the Los Angeles County Superior Court's refusal to withdraw sentencing enhancement undermines Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón's authority to enact officewide policy changes that were a part of his election



California's winter bar exam will be held in person, Supreme Court says

California will administer the February bar exam in person for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began, following reports of widespread technical problems with the most recent online version of the exam. The California Supreme Court on Wednesday announced in an order that the exam will take place in person Feb. 22-23, "subject to any restrictions that may be imposed by any state or local public health orders in effect on those dates."

The Recorder

Los Angeles County/City

LACERA files lawsuit against Los Angeles County

Los Angeles County Employees Retirement Association, Pasadena, Calif., is suing to assert independence and autonomy from the county. The suit, filed Monday in Superior Court in Los Angeles against the County of Los Angeles and the County Board of Supervisors, seeks a court order confirming that LACERA has the independence and ability to run the retirement system as it sees fit and that it is "an independent agency separate and apart from the county," a news release said.

Pensions & Investments

Vanessa Bryant, Kobe's widow, may be forced to take psychiatric exam by L.A. County in lawsuit

Los Angeles County is asking Vanessa Bryant, Kobe Bryant's widow, and other family members to submit psychiatric exams in their legal dispute over photos of the helicopter crash scene that took her husband and daughter's lives. The request was made in a court filing on Friday. It stems from a legal point: Did Vanessa Bryant and the others suffer emotional distress because photos of their dead relatives were shared by county fire and sheriff's department employees after the crash? Or was the emotional distress only from the crash itself?


Report: Los Angeles spending more on traffic, parking enforcement than tickets generate

While parking fines used to provide Los Angeles with net income, the city spent $192 million more in the last five years for parking and traffic enforcement than it generated in fines from the tickets, it was reported today. The city brought it $617 million in parking tickets since the 2017 fiscal year, while it spent more than $809 million for salaries, equipment and other expenses related to it, according to data compiled by Crosstown, a nonprofit news organization based at the USC Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism.

City News Service

Peggy York, LAPD's first woman deputy chief, dies at 80

Law enforcement in Los Angeles is remembering a pioneering figure for women on the job. Margaret A. "Peggy" York died at the age of 80 over the weekend. In 2000, she became the LAPD's first woman deputy chief. Just this year she was part of a panel on women officers. York said, "if you give it a chance it'll be the best job you ever have." In March, the LAPD announced an academy class that was 50% women. Commander Ruby Flores says York served as an inspiration. She says York had read her bio and when they met encouraged her to excel on the job.

Fox11 Los Angeles

LA City Hall sets 'final' December deadline for all employees to be vaccinated

With hours to go before the City of LA's employee COVID-19 vaccination mandate takes effect the City has sent its employee unions a so-called "final offer" that warns unvaccinated employees without an approved exemption will face termination Dec. 18. Internal City documents and several City and union officials familiar with the talks told the I-Team Tuesday that final warning notices could go out as soon as this week, and employees who have not made formal requests for legitimate medical or religious exemptions will be given 60 days to comply.

NBC4 Los Angeles

After delayed deadlines, LA City Hall still struggling to count fully vaccinated workers (Video)

The deadline for city employees to report their vaccination status was Wednesday. Eric Leonard reports for the NBC4 News on Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021.

NBC4 Los Angeles

LA City Council moves to implement new state laws on speed limits, bus lane enforcement, slow streets

Although A.B. 43 (adjusting the rules for setting speed limits), A.B. 917 (allowing bus agencies to use cameras to enforce no-parking rules), and A.B. 773 (allowing cities to make pandemic-era "slow streets" permanent) will not take effect until January, three L.A. city councilmembers have already introduced motions to begin work on implementing them.

Streetsblog California

Is Stetson-loving L.A. Sheriff Alex Villanueva rounding up a 'posse' of cowboys?

You're L.A. County Sheriff Alex Villanueva, and you're in trouble. Multiple lawsuits against your deputies allege excessive force and wrongful deaths in encounters with civilians. L.A. County supervisors have openly talked about how to prematurely end your four-year term. One of your advisors and two subordinates plan to run for the sheriff's seat in the next election. L.A. County Dist. Atty. George Gascón wants nothing to do with you.

Los Angeles Times

Women firefighters call for Chief Terrazas' resignation: There is a lack of 'accountability and action' in LAFD

A group of women firefighters is calling for the resignation of LAFD Chief Ralph Terrazas in a letter sent Monday to Mayor Eric Garcetti, citing what they say is the chief's failure to address a pervasive racist and sexist culture in the department. "Fire Chief Ralph Terrazas has ignored, downplayed, denied, or actively obstructed any investigation into the cultural problems within LAFD," said Kris Larson, President of Los Angeles Women in the Fire Service.


Crime/Public Safety

Are immigrants less willing to report crime?

This report uses new data from the Department of Justice's National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), the most authoritative survey on crime reporting, to examine the claim that immigrants are less willing than others to report victimizations to authorities. This theory is one of the most frequently cited justifications for sanctuary policies. We find that the most recent data from the NCVS, which previously did not include information on citizenship and foreign birth of victims, does not support the assertion.

Center for Immigration Studies

Anti-Asian hate crimes in LA County increase by 76% in 2021

Anti-Asian hate crimes in Los Angeles County increased by 76% in 2020 compared to 2019 - from 25 to 44, the largest number of such crimes reported since 2001, according to a county report released Wednesday. The Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations special report collected data from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, more than 40 city police departments, dozens of police agencies at schools, colleges, universities and trained community-based organizations.

Hews Media Group

Survivor's Michelle Yi is recovering after being attacked by a homeless woman in California

Survivor: Fiji alum Michelle Yi is recovering after being attacked by a homeless woman in Santa Monica, California, last week. The former reality star, who competed on season 14 of the CBS series in 2006, had an altercation with a homeless woman on Thursday, October 14, around 6:00 a.m. PT outside of the Pilates studio she teaches at, Us Weekly can confirm. Santa Monica Police Department spokesman Lieutenant Rudy Flores told Us on Tuesday, October 19, that authorities were already in the area responding to an earlier disturbance of the peace call when they first saw Yi, 37.

US Weekly

Car thefts in Los Angeles are up 48% in 2021 compared to two years ago, LAPD chief says

Amid an "alarming" rise in auto thefts in Los Angeles that began when the COVID-19 pandemic started, Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore Tuesday urged people to take precautions to protect their vehicles. Auto thefts in Los Angeles have risen 48% in 2021 compared to two years ago, with an additional 5,613 vehicles stolen this year versus 2019, Moore told the Los Angeles Police Commission. The increase follows a decade of year-over-year auto theft reduction.

City News Service

Street racing surged during the pandemic. LA now wants to crack down

Underground street racing has long been an illicit part of Los Angeles' car culture, with boulevards transformed into wide-open stretches of tarmac, ready made for smooth tires, supercharged engine blocks and tuners. Officials noticed an uptick during the first months of the pandemic, when stay-at-home orders made L.A.'s empty streets even more inviting for large gatherings known as sideshows or takeovers.

Los Angeles Times

Former Mesa PD chief to lead Santa Monica Police Department

Ramon Batista, Jr., the former police chief of Mesa, Arizona, has been selected to lead the Santa Monica Police Department (SMPD). On October 14, Santa Monica City Manager David White announced the selection of Ramon Batista, Jr., as chief of police for Santa Monica. Batista comes to Santa Monica from Mesa, Arizona's third-largest city, where he served as police chief. Before that time, he spent 30 years rising through the ranks of the Tucson Police Department, including two years as assistant chief of police.

Santa Monica Mirror

Amid a spike in violent crime, George Soros dumps $1M into Austin, Texas, election to defeat plan to hire more cops

Left-wing billionaire George Soros has sown chaos in one big city after another. Soros has funneled millions of dollars into local races to help elect Social Justice Warriors as top prosecutors. Thus, for example, citizens get people like Kim Foxx in Chicago, who recently declined to prosecute participants in a gang shootout, in which one person was killed because the gangs were targeting each other.

The Free Press

Popular singer, TikTok star is robbed at gunpoint in San Francisco: 'Peeing my pants'

A TikTok star and Australian singer-songwriter visiting San Francisco said he was robbed at gunpoint in the city. "They all pulled guns on us. So it was me and two of my mates. And we were filming the whole documentary together, and it was very weird. It was very scary having a gun to my face. First time in my whole life that I'd had a gun to my face. I was peeing my pants, very aggressively. Not actually, but in my head I was," Clinton Kane told ABC 7.

Fox News


The deadly cost of racial bean counting

Beware the racial bean counters, nothing good comes of their efforts. I refer to an Oct. 4 column on The Atlantic website, ominously titled "America Is Losing Its Black Police Officers." In the piece, Atlantic staff writer David A. Graham laments what he perceives as the vanishing diversity in the ranks of America's police departments. "[S]ome of America's largest police forces are suddenly - and quickly - getting less diverse," he writes, "as two trends converge: A wave of Black officers is reaching retirement age, and recruitment efforts to replace them are sputtering."

Jack Dunphy/PJ Media

California union moves to strip Local 1000 president of powers. He calls vote illegitimate

A group of SEIU Local 1000 board members voted Sunday to strip the union's elected president, Richard Louis Brown, of most of his leadership powers, introducing a major structural change at California's largest state employee union and setting up what could be a messy fight over its control. Thirty-four of the union's 65 board members attended a meeting Saturday and Sunday at the California Democratic Party Headquarters in Sacramento, with some appearing virtually.

The Tribune

Capitol rioters face trial delays caused by court backlog, mass of evidence

A federal judge acknowledged on Tuesday that there could be constitutional problems with the length of time that Capitol rioters have to wait for their trial, as the mass of discovery from the Jan. 6 insurrection is enormous and growing by the day. "We are working in a discovery no man's land," defense attorney Kobie Flowers told U.S. District Judge Paul L. Friedman regarding his client, Paul Russell Johnson.

Courthouse News Service

Former Miami Police Chief Acevedo speaks out after firing

Former Miami Police Chief Art Acevedo spoke out shortly after his firing from the force, telling NBC News in an exclusive interview that his short tenure was a "pretty embarrassing episode in a 35-year career" but he also doesn't "plan on quitting." City commissioners unanimously voted Thursday to fire Acevedo after about six months into the job. "I don't think there was a thing I could have said - if you really look at what's been happening - that would have changed the outcome," Acevedo told NBC News. "It was a predetermined outcome."

NBC6 South Florida

California isn't ordering CHP to get vaccinated. Here's what happened in another state

California state workers have to receive the COVID-19 vaccine or submit to weekly tests per a governor's order. But in another West Coast blue state, workers are quitting over a more restrictive policy. In Washington, nearly 130 people left their jobs after the deadline for state employees to either be vaccinated or receive an exemption passed on Monday, according to the News Tribune.

The Fresno Bee

'Eye-opening moment': City leaders, police departments push back over impending COVID vaccine mandates

As COVID-19 vaccine mandate deadlines loom over police departments nationwide, law enforcement leaders and politicians must weigh whether defiant officers can keep their jobs amid an already-depleted police force. In Chicago, the police union and mayor have publicly feuded over a citywide vaccine mandate. The deadline for city employees to report their vaccination status was last Friday.

USA Today

Judge orders FOP president not make any public comments on city's vaccine policy

Mayor Lori Lightfoot's high-stakes standoff with the police union over the city's vaccine mandate landed in court Friday, with a judge doing what the mayor could not - temporarily silencing Fraternal Order of Police President John Catanzara. Circuit Judge Cecilia Horan granted the city's request for an injunction but only to the extent that Catanzara be precluded - at least until the next hearing Oct. 25 - from making any further YouTube videos or otherwise using social media platforms to encourage his members to defy the city's mandate to enter their vaccine status on the city's data portal.

Chicago Sun-Times

Andrew McCabe, the former FBI official who was fired under Trump just hours before his retirement, won back his pension in a settlement with the DOJ

Andrew McCabe, the former deputy director of the FBI who was fired in 2018 one day before he was set to retire, won back his pension in a settlement with the Department of Justice on Thursday. Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired McCabe after an investigation into his handling of the Hillary Clinton email probe. Justice Department officials concluded McCabe was not forthcoming during the investigation and recommended he be fired.

Business Insider

51% more officers have been murdered in 2021 so far, FBI says

The FBI is reporting that 59 law enforcement officers have been feloniously killed in the line of duty so far this year, a 51% spike compared to the 39 deaths at this time last year. The 59 officer deaths mean about one officer has been murdered every five days this year, the head of FBI Boston's division told the Herald on Monday. The rising assaults on law enforcement officers are both "disturbing" and "alarming," added Joseph Bonavolonta, special agent in charge of FBI Boston.

Boston Herald

Brady Lists, a tool to track officers accused of misconduct, is rarely used by prosecutors

Isaiah Obet was behaving erratically and in mental distress in 2017 when Auburn police officer Jeff Nelson ordered his police dog to attack and then shot Obet in the torso. Obet fell to the ground and Nelson fired again, fatally shooting Obet in the head. Police said the officer's life was in danger because Obet was high on drugs and had a knife. The city later reached a settlement of $1.25 million with Obet's family.

NBC10 Boston


E-Bike company wheels settles consumer protection lawsuit with Santa Monica

E-bike company Wheels recently settled for $300,000 with the City of Santa Monica in a consumer protection lawsuit. On October 6, Santa Monica officials announced that the City Attorney's Office and Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office settled a jointly filed consumer protection lawsuit with Wheels Labs, Inc. Wheels is a shared mobility company that operates a fleet of 200 no-pedal e-bikes in the City of Santa Monica.

Santa Monica Mirror


Ridley-Thomas pleads not guilty to federal charges

Los Angeles City Councilmember Mark Ridley-Thomas pleaded not guilty to federal bribery and conspiracy charges at his arraignment Wednesday in downtown L.A. Just hours before Ridley-Thomas' plea, the L.A. City Council voted to suspend him because of the charges. Ridley-Thomas appeared virtually from his attorney's office. His bail is set at $50,000.

Daily Trojan

Olympic boxing champ who coached in East LA gets three-plus years in prison for lewd acts with teen girls

A 1984 Olympic boxing champion was sentenced Tuesday to three years and eight months in state prison after pleading no contest to lewd acts with two teenage girls. Paul Gonzales, 57, was ordered to register as a sex offender for life immediately after his no contest plea to one count each of lewd act on a child under 14 and lewd act on a child age 14 or 15, according to Deputy District Attorney Paul Thompson.

City News Service

Son of multimillionaire sentenced in deadly Lamborghini crash that killed Monique Munoz

A teenage boy - the son of a multimillionaire businessman - was sentenced Thursday to seven to nine months in a juvenile camp for speeding in a Lamborghini SUV that slammed into a car and fatally injured a woman in West Los Angeles in February. Family members and friends of Monique Munoz last week had urged a judge to impose the maximum punishment against the driver, who was 17 at the time of the Feb. 17 crash and is now 18, and who had admitted a Juvenile Court petition charging him with vehicular manslaughter at an April 23 court hearing.

NBC4 Los Angeles

Calabasas physician sentenced to 14 months in prison for accepting bribes in compounded prescription overbilling conspiracy

A Calabasas physician was sentenced today to 14 months in federal prison for accepting nearly $800,000 in bribes and kickbacks as part of a conspiracy that unlawfully billed health insurers for compounded medication prescriptions. Dr. Amir Friedman, 56, was sentenced by United States District Judge John F. Walter. Friedman pleaded guilty in October 2019 to one count of conspiracy to commit honest services mail and wire fraud, and to violate the Travel Act, a federal law that - among other things - forbids the use of the U.S. mail for the purpose of aiding bribery.

Department of Justice Press Release

Chatsworth trucking school director is going to prison

The former director of a San Fernando Valley trucking school was sentenced Monday, Oct. 18, to 15 months behind bars for helping siphon more than $4 million from the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs in GI Bill funds. Robert Waggoner, 59, was also ordered to serve three years of supervised release after he leaves federal prison and pay restitution of $4.19 million to the VA, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

City News Service

California woman on trial after going maskless in grocery store

A maskless woman accused of refusing to leave a Costa Mesa grocery store has become the only person to go on trial in Orange County after allegedly refusing to follow face-covering mandates during the coronavirus pandemic. A jury will soon decide whether Marianne Campbell Smith is guilty of a pair of misdemeanor charges - trespassing and obstructing a business or customers - for allegedly refusing to leave a Mother's Market during an anti-mask protest on Aug. 15, 2020.

Southern California News Group

Corrections & Parole

Manson follower Tex Watson denied parole for 18th time

For the 18th time, parole was denied Friday for Charles "Tex'' Watson, who was convicted along with Charles Manson and other Manson followers for the 1969 murders of seven people during a two-day crime spree. A Board of Parole Hearings panel heard Watson's case Friday at Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility in San Diego. Watson, now 75, will be eligible for another parole hearing in five years.

City News Service

Articles of Interest

Audit: California could have to repay feds millions in misused pandemic aid

A California agency loosely doled out pandemic relief and the state could be forced to return millions of misused funds to the federal government, according to an audit released Thursday. Overseeing federal aid available to cash-strapped local governments, a new report claims a state agency mismanaged a nearly $60 million stipend by dishing out funds to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) without justification.

Courthouse News Service

USC and prosecutors owe the public a full account of sex abuse inquiries

More than three years have passed since the Los Angeles Times revealed that the University of Southern California knew that campus gynecologist George Tyndall had been accused for three decades of sexually assaulting students. We three survivors, along with thousands of other women he saw during his tenure, have waited patiently for the accountability and transparency that USC promised.

Los Angeles Times

Who will govern much-troubled Los Angeles?

It's difficult to understand why any rational person would want to be mayor of Los Angeles, California's largest and in many ways most troubled city. As the city's economic and social woes mount - especially a horrendous homelessness crisis - the mayor for the last eight years, Eric Garcetti, is trying to get away by becoming ambassador to India. Meanwhile, Los Angeles' overabundance of ambitious professional politicians is generating a field of would-be successors for the 2022 election.


Las Vegas Raiders disclosed new legal chief as Jon Gruden left

The Las Vegas Raiders have hired Kevin Manara, a longtime in-house lawyer for the National Football League, as the team's new general counsel while it seeks a contract settlement with former head coach Jon Gruden. The team disclosed the hire last week on the front office page of its website, according to archived internet records. Manara fills a vacancy left by Daniel Ventrelle, who in July was named interim president of the team following the resignation of former president Marc Badain.

Bloomberg Law

In-N-Out decision to not check customers' vaccination status stirs political debate on social media

Popular California-based fast-food chain In-N-Out has caused a political stir across social media for saying they wouldn't follow a San Francisco order mandating restaurants check customers' COVID-19 vaccination status. On Aug. 20, the city mandated all people over the age of 12 would need to show proof of vaccination in restaurants and bars, among other indoor events. However, city health officials said In-N-Out's single location at Fisherman's Wharf - a popular tourist destination - refused to bar customers who were unable to provide proof of vaccination.

USA Today


CalPERS moves corporate governance chief to global equity post

Simiso Nzima has been promoted to managing investment director of global equity at California Public Employees' Retirement System, Sacramento, said Megan White, spokeswoman for the $481.2 billion pension plan, in an email. Mr. Nzima had been investment director and head of corporate governance. He has been a member of CalPERS' investment team for 16 years. He replaces Dan Bienvenue, CalPERS interim chief investment officer and acting chief operating investment officer since January 2019.

Pensions & Investments

Taxpayer group wants Supreme Court to halt CalSavers program

A California taxpayer group is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to take up its case aimed at stopping the implementation of the $139 million CalSavers Retirement Savings Program, Sacramento. CalSavers is a defined contribution plan for workers in the private sector in California who do not have access to a retirement plan sponsored by their employers. In May, the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with a lower court's decision to dismiss the lawsuit brought by the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association.

Pensions & Investments

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