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

Peace Officer Union Backs Gascon Recall; WeHo Crime up 137%; 800 Vacancies in Sheriff's Dept; Criminal Charges for Parking Ferrarris and Maseratis Illegally; CA Assemblymember Stopped at Airport With Loaded Gun in Luggage and Other Stories: Monday Morning Memo

Man charged in Malibu campground shooting removed from court after outburst; SEIU Union President ordered to stay out of headquarters building; Woman whose rape kit DNA was used to arrrest her is suing SF

 

March 27, 2022

CDCR.CA.gov

Photo from high school graduation ceremony at one of the State's Department of Juvenile Justice facilities that has been ordered closed as of June 30, 2023

Courts & Rulings

Judge Ryan orders briefing on possibility of resentencing of inmate ordered executed

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge William C. Ryan, who granted party-status to the family of a man slain in 1993 in connection with a proposed resentencing, has called upon the Office of District Attorney George Gascón to respond to the contention by the family's lawyers that the office's request for a lifting of the death sentence imposed on the murderer is not authorized by the statute upon which it relies.

Metropolitan News-Enterprise

Judicial Council votes to rescind Covid-19 orders for California courts

Emergency Covid-19 rules put in place two years ago to help California courts deal with the operational pitfalls of the pandemic will expire on June 30, as the Judicial Council voted Friday for their repeal at its first in-person business meeting in two years. The eight remaining Covid-19 rules lengthened time limits or filing civil lawsuits and bringing civil cases to trial, prioritized juvenile delinquency and dependency hearings, extended temporary restraining order or gun violence emergency protective orders and allowed defendants to appear remotely at hearings and waive their right to appear in-person at trial.

Courthouse News Service

Slayer not wrongfully denied conjugal visits, C.A. holds

The Fifth District Court of Appeal has affirmed the denial of a writ petition brought by a first-degree murderer who contests the denial by prison authorities of his request for overnight visits from his spouse, rejecting an enterprising argument that the regulation proscribing sleep-overs where an inmate had committed a violent crime against a family member does not apply.

Metropolitan News-Enterprise

California appeals court reinstates liability lawsuit against Amazon

Amazon can be sued under California law for failing to warn the public that products sold on its website have ingredients that can cause cancer or reproductive damage - like mercury, which can harm pregnant women and their fetuses, a state appeals court ruled Friday. A lawsuit over skin-lightening creams marketed on Amazon.com had been rejected by an Alameda County judge in 2019, in part because of a federal law that shields websites from liability for the content of material posted by others on their sites.

San Francisco Chronicle

Ineligible candidate seeks election as Los Angeles city attorney

It stands to reason that if a person has been admitted to the State Bar of California and has gone on inactive status, that person is not "qualified" while on that status to practice law in the state. That has relevance to someone seeking election as Los Angeles city attorney. Sec. 270 of the city charter sets forth the requisite for candidacy: "The City Attorney must be qualified to practice in all the courts of the state, and must have been so qualified for at least five years immediately preceding his or her election."

Metropolitan News-Enterprise

Check for $2.9 million sent by California Judicial Council to Courthouse News

A check from the California Judicial Council for $2.9 million arrived at the Courthouse News offices Friday paying for attorney fees spent in a decade-long battle over public access. The council lost that long fight and was required by court order to pay the news service's attorney fees. It had backed a local court clerk in Ventura who was an early acolyte of the disastrous effort by the council and the former chief justice to create homegrown software for electronic filing.

Courthouse News Service

E. Jean Carroll allegations: Judge rejects Trump's attempt to countersue

A federal judge on Friday denied Donald Trump's request to countersue magazine writer E. Jean Carroll for violating New York's law against frivolous defamation lawsuits, criticizing the former President's legal argument as "futile" and a delay tactic. Trump had asked the judge for permission to use the state's anti-SLAPP law as a defense to the defamation claims and to countersue Carroll and seek attorneys' fees, if successful.

CNN

Los Angeles District Attorney

LAAPOA supports campaign to recall DA George Gascón

LAAPOA joins a rapidly growing list of law enforcement associations and other organizations in supporting the campaign to recall L.A. County District Attorney George Gascón, including the Association of Deputy District Attorneys (ADDA), the Los Angeles Police Protective League (LAPPL), the Los Angeles County Professional Peace Officers Association (PPOA), the Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs (ALADS) and more.

LAAPOA Press Release

Whittier wants to take over prosecuting misdemeanors from LA County DA's Office

Whittier City Council members voted Tuesday, March 9 to ask Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon for permission to allow the city to hire its own prosecutor to handle misdemeanor crimes. Councilmembers, who voted 5-0, contend that Gascon's office has not been prosecuting lesser crimes, including most drug charges, under the influence and trespass violations.

Whittier Daily News

LA County DA Gascon recall effort raises $3.5 million, on track to gather needed signatures, organizers say

Opponents of Los Angeles County's top prosecutor said Wednesday they were inching closer to collecting the required number of signatures needed to initiate a second recall attempt. The campaign to recall District Attorney George Gascon also said it has raised $3.5 million dollars in addition to collecting more than 125,000 signatures, leaving the effort well-positioned to gather the 566,857 signatures - 10% of registered voters - needed by a July 6 deadline.

Fox News

City leaders tell Gascón long officer-involved shooting investigations violate trust

In a letter to District Attorney George Gascón obtained by Pasadena Now, city leaders chide LA County's top law enforcement official for the lack of expediency in officer-involved shooting investigations. "When OIS criminal investigations linger for long periods, it is unfair to all concerned - shooting victims, the involved officers, and members of the public," the letter states.

Pasadena Now

Prosecutors

Ex-convict charged with fatal stabbing in Mid-City area

An ex-convict was charged Tuesday with murder for allegedly fatally stabbing a 30-year-old man in the Mid-City area of Los Angeles. Rolando Alexander Maura, 61, is accused in the killing of Justin Dumas, of Oakland, before sunrise Friday in the area of Washington Boulevard and La Brea Avenue. The murder charge includes an allegation that Maura used a knife in the commission of the crime.

MyNewsLA

Three plead not guilty in alleged corruption scheme

A former state legislator, a La Jolla-based developer and an attorney - who are charged along with a former Industry city manager - pleaded not guilty today to charges stemming from what prosecutors contend was a corruption scheme. Former Sen. Frank Hill, R-Whittier, 68, pleaded not guilty to a newly filed count of misappropriation of public funds, along with two counts filed last August accusing him of having a financial interest in a contract or a purchase made in an official capacity.

City News Service

Prosecutor races test California's patience for crime policies

Californians are more anxious about crime than they've been in years, and their mood is threatening to undercut the state's leftward swing by pushing liberal prosecutors out of office. Left-leaning district attorneys in San Francisco and Los Angeles could both get ousted this year. But no liberal prosecutor's fate is more crucial than that of state Attorney General Rob Bonta, who was considered a rising progressive star a year ago when Gov. Gavin Newsom hand-picked him to be California's top law enforcement official.

Politico

Brookdale Senior Living Center settles California case over inflated ratings for $3.25 million

California Attorney General Rob Bonta announced a $3.25 million settlement Friday with Brookdale Senior Living over claims of negligence toward residents and the doctoring of records to pad the company's bottom line. According to a complaint that Bonta brought with Kern County District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer, Brookdale didn't provide timely notification and preparation when transferring or discharging residents, and inflated the number of hours its nurses spent caring for residents in its reports to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid. Though based in Tennessee, Brookdale has 10 facilities in California.

Courthouse News Service

Feds admit mistake left accused Capitol rioter in jail without charges for weeks

Federal prosecutors on Monday admitted that their mistake left an accused Capitol rioter behind bars for weeks without being formally charged, and they agree that a judge should dismiss the recently filed indictment against him, so long as they can refile the charges. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Rozzoni wrote in an atypical court filing that prosecutors violated the Speedy Trial Act by failing to obtain a grand jury indictment against Lucas Denney within the statutory time limit.

Courthouse News Service

Acting sheriff in Northern California county charged with voter fraud

An acting sheriff in far Northern California is facing voter fraud charges in connection with his efforts to run for the job. Randy Waltz was charged with perjury and filing false voter registration and nomination papers on Wednesday. Prosecutors in Del Norte County said he listed an address that was not his permanent residence when he submitted nomination papers and declared his candidacy for sheriff on Feb. 14.

AP

Contra Costa Sheriff defiant in wake of deputy's conviction, even as audit of policy, training practices are requested

The historic conviction and sentencing of a deputy in Contra Costa County did not sit well with the county's sheriff, and now prosecutors in California are asking for an audit of his disciplinary practices and training. It all stems from an email to staff that Sheriff David Livingston sent to his staff following the sentencing of former Deputy Andrew Hall, who was convicted of fatally shooting 33-year-old Laudemer Arboleda in Danville on Nov. 3, 2018.

Bay Area News Group

Man charged in Malibu campground slaying ordered out of court after outburst

A man charged in the killing of a research scientist from Irvine, who was shot while camping with his two young daughters in Malibu Creek State Park, was ordered out of court Wednesday after an obscenity-laden outburst. Superior Court Judge Charlaine Olmedo told Anthony Rauda before he was removed from the hearing that he did not have the authority to file motions on his own behalf, including a request for a change of venue in the trial, because he has a defense attorney and is not representing himself.

City News Service

Policy/Legal

Why the L. A. County Board of Supervisors should not eliminate juvenile probation

I have heard talk and read media reports about eliminating the role of probation officers from the lives of justice-involved youth. I'm a probation success story and I believe strongly that juvenile probation is a critical role in the restorative justice ecosystem. Juvenile probation saves lives and should not be eliminated. My probation story started early. My sister and I were involved in a domestic violence incident when I was 13-years-old, leaving one person deceased.

Los Angeles Sentinel

Fiona Ma may have to testify in Gerry Serrano lawsuit!

In a stunning development, an anti-SLAPP motion recently filed in Orange County Superior Court by attorneys representing David Valentin, chief of the Santa Ana Police Department, names Fiona Ma, the state treasurer, and suggests she might end up being called to testify as a witness in court if they are unable to convince a judge to quash a lawsuit initiated by Gerry Serrano, president of the Santa Ana Police Officers Association.

Anaheim Investigator

'I can't breathe': Family of man who died during rough arrest files lawsuit against CHP officers

Family members of a man who died during a rough arrest in Altadena have filed a civil lawsuit against the CHP and the officers involved. Video previously labeled confidential by the CHP but released by a judge, shows the graphic incident involving Edward Bronstein, 38. The incident in March 2020 happened after Bronstein was pulled over by the CHP for allegedly driving under the influence. In the video Bronstein is heard first refusing to comply with a blood draw, then he agrees.

NBC4

Woman whose rape DNA led to her arrest to sue San Francisco

The woman whose DNA from a sexual assault case was used by San Francisco police to arrest her in an unrelated property crime plans to sue the city, her attorney said Thursday. The woman has filed notice of a possible federal lawsuit because she feels betrayed by police officers who broke her trust and violated her rights, said her attorney, Adante Pointer. Pointer declined to identify his client. The Associated Press generally does not name people who say they have been sexually assaulted unless they choose to be named.

AP

Los Angeles democrats embrace the tough-on-crime backlash

A tough-on-crime backlash is currently gripping Southern California. In February, Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón became the latest local Democratic politician to fold to conservative critics, when he walked back two major campaign promises that had swept him into office just over a year before.

The Appeal

Los Angeles County/City

LAPD Assistant Chief Beatrice Girmala to retire from department

Assistant Chief Beatrice Girmala will retire from the Los Angeles Police Department at the end of the month after 37 years with the department, the Police Commission announced Tuesday. Girmala leads the Office of Special Operations and oversees the LAPD's entire patrol division. "No other woman has held that position, and in my humble opinion, she has brought needed, enhanced training programs to all uniformed patrol officers, and she has managed that department like no other before her," commission President William Briggs said.

City News Service

Crime in West Hollywood up 137%: LASD

Crime in West Hollywood is up 137% from the same time last year, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. In February 2022, nearly 250 "Part One" crimes - which include acts of murder, rape, burglary, aggravated assault, arson and human trafficking - were reported, compared to 105 incidents in February 2021. "The only reason why you're gonna come this far, into this neighborhood, is because either a) you believe you're gonna get away with it, or b) you're not gonna get punished for it and the stats are showing that," security expert Russell Stuart, owner of Force Protection Agency, said.

KTLA

Inglewood woman's cars held hostage in apparent predatory towing scheme (Video)

In California, there is no cap on what private businesses can charge for storage fees. Experts claim that consumers have very little protection against suspected predatory towing.

CBS LA

LAFD chief deputy allegedly drunk during a major fire gets no discipline, $1.4-million payout

Last spring, a high-ranking official in the Los Angeles Fire Department alleged that its top administrative commander, Chief Deputy Fred Mathis, appeared to be intoxicated while he was overseeing the agency's operations center during the Palisades fire. The officer reported that Mathis admitted to her that he had been drinking, according to LAFD records. Now, The Times has learned that a private law firm hired by the city to investigate the May 18 episode found that Mathis was likely intoxicated at the department's headquarters at City Hall East.

Los Angeles Times

Majority of L.A. County sheriff's deputies did not complete training requirements, audit says

Thousands of Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies, supervisors and dispatchers have not completed required training courses in recent years, according to a California oversight agency. An audit last year by the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training found that more than 80% of the thousands of sheriff's deputies and supervisors included in commission databases had not met at least one of many training requirements, including firearms competency and arrest tactics.

Los Angeles Times

Sheriff Alex Villanueva says staff shortage is getting critical with nearly 800 vacancies

Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said the staff shortage at the department is getting critical with 783 vacancies. "At some point, I run out of people," said the sheriff during a news conference on Wednesday. "We're at that point that we've ran out of people." Villanueva blames the L.A. County Board of Supervisors for a hiring freeze and said some patrol stations are sometimes operating with only 70% of its personnel. He said response times are now 3 minutes, but expects it will eventually take longer.

ABC7

Oversight panel pushes for more transparency over LAPD shootings (Video)

It's happening as the incidents the of officer-involved shootings are jumping dramatically. Eric Leonard reports for the NBC4 News on Tuesday, March 15, 2022.

NBC4

LA mayor hopeful Karen Bass vows tough stance on crime

Karen Bass, an early frontrunner for Los Angeles mayor, said she would get tough on crime and reform policing to address a spike in violence across the U.S.'s second-largest city. Bass said another top priority is addressing the city's worsening homeless crisis by fighting for recognition at the federal level that it's an emergency, a step that would free up more resources. "People around the city do not feel safe," said Bass, a six-term Democratic congresswoman representing a Los Angeles district.

Bloomberg

Dueling motions from LA Supervisors about where to house LA's "high security" DJJ kids, plus $50k exit bonuses, & the riotous emptying out of Central Juvenile Hall

On Tuesday, March 15, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted on two competing motions, each of which outlined two very different solutions to the dilemma of where LA County's "secure track youth," should be housed now and in the foreseeable future. The youth in question are the kids and young people who, in past years, would have been sent to California's youth prisons, the violence-plagued facilities run by the state's Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ), which will be permanently shuttered by June 30, 2023.

Witness LA

In wake of I-Team report, criminal charges filed against car repair shops for allegedly hogging parking spots with Porsches and Ferraris

The LA City Attorney Tuesday filed criminal charges against the owners of two prestigious car repair shops, accusing them of illegally parking customers Porsches, Ferraris, and Maseratis in street spots meant for residents. The matter had been with the City Attorney since early 2019 but got stalled in bureaucratic red tape, until the NBC4 I-Team aired a report Monday night.

NBC4

Consumer

Amazon may face antitrust court battle over fair pricing

Seattle District Judge Richard A. Jones denied part of Amazon's motion to dismiss an antitrust class action complaint, clearing the way for a court battle in which Amazon will defend its pricing policy for third-party sellers. The decision marks a turning point in Amazon's antitrust battle. Just as two significant congressional antitrust bills seem to be stalling, two credible court cases are gaining traction.

Protocol

Target reaches $5M settlement with California district attorneys over alleged false advertising

The Target Corporation has entered into a stipulated agreement to pay more than $5 million to settle a civil law enforcement complaint that alleged that the retail giant engaged in false advertising and unfair competition, the Sonoma County District Attorney's Office announced this week. The action was originally filed in Sonoma County Superior Court by District Attorney Jill Ravitch's environmental and consumer law division in a joint filing with the district attorneys of Alameda, Marin, Contra Costa, Santa Cruz, Ventura and San Diego counties.

CBS SF Bay Area

Fake goods continue to pose public health risk, finds report

Distribution of counterfeit goods, including food and drink, remains a problem and has been driven by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to two European agencies. Europol and the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) said the pandemic has given opportunities for criminals who have adjusted their business models to meet this new demand. They added these fake food products can present a risk to the public.

Food Safety News

Google warns billions of Chrome users about rising number of attacks

Google has issued a chilling warning to the 2.6 billion people who use its Chrome web browser. The US tech titan told fans last week to expect a rise in the number of reported cyberattacks in the coming months. Adrian Taylor, a member of Chrome's Security Team, explained the increase in a blog post on March 10. He was prompted to write the post in response to increasing reports of exploits found "in the wild" by Google's network of researchers.

The Sun

Crime/Public Safety

LAPD: Arrests made in violent Tarzana home invasion robbery, possibly connected to other LA crimes

Police say they have arrested several people tied to a violent home invasion robbery in Tarzana that occurred on March 6, and two of the suspects may be tied to other crimes. Savion Jefferson, 32, Terry McGee, 27, and Deja Childress, 34, have all been charged in the Tarzana home invasion robbery case. Detectives are still looking for a fourth suspect. The incident happened in the 4300 block of Gayle Drive at about 3:25 a.m. on March 6.

ABC7

Judge denies petition by testing firm pondering suit vs. Villanueva

A judge has denied a petition filed by a coronavirus testing company that sought to conduct preliminary discovery ahead of the filing of a potential defamation suit against Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva. Fulgent Genetics Inc. and its subsidiary, Fulgent Therapeutics LLC, alleged that Villanueva - in a Nov. 29 letter to the Board of Supervisors and published on the sheriff's department website - falsely stated that the FBI warned him against using Fulgent's COVID-19 testing services because of "concerning information'' that the company would provide DNA data of county employees to China.

City News Service

Senseless LA murder motivated by robbery: LAPD

LA resident Marcos Sandoval was brutally murdered while walking his dog this past Saturday in the 5am hour. According to LAPD, Sandoval was walking his cute little white poodle when the murder suspect rolled up in a car, exchanged words with Sandoval and opened fire. Immediately after the shooting, Sandoval's dog ran back home without his owner which led family members to the murder scene.

City News Service

Sierra Madre hit by rash of catalytic converter thefts, residents say problem is out of control

The small city of Sierra Madre has been dealing with a recent spree of catalytic converter thefts, city-owned vehicles included. "Our city yards were actually one of the areas that got hit," said Sgt. Charles Kamchamnan of the Sierra Madre Police Department. "We had three vehicles, city vehicles, that were hit with catalytic converter thefts. A week after that, it was an additional seven more."

ABC7

Man stabbed to death in Mid-City crime spree; suspect arrested (Video)

A suspect has been arrested in connection with a fatal stabbing in Mid-City early Friday morning which occurred amid a bizarre series of events that included a possible hit-and-run and an attempted apartment break-in.

CBS LA

Cities where property crime is soaring

The U.S. property crime rate fell for the 19th consecutive year in 2020 - a bright spot in an otherwise bleak year defined largely by the COVID-19 pandemic and a historic surge in deadly violence. Property crime is made up of three categories of offenses: larceny, defined as the unlawful taking of property; burglary, or the illegal entry of a structure to commit a crime; and vehicle theft, which can be either the theft, or the attempted theft, of a vehicle, such a car or ATV.

24/7 Wall St.

California/National

Voters were "duped." Kern Co. leaders back repeal of Prop. 47.

A Republican-led attempt to repeal Proposition 47 gained a strong endorsement from the Kern County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday. The board unanimously approved a letter to the California Assembly in support of Assembly Bill 1599 - authored by Kevin Kiley (R-Rocklin), James Gallagher (R-Yuba City) and Jim Patterson (R-Fresno) - which would see the 2014 ballot initiative be removed from state law.

San Joaquin Valley Sun

Appeals court: Ex-DA can't be sued over charges that were thrown out

A federal appeals court found Wednesday that nurses who abruptly resigned from a Smithtown facility in 2006 over working conditions, then faced child-endangerment charges that were thrown out, can't sue former Suffolk District Attorney Thomas Spota for prosecuting them. Spota, now incarcerated for an unrelated corruption conviction, and the late former assistant district attorney Leonard Lato get "absolute immunity" for their prosecutorial actions, according to the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.

Newsday

California lawmaker found with loaded handgun in his luggage at Sacramento airport

Authorities confiscated a loaded handgun found in luggage belonging to California Assemblyman Jim Cooper at a security checkpoint at the Sacramento International Airport, sheriff's officials said. Cooper, D-Elk Grove, a retired law enforcement officer who is also running for Sacramento County Sheriff in 2022, was not cited after the loaded semiautomatic gun was found in a purse in one of his bags that he was in control of, said Sgt. Rodney Grassmann, a Sacramento County sheriff's spokesman.

Sacramento Bee

See court request that led to a restraining order against SEIU Local 1000 union president

A Sacramento County Superior Court judge issued a restraining order last week against the president of California's largest state employee union. Judge Steven Gevercer instructed SEIU Local 1000 president Richard Louis Brown to stay out of the union's headquarters building, to return documents he had removed and to stop exercising powers of the union presidency.

Sacramento Bee

Newsom, unions eye $50k bonuses for juvenile prison workers

As the state prepares to close its youth prisons, workers for the Division of Juvenile Justice could receive up to $50,000 bonuses to stay on the job until then, CalMatters has learned. If approved, the bonus appears to be among the largest offered by the state to retain a group of employees. Gov. Gavin Newsom's administration and at least six unions are negotiating the pay bumps, hoping the large incentives will keep the youth facilities staffed until their June 30, 2023, closures.

CalMatters

NYPD top cop Keechant Sewell says bail reform law 'needs to change'

New York State's bail reform law - which has allowed dangerous criminals back on the streets - "absolutely" needs to change, NYPD's top cop said in a new interview. Commissioner Keechant Sewell joined a chorus of elected officials who have called for more restrictive bail laws following the reforms which eliminated cash bail for most misdemeanor and non-violent felonies.

New York Post

Convictions/Sentences/Pleas

Actor arrested in Burbank gets probation for role in Capitol insurrection

An actor who filmed himself explicitly cursing out House Speaker Nancy Pelosi while taking part in the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol was sentenced Friday to two years probation, court records show. Michael Aaron Carico agreed to a plea deal in federal court in Washington D.C. requiring he admit to a misdemeanor count of parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building, months after he was arrested by federal agents in Burbank.

Orange County Register

Woman sentenced to six years in prison for deadly freeway crash

A young Los Angeles woman who pleaded no contest to a drunken freeway crash in Sherman Oaks that left two people dead, including a 15-year-old boy, was sentenced today to six years in state prison. Bianca Lopez - who was 20 at the time of the collision last April 24 that killed 15-year-old Julio Bautista and 50-year-old Felix Hernandez Pena of the Santa Maria area - agreed to waive nearly a year of credit for the time she has spent behind bars.

City News Service

Corrections & Parole

Death of condemned inmate Michael Allen

Los Angeles County officials notified San Quentin State Prison that death-sentenced individual Michael Allen was pronounced deceased Feb. 6, 2022, while in the custody of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department (LASD). Allen had been on out-to-court status since Jan. 26, 2012. Allen had been found unresponsive in his cell at the Men's Central Jail. Life-saving measures were performed by deputy personnel and medical staff; however, he was pronounced deceased at 7:18 p.m. by a paramedic.

CDCR News Release

Neglect, wildfires and poor infrastructure threaten California inmates

Every year, wildfires threaten the safety of inmates in California prisons as they endure plumes of smoke, lack of electricity, and fear of being unable to evacuate to safety. Despite the fact that many of California's prisons are vulnerable to wildfires, safety guidelines for prison evacuations have yet to be established. Governor Gavin Newsom's Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation is coming under fire for being unprepared to handle the climate crisis in California's various prisons, jails, and detention centers.

The Davis Vanguard

Documents show how California Dept. of Corrections handles racism among officers

As people across the country reacted to George Floyd's killing by Minneapolis police in late May 2020, at least two state correctional officers, independently, posted racist comments on Facebook about Floyd's death. And a Black correctional officer was disciplined for growing angry at co-workers over a "thin blue line" flag hanging in a state prison gymnasium in August 2020.

KQED

Articles of Interest

Jussie Smollett is out of jail, but faces uncertain future

Jussie Smollett walked out of a Chicago jail after serving six days and walked into months, if not years, of uncertainty - from what's next for his career as an actor and performer to whether he'll eventually be back behind bars. The former star of the TV show "Empire" was sentenced last week to 150 days in jail plus probation and a fine after a jury found him guilty of lying to police about being the victim of a racist, anti-gay attack in downtown Chicago in 2019.

AP

Anonymous claims it has taken out Russia's national security agency

Hacktivist group Anonymous has struck again and this time it has targeted Russia's government websites - including its national security agency. The decentralized organization posted on Twitter the names of Russian websites it attacked and successfully brought down with screenshots as proof. 'Tango Down' it said it the tweet, invoking military slang announcing an enemy has been defeated in combat.

Metro UK

For some law firms dropping Russian clients, U.S. courts have final say

Facebook

Adrian Taylor of Chrome explains the high number of attacks on the popular browser.

Several major law firms have said they will stop working for sanctioned Russian companies after the invasion of Ukraine. But some lawyers suing Russian banks in U.S. courts are raising alarms, saying their adversaries' retreat could wind up delaying justice for their own clients. In one of the cases, lawyers for family members of an American killed in the 2014 downing of a passenger plane over eastern Ukraine said Monday that sanctioned Russian bank Sberbank was improperly looking to stall the case to find new counsel.

Reuters

Pensions

A guide to the public pension funds divesting from Russia

As economic sanctions against Russia for its invasion against Ukraine spread, state and local public pension plans are looking at selling off their Russian-related assets and some are already doing so. Lawmakers in at least a dozen states are pressuring their pension funds to divest from Russian-related investments.

Forbes

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