Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

Beverly Hills city councilman's son may be let off early for making fake social media account impersonating candidate

Court of Appeal Amends opinion to eliminate editors' names, as Fox News Editors' Names is Too Sensitive to be Made Public

Convictions of rape, multiple murders must be reversed

The blunder of a San Diego judge in 1989 in countermanding the ruling of another judge in the absence of any new law, facts, or circumstances resulted yesterday in the California Supreme Court unanimously overturning the conviction of a man for three first-degree murders, rape, and other felonies committed during a 1985-86 crime spree. The infeasibility of re-trying Billy Ray Waldon, 71, for offenses perpetrated as long ago as 37 years virtually assures the release of a man condemned to death on Feb. 28, 1992.

Metropolitan News-Enterprise

Beverly Hills city councilman's son may be let off early for making fake social media account impersonating candidate

A son of Beverly Hills City Councilman Lester Friedman was granted a six-month diversion program that could result in the dismissal of a case in which he is charged with creating a fake social media account impersonating another City Council candidate. Over the prosecution's objection, Superior Court Judge Wendy Segall ordered Adam Friedman, 37, to perform 50 hours of community service with a non-profit organization as a result of the diversion program.

City News Service

C.A. amends opinion to eliminate editors' names

Div. Four of the Court of Appeal for this district has apparently decided that the identity of finishing editors who had worked for Fox Digital Enterprises Inc. is too sensitive to be publicly disclosed, amending an unpublished opinion on Friday to change their names to initials. The panel modified the opinion in 13 places, starting with ¶6. As filed on Dec. 25, that paragraph began: "At the time, Fox employed seven regular finishing editors working an average of four or five shifts per week - Williams, Thomas Stock-Hendel, Jack Thannum, Daryl Frederick, Paul Ware, David Yount, and Ruth Cooper."

Metropolitan News-Enterprise

Justices invite Biden's input for social media censorship laws

The Supreme Court asked the Biden administration on Monday to weigh in on a legal battle between conservative states and social media companies over content moderation laws. Texas and Florida are behind the two laws now before the high court. The laws sprang up after former President Donald Trump's ban from Twitter and suspension from Facebook. While the sites frame their actions as editorial discretion, lawmakers in the states have likened it to unconstitutional censorship.

Courthouse News Service

Class actions over protein find footing in San Francisco federal court

Class action lawyers have found a court receptive to their claims that food companies are misrepresenting the quantity and quality of the protein in their products. Two hurdles to cross recently came in lawsuits against Dave's Killer Bread and Perfect Bar in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers denied the defendants' motion to dismiss on Jan. 9 in the Killer Bread case.

Legal Newsline

School district off the hook for erasing video evidence of sexual assault

A California school district was unduly censured for routinely erasing video footage that might have been valuable evidence of a sexual assault, an appeals court ruled, finding there was not enough evidence the district knew at the time it would be sued. A student identified as John Doe and his parents sued Victor Valley Union High School District after school officials told them Doe had allegedly been assaulted in a school bathroom by two other students.

Legal Newsline

Routine journalism or felony solicitation? Fifth Circuit hears case of jailed reporter

A popular Texas independent journalist who was arrested on felony "misuse of official information" charges after publishing names she obtained from a police officer asked the full Fifth Circuit on Wednesday to revive her First Amendment lawsuit. Priscilla "Lagordiloca" Villarreal is lauded as a throwback to the muckraking journalists of the early 1900s and an adept user of modern tools, livestreaming her on-the-scene coverage of events in her hometown Laredo on her Facebook page.

Courthouse News Service


Prosecutors outline disturbing allegations of abuse in Anthony Avalos murder trial

In gruesome detail, prosecutors on Wednesday spelled out a series of allegations of torture and child abuse that they say led to the death of Anthony Avalos at the hands of his own mother and her boyfriend. Heather Barron and Kareem Leiva are facing charges that include torture and murder of the Lancaster boy, as well as abuse of two other children. Both have been held without bail since their arrests in 2018.


Music producer Max Lord charged with possessing assault weapons and silencers, DA says

Grammy award-winning hip hop music producer Max Adam Lord was charged Friday with possessing assault weapons and silencers. Lord, 30, is set to be arraigned next Wednesday in a Van Nuys courtroom on eight felony counts of possession of an assault weapon and four felony counts of possession of a silencer, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office.

City News Service

Beverly Hills man indicted in deaths of LA model, friend who were drugged, dumped at hospital

A Beverly Hills man pleaded not guilty Tuesday to a grand jury indictment charging him with murder in connection with the overdose deaths of a model and her friend, who were dumped outside Southland hospitals just over a year ago. The indictment, unsealed Tuesday, charges David Brian Pearce, 40, with the November 2021 deaths of Christy Giles, a 24-year-old model and aspiring actress, and her friend, Hilda Marcela Cabrales-Arzola, 26.

City News Service

Water district roiled by bitter infighting and criminal charges against general manager

For years, the Central Basin Municipal Water District was seen as a poster child for government dysfunction: State auditors slammed the agency for questionable contracting practices, poor leadership and violating the law. Competing lawsuits accused officials of corruption and harassment, while the district's bond rating plummeted.

Los Angeles Times

Prosecutors to Congress: Let state prisons jam cellphones

Top state prosecutors from across the country are again urging Congress to pass legislation allowing state prisons to jam the signals of cellphones smuggled to inmates, devices the attorneys argue allow prisoners to plot violence and carry out crimes. "Simply, we need Congress to pass legislation giving states the authority to implement a cell phone jamming system to protect inmates, guards, and the public at large," the 22 prosecutors - all Republicans, led by South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson - wrote in a letter sent Wednesday to House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.


Retired top FBI agent in New York indicted for helping Russian billionaire duck sanctions

A former special agent in charge of the FBI's Counterintelligence Division of the New York Field Office has been arrested on charges that he aided Kremlin-linked billionaire Oleg Deripaska in evading international sanctions. Charles F. McGonigal, 54, is accused of engaging in illegal conduct in his official capacity as an FBI special agent in charge of the Counterintelligence Division that he believed would benefit Deripaska financially.

Courthouse News Service

How do prosecutors retry a murder trial when victims died nearly 40 years ago?

Prosecutors often climb an uphill battle to create a bulletproof case against murder suspects, but it's a whole other ordeal with questioning witnesses who have a nearly 40-year lapse in their memory. Kern County's top public defender and prosecutors encountered this exact challenge while retrying a decades-old case Tuesday as they struggled with an uncooperative witness and spotty recollections.

The Bakersfield Californian

DOJ, states sue Google over digital ad dominance

The Department of Justice (DOJ) and a handful of states sued Google over the tech giant's dominance in the digital ad space, according to a complaint filed Tuesday. The case is the second antitrust lawsuit the DOJ has filed against Google, adding to the mounting legal battles from state and federal antitrust enforcers targeting the Silicon Valley giant.

The Hill

D.C. attorney general seeks revival of Amazon antitrust lawsuit

The District of Columbia attorney general on Monday urged a Washington, D.C., appeals court to revive the city's claim that Inc is violating antitrust law through agreements prohibiting merchants from offering better price deals elsewhere. Lawyers for D.C. Attorney General Brian Schwalb argued in their opening court filing at the District of Columbia Court of Appeals that a trial judge in May "ignored or discounted" the city's factual allegations and "perfunctorily dismissed" the lawsuit in an oral ruling from the bench.



Venice hit-and-run driver who plowed into mom, baby in stolen car is murdered after light sentence

A Los Angeles-area teenager who ran over a mother walking her child in a stroller in Venice in 2021 and received just a few months of diversionary camp as punishment was gunned down in Palmdale this week, according to FOX News. Kristopher Baca, 17, of Palmdale was found fatally shot on Wednesday on a driveway in the 38600 block of 11th Street East, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.


New California law allows non-U.S. Citizens to become police officers

With the new year, comes new state laws, including one that changed the qualifications to become a police officer in California. Now, anyone who can legally work in the state under federal law, can be a police officer, regardless of citizenship. CBS 8 cleared up some misconceptions about the new law by going directly to the State Senator who wrote the bill, and we talked with the San Diego Police Officers Association about their concerns.

CBS8 San Diego

Redondo Beach councilman accused of misappropriating $515,000 in law practice faces new State Bar charges

An attorney serving on the Redondo Beach City Council who is accused of misappropriating half a million dollars meant for a former client now faces additional disciplinary charges over his explanation for why the money wasn't handed over. The five disciplinary charges announced Thursday by the State Bar of California, which include seeking to mislead a judge and making misrepresentations to the Superior Court, set in motion a disciplinary process that, in the most extreme cases, could end in disbarment.

Los Angeles Times

Who you gonna call (when the cops aren't allowed to help you)?

Imagine the following scenario: You are driving through Los Angeles when your car is inexplicably struck by another. You pull out of traffic and stop at the side of the road so you can exchange information with the other driver as the law prescribes. In speaking with the other driver, you can see he appears to be under the influence of some intoxicant, as he is agitated, speaking incoherently, and running around in the street.

Jack Dunphy/PJ Media

After contract battle, Santa Ana Police union launches council recall campaigns

An escalating conflict between City Hall leaders and the union representing Santa Ana police officers has kicked off campaigns to unseat two City Council members. It comes after a majority of council members last month approved a 3% pay raise for police officers and slashed the arrangement for their union's president, Gerry Serrano, of full-time release from police work while he steered the association.

Voice of OC

ADA claim improperly rejected based on credibility call

The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has reversed a judgment in favor of lessors who were sued for disability discrimination because their parking lot lacked a van-accessible space with an access aisle, with the panel holding, over a dissent, that that the District Court improperly took into consideration that the plaintiff is a serial litigant. Judge Ronald M. Gould authored Monday's majority opinion, in which Judge William A. Fletcher joined. Judge Daniel P. Collins dissented.

Metropolitan News-Enterprise

Biden says psychologists should handle domestic violence cases and attend when 'someone is standing on the edge of a bridge' - but reiterates he does NOT want to defund the police in speech to mayors

President Joe Biden on Friday said psychologists should handle domestic violence cases instead of the cops - but reiterated he doesn't want to defund the police. In a lengthy speech to U.S. mayors, Biden talked about a variety of local issues, including public safety needs, how to assist those suffering from mental health issues, and equipping first responders to respond to fentanyl overdoses.

Daily Mail

LAPD chief bans public displays of 'thin blue line' flag

Los Angeles Police Department Chief Michel Moore has banned the display of the "thin blue line" flag at public events and station lobbies. The mandate, issued Saturday, comes in response to the flag's divisive symbolism - some believe it represents support for law enforcement, while others say it's become a symbol of far-right ideology and white supremacism.



Video shows man point weapon at LAPD officers in Arleta before they open fire

The LAPD has released new footage in connection with an officer-involved shooting in Arleta showing a man pointing a gun at officers shortly before they opened fire. The footage shows the man, who was being sought for questioning in connection with a stolen-vehicle, run down the street, turn and raise his hands, and point what appears to be a gun at officers. One officer fired a weapon at him. Neither the officers nor the suspect were struck by gunfire.


A bored hacktivist browsing an unsecured airline server stumbled upon national security secrets including the FBI's 'no fly' list.

The FBI Terrorism Screening Center's secret "no-fly" list just got a lot less mysterious thanks to a bored Swiss hacker exploring unsecured servers in her free time. Maia arson crimew, described by the Department of Justice as a "prolific" hacker in an unrelated indictment, said she was clicking around on an online search engine full of unprotected servers on January 12 when she accessed one maintained by a little-known airline and found the highly sensitive documents, along with what she called a "jackpot" of other information.

Business Insider

Feds announce massive takedown of fraudulent nursing diploma scheme

A massive, coordinated scheme to sell false and fraudulent nursing degree credentials has been brought down by a joint federal law enforcement operation, Justice Department officials said Wednesday. As first reported by ABC News, officials said the scheme involved peddling more than $100 million worth of bogus nursing diplomas and transcripts over the course of several years - fake credentials that were sold to help "thousands of people" take "shortcuts" toward becoming licensed, practicing nurses.

ABC News

Sleight of hand jewelry thieves thwarted in Santa Clarita

Video captured a trio of suspected thieves attempting to use distraction and sleight of hand to steal jewelry from a Santa Clarita shop on Tuesday night. Security video shows the suspects entering Abe's Pawn Shop in Newhall located on Main Street. The trio is believed to be part of the same group that snatched a $40,000 ring using sleight of hand from another Santa Clarita jewelry shop earlier this month.


6 arrested after violent protesters cause mayhem, set APD car on fire in downtown Atlanta

A peaceful protest in downtown Atlanta turned violent Saturday evening when protesters set a police car on fire and started smashing windows. Six protesters were arrested, Atlanta Police Chief Darin Schierbaum announced in a news conference on Saturday night. Those people have not been identified and their charges have not been released. Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens said several arrested people do not live in the Atlanta area or Georgia.


Los Angeles City/County

911 is a joke: LA police union says killer cops did nothing wrong, Keenan Anderson's family files $50M wrongful death lawsuit

Instead of helping Keenan Anderson after a car accident, LAPD officers tased him to death but still protected and served, according to their union. How convenient that yet another police organization investigated themselves and found themselves innocent after taking an innocent life. KABC reports that the Los Angeles Police Union defended the unnamed cops responsible for three separate incidents of arrests turned executions in the span of two days.


Former Long Beach police chief, LA County sheriff Jim McDonnell joins USC

After a career of more than 40 years in law enforcement, Long Beach's Jim McDonnell, former leader of both the city's Police Department and the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, has been named director a USC institute that focuses on safe communities. McDonnell will lead the Safe Communities Institute, part of USC's Sol Price School of Public Policy.

Grunion Gazette

Cerritos' questionable lawsuit against Metro will impact construction of light rail line from Artesia to Union Station

A public records request by Hews Media Group-Community News has revealed that Cerritos mayor pro tem Bruce Barrows, who was appointed and not elected, is behind a lawsuit filed by Cerritos against Metro that will unnecessarily delay the construction of the popular West Santa Ana Branch Light Rail Line (WSAB) that will run from Artesia to Union Station.

Hews Media Group

Les Moonves accuser's family speaks out about LAPD's mishandling of her case

The children of the late TV executive Phyllis Golden-Gottlieb, whose claims of sexual misconduct against Les Moonves helped lead to his resignation as CEO of CBS in 2018, spoke out on Jan. 20 about the Los Angeles Police Department's mishandling of her confidential police report. They and their attorney, Gloria Allred, said they met the previous day with LAPD Chief Michel Moore and an internal affairs investigator about since-retired Captain Cory Palka, who is now being probed by the department and the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office for sharing a copy of Golden-Gottlieb's report about Moonves, which she'd filed in late 2017 at LAPD's Hollywood Division.

Hollywood Reporter

LA County Sheriff Robert Luna on his goals for the department

Last month, Robert Luna was sworn in as Los Angeles County's new sheriff, replacing former Sheriff Alex Villanueva. Since then, Luna has hit the ground running, meeting with county leaders and ushering in a new era for the department. Lisa McRee spoke to Luna about his goals and the toughest challenges he faces. Luna explained his approach to the homelessness crisis in LA County.

Los Angeles Times

Top Bass candidate for LAFD chief retires amid sexual harassment investigation

Los Angeles Fire Department Chief Deputy Armando Hogan has abruptly retired from the agency after being relieved of duty in 2022 pending a sexual harassment investigation. City Hall sources allege that what may have led to Hogan's downfall is footage from several of the thousands of security cameras in its offices rumored to have captured "unwanted physical contact," in addition to other types of harassment.

The Guss Report


Oakland police chief fires back over forced leave amid misconduct scandal

Oakland Police Chief LeRonne Armstrong, out on administrative leave following allegations of internal misconduct, blasted the city for punishing him based on a report from the federal monitor investigating the police department. City leaders put Armstrong on paid leave Friday following new findings that officers under him concealed their involvement in dangerous public incidents - including a traffic collision in 2021 and a gun that was fired in an elevator in 2022.

Courthouse News Service

U.S. investigators uncovered alleged corruption by Mexico's former security minister years before he was indicted

When federal prosecutors walk into the United States Courthouse in Brooklyn on Monday to present their opening statements against Genaro García Luna, the highest-ranking Mexican official ever tried in the United States for drug corruption, they will unveil a complex case that took years to build. But the fuller story of the government's investigation of García Luna - a former security minister who was arguably the United States' most important Mexican partner in a long and failed effort to transform his country's criminal justice system - is hardly a triumph of determined American law enforcement.


Five former Memphis officers charged with murder after death of Tyre Nichols

Five fired Memphis police officers were charged with second-degree murder in the death of Tyre Nichols, Tennessee authorities announced Thursday. Nichols died three days after a violent arrest by police earlier this month. "This was wrong. This was criminal," Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Director David Rausch said during a press conference announcing the charges.

CBS News

Bail reform is a mistake, Miami Mayor Francis Suarez tells Biden at White House summit

Standing a few feet from President Biden during an event last Friday at the White House, Miami Mayor Francis X. Suarez delivered a message that was bound to find little traction in an administration that has embraced some progressive criminal justice reform proposals. It was time, Suarez said, to "revisit failed policies like no-cash bail, which seem to be contributing to the spike in violent crime in our cities."

Yahoo! News

Georgia election probe report to remain secret for now

A judge said Tuesday that a final report produced by a special grand jury tasked with investigating whether then-President Donald Trump and his allies broke the law as they tried to overturn his 2020 election defeat in Georgia will remain under wraps for now. Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney said he was considering whether to release the report after hearing arguments from prosecutors, who urged it be kept secret until they decide whether to file any charges, and a coalition of media organizations, which pressed for its release.



Airline CEO admits ticket scam permitted by Buttigieg

The recent holiday travel meltdown wasn't a fluke or a one-off - cancellations will continue because airlines routinely sell tickets for flights they know they may not be able to staff and operate, the chief executive of United Airlines told investors yesterday. The stunning admission from the highest reaches of the airline industry confirms a warning sent by state attorneys general to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg prior to the December travel meltdown.

The Lever

Articles of Interest

Hindenburg's important facts, M&M's sticky mess and raising ChatGPT's allowance

What happened? As mentioned in a previous roundup, Elon Musk lost a record $182bln. Fellow billionaire Gautam Adani, Asia's richest man, didn't do as badly this week. Yet the market cap of 7 companies he owns fell $10bln in one day (Jan. 25). That came a day after Hindenburg Research's report blasted Adani Jan. 25. It called the world's 4th richest person (per Forbes) a fraud and market manipulator. Hindenburg did excellent PR, tweeting ad nauseam excerpts from its report Tuesday (Jan. 24).

PR News

Fox News sued by former booker Laura Luhn over alleged 'decades-long' abuse

A former booker for the Fox News Channel is suing the network and its parent company over what she says were decades of abuse and blackmail by former network head Roger Ailes. Laura Luhn, a former booker for Fox who began working at the network in 1996, on Wednesday filed a lawsuit in state court in New York against Fox News Network, its parent company 21st Century Fox and former network executive Bill Shine.

The Hill

Trump v Trump: Ex-president and niece square off in court

Donald Trump squared off against his niece in court Thursday, aiming to advance a lawsuit that says she and The New York Times conspired against him with an "insidious plot" to obtain and publicize his financial records. A 2001 family estate agreement lies at the heart of the case. Donald Trump says it contains a confidentiality clause that prohibits all family members, including Mary Trump, who wrote the book, "Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World's Most Dangerous Man," from divulging its details.

Courthouse News Service

Los Angeles descends into insanity

Oh, what a blessing it is to be retired from the Los Angeles Police Department. I am proud of the career I had with the LAPD, which spanned more than 30 years, beginning in the early 1980s. It was an era when, though there were many times we asked ourselves, "Who are these morons we're working for?" was not yet marked by the genuine insanity that afflicts so many currently serving in city government and the upper ranks of the department.

Jack Dunphy/PJ Media

Fox News' defense in defamation suit invokes debunked election-fraud claims

Fox News' attorneys have set out the starkest defense yet against the accusation the network defamed an election-technology company when it broadcast false claims that the company had cheated then-President Donald Trump of victory in the 2020 election. The overwhelming majority of Fox's argument was made in sealed motions filed last week asking the presiding judge to dismiss Dominion Voting Systems' $1.6 billion suit before it is to go to trial in April.


What elected officials will say to get on TV

Late Saturday night, many community residents who subscribe to the Citizens app on their cell phones received a message which stated mass shooting incident in Monterey Park. Early Sunday morning most TV news outlets then announced the mass shooting incident which took place in Monterey Park. The shooting incident took place within an hour after the Saturday's 9:30 pm closer of the main AAPI Lunar New Year celebration which had taken place within two blocks of the location of the mass shooting.


Recalling Kevin De Leon - turns out there's a nasty surprise in the fine print

I was all excited at the prospect of recalling Kevin De Leon in CD 14 ASAP, until Hans Johnson of the EAPD (East Area Progressive Democrats) clued me in to a requirement I never heard of. In the fine print of course. Logic says that if enough people sign a recall petition against a City Councilmember and that Councilmember gets booted out, you would then proceed to run an election to replace the loser. Right? Oh no, in the great and corporate Dem run State of California, it's not so fast.

The Eastsider


Former LA County official gets probation in bribery case

A former official in Los Angeles County's real estate division, who was involved in awarding contracts to developers and contractors, was sentenced Monday to two years probation for lying to FBI agents and filing a false tax return in an effort to cover up his receipt of bribes. Thomas M. Shepos, 72, of Palmdale, was also ordered to pay $110,021 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.


Inland Empire woman pleads guilty to using prison inmates' names to fraudulently obtain over $500,000 in COVID jobless relief

A San Bernardino County woman pleaded guilty today to fraudulently obtaining more than $500,000 in COVID-19 pandemic-related unemployment insurance (UI) benefits by using the names of inmates locked up the California state prison system. Cynthia Ann Hernandez, 33, a.k.a. "Cynthia Roberts," of Victorville, pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud and one count of access device fraud in excess of $1,000.

Department of Justice Press Release

4 more Oath Keepers found guilty of seditious conspiracy tied to Jan. 6 attack

Four members of the far-right Oath Keepers were found guilty on Monday of attempting to derail the transfer of power from President Donald Trump to Joe Biden on Jan. 6, 2021. A jury found that the four men - Roberto Minuta, David Moerschel, Joseph Hackett and Ed Vallejo - joined a conspiracy with other Oath Keepers to forcibly prevent Biden from taking office.


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