Courts & Rulings
Law not clearly established on officer’s duty to intercede
The law was not clearly established that a police officer had a duty to intercede when a dog, unleashed by a fellow officer, was mauling a woman who was unarmed and was on the ground, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals held yesterday, declaring that the officer who took no action enjoyed qualified immunity and was erroneously denied summary judgment.
Agents may owe damages for No-Fly-List decisions, Supreme Court says
Muslims who were placed on the No Fly List can seek money damages from the FBI agents they accuse of bullying them to inform on fellow Muslims, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Thursday. Led by Muhammad Tanvir, a Queens truck driver, the case hinged on whether citizens could seek individual damages from federal agents for violating the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
Judge OKs trial for LAPD captain humiliated by photo distribution
A veteran Los Angeles police captain who says she was subjected to a hostile work environment after a nude photo of a woman was circulated in the workplace amid false claims that the image depicted the plaintiff can take her case to trial, a judge ruled Tuesday. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge John P. Doyle denied a motion by lawyers for the city to dismiss the case brought in January 2019 by Capt. Lillian Carranza.
Federal court orders Amazon inventory inspection for counterfeits
Amazon repeatedly makes its illusory public claim that counterfeits are not allowed on Amazon, but that is a lie. Amazon is a voracious seller, enabler, and facilitator of an inexhaustible supply of counterfeit, fraudulent, and replica products. 200,000 brands are fighting Amazon fakes, and now one manufacturer, exhausted from endless warnings and complaints, is taking the e-commerce gorilla to the mat.
Fifth Circuit takes up issue of social media responsibility following Dallas police shootings
Whether social media giants Twitter, Google and Facebook can be held liable for the deaths of five police officers in Dallas in July 2016 under the Antiterrorism Act came before the Fifth Circuit Thursday afternoon after the case was dismissed last year by a federal judge in Texas. “Everyone is essentially always giving these companies a pass,” plaintiff attorney Keith Altman said during his rebuttal Thursday.
Cory Briggs’ payment from Coastal Commission lawsuit reversed
Cory Briggs, who just lost his bid to become San Diego's city attorney, won't be getting nearly $1 million in attorney fees from a case against California Coastal Commission members. The state 4th District Court of Appeal ruled last week that the nonprofit Briggs represented lacked legal standing to sue. It overturned a lower court decision to impose $57,000 in civil penalties against five current and former coastal commissioners.
'Good Grief': 11th Circuit judges get into scathing exchange over transgender inmate
Two federal appeals court judges slammed a colleague in fractious opinions handed down Monday in a ruling denying an en banc hearing in a transgender inmate’s case. Chief Judge William Pryor and Judge Kevin Newsom of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit criticized Judge Robin Rosenbaum for her opinion decrying a refusal by the court majority to reconsider its March ruling in the case, Reiyn Keohane v. Florida Department of Corrections Secretary.
Government’s forced sale of property does not constitute a taking
When the government requires a property owner to give up private property, the takings clause normally comes into play and the government is required to exercise its power of eminent domain. But is that always the case? According to a recent court of appeal opinion, People v. Gonzalez (Nov. 24, 2020, D077208), there are a number of circumstances in which the government can require a property owner to sell without triggering a taking of private property.
Senate keeps seating judges in lame-duck session, close to approving federal claims pick
The Senate is poised to put another Trump nominee on the federal bench as the president’s time in office draws to an end, agreeing to limit debate on his pick for the U.S. Federal Claims court in a 48-46 vote. Stephen Schwartz, a former partner at the Washington firm Schaerr Duncan, will serve a 15-year term on the specialty court that hears lawsuits raising monetary claims against the federal government.
Taylor designates top-level judges for Los Angeles Superior Court in 2021
Los Angeles Superior Court Judges David J. Cowan, Sergio C. Tapia II, Lawrence P. Riff, and Brenda J. Penny will be supervising judges of court divisions, and Judge Victor H. Greenberg will be presiding judge of the Juvenile Court, effective Jan. 4, under an order signed by Assistant Presiding Judge Eric C. Taylor, the incoming presiding judge.
COVID-19 & Justice System
COVID-19 threat doesn’t require release of inmate with respiratory problems
The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday affirmed an order denying a compassionate release of an inmate with various ailments who claims he is particularly vulnerable to COVID-19, saying that the District Court judge reasonably found that the gravity of the offenses, including two counts of armed robbery, justifies keeping the man behind bars.
California chief justice issues advisory to courts amid COVID-19 surge
Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye on Monday issued an advisory to leaders of California’s 58 county superior courts with guidance to continue to seek emergency orders if needed based on local conditions and ability to hold remote hearings or provide social distancing under state and local health rules. The memo was issued in response to the growing surge of COVID-19 infections in California.
California chief justice sees many court pandemic changes as permanent
The pandemic has left an indelible mark on the courts, as it has with nearly all aspects of life. California’s chief justice said Wednesday that many of the changes courts were forced to adopt in order to continue to do business may become permanent. “I believe our way of hearing cases and our way of preparing cases for trial has changed forever,” Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye told reporters at an annual meeting held this year by videoconference.
San Diego courts go digital, adjust document costs in pandemic response
In their final state of the courts address for 2020, USDC Southern District of California Chief Judge Larry Alan Burns and San Diego Superior Court Presiding Judge Lorna Alksne said Thursday many pandemic-related changes, including document costs and digital court hearings and filings, will be here to stay.
Chemerinsky: COVID-19 ruling reveals much about the new Supreme Court
We are accustomed to major U.S. Supreme Court decisions in late June as the term winds to a conclusion; rarely, however, is there a blockbuster ruling a few minutes before midnight the night before Thanksgiving. But the court’s ruling Nov. 25 in Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn, New York v. Cuomo is quite important and tells us a great deal about the new court.
Can your employer require you to get a COVID-19 vaccine to go to work?
If you're wondering whether your employer can require you to get a COVID-19 vaccine to return to work, the short answer is yes. But that doesn't mean employers won't face a "legal minefield" if and when they decide to implement a vaccination policy. Although employees can be required to take a test as a precondition of their returning to work, according to trial attorney Misty Marris, "there is no world where there is a COVID-19 mandatory vaccination policy that doesn't have exceptions to it."
DA Gascón, deputy clash over dismissal of charges against protester
In a highly unusual move, a Los Angeles County deputy district attorney Tuesday defied an order from newly-elected DA George Gascón to drop charges against a man accused of attempting to wreck a train in Compton during a protest, according to the DA's spokesman. Gascón - who had been on the job less than two days - found another deputy to seek dismissal of one felony count of unlawful obstruction of a railroad track and one felony count of train-wrecking against Emanuel Padilla, who was arrested at a protest against the L.A. County Sheriff's Department.
Gascon announces sweeping changes to county criminal justice
Anyone expecting changes in the Los Angeles County criminal justice system with the election of newly sworn-in District Attorney George Gascon got what they expected this week. On Day 1, the county’s newest lead prosecutor announced nine sweeping new directives, some of which are regarding changes discussed during the campaign trail that have prompted concerns from the law enforcement community.
Newly elected DA George Gascón promises to oppress LA’s law abiding citizens
Newly elected Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascón is the architect of Proposition 47 which largely decriminalized theft and drug crimes by reducing those crimes and a number of other “non-violent” felonies to misdemeanors; and Prop. 57, which allows early release for “non-violent offenders,” including rape by intoxication of an unconscious person, human trafficking involving a sex act with minors, arson causing great bodily harm, drive-by shooting, assault with a deadly weapon, and hostage taking.
On first day as L.A. County D.A., George Gascón eliminates bail, remakes sentencing rules
George Gascón embarked Monday on a plan to reimagine criminal prosecutions in Los Angeles County, announcing sweeping policy changes he’ll make as district attorney that include an end to cash bail, a ban on prosecutors seeking enhanced prison sentences and showing leniency to many low-level offenders.
As George Gascón takes office, campaign promises will be put to the test
Changes are coming to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office. And if recent weeks are any indication, they will not come gradually. Since he defeated incumbent Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. Jackie Lacey in November, George Gascón has left little doubt that when he is sworn in Monday he will set to work fulfilling campaign promises to overhaul an office he has criticized as being part of an unfair criminal justice system.
Chilling details released in case of father accused of decapitating son and daughter
Prosecutors said Wednesday that a man charged with decapitating two of his children allegedly forced his two younger children to view their slain siblings, whose remains were in the family's Lancaster home for five days before he was arrested. Maurice Jewel Taylor Sr., a 34-year-old personal trainer, was charged Tuesday with two counts of murder for the deaths of his 12-year-old son, Maurice Taylor Jr., and 13-year-old daughter, Malaka, along with two felony counts of child abuse under circumstances or conditions likely to cause great bodily injury or death involving his 8- and 9-year-old sons.
Two charged in connection to brutal attack of transgender woman in MacArthur Park
A second man has been charged in connection with the stabbing of a transgender woman at MacArthur Park nearly two months ago, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office announced Thursday. Javier Trimin-Rodrigez, 22, of Los Angeles, pleaded not guilty to one felony count each of attempted murder and extortion in connection with the Oct. 4 attack, according to the District Attorney's Office.
Harvey Weinstein's California extradition hearing postponed until April; former mogul to stay in New York prison
Convicted sex offender Harvey Weinstein is staying in a New York prison for the time being. The first hearing in the legal process to extradite Weinstein to Los Angeles to face sex-crime charges has been postponed until April 9, the new Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón announced Wednesday, amidst upheaval in his office and a surging coronavirus pandemic in his county.
DUI suspect facing murder charges after crash that killed OC couple, seriously injured 3 daughters
Three young girls are fighting for their lives after they were injured in a suspected DUI crash that killed both of their parents in Newport Beach. Newport Beach police say 22-year-old Grace Coleman was driving under the influence when her Range Rover ran a red light and collided with a Nissan Tuesday evening. A married couple from Santa Ana was killed and their three daughters, ages 1, 4 and 5, who were all secured in car seats, were seriously injured.
U.S. and states say Facebook illegally crushed competition
The Federal Trade Commission and more than 40 states accused Facebook on Wednesday of buying up its rivals to illegally squash competition, and they called for the deals to be unwound, escalating regulators’ battle against the biggest tech companies in a way that could remake the social media industry.
US won't seek death penalty in Planned Parenthood case
Federal prosecutors said Wednesday they will not seek the death penalty against a man accused of killing three people and injuring nine others at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado in 2015. U.S. Attorney Jason Dunn submitted a one-sentence notice of the decision concerning Robert Dear that did not include any explanation of the reasons for it. The move comes about a year after Dear was charged in federal court after his prosecution in state court stalled.
Feds accuse Facebook of discriminating against US workers
The Department of Justice brought a complaint Thursday claiming Facebook has discriminated against American workers vying for thousands of available jobs with the social media giant by reserving openings for temporary visa holders. The 17-page administrative complaint alleges the Menlo Park, California-based company violated federal law that requires U.S. employers to hire qualified American candidates before considering temporary foreign workers it might otherwise sponsor.
New charges against L.A. animal activist Marc Ching
Hollywood-backed animal rescuer Marc Ching faces new criminal charges alleging that he falsely advertised and misbranded products he sold at his pet food store, marking the latest fallout from a Times investigation that exposed troubling practices at his business and charity. Los Angeles prosecutors added four misdemeanor charges against Ching after an investigation by the California Department of Public Health found, among other things, that his pet food was processed and held under unsanitary conditions, said Rob Wilcox, a spokesman for the city attorney’s office.
Policy/Legal Issues
As COVID-19 surges in its ranks, LBPD warns officers to wear masks or face discipline
COVID-19 is spreading through the ranks of the Long Beach Police Department at an unprecedented rate, infecting 45 employees in about five weeks, according to police officials. The surge has alarmed departmental leadership and prompted them to warn officers for the first time that they could be disciplined for not wearing face coverings on the job.
Lawsuit over fatal police shooting of man who cursed at cops headed for trial
A lawsuit claiming two police officers violated the free speech rights of a mentally ill man when they shot him on his front porch after he yelled and cursed at them to go away will likely go to trial, a federal judge signaled in court Friday. “Don’t all the issues on qualified immunity, aren’t they all disputed facts?” U.S. District Judge Susan Illston said during a virtual court hearing Friday.
Portland pulls two cops to avoid second contempt finding
The city of Portland, Oregon, agreed on Tuesday to remove from the streets two officers accused of multiple violent incidents against journalists and legal observers in an effort to avoid a second finding of contempt for the handling of ongoing protests against police brutality and systemic racism. Two members of the city’s Rapid Response Team, which polices the protests that erupted in the wake of the Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd, are no longer responding to protests while the city investigates their alleged role in half a dozen acts of violence against journalists and legal observers.
Riverside County sheriff calls stay-at-home order 'ridiculous,' says Newsom hypocritical
Riverside County Sheriff Chad Bianco has issued a video statement decrying Gov. Gavin Newsom's plans to impose shutdowns across the state due to surging COVID-19 cases, and repeating his objection to penalizing those who don't follow the new protocols. Bianco said his department won't be "blackmailed, bullied or used as muscle against Riverside County residents in the enforcement of the governor's orders."
LA County Sheriff: Deputies will not enforce Gov. Newsom's stay-at-home order at businesses
Deputies in Los Angeles County are not expecting to go all-out in enforcement at businesses if - or when - Governor Gavin Newsom's new stay-at-home order kicks in for Southern California. LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva explained enforcement at businesses is the health department's job, not his deputies. "I want to stay away from businesses that are trying to comply the best they can," Villanueva said.
Sherman Oaks restaurant owner vents anger over dining ban
The owner of a Sherman Oaks restaurant expressed her anger and frustration over Los Angeles County's outdoor dining ban in a gut-wrenching video. Angela Marsden, the owner of Pineapple Hill Saloon and Grill, posted a video on social media after she saw production tents and tables set up in a parking lot just a few feet from the outdoor dining area she's not allowed to use.
LAPD opposes further budget cuts that could result in 'crippling' layoffs of cops
Proposed budget cuts would result in "crippling" reductions in officers and services, threatening public safety, the Los Angeles Police Department said. In a statement posted to Twitter, LAPD Chief Michel Moore said the city's projected $600 million shortfall may force public safety cutbacks that would “devastate” the department. “These envisioned staffing reductions would devastate our ability to provide basic public safety,” Moore said.
Los Angeles County/City
LAPD loses veteran officer to COVID-19, agency's 3rd death from virus
A veteran Los Angeles police sergeant has died of COVID-19, the third officer to fall to the virus this year. Sgt. Fred Cueto had been with the Los Angeles Police Department for 22 years. The department said Cueto "was known for always having a smile & being a consummate professional.”
Artist sues museum and city of L.A. after his work is accidentally thrown away
But is it art? That’s the question at the center of a dispute between a Los Angeles museum and an artist who showed there. Artist David Lew, who goes by the name Shark Toof, has sued the Chinese American Museum and the city of Los Angeles, among other defendants, for throwing his work in the trash after displaying it.
OIG says sheriff's department is not responsive to records requests
Los Angeles County's Office of Inspector General took aim again at the sheriff's department, issuing a report this week finding that records required to be released under a 2019 California law are routinely delayed. “Transparency in urban policing is essential to ensuring that police enforce laws in a manner acceptable to the public. Secrecy in policing leads to unlawful practices and the belief, too often shared by police and communities, that the interest of the public and the police are not the same,'' the report began.
Layoffs on table as LA Council seeks more ways to save money
The City Council voted Tuesday to move forward with a set of recommendations to try to pull Los Angeles out of a potential $675 million budget shortfall this year, and layoffs of city employees are still on the table. Although the council's action today did not initiate layoffs, it keeps them under consideration and instructs City Administrative Officer Richard Llewellyn and his staff to look at various ways to keep the city financially stable, including using most of what remains in its reserves, about $250 million, and borrowing $150 million.
Public Safety/Crime
LASD arrests 158 at underground party after Sheriff vows to crack down on 'super spreader' events
The Los Angeles County Sheriffs Department made 158 arrests while breaking up a massive underground party at a house in Palmdale over the weekend, and only FOX 11’s cameras were there to witness it. Over the past several months, FOX 11 has been investigating the underground party scene, which has continued to rage as COVID-19 cases surge to all-time highs and stay at home orders are reinstituted.
Some California prosecutors say ‘tsunami’ of prison unemployment fraud fuels street crime
As plots are revealed inside California prisons and jails to scam pandemic unemployment benefits, district attorneys across much of California are calling on state leaders to help them stop, investigate and prosecute the fraud - aid they say has been slow to materialize as abuses continue. “It’s a tsunami,” said Sacramento County Dist. Atty. Anne Marie Schubert, one prosecutor who fears the money stolen could be contributing to crime on the street.
Orange County leaders approve funding increase for auto theft task force
The Orange County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously today to enact funding to allow the Orange County Auto Theft Task Force (OCATT) to continue combatting auto theft across the County. Despite a 25 percent increase in auto theft in Orange County over last year, OCATT was in jeopardy of being disbanded due to a funding structure that had not been updated since the task force was established 27 years ago.
FBI releases 2019 NIBRS crime data
Today, the FBI released detailed data on nearly 7.7 million criminal offenses reported via the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) in 2019. The Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program’s latest report, NIBRS, 2019, presents data about victims, known offenders, and relationships for offenses reported in 23 categories with 52 offenses. It also presents arrest data for those crimes, as well as 10 additional categories for which only arrest data is collected.
Beloved special education teacher killed in attempted carjacking in California: 'He was a superhero’
A beloved special education teacher and father was gunned down and killed during an attempted carjacking last week in Long Beach, California. Jaime Perez, 55, was found unresponsive in his Nissan Xterra by police on Tuesday morning with gunshots to his upper torso, the Long Beach Police Department said in a press release on December 1. The press release stated that Jaime was transported to a local hospital, "where he later succumbed to his injuries."
The untold story of how the Golden State Killer was found: A covert operation and private DNA
The dramatic arrest in 2018 of Joseph James DeAngelo Jr. was all the more astounding because of how detectives said they caught the elusive Golden State Killer - by harnessing genetic technology already in use by millions of consumers to trace their family trees. But the DNA-matching effort that caught one of America’s most notorious serial killers was more extensive than previously disclosed and involved covert searches of private DNA housed by two for-profit companies despite privacy policies, according to interviews and court discovery records accessed by The Times.
LA city attorney warns of holiday package theft amid COVID-19 pandemic
Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer released a video message Friday warning people of holiday package theft during the COVID-19 crisis. “This year during the pandemic, so many of us are doing more of our holiday shopping online,” Feuer said. “We will also be receiving gifts by delivery from others, who might in the past have given us the gifts in person. A new SecurityNerd survey finds 43% will scale back in-person holiday gift exchanges with friends and family (and) 38% plan to ship directly from retailer to recipient.”
Online puppy scams skyrocket as pandemic-isolated people search for pets to adopt
People feeling lonely and isolated at home due to the ongoing pandemic are increasingly becoming victims of online puppy scams, according to the Los Angeles City Attorney and the Better Business Bureau. With so many people and families unable to gather with loved ones, there’s been a huge increase in pet adoptions. And scammers are having a field day preying on people searching for a pet to add to their families as the pandemic drags on.
NYPD’s top cop blames bail reform for ‘14-year high’ in NYC shootings
The city’s top cop, frustrated that 2020 is projected to end with the highest number of shootings across the five boroughs in 14 years, on Tuesday continued to blame bail reform for the out-of-control bloodshed. If New York City could just keep criminals behind bars instead of giving them a free pass to wreak havoc on communities, residents wouldn’t be so afraid to walk the streets, said Police Commissioner Dermot Shea.
U.S. executes Brandon Bernard, who was 18 at the time of his crime, despite appeals
Brandon Bernard, who was 18 when he took part in a 1999 double murder in Texas, was killed by lethal injection at a federal prison Thursday, despite eleventh-hour attempts for court intervention. The case drew renewed interest in recent weeks and sparked debate about whether the death penalty is a necessary punishment for someone who was barely a legal adult at the time of the crime.
Joe Biden names Eric Garcetti to inaugural committee despite BLM opposition
President-elect Joe Biden on Monday tapped the mayor of Los Angeles to help plan his upcoming inauguration - amid continuing protests aimed at keeping Eric Garcetti from any role in the new administration. Biden’s move came a day after baton-wielding LA cops clashed with Black Lives Matter protesters - and arrested a local official - outside Garcetti’s official residence during the 13th consecutive day of demonstrations there.
DC violence interrupter charged in 2017 homicide
A violence interrupter with the D.C. Attorney General’s Office is charged in a 2017 homicide, the Metropolitan Police Department said. Officers responding to a report of shots fired in the 900 block of 12th Street NE about 9:20 p.m. Feb. 17, 2017, found 53-year-old Eric Linnair Wright of Northwest D.C. suffered from gunshot wounds, police said. He was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Proposed California bill could create new pressure in NCAA name, image and likeness debate
The California state legislator who wrote what became the first state law designed to allow college athletes to make money from their name, image and likeness introduced a bill Monday that would expand the law’s impact and could hasten potential conflicts between state statutes and NCAA rules. As overwhelmingly passed by both houses of the legislature and signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom in September 2019, the law already includes provisions that are less restrictive than proposed name-image-and-likeness (NIL) rules changes that the NCAA unveiled last month in preparation for a vote in January 2021.
Here’s how lawyers destroyed Sidney Powell’s ‘wildly unqualified’ election malfeasance ‘experts’ in Georgia
Federal judges in both Michigan and Georgia on Monday morning dismissed election conspiracy attorney Sidney Powell’s so-called “Kraken” lawsuits in their respective states. Powell’s cases asked various courts to invalidate or decertify election results. Her cases have been littered with clear factual and legal blunders, state officials have naturally moved to dismiss them, and courts have thus far rejected her claims.
House passes bill affirming on-receipt access to federal court records
The House of Representatives passed a bill late Tuesday fulfilling the First Amendment promise of an open and public system of courts in America, affirming the long-standing tradition of access to new court records as soon as they are received and reducing the cost of those records online. “The system shall make public court records automatically accessible to the public upon receipt of such records,” said H.R. 8235.
Golden State Warriors lose appeal over arena debt; must pay Oakland, Alameda County
The California Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected the Golden State Warriors’ appeal of a ruling ordering the team to pay Oakland and Alameda County nearly $50 million in debt leftover from 1996 renovations at the Oakland arena. In denying a request to review the petition, the state Supreme Court issued another legal blow against the team in their dispute with the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority, which is run jointly by the city and county.
Man sentenced to death 10 years after kidnapping and killing Moreno Valley teen girl
More than 10 years after he kidnapped and killed a 17-year-old Moreno Valley girl during an attempted sexual assault, a Long Beach man was sentenced to death Friday. A Riverside jury in March 2019 convicted 44-year-old Jesse Perez Torres of first-degree murder and a special circumstance allegation of killing in the course of a kidnapping for the death of Norma Angelica Lopez.
Anaheim man sentenced 12 years for fatally stabbing teen ex-girlfriend during argument
A 24-year-old Anaheim man convicted of fatally stabbing a 17-year-old girl prosecutors have described as his ex-girlfriend was sentenced Friday to 12 years in state prison. Miguel Angel Reyes was convicted in October of voluntary manslaughter in the May 16 killing of Jolina Ramirez at an Anaheim park, according to a news release Friday from the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.
San Fernando Valley man admits to fraudulently obtaining $655,000 in COVID-19 relief PPP loans
A Northridge man pleaded guilty today to a federal criminal charge that he fraudulently obtained $655,000 in Payment Protection Program (PPP) loans for his companies by submitting fake tax documents and false employee information. Steven R. Goldstein, 36, pleaded guilty to a single-count information charging him with fraud in connection with major disaster or emergency benefits.
Edison pleads to water code crime, will pay $3.5 million
Southern California Edison has pleaded no contest to a criminal violation of the California Water Code and will pay $3.5 million in civil penalties after dumping massive amounts of dirt and rock into Mission Creek during an unpermitted grading project along Spyglass Ridge Road. District Attorney Joyce Dudley made the announcement Monday. “The Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office is committed to prosecuting violations of California’s environmental laws,” Dudley said in a press statement.
Former Councilman Huizar pleads not guilty to bribery and other federal charges
Former Los Angeles City Councilman Jose Huizar pleaded not guilty Monday to bribery and other federal charges in a racketeering indictment alleging he took cash and other benefits from developers who sought favorable treatment on pending real estate development projects. Huizar, 52, of Boyle Heights, has a June 22 trial date in the case, which is a result of a federal investigation into alleged widespread corruption at Los Angeles City Hall that has also ensnared political operatives, lobbyists and the former general manager of the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety.
Corrections & Parole
Man who allegedly threatened San Carlos church eligible for mental health program
A man accused of leaving notes threatening to kill the pastor and congregation at a church in San Carlos is eligible for a mental health program to prevent jail time, according to the San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office. Paul Michaelson, 79, of San Carlos, will appear in court Dec. 11 to decide if he will be picked for mental health diversion treatment.
Amid virus outbreaks, majority of medically high-risk prisoners were not considered for release
As the coronavirus tore through California prisons this summer, a chorus of activists, health officials, doctors and judges implored Gov. Gavin Newsom to shrink the state’s inmate population and release some of the sickest and frailest prisoners - those most likely to die if they contracted COVID-19. On July 5, the same day two San Quentin prisoners died of coronavirus, the head of health care in the state’s prison system delivered a list of more than 6,500 medically high-risk inmates to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
San Bernardino County man who recorded child pornography on his social media accounts sentenced to 25 years in federal prison
An Inland Empire man was sentenced this afternoon to 300 months in federal prison for producing dozens of sexually explicit images and videos of children, including videos that were recorded on his Snapchat and Facebook social media accounts. Chaunta A. Bashir, a.k.a. “taytheonly,” 27, of Chino, was sentenced by United States District Judge Jesus G. Bernal. Bashir pleaded guilty on July 15 to one count of production of child pornography.
Articles of Interest
Law school debt is delaying plans for recent grads
Some new attorneys delay buying a home or a new car. Others reluctantly postpone marriage and having children while altering the career plans they had going into law school. These are among the personal and professional sacrifices young lawyers often make due to their sizable student loan debt, according to a survey conducted this spring by the ABA’s Young Lawyers Division and the ABA Media Relations and Strategic Communications Division.
These 7 larger law firms got the $10M maximum in coronavirus pandemic loans
When the government offered forgivable loans to keep businesses afloat and workers on the payroll during the novel coronavirus pandemic, dozens of larger law firms received the money. Now, the U.S. Small Business Administration has released more details on the loans as a result of a federal judge’s order, including the loan amounts. looked at the list and determined that seven of the nation’s 200 top-grossing law firms received the maximum $10 million loan in the paycheck protection program.
A fight to stay alive: new restaurant association gains quick clout amid pandemic
Big-name restaurateurs in Long Beach had tried for years to form a collective to advocate on behalf of local eateries. But it took a pandemic, and restrictions on dining that threaten to put many restaurants out of business, for the effort to find success. “It gave us the true impetus to go forward,” said Michael Dene, one of the founding members of the Long Beach Restaurant Association and whose restaurants include Micahel’s on Naples, Michael’s Downtown and Chianina Steakhouse.
Many aren't buying public officials' 'stay-at-home' message. Experts say there's a better way
With the coronavirus running rampant in Los Angeles and hospitals projected to overflow by Christmas, officials have fallen back on a familiar refrain: Stay home. "My message couldn't be simpler: It's time to hunker down. It's time to cancel everything," Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said last week. "If you're able to stay home, stay home.” Some 33 million Californians are now under a new regional stay-at-home order that began Sunday night, a last-ditch effort to turn the corner on an alarming rise in coronavirus cases statewide.
Obama and the beach house loopholes
Officials in Honolulu have granted the developers of a luxury, oceanfront estate tied to Barack Obama a major exemption from environmental laws designed to protect Hawaii’s beaches. The shoreline permit, issued by Honolulu’s Department of Planning and Permitting on Monday, clears the way for the controversial multimillion dollar renovation of a century-old seawall in the heavily Native Hawaiian community of Waimanalo.
Astros owner Jim Crane wins first round in Bolsinger lawsuit
Houston Astros owner Jim Crane does not have to testify under oath about his team’s sign-stealing scandal, a judge ruled Friday. That might happen later in pitcher Mike Bolsinger’s lawsuit against the Astros, if the lawsuit goes forward. But first the court must decide whether the case should be thrown out or transferred to Texas, and Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Robert Draper said Friday that Bolsinger’s attorney had failed to show why sign-stealing questions would be relevant at this time.
CalSTRS plans green shift after Joe Biden’s victory
The world’s largest public pension fund for teachers is planning to accelerate changes to its investment portfolio in a bid to become greener following the victory of Joe Biden in the US election. Jack Ehnes, chief executive of the $254bn California State Teachers’ Retirement System, said Calstrs would speed up the implementation of its green investment strategy after Donald Trump lost the poll.
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