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Thursday, April 07, 2005 | Well, about the time that things calm down around the ol’ dumpster and downtown in general, someone just has to stir things up. Take Mayor Dick Murphy. There he was on the fast track to fame and unlimited fortune. In the tradition of the more ambitious San Diego mayors, Murphy looked like a cinch to be prosecuted and, if he was really lucky, tossed in the slammer for a while. Surely such good fortune would earn him a job as a radio talk show host.

As a bombastic host, Murphy could tackle the important issues of the city such as saving crosses, perhaps even his very own. One was being constructed by a bona fide lawyer, the city attorney. This guy, breaking with tradition and taking his job seriously, was rooting around trying to locate about a-billion-and-a-half dollars which had come up missing on the mayor’s watch. It’s rare that money of that sort disappears without some lucky dude going to jail.

Murphy was a shoo in for most any Clear Channel outlet, but that wouldn’t do. Another bona fide lawyer, this one the county district attorney, marched into the city council meeting offering to take over everything. One wonders if she hadn’t read that thing by Shakespeare about killing all the lawyers. The county attorney was escorted by the area’s two top law enforcement officers, the sheriff and the city’s police chief, both looking grim but well groomed.

Not so the city attorney. He showed up 15 minutes late and according to the other major print publication in town, “Aguirre showed up about 15 minutes after Dumanis had begun speaking, looking rumpled and clearly agitated.”

I, the leading sartorially correct resident of a dipsey dumpster, thought he looked somewhat spiffy, for him. After all, he was wearing a necktie. As for being “clearly agitated,” that seemed to be the case. He addressed the mayor while wagging his finger in his face.

One can’t help but wonder he wasn’t agitated because of an attempt to strip him of his duties in absentia. He wasn’t notified.

Grumpy! Grumpy!

So far as I can tell the best thing the county attorney has going for herself is that she can do the job cheaper. She can save the city a couple million dollars or about 15-hundredths of 1 percent of the billion and half that was misplaced.

Some might say that you can’t buy justice on the cheap “you only get what you pay for.”

Others think that, in this case, that’s the whole idea.

Dipsey Dumpster, also known as Keith Taylor, can be reached at

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