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The San Diego City Attorney’s Office has asked for more time in its appeal against being kicked off a criminal case against former development services official Tom Story.

In the filing, Deputy City Attorney Jonathan I. Lapin wrote that his office needs more time “due to a possible change in circumstances regarding a pending civil settlement. Also due to my current workload, I have been unable to devote sufficient time to working on this appeal.”

Aguirre was thrown off the case in May after a judge determined his office breached the separation between its criminal and civil branches. Judge Michael Wellington said the case was used to gain leverage against Sunroad, Story’s current employer, in a related civil lawsuit and it would be impossible for Story to receive a fair trial.

Aguirre appealed and now the city attorney is asking for more time to complete that appeal.

Story’s attorney, Pam Naughton, said the city attorney appears to be linking the civil and criminal actions again, by saying that the outcome of the civil case could affect his work on the criminal case.

“That’s exactly what was wrong with this in the first place,” said Naughton. “… If you read between the lines, he’s saying if he can settle the civil case, the criminal case will go away. That’s not only contrary to what he’s said to the court, but it’s completely unethical.”

Aguirre said he couldn’t comment on the criminal case.

WILL CARLESS

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