His prison term is over. And the lawyer “who brought corporate America to its knees” is no longer under house arrest. So what’s La Jolla’s Bill Lerach going to do now?

He’s not going gently into that good ex-convict night. Lerach is heading to law school and two universities — to teach. That’s among the tidbits we learned in our interview with Lerach, who has as much of a mouth as ever. He’s slightly critical of a book about his rise and fall, very critical of a local newspaper and wouldn’t answer a question on whether he thought politics (he’s a Democrat) had something to do with his prosecution.

Lerach also tackles the causes of the latest recession and considers his legacy. By the way, we interviewed a co-author of the new book about Lerach earlier this month.

In other news:

  • San Diego school board President Richard Barrera gave the annual State of the School District speech last night, taking time to bash the state over budget cuts and criticize the district itself: “Decades of bureaucratic waste and neglect was enabled by a culture of arrogance in the central office.”
  • Also, in education, the left has left San Diego school board member Katherine Nakamura behind: local Democrats endorsed another Democrat to replace her in the upcoming election. But they do support incumbent John de Beck in his race, unlike the teacher’s union, which is so annoyed by him that it’s supporting a Republican.

    We’ve also got details about how much the school board candidates have raised and spent.

  • The developer whose company built that $810,000 Encinitas house that nobody can live in has some perspective about the situation. And what a perspective it is: he says the bank involved has “stiffed another American. They’ve stuck someone else with an $800,000 problem.”

    I e-mailed reporter Kelly Bennett a couple questions about this now-infamous house. For one, how much will it cost for the owners to build an affordable home, as they’re required to do before they can actually moving in? KB: “They’ll have to buy the land, which is currently wrapped up in the bankruptcy process, then hire a contractor, etc., and they have to abide by the city restrictions on income levels.”

    How about just leaving the house as is and letting it go to pot? That’s not a good option: The owners are “on the hook for code compliance, lawn care, making sure the house isn’t blighted, etc.,” she says.

    Finally, I asked Bennett how often people buy homes “as is,” as in this case. “Quite a bit,” she says. But at least they usually get to live in them once they buy them.

  • Economy blogger Rich Toscano is best known for his on-target predictions: He looked into his crystal ball (actually made of cubic zirconia) and foresaw the housing bust. Now, he’s looking backwards at the last two years of local job statistics.
  • We’ve got a roundup of obituaries about Midge Costanza, the former White House adviser, Newsweek cover subject and longtime advocate for women and gays.

    The NYT quotes her as describing herself as a “a loud-mouthed, pushy little broad.” Sounds like a perfect woman.

    Her former boss, President Jimmy Carter, “called the last few days,” her brother told a Rochester, N.Y., newspaper. “She couldn’t speak. Her eyes lit when Jimmy started talking to her.”

    A question: Why haven’t these stories mentioned anything about her personal life? It’s not clear whether she was ever married or had a companion. Nor have obituaries explored how she became an advocate of women and gays in the first place. If you can shed light on this, drop me a line.

  • It’s a Bill-a-palooza at the Photo of the Day


  • The second verse was the same as the first: Nope. The county supervisors met once again to consider the mammoth Merriam Mountain development north of Escondido, and again it failed to pass. This time, Supervisor Ron Roberts was on hand and refused to provide the necessary third vote to support the project. (NCT)
  • In the U-T: “State prison authorities said Wednesday that destroying parole agent field notes on convicted sex offender John Albert Gardner III from a 2000 molestation case had no bearing on preventing the murder of Poway teenager Chelsea King.”
  • CBS News reports that Rep. Darrell Issa said he’ll “call for a special prosecutor to investigate the White House if it does not address Rep. Joe Sestak’s claim that he was offered a federal job in exchange for dropping out of the Pennsylvania Senate primary.”
  • A San Diego City Council committee likes proposed new regulations regarding medical marijuana dispensaries, including one that sounds expensive — it requires the shops to have security guards on duty. But it will still be months before the full City Council gets to consider the rules. (U-T)
  • Lawyer alert! They’re heeeeere. . . “As lawsuits over Toyota acceleration problems multiply, more than 150 attorneys gathered to sharpen their legal tools Wednesday on the eve of a major federal court hearing on whether dozens of cases will be consolidated before a single judge.” (AP)
  • San Onofre nuclear power plant news in the NCT: “The Nuclear Regulatory Commission will perform several extra inspections and will keep an additional resident inspector” at the plant “because of ongoing performance issues.”
  • Minnesota’s attorney general is suing a San Diego non-profit called Dream Scholars Foundation, accusing it of “falsely telling parents money from the sale of college entrance test prep software would be funneled into scholarships for poor children.” (AP)
  • Finally, the LAT reports that a local judge called TV’s “Dr. Phil” a “terrible, terrible man” in court the other day, adding “what a charlatan this man is” to boot.

    Yikes. But, like they say, for every action, there’s an equal and opposite reaction. If the judge feels the need to call someone “an awesome, awesome man,” I’m right here. 


Dagny Salas was web editor at Voice of San Diego from 2010 to 2013. She was an investigative fellow at VOSD from 2009 to 2010.

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