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A federal judge dismissed charges against five former city of San Diego pension officials, saying the chargers were too vague, according to the U-T

As we explain, “unless an appeals courts step in, today’s ruling destroys nearly all that was left of the three main legal actions that sprung out of the pension scandal.”

The fallout “made San Diego a darling of the national press for all the wrong reasons. It forced a bureaucratic and political upheaval, forcing a once-popular mayor to resign in disgrace. It cost San Diego untold millions of dollars in investigators, lawyers and pension bills.”

And oh yes: we’re still paying for it.

In other news:

  • It’s one of the more obscure elected offices in San Diego County. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t interesting.

    In his retirement letter, former county Assessor/Recorder/Clerk Greg Smith drew out a tidy succession plan. His right-hand man would serve as his appointed replacement until 2010, when a rising star in his office would get his endorsement come election time.

    Well, those plans went to pot when the right-hand man decided he liked the job and another big name jumped in the race.

  • Now, things have gotten interesting. A quartet of men are running for the post: the appointed man in the position, the would-be heir-apparent who’s not an apparent heir anymore, the longtime politician who’s got lots of connections. And oh yes, the baby photographer/gas station cashier who says he needs a job.

    What’s at stake? “Modernizing the county recording system. Efficiently and proactively lowering property tax bills when homeowners have lost value in their properties. … And serving the homeowners, title insurance reps and other businesspeople who use the office.”

    And there’s the potential for other issues to crop up. Just ask the previous holder of this position, Greg Smith, who stepped down in 2008 after 25 years, not long after finding himself in the middle of the fuss over gay marriage ceremonies.

  • How is the city of San Diego going to approach paying for a new football stadium? It will try to get its downtown redevelopment spending cap lifted first. Then it will take on the stadium, our story explains
  • “San Diego police officers will be voting Friday to ratify a contract agreement between the city and their union, the San Diego Police Officers Association.”
  • If you enjoyed this week’s story about a charter school that handles discipline in an extraordinary way (this is the “smelt it, dealt it” article), we’ve got more details about the program.

    And in case you’re wondering, I smell nothing. Nothing!

  • Last week, we looked at the many people in the City Heights community who lug around wire pushcarts. It turns out that a Mira Mesa resident has been trying to rid her neighborhood of unsightly wayward shopping carts, and wishes there were more “Granny carts” in that part of town. 
  • A City Council candidate says his district, which encompasses San Diego’s southernmost neighborhoods, gets the short end of the Dewey Decimal system when it comes to library square footage. The Fact Check blog checks out the claim and finds that it’s — shhh! — false.

    If only there was some sort of public place where city officials and candidates could go to look up facts at no charge and avoid getting them wrong.

    Then again, even if one of these magical and mysterious places is nearby, it’s probably closed

  • ** The Photo of the Day is another installment in the San Diego People Project. Today, we meet Kara, who’s less than impressed by our rainy-day driving skills in this burg.

Elsewhere:

  • So it turns out that when you make it harder for the fire department to get to emergencies quickly, you boost the risk of property damage, injuries and death.

    San Diego’s fire chief gave this assessment to a City Council committee yesterday, the U-T reports, in comments on the cutbacks — known as brownouts — spawned by the lack of money in city coffers.

    But there was more: Delays in Rancho Pe&ntildeasquitos and University City could spell special trouble, the chief said. “We were not doing a great job of covering those communities before the brownouts occurred.”

  • In Imperial County, the city of El Centro alone now estimates that Sunday’s earthquake caused $80 million in damage, including $45 million to the local hospital. 
  • Finally, you can fight fire with fire, so why not flies with flies? “Planes have been releasing millions of sterile male Medflies over the county for the past month to stop the reproduction of the problem or ‘wild’ Medfly,” the U-T reports.

    The story says sterile male flies spell trouble “because the female flies can’t reproduce and die soon after mating.”

    The next time I have a disastrous date, I’ll know it could really be a lot worse. 

— RANDY DOTINGA

Dagny Salas

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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