Earlier this week, we told you about how GOP-allied enemies of mayoral candidate Carl DeMaio have hired investigators to look into the councilman’s background. The goal, said local developer Fred Maas, is to potentially produce an exposé  — perhaps a documentary — about DeMaio.

“This is not intended to be political in any way, shape or form,” Maas told us.

Ah, OK. It’ll be a non-political investigation of a politician. Makes perfect sense! Well, not to me.

Well, what about those investigators? Will they be, you know, investigating? Nope, Maas now tells Tom Blair of the U-T, saying it’s not like he’s hired a private investigator or anything. Let’s let him explain in a not-very-explanatory way.

“It’s not an investigation; it’s a journalistic enterprise in investigative reporting. As a public official and relative newcomer to San Diego who wants to be CEO of the eighth-largest city in the U.S., people want to know about Carl DeMaio,” he told Blair. “To me, it’s an interesting business venture.”

All Rise, the Judge Is Before the Jurors

If you’ve got jury duty at the downtown courthouse and haven’t figured out a way out of it due to your obligations or wackadoo beliefs (“Hang ’em high, even the jaywalkers! Especially the jaywalkers!”), there’s a good chance you’ll come across a judge named David Gill. 

You might serve as a juror in his courtroom. Or he might buttonhole you in the jury lounge to talk about the pursuit of justice. He certainly has a story or two to tell: serving 37 years on the bench gives you plenty of anecdotes.

In this week’s Q&A, we give Gill a cross examination (just without the cross part). He gives us details about his 1935 manual typewriter, efforts to make the jury pool more diverse and his desire to stay on the criminal side of things instead of languishing in the fancier civil courtrooms.

“The human drama, the human dynamics that are involved in criminal cases are just more interesting to me …,” he said. “There’s a much higher level of collegiality among the criminal bar than the civil side. It’s a closer knit, smaller community on the criminal side. District attorneys and public defenders have to work with each other. And so you can’t afford to get on the district attorney’s bad side because they can make it miserable for you.”    

It’s a Wonderful Performance

Behind the Scene TV drops by Cygnet Theatre to check the sixth and final season of the radio-play staged version of the film “It’s a Wonderful Life.” The theater has had great success with the play but wants to move on to something new. (Psst! Nobody tell them about “The Nutcracker!”)

News at the Speed of Brief

• SDG&E, which has paid more than $1.1 billion in claims in connection with the 2007 wildfires, has agreed to settle with the county for $24.5 million, the North County Times reports. For more about SDG&E’s legal woes over the wildfires, check our reader’s guide.

• San Diego schools and unions have reached an agreement to shave as much as $2 million off health care costs, KPBS reports.

• Talking Points Memo is once again accepting nominations for its “Golden Duke Awards,” named after our very own corrupt and now-imprisoned former Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham.

One category is “Meritorious Achievement in The Crazy.” (Nobody better nominate me for that award. That whole incident involving the press conference, the duck and the restraining order was purely an unfortunate reaction to medication! Or to meditation! One of those.)

Other categories for the not-so-coveted “Golden Duke” include “Best Election Gaffe” and “Outstanding Achievement In Corruption-based Chutzpah.”

We should all be proud that our local-boy-done-bad has left such a lasting legacy.


What We Learned This Week:

• Schools Back from Brink: The state’s budget machinations mean that San Diego schools probably won’t face insolvency as soon as next year. But the disappearance of a humongous financial threat doesn’t mean that its money problems have vanished.

How a Bad Cop Went Rogue: Though Anthony Arevalos was known to target female drivers, police kept him in a position of great power and limited oversight. Downtown, patrolling alone, looking for drunk women.

You Could Own a Share of the Chargers (Bylaws Notwithstanding): People who dismiss the idea that the public could get a share of the Chargers for helping finance a stadium say the NFL bylaws don’t allow it. Well, rules are meant to be broken, and have been in the past.

Folks Sure Do Like an Old Ad: History fans are pushing to preserve a big, yellow, 1960s-era advertisement on the side of a downtown building. The ad, for Mexico’s Caliente racetrack, seemed doomed to be replaced by a modern beer ad because the city thought it didn’t have any historic value. But then preservationist and art-world types got a hold of the news and sounded the alarm; now the ad might get saved after all. (KPBS and U-T)

Council Races Heat Up: The City Council district that Councilwoman Marti Emerald is vacating — she’s running in another one — is shaping up to be a hard-to-predict race, CityBeat reports. Meanwhile, labor isn’t exactly rushing to endorse another term for Councilwoman Sherri Lightner, a Democrat whose independent streak has gotten her in trouble.

It just goes to show you: We like to think we appreciate politicians who are brave enough to stand up to their own bases. But independence doesn’t look appealing at all when we’re the ones being stood up to.    


Quote of the Week: “[T]he opportunity to go public appears to provide a professional sports team owner access to a sleeping giant of additional capital,” Jorge E. Leal Garrett and Bryan A. Green in a law review article about public ownership in stadiums.

Please contact Randy Dotinga directly at randydotinga@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter: twitter.com/rdotinga.

Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego. Please contact him directly at randydotinga@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter: twitter.com/rdotinga

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