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Late Wednesday, San Diego Police Chief William Lansdowne announced the department’s sexual misconduct scandal had grown to include another officer. This officer is under investigation for allegedly touching and exposing himself to an arrestee while transporting her to jail about a year ago.
Lansdowne said all transports of women arrestees now will be done by two officers. Christopher Hays, an officer who was charged earlier this week with on-duty sexual misconduct, resigned Wednesday.
Our Liam Dillon asked Lansdowne after the press conference why allegations of officer sexual misconduct keep happening.
“I can’t tell you about human behavior,” Lansdowne said. “But I can tell you we’ll root it out and we’ll take care of it.”
• The San Diego Police Department has had a very rough last few years amid multiple misconduct allegations. Lansdowne appears to remain popular, though, and it hasn’t hurt that he’s announced that he wants an external review of the department.
So how will this “audit” work? One way would be to bring the city’s own independent auditor into the picture. But he tells us he’s out of the loop. In a new story, we also look at how a similar process unfolded in Philadelphia and why the Justice Department could be brought into the mix.
Reality Check for Olympic Dreams
Picture it: The 2024 Olympic Games, right here in sunny San Diego.Why not? Heck, as local promoters say in a glossy video, we already have 80 percent of the facilities needed to turn our fair city into a showcase of the world’s best athletes.
Eighty percent of the necessary facilities? Could that be true?
San Diego Fact Check finds this rosy claim is Misleading. “What the video doesn’t mention is that San Diego is missing four very expensive sports facilities: two new stadiums, a basketball arena and a large aquatics center.”
By the way, a promotional video describes our transportation network as “first rate,” which will come as a surprise to many who rely on our anemic public transportation system. And note that the boosters want to plop the Olympic Village in Mission Valley. OK, but some of us will revolt if we have to even take an extra minute to get to Costco. (Gangway! Shopping to be done here!)
Graham’s Gone at Urban Renewal Agency
As we report in a new story, the head of Civic San Diego — the organization that’s overseeing redevelopment’s wind-down — is leaving. Jeff Graham says he’s taking a new job in the private sector.
“The resignation comes as the future of Civic San Diego, which has been trying to expand its authority throughout the city, could be heavily influenced by Mayor-elect Kevin Faulconer,” we report.
Politics Roundup: It’s Raining Ballots
• CityBeat runs down the possible appointees who could end up temporarily filling the seat of Councilman Kevin Faulconer, the mayor-elect.
• KPBS has details about the fate of the City Council’s hike of a fee on builders that supports affordable housing. Opponents gathered enough petition signatures to force the Council to either repeal it or send it to a vote.
• Local Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez is pushing legislation that would allow special elections (the ones that tend to be Republican-dominated) to be conducted entirely by mail, the U-T reports.
For more about the prospects for all-mail voting (and online voting), check our recent Q-and-A with Michael Vu, the registrar of voters.
Commentary: Fixing Racial Profiling
Victor Manuel Torres, an attorney and board member of the San Diego La Raza Lawyers Association, describes in a VOSD commentary how racial profiling by the cops “is a lurking menace in everyday life” for Latinos who aren’t citizens. He makes suggestions about how the police can improve things.
Quick News Hits
• VOSD tech blogger Blair Giesen examines “how a handful of local startups have cobbled together money-saving methods and harnessed local resources to build successful companies.”
• We’ve been pushing for the city to install a new sidewalk in an area near San Ysidro High that many students must walk to get to school. Residents say the stretch is dangerous. But the project is stalled, NBC San Diego reports.
• Former San Diego State women’s basketball coach Beth Burns has sued the university, claiming she was forced out because she demanded women’s sports be put on equal footing with men’s, KPBS reports.
• U-T TV aired its last cable broadcast Wednesday and will move to online-only. “We haven’t been able to monetize the broadcast side as originally envisioned,” Mike Hodges, U-T San Diego’s president, told … the U-T. The station’s news director said the content won’t be changing. Here’s why that might not be a good thing.
• A new report suggests San Diegans need to make at least $81,570 annually to own a median-priced home in our city, making us one of the least affordable spots in the country. Only San Francisco requires a higher salary, 10News reports.
• KPBS wins the day in the Say What? Headline Division with this stunner: “Steampunk Carousel Outing Cut Short By Security Guards/Did Mall Overreact To Steampunk Meet Up?”
Wow. They haven’t had this kind of excitement at the Westfield Plaza Camino Real shopping center since … um … the Uniform Protest Riot at Hot Dog on a Stick? The Macy’s Black Friday Tag Sale Ruckus? The infamous Orange Julius Melee?
OK, none of these things happened. But a boy can dream, can’t he?
Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego and vice president of the American Society of Journalists & Authors. Please contact him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter: twitter.com/rdotinga.