Last week, Bill Lansdowne was police chief and the interim mayor made sure to say Lansdowne had his full support. Next week, Shelley Zimmerman will become the first female police chief in San Diego, right after the new mayor takes office.

The LA Times has details about the rapid decision by Mayor-Elect Kevin Faulconer to appoint Zimmerman right after the chief abruptly quit.

• Zimmerman said she will “not tolerate” misconduct, NBC 7 San Diego reports, although she added that “99.9 percent of our officers serve every single day with honor, distinction and professionalism.” (Yeah, it’s a figure of speech. But I ran the numbers anyway: Were that true, it would mean only two officers are not serving with honor and professionalism.)

• Interim Mayor Todd Gloria isn’t pleased that the city did not do a broader search for a new police chief, but he made clear he won’t fight the appointment.

• Zimmerman joined the police department in 1982 and has worked in a variety of divisions, including vice, internal affairs and narcotics. She also helped protect the mayor.

• Landsdowne talked to the U-T about why he’s stepping down. “I believe with all this negative press I’m a detriment to this department moving forward. They need a nice, clean slate,” he said.

• City Council members say they like the idea of tracking the activities of on-duty police officers through cameras worn on uniforms, KPBS reports. We’ve written about the prospect of cameras and reported on the last time the police department tried them out.

Prosecutor vs. Prosecutor in DA Battle

Zimmerman’s ascendance will make it a hat trick of women leading major law enforcement agencies in San Diego with U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy and District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis.

Dumanis is facing her toughest fight yet to keep the DA job, though, evidenced by how much attention this week’s endorsement decision by the deputy district attorneys drew. Dumanis won the coveted support of her employees, but it wasn’t without big drama and we got behind the scenes.

Deputies complained their colleagues went too far to get them to stand behind Dumanis in the campaign. Our story reports on the play-by-play and ethics experts weigh in on whether the strong-arming was too much.

This follows the spat the U-T surfaced recently in which Dumanis’ most organized challenger, Robert Brewer, was accused by another candidate of offering a top job to a deputy district attorney if he supported the Brewer, a charge Brewer and the deputy found perplexing.

Commentary: City Fails Women

One victim of sexual misconduct by a city employee ended up being lauded by the city attorney, as the city named a day in her honor and officially apologized. Another got stalked by a private investigator on behalf of the city attorney.

What’s the difference? Good question, writes VOSD managing editor Sara Libby in a new commentary. She examines the city’s legal fight against one of the victims of a convicted police officer and pinpoints what she views as a dangerous precedent and “textbook slut-shaming.”

The Drought

Rain is in the forecast and it may make a big dent in the gap between how much precipitation the state usually sees and how much it has had. But it won’t come close to closing it.

We’ve compiled a reading list for you on the drought. It may define public affairs like no other force in coming years. Stay on top of the details here.

Quick News Hits

• CityBeat explores the fate of the city’s proposed Climate Action Plan, which as we reported last week has some major consequences should it go through as the City Council president desires.

• Cox Communications and Sony are laying off hundreds in San Diego noth as part of company-wide restructuring efforts. (Fox 5)

The non-teetotalers at CityBeat aren’t impressed by the U-T editorial board’s recent screed about marijuana. Among other things, the editorial compared pot to booze. “If you squint at that editorial just the right way,” CityBeat declares, “it really looks like the U-T is arguing for a return to Prohibition.”

Oh my. Prohibition was the spot of bother. Just ask San Diego’s public officials at the time. They found themselves in quite a pickle thanks to a hootch scandal to beat all local hootch scandals.

• Property owners in Barrio Logan will soon be paying extra to fix up the San Diego neighborhood, but the Reader says there’s been a hitch that will prevent an association from spending the money. The city will be in charge instead for a while.

• The San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce is trying to up its political clout, the U-T reports.

• Earlier this week, the Morning Report included a mention of a 1960s-era nightclub in Hillcrest called Mickie Finn’s. (The space has been home to the gay nightclub Rich’s for at least a couple decades now.)

Mickie Finn’s has quite a history. The L.A. Times says it “played Dixieland jazz and comedy routines to 3 1/2 million San Diegans and served 250,000 gallons of beer and 150,000 pounds of peanuts from 1960 to 1974.” Its founder, a man named Fred Finn (his wife provided the “Mickie” from her stage name), became a nationwide TV celebrity thanks to an NBC show named after the nightclub.

My mother says she went there once on a date with my dad. “It was a hip place,” she recalled. “I guess I was more hip when I was younger.”

Hmm. I might need to run this claim by our fact checkers.

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 and follow him on Twitter:

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Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego. Please contact him directly at and follow him on Twitter:

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