The task of suing the City of San Diego, with its large budget and platoon of lawyers, can be a daunting and expensive proposition. But some lawyers take on the risk without charging their clients upfront, our Ashly McGlone reported, for a chance at justice and lucrative payout. The clearest example of this is the law firm of Michael Conger.

Local governments have had to pay Conger’s firm at least $9.8 million in the past 25 years, McGlone wrote.

Recently, Conger sued the city in a lifeguard gender-discrimination case. His client won $100,000. He got nearly $1 million.

“I won’t make any money if they don’t break the law,” he said.

Goldman Sachs Likely Wants Chargers to Bolt

The investment bank of Goldman Sachs has come up in the discussion about a new Chargers stadium.

Beau Lynott looked into what other roles Goldman is playing in NFL stadium negotiations. “San Diegans might be less than excited about the implications of Goldman’s involvement with the Chargers,” Lynott reported.

That’s because Goldman would stand to make a heckuva lot more money if the Chargers move to L.A., where they would need to finance a new stadium. And who is that man advising the governor of Missouri on how to keep the Rams in St. Louis? “Goldman Sachs managing director Greg Carey,” Lynott wrote. In other words, Goldman people are working to keep the Rams in St. Louis, which is an important factor in any plan to get the Chargers to Los Angeles.

New CityBeat Editor

At a party to celebrate the stints of CityBeat editor Dave Rolland and associate editor Kelly Davis, who are both leaving the company, Rolland announced that Ron Donoho would replace him as editor. Donoho is a freelance editor and writer who once helped lead San Diego Magazine and was editor of San Diego Home & Garden magazine. Rolland is taking a job with Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins.

The Games Petitioners Play

Signature gatherers are out in force again, but this time, the equation has changed. Two competing sides of the proposed One Paseo project in Carmel Valley have both launched signature-gathering campaigns. One Paseo’s opponents are trying to stop the development by putting the issue to voters. One Paseo’s supporters are trying to hire up all the petition gathering labor in San Diego with a petition effort in support of the Chargers that won’t actually have any effect. It’s all very House Of Cards-ish and complicated, so Scott Lewis joined NBC 7’s Catherine Garcia to lay it all out in our most recent San Diego Explained.

The U-T’s Logan Jenkins pivoted off Lewis’ story about all this in his Thursday column.

Continuing Narratives

Not so long ago, police officials we spoke with told us they weren’t yet interested in using drones to conduct police work. Now, new bills in the California legislature are popping up trying to figure out how law enforcement will be able to use drones. “The advantage (of drones) for law enforcement is they will be able to get a closer view, from a public space, without being detected,” one former San Diego police chief told U-T San Diego.

And then there’s Carl DeMaio, the former city councilman who came to San Diego from Washington, D.C. in a blaze of efficient-government ideology. Having been rejected by voters in his last two attempts to win office, Thursday brought news that DeMaio will return to the private think-tank from whence he came. DeMaio will rejoin The Performance Institute, a company he originally started, as a senior fellow. He assured his Twitter followers that he’s staying put in San Diego, though.

News Nibbles

• Members of the San Diego City Council, whose jobs haven’t had a pay raise in 12 years, will soon consider whether to put their salary increases on auto-pilot, like judges and county supervisors do. (KPBS)

• An association of chiropractors, whose president practices in San Diego, is taking on the fight against the state to make sure people can claim belief exemptions in order to justify not getting vaccinations. (LA Times)

• The first city-approved pot shop to open says it is all thanks to all the help they are getting from the San Diego Police Department. (Fox 5)

• Mayor Faulconer’s climate plan, still not finalized, has drawn the attention of one non-profit group that started to make sure the aggressive plan makes it across the finish line. (KPBS)

• The mayor has recently said he wants to dramatically increase the number of street repairs performed by the city. Today he explained details of how that increase would work. (U-T)

• State Assemblyman Rocky Chavez announced he will run for the U.S. Senate. (NBC 7)

• Tired of failing to keep students off their phones during class, San Diego State is now handing out rewards to students who lock their phone during class. (CBS 8)

Pick Yourself Off The Ground

The provenance of the 1978 song “Y.M.C.A” by the Village People has been quietly under contention in a San Diego federal court house for years, but a jury decision this week gave an even 50 percent of the credit to the band’s lead singer, Victor Willis. The decision in the case may have major significance, since it is among the first to test a 1978 law that allows artists to re-capture their copyright after 35 years, the U-T reported.

Willlis, who is no longer a young man, has no need to feel down. “Y.M.C.A” continues to make millions per year, so he won’t be short on his dough. He lives in Alpine and with his earnings will surely be able to afford to get himself cleaned and to have a good meal. But no man does it all by himself; Willis splits the credit for writing the song with the late producer Jacques Morali.

Seth Hall is a local writer and technologist. You can email him at or follow him on Twitter: @loteck.

Seth Hall is co-founder of the community group San Diego Privacy, which is a member of the TRUST SD Coalition.

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