The Morning Report
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She appeared to be the first prosecutor in California to use the obscure criminal statute. And now District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis says she’s not going to use it anymore.
Earlier this year, Dumanis used Penal Code 182.5 to charge 15 alleged gang members with conspiracy over crimes committed by their fellow gang members. Dumanis’ prosecutors didn’t even argue some of the people being threatened with life imprisonment had done anything more than be members in the gang.
The evidence against one defendant was mostly Facebook posts. For another, it was rap lyrics.
Dumanis was a guest on KPBS Midday Edition Monday and said she wouldn’t use that statute anymore.
“It was a novel use. Having listened to the community, we’ve decided not to use it anymore at this point,” she said.
Dumanis is right that the community reacted angrily to the prosecution, after our Sara Libby reported on the charges. But “the community” also included two judges who tossed out charges under the statute as well.
We’re Launching a Look Into the County’s Nonprofit World
Lisa Halverstadt is embarking on a new effort to understand and uncover critical information about a slice of San Diego. She’ll be delving into the world of nonprofits and philanthropic organizations in the county.
The effort is just getting started, so be sure to hit her with any questions you have about this part of San Diego’s ecosystem of tax-exempt organizations in the comments of her introductory post.
In the meantime, she tried to wrap her arms around what we already know about the space. For instance, there are over 12,000 such organizations in San Diego, and the largest chunk of those are human services public charities, which are things like Boys & Girls Clubs and Meals-on-Wheels. Plus, 7 percent of the county’s workforce is employed by nonprofits, and 49 percent of all San Diego households donated to local nonprofits last year.
Sheriff: Prop 47 Results Are Coming in, and They Don’t Look Good
It’s been a year since voters approved Prop 47, which turned a handful of felony drug and petty theft crimes into misdemeanors and diverted the money not spent incarcerating those people go instead towards treatment for drug addiction, dropout prevention and mental health.
Together, that package sounds good, according to Bill Gore, San Diego County’s sheriff. But the results after a year aren’t so pretty, he writes for us in a new op-ed.
The law has reduced the prison population, he writes. But its unintended consequences have resulted in less opportunity to collect DNA from new criminals to check against evidence found in subsequent crimes, fewer people entering drug rehabilitation programs and people possessing “date rape” drugs getting only misdemeanor charges.
The biggest issue, he says, is that the law didn’t provide any specific funding for the services it said it would provide to mitigate the effects of decreasing incarceration.
“As a result, local governments have to deal with an increased drug dependent population, many of whom suffer with underlying mental health issues,” Gore writes.
Chula Vista Balks at San Diego’s Plan to Charge it More for Recycled Water
The city of San Diego is trying to double what it charges to the city of Chula Vista and the Otay Water District for recycled waste water, and South Bay officials aren’t happy about it.
The Star News covered a press conference Monday where a Otay Water District official said it’s fine to increase the cost of recycled water, but the way the city’s going about it is unfair.
It costs the city $2.14 per 100 cubic feet of water to service the northern part of the city. It costs just $1.17 per hundred cubic feet to service South Bay. Yet under the new plan, the South Bay will end up paying $1.73 per hundred cubic feet, effectively covering some of the cost for San Diego to take care of its northern reaches.
“Their rates for recycled water should be based on the cost to operate the plant that serves them,” Chula Vista Mayor Mary Casillas said.
More National Attention for SDPD’s Sexual Misconduct Incidents
The Associated Press this weekend unveiled its investigation into sexual misconduct by law officers across the country, finding at least 1,000 incidents in a five-year period.
Monday it highlighted how those problems can fester in departments, and said a March Justice Department report into the SDPD is seen by some as a blueprint to prevent sexual misconduct.
One of that report’s major findings was that the SDPD’s program for identifying and fixing potentially problematic officers is itself full of problems, as our Liam Dillon reported this summer.
• A look at the uphill battle faced by Gretchen Newsom, a political director for a local labor union and president of the Ocean Beach Town Council, in her fight to knock off Mayoral Kevin Faulconer. (KPBS)
• An invasive species known as “devil weed” is cropping up in San Diego’s crucial kelp forests, and one researcher at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography is concerned it might out-compete the kelp for space. (KPBS)
• Mayor Kevin Faulconer celebrated a ribbon-cutting at the opening of an $11.1 million fire station in Mission Valley, the community’s first permanent station and the first built anywhere in the city since 2008. (City News Service)