City Councilman Chris Cate came clean Tuesday, but could be facing bigger problems.

He admitted he was the one who leaked a confidential memo from City Attorney Mara Elliott on the city’s legal position with SoccerCity – a plan to redevelop the area surrounding San Diego County Credit Union Stadium – to private developers behind the proposal.

The city attorney’s office told KPBS the matter is now being investigated by the district attorney; the district attorney’s office declined to comment.

In late June, after the memo leaked, Elliott told KPBS that whoever did it should resign. Mayor Kevin Faulconer told the San Diego Union-Tribune’s Matt Hall that he’d fire a staffer who leaked a document like that.

At a press conference Tuesday, Cate said he had no plans to resign. He said he didn’t see any significant difference in the memo than what Elliott had already released publicly, and gave it to the SoccerCity investors to get responses to some of the claims it made.

“At most this was a misunderstanding between the city attorney and myself,” Cate said, according to the U-T.

Political opponents quickly seized on Cate’s admission. Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher said he had disqualified himself from public service and urged someone to challenge his 2018 re-election bid. Congressman Scott Peters said Cate needed to apologize for the severity of the ethical breach or face punishment. Peters and Cate are oft-mentioned candidates to run for mayor in 2020.

Personalized Learning Means Something Different to Everyone

There’s a major trend hitting schools.

Personalized learning, a system that recognizes kids in the same classroom won’t all progress at the same pace and hit the same standards, is all the rage in education. It has spread in some charter schools and now some local traditional schools.

But, fittingly, every school that has adopted it does so with its own twist.

Maya Srikrishnan broke down six of the big ideas cropping up as personalized learning takes hold, with examples from local charter schools and district-managed schools that have embraced the concept.

County Puts Port-a-Potty Next to Expensive Public Restroom

As the region’s deadly hepatitis A outbreak spread, there’s been increased scrutiny on one of the issues that contributed to the unsanitary conditions that helped make it possible: the severe lack of public restrooms downtown.

Now, the city and county are scrambling to place as many port-a-potties as they can all over downtown.

That includes at least one odd place. The county just installed a port-a-potty next to a very nice public restroom smack in the center of its immaculate waterfront park, as Scott Lewis reported in a new story.

Even during the public health crisis, the county wouldn’t budge on keeping the restroom open late, opting instead to put out a port-a-potty. In contrast, the city opened Balboa Park restrooms 24 hours.

• The county also updated the state of the hepatitis A crisis, announcing 20 new cases that brings the countwide total to 481. There are 47 other cases awaiting confirmation. (KPBS)

• The mayor warned city employees about the outbreak before the public and more as the U-T helps unravel more of the back story.

• As part of the response, the city is opening a sanctioned campground for homeless people at the city-owned vehicle yard at 20th and B Streets in Golden Hill, just at the edge of East Village. The idea is for it to be a clean and safe alternative to the encampments that proliferated in East Village for years. (KPBS)

Culture Report: Sounds From the Ol’ Ball Game

Most major league baseball teams have phased out organ players, long a standby of the stadium experience.

But in 2010, the San Diego Padres brought the position back for a handful of games. Every year since, organist Bobby Cressey has played at even more games, giving fans suffering through another losing Padres season at least a hint of that old-timey experience.

Dallas McLaughlin profiled Cressey as part of this week’s Culture Report. The weekly round-up of arts and culture news also features a preview of the Makers Faire in Balboa Park, an expo for tech enthusiasts, crafters, hobbyists and others with DIY skills.

In Other News

City officials are headed to City Heights Wednesday to hear from residents there about what their priorities in a new chief for the San Diego Police Department. The current chief, Shelley Zimmerman, is retiring early next year. (KPBS)

• Oceanside’s City Council is set for a grim debate Wednesday. Mayor Jim Wood had a stroke in May and hasn’t been able to attend council meetings since. The City Council now needs to approve his request for a 60-day medical leave extension, or his seat will be declared vacant. (U-T)

Andrew Keatts

I'm Andrew Keatts, a managing editor for projects and investigations at Voice of San Diego. Please contact me if you'd like at

Leave a comment

We expect all commenters to be constructive and civil. We reserve the right to delete comments without explanation. You are welcome to flag comments to us. You are welcome to submit an opinion piece for our editors to review.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.