Oceanside City Hall / Photo by Megan Wood

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Oceanside City Treasurer Victor Roy was caught viewing nude photos on a public computer at the Mission Branch Library, according to an anonymous complaint filed in June 2021. 

The complaint obtained by Voice of San Diego details that Roy was looking at digital magazines that showed full nudity while at the library. He was told that was not allowed, and his response was that, “he knew that is why he came when it was slow and that he was being cognizant of his surroundings,” according to the complaint. 

Assistant City Manager Michael Gossman confirmed that the incident occurred and said Roy received a warning from library staff. He added that staff have not seen any further inappropriate activity from Roy since then. 

Roy is responsible for overseeing the management of the city’s $450 million investment fund. It is an elected position in Oceanside, but in other cities, like the city of San Diego, it is an appointed position. 

The incident was among other allegations first publicly mentioned in a letter from Treasury Manager Steve Hodges to Roy that has recently been circulating online.

Read more about the complaint.

Lawsuit Against Del Mar Fairgrounds Continues

The San Diego County Fair attracts thousands of visitors a year. A Ferris wheel is seen here in 2017. / Photo by Andrea Lopez-Villafaña

A lawsuit against the Del Mar Fairgrounds agency is back on now that this year’s San Diego County Fair has come to an end.

The 22nd District Agricultural Association, a state government entity that oversees the Fairgrounds, is being sued by carnival operator Talley Amusements, who is accusing the District of bid-rigging and fraud.

In January two former employees of the Fairgrounds testified that Fairgrounds CEO Carlene Moore manipulated the contract process to ensure that Ray Cammack Shows, another carnival operator, would be awarded the contract for the fair’s rides and games over Talley Amusements.

A San Diego judge issued a preliminary injunction in April, agreeing that the District likely rigged the bid selection process. 

For a while, it was unclear if the fair would be drastically changed or canceled altogether. But the District reached a settlement that paused the lawsuit until after the fair. The fair’s last day was July 4, and the attorney for Talley Amusements confirmed that the lawsuit has officially resumed.

Read the latest North County Report here.

Advocates Worried by Plans To Rebuild Barrier at Friendship Park

Plans to construct new barriers at Friendship Park, located at the westernmost section of the border between the United States and Mexico, may end the decades-long ability of individuals to connect with loved ones separated by the border, reported KPBS.

In a statement to NBC 7, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesperson did not specify what the new design would entail, but said the existing barrier was no longer structurally sound and presented risks to Border Patrol agents and community members. 

According to advocates for Friendship Park, the new design will consist of a 30-foot-tall wall that will not allow for the physical contact that once drew people from around the region and country. 

Families on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border have the chance to see their loves ones through a fence in Friendship Park. / Photo by Adriana Heldiz

President Joe Biden pledged on the campaign trail not to build “another foot of wall” and his administration initially shelved plans to construct new walls along America’s border with Mexico. But Department of Homeland Security head Alejandro Mayorkas recently authorized a number of new border wall projects. 

The new plans also mark a stark shift from other visions of the park. As we reported last year, the nonprofit Friends of Friendship Park was seeking ideas for a redesign to commemorate the park’s 50th anniversary. Their goal was to create a “truly binational park” that encompassed 40 acres on each side of the border. It would have included an international pedestrian crossing and pier, a “Courtyard for Free Speech” and a redesign of the historic bullring located on the Mexican side of the border.

In Other News 

  • San Diego has a goal to reach net-zero emissions by 2035 and the city will need to do a lot more to reach this ambitious pledge. Brian Schrader, a software developer and writer, argues in an op-ed that trash pickup — that is, direct air capture — might be the answer. 
  • A study of major metros in the United States shows that San Diego has a higher percentage of million-dollar homes than New York and Chicago. California dominates much of the list. (Union-Tribune) 
  • The family of a man who escaped custody and was fatally shot in the back by a sheriff’s deputy will get $8.1 million per a settlement. A judge sentenced the deputy in a criminal case earlier this year and he was released on Tuesday, according to the Sheriff’s Department. (NBC 7) 
  • Meanwhile, CBS 8 reports that the family of Rebecca Zahau has dropped a lawsuit against former Sheriff Bill Gore to obtain investigative documents. The department twice ruled Zahau’s death a suicide after she was found hanging in the Coronado home of her boyfriend in 2011, and a civil jury found the boyfriend’s brother guilty of her death seven years later. The family is now focusing on getting the death certificate changed. 
  • Lowriders from National City will join the upcoming San Diego Pride Parade in an act of solidarity. The Pride organizers, the U-T reports, invited the lowriders after learning that their coalition was being told to pay about $8,000 for police security to continue holding their cruises. 

The Morning Report was written by Tigist Layne, Jakob McWhinney and Jesse Marx. It was edited by Andrea Lopez-Villafaña and Megan Wood.

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