Sweetwater Contractors Defend Meals, Gifts – Lawyers for two companies accused in a corruption probe at Sweetwater schools are arguing they should not have to give back construction contract proceeds because the meals, trips and tickets they used to ply officials were legally protected free speech. The companies say that high-profile criminal cases brought by District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis support their position. Of the 18 officials and contractors who were charged or indicted, none pleaded guilty to a bribery charge — the most serious offense alleged. Link to the full October 27, 2014 Union Tribune article.
Kristen Bush’s paper, “The Supply of Amicus Curiae Briefs in the Market for Information at the U.S. Supreme Court, “ was accepted for publication in Justice System Journal. The paper is coauthored with Professor Tom Hansford, Associate Professor at the University of California, Merced. Click here to view the full paper.
City Amends Language In Local Coastal Program - Chula Vista City Council members have corrected and clarified the language in plans for the city’s bayfront project. The local coastal program was certified by the California Coastal Commission in August 2012 and adopted by the City Council the following month. The changes that were adopted July 22 prompted two people at the meeting to ask council members for even more clarifications. Link to the full July 31, 2014 Union Tribune article.
More than two years after a citizen lawsuit was filed asking for contractors to return millions of dollars paid by the Sweetwater Union High School District, the district itself has joined the effort, seeking $26 million. The district asked a judge last week to skip a trial on the lawsuit and order return of the funds from the contractors — whose actions were the subject of a lengthy corruption probe — on the grounds that the initial contract awards were tainted and therefore invalid. Link to the full May 28, 2014 Union Tribune article.
The California Coastal Commission recently ordered the undergrounding of larger transmission towers and lines in front of Inland Industries property as part of the approval SDG&E substation project. Inland Industries is the 3rd largest property owner on the Chula Vista bay front. Link to John Moot’s March 10, 2014 article, “Power play on Chula Vista’s bayfront” (San Diego Daily Transcript)