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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 11, 2013 | By Christine Mai-Duc
Long Beach city leaders have agreed to draft an ordinance that would allow and regulate medical marijuana collectives within the city, opening another chapter in the years-long saga over whether the city has the authority to control dispensaries. In a unanimous vote, Long Beach City Council members directed the city attorney Tuesday to draft an ordinance that would once again allow a limited number of marijuana shops to operate within city limits. The council debate came a day after a federal judge dealt a blow to a group seeking to overturn the city's medical marijuana ban through the ballot box. U.S. District Judge Audrey Collins ruled Monday that Long Beach officials were not required to place a medical marijuana initiative on the city's April ballot, even though the initiative had gathered enough signatures to qualify, because the petition's language had not requested consideration for a general election.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 11, 2013 | By Paloma Esquivel
An electronic dance party will go on as scheduled in Huntington Beach this Saturday, despite efforts by city leaders to stop it. The city filed for a restraining order last week against Wet Electric, an all-day rave at Huntington Beach State Park. The festival, which is billed as an end of summer celebration with DJs, dancers and giant inflatable slides, was scheduled to take place just weeks after the U.S. Open of Surfing ended in violence and destruction in the city's downtown.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 16, 2013 | By Tony Perry
SAN DIEGO - The San Diego City Council, unanimous in its desire to oust Mayor Bob Filner, will be asked to consider using an obscure part of the City Charter to force his removal. City Atty. Jan Goldsmith, asked by council members to find a way to remove Filner, will suggest to the council at its Aug. 28 meeting that it could invoke a charter provision about removal of "officers" for misusing public money. If the council agrees, the city attorney's office would then proceed to build a case against the 70-year-old Democrat, to be presented to the presiding judge of San Diego County Superior Court for a decision.
OPINION
July 24, 2013 | Patt Morrison
A dozen years after he left the Los Angeles City Council, Mike Feuer is back in L.A.'s civic life, this time in City Hall East, as the newly elected city attorney. His several careers are all of a piece: running the low-income legal service group Bet Tzedek; half a dozen years in the Assembly, where he made his mark as a forceful and adroit legislator. His wife is a judge, his two kids are Yalies - he's a Harvard Law grad - and his politics are personal. You were elected on the same ballot that saw voters restrict marijuana dispensaries.
NATIONAL
July 23, 2013 | By Molly Hennessy-Fiske, This post has been updated. Please see note below.
HOUSTON -- A panel of federal appeals court judges struck down a controversial Dallas suburb's ordinance banning renters who are not in the country legally. Attorneys for landlords and renters who sued the town successfully argued that the ordinance overreaches, addressing federal matters, a position supported by immigrant advocates. "This inhumane and wasteful ordinance is unconstitutionally inconsistent with the federal immigration enforcement scheme," Thomas A. Saenz, president and general counsel of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund , said in a statement.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 1, 2013 | By Tony Perry
SAN DIEGO - Score one for Mayor Bob Filner in his continuing fight with City Atty. Jan Goldsmith - this time concerning Goldsmith's prosecution of a man who chalked protest messages on the sidewalk outside branches of Bank of America. Filner, who came of age politically as a civil rights activist in the 1960s, had called the legal case "stupid" and a waste of taxpayer money. Goldsmith had defended the case as a simple, and legally justifiable, prosecution of graffiti vandalism.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 30, 2013 | By Joel Rubin
Although taxpayers have shelled out tens of millions of dollars in recent years to disgruntled officers who sued over harassment and other workplace problems, Los Angeles Police Department officials have failed to take even basic steps to reduce the number of the costly lawsuits, an audit released Friday found. In a stinging 10-page report, the L.A. Police Commission's inspector general concluded that the LAPD routinely destroys case files, keeps inaccurate and incomplete information on lawsuits and has no system in place to identify recurring issues that lead to problems between officers.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 29, 2013 | By Tony Perry
SAN DIEGO -- Chalk up the latest dispute between the mayor and city attorney to, well, chalk. Mayor Bob Filner on Friday told reporters that the city attorney's prosecution of a protester for chalking anti-bank slogans on city sidewalks outside Bank of America branches is "a stupid case" and a waste of city money. "It's chalk," Filner said in an exasperated tone. "It's water-soluble chalk. They were political slogans. " City Atty. Jan Goldsmith, at odds with the mayor on a range of issues, defends the case against 40-year-old Jeff Olson as a legitimate prosecution for graffiti vandalism.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 28, 2013 | By Joel Rubin
Although taxpayers have shelled out tens of millions of dollars in recent years to disgruntled police officers who sued over harassment and other workplace problems, Los Angeles Police Department officials have failed to take even basic steps to reduce the number of the costly lawsuits, an audit released Friday found. In a stinging 10-page report , the L.A. Police Commission's inspector general concluded that the LAPD routinely destroys case files, keeps inaccurate and incomplete information on lawsuits and has no system in place to identify recurring issues that lead to problems between officers.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 29, 2013 | By Veronica Rocha
Three Glendale police officers, a department-issued car and a joyride to Las Vegas - that journey and its potential consequences hit in Los Angeles County Superior Court on Tuesday. An attorney for Officer Patrick Hamblin and his former colleagues - Fernando Salmeron and Mike Ullerich, who were fired after getting caught - appealed to Judge Luis Lavin on Tuesday to correct actions by the Glendale Civil Service Commission in the case. The officers claim their actions were due to "a momentary lapse of judgment," not, as the city argues, "moral turpitude," according to their court petition.  Civil service commissioners were also overly harsh when they upheld the firings of Salmeron and Ullerich and improperly punished Hamblin with a 90-day suspension and pay cut, the officers contend.
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