Monday Morning Memo for September 25, 2017

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Meaning from tragedy: Attacks on Sacramento law enforcement rekindle questions about officer safety, sentencing reform
Hours after a motorcade escorted the body of fallen Sacramento sheriff’s Deputy Robert French to the East Lawn Mortuary earlier this month, the woman authorities partly blame for sparking the tragic chain of events stood in a cage clutching a yellow piece of paper. On September 1, Priscilla Prendez made her first court appearance since her arrest two days earlier in Elk Grove, where she allegedly drew an auto-theft task force on a pursuit from a Ramada Inn near the Arden-Arcade neighborhood of Sacramento.
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Repeat offender tries to escape police custody before confessing to theft
On September 9 at 1:30 P.M., Damien Joseph White, 38, of Redding, was arrested on four felony warrants and one misdemeanor warrant. According to the Shasta County Jail website, his bail was listed at $1,750,000. Officials reported that White has been arrested in Shasta County six times since February of this year and is on Post Release Community Supervision.
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P.O.P. TEAM II: Dirty needles and mountains of trash have become perilous problems in Eureka’s public places
Our trip cruising the town with Captain Patrick O’Neill and Sergeant Rodrigo Sanchez of the Eureka Police Department’s Problem Oriented Policing team continues in this LoCO Video Report. If you missed Part I, regarding illegal encampments, you can see it here. Over the years an extensive homeless encampment was formed on the greenbelt along Humboldt Bay in Eureka, coined the “Devil’s Playground.”
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Undersheriff Don Barnes talks about successes and challenges for Orange County law enforcement
Dana Point Undersheriff Don Barnes, the second in command at the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, addressed dozens of people at the Dana Point Civic Associations’ Coffee Chat on Friday, Sept. 15 at Coffee Importers. While lauding recent department successes, Barnes also addressed challenges that law enforcement faces in the wake of recent legislation.
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[av_button label=’Orange County Register’ link=’manually,http://www.ocregister.com/2017/09/15/undersheriff-don-barnes-talks-about-successes-and-challenges-for-orange-county-law-enforcement/’ link_target=’_blank’ size=’small’ position=’left’ icon_select=’no’ icon=’ue800′ font=’entypo-fontello’ color=’theme-color’ custom_bg=’#444444′ custom_font=’#ffffff’ admin_preview_bg=”]

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SF supervisors want special police units to target property crimes
Infuriated by the steady escalation of burglaries in San Francisco, two supervisors are trying to breathe life into a neighborhood policing idea that Mayor Ed Lee shot down last year. The ordinance that Supervisors Norman Yee and Hillary Ronen will introduce Tuesday closely resembles an ill-fated measure that Yee sponsored in October. It would have required each of the city’s 10 police stations to devote a special unit to property crimes.
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SF to use Prop. 47 funds for 32 residential treatment beds for drug addicts
San Francisco hopes to help nearly 200 residents stay off of drugs and out of jail over the next three years through new state funding. The Department of Public Health successfully applied for $6 million of the $103 million made available earlier this year by the state through the 2014 voter-approved Proposition 47 that reduced penalties for some crimes to decrease the prison population and fund programs for alternatives to incarceration.
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Man burned by hot pavement during Citrus Heights police arrest has been released
James Nelson wanted three things as soon as he was released from Sacramento County main jail Friday night, his stepfather said: two hamburgers and to see his son. Nelson, severely burned and disfigured after Citrus Heights police officers took him down and pinned him to hot summer blacktop following an incident at a KFC restaurant on June 23, was ordered released from Sacramento County custody pending an Oct. 6 hearing on a parole violation connected to the incident.
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L.A. woman who received an unenforceable plea deal asks Brown to commute her sentence
A Los Angeles woman who ended up with a life prison sentence after initially agreeing to a plea deal that promised possible parole after 7½ years has asked Gov. Jerry Brown to commute her sentence. The case, which troubled a federal appeals court, shows what can happen if a plea agreement is not in writing and the judge, the prosecutor and the defense lawyer fail to check the fine points of the law.
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A California businessman is a suspect in 3 execution-style slayings in L.A. and Las Vegas, police say
The killings – hundreds of miles and several years apart – seemed unrelated. An entrepreneur found shot to death in his Las Vegas home. A prominent attorney killed by a bullet to the head in his Rolling Hills Estates driveway. A father slain in front of his young children in the courtyard of their Whittier apartment complex. But now authorities say there is a connection: a Whittier businessman.
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The most dangerous states in America in 2017
How safe is your state? It’s possible you might not have much to worry about – or maybe you should worry a little more. With all the reports about the latest shooting or some other violent crime, it’s understandable to be a little uneasy at times. In fact, the number of violent crimes increased by 5.3% during the first six months of 2016, according to the FBI’s semiannual uniform crime report.
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Homelessness a ‘significant challenge’ for LAPD officers patrolling Metro buses and trains
Ten weeks into patrolling Metro’s public transit system, a top Los Angeles Police Department official told the Police Commission Tuesday that calls related to homelessness and mental illness pose a “significant” challenge for law enforcement, so efforts are underway to increase staffing to address such incidences.
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Man who was removed from sex offender registry arrested on suspicion of child pornography in Fontana
A man who was registered sex offender until he was removed from the list in 2014 was arrested on suspicion of possession child pornography after taking photos at a child’s birthday party, Fontana police announced on Monday. Joseph Welsh, 47, was arrested on suspicion of child annoyance with a prior conviction and possession of child pornography with a prior conviction, police said.
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Suspect in Starbucks robbery may sue man who stopped him
A man credited with stopping a robbery of a Starbucks in July might now be sued by the suspect, over wounds the would-be robber received from the Good Samaritan. Ryan Flores, 30, is facing charges for second-degree robbery and assault with a deadly weapon, stemming from a robbery of a Fresno Starbucks.
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Who got killed in California in 2016, and why
A recently released report on homicides by the California Department of Justice found that killings around the state jumped 3.7 percent from 2015 to 2016, but were down 14.5 percent from a decade ago. It also offered a look at the nature of killings last year. Overall, 1,930 people were slain in California, translating to 4.9 victims per 100,000 state residents.
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Texas murder suspect arrested in Woodland Hills after bragging on Instagram
Two men, one reported to be a murder suspect and fugitive from Texas, were arrested early Tuesday after a search following a pursuit crash in Woodland Hills, police said. The crash was reported shortly after 12:30 a.m. in the area of West Chester Drive and Kingsboro Way, the Los Angeles Police Department reported. The men bailed from the vehicle on foot and were found a short time later, police said.
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SFPD committed to DOJ reforms despite changes under Sessions
The San Francisco Police Department said Tuesday it remains committed to the reforms recommended last year by the Department of Justice, despite Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ recent announcement that his office will shift resources away from assisting local jurisdictions with community policing efforts. “Our work is not done,” San Francisco Police Chief William Scott said in a statement.
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Blue Racism? New York police association says cops are victims of racism
Angry at what they say is widespread discrimination leveled against their ranks, a group of police officers in New York City coined the term “Blue Racism” as a way to draw attention to the mistreatment they say they face at the hands of the public. While a string of police-related killings over the last few years and the rise to prominence of groups like Black Lives Matter have shed light on the abuse some minorities face at the hands of law enforcement, the New York Police Department’s Sergeants Benevolent Association says they too have become victims.
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[av_button label=’Fox News’ link=’manually,http://www.foxnews.com/us/2017/08/21/blue-racism-new-york-police-association-says-cops-are-victims-racism.html’ link_target=’_blank’ size=’small’ position=’left’ icon_select=’no’ icon=’ue800′ font=’entypo-fontello’ color=’theme-color’ custom_bg=’#444444′ custom_font=’#ffffff’ admin_preview_bg=”]

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[av_heading tag=’h2′ padding=’10’ heading=’MARIJUANA’ color=” style=” custom_font=” size=” subheading_active=” subheading_size=’15’ custom_class=” admin_preview_bg=” av-desktop-hide=” av-medium-hide=” av-small-hide=” av-mini-hide=” av-medium-font-size-title=” av-small-font-size-title=” av-mini-font-size-title=” av-medium-font-size=” av-small-font-size=” av-mini-font-size=”][/av_heading]

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California Today: What if legal pot costs more than black-Market Pot?
California has a marijuana conundrum. As regulators in California prepare for the start of recreational marijuana sales in January, people in the industry say they are concerned that the rollout may not be as smooth as was promised by the promoters of Prop 64, the ballot measure last November that legalized pot.
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[av_button label=’New York Times’ link=’manually,https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/19/us/california-today-a-marijuana-conundrum.html’ link_target=’_blank’ size=’small’ position=’left’ icon_select=’no’ icon=’ue800′ font=’entypo-fontello’ color=’theme-color’ custom_bg=’#444444′ custom_font=’#ffffff’ admin_preview_bg=”]

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CHP could be put in charge of quashing the cannabis black market
Just because Californians legalized recreational marijuana doesn’t mean there won’t be folks who continue to break the law. Growing, selling and producing cannabis products, which will be taxed, will require state licenses. End users won’t need medical cards to hold marijuana, so there could still be increased incentive to deal weed tax-free.
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[av_button label=’LA Weekly’ link=’manually,http://www.laweekly.com/news/california-highway-patrol-could-be-tasked-with-marijuana-enforcement-8667679′ link_target=’_blank’ size=’small’ position=’left’ icon_select=’no’ icon=’ue800′ font=’entypo-fontello’ color=’theme-color’ custom_bg=’#444444′ custom_font=’#ffffff’ admin_preview_bg=”]

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[av_heading tag=’h2′ padding=’10’ heading=’PAROLE’ color=” style=” custom_font=” size=” subheading_active=” subheading_size=’15’ custom_class=” admin_preview_bg=” av-desktop-hide=” av-medium-hide=” av-small-hide=” av-mini-hide=” av-medium-font-size-title=” av-small-font-size-title=” av-mini-font-size-title=” av-medium-font-size=” av-small-font-size=” av-mini-font-size=”][/av_heading]

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Parole overturned for man charged in Los Angeles cop’s death
California’s governor has overturned a parole board’s recommendation to release a man convicted of masterminding a 1984 armed robbery that led to a shootout with police and killed a Los Angeles officer, according to a copy of the governor’s decision obtained by The Associated Press on Wednesday.
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[av_button label=’AP’ link=’manually,https://apnews.com/e4924fc1e3cb4ab0a82a5590eb39d6fe/Gov-overturns-parole-for-man-charged-in-LAPD-officer’s-death’ link_target=’_blank’ size=’small’ position=’left’ icon_select=’no’ icon=’ue800′ font=’entypo-fontello’ color=’theme-color’ custom_bg=’#444444′ custom_font=’#ffffff’ admin_preview_bg=”]

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OCDA to oppose parole of man eligible for early release due to Prop 57 who defrauded over 100 elderly investors
Orange County District Attorney (OCDA) Tony Rackauckas is opposing the parole of a man who stole the life savings of numerous seniors in an elaborate Ponzi scheme and failed to pay $530,000 in taxes on his ill-gotten profits. Jeffrey Gordon Butler, 59, San Juan Capistrano, is currently being held at Correctional Training Facility prison in Soledad, California.
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[av_button label=’Orange County Breeze’ link=’manually,http://www.oc-breeze.com/2017/09/16/108747_ocda-to-oppose-parole-of-man-eligible-for-early-release-due-to-prop-57-who-defrauded-over-100-elderly-investors/’ link_target=’_blank’ size=’small’ position=’left’ icon_select=’no’ icon=’ue800′ font=’entypo-fontello’ color=’theme-color’ custom_bg=’#444444′ custom_font=’#ffffff’ admin_preview_bg=”]

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Should Manson follower Van Houten be paroled?
Leslie Van Houten, convicted of murder as a member of the Charles Manson “family” cult, has been recommended for parole by a state panel. The decision must be reviewed by the Parole Board and Gov. Jerry Brown. Last year, Brown said no to releasing Van Houten. Is it time to parole Leslie Van Houten? That’s our Question of the Week for readers.
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[av_button label=’Riverside Press-Enterprise’ link=’manually,http://www.pe.com/2017/09/18/should-manson-follower-van-houten-be-paroled/’ link_target=’_blank’ size=’small’ position=’left’ icon_select=’no’ icon=’ue800′ font=’entypo-fontello’ color=’theme-color’ custom_bg=’#444444′ custom_font=’#ffffff’ admin_preview_bg=”]

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Convicted burglar denied early release
While divulging a long history of criminal activity resulting in incarcerations, Tuolumne County District Attorney Laura Krieg announced the rejection of inmate Calvin Davis’ early parole. Krieg reports that in 2014 Davis was convicted of conspiracy, five counts of second degree commercial burglary, two counts of identity theft, and first degree residential burglary.
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[av_button label=’My Mother Lode’ link=’manually,https://www.mymotherlode.com/news/local/325485/convicted-burglar-denied-early-release.html’ link_target=’_blank’ size=’small’ position=’left’ icon_select=’no’ icon=’ue800′ font=’entypo-fontello’ color=’theme-color’ custom_bg=’#444444′ custom_font=’#ffffff’ admin_preview_bg=”]

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[av_heading tag=’h2′ padding=’10’ heading=’DEATH PENALTY’ color=” style=” custom_font=” size=” subheading_active=” subheading_size=’15’ custom_class=” admin_preview_bg=” av-desktop-hide=” av-medium-hide=” av-small-hide=” av-mini-hide=” av-medium-font-size-title=” av-small-font-size-title=” av-mini-font-size-title=” av-medium-font-size=” av-small-font-size=” av-mini-font-size=”][/av_heading]

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Making sure of a life sentence
Although the people who murdered seven strangers at Charles Manson’s behest in 1969 renounced their former messiah decades ago, they’ve been unable to sever their ties to society’s satisfaction. All four of those who were convicted of murder, along with Manson himself, in the infamous Tate-LaBianca killings in Los Angeles have been eligible for parole since the late 1970s.
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[av_button label=’Baker City Herald’ link=’manually,http://www.bakercityherald.com/opinion/5599089-151/making-sure-of-a-life-sentence’ link_target=’_blank’ size=’small’ position=’left’ icon_select=’no’ icon=’ue800′ font=’entypo-fontello’ color=’theme-color’ custom_bg=’#444444′ custom_font=’#ffffff’ admin_preview_bg=”]

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[av_heading heading=’BAIL’ tag=’h2′ style=” size=” subheading_active=” subheading_size=’15’ padding=’10’ color=” custom_font=” av-medium-font-size-title=” av-small-font-size-title=” av-mini-font-size-title=” av-medium-font-size=” av-small-font-size=” av-mini-font-size=” admin_preview_bg=”][/av_heading]

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Cash bail nearly completely eliminated in New Jersey
New Jersey has changed the way it deals with bail this year, leading to a huge decrease in the number of criminal defendants in jail awaiting trial, while angering a decimated bail bond industry. The reforms went into effect in January, and fewer than 30 people facing criminal charges in state court have been given cash bail through August. That compares to hundreds of thousands who received bail last year, according to state court spokesman Peter McAleer.
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[av_button label=’AP’ link=’manually,http://www.miamiherald.com/news/business/article173817856.html’ link_target=’_blank’ size=’small’ position=’left’ icon_select=’no’ icon=’ue800′ font=’entypo-fontello’ color=’theme-color’ custom_bg=’#444444′ custom_font=’#ffffff’ admin_preview_bg=”]

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Bail roulette: how the same minor crime can cost $250 or $10,000
Encompassing Yosemite national park, Mariposa County is among California’s most beautiful regions. But if you’re arrested for panhandling or public intoxication, Mariposa can be the state’s ugliest county. People arrested for minor misdemeanors in Mariposa County are on the hook for $10,000 bail, which is supposed to insure someone shows up to court, whether the charges have merit or not.
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[av_button label=’The Guardian’ link=’manually,https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/sep/20/bail-disparities-across-the-us-reflect-inequality-it-is-the-poor-people-who-suffer’ link_target=’_blank’ size=’small’ position=’left’ icon_select=’no’ icon=’ue800′ font=’entypo-fontello’ color=’theme-color’ custom_bg=’#444444′ custom_font=’#ffffff’ admin_preview_bg=”]

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[av_heading heading=’LEGISLATION’ tag=’h2′ style=” size=” subheading_active=” subheading_size=’15’ padding=’10’ color=” custom_font=” av-medium-font-size-title=” av-small-font-size-title=” av-mini-font-size-title=” av-medium-font-size=” av-small-font-size=” av-mini-font-size=” admin_preview_bg=”][/av_heading]

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Bill to enhance subpoena power of city attorneys draws more opposition
The California Chamber of Commerce and the Civil Justice Association of California are among the local organizations that have banded together to oppose a bill that would grant city attorneys the power to subpoena before formally filing suit. “The organizations strongly oppose Assembly Bill 814,” CJAC vice president of government affairs Faith Conley said in a statement on behalf of the coalition made available to the Northern California Record.
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[av_button label=’Northern California Record’ link=’manually,http://norcalrecord.com/stories/511219148-bill-to-enhance-subpoena-power-of-city-attorneys-draws-more-opposition’ link_target=’_blank’ size=’small’ position=’left’ icon_select=’no’ icon=’ue800′ font=’entypo-fontello’ color=’theme-color’ custom_bg=’#444444′ custom_font=’#ffffff’ admin_preview_bg=”]

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‘Sanctuary state’ bill passage triggers relief, angst and everything in between
Sanctuary state legislation expected to become the law of the land in California evoked measured excitement from undocumented immigrants Monday, a prediction of fallout from a law enforcement leader and at least one suggestion not much will change. The landmark bill, SB54, was approved by the Assembly on Friday and the state Senate on Saturday, now it’s only Gov. Jerry Brown’s signature away from becoming law.
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[av_button label=’Ventura County Star’ link=’manually,http://www.vcstar.com/story/news/local/2017/09/18/sanctuary-state-bill-passage-triggers-relief-angst-and-everything-between/677841001/’ link_target=’_blank’ size=’small’ position=’left’ icon_select=’no’ icon=’ue800′ font=’entypo-fontello’ color=’theme-color’ custom_bg=’#444444′ custom_font=’#ffffff’ admin_preview_bg=”]

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Cities support Whittier’s call to reform crime laws
California’s cities are supporting Whittier’s effort to reform state crime laws, blamed for the shooting of Officer Keith Boyer. The League of California Cities earlier this week approved a resolution calling for reform of A.B. 109 and propositions 47 and 57, which Whittier city officials say allow criminals to get out of jail too easily.
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[av_button label=’Whittier Daily News’ link=’manually,http://www.whittierdailynews.com/2017/09/20/cities-support-whittiers-call-to-reform-crime-laws/’ link_target=’_blank’ size=’small’ position=’left’ icon_select=’no’ icon=’ue800′ font=’entypo-fontello’ color=’theme-color’ custom_bg=’#444444′ custom_font=’#ffffff’ admin_preview_bg=”]

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New law eliminating lifelong registration for convicted sex offenders heads for Brown’s OK
On September 16, the California Legislature approved a bill that would create a tiered system for the state’s sex offender registry. The bill, SB-384, is expected to be signed by Governor Brown. Authored by Senator Scott Wiener(D-San Francisco) and co-authored by Senators Joel Anderson (R-Alpine), Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles), and Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley), was sponsored by Equality California, Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey, the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault, and the California Sex Offender Management Board. SB-384 was endorsed by both the California Police Chiefs Association and various county sheriffs.
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[av_button label=’CityWatch’ link=’manually,http://www.citywatchla.com/index.php/los-angeles-for-rss/14021-new-law-eliminating-lifelong-registration-for-convicted-sex-offenders-heads-for-brown-s-ok’ link_target=’_blank’ size=’small’ position=’left’ icon_select=’no’ icon=’ue800′ font=’entypo-fontello’ color=’theme-color’ custom_bg=’#444444′ custom_font=’#ffffff’ admin_preview_bg=”]

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Redding turns to state to help ‘take back’ community from crime
Redding leaders have a bold idea for “taking back” the community from crime: ask the Legislature to fix state laws routinely blamed for a packed Shasta County Jail and increasing quality-of-life crimes. The Redding City Council recently put city support behind the “Taking Back Our Community” program, the brainchild of the California Police Chiefs Association that’s being pushed statewide.
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[av_button label=’Record Searchlight’ link=’manually,http://www.redding.com/story/news/local/2017/09/14/redding-turns-state-help-take-back-community-crime/663625001/’ link_target=’_blank’ size=’small’ position=’left’ icon_select=’no’ icon=’ue800′ font=’entypo-fontello’ color=’theme-color’ custom_bg=’#444444′ custom_font=’#ffffff’ admin_preview_bg=”]

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Judicial elections reform bill goes to Governor
SB 235, a bill to reform judicial elections in California, is headed to Gov. Jerry Brown for signature following final passage by the Legislature on Friday, the last day of the legislative session. The bill, which had its origin in a Sept. 23, 2014 MetNews editorial, would bar use of inventive ballot designations such as “child molestation prosecution” and “gang murder prosecutor” which have become commonplace in recent years in Los Angeles elections.
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[av_button label=’Metropolitan News-Enterprise’ link=’manually,http://www.metnews.com/articles/2017/judielec091817.htm’ link_target=’_blank’ size=’small’ position=’left’ icon_select=’no’ icon=’ue800′ font=’entypo-fontello’ color=’theme-color’ custom_bg=’#444444′ custom_font=’#ffffff’ admin_preview_bg=”]

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Union power on display in California’s just-completed legislative session
From family leave and clean-air cars to job applicants and the construction industry, organized labor left its stamp on the just-completed California legislative session. Unions’ efforts sent to Gov. Jerry Brown measures that give their leaders access to employees’ emails, restrict ports from expanding automation that could displace workers and expand prevailing wage requirements for housing construction.
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[av_button label=’Sacramento Bee’ link=’manually,http://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article173860816.html’ link_target=’_blank’ size=’small’ position=’left’ icon_select=’no’ icon=’ue800′ font=’entypo-fontello’ color=’theme-color’ custom_bg=’#444444′ custom_font=’#ffffff’ admin_preview_bg=”]

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Judicial election reform bill nears final passage
A bill aimed at ending inventive ballot designations in judicial races yesterday passed the Senate, and today-on the last day of the legislative session-returns to the Senate for concurrence by members of the originating house in minor amendments. Sen. Ben Allen, D-Santa Monica, who authored the bill, told the MetNews: “Ballot designations are important in all races, but they are especially important in judicial races where the candidates are usually among the least known on the ballot. This legislation aims to stop the use of sensationalist, often misleading titles whose main purpose is to deceive voters.”
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[av_button label=’Metropolitan News-Enterprise’ link=’manually,http://www.metnews.com/articles/2017/gettingclose091517.htm’ link_target=’_blank’ size=’small’ position=’left’ icon_select=’no’ icon=’ue800′ font=’entypo-fontello’ color=’theme-color’ custom_bg=’#444444′ custom_font=’#ffffff’ admin_preview_bg=”]

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California Driver’s Licenses could see a third gender option
A bill that would allow motorists chose a third gender option for their driver’s license is on the desk of Gov. Jerry Brown for his signature or veto. Some supporters of the bill believe he’ll greenlight the legislation, which seeks to provide a third option in addition to male and female on driver’s licenses, state IDs and other California documents. The bill was recently passed by the Senate and Assembly.
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[av_button label=’LA Weekly’ link=’manually,http://www.laweekly.com/news/male-female-or-nonbinary-could-be-the-choices-for-california-ids-8663996′ link_target=’_blank’ size=’small’ position=’left’ icon_select=’no’ icon=’ue800′ font=’entypo-fontello’ color=’theme-color’ custom_bg=’#444444′ custom_font=’#ffffff’ admin_preview_bg=”]

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California legislature approves ban on asking applicants about past salary
California employers could no longer ask job applicants about their salary history under legislation that is headed for Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk. Assembly Bill (A.B.) 168, authored by Assemblywoman Susan Talamantes Eggman, D-Stockton, would bar employers from requesting the pay history of a job applicant, in an effort to close the pay gap between men and women.
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[av_button label=’Society for Human Resource Management’ link=’manually,https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/hr-topics/talent-acquisition/pages/california-ban-asking-applicants-past-salary.aspx’ link_target=’_blank’ size=’small’ position=’left’ icon_select=’no’ icon=’ue800′ font=’entypo-fontello’ color=’theme-color’ custom_bg=’#444444′ custom_font=’#ffffff’ admin_preview_bg=”]

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[av_heading heading=’PROSECUTIONS’ tag=’h2′ style=” size=” subheading_active=” subheading_size=’15’ padding=’10’ color=” custom_font=” av-medium-font-size-title=” av-small-font-size-title=” av-mini-font-size-title=” av-medium-font-size=” av-small-font-size=” av-mini-font-size=” admin_preview_bg=”][/av_heading]

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Brentwood biology teacher pleads not guilty in student sex case, also faces Coachella ecstasy drug charge
A 45-year-old biology teacher at the exclusive Brentwood School pleaded not guilty today to charges that she had sex with a 17-year-old male student. Aimee Palmitessa – who was arrested last month and released Aug. 18 on $230,000 bond – faces up to 10 years and four months in prison if convicted of seven counts of unlawful sexual intercourse, two counts each of sodomy and sexual penetration by foreign object of a person under 18, and a single count of oral copulation of a person under 18.
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[av_button label=’City News Service’ link=’manually,http://www.dailynews.com/2017/09/15/brentwood-biology-teacher-pleads-not-guilty-in-student-sex-case-also-faces-coachella-ecstasy-drug-charge/’ link_target=’_blank’ size=’small’ position=’left’ icon_select=’no’ icon=’ue800′ font=’entypo-fontello’ color=’theme-color’ custom_bg=’#444444′ custom_font=’#ffffff’ admin_preview_bg=”]

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Why didn’t school board president Ref Rodriguez just write himself a big check?
When news broke that Los Angeles school board president Ref Rodriguez was caught up in a criminal case over his campaign contributions, friends and foes alike were baffled. Rodriguez, who won his school board seat in 2015, legally could have poured as much of his own money as he liked into his upstart campaign. So why would he, as prosecutors claim, have arranged for others to donate and then use his funds to illegally pay them back?
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[av_button label=’Los Angeles Times’ link=’manually,http://www.latimes.com/local/education/la-me-edu-rodriguez-money-laundering-20170915-story.html’ link_target=’_blank’ size=’small’ position=’left’ icon_select=’no’ icon=’ue800′ font=’entypo-fontello’ color=’theme-color’ custom_bg=’#444444′ custom_font=’#ffffff’ admin_preview_bg=”]

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[av_heading heading=’CONVICTIONS / SENTENCES’ tag=’h2′ style=” size=” subheading_active=” subheading_size=’15’ padding=’10’ color=” custom_font=” av-medium-font-size-title=” av-small-font-size-title=” av-mini-font-size-title=” av-medium-font-size=” av-small-font-size=” av-mini-font-size=” admin_preview_bg=”][/av_heading]

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Boyfriend of slain reality TV star sentenced to 16 years to life
The boyfriend of Los Angeles police officer-turned-reality-TV attorney Loredana Nesci was sentenced Sept. 19 to 16 years to life in prison for her murder, Los Angeles County prosecutors said. Nesci, the star of SundanceTV’s “Loredana, Esq.,” was killed in 2015 inside the Redondo Beach home she shared with Robert Reagan, 53. She was 47.
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[av_button label=’Los Angeles Times’ link=’manually,http://homicide.latimes.com/post/boyfriend-slain-reality-tv-star-sentenced-16-years-life/’ link_target=’_blank’ size=’small’ position=’left’ icon_select=’no’ icon=’ue800′ font=’entypo-fontello’ color=’theme-color’ custom_bg=’#444444′ custom_font=’#ffffff’ admin_preview_bg=”]

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Killer of West Hills resident and Fox executive Gavin Smith sentenced to 11 years in prison
was sentenced Tuesday to 11 years in prison for killing a 20th Century Fox distribution executive who was having an on-again, off-again affair with the defendant’s estranged wife. John Lenzie Creech, 45, was convicted July 3 of voluntary manslaughter for the May 2012 beating death of Gavin Smith, whose remains were found 2 1/2 years later in a shallow grave in the Angeles National Forest in the Antelope Valley.
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[av_button label=’City News Service’ link=’manually,http://www.dailynews.com/2017/09/19/killer-of-west-hills-resident-and-fox-executive-gavin-smith-to-be-sentenced-today/’ link_target=’_blank’ size=’small’ position=’left’ icon_select=’no’ icon=’ue800′ font=’entypo-fontello’ color=’theme-color’ custom_bg=’#444444′ custom_font=’#ffffff’ admin_preview_bg=”]

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[av_heading heading=’COURTS’ tag=’h2′ style=” size=” subheading_active=” subheading_size=’15’ padding=’10’ color=” custom_font=” av-medium-font-size-title=” av-small-font-size-title=” av-mini-font-size-title=” av-medium-font-size=” av-small-font-size=” av-mini-font-size=” admin_preview_bg=”][/av_heading]

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California sues to keep border wall off environmental fast track
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra – standing steps from the fence along the U.S.-Mexico border in San Diego – said Wednesday he and the California Coastal Commission have sued the federal government for circumventing state and federal environmental laws in order to speed up construction of the border wall.
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[av_button label=’Courthouse News’ link=’manually,https://www.courthousenews.com/california-sues-keep-border-wall-off-environmental-fast-track/’ link_target=’_blank’ size=’small’ position=’left’ icon_select=’no’ icon=’ue800′ font=’entypo-fontello’ color=’theme-color’ custom_bg=’#444444′ custom_font=’#ffffff’ admin_preview_bg=”]

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Federal lawsuit challenges Simi Valley Halloween sex offender law for second time
For the second time in five years, a federal lawsuit is challenging the constitutionality of a Simi Valley law that bars registered sex offenders listed on the Megan’s Law website from opening their doors to trick-or-treating children on Halloween. The law, enacted by the City Council in September 2012, also forbids the registered sex offenders from decorating the outside of their homes or front lawns with Halloween ornaments and mandates that they turn off outdoor lighting on their properties from 5 p.m. to midnight on Halloween.
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[av_button label=’Ventura County Star’ link=’manually,http://www.vcstar.com/story/news/local/communities/simi-valley/2017/09/18/federal-lawsuit-challenges-simi-valley-halloween-sex-offender-law-second-time/677265001/’ link_target=’_blank’ size=’small’ position=’left’ icon_select=’no’ icon=’ue800′ font=’entypo-fontello’ color=’theme-color’ custom_bg=’#444444′ custom_font=’#ffffff’ admin_preview_bg=”]

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Showing jurors photos of Charles Manson wasn’t misconduct-Court of Appeal
A Los Angeles deputy district attorney committed no misconduct in displaying, in closing argument to a jury, photographs of slayer Charles Manson, the Court of Appeal for this district has held in the case of man found guilty of the first degree murder of his girlfriend’s mother, who was also grandmother of his children.
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[av_button label=’Metropolitan News-Enterprise’ link=’manually,http://www.metnews.com/articles/2017/manson092117.htm’ link_target=’_blank’ size=’small’ position=’left’ icon_select=’no’ icon=’ue800′ font=’entypo-fontello’ color=’theme-color’ custom_bg=’#444444′ custom_font=’#ffffff’ admin_preview_bg=”]

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C.A. orders immediate release of ‘illegally’ incarcerated man
The Court of Appeal for this district yesterday ordered the release “forthwith” of a man it says has been “illegally held” by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department since May 22. Div. Three, in an opinion it made immediately final, granted a petition for a writ of habeas corpus filed by the Office of Public Defender on behalf of Jesse Barber.
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[av_button label=’Metropolitan News-Enterprise’ link=’manually,http://www.metnews.com/articles/2017/barber091517.htm’ link_target=’_blank’ size=’small’ position=’left’ icon_select=’no’ icon=’ue800′ font=’entypo-fontello’ color=’theme-color’ custom_bg=’#444444′ custom_font=’#ffffff’ admin_preview_bg=”]

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California judges say that TV court hearings could help the public
A panel of high-ranking judges says televising court hearings is good for the public. Speaking Friday at a legal conference in Sacramento, Sidney Thomas, chief judge of the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, recalled the surprised and pleased responses he heard from people who watched the court’s live-stream webcasts of its hearings on challenges to President Trump’s ban on travel from mostly Muslim nations.
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[av_button label=’SF Gate’ link=’manually,http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/California-judges-say-that-TV-court-hearings-12203081.php’ link_target=’_blank’ size=’small’ position=’left’ icon_select=’no’ icon=’ue800′ font=’entypo-fontello’ color=’theme-color’ custom_bg=’#444444′ custom_font=’#ffffff’ admin_preview_bg=”]

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Court of Appeal declares: Trial court had power to vacate judgment after dismissal of appeal
The Fourth District Court of Appeal has held that a trial judge was too deferential to it, and should have granted a motion to vacate a judgment even though an appeal from that judgment had been dismissed by the appeals court. Div. Two, in an unpublished opinion by Presiding Justice Manuel A. Ramirez, said Thursday that Riverside Superior Court Judge David M. Chapman erred because a post-appeal attorney’s affidavit of fault was presented to him, rendering relief compulsory under Code of Civil Procedure §473(b).
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[av_button label=’Metropolitan News-Enterprise’ link=’manually,http://www.metnews.com/articles/2017/deferential091817.htm’ link_target=’_blank’ size=’small’ position=’left’ icon_select=’no’ icon=’ue800′ font=’entypo-fontello’ color=’theme-color’ custom_bg=’#444444′ custom_font=’#ffffff’ admin_preview_bg=”]

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Appeals Court overturns $4M award to LAPD officers involved in fatal shooting
A California appeals court has overturned a jury’s $4 million award to two Los Angeles Police Department officers involved in the 2010 fatal shooting of an unarmed black man. The money was originally awarded to officers George Diego and Allan Corrales after they alleged LAPD Chief Charlie Beck discriminated against them by placing them on desk duty for more than five years after they shot 27-year-old Steven Eugene Washington, whose mother claimed had autism, reports NBC4 media partner KPCC.
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[av_button label=’NBC Los Angeles’ link=’manually,http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/Appeals-Court-Overturns-4M-Award-to-LAPD-Officers-Involved-in-Fatal-Shooting-445132713.html’ link_target=’_blank’ size=’small’ position=’left’ icon_select=’no’ icon=’ue800′ font=’entypo-fontello’ color=’theme-color’ custom_bg=’#444444′ custom_font=’#ffffff’ admin_preview_bg=”]

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East Bay murder conviction overturned by federal appeals court
A federal appeals court has overturned the murder conviction of a Richmond man for a 2006 killing in Berkeley, saying the defense lawyer failed to challenge the testimony of the prosecution’s key witness. Nicholas Beaudreaux, 20, was sentenced to 50 years to life in prison for first-degree murder in the fatal shooting of Wayne Drummond. Drummond, 23, and another man, Brandon Crowder, got into a fistfight.
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[av_button label=’SF Gate’ link=’manually,http://www.sfgate.com/crime/article/East-Bay-murder-conviction-overturned-by-federal-12207648.php’ link_target=’_blank’ size=’small’ position=’left’ icon_select=’no’ icon=’ue800′ font=’entypo-fontello’ color=’theme-color’ custom_bg=’#444444′ custom_font=’#ffffff’ admin_preview_bg=”]

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L.A. reaches settlement with First Amendment Coalition over retaining public records
A legal battle over records tied to former Los Angeles City Councilman Tom LaBonge has ended with the city reaching an agreement on retaining city documents. The Los Angeles City Council voted 12 to 0 on Wednesday to approve the settlement with the First Amendment Coalition, a group that advocates for open government.
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[av_button label=’Los Angeles Times’ link=’manually,http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-public-records-lawsuit-20170920-story.html’ link_target=’_blank’ size=’small’ position=’left’ icon_select=’no’ icon=’ue800′ font=’entypo-fontello’ color=’theme-color’ custom_bg=’#444444′ custom_font=’#ffffff’ admin_preview_bg=”]

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Appeals court upholds conviction in 2013 Long Beach teacher’s killing
A state appeals court panel Tuesday upheld a man’s conviction for fatally stabbing his children’s maternal grandmother, who was a teacher, in a Long Beach park where her students had been playing. The three-justice panel from California’s 2nd District Court of Appeal rejected the defense’s contention that there were errors in the trial of Steven Dwayne Brown, who was convicted last year of first-degree murder for the Oct. 11, 2013, killing of Kellye Taylor, whose throat was slit at Orizaba Park.
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[av_button label=’City News Service’ link=’manually,http://www.presstelegram.com/general-news/20170919/appeals-court-upholds-conviction-in-2013-long-beach-teachers-killing’ link_target=’_blank’ size=’small’ position=’left’ icon_select=’no’ icon=’ue800′ font=’entypo-fontello’ color=’theme-color’ custom_bg=’#444444′ custom_font=’#ffffff’ admin_preview_bg=”]

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San Francisco’s soda law blocked by appeals court
San Francisco’s groundbreaking effort to curb soda consumption by requiring health warnings in display ads hit a judicial wall Tuesday when a federal appeals court barred enforcement, saying the messages were one-sided and would violate advertisers’ freedom of speech. The city ordinance, the first of its kind in the nation, was passed unanimously by the Board of Supervisors in 2015 and was scheduled to take effect in July 2016 but has been put on hold by the courts during a legal challenge by the beverage industry.
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[av_button label=’SF Gate’ link=’manually,http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/San-Francisco-s-soda-labeling-law-blocked-by-12210303.php’ link_target=’_blank’ size=’small’ position=’left’ icon_select=’no’ icon=’ue800′ font=’entypo-fontello’ color=’theme-color’ custom_bg=’#444444′ custom_font=’#ffffff’ admin_preview_bg=”]

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[av_heading heading=’GUNS’ tag=’h2′ style=” size=” subheading_active=” subheading_size=’15’ padding=’10’ color=” custom_font=” av-medium-font-size-title=” av-small-font-size-title=” av-mini-font-size-title=” av-medium-font-size=” av-small-font-size=” av-mini-font-size=” admin_preview_bg=”][/av_heading]

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Deputy DA’s nail it: Blasts bill to give thugs a pass on gun crimes
We’re just not sure Gun Owners could have said it any better: “As Sacramento cracks down on legal gun ownership, it simultaneously is lessening the penalties on gun violence. In an astounding reversal, the legislature now wants to eliminate language that prohibits judges from eliminating the penalties when someone uses a gun during mayhem, rape, murder, robbery, carjacking and other extremely violent felonies.”
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[av_button label=’Gun Owners of California’ link=’manually,https://www.gunownersca.com/2017/06/08/deputy-das-nail-blasts-bill-give-thugs-pass-gun-crimes/’ link_target=’_blank’ size=’small’ position=’left’ icon_select=’no’ icon=’ue800′ font=’entypo-fontello’ color=’theme-color’ custom_bg=’#444444′ custom_font=’#ffffff’ admin_preview_bg=”]

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Gun groups fight California bills they say will drive up cost of firearms
California significantly tightened its firearms restrictions last year when it enacted a broad package of bills regulating ammunition sales, expanding the state’s prohibition on assault weapons and banning the possession of high-capacity magazines. Those laws are currently being challenged in court by gun rights groups.
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[av_button label=’Sacramento Bee’ link=’manually,http://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article174060191.html’ link_target=’_blank’ size=’small’ position=’left’ icon_select=’no’ icon=’ue800′ font=’entypo-fontello’ color=’theme-color’ custom_bg=’#444444′ custom_font=’#ffffff’ admin_preview_bg=”]

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[av_heading heading=’DISTRICT ATTORNEYS’ tag=’h2′ style=” size=” subheading_active=” subheading_size=’15’ padding=’10’ color=” custom_font=” av-medium-font-size-title=” av-small-font-size-title=” av-mini-font-size-title=” av-medium-font-size=” av-small-font-size=” av-mini-font-size=” admin_preview_bg=”][/av_heading]

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Contra Costa’s first African-American, woman DA sworn in
In a brief but energetic ceremony, Diana Becton was sworn in Monday as the first African-American and first woman to serve as Contra Costa County’s district attorney. Becton, a retired judge, kept her remarks brief but received a standing ovation from a crowd that included a mix of deputy district attorneys, defense lawyers, police officers and members of the community.
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[av_button label=’East Bay Times’ link=’manually,http://www.eastbaytimes.com/2017/09/18/contra-costas-first-african-america-woman-da-sworn-in/’ link_target=’_blank’ size=’small’ position=’left’ icon_select=’no’ icon=’ue800′ font=’entypo-fontello’ color=’theme-color’ custom_bg=’#444444′ custom_font=’#ffffff’ admin_preview_bg=”]

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Yolo DA laments increase in child homicides
The deaths last week of three young West Sacramento siblings was the latest incident in what local prosecutors see as an uptick in violent child fatalities to occur in Yolo County and beyond in recent years. “There have been more. It’s been just this tragic explosion of these killings,” said Yolo County District Attorney Jeff Reisig, whose office has obtained convictions in three other high-profile cases involving slain children since 2014.
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Did new California State Bar boss cheat on Bar rules?
Did Leah Tamu Wilson, the new Executive Director of the State Bar of California, spend the first 15 years of her career dodging the Minimum Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) requirements she is now paid $267,500 to enforce against all Active status California attorneys? Ironically, Wilson, who in her first few days on the job last week pledged much greater transparency at the controversy-stricken, quasi-government agency, won’t say.
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L.A. County approves $3.9-million settlement for minor assaulted in juvenile hall
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved a $3.9-million settlement Tuesday in a federal civil rights lawsuit involving an assault on a minor at one of the county’s juvenile halls. The minor, identified in court records as J.M.M., suffered a head injury during a fight with another youth at the Barry J. Nidorf Juvenile Hall in Sylmar in July 2013.
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L.A. County probation officer pleads guilty to assaulting inmates at a juvenile hall
A Los Angeles County probation officer pleaded guilty Wednesday to two counts of assault after he was accused of sexually abusing several female inmates at a Santa Clarita juvenile hall, prosecutors said. Oscar Calderon Jr., 33, was immediately sentenced to a year in jail after pleading guilty in a downtown courtroom to two counts of assault under color of authority, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.
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L.A. County probation officer pleads guilty to assaulting inmates at a juvenile hall
A Los Angeles County probation officer pleaded guilty Wednesday to two counts of assault after he was accused of sexually abusing several female inmates at a Santa Clarita juvenile hall, prosecutors said. Oscar Calderon Jr., 33, was immediately sentenced to a year in jail after pleading guilty in a downtown courtroom to two counts of assault under color of authority, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.
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Elected officials disagree on constitutional amendment to redistrict L.A. County
A California constitutional amendment making its way through the legislature, which would increase the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors from five to seven, has received polarized responses from elected officials. The L.A. County Board has taken an official stance in opposition of Constitutional Amendment 12, which states any county with over 5 million residents must have more than five elected supervisors.
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