Alameda County Jury Rejected Former Oakland City Adminstrator's Lawsuit
An Alameda County jury took only 40 minutes Monday to reject a lawsuit filed by former Oakland City Administrator Deborah Edgerly claiming that former Mayor Ron Dellums fired her because she was a woman.
Dellums, a former congressman who served as Oakland's mayor from January 2007 to January 2011, fired Edgerly on July 1, 2008.
Edgerly had worked for the city for 22 years and former mayor Jerry Brown, now California's governor, appointed her city administrator on July 2, 2003.
At the time Dellums fired her, Edgerly was under investigation for allegedly tipping off her nephew, city employee William Lovan, that the Oakland Police Department was investigating the Acorn gang.
Police said the gang was the worst in the city and claimed that Lovan was a member.
Lovan pleaded no contest in 2009 to a felony charge of carrying a concealed and unregistered firearm in a car as a result of the police probe into the Acorn gang but no charges were ever filed against Edgerly.
Dellums said Edgerly was distracted by the allegations and that it was interfering with her job, but said the main reason he fired her was that he and Edgerly had stopped communicating effectively with one another.
Edgerly's lawyer, John Scott, alleged in his closing argument in Edgerly's wrongful termination case that Dellums "discriminated against my client because of her gender."
Dellums testified last week that he never discriminated against Edgerly.
But Scott alleged that Dellums' testimony was "a knee-jerk reaction of denial and self-righteousness."
Scott asked, "What makes him so special and makes him different from the hundreds of thousands of other men who don't see women as equals?"
Scott said he would leave it to jurors to determine how much in monetary damages Edgerly should be awarded, saying she has been unable to find a new job since Dellums fired her despite applying to many cities across the country.
"My client didn't bring this action for money, she brought it to clear her name," Scott said.
He said, "Nothing is more important to her than her reputation and name and career."
Attorney Robert Shwarts, who represents the city of Oakland, told jurors, "There's no evidence in the record to conclude that gender discrimination motivated this decision (to fire Edgerly) in any way.
He instructed jurors on how to evaluate Dellums.
"You're looking at a man who had a long and distinguished public life and was involved in progressive issues and women's issues," he said.
Shwarts said Edgerly's "attacks on Mayor Dellums are shameful and she wants you to substitute her reputation for his."
After the jury's verdict was announced, Shwarts said its quick decision showed that "there was nothing much to debate" because Edgerly hadn't met her legal burden of proving that Dellums discriminated against her.
Shwarts said that under Oakland's form of government the city administrator serves at the pleasure of the mayor, and that Dellums fired Edgerly lawfully.
"There's no question his decision to replace her was justified and lawful," he said.
Scott said jurors never heard Edgerly's strongest claim that she was wrongfully terminated, because Alameda County Superior Court Judge John True didn't allow them to hear evidence about her claim that Dellums fired her in retaliation for her refusal to follow orders from him that would have violated the city charter.
Police Fatally Shot Fugitive In Antioch
Police fatally shot a 33-year-old fugitive in Antioch Monday night.
Officers responded to the report of a fugitive in the area of Lemontree Court who they say was wanted on two arrest warrants.
Officers confronted the fugitive in a carport at 2409 Lemontree Ct. at about 5:50 p.m. and discovered he was armed with a handgun.
Multiple officers fired their weapons at the Antioch resident after discovering he was armed, according to the Police Department. The man was pronounced dead at the home.
No officers were injured.
San Leandro Tattoo Party Shooting Suspect Charged With Murder
One of the suspects in a shooting in San Leandro after a tattoo party this month that left three people dead and three others wounded was charged Monday with three counts of murder and four counts of willful, premeditated and deliberate attempted murder.
Paul Arthur Stevenson III, a 20-year-old man who was arrested at his family's home in the 1900 block of 21st Avenue in Oakland early Thursday morning, also was charged with the special circumstance of committing multiple murders. He could face the death penalty if he's convicted.
The shooting took place the morning of Oct. 2 after a party at a warehouse at 2661 Alvarado St. near Aladdin Avenue.
Police say that after the party, two suspects shot at a green Ford Explorer containing seven people, striking six, three of whom died from their injuries. The other three victims have since been released from the hospital.
The seventh victim ran from the car after the incident, but police later located him.
Killed in the shooting were 16-year-old Leneasha Northington, 19-year-old Shanice Kiel and 23-year-old Joshua Alford.
San Leandro police estimated that about 200 people attended the party, most in their late teens or early 20s, and that the party was heavily promoted on social media sites like Facebook.
The party had ended by the time the shooting happened around 1:20 a.m., but there was still a large group of people in the parking lot, police said.
The city of San Leandro is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of a second suspect, who has only been described as a black male who wore dark clothing.
No motive has been determined.
Boy Shot In Mission District Monday Night
A 15-year-old boy was shot in the thigh in San Francisco's Mission District Monday night just before 10:30 p.m., a police officer said.
The shooting was reported in the 1700 block of 15th Street, Officer Albie Esparza said.
The suspects are described only as two male juveniles who were riding bicycles.
The boy was transported to a local hospital. The teen's injuries are not life threatening, Esparza said.
The motive for the shooting is not known.
Man Dressed In Medical Scrubs And Armed With Play Gun Shot By San Jose Police
A man dressed in medical scrubs and armed with a play gun who was shot by police at a San Jose hotel Sunday morning was identified by police Monday as 25-year-old Javier Gonzales-Guerrero.
Officers responded to reports of an armed man at the Extended Stay Hotel at 55 E. Brokaw Road at about 7:45 a.m., San Jose police Officer Jose Garcia said.
Gonzales-Guerrero allegedly reached for a gun in his waistband after not responding to officers who were trying to talk to him. He was shot multiple times and was taken to a hospital, where he remained Monday nights.
Gonzales-Guerrero, who was believed to be intoxicated at the time of the shooting, was allegedly armed with a replica gun, police said.
No officers were injured. The officers involved in the shooting have been placed on routine paid administrative leave.
It was the city's seventh officer-involved shooting of 2011.
CHP Still Investigating Highway 101 Death Of 25-Year-Old Man
The California Highway Patrol is still investigating the death of a 25-year-old man who was struck and killed when he walked into traffic on U.S. Highway 101 in San Mateo on Sunday morning.
Officers responded to reports of a collision involving a pedestrian on southbound Highway 101 just north of Third Street at about 4:25 a.m., CHP Officer Scott Niemeth said.
Amarildo Vasquez, of San Mateo, had been walking north on the right shoulder when, for unknown reasons, he wandered into oncoming traffic.
Vasquez was wearing dark clothing at the time, and was struck by a Honda CRV, Niemeth said.
He was pronounced dead at the scene.
The driver of the Honda stopped and cooperated with investigators, Niemeth said.
It has not been determined if drugs or alcohol played a role in the crash.
Hells Angels Motorcyclist Killed In San Leandro Collission Identified
A Hells Angels motorcyclist who was killed in a collision with an East Bay Paratransit driver Saturday in San Leandro was identified Monday as 51-year-old George Lopez Jr. of Stockton.
The paratransit driver, 31-year-old Eddie Hall of Oakland, was arrested on suspicion of felony hit-and-run and murder after the collision on eastbound Interstate Highway 580 in San Leandro about 4 p.m.
Alameda County District Attorney spokeswoman Teresa Drenick said authorities are still reviewing the case and no charges have been filed against Hall.
California Highway Patrol Sgt. Trent Cross said it appears the crash followed an altercation between Hall and Lopez.
Hall had been traveling in a group with seven or eight other motorcyclists, according to San Leandro police Sgt. Doug Calcagno.
The Paratransit van struck Lopez and his motorcycle was dragged under the van for several miles before the van pulled over just east of the 150th Avenue on-ramp, Calcagno said.
After Hall pulled over to the shoulder, he attempted to flee and was arrested by Alameda County sheriff's deputies, San Leandro police said.
Lopez was treated by Alameda County Fire Department personnel and then transported to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead shortly after arriving.
Calcagno said police don't think the collision was an accident but it's unclear what the motive may have been.
Monterey County SPCA Rescued Four Horses
SPCA for Monterey County humane officers have rescued four neglected horses in Castroville, a spokeswoman for the organization said Monday.
When SPCA investigators arrived at the property on Long Valley Road near Elkhorn Road in Castroville for a routine investigation last Thursday, they found three mares and one foal requiring immediate veterinary care and seized the animals, spokeswoman Beth Brookhouser said.
The horses were emaciated and riddled with numerous health problems -- the mares are suffering from heart murmurs, prolapsed vaginas, teeth in poor condition and hoof problems - and the foal had an umbilical hernia, among other issues.
The SPCA first met with the owners in March after receiving a report of skinny horses on the property, and attempted to educate them and provide resources to help them give the horses the appropriate veterinary care, Brookhouser said.
But during the last in a series of visits to the property, investigators quickly realized Thursday that the animals were in dire need of veterinary attention.
The animals are receiving veterinary care, food and water at the SPCA's barn in Salinas, and staff members are hopeful the horses will improve enough to be adopted.
Historic Bell Reported Stolen From St. Mary's Cathedral Garden
A historic bell was reported stolen from the garden at St. Mary's Cathedral in San Francisco on Sunday morning, police said.
The copper bell, which is about 4 feet tall, 5 feet wide and weighs several thousand pounds, was reported stolen by the manager of the church, located at 1111 Gough St., police spokesman Officer Albie Esparza said.
The bell is a "priceless artifact," police Inspector Brian Danker said.
It was made in 1889 at a Baltimore foundry and shipped to San Francisco, where it survived the 1906 earthquake, as well as a fire that burned down the original St. Mary's Cathedral on Van Ness Avenue in the 1960s, Danker said.
Property of the Archdiocese of San Francisco, the bell was moved in 1971 to the church's new location, where it was put on display in the garden. Church officials had planned to hang it in the cathedral again but could never get the funding to do so, he said.
Although the theft was reported on Sunday, "nobody can swear on a stack of Bibles when they can last remember seeing it," Danker said.
Investigators are searching for surveillance video that may have captured the theft, and are looking into whether the stolen bell is connected to other recent copper theft cases, including one at the nearby intersection of Gough and Turk streets where more than $25,000 in copper wiring was taken, Danker said.
Police are also notifying local junkyards and recycling centers where the bell could potentially turn up, he said.
Danker said the church is offering a "substantial" reward for the bell's return.
"We're just concerned about getting the artifact back," he said. "It's not right."
East Coast Businessman Robbed At Gunpoint At Motel 6 In Belmont
An East Coast businessman was robbed at gunpoint at a Motel 6 in Belmont Monday morning, police said.
Officers responded to a reported robbery at 1101 Shoreway Road at about 8:45 a.m., according to the Belmont Police Department.
A man traveling on business had apparently arranged a meeting in his hotel room with a woman, who was later described as an Asian woman in her late 20s to early 30s, police said.
Investigators said that while the woman was in the room, two suspects came to the door and confronted the victim.
One of the suspects, an Asian woman wearing a hooded jacket and a blue bandana, was carrying a small handgun, police said. The second suspect was an Asian man in his 20s.
The armed woman demanded that the victim hand over his laptop and camera.
The victim refused and attempted to take the gun from the suspect, police said.
A struggle ensued, during which the gun discharged and the victim was punched in the face several times, police said.
No one appeared to have been hit by gunfire, police said.
The three suspects fled with the victim's camera and laptop.
Responding officers searched the area and did not find the suspects.
Disgruntled Concord Resident Shot At Supervisor
A Concord resident and apparent disgruntled employee who shot at his supervisor and at his neighbor's home last week was charged Monday with eight felony counts including attempted murder, authorities said.
Doran Long Jr., 50, was charged with three counts of attempted murder, two counts of shooting into an inhabited building and three counts of shooting at unoccupied vehicles, Contra Costa County Deputy District Attorney Brian Baker said.
If convicted on all eight counts, Long could face a maximum sentence of life in prison, Baker said.
District attorney's office personnel were not able to confirm whether the defendant appeared in court Monday.
Authorities said Long had shot several rounds into his neighbor's home in Concord on Wednesday, narrowly missing a 9-year-old, before shooting up three unoccupied cars in front of the home.
Police said he then drove to the Richmond apartment complex, where he worked as a security guard, and shot multiple times at his supervisor, Chester Dancer. He is expected to survive his injuries.
The suspect fled the area in a red Toyota pickup with three guns in tow, prompting a multiple-agency manhunt that led to his arrest early Thursday morning by El Dorado County sheriff's deputies.
Concord Police Searching For Suspected Restaurant Robber
Concord police are searching for a man suspected of robbing a restaurant at gunpoint during the weekend, a police lieutenant said.
Around 10:30 a.m. Saturday, an armed man walked into Waikiki Hawaiian Barbecue on 1680 Willow Pass Road through an unlocked back entrance and demanded cash from a female restaurant employee who was preparing for lunch service, Lt. Steve Dyer said.
He stole a necklace from the employee, but no cash, before firing a single shot inside the restaurant and fleeing. No one was injured, Dyer said.
The suspect is described as an Asian man, who is about 6 feet tall with slim build. He was wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt during the robbery.
Police have yet to track down leads on the suspect, and said he was unknown to the restaurant employee.
Federal Appeals Court Announced It Will Hear Prop 8 Arguments
A federal appeals court announced Monday it will hear arguments in San Francisco in early December on whether to unseal a video recording of last year's trial on Proposition 8.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals also ordered the recording remain sealed until then.
The order extends a previous short-term stay in which the appeals court temporarily blocked a lower court ruling mandating public release of the video.
Proposition 8 bans same-sex marriage in California and was approved by state voters in 2008.
Sponsors of the measure are appealing a decision in which U.S. District Judge James Ware ruled in September that the video, as part of the trial record, should be made public.
In the trial, now-retired U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker said Proposition 8 violates the federal Constitution's guarantees of equal treatment and due process. He ruled in a lawsuit filed by two same-sex couples.
That decision is also being appealed by the supporters of Proposition 8 and has also been put on hold during the appeal process.
The video of the trial was originally intended by Walker for possible delayed broadcasting on a YouTube government channel, but that plan was blocked by the U.S. Supreme Court.
The sponsors of Proposition 8 contend that unsealing the tape could lead to harassment of witnesses and could possibly deter people from testifying in future trials.
Lawyers for the couples who challenged the measure and for a coalition of media organizations argue that releasing the recording is in the public interest. Ware agreed in a Sept. 19 decision.
In Monday's order, a three-judge panel of the appeals court said it will expedite its consideration of the video appeal and will hear an hour of arguments during the week of Dec. 5.
The panel also set a briefing schedule, with principal briefs from both sides due by Nov. 14 and reply briefs by Nov. 28.
Written transcripts of the 12 days of trial testimony and one day of closing arguments have already been made public, and gay marriage supporters have posted a video re-enactment of the trial on the Internet.
Santa Cruz Police Investigating Gang-Related Stabbing
Santa Cruz police are investigating a gang-related stabbing Sunday night that left a 26-year-old man seriously wounded.
The stabbing occurred at about 10:10 p.m. in the 100 block of Bixby Street, police said.
Witnesses told officers the victim was backing his car out of a driveway when a man approached him, made some kind of a gang statement and then stabbed him through the driver's side window, according to police.
The suspect then fled on foot toward San Lorenzo Boulevard.
Officers and a police dog searched the area for the suspect but could not find him.
The victim was taken to a hospital with multiple stab wounds to his hand and chest, police said. He was alert, but was in serious condition.
The victim told investigators he did not know his attacker.
The suspect is described as a man in his late teens to mid-20s. He was around 5 feet 7 inches tall and had a medium build, and was wearing black pants, a black shirt, a black hat, and white shoes.
San Francisco Bay Area Weather Forecast
Mostly cloudy skies are expected in the Bay Area today. Highs are likely to be in the lower 60s.
Partly cloudy skies are likely this evening, becoming mostly clear later in the night. Lows are expected to be in the mid 50s.
Sunny skies are expected Wednesday. Highs are expected to be in the high 60s.
Sign up for our weekly newsletter and join the conversation on Facebook.
Check out some of our newest Blogs:
Universal Internet Access for All San Franciscans
Why is San Francisco So Dirty?
SFPark – The iPhone App for Smart Parking in San Francisco
Food Truck Rodeo Review – Off the Grid