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Roundtable: Courts Get Cut, Teachers Stay Employed, Kreep Becomes Judge

Evening Edition

Mark Sauer, senior news editor at KPBS, and U-T San Diego reporter Greg Moran talk to KPBS about the week's news.

Aired 6/22/12 on KPBS Midday Edition.


Greg Moran, UT San Diego

Kyla Calvert, Education Reporter, KPBS News

Dave Maass, San Diego CityBeat


SD Courts Get Whacked: The budget for San Diego County Superior Court will be cut by 21 percent next year. The cuts open questions about public safety and access to justice in San Diego County.

The list of closures and cuts for FY 2013 is startling:

--Ten courtrooms will close, including six criminal courtrooms downtown.

--Probate court and a juvenile dependency court in Vista will close and cases will be transferred downtown.

--The system will layoff 75 personnel this year and another 90 in FY 2014.

--Business offices will close to the public every Friday at noon.

--The court will no longer provide court reporters for civil cases; litigants must pay to have transcripts made themselves.

--Employees must take two furlough days a month.

More drastic cuts are expected for FY 2014.

No judges will lose their jobs or salaries, which are constitutionally protected.

SDUSD, Teachers' Union Reach Agreement: Most of the 1,500 planned layoffs at the San Diego Unified School District have been prevented by the tentative agreement reached this week by the school board and the San Diego Education Association, the teachers’ union.

The deal calls for teachers to defer a 7 percent planned raise next year and to extend the district’s five furlough days for two more years.

SDEA President Bill Freeman told KPBS that the teachers chose to give up what they don’t yet have in order for others to keep what they do have.

The agreement was also notable because it took so long for the teachers to engage in talks and because of a board member's call to the district to declare insolvency.

Kreep Elected Judge: Gary Kreep, an attorney who doesn’t believe President Obama is a U.S. citizen, was elected to a judgeship in San Diego County Superior Court.

With almost all outstanding votes counted, Kreep maintained an insurmountable lead this week.

The San Diego County Bar Association declared Kreep unqualified for the position. To some, Kreep's election raises questions about how much the public knows about judicial candidates, whether the press was asleep at the wheel, whether judges should be elected at all and what difference judges’ personal beliefs should make to their qualifications for office.

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Avatar for user 'citydweller'

citydweller | June 22, 2012 at 1:51 p.m. ― 4 years, 8 months ago

Re: Kreep election

On first reading of the ballot information, I saw that Mr. Kreep is a Constitutional Lawyer and Mr. Peed a public prosecutor. Given my views that the criminal law system has been rigged against the accused, this inclined me to favor Kreep.

It was only when I did some quick internet research that I realized that Mr. Kreep's values were antithetical to my own. Happily, that was before I'd cast my ballot.

To be fair, expertise in Constitutional matters is also claimed by President Obama, whose own record in ordering assassinations is less than encouraging.

Judicial ethics severely circumscribes what candidates for judicial office can say about themselves and precludes them from saying anything about their opponents. Perhaps this is where the organizations created by Citizens United have a useful role to play.

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Avatar for user 'dialyn'

dialyn | June 23, 2012 at 3:45 p.m. ― 4 years, 8 months ago

Maybe if people wouldn't limit themselves to Google as a search engine, they would find more information about iffy candidates. Google has tainted results, at best. It didn't take much research for me to find that Kreep did not have real qualifications for the job. Now we're stuck with him. Good job, San Diego.

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | June 24, 2012 at 12:12 p.m. ― 4 years, 8 months ago

We are all to blame for the absurd Mr. Kreep being elected.

It's easy to say after the fact that voters should have known, but it's hard for people with jobs and lives to keep up with every person on the ballot.

I researched the mayoral race and prop 29 much more than others I know who go into the booth with barely any knowledge, yet I too was ignorant of this particular judicial race.

Never again.

I am going to thoroughly research every judicial candidate from this point forwards, and when someone with a disturbing past like Mr. Kreep surfaces I am going to take to the blogs and call and write the media outlets to report on it.

Let's be honest here, Kreep caught us **all** off guard.

It's not the media's fault alone, it's not the voter's fault alone, it's not every Kreep's fault - I mean afterall he isn't exactly shy about his outrageous, racist, ridiculous, fringe beliefs. It's **all** of our faults this man is now going to be making decisions that affect people's lives. It's a **system-wide failure** and all we can do is learn from it so the next Mr. Kreep does not see victory!!

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