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Stories by Amita Sharma

San Diego Lifeguard Union Leader Sues City Alleging Retaliation By ...

San Diego Lifeguard Union Leader Sues City Alleging Retaliation By Fire Chief

July 18
By Amita Sharma

Ed Harris said he was threatened with a formal reprimand and investigated three times after he was critical of Fire Chief Brian Fennessy's push to have firefighters handle water-related emergencies.

California State Bill Would Ease Burden Of Traffic Ticket Fines On ...

California State Bill Would Ease Burden Of Traffic Ticket Fines On The Poor

July 13
By Amita Sharma

State lawmakers are reviewing SB 185, which would allow judges to reduce ticket fines up to 80 percent based on a person’s income.

San Diego Police Lt. Carole Beason Talks About Violence Against Peo...

San Diego Police Lt. Carole Beason Talks About Violence Against People Who Are Homeless

July 12
By Amita Sharma

California led the nation in 2016 in attacks against people who are homeless, and San Diego accounted for 5 percent of those assaults, according to the National Coalition for the Homeless.

Invisible But In Danger: San Diego’s Homeless Are Targets For Attacks

Invisible But In Danger: San Diego’s Homeless Are Targets For Attacks

July 11
By Amita Sharma

California led the nation last year in attacks against people who are homeless, and San Diego accounted for five percent of those assaults, according to the National Coalition for the Homeless.

California Attorney General's Office Faces Scrutiny Over San Onofre...

California Attorney General's Office Faces Scrutiny Over San Onofre Inquiry

June 27
By Amita Sharma

Questions are again being raised about the California Attorney General’s investigation of how consumers were left with a $3.3 billion bill for the closure of the San Onofre Nuclear Generation Station.

Nuclear Expert Slams Edison's San Onofre Nuclear Waste Storage Plan

Nuclear Expert Slams Edison's San Onofre Nuclear Waste Storage Plan

June 27
By Amita Sharma

Environmental expert Tom English calls the plan "ridiculous" and contends it makes the storage site at the shuttered plant vulnerable to terrorism.

Bid To Learn Why Former US Attorney Duffy Was Recused From Azano Ca...

Bid To Learn Why Former US Attorney Duffy Was Recused From Azano Case Fails

June 2
By Amita Sharma

A federal judge has refused a defense request to release information on why former U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy recused herself from the illegal campaign-giving case against Mexican businessman Jose Susumo Azano Matsura.

Rising Seas Could Swamp The Shuttered San Onofre Nuclear Plant By N...

Rising Seas Could Swamp The Shuttered San Onofre Nuclear Plant By Next Century

May 31
By Amita Sharma

The plant’s majority owner, Southern California Edison, does not believe it should have to worry about rising sea levels beyond a couple of decades from now, even though millions of pounds of waste might still be stored at the site.

Coastal Commission Met Privately With Edison A Year Before Public S...

Coastal Commission Met Privately With Edison A Year Before Public San Onofre Waste Storage Vote

May 30
By Amita Sharma

Documents reveal Edison representatives met with Coastal Commission staff at least three times and traded scores of emails more than a year ahead of a public vote on where to store radioactive waste from the shuttered nuclear plant.

Former Prosecutor Seeks Interim DA Post And Promises Not To Run For...

Former Prosecutor Seeks Interim DA Post And Promises Not To Run For The Job Next Year

May 1
By Amita Sharma

Adam Gordon is asking other interim applicants to also promise not to pursue the office in next year's district attorney's race.

 Customers May Never Know How They Got Stuck with $3.3 Billion Bill...

Customers May Never Know How They Got Stuck with $3.3 Billion Bill For San Onofre Shutdown

April 27
By Amita Sharma

The California Public Utilities Commission once again refuses to release scores of emails it exchanged with Governor Jerry Brown’s office over the plant’s closure.

San Diego District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis To Step Down In July

San Diego District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis To Step Down In July

April 20
By Amita Sharma

San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis announced Thursday she is resigning in July. The district attorney said she is being encouraged to run for the San Diego County Board of Supervisors.

Azano's Lawyer Wants New Trial In Campaign Corruption Case Citing P...

Azano's Lawyer Wants New Trial In Campaign Corruption Case Citing Prior Defense Incompetence

April 20
By Amita Sharma

Defense lawyer Knut Johnson said Jose Susumo Azano Matsura's previous attorney never used the only defense available, which was that the businessman was ignorant of U.S. campaign law.

New Documents Show San Diego DA And Former US Attorney Texted About...

New Documents Show San Diego DA And Former US Attorney Texted About Azano Case Despite Recusal

April 18
By Amita Sharma

Former U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy and District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis exchanged texts and a phone call that referenced the trial of a Mexican billionaire even though Duffy was recused from the case and Dumanis was a witness in the trial.

Parties In Challenge To Nuclear Waste Storage At San Onofre Headed ...

Parties In Challenge To Nuclear Waste Storage At San Onofre Headed Into Settlement Talks

April 7
By Amita Sharma

Next week's trial to determine the legality of a plan to store 3.6 million pounds of deadly waste from the shuttered San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station near the sea has been postponed to enter settlement talks.

Trump Presidency Inspires Reactivation Of San Diego Black Panther P...

Trump Presidency Inspires Reactivation Of San Diego Black Panther Party

March 23
By Amita Sharma

The group says police practices are also a factor in the resurrection of the party.

History Of San Diego's Black Panther Party Marked By Social Work An...

History Of San Diego's Black Panther Party Marked By Social Work And Police Clashes

March 22
By Amita Sharma

While San Diego State University was the birthplace of the local Black Panther Party 50 years ago, the group was conceived several miles south where most of the city’s African-Americans lived.

Attorney General Xavier Becerra Sides With Edison And Coastal Commi...

Attorney General Xavier Becerra Sides With Edison And Coastal Commission To Store Nuclear Waste At San Onofre

March 7
By Amita Sharma

Becerra said in court papers that the commission's permit to allow the deadly waste to be stored at the shuttered nuclear plant is consistent with California Coastal Act.

 Collection Agency Persists In Recouping Debt Despite Mistake

Collection Agency Persists In Recouping Debt Despite Mistake

March 3
By Amita Sharma

A Chula Vista man could not get AllianceOne to stop harassing him for unpaid tickets in a case of mistaken identity.

Lawyer Alleges San Diego Traffic Court Collection Agency Shakes Dow...

Lawyer Alleges San Diego Traffic Court Collection Agency Shakes Down Poor

Jan. 31
By Amita Sharma

Californians overwhelmed by unpaid traffic tickets have two months left to apply for amnesty intended to offer impoverished drivers a path out of mounting fines and suspended driver’s licenses, but there are complaints over the county’s operation of the program.

Lawyer Calls Traffic Fines Punishment Of The Poor

Lawyer Calls Traffic Fines Punishment Of The Poor

Jan. 30
By Amita Sharma

The age of debtor’s prisons may be over. But some say punishing the have-nots is not. They say the cost of being poor in one San Diego County traffic court may be getting expensive.

Could Consumers Be Off The Hook For San Onofre Shutdown Costs?

Could Consumers Be Off The Hook For San Onofre Shutdown Costs?

Jan. 10
By Amita Sharma

San Onofre will be in the news again in upcoming weeks following an order by state regulators to the plant’s owners to carefully consider changing a settlement that handed customers a multi-billion dollar bill for the nuclear power facility's closure.

Q&A: An El Cajon Activist On Counseling Women Who Escaped From ISIS

Q&A: An El Cajon Activist On Counseling Women Who Escaped From ISIS

Dec. 15
By Amita Sharma

Dilkhwaz Ahmed runs a local nonprofit group for domestic violence victims. She has traveled to Iraq several times over the last two years to counsel Yazidi women who have fled from ISIS.

Prosecutors Want To Retry Azano On Gun Count

Prosecutors Want To Retry Azano On Gun Count

Dec. 1
By Amita Sharma

The jury deadlocked in September on whether Jose Susumo Azano Matsura illegally possessed a gun, and the judge declared a mistrial.

Authorities Look To San Diego Hotels For Help In Fight Against Sex ...

Authorities Look To San Diego Hotels For Help In Fight Against Sex Trafficking

Nov. 21
By Amita Sharma

Law enforcement agencies believe the region's hotels and motels can help battle the sex trade business by ensuring their staff are trained in detecting and responding to signs of trafficking.

MTS Lawsuit Over Doorway Creates Hassle For San Ysidro Passengers

MTS Lawsuit Over Doorway Creates Hassle For San Ysidro Passengers

Oct. 25
By Amita Sharma

The dispute has triggered accusations of racism and raised questions about how a public agency is using its land, clout and money.

San Diego's Measure E: A Post-Filner Way To Boot Politicians

San Diego's Measure E: A Post-Filner Way To Boot Politicians

Oct. 3
By Amita Sharma

Next month's ballot measure creates procedures for removing officials from office.

Consumer Advocates Hope Audit Sparks Ballot Initiative To Reform Ut...

Consumer Advocates Hope Audit Sparks Ballot Initiative To Reform Utilities

Sept. 26
By Amita Sharma

California's state auditor says the PUC hasn't fully disclosed secret communications between the regulator and outside parties — among other problems.

Conflicting Poll Numbers In California's U.S. Senate Race

Conflicting Poll Numbers In California's U.S. Senate Race

Sept. 22
By Amita Sharma

Attorney General Kamala Harris boosts her lead over Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez in the new Field Poll, but the lead shrinks in the latest survey from the Public Policy Institute of California.

Two Dozen Donors In Dumanis' Mayoral Run Linked To Key Figure In Az...

Two Dozen Donors In Dumanis' Mayoral Run Linked To Key Figure In Azano Case

Sept. 19
By Amita Sharma

The donors are tied to former San Diego Police Det. Ernie Encinas, who was scheduled to be sentenced Monday in connection with the campaign finance scandal involving Mexican businessman Jose Susumo Azano Matsura.

Mexican Tycoon Convicted Of Illegally Pumping Money Into San Diego ...

Mexican Tycoon Convicted Of Illegally Pumping Money Into San Diego Campaigns

Sept. 9
By Amita Sharma

Jose Susumo Azano Matsura was convicted on more than 30 counts. The jury also found two others — social media services expert Ravneet Singh, and Azano’s son Edward Susumo Azano Hester guilty on several counts. The jury found lobbyist Marco Polo Cortes not guilty.

U.S. Senate Candidate Sanchez Criticizes Opponent Harris On San Ono...

U.S. Senate Candidate Sanchez Criticizes Opponent Harris On San Onofre Probe

Sept. 8
By Amita Sharma

Rep. Loretta Sanchez said Attorney General Kamala Harris has “failed” in her inquiry of the shutdown of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, and that’s why a federal investigation is needed.

U.S. Senate Candidates Can't Agree On Debate Schedule

U.S. Senate Candidates Can't Agree On Debate Schedule

Sept. 5
By Amita Sharma

California Attorney General Kamala Harris has signed on to two debates, while her opponent Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez wants four. But the two haven't agreed to the same debates.

Azano Case Goes To Jurors

Azano Case Goes To Jurors

Sept. 1
By Amita Sharma

The illegal campaign finance case of José Susumo Azano Matsura is now in the hands of a jury. The Mexican businessman is charged with illegally giving money to San Diego candidates in the 2012 mayoral race.

Key Question May Never Be Asked Even If Dumanis Testifies In Azano ...

Key Question May Never Be Asked Even If Dumanis Testifies In Azano Trial

Aug. 22
By Amita Sharma

Both the defense and the prosecution may benefit from never asking San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis what she knew of José Susumo Azano Matsura's immigration status.

Volume Of Dumanis Donors Linked To Mexican Businessman Renews Quest...

Volume Of Dumanis Donors Linked To Mexican Businessman Renews Questions About What DA Knew

Aug. 16
By Amita Sharma

A KPBS analysis of the money trail in San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis’ candidacy for mayor in 2012 shows the number of alleged illegal contributions was particularly high on a single day in 2011.

DA Bonnie Dumanis, Bob Filner Subpoenaed In Azano Trial

DA Bonnie Dumanis, Bob Filner Subpoenaed In Azano Trial

Aug. 10
By Amita Sharma, KPBS News

The attorney for José Susumo Azano Matsura said others he expects to subpoena in the political corruption trial include Rep. Juan Vargas, San Diego developer Douglas Manchester and San Diego Union-Tribune Publisher and Editor Jeff Light.

Witness Says Azano's San Diego Mayoral Campaign Donations For Duman...

Witness Says Azano's San Diego Mayoral Campaign Donations For Dumanis Seemed 'Fishy'

Aug. 4
By Amita Sharma

Mexican billionaire Jose Susumo Azano Matsura is accused of unlawfully channeling nearly $600,000 to San Diego candidates.

Reopening Of San Onofre Settlement Set For This Week

Reopening Of San Onofre Settlement Set For This Week

July 5
By Amita Sharma

The California Public Utilities Commission will take another look at the deal in light of revelations about a secret 2013 meeting where a Southern California Edison executive and Michael Peevey, then the head of the CPUC, discussed terms that nearly matched the final settlement.

Sen. Barbara Boxer On Gun Laws, San Onofre Investigation

Sen. Barbara Boxer On Gun Laws, San Onofre Investigation

June 27
By Amita Sharma

The retiring U.S. senator spoke to KPBS News about her colleagues' efforts to push for stricter gun laws, her call for a criminal investigation into the San Onofre nuclear power plant and her plans after a 24-year Senate career.

Watchdog Makes Emails From California Utility Officials Public

Watchdog Makes Emails From California Utility Officials Public

May 30
By Amita Sharma

A searchable website contains more than 100,000 emails and other records that detail the California Public Utilities Commission's dealings with state utility companies over issues such as the shutdown of San Onofre.

An Israeli And A Palestinian Dig Deeper Into Controversy At SDSU

An Israeli And A Palestinian Dig Deeper Into Controversy At SDSU

May 6
By Amita Sharma

Two experts weigh in on the explosive rhetoric about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on campuses such as SDSU, where tensions have boiled over in recent weeks.

Deadline Passes In Probe Of Secret San Onofre Deal

Deadline Passes In Probe Of Secret San Onofre Deal

April 29
By Amita Sharma

Customers may now have little recourse for accountability for how they were handed a $3.3 billion bill for the San Onofre nuclear power plant’s shutdown after a radiation leak in 2012.

Harris Questioned For Representing Gov. Brown During San Onofre Probe

Harris Questioned For Representing Gov. Brown During San Onofre Probe

April 15
By Amita Sharma

San Diego consumer lawyer Mike Aguirre has asked Gov. Jerry Brown’s office for records and communications related to San Onofre. But Attorney General Kamala Harris has notified Aguirre she is representing Brown’s office in the lawyer's request for documents under the California Public Records Act.

Critics Unhappy With Kamala Harris' Approach To San Onofre Probe

Critics Unhappy With Kamala Harris' Approach To San Onofre Probe

April 5
By Amita Sharma

Some consumer activists worry that California Attorney General Kamala Harris’ Democratic Party loyalties are influencing her office's criminal investigation into the 2013 closure of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station.

Kamala Harris’ Career Choice Inspired By Civil-Rights Icons

Kamala Harris’ Career Choice Inspired By Civil-Rights Icons

April 4
By Amita Sharma

The California attorney general and U.S. Senate front-runner credits the civil-rights activism of Thurgood Marshall and Constance Baker Motley, as well as that of her Indian mother and Jamaican father, for propelling her into a law career.

US Senate Race Shaping Up As A Harris-Sanchez Match

US Senate Race Shaping Up As A Harris-Sanchez Match

April 1
By Amita Sharma

Polls show Democrats Kamala Harris and Loretta Sanchez are almost certain to face off in November in the race to replace U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer. The top two vote-getters in the June election move forward, regardless of their party affiliation.

Former YMCA Executive Says Problems Remain At Organization

Former YMCA Executive Says Problems Remain At Organization

March 1
By Amita Sharma

Details of an inquiry last year into the operation of the YMCA of San Diego County found no illegal conduct at the organization. But the exit of a key executive may indicate the YMCA’s troubles remain.

Chavez Exit Could Boost GOP Shot At Runoff In U.S. Senate Race

Chavez Exit Could Boost GOP Shot At Runoff In U.S. Senate Race

Feb. 9
By Amita Sharma

One fewer Republican to compete against helps, but a political analyst says the party must rally around just one candidate in order to make it into the fall runoff.

New Judge In San Onofre Case Has Past Experience With San Diego Uti...

New Judge In San Onofre Case Has Past Experience With San Diego Utility Issues

Feb. 8
By Amita Sharma

The judge, who once allowed secret settlement talks and kept out evidence in a case over the 2007 wildfires, will likely hear arguments asking the California Public Utilities Commission to overturn the $4.7 billion San Onofre nuclear plant shutdown settlement.

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