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Stories by Brad Racino

San Diego Judge Warns Attorney Briggs About Possible Criminal Prosecution

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Judge Gregory Pollack said attorney Cory Briggs knew the nonprofit he represented in litigation over the San Diego Convention Center expansion had been suspended by the state. “Mr. Briggs may be in a whole heap of trouble,” Pollack said.

Nonprofits Linked To San Diego Attorney Cory Briggs Flout State, Federal Laws

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For years, the well-known environmental attorney has collected attorney fees and settlements on behalf of a network of charitable, nonprofit organizations he helped form. In many cases, the nonprofits repeatedly and persistently violated state and federal laws.

Briggs Withdraws Subpoena Against Inewsource

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Cory Briggs, a San Diego attorney at the center of an inewsource investigation, has withdrawn a subpoena he served on inewsource’s executive director in April.

Cory Briggs Gets Paid In Sunroad Debacle; No Money Yet To San Diego For Land

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The settlement between Sunroad and Briggs called for a $10,000 donation to the city of San Diego in addition to a second payment based on the value of an appraisal. So far, no appraisal has been done.

Briggs-Related Nonprofit Sues inewsource, SDSU

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San Diego attorney Cory Briggs has been the subject of a recent series of investigative stories by inewsource. A nonprofit Briggs is associated with has now sued inewsource and its executive director, as well as San Diego State University.

Second Lawsuit Involving San Diego Attorney Briggs Raises Conflict Issues

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An inewsource report shows that attorney Cory Briggs’ personal and professional partner played a key role in an environmental review of a project near the Mexican border. Briggs eventually sued the city of San Diego and a private developer over the project on environmental grounds.

San Diego Gets $143K Settlement In Briggs-Cacciatore Conflict

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The City Council unanimously approved the settlement with La Mesa-based Helix Environmental Planning, which employed attorney Cory Briggs’ significant other. She also was a vice president in Briggs’ firm when he sued the city over a project Helix had worked on.

Briggs Lawsuit, Land Deal End Badly For Family

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Legal and real estate experts question San Diego attorney Cory Briggs' actions in a lawsuit and real estate transaction involving a family in San Bernardino County.

More Contradictions Found In Briggs-Cacciatore Land Records

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San Diego attorney Cory Briggs and his personal and professional partner, Sarichia Cacciatore, have signed contradictory documents about where they live and their relationship — potential felonies according to a prosecutor and mortgage fraud experts.

Helix Environmental: San Diego Attorney's Wife Did Not Disclose Role In His Firm

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The environmental consulting firm that employed attorney Cory Briggs’ wife added another layer to the conflict-of-interest inquiry surrounding the couple, saying it did not know she had a position in Briggs’ law firm.

Contested Transcript Of San Diego Attorney Cory Briggs’ Wife Released

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The lawyer for Cory Briggs’ wife released the document Monday, saying she had no objection. It shows she was associated with her husband’s law firm for the past 20 years while also working for a consulting firm that did business with local governments he sued.

Briggs Opposes San Diego City Attorney’s Move To Unseal Transcript

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A Superior Court judge said he will rule next week on whether to lift a protective order so City Attorney Jan Goldsmith can fulfill an inewsource public records request for documents involving attorney Cory Briggs and his wife.

Document Links Cory Briggs' Wife To His San Diego Law Business

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New documents provided Wednesday to inewsource say the wife of a well-known environmental lawyer was vice president of his law firm at the same time she worked on projects for government agencies he was suing.

San Diego Attorney’s Environmental Lawsuits Could Be Tainted By Conflict Of Interest

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The wife of lawyer Cory Briggs, who sues local, state and federal government agencies over environmental violations, held a key position in a La Mesa company on the other side of his litigation. The potential conflict of interest and its effect on the taxpayers has not been publicly known.

San Diego Attorney Cory Briggs’ Land Deals Raise Ethical, Legal Questions

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A San Diego lawyer who has built a reputation on fighting for the environment and against government abuse runs a business that runs contrary to his public interest persona.

California Gets New Government Accountability Laws

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A crusade by Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia got the ethics laws passed to make it easier for the public to hold politicians and government officials accountable, but the measures did get watered down to win approval.

USA Vs. $9,000 In Currency — A Lawsuit Over Drug Money In San Diego County

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The lawsuit stems from a formal complaint U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy filed related to the federal asset forfeiture program. The complaint isn't against someone — it's against the money itself.

San Diego Agencies Cash In On Drug Money, Assets

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A federal program allowing police to seize money and assets related to drug trafficking has been good to San Diego County’s cops and prosecutors, providing nearly $30 million to their agencies between 2007 and 2014.

San Diego Police Sued For Withholding Spy Technology Records

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The San Diego Police Department purchased high-tech surveillance devices called Stingrays that indiscriminately gather large amounts of cellphone data in order to locate a target.

Judge To Decide If NCTD Documents Will Be Made Public

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“The Rady documents” detail the strengths and weaknesses of more than a dozen senior managers at the North County public transit agency. KPBS media partner inewsource has sued for their release.

Staff Turnover Costs At North County Transit Higher Than Reported

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Turns out, those NCTD severance payouts were even higher than KPBS media partner inewsource first calculated.

Secret Summit: 24 Hours With The Koch Brothers

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Over the weekend and into Monday, the billionaire Koch brothers and supporters converged on the St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort in Dana Point.

Managers Continue To Leave North County Transit District, Severance Adds Up

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The turnover has cost NCTD nearly $300,000 since January.

County Supervisor Horn's Response To Basic Faith story; inewsource's Response Back

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The San Diego County supervisor's lawyer sent a letter to inewsource after its story "Bill Horn's Basic Faith" ran, and the online news website has responded.

Bill Horn's Basic Faith

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San Diego County Supervisor Bill Horn ran a religious charity for decades. Experts say the operation ran counter to state and federal laws.

Emails Show NCTD Changed Paperwork After Info Request

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The North County Transit District paid $31,200 for a study on its leadership without seeking competitive bids, then changed paperwork and attempted to backdate a new contract after inewsource asked for the documentation.

North County Transit District Sued To Release Records

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KPBS media partner inewsource has sued North County Transit District to compel the agency to release documents the investigative news reporting nonprofit considers public.

What You Can Find Out About A Person At Assessor/Recorder’s Office

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To get to know a person — really know a person — just take a trip to the San Diego County Assessor and Recorder’s office in downtown San Diego.

Why Is It So Hard To Catch Illegal Campaign Contributions?

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At the root of San Diego’s recent campaign finance scandal lies the topic of outside donations, and the illegality of foreign money used to influence stateside elections.

Unraveling A Scandal, Part Two

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We’ve updated the story to show the second half of the investigation — how we figured out the second candidate, the extent of the foreign national’s network, and more.

How To Uncover A Scandal From Your Couch

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A how-to guide for unraveling San Diego campaign finance scandal involving a straw donor, a "foreign national" and local politicians.

San Diego Campaign Finance Scandal: Tracing The Donations

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inewsource has been digging deep to find new donations related to a federal investigation into illegal campaign contributions.

MTS Buses, Trolleys And Stations Tapped By An $18 Million Surveillance Network

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inewsource examined the extent of surveillance throughout San Diego’s public transportation network, along with the implications for privacy.

Following Up: Can Twitter Predict Elections?

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Given the rapid growth in social networking both in the U.S. and worldwide, it’s no surprise researchers and academics are crunching data by the ton, looking for the next big breakthrough in cheap, up-to-the-minute public polling.

Social Media Analysis And The San Diego Mayor's Race

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To better predict San Diego’s upcoming mayoral election, a professor at San Diego State University has tapped into the seediest and most vile underbelly of American politics.

The Third Retraction Demand From North County Transit District, And Our Response

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For the third time, the North County Transit District has sent inewsource and KPBS a retraction demand in response to a story. For the third time, we have responded.

"War On Women Over 40": Lawsuit Claims Age, Gender Bias At NCTD

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A lawsuit recently filed by a former North County Transit District employee alleges age and gender-based discrimination within the agency, and points the finger at NCTD's chief executive officer, Matthew Tucker.

Crisis Management 101: "The Unfortunate Truth"

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In light of Mayor Filner's current crisis, inewsource sat down for a Q&A with crisis management experts for an introductory lesson in how these things are handled behind the scenes.

NCTD To Change Email Retention Policy From 2 Years To 60 Days

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The North County Transit District is considering a policy change that would direct employees to delete certain emails after 60 days.

FTA Looking Into North County Transit District

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This afternoon, the Federal Transit Administration — the federal agency that grants transportation agencies money and oversees how that money is spent — confirmed it is now actively looking into San Diego’s North County Transit District (NCTD).

Audit: NCTD Contract Monitoring “Inefficient" And "Ineffective”

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An audit of the North County Transit District identified 19 deficiencies. In this ongoing series, inewsource details the most noteworthy.

Auditor Finds Major Deficiencies In NCTD's Contracts Department

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A scathing audit of NCTD's Contracts Department finds deficiencies throughout 19 areas. An LA transportation board chair weighs in on the report.

inewsource Responds To NCTD

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For the second time in less than a month, NCTD has sent inewsource and KPBS a letter demanding retractions. We have responded.

Transit Agency’s Revolving Door Costs Big, Causes Turmoil

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Twenty-one of the agency's top 25 positions have turned over since 2009 when Executive Director Matthew Tucker arrived. Some of the positions revolved as many as five times in three years.

North County Rail And Bus Service Suffers Without Contract Oversight

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In its ongoing investigation of the North County Transit District, inewsource has found that decisions made at the top have had serious consequences on the ground.

SPRINTER Funds Used For Buses — And Studies

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North County Transit District's Capital Improvement budgets show funding for the SPRINTER was set aside in 2012 -- and cut this year.

Universal Executives See Different Agency Reactions To Investigation

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Executives from Universal Protection Service watched last week as San Diego's transit agencies reacted to a recent KPBS & inewsource investigation.

Audit Confirms Questions About Transit Cop Training

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An audit, prompted by an inewsource and KPBS investigation, raises questions about transit security.

Transit Cop Quits Over Security Concerns

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Security guards who patrol San Diego’s train stations and trolleys say their concerns about safety are being ignored by their employer.

Emails And Interviews Offer Insight Into SPRINTER Shutdown

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The brake problems were known to some employees as far back as 2009 -- just one year after the SPRINTER began service.

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