City Attorney Ploy to ‘Slut Shame’ Woman Sexually Assaulted by Cop Backfires

by on February 4, 2014 · 10 comments

in Columns, Faulconer vs Alvarez, Gender, Government, Health, Media, Politics, The Starting Line

startinglinelogoBy Doug Porter

“Jane Doe” is one of thirteen women who sued the City of San Diego following the arrest of SDPD officer Anthony Arevalos for sexually assaulting women while on duty by threatening them with arrest. It was her courage in filing a complaint that triggered an investigation leading to an arrest of the officer.

Yesterday reporters with 10News revealed that taxpayer dollars, authorized by the City Attorney’s office, were used to hire a private investigator to follow and videotape Jane Doe over a 23 day period. The investigator’s report, uncovered during the discovery process, clearly indicates the intention to portray her as ‘wanton woman.’

Twelve of the victims have settled their lawsuits, with payouts totalling $2.3 million. Jane Doe has stood fast, even as City Attorney Jan Goldsmith has portrayed her in the news media as a gold digger.  The real issue at hand is the young woman’s demand that the city create an independent monitor at the San Diego Police Department to watch for corruption. She and her attorneys claim there were several reports and accusations Arevalos engaged in similar misconduct over a decade.

From the 10News report:

Private investigator reports to the City Attorney’s Office paint a vivid picture of a woman captured in seemingly normal situations, yet described as promiscuous and flirtatious.

One interaction documented in the reports said Doe was “kissing and hugging her boyfriend in public; attired in shorts and bending fully over … on several occasions.”

Watch the 10News video. She’s a young women engaging in normal day-to-day activities. Obviously the City Attorney’s office was hoping for something that would convince a jury that Jane Doe was some kind of despicable creature.

This fits right in with reprehensible practices used to discredit rape victims by defense attorneys. It’s called “slut shaming.” The intent is to make jurors (or judges, or the public) view the woman as an inferior being–less than human and undeserving of justice.

Several weeks ago public reaction forced the City Attorney’s office to back off from accusations made via legal documents that victim Jane Doe “bribed officer Arevalos with her panties” to avoid a drunk driving arrest. Those legal documents were filed specifically in response to the request for an independent monitor, according a report on CBS8.

Jan Goldsmith “expressed concern” to 10News about the video being leaked, saying it was “simply standard legal practice in a civil lawsuit” and (ta-da!) “his lawyers had not decided if they would use it in court.”

From 10 News:

“Some people think it’s insensitive,” Goldsmith said. “I can’t address that. That’s what practicing law is.

Send a Message, San Diego (My Rant)

jan goldsmithPerhaps it’s time to have a broader conversation of what “practicing law” at the City Attorney level in San Diego means. This is the same office that brought us “chalkgate.” This is the City Attorney who chose to defend the blatant lies of corporate interests instead of the City Council in the lawsuit about the petition drive to overturn the Barrio Logan Community Plan.

This is a City Attorney who is elected to protect the interests of citizens, but is choosing to hide behind a claim of prudently protecting taxpayers to draw attention away from a demand of more oversight of the police department. This is the City Attorney who’s defending the poor decisions made allowing a Jack-in-the-Box to run roughshod over the community of North Park.

He should resign. But I don’t think that’s in the cards. After all, Goldsmith is a politician at heart, and he’s had a full court press on to charm (I hear he’s very charming) the news media and distract the public from the -at best- questionable activities of his office.

It may be possible for him to fly under the radar and avoid scrutiny for some of his past mistakes. “Slut shaming” shouldn’t be viewed as mistake. It should be viewed as a conscious decision to oppress the aspirations of 51% of humanity. I don’t care what kind of “standard practice” he thinks it is. It’s wrong. For this action, he should pay a political price.

There is an “Recall Goldsmith” Facebook page generated in the aftermath of Chalkgate. Perhaps it needs a few more likes. Maybe we can get a Change.org petition drive to get the City Council to censure this man. Let him run for re-election with that on his record. He’s termed out. (h/t Will Brant )

Downtown Parties Are Free? Really?

FatTuesdayStreetParty-400x276The UT-San Diego Watchdog has dutifully asked both candidates running for mayor to share their tax returns. The good news is that both candidates are actually living on their City Council salaries. The interesting part has to do with what their wives do for a living.

David Alvarez’s wife works for Nativity Prep Academy, a San Diego Catholic, college-prep, middle school, bringing the total family income up to $95,000 for last year. I don’t see much danger of any conflict of interest there.

Kevin Faulconer’s wife brings home a lot more bacon (total family income $249,600 in 2012) running a small business that caters to restaurants, along with convention and meeting groups seeking to hold events small and large, and includes obtaining city permits for street closures for large celebrations.

The UT-San Diego story indicates it’s probably kosher:

Carl Luna, a political-science professor at San Diego Mesa College, said Stuart’s business interests pose no ethical problems in and of themselves.

“Unless there’s some overt evidence of quid-pro-quo or in trying to influence the politicians through a spouse, you usually don’t make much of the spouse’s personal business connections,” Luna said.

However, Matt Potter over at the Reader says there might be something seriously wrong with the whole system of staging downtown events.

In seeking to track down the reasoning behind the waiving of fees for a May 2009 corporate block party sponsored by the American Thoracic Society, Potter ended up talking with Katie Keach, communications chief for the office of interim mayor Todd Gloria.

She told him “The discretionary fee is negotiable. Although event organizers have historically paid similar negotiated amounts, there are not set amounts…no formal written document or policy providing guidance on the negotiations exist[s].”

Here’s the troubling part of the story:

Keach said that as a result of a citywide fee review ordered by the administration of mayor Bob Filner, the city is not currently collecting any negotiated revenue for street closings and corporate block parties, potentially costing city taxpayers millions of dollars in lost income.

Really? It took the iMayor mere minutes to rescind a controversial “Stop Work” order issued by Bob Filner about unauthorized construction at North Park’s Jack in the Box. In four months you’d think they’d be able to figure out something that could be done to preserve a significant income stream.

Guess What the House of Representatives is Working On…

facts-about-obamacare-smallerIf you guessed “trying once again to repeal Obamacare”, you’d be wrong. They’ve got TWO more bills in the hopper to add to the previous forty some-odd attempts.

The House Ways and Means Committee is meeting today to mark up two ObamaCare bills that could be heading to the House floor in the coming weeks. HR 2575, the Save American Workers Act has 192 Republican co-sponsors. HR 3979, the Protecting Volunteer Firefighters and Emergency Responders Act is being offered by Rep. Lou Barletta (R-Pa.) to save Amertica’s first responders from the Obamacare death squads that will surely come looking for them in the near future.

On This Day: 1789 – Electors unanimously chose George Washington to be the first president of the United States.  1997 – A civil jury in California found O.J. Simpson liable in the death of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman. Goldman’s parents were awarded $8.5 million in compensatory damages. 2001 – Jimmy Buffet was ordered by NBA referee Joe Forte to give up his courtside seat due to the use of profanity. After a several-minute delay, the game between the Miami Heat and the visiting New York Knicks continued.

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I read the Daily Fishwrap(s) so you don’t have to… Catch “the Starting Line” Monday thru Friday right here at San Diego Free Press (dot) org. Send your hate mail and ideas to DougPorter@SanDiegoFreePress.Org      Check us out on Facebook and Twitter.

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Doug Porter

Doug Porter was active in the early days of the alternative press in San Diego, contributing to the OB Liberator, the print version of the OB Rag, the San Diego Door, and the San Diego Street Journal. He went on to have a 35 year career in the Hospitality business and decided to go back into raising hell when he retired. He won awards for 'Daily Reporting and Writing: Opinion/Editorial' from the Society of Professional Journalists in 2013 and 2014. Doug is a cancer survivor (sans vocal chords) and lives in North Park.
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avatar Anna Daniels February 4, 2014 at 10:47 am

I had to take a shower after reading what our CA defends as “common legal practice.” You called it for what it is Doug- slut shaming.

avatar Brent Beltran February 4, 2014 at 11:12 am

Resign Jan, resign!

avatar Will Falk February 4, 2014 at 11:29 am

This is textbook rape culture.

First, they assault her. Then, they call her names for reporting the assault.

“Some people think it’s insensitive,” Goldsmith said. “I can’t address that. That’s what practicing law is.”

It makes me think of a Derrick Jensen quote. Just substitute insensitivity for hatred and practicing law for religion, economic, tradition, etc:
“any hatred felt long enough no longer feels like hatred, it feels like what passes in this culture for religion, economics, tradition, the erotic (each of these being toxic mimics of what they would be in a human culture). It feels like science. It feels like technology. It feels like civilization. It feels like the way things are.”

avatar dave stutz February 4, 2014 at 12:25 pm

Least we forget he sent his goons out to dig up dirt on his own client. Some would say that is grounds for disbarment

avatar Peter February 4, 2014 at 1:04 pm

He needs to go because persuaded the city council to break the law, and then admitted that he knowingly did. How come he hasn’t been disbarred for this?

From the L.A. Times, Nov. 4, 2013 (section: main news; metro desk; part A; page 1) “Goldsmith persuaded the City Council to refuse to defend Filner in the Jackson lawsuit and instead force him to hire private attorneys.
“It was a bluff,” said Goldsmith, noting that California law requires a public employer to represent an employee, even a mayor, accused of on-the-job misdeeds.”

avatar Andy Cohen February 4, 2014 at 2:14 pm

In my interactions with him, I’ve found Jan Goldsmith to be a pretty decent guy, normally willing to answer questions (albeit with quite a good amount of spin, legal twister). At least that was the case during the most recent TMD dustup.

That said, some of his legal opinions and actions have been head scratchers, to say the least. But this…..this is beyond the pale. This is way out of bounds. There is no justifying this.

I do respect Jan Goldsmith the man, but Jan Goldsmith the City Attorney is a mess.

avatar bob dorn February 5, 2014 at 10:10 am

You respect the man but not his behavior, right?

avatar La Playa Heritage February 4, 2014 at 5:46 pm

The worst thing City Attorney Jan Goldsmith has written is the May 21, 2010 Legal Memorandum Outlawing the use of CCDC Redevelopment Agency (RDA) Tax Increment (TI) for fully funding Homeless Emergency Shelter Tents, and the associated Social Services. See Pages 31 to 37.

http://www.tinyurl.com/20110911a

Federal HUD guidelines state the City of San Diego should Maximum the use of RDA TI for Homeless and associated Social Services within the Shelters as part of the Federally mandated San Diego Regional Continuum of Care (RCoC).

Annually 50 to 60 San Diegans die homeless on downtown streets and sidewalks. It is a crime that the Civil Rights of the poor and Fair Housing laws have been abandoned. Plus not one single City Council Member has enough independent leadership to request a written independent legal opinion from our State Attorney General Kamala Harris.

At any time, in closed session, the City Council can direct the City Attorney to settle with Ms. Doe for all the humiliation they directly caused this young victim. However there is a gag order on how much Ms. Doe is suing that only benefits the City Attorney and City Council. With agreement with the Judge, City Attorney Goldsmith with approval by the City Council can inform the public on the requested settlement amount. There is no need to keep the figure secret.

avatar bob dorn February 5, 2014 at 10:14 am

You have to wonder if Jan Goldfinger thought of investigating Irene McCormack’s past behavior in an effort to defend the city from her attempt to collect damages over Bob Filner’s sliming.

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