Court blocks release of results in mayoral race

    An order from the California Court of Appeals has blocked San Diego County’s Registrar of Voters from certifying the final results in the city’s highly contested mayoral race.

    Though the registrar announced official election results on Nov. 30, a Santa Barbara-based division of the Fourth Appellate District Court granted a preliminary stay in a lawsuit challenging the outcome of the mayoral race earlier in the day, preventing the release of the winner.

    The order came in response to a lawsuit filed by supporters of San Diego County Supervisor Ron Roberts, who trails current Mayor Dick Murphy by approximately 16,000 votes in the race. Both men ran as Republicans.

    The suit alleges that City Councilwoman Donna Frye’s write-in campaign violated the city charter, which does not allow for write-in candidates in mayoral runoffs.

    The final vote count put Frye approximately 2,000 votes behind Murphy.

    Also on Nov. 30, a separate federal court refused to stay the election results after hearing similar arguments.

    The Santa Barbara courts received the case after the entire San Diego bench recused itself from adjudicating the matter. A Dec. 3 hearing to consider the merits of the suit has been scheduled.

    Police nab child porn suspect near Price Center

    San Diego Police arrested a man charged with 29 felony crimes for distribution of child pornography after UCSD Police Department Officer Manuel Garcia spotted the suspect near Library Walk on Dec. 1.

    Matthew J. Gant, a 31-year-old male, has been arrested on an outstanding $5,000 bench warrant for providing alcohol to a person on school grounds and will be held for the previous felony charges, according to UCSD police spokeswoman Kristeen McCollough.

    Campus officers first received warning of the man through a memo sent out by the city’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force earlier in the week, identifying the man for posting child pornography on library computers at University of San Diego and San Diego State.

    Earlier on Dec. 1, a female student reported that a man matching Gant’s description used an apparent camera phone to take pictures under stalls in a women’s bathroom near the Price Center food court.

    Food workers could not confirm Gant as the perpetrator, though his physical description and clothing matched those reported by the student.

    “We’re still investigating that incident over at the Price Center bathroom,” McCollough said. Gant has not been charged with crimes related to the incident.

    Government releases draft for Los Alamos bids

    The National Nuclear Security Administration has released a preliminary draft of its official request to seek competitive bids for the management of the Department of Energy laboratory in Los Alamos, N.M.

    The department first decided to solicit management bids for the lab, and several others currently run by the University of California, after the university drew criticism over security lapses.

    Under the Request for Proposal, a new managing and operating contractor will “transition to industrial standards and best practices” at the lab and “increase contractor accountability and efficiencies.” The draft also requires the winner of the contract to keep all current lab employees on staff, with the exception of the lab’s head and other senior personnel.

    The terms of the RFP provide for a single five-year contract, with provisions for incremental 15-year renewals as “an incentive for superior performance.”

    UC Vice President for Laboratory Management S. Robert Foley declined to comment on the NNSA document, stating that the university will review the RFP and decide whether it will submit a bid for continued management of the lab.

    “I believe we will be in excellent position to submit a strong and winning proposal should the UC Board of Regents make the final decision to compete,” Foley stated in an official release from the university.

    Theater professor appointed to diversity officer post

    Chancellor Marye Anne Fox has appointed theater professor Jorge Huerta to act as the university’s new associate chancellor and chief diversity officer. The new position is based on recommendations from the campus’ Diversity Council and a task force on underrepresented faculty.

    Huerta, who has worked at UCSD for 29 years and is considered a leading authority on contemporary Chicano and Latino theater, will assume his position in January.

    “I am delighted Jorge Huerta has accepted the appointment of associate chancellor and chief diversity officer,” Fox stated. “He brings focused and unique perspective on how UCSD can expand its reach locally, nationally and internationally. His appointment to this important leadership position reflects UCSD’s goal to involve all communities in the administration of our campus.”

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