February 23, 2024
Sheriff’s Division reserving pictures are looked for Andrea and Jesus Cardenas (inset) by La Prensa San Diego writer. Instances of San Diego photograph illustration

We’ve all seen reserving pictures of Donald Trump, Rudy Giuliani and even sports activities figures like O.J. Simpson and soccer star Hope Solo.

La Prensa San Diego publisher's suit over mug shots of arrested people.
La Prensa San Diego writer’s go well with over mug photographs of arrested folks. (PDF)

However who has seen the mug photographs of arrestees Jesus Cardenas and his Chula Vista councilwoman sister Andrea Cardenas?

Definitely not Arturo “Artwork” Castañares, writer of La Prensa San Diego.

So after the San Diego County Sheriff’s Division denied his Public Information Act request for the reserving pictures of the Democratic siblings, he’s gone the place no media outlet in California has gone earlier than.

He sued.

And a First Modification professional calls it “an necessary take a look at case.”

In a six-page criticism filed final week in downtown Superior Courtroom, journalist Castañares — by means of lawyer Cory Briggs — needs a choose to order the sheriff and County of San Diego to cough up the pictures.

On Jan. 2, lower than 5 hours after a renewed request by Castañares for the pictures, sheriff’s spokeswoman Melissa Lopez Aquino wrote him: “It’s the coverage of the San Diego County Sheriff’s Division to launch reserving pictures solely when there may be an instantaneous risk to public security.”

She additionally contends that reserving pictures will not be among the many listing of “disclosable info” underneath the California Public Information Act.

Aquino added that the state lawyer common “has acknowledged {that a} sheriff has discretion to launch copies of reserving pictures of arrested people.”

That lawyer common was Invoice Lockyer, the previous state Meeting member from San Diego. He issued his mug-shot opinion in 2003.

However David Loy, authorized director of the First Modification Coalition, instructed Instances of San Diego on Monday that the California Supreme Courtroom has defined that this exemption from public-records guidelines “applies solely to a file that ‘on its face purport[s] to be an investigatory file,” citing Williams v. Superior Courtroom, 5 Cal. 4th 337, 356 (1993).

“Thus it could possibly be argued that the investigative data exemption doesn’t embrace reserving pictures, as courts elsewhere have prompt.”

Attorney General Bill Lockyer opinion on release of mug shots.
Lawyer Normal Invoice Lockyer opinion on launch of mug photographs. (PDF)

Castañares hopes his earlier public-records go well with — to achieve entry to drone video footage from the Chula Vista Police Division — will strengthen his mug-shot case.

Open-records professional Loy says an appeals courtroom ruling within the drone case “might assist. We’ll see.”

“I believe there’s an argument for saying the reserving pictures will not be lined by the investigatory data exemption,” he mentioned in a cellphone interview.  “Clearly the lawyer common has disagreed with that and I believe that’s why it’s actually proper for the courtroom to resolve whether or not that lawyer common opinion is right.”

If a courtroom sides with Castañares, it might apply not solely to the Cardenas reserving pictures but in addition any others that aren’t judged to be investigatory data.

On Monday, sheriff’s media relations director David LaDieu mentioned: “We don’t touch upon pending litigation.”

And what of Andrea and Jesus Cardenas?

In November, they pleaded not responsible to legal fees stemming from an allegedly fraudulent federal mortgage.

The siblings are accused of fraudulently acquiring a $176,227 Paycheck Safety Program mortgage in early 2021 meant for his or her agency, Grassroots Sources, then utilizing the funds on private bills, together with a $33,500 examine to Andrea Cardenas’ Chula Vista Metropolis Council marketing campaign account.

Jesus Cardenas, 40, who served as chief of workers for San Diego Metropolis Council member Stephen Whitburn till earlier in 2023, faces as much as 4 years and 4 months in jail.

And the drone-video case?

In mid-January, town of Chula Vista mentioned it might ask the California Supreme Courtroom to overview a decrease courtroom’s ruling that discovered not all drone footage captured by its police division is exempt from public disclosure.