San Diego A friendly item by Union-Tribune columnist Diane Bell about pregnancies among the staff of Mayor Susan Golding has inspired a not-so-friendly anonymous hit by a group calling itself "City Moms." According to the October 7 Bell item, a conference room in the mayor's 11th-floor suite of offices has been turned into a nursery for mayoral aide Karen Scarborough to watch over her new son and his nanny. Two other Golding staffers were also expecting and also expected to use the facility, Bell added. That drew a sharp response from "City Moms," who faxed out a copy of a letter purportedly sent to Bell. According to the letter, the "Moms" are city employees who claim Golding's staff is getting special treatment. "Many of us are outraged after reading your column," they wrote. "As 'New Mothers' we were forced to place our children in daycare centers or employ a nanny. It was even unthinkable that we would be allowed the 'special privilege' of bringing our children to work and setting up a daycare center in a conference room. We would have gladly returned to work sooner from our maternity leave if this were possible. Instead we took time off without pay." The letter went on to ask a series of questions, including, "What are the operating hours of this conference room for daycare? We each have nannies we employ to care for our children. We would like to use this conference room also."
Let Them Eat Tickets
Eagle-eyed readers note that John Moores, the Padre-owning computer fat cat who wants taxpayers to build a new downtown stadium, makes no appearance on the Forbes magazine list of the nation's wealthiest people. Alex Spanos, the Chargers owner with whom Moores has sometimes failed to see eye-to-eye, is safely ensconced at number 313 with a net worth of $600 million ... The Chicago Tribune has picked up the ongoing saga of the Chargers seat guarantee. In a story the paper ran last week, Robyn Walters, identified as a "public relations assistant for the team," is quoted as rejecting the idea of giving away the unsold seats paid for by the city, which some have suggested should be passed out to underprivileged children. "We're in the nature of selling tickets, not giving them away," sniffed Walters. "It devalues our product if we give them away. It's not fair to season ticket holders if they pay thousands of dollars for their seats, and they sit next to someone who got it for free." Meanwhile, city officials are throwing more money at the stadium. First, it's a lavish new paint job, supposed to be ready by January. The city is paying architect Manuel Oncina $45,000 to come up with "a painting master plan for the stadium in preparation for the Superbowl." Oncina also designed the taxpayer-funded upgrades to the Charger "Gold Club" level and the interiors of the team's $15 million training facility, also paid for by the city. No word yet on how much the actual repainting will cost. The city is also sinking $94,000 into refurbishing stadium elevators with new brushed stainless steel doors.
Money and hair
That Poway "investment advisor" with ties to the Del Mar racing scene has turned himself in to federal authorities after a month on the lam. Donald Bickerstaff, who owned a string of 31 thoroughbreds and a garage full of high-powered cars here, is accused of cheating elderly clients out of millions of dollars using fraudulent investment schemes. He faces two counts of bank fraud and the wrath of more than a hundred irate investors who claim he issued them phony brokerage statements. After he fled the charges brought against him in San Francisco, Bickerstaff reportedly holed up in England before deciding to give himself up ... A San Diego contractor has won a $136,000 verdict for invasion of privacy after his picture appeared in a newspaper advertisement for a La Jolla hair replacement outfit without his knowledge or consent. Bill Campbell testified he'd never had a hair replacement and had never even heard of the company, European Hair, until he opened the paper one Sunday morning and found his picture there. The photo of Campbell had been lifted from a magazine.
Contributor: Matt Potter
Father Kos Won't Talk
By Bill Manson
In Judge Gale Kaneshiro's felony arraignment court downtown last Friday afternoon, the ex-priest who has eluded the San Diego press for four years walks in wearing a blue tunic labeled "S.D. Jail." He plants his feet on a spot marked by yellow duct tape. He looks up at the judge. Today the judge is not alone. A dozen journalists stand and sit in a curious intimacy near Kos. He looks at them. They look back at him. Their averted eyes make them look more guilty than he does. The bailiff has clearly talked to Rudy before he came in. He knows to unlock Rudy's left hand so he can sign the documents on his defense lawyer's podium. As he signs, the picture of the youthful, fresh face, "charming and intelligent" Rudy - as everybody describes him - changes. His tight, close-cut gray hair, the two chins that form as he leans down to concentrate on the documents, the tired large dark eyes, look old. Defiant, but tired.
Judge Kaneshiro orders him held here, pending extradition, in "protective custody." "Mr. Edward," says Kaneshiro, "you will now be held without bail, pending the arrival of the authorities from Dallas, Texas."
Saturday at 8:00 a.m., I'm down at the sheriff's lockup behind the downtown courthouse on C and Front. Among families milling around to see relatives for the half hour they're allowed each week, I sign in. I hesitate to write San Diego Reader because the last story the Reader published on Rudy caused him to be fired from his job as a paralegal. He moved to Hillcrest to escape the press curiosity that resulted. I put it down anyway and wait for my time with him in Visiting Room 1, Phone 5.
At 8:30 the Irish mom of a drunk-driving inmate and I go into the interview room. Her son appears. They chat. I wait. Ten minutes later, the Irish lady calls out, "My son says the man you want to talk to won't come."
Her son comes to Phone 5, on the other side of the wall. "That priest? He's two cells down from me. He says no way he's going to come and talk with you. I wouldn't bother waiting."
Sheriffs expect Dallas police to pick up Rudy Kos this week and take him to Dallas. His bond company in Dallas says if the police drop his bond - currently $405,000 - down to a "reasonable amount," they would be happy to issue his bail bond again.