VOSD Podcast: District Attorney Calls Out SDPD - Voice of San Diego

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VOSD Podcast: District Attorney Calls Out SDPD

This week on the VOSD podcast, Scott Lewis, Sara Libby and Andrew Keatts revel in some fresh Chargers drama, lay the groundwork for the city’s new energy agency and get the DA’s news-making take on rape kits.

District Attorney Summer Stephan / Photo by Megan Wood

This week, hosts Scott Lewis, Andrew Keatts and Sara Libby reveled in some fresh Chargers drama.

It came to light recently that the owner of the Rams, the NFL team that shares its hometown and stadium with the Chargers, is upset with Chargers owner Dean Spanos for not coming up with more money to help with the ballooning cost of the teams’ new stadium. (Right now, it’s estimated to cost around $5 billion).

Lewis had the definitive list of things to know about it this week.

In the podcast, Lewis put a point on why this news is so enjoyable: “Someone is shouldering the cost of an expensive stadium for them (the Chargers), that they’re not paying any rent at. And it’s not San Diego taxpayers. It’s a great story.”

An Agency Is Born

Last week, the San Diego City Council voted to start a new energy agency. Now San Diego, along with a few neighboring cities, will form a “community choice” energy organization to buy and sell energy for residents. It’s also called community choice aggregation, or CCA.

This means Voice of San Diego gets to cover a new agency. There are a few promises the city maintained leading up to this moment — namely, to lower rates and reduce greenhouse gases.

We brought in our beloved environment reporter, Ry Rivard, to help set the stage for this new agency and what we can expect as it takes shape.

Rivard has a write-up on this matter, too. Check it out in this week’s Environment Report.

(During Ry’s debrief, he mentioned the California Public Utilities Commission listserv, which you can find it here. You’re welcome.)

A note from the team at VOSD: This is Rivard’s last week at Voice of San Diego. He’s been an amazing asset to our team and we’ll miss him dearly. If you’ve enjoyed his appearances on the podcast and his reporting, we have a collection of  some of his best stories you should check out. 

DA on Rape Kits, Policing and Party

District Attorney Summer Stephan joined the podcast this week for a wide-ranging conversation with Lewis and Libby. We started off with rape kits.

Last week, Keatts published his investigation into the San Diego Police Department lowering its standards for rape kit testing in order to clear its backlog.

So to preview the interview with Stephan, Keatts laid out some context for this subject. SDPD declined an offer from Stephan to join a group of law enforcement departments in sending untested rape kits to a third party for testing. Rather, SDPD opted for a policy of their own that organizes its untested kits into 18 separate categories. That’s one category for each reason the kit wasn’t tested.

Stephan disagrees with this entire process, and explained why in the interview.

After our reporting was published, SDPD has announced they’ll be sending all untested rape kits to a third party for testing.

With Stephan, we also discussed police violence, plea deals and how party affiliation affects her role as district attorney.

The interview with Stephan starts at 21:00.

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