Attorney Cory Briggs heads into court to argue a case against the city of San Diego. Despite multiple attempts by phone and email, Briggs has refused to answer inewsource's questions related to his practice since publishing its first story on the attorney in February. Photo by Sam Hodgson


inewsource was founded in 2009 to dig into big issues affecting San Diegans. We’ve covered health care, politics, education, transportation, immigration, taxes and land use over the years, and we’ve made sure each story, and each investigation, is done fairly and accurately. We provide links to the documents used during the course of our reporters’ research so readers can examine them firsthand.

Our overarching mission is to hold the powerful accountable: Politicians, government agencies and institutions are a major part of that, but sometimes powerful people aren’t in public office.

Over the last decade, Cory Briggs has become a prominent figure in San Diego. His lawsuits against cities and developers, mainly over environmental issues, are polarizing: environmentalists champion his efforts and believe he is working for the public good, while his critics, including government agencies and developers, believe he brings boilerplate lawsuits to line his own pockets at the taxpayer’s expense.

Briggs has become so much a part of the establishment that he was one of the stars of the San Diego County Taxpayers Association’s promotional video for its 2015 award ceremony: Briggs acts as if he’s drowning in the ocean, while the mayor and council members, who are acting as lifeguards, wave him off.

YouTube video

“I’ll let you have the convention center,” Briggs screams, arms flailing.

The video is lighthearted — but underscores just how enmeshed the attorney is in San Diego’s affairs.

He’s not a run-of-the-mill lawyer whose actions don’t affect many people — on the contrary, for better or worse, he has held up billions of dollars in development, cost taxpayers millions as a result of lawsuits against government agencies, and in 2013 led the charge to force then-Mayor Bob Filner to resign from office. His initial criticism had nothing to do with Filner’s sexual improprieties, but rather Filner’s involvement with a developer Briggs later sued.

A reporter recently wrote of him in the Union Tribune:

“Nothing peeves Briggs more than trying to get around the law. He scoffs at the notion he is an obstructionist. He just holds with uncommon passion that ‘You have to follow the rules.’”

inewsource has spent months looking into Briggs, and at every turn, has found that there is much more to the man who holds himself out to be a steward for the environment, an advocate for transparency and a champion for the little guy. We have interviewed scores of experts for our ongoing investigation, including professors, authors, politicians, attorneys, developers, ethicists and law enforcement.

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The series has been divisive, to say the least. A look at the comment sections on any of the stories yields an impressive amount of criticism about inewsource’s motivations and its findings. Many of the most vocal opponents are close associates of Briggs, including his clients, friends or colleagues.

Despite repeated requests for answers, some big questions are outstanding. Briggs would not answer the ones posed during an interview in February, the only time he has talked with inewsource. He has not responded to requests for comment since then.

However, he and/or his associates have done the following: sued inewsource over its lease with San Diego State University, subpoenaed inewsource’s executive director, demanded extensive documentation of inewsource’s nonprofit status and three times demanded retractions of published information.

inewsource is fighting the lawsuit; Briggs withdrew the subpoena, and inewsource provided legally required documentation of its nonprofit status. None of the retraction demands warranted corrections.

Here are the outstanding questions in no particular order of priority:

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1. Why all the nonprofits?


As detailed in a May 28 story, the Briggs Law Corp. shares an address with more than 30 nonprofits and Briggs and his firm have represented nearly all of them in court. More than half of the nonprofits have the exact same mission statement, as filed with the IRS and state Attorney General’s Office:

“The specific purpose for which this corporation is organized is the promotion of social welfare through advocacy for and education regarding responsible and equitable environmental development.”

The Briggs Law Corp. is responsible for having registered nearly all of the groups. Briggs’ cousin, along with his wife, sit on the boards of 10 of them. Yet according to state and federal filings, the majority of the nonprofits don’t exist outside of court. Instead, they serve as vehicles for lawsuits. And lawyers can’t collect attorney fees on their own — they must represent a client to do that.

To see a comprehensive spreadsheet of the entire network of nonprofits, including each group’s name, status, officers, legal standing and more, click here.

State and federal agencies have suspended or revoked the nonprofit or corporate status of more than half of the groups for failing to file legally required documents showing finances, mission statements and board structures. As detailed in a June 3 story, Briggs got in hot water with a Superior Court judge after it was discovered that the attorney had entered into at least six lawsuits on behalf of one of those nonprofits — San Diegans for Open Government — while its corporate status was suspended.

“Mr. Briggs may be in a whole heap of trouble with, not only the State bar, but potential criminal prosecution,” said the judge.

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2. Why the secrecy over Briggs’ “wife”?


Briggs is a big name in San Diego and a quick Google search returns more than 600 news stories referencing him over the last decade. Yet none of the extensive profiles written about him has ever made reference to Sarichia Cacciatore, an environmental biologist Briggs refers to as his wife (the technical details of that relationship are another matter).

During an interview with reporters at his law office in February, Briggs removed a framed photo of the two from the wall before filming began and said, “I don’t put family on stuff.”

Cacciatore has twice been profiled: the San Diego Reader and the Presidio Sentinel covered her cafe after it opened in 2011. Neither mentioned her relationship to one of San Diego’s most litigious attorneys.

“She’s actually an environmental planner who decided to bust out,” wrote a reporter for the Reader in 2012.

Her “environmental” history goes deeper than just a mention in a profile.

Cacciatore has contributed to environmental impact reports for local, state and federal agencies as a biologist for Helix Environmental Planning, a consulting firm that helps government agencies comply with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

CEQA, it turns out, is Briggs’ specialty in court.

On behalf of the nonprofits mentioned above, he has sued cities, the San Diego Unified Port District, state agencies, the federal government and developers throughout the state alleging environmental violations.

An inewsource review found he has sued at least twice, on behalf of San Diegans for Open Government, over projects Cacciatore worked on directly.

Whether information was exchanged or not, legal experts interviewed said the situation “screams conflict of interest” and “raises enough questions that somebody better be checking this out.” The California State Bar wouldn’t comment on the matter, citing a policy never to discuss potential or current investigations.

In December 2014, Cacciatore was deposed in connection to a San Diegans for Open Government lawsuit against the city because she was listed as one of the nonprofit’s members to give it standing. During the deposition, she said:

  • She was vice president of the Briggs Law Corp. and had been for 20 years.
  • She hadn’t “done any work as an environmental planner in connection” with San Diegans for Open Government’s lawsuits.
  • She wasn’t a member of the organization.
  • She didn’t know she was listed as a member.
  • She wasn’t aware of the organization’s mission.
  • She only knew of the nonprofit’s lawsuits from “the newspaper.”

Briggs later said that Cacciatore was listed as a member of San Diegans for Open Government by mistake, despite including her signed declaration in the lawsuit. Cacciatore later told a reporter she was mistaken when she said she was vice president of Briggs’ law firm for 20 years.

In a Feb. 25 open letter, Briggs wrote,

…spouses working in the same field is nothing new. My wife has a job, and I have a job. We don’t talk about or share client confidences, and we take measures to avoid creating any conflicts. There isn’t anything illegal, unethical, or even unusual about this either.

Helix, in a letter to the San Diego city attorney, said it knew of the personal relationship between the two but not that Cacciatore was vice president of her husband’s law firm.

“Ms. Cacciatore verbally assured HELIX’s senior management that she was not involved in Mr. Briggs legal practice,” wrote HELIX’s CEO.

San Diego City Attorney Jan Goldsmith's office has often been on the other end of Briggs' lawsuits. In April, HELIX Environmental reimbursed the city $143,000 for attorney fees and costs it spent fighting a Briggs lawsuit that involved Cacciatore's work for the company.
San Diego City Attorney Jan Goldsmith’s office often has been on the other end of Briggs’ lawsuits. In April, HELIX reimbursed the city $143,000 for attorney fees and costs it spent fighting a Briggs lawsuit over the city’s master storm water maintenance program because Cacciatore worked on that project while at HELIX. Photo by Sam Hodgson

The vice president information from the deposition led to HELIX reimbursing the city $143,000 for attorney fees and costs it incurred fighting one Briggs lawsuit that involved Cacciatore’s work. The settlement prohibited the city from seeking additional damages related to any future “potential conflict of interest arising from, caused by or related to Ms. Cacciatore’s employment at Helix.”

The next day, inewsource published a story about another project Cacciatore worked on directly involving her husband’s litigation.

Cacciatore, through her lawyer — and close associate of Briggs — Marco Gonzalez, sent a request to inewsource in May for all of inewsource’s reports, bylaws, articles of incorporation and policies regarding fundraising, conflicts of interest and “sale of services.” She has also sent two retraction demands to inewsource that can be read, with inewsource’s point-by-point responses, here and here.

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3. Where did $3 million come from and why won’t anyone explain the liens?


As described in a Feb. 23 story, the Briggs Law Corp. has been entering into deeds of trust with people in four Southern California counties since 2007.

A deed of trust is a real estate transaction that some states, like California, use instead of mortgages. The transaction is evidence of a debt and creates a lien on a property. A $100,000 lien means the homeowner owes the lender that amount of money.

Sometimes the lien can be a court-ordered payment. For example, if you come out on the losing side of a lawsuit and owe the other side money, they can take a lien out on your house, which potentially grants them title to your place if you default on the repayment. After the loan is paid off, the title to your property is “reconveyed” back to you.

The Briggs Law Corp. liens range from $15,000 to more than a million dollars. One of the nation’s leading experts on white collar crime, William Black, laughed when told about Briggs’ biggest transactions — two $1.5 million deeds of trust with members of the same family on the same day against houses worth a fraction of that amount.

You do this, Black said, “to hide flows and influence people.”

After declining to answer questions about the liens during an interview in February, Briggs responded to inewsource’s story in an open letter, which read in part,

“My clients aren’t wealthy corporations. They are people who have to fight and need a lawyer to represent them but often can’t pay right away. I still fight for them. When you represent clients like this you take other kinds of security, such as deeds of trust on property. There are bar association rules that govern this practice as well. I follow them.”

An exhaustive online search found no instance of Briggs ever representing any of the Wolfinbarger family members — the people on the other side of Briggs’ two $1.5 million liens — or their businesses in court. The Wolfinbargers refused multiple requests to speak about the liens but sent a letter in February stating an inewsource reporter had harassed and accused them of paying Briggs millions of dollars to oust former Mayor Bob Filner from office. Video from the brief interview attempts, along with notes and multiple witnesses, disproves that claim.

inewsource received this letter from Randy and James Wolfinbarger on Feb. 16, 2015.

The question remains: How did this family, who operates a landscaping business in San Bernardino County, come to owe an environmental lawyer in San Diego $3 million?

Also, why did Marlene Nisbet, another Briggs Law Corp. lien recipient, tell inewsource she entered into a $200,000 lien with Briggs to protect her assets in the face of a personal injury lawsuit, that she barely knew the attorney and that the money never actually changed hands? And why did Briggs remove the lien shortly after inewsource asked him about it?

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4. What is SCORE and where did all that money go?


In a May 28 story, inewsource catalogued all the nonprofits associated with Briggs. One of them, the Southwest Center on Renewable Energy (SCORE), stood out for what it was missing: a real-world presence.

Despite raising more than $850,000 in grants and contributions since its formation in 2008, the public benefit corporation doesn’t appear to actually do anything. IRS forms show it spending $450,000 on research, advocacy and organizing in the past seven years, but its CEO, Bill Powers, would not explain to inewsource what it was researching, where it was advocating or who it was organizing.

He also did not answer questions about a large amount of money: $230,000 that went unaccounted for from one year of SCORE’s federal filings to the next. In a retraction demand sent to inewsource shortly after publication, Powers wrote that the missing money was a “clerical error” on a 2009 form — but he didn’t account for following years, when the money was still missing. He also sent bank statements that further complicated the nonprofit’s story by showing it had more than $150,000 in an account the same year it told the California Attorney General’s Office it was broke.

Bill Powers
Bill Powers is a renewable energy advocate and founder of the San Diego Energy District. According to his bio, he is “one of the country’s most respected engineers in utility and energy resource management” and has “shaped strategy to achieve renewable energy objectives for the country’s leading public and investor-owned utilities.” | Photo courtesy KPBS

Powers is on SCORE’s board of directors along with Briggs’ cousin, Karin Langwasser, and Briggs’ significant other, Cacciatore — who together sit on the boards of at least 10 other Briggs-associated nonprofits. Briggs is in charge of SCORE’s books.

After sending the retraction demand,  Powers was asked by phone, “Can you tell us anything SCORE does?”

After five seconds of silence, he answered “no.”

It was unclear whether Powers could not or would not answer.

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5. What is San Diegans for Open Government and why is it suing a journalism organization?


San Diegans for Open Government, a public benefit corporation (501c3), was formed by the late activist Ian Trowbridge through the Briggs Law Corp. to “promote social welfare through advocacy for and education regarding responsible and equitable environmental development” in 2008.

The nonprofit’s cases — more than 24 of them — have fought hotel and business improvement district taxes and demanded access to public records such as government officials’ emails.

Briggs has legally represented the group in every case it has filed, with the exception of one — the lawsuit filed against inewsource, San Diego State University, its foundation, California State University, and inewsource’s Executive Director Lorie Hearn in April.

Cory Briggs has represented San Diegans for Open Government in every lawsuit it has ever filed except one — the nonprofit's lawsuit against inewsource. Photo by Sam Hodgson
Cory Briggs has represented San Diegans for Open Government in every lawsuit it has ever filed except one — the nonprofit’s lawsuit against inewsource. Photo by Sam Hodgson

Represented by an environmental attorney who has sued with Briggs before — Laguna Hills lawyer John McClendon — San Diegans for Open Government sued inewsource after it published more than 10 stories about Briggs. The 69-page complaint, filed in San Diego Superior Court, alleged conflict-of-interest violations, misappropriation of public property “and other illegal activities.”

Hearn, inewsource’s executive director, said, “This feels like retaliation for inewsource’s coverage.”

“Increasingly,” she said, “the subjects of journalistic investigations attack the journalists themselves as a way to stifle honest reporting and damage credibility. It is a disturbing trend.”

But who’s paying McClendon, and who runs San Diegans for Open Government, is debateable. The nonprofit’s officers have stated under oath that Briggs Law Corp. oversees and pays for nearly every aspect of the group’s operation:

According to depositions and other court filings, Briggs and his firm maintain all the group’s corporate records; file and pay for its lawsuits, its annual registration fees and filings with the state and federal governments; control its Facebook and Twitter accounts; and collect all settlements and judgments when the group prevails in court.

In one of the group’s ongoing cases against San Diego, the city filed more than 1,200 pages of uncontested evidence alleging San Diegans for Open Government to be an “alter ego” of Briggs Law Corp. — a nonprofit controlled by the firm and used to litigate “for profit.” The allegation was never legally decided because Briggs dropped the case in May.

Calls to San Diegans for Open Government’s CEO, Pedro Quiroz, about why the environmental nonprofit was suing inewsource over its lease terms were deflected to the group’s lawyer.

Calls to the lawyer, McClendon, went unanswered and unreturned.

Disclaimer: San Diegans for Open Government is currently suing inewsource, KPBS and San Diego State University challenging the legality of their lease agreements. The Superior Court dismissed the case, concluding that it was prompted by inewsource’s investigative journalism, but SDOG has appealed.


Brad Racino was the assistant editor and senior investigative reporter at inewsource. He's a big fan of transparency, whistleblowers and government agencies forgetting to redact key information from FOIA requests. Brad received his master’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri in...

Lorie Hearn is the chief executive officer and editor of inewsource. She is a lifelong news-aholic who started her reporting career writing her Girl Scout newsletter at age 12. High school and college were filled with school newspaper work, and after graduation, she worked as a reporter for newspapers...

21 replies on “Five major questions San Diego attorney Cory Briggs won’t answer”

  1. This ClickBait-style tweet reminded me of the one major reason I no longer contribute to #KPBS.
    “@inewsource: The 5 Major Questions Cory Briggs Won’t Answer:…”

    Enough already… Please, move on. You made your point, have stopped being “investigative” and have now become petty, personal and vindictive,

  2. The authors show bias when they post opinions not facts
    example: “cost taxpayers millions as a result of lawsuits against government agencies”

    The fact is that the costs are caused by those trying to slide bad projects past an ineffective government, or shall we say indicted co-conspirators

  3. Your reporting has a taint and that suggestive indicator odor of spoiled meat or Ethyl mercaptan. Before you start casting aspersions on private persons, their wives, and families, you should completely reveal all your funders, conditions of funding grants and contracts you have. Transparently reveal your and your family’s finances and relationships. Your quasi governmental union with with San Diego STATE University and the local PUBLIC Broadcasting Corporation demands greater transparency and scrutiny. Your approach seems to be an attempt to chill private citizen attempts to question or inquire into the schemes of government as carried out as a handmaiden for the rich hegemony that most benefits from government’s support of tourism and over development. Any Hotel owners, land developers, their wives or relatives among your funders, staff, or governing Board?

    That aside, for the moment, Dr. Briggs and the poor and middle class regular folks he represents are not the Spanos, Manchester’s, or named major donors of KPBS and the like. They don’t profit from the construction of Stadiums, over development of Mission Valley, or Convention Centers, by their Hotels supported by City Goverment and their political donation lobbyist funded politicians. It would be real journalism to publish a list of the benefactors from major City projects, your funders, and maximum City political contributors. My experienced expectation is that such a list would show a lot of common funders and a high degree of correlation – approaching that taint of rotten corruption.

    Citizens so needed controls upon the addicting influences of money and politicians, that they imposed the public vote requirements for new taxes, the City Charter requirements for votes on support with taxpayer funding of private benefiting Stadium Center projects, and open meeting and political contributors disclosures. Recent journalism articles on the profit based San Onofre Power Plant and the PUC demonstrate the corruption in government. Environmental suits are based on failures by the government to transparently reveal the costs and real profiteering from these schemes. The Bernie Sanders movement has growing support because of the distrust and dissatisfaction with the purchased government. San Diego’s City government’s consistent history of corruption is unrivalled – how many Mayors and Councilmen have resigned or been charged in this generation? Have we forgotten “Enron by the Sea” , Stripper Gate and the FBI raids, J David and the Golden Girl, The Convention Finance/Pension deals, or even the Yellow Cab scandals?

    Thank G_d for citizen activists and their contingency lawyer knights. G_d Bless Dr.Briggs and Michael Aguirre!

  4. The contingency lawyer knights, like Dr. Briggs and Michael Aguirre, are on no one’s payrolls. They only get paid when they can objectively demonstrate, to an independent Judiciary, that the government did wrong. Government pays as a penalty for this wrongful behavior, so that the City will reform it’s behavior and begin to follow the established rules. Public Paladins, like Dr. Briggs and Michael Aguirre, are the citizen majority’s only equalizer against the schemes of the 1%ers. Inewsource reporters need to ask themselves the question so well stated by Pete Seeger – Which side are yo on?

  5. Attorney Stump, can you name one lawsuit brought by Cory Briggs that has been a benefit to the citizens of San Diego?

  6. Petty, vindictive and personal? I disagree because I have always felt that Briggs was a charlatan and the evidence presented just shows I was right…back to the days of the NBC…he has organized a way to enrich himself under the guise of helping the little guy..What little guy ever benefited from his lawsuits? What do you have to gain from the position “enough already” when the reporter only wants answers to questions? As you are a public person it would be interesting to know if you and he are friends, colleagues, business associates or just a reader of inewsource without any connection to Briggs.

  7. 1) If you consider the taxpayers who avoided the illegal hotel tax scheme “little guys,” I think they benefitted from Briggs’ actions.

    2) I gain nothing from these comments- except attracting the wrath of Inews acolytes such as yourself, apparently. And as the daughter of a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, I know a bit about the tactics members of this profession use to get answers to questions. In this case, not all have been professional, nor fair, nor ethical.

    3) I’m a teacher, no longer a public person- I’ve been out of public office since 2010.

    4) No connection; I am not friend, colleague, nor associate of Briggs.

  8. We are considering a new CEQA suite and are considering Cory Briggs who has done excellent work for us before. We also considered Laguna Hills lawyer John McClendon however he has a conflict with the Respondent, however he is on our short list. It is not unusual for significant others to be on the same or opposite sides of issues. Bill and Hillary? Carville and Matalin?
    An incorporated medical practice may have a spouse as vice president but there is only Physician, same with a law practice, someone has to fill in the blanks.

  9. Good you got an opportunity to throw in the Pulitzer thing–halo effect that somehow gives you special insight, a generation removed though it may be…So then what “tactics” were employed that you think were unprofessional, unfair and unethical? And sorry, I didn’t think I was being wrathful, just merely asking you to defend the “petty, personal and vindictive” comment that you seem unable to do. Not a slavish acolyte to inews.. or anyone else, just an ordinary reader.

  10. Dear Ms. T. In answer to your question as to whether Dr. Briggs lawsuits benefited the public, the answer is objectively obvious. All suits he filled, won and was awarded attorneys fees benefited the public good, as that is the standard that the independent Judiciary uses to determine the award. If there was no wrong and no benefit to the public, then there can be no award. You may not agree with our system of government or support some of the schemes of developers and profiteering developers, but under our system we have Judicial review to keep such abuses in check.

  11. I am also an ordinary reader, who happens to have a professional writing and research background of my own. It makes me admire the Pulitzer earned by my father and his colleagues all the more- it was the only one ever earned by the San Diego Union or Evening Tribune in their century of publication.

    I know journalism and research tactics, policies and procedures: I’ve seen them used on myself and others, and I’ve used them in my own work as a research fellow at UCSD and other universities.

    I’ve also written a modest book, and my share of news and research articles and OpEds for San Diego and national publications and scholarly journals, along with having had them written about me. All of this has provided interesting perspectives on the role and purpose of journalism, as writer and subject.

    So this latest “exposé” strikes me and others not as illuminative investigation, but as a crass attempt to destroy a person’s professional reputation.

    Using colleague’s Twitter comments to bolster one’s credibility is absurd: Good for them to stick together. But a “Pack” mentality is rarely a useful or credible way to undermine people’s reputations or actions.

    As for tactics: The INews reporters went to peoples homes, uninvited and without notice, after business hours, in the dark, with the intent to dig up dirt. Then they wonder why people refuse to talk with them.

    They cast aspersions on NGO’s for various things, including not having paid taxes, and/or filed state required reports improperly- but don’t realize the same is true of them until others point it out.

    They failed to file this report, despite having a $15K budget for accounting and legal firms- paid, professional services well beyond the reach of most other NGOs I’ve worked with who rely on volunteers.

    INews portrays “no reply” from credible, ethical people as signs of culpability, or obfuscation- apparently unaware that many private parties consider it perfectly fine to offer “no comment” in response to obtuse questions.

    I could go on, but frankly, I doubt it will change your opinion.

    It’s easy to believe the worst about people based on what others write. It’s harder to do your own inquiry.

  12. Ms “T”- it has occurred to me that John Stump and I are willing to use our full names as we engage in this discussion and respond to your questions.

    Would you extend the same courtesy to us and other INews readers of these comments, and let us know who you are? And perhaps offer your motivation for questioning us so diligently?

  13. You obviously do not understand the purpose and mechanism of CEQA. Why so vindictive? This sounds like a chamber or lincoln club hit piece!!!!

  14. This series continues to appear to me to be slanted and increasingly vindictive. It’s almost as if inewsource went all in on this and feels reputationally obligated to see something happen to prove its allegations. Maybe some relevant authority will take one or more of the allegations up. Maybe not. Recycling old stories buttressing a point of view, quoting yourself in an article, reprinting Twitter posts that support your point of view, and implying that a large number of those who criticize your journalistic practices are toadies of Mr. Briggs doesn’t help with the perceptions in my view.

  15. Dear Ms. T., Ms. Saldana and Dr. Briggs are private persons not governmental officials. They are not subject to the questions and whims of reporters trying to set up and sell a story. Please tell us about yourself and all the clubs you are a member of, your friends, employers, and sources of income. Don’t be any more indignant or demand privacy beyond that you want to deny Ms. Saldana or Dr Briggs. Good for the Goose Good for the Gander. Fess up and tell us what the “T” stands for

  16. Why is Lorie Hearn listed in the byline, and not Brooke Williams, even though Brooke Williams’ profile is provided, and she has been part of past reports? Is Lorie as executive director and editor stepping in to take responsibility for the series?

    At the risk of dignifying this article, perhaps we can come up with 5 questions that Brad Racino and iNewsource still won’t answer?

    1) What communications came from Jan Goldsmith or his office, that you refused to provide citing the shield law? That law protects you from being compelled to provide them, just as the law protects Briggs from providing the information you want. If there’s an argument to be made about credibility, transparency, working in the public interest, etc., that such information is important for the public to know and should be released even if not legally required, I think it applies to both.

    3) What if any are the financial components to the “cutting-edge collaboration” between KPBS and iNewsource? If no money changes hands, what about in-kind services or facilities, or shared fundraising (email lists)? How _does_ the office space at SDSU work? When I was at a (different) university, I certainly couldn’t freely sublet my space or let others use it without explicit permission from the administration, but I was merely faculty.

    3) What is the editorial interaction between iNewsource and KPBS? Not every iNewsource article appears on the KPBS website (for instance, this one isn’t cross-posted yet). Who decides, and what criteria do they use? Do either or both organizations have an assignments desk, even if the assignments are pitched by individual reporters/investigators and the “desk” only coordinates & balances topics?

    4) Why so much re-packaging instead of direct reporting? For instance, KPBS repeatedly aired an interview or discussion between Tom Fudge & Brad Racino rather than a straight reading of the reporting as posted on both websites. Is this just an extra degree of separation so you can claim “we didn’t defame”, we only reported what others said? Or was that a decision to liven-up what aired because someone thought that the actual reporting either didn’t have enough meat or wasn’t interesting enough to appear on the airwaves with a legal public interest requirement?

    5) Would Brad take the time to go back through the comments and answer the direct questions he did not answer? OK, that’s cheating, lumping more than a handful of “won’t answer” questions into a single point, but Brad was very selective in which comments he replied to and which he ignored, and the pattern appears more driven by question than by tone.

    Finally, and a new question, could you provide links to your documents behind your assertion “Many of the most vocal opponents are close associates of Briggs, including his clients, friends or colleagues.”? Everything in this series is extensively documented, so perhaps you inadvertently omitted that link, or your CMS ate it? I’ve certainly never met Briggs, nor hired him nor donated to any of the public interest charities he works for, I’m a scientist so a lawyer is certainly no colleague of mine, and I’m not sure I’d even want to drink a beer with him. I’m curious what if any information you have assembled about commenters on your website. Do some of them have solid relevant credentials, rivaling or even more relevant than those of the outside experts you fed pieces to and then published quotes from?

  17. Five SUPER-MAJOR Questions:
    1. Why did inewsource buy Adwords from Google for “Briggs?”
    2. Did iNewsource “investigation” into Briggs result in anything more than “Major Questions”?
    3. Does inEwsource have anything better to report than Major Questions about Briggs?
    4. Does anyone care about Brigg’s personal life, more or less than other prominent San Diegans? (Excluding ineWsource, that is).
    5. Exactly how many KPBS contributors have refused to give one more red cent based on the continuing “investigation to nowhere” on Briggs?
    6. (Bonus Question) Is there any new information in this article, or just recycled “questions” re-couched as “Major Questions.” Major Questions are ALOT more serious than just Questions. Mucho more alot.

  18. PBS and NPR went over to the dark side (or maybe the gray side) a long time ago. This article is a great example of why I went from being a regular donor to giving zip for about 8 years.

  19. I’m not a friend of Briggs. And FYI – This article is from over 3 months ago. It had been given a rest.

Comments are closed.