Superintendent of the San Diego Unified School District Dr. Lamont A. Jackson speaks during a celebration of the new three-story facility at Crawford High School in El Cerrito on Feb. 8, 2023.
Superintendent of the San Diego Unified School District Lamont Jackson speaks during a celebration of the new three-story facility at Crawford High School in El Cerrito on Feb. 8, 2023. / Photo by Ariana Drehsler

San Diego Unified has hired a Los Angeles law firm to investigate Superintendent Lamont Jackson. Officials would not say why.

A district spokesperson told education reporter Jakob McWhinney that they could not comment on personnel matters. The spokesperson wrote, “All allegations received by the district are taken seriously and investigated.”

McWhinney asked a board member what she could share about the investigation into Jackson, San Diego Unified Board Member Sharon Whitehurst-Payne said, “the lawyers are handling it.”

Two other board members declined to comment.

Jackson became superintendent in 2022. He has worked for the district for more than three decades. He replaced Cindy Marten who was appointed as the United States Deputy Secretary of Education.

Read the full story here.

County Supes to Vote on Vacant Treatment Facility

The Volunteers of America Southwest building in San Diego / Photo by Adriana Heldiz

County supervisors are set to decide Tuesday whether to seek a construction manager to renovate a former 120-bed treatment facility in National City nearly 18 months after the county acquired it.

The building has sat vacant since the county took it over in late December 2022 despite an overdose epidemic and local substance use treatment providers’ struggles to deliver more residential treatment beds elsewhere. The demand for treatment beds is expected to only increase when the county implements a conservatorship expansion law early next year.

How we got here: The county took over the former Volunteers of America facility as part of a settlement deal after county auditors found the former county contractor was misusing funds and couldn’t account for much of its spending.

Before VOA handed over the property, county officials expected to invest about $1 million into the building and then-supervisor Nathan Fletcher said the county could likely quickly reopen it as a substance use treatment facility since it was already zoned for that purpose.

Status update: County officials are asking supervisors to vote to allow them to move forward with seeking a construction manager for a $26 million renovation that will eventually allow them to provide an “array” of yet-to-be-specified substance use treatment services at the site. In a staff report, county officials wrote that if supervisors sign off, they’d expect construction to begin in April 2025 and to conclude in 2026.

Why the hold up? County spokesperson Tim McClain told Planetcob that the county was “actively developing a plan to renovate this property, beginning more than a year ago by awarding a contract for the design phase.”

The site remained vacant in the interim, McClain wrote, “because it has required extensive planning and coordination and will need significant renovations to successfully operationalize services” though the county may potentially use the site for substance use treatment services later this year.

Flood Victims Still Have a Long Way to Go in Fixing Damaged Homes

Eleanor Rubalcaba's apartment got severely flooded during the Jan. 22 flood. She and other residents were told they do not have to pay rent for February. She received a stipend of $1,500 but is afraid to spend the money because she says it will go fast. / Ariana Drehsler for Planetcob

It’s been four months since historic flooding in San Diego destroyed hundreds of houses and displaced at least 1,000 people from their homes. Lower income neighborhoods were hit the hardest.

San Diego County officials set up a temporary lodging program for flood victims that has since been extended through June 12.

However, according to a report by the Union-Tribune, families are not only scrambling to fix their damaged homes before that deadline, but they are also scared their homes could flood again if city and county officials don’t make permanent fixes to stormwater infrastructure.

The U-T spoke to a family that was displaced by the January floods. Their home in Grant Hill has flooded three times in the past six years, and they’re worried it will happen again.

That’s why they joined hundreds of other families who are suing the city over its failure to manage stormwater. In the meantime, their home and the homes of many other families may not be ready by June 12.

Related: Planetcob previously reported about the deteriorating trust between flood survivors and city and county officials. Read that story here.

In Other News

  • A new task force will study whether the cross-border sewage crisis is causing airborne illnesses among South County residents. It’s spearheaded by the mayor of Imperial Beach and comprised of San Diego researchers and physicians. (Union-Tribune) Related: Read our full coverage of the Tijuana River sewage crisis here.
  • Repair costs for the Oceanside Pier could exceed $17.2 million, city officials announced Friday. The pier was damaged in an April 25 fire that destroyed two buildings. It could take up to three years for repairs to be fully completed. (Union-Tribune)
  • A potential new statewide ballot measure aims to crack down on some theft and drug crimes that were previously rolled back by Prop. 47. It would also force some people arrested three or more times for drug crimes into treatment. (KPBS)
  • San Diego County has become the busiest corridor for illegal crossings along the U.S.-Mexico border as migration routes continue to shift west. (Union-Tribune)
  • The Small Business Administration will officially close the two remaining San Diego and Spring Valley disaster loan outreach centers at 6 p.m. on Thursday, the SBA announced Monday. (KPBS)

The Morning Report was written by Andrea Lopez-Villafaña, Lisa Halverstadt and Tigist Layne. It was edited by Andrea Lopez-Villafaña and Scott Lewis.

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