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By Miriam Raftery


Photo by Chris Stone, Times of San Diego


July 28, 2019 (San Diego) – Four East County residents from La Mesa and Spring Valley are among the newly impaneled San Diego County Grand Jury. The East County jurors include a retired attorney, a caterer, an Army veteran/retired technical consultant, and an elementary school reading mentor.

Edward Newlands, III, a former medical technology company director, has accepted the task of guiding this year’s San Diego County Grand Jury as foreman.  


“I have always valued and wanted to work in civic/public service which is why I earned a Master’s Degree in Public Administration. In addition, being retired, I feel an extra responsibility to do something to give back to the community from which I have derived so many benefits,” says Newlands, a Carlsbad resident.


Newlands, along with eight women and 10 men will investigate citizen complaints and serve as a resident “watchdog” over government agencies. The Grand Jury will additionally make recommendations to improve government operations. 


“California is only one of two states that provides for a civil investigative County Grand Jury. We are fortunate that California provides this mechanism to ensure the citizens have the ability to inquire into and investigate local-government activities. This process helps in keeping these government entities efficient, effective and ethical. It is a great privilege to serve’” says Newlands. 


One grand juror reached out to ECM to encourage anyone with an issue they believe should be investigated to fill out a complaint form on the County Grand Jury’s webpage at There is an email for providing any additional documentation.

The San Diego County Grand Jury may investigate complaints by any person. Items the grand jury may investigate are:

  1. Mistreatment by officials or employees of the County of San Diego, cities and special district (school districts, water districts, etc.) within San Diego County. 
  2. Misconduct or wrongdoing in their official capacities by officials or employees of the County of San Diego, cities, school districts, or special districts, such as water, sewer, etc. within San Diego County.
  3. Government waste or inefficiencies by the County of San Diego or a city or special district within the County of San Diego.
  4. Failure of the County of San Diego or a city or special district to provide essential public services.

Recent topics of investigation that led to recommendations by the Grand Jury relevant in East County included wildfire preparedness, school safety, expenditure of school bond funds, and citizens’ oversight of police.   


At least one prominent name is on the list of Grand Jury members. Michael Shames bio lists him as director of the San Diego Consumers’ Action Network. Shames left the Utility Consumers Action Network (UCAN) in 2012 amid a federal investigation and allegations of financial irregularities and unauthorized bonuses. No charges were filed and Shames later won a lawsuit against UCAN over the bonuses, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported


The new Grand Jurors were randomly drawn from a total of 85 San Diego County residents. The names and occupations of the selected 2019/2020 Grand Jurors are listed below: 


Brown, Ken 5 Carlsbad Retired—Research Chemist 


Caroccia, Deborah 2 Spring Valley Elementary Reading Mentor 


Castro, Richard 4 San Diego Retired—U.S. Postal Service 


DePhilippis, Lillian 1 Coronado Retired—Dept. of Motor Vehicles 


Devan, Gary 3 San Diego Retired-Chief Information Officer 


Hall, Christinna 5 Carlsbad Retired Educator 


Haythe, John 1 San Diego Retired Merchandising Consultant 


Hoech, Cheryl 2 La Mesa Caterer 


Jacoby, John 2 La Mesa Retired Attorney at Law 


Kruszona, Raymond 3 San Diego Retired Facilities Manager 


Levine, Barry 2 La Mesa Retired—U.S. Army, Technical Consulting Firm 


Lind, Bradley 3 Encinitas Retired Program Manager 


Mattson, Chris 4 San Diego Retired Continuing Medical Education Rep 


McPherson, Ann 1 San Diego Retired Career Transition Specialist 


Newlands, III, Edward 5 Carlsbad Retired—Director of Supply Chain 


Robison, Jenifer 3 Escondido Retired—Policy Analyst 


Serrato, Jose 1 Chula Vista Retired—Customs and Border Protection 


Shames, Michael 4 San Diego Director—San Diego Consumers’ Action Network  


Wolfing, Nancy 2 San Diego Real Estate Broker

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