Mayor Enters Plea in Pilfering of Pile of Petty Papers

Berkeley – Dec. 12, 2002

Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates will plead guilty to the infraction charge of petty theft for the Nov. 4 theft of 1,000 copies of the Daily Californian, UC Berkeley’s student newspaper. The issue in question contained an endorsement of Bates’ opponent in the November election, then-Mayor Shirley Dean.

Bates will pay a $250 fine, in addition to a restitution of $500 he will pay the Cal to cover the lost papers.

“I feel terrible about my actions, and I feel this is a step toward restitution with the Daily Cal,” Bates said.

Federal Court Denies Motions to Dismiss by Enron Defendants

Dec. 20 – The federal judge handling the Enron Corp. securities lawsuit recently ruled against several major financial institutions and the company’s accounting firm, denying most defendants’ motions to be dismissed from the case. Enron shareholders may now begin the process of depositions and evidence discovery.

“Today’s decision by Judge [Melinda] Harmon is a major victory for Enron’s investors,” said James Holst, general counsel for the UC, which is lead plaintiff in the shareholders’ class action lawsuit.

Harmon’s 306-page ruling, issued in the U.S. District Court in Houston, Texas, denied in their entirety the motions of J.P. Morgan Chase, Citigroup, Credit Suisse First Boston, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, and Barclay’s Bank, as well as those of Enron’s accountants, Arthur Andersen, LLP, and Enron’s corporate legal counsel, Vincent and Elkins.

In a separate ruling, the judge decided documents provided by defendants during evidence discovery would not be sealed from the public.

The institutions in question are named in the lawsuit, of which the University is lead plaintiff, as key players in a series of fraudulent transactions that cost shareholders more than $25 billion.

UC San Francisco Scientists Move to New Building

San Francisco – Dec. 6, 2002

Nine hundred UC San Francisco researchers will begin a complicated move to the fifth floor of a new Mission Bay Campus building, Genentech Hall, next week. The first scientists and staff to begin the move starting Jan. 8 will be those working in Charlie Craik, Susan Miller, Tom James and Volker Doetsch’s labs.

The task of moving the equipment for Genentech Hall’s 60 labs is so complicated it has its own relocation coordinator from Facilities Management, Tom Hochmuth. There are thousands of pieces of laboratory and office equipment and supplies, from computers and fax machines to hazardous materials and electron microscopes that cost $100,000 just to move.

Later this month, Hochmuth will begin pre-move-in meetings for faculty and staff who will make up the next wave of inhabitants of the building on the second and third floors. Although the meetings are time-consuming and difficult to schedule, Hochmuth said people have been taking the inconvenience in stride. “All the faculty and lab staff have been incredibly cooperative and supportive.”

Workers Union Takes UC Struggle to Pages of NY Times

Dec. 13 – The union representing clerical employees throughout the UC system has taken out a full page advertisement in the New York Times that calls UC the state’s “worst public employer” and demands wage increases.

The ad, which appeared Monday is the latest shot fired in the two-year contract battle between the University and the Coalition of University Employees that represents 18,000 clerical employees. It comes on the eve of the upcoming UC Regents meeting, taking place Wednesday and Thursday in San Francisco, and contains an admonition to the regents to pressure UC to bargain fairly.

“The University doesn’t play fair with its workers, and we wanted people to know about it,” said C.U.E. chief negotiator Margy Wilkinson.

The ad includes claims by the union that UC can indeed afford the raises C.U.E. is demanding, despite the $373 million in University budget cuts suggested in Gov. Gray Davis’ budget proposal.

UC contends that the union’s demands are not feasible.

“We continue to offer them the same wage increase we’ve offered other employees, which is one and a half percent,” said UC spokesman Paul Schwartz. “They continue to demand 15 percent over the next two years, and that’s just not financially realistic.”

The two sides began a mediation session Tuesday that will be attended by a representative from the State Mediation and Conciliation Service, an impartial state agency that provides labor relations for free. Schwartz said it was unknown how long the sessions will last.

– Compiled by Stephanie Tavares and Travis Hunter