Warrant issued for Franks after no-show at hearing | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Warrant issued for Franks after no-show at hearing

An arrest warrant was issued for former Broc's Puppies operator Dennis Lee Franks when he failed to show for his preliminary hearing Tuesday in El Dorado County Superior Court. Visiting Judge Jerald Lasarow set Franks' bail at $110,000 after issuing the arrest warrant. In courtroom discussions between the judge and prosecution and defense lawyers, it was disclosed that Franks called the public defenders' office shortly before the preliminary hearing's scheduled start to say he could not attend because he had vertigo and was ill. He has driven up from Las Vegas for past hearings. Franks faces two dozen felony charges and a string of misdemeanor charges in connection with the pet shop. Authorities have alleged animal abuse, theft and forgery and that Franks knowingly sold animals that were sick or injured and not properly cared for, according to past media reports. The criminal complaint against Franks has been amended four times, the last time in September 2011. "If I had a felony case against me in Las Vegas, I think I would leave a day or two early to make sure I got there," Lasarow said of Franks' absence. "It seems to me he should have been here yesterday." Charged in 2010, Franks, has remained free on his own recognizance. Four years later, Franks has yet to face a preliminary hearing as his case has bounced around in the court system. El Dorado County Deputy District Attorney Cristy Lorente told Judge Lasarow that her office is prepared to move forward. "The people are here and prepared to go forward. We have witnesses here, you are here assigned to this full-day preliminary hearing," Lorente told the judge. "Reality is, he is not here, the case is old and the people are anxious to move forward with it." Public defender Bridget Matos argued Franks has maintained contact with the court. She also noted her office has agreed to a string of continuances requested by the district attorney's office over the last two years as the case changed hands among prosecutors.

Small claims, misdemeanor cases are moving forward against puppy store operator

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. – Since opening in the spring of 2008, Broc’s Puppies has attracted plenty of attention. Protesters picketed the store as recently as this month and the South Lake Tahoe City Council created a ban on the retail sale of cats and dogs in response to claims pet stores like Broc’s are selling dogs raised by high-volume breeders known as puppy mills. The store’s one-time operator, Dennis Franks, has denied allegations of selling puppy mill-bred dogs, but has still attracted attention in South Shore courtrooms. Three misdemeanor counts against Franks are likely headed to trial and three small claims suits have been filed against Franks in regards to dogs sold at the store. And felony charges are likely on the way, according to an El Dorado County prosecutor. Franks said he didn’t understand why he faces prosecution during a phone interview on Wednesday. “How can they try to give me a felony for selling dogs?” Franks asked. “I’m not a bad guy; I didn’t do anything,” Franks added. “I tried to help people. I tried to be as nice as I can.” He denied previous reports that he was the owner of Broc’s on Wednesday, but declined to say who owns the puppy store. City documents list Broc Alexander Franks as the owner. Assistant District Attorney Hans Uthe said he expects to file felony charges against Franks as a result of a June raid where South Lake Tahoe police confiscated a computer with documents pertaining to sales at the pet store. Uthe said he didn’t know the exact nature of the new charge or charges, but said they will relate to “record keeping and the manner in which dogs were sold out of there.” Uthe’s statement comes at a time when the June warrant service has been criticized by City Councilman Bill Crawford. At the Jan. 12 South Lake Tahoe City Council meeting, just days after the arrest of four employees at the store for alleged drug possession and parole violations, the council directed city staff to review Broc’s to see if it is in compliance with city licensing requirements. Councilman Bill Crawford opposed the move, saying the lack of prosecution stemming from the June raid represented a “creeping attitude about a police state in this town.” “I want to know what happened as a result of the police raid in June, because it seems to me that if there is a criminal act been committed then people should be charged,” Crawford said. “So far as a result of the June raid, and that’s what it was, nothing has happened, and I think the city is derelict in not moving the police department and the county prosecutors to get off the dime one way or the other.” Uthe had initially hoped to have the investigation regarding the puppy store completed in a matter or weeks following the June warrant service, but said progress on the prosecution has been stymied by a number of high-profile cases in the county. The cases against Nancy and Phillip Garrido for their alleged kidnapping and rape of Jaycee Lee Dugard, murder charges against El Dorado Hills teens Tylar Witt and Steven Colver and the Ulysses Roberson murder trial have taken time away from the necessary review of the documents seized from Broc’s, Uthe said. The recent robbery of a CVS Pharmacy in South Lake Tahoe also occurred just before he was going to review the almost 1,000 pages of documents in the case, Uthe added. “Violent crimes obviously get the highest priority,” Uthe said. “We don’t have the resources to do everything at once. I wish we did, but we don’t.” Uthe said he did not know when any new charges could be filed against Franks. The expected felony charge or charges against Franks are unrelated to a misdemeanor case, which is further along in the court process, Uthe said. Three misdemeanor charges – including one for alleged animal cruelty – were filed against Franks in July for Franks’ alleged refusal to give a Shetland sheep dog puppy proper veterinary care and being evasive when questioned about it by a county animal services officer. Franks called the misdemeanor charges “ridiculous,” saying the dog was taken to a veterinarian immediately after sustaining the injury and was cared for properly. “It makes me mad; they’re wasting my time, my money,” Franks said. He said he has spent thousands of dollars in legal expenses. “I’m going to straighten the whole thing out when I’m court. I’m not going to be bothered any more by it,” Franks said. The misdemeanor charges against Franks are scheduled to go to trial on Feb. 23. Two small claims suits against Franks have already been resolved, and a third is headed to court in March. On Oct. 2, Judge Richard Specchio ordered Franks to pay a Walnut Creek couple $533.44 for medical expenses related to a Pom poodle the couple bought from Broc’s Puppies last March. The poodle had two ear infections and the intestinal parasites Giardia and Isospora, according to veterinary records. The veterinarian who examined the puppy noted the problems were “well established” and existed at the time of purchase, according to court documents. Franks called the court on the day of the hearing to try and reschedule, saying he was sick and could not attend. Because Franks made the call at the last minute, the judge proceeded with the hearing as scheduled. On Dec. 11, Specchio ordered Franks to pay $1,081 to Laura Hanson for selling her a puppy she believed to be a purebred Yorkshire terrier. DNA testing revealed the puppy was at least 25 percent pointer. Franks did not attend the hearing where Specchio ruled in favor of Hanson. The puppy store operator requested the hearing be delayed because district attorneys have the computer with “all the paperwork required to present a defense in this case,” according to court documents. On Dec. 18, South Shore residents Michael and Jessica Barnhart filed a small claims suit against Franks because of two dogs they purchased in June. One dog died after 12 hours and the other was sick for three months, according to the suit. The couple is asking for $7,500 for the price of the puppies and pain and suffering endured by the family because of the purchases. The hearing in that case has been set for March 25. The suit also names Dennis Franks’ brother, David Franks, and father, Richard Franks, as defendants. David Franks was among those arrested on a fugitive warrant at the store earlier this month. An extradition hearing for David Franks is scheduled for Friday morning. Dennis Franks said he didn’t know anything about the reasons behind the arrests of employees at the store.

Couple pleads innocent to dog mauling death charges

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – The couple indicted in the dog mauling death of their neighbor pleaded innocent Tuesday. Marjorie Knoller, 45, and Robert Noel, 59, who remain jailed, briefly appeared in San Francisco County Superior Court, where they were wearing orange jail smocks. Knoller faces second-degree murder charges in the Jan. 26 mauling death of 33-year-old Diane Whipple because she was in the apartment hallway with the two dogs when they attacked. Both husband and wife face charges of involuntary manslaughter and keeping a mischievous dog that killed a human being. The two said they were keeping the dog for a Pelican Bay State Prison inmate who the couple have adopted. Authorities said the inmate was running an underground dog-breeding program to produce violent dogs. Jan Lecklikner, the public defender representing Knoller, asked Judge Philip Moscone to reduce the charges to mischievous dog charges, but he declined Tuesday. No trial date has been set. In a related development, the judge postponed a hearing on the media’s request to unseal transcripts of the secret grand jury proceedings that led to the couple’s March indictment. Knoller and Noel were caring for the two Presa Canario-mastiffs when the dogs – a 120-pound male named Bane and a 113-pound female named Hera – mauled Whipple, the St. Mary’s College lacrosse coach. The lawyers lived next door to the 110-pound Whipple. The animals were raised as part of a dogfighting ring run out of Pelican Bay State Prison by inmates Paul Schneider and Dale Bretches, prison officials said, adding that the dogs were trained to guard criminal operations such as methamphetamine labs. Schneider and Bretches are serving life sentences without parole. Schneider is doing time for robbery and attempted murder. Bretches was convicted of murder and assault with a deadly weapon while behind bars. Both belong to the Aryan Brotherhood, a white supremacist prison gang. In one of the case’s many strange twists, Noel and Knoller adopted Schneider as their son in a procedure that became official just three days after Whipple’s death. Days after the mauling, Noel sent a letter to prosecutors blaming Whipple for the attack, suggesting she should have gone inside her apartment and not aggressively reacted to the dogs. He also accused Whipple of striking his wife as Knoller tried to pull the dogs away. Noel also speculated in his letter to prosecutors that the attack may have been brought on by pheromone-based cosmetics Whipple might have been wearing, or that the lacrosse coach may have used steroids that could have attracted the dogs. The cases are People v. Knoller, 181813 and People v. Noel, 1977360.

Judge will hear arguments for separate trials in rape cases

No decisions were made Friday in the case of Edwin Robert Carlevato. The 46-year-old Pioneer, Calif., resident is charged with multiple felony counts in the rape, sexual assault and kidnapping of two women, and the attempted abduction of another. Carlevato has been in the El Dorado County Jail since his arrest in November 1999. If convicted, Carlevato is facing the possibility of several life terms. On Friday, Judge Jerald Lasarow said he would hear defense arguments June 30 to sever the cases to create separate trials. The prosecution has also brought a motion to exclude evidence of a witness’ previous misdemeanor conviction. The trial is set for July 31.

Judicial Discipline Commission mulls charges against EnEarl

CARSON CITY — Special prosecutor Mary Boetsch argued Wednesday that East Fork Justice of the Peace James EnEarl stepped over the line, showing his bias and violating ethics standards in how he handled Michael Manoukian’s parole revocation two years ago. EnEarl’s lawyer John Springate said the judge’s only real error was in holding the revocation hearing May 21, 2001, without Manoukian’s lawyer Mike Roeser present. Springate said tough sounding comments the judge made were an attempt to get the defendant to follow the rules and straighten out his life. Whether EnEarl’s conduct violated Nevada’s conduct standards for judges is now up to the Commission on Judicial Discipline, which took the case under submission after two-hours of arguments. They are expected to rule within 20 days. “Judge EnEarl was honestly and sincerely trying to help this young man,” said Springate, rejecting arguments the judge’s comments during the hearing show bias. “There is no showing of bias,” he said. “There is no showing the judge has closed his mind to the evidence.” Manoukian, 27, was a recovering drug addict on parole for writing bad checks when he failed to show up on time for two court appearances to explain why he failed to find and keep a job and make restitution for his bad checks. He committed suicide five days after EnEarl revoked his parole and put him back in jail. Boetsch cited transcripts of court hearings on May 18 and 21 in which EnEarl said Manoukian was “starting to offend me” and had “failed and refused to get a job.” EnEarl during the second hearing told Manoukian, “quite frankly, I’m getting fed up with you.” When Manoukian told the judge he was sorry for being late, the judge responded, “Well, you’re not nearly as sorry as you’re about to be.” When told that Manoukian’s father, former Supreme Court Chief Justice Noel Manoukian, had paid his restitution, EnEarl said the son “hasn’t paid a dime — he won’t do anything I’ve told him to.” Boetsch said those comments show the judge was biased. But the big issue is holding the hearing without notice to Manoukian’s lawyer, which even Springate admitted was wrong. “That’s not something you forget when you’re considering sending some one to jail for a year. He’d already made up his mind,” said Boetsch, arguing EnEarl allowed his personal frustration and anger to bias his treatment of Manoukian. “I’m not here suggesting Judge EnEarl be removed from office, but he crossed the line,” she said asking for sanctions against EnEarl. Springate admitted the judge was frustrated by Manoukian’s repeated failure to meet requirements and show improvement, but said the only actual error he made was not getting Manoukian’s lawyer to the hearing.

Judge hears case of fired police officer

The honesty of former South Lake Tahoe police officer Johnny Poland went on trial this week, and whether the embattled former officer will return to police the streets of South Lake Tahoe now rests in a judge’s hands. El Dorado County Superior Court Judge Steven Bailey heard arguments from attorneys representing South Lake Tahoe and Poland on Wednesday, saying he would consider them and issue a written ruling on the matter at a later time. The city is challenging a December ruling by a three-member hearing board that unanimously found the city abused its discretion when firing Poland for his alleged cover-up of a Nov. 20, 2006, incident in which a student brought a BB gun to South Tahoe High School. Around 9:45 a.m. that day, dispatchers received reports of a large fight at the school where gunshots were possibly fired. The school was subsequently locked down by police. During an interview with a male student who was involved in the fight, Poland found a broken BB gun in the student’s car and told him to get rid of it, according to testimony by the student discussed in the hearing board’s decision. Poland – who was familiar with the student – later issued a citation to him for bringing a weapon onto campus, according to the hearing board’s decision. Poland said he did not report the discovery of the BB gun to supervisor Cam Carmichael because he found the gun irrelevant to the investigation after it had been determined that no shots were actually fired at the school that day, according to testimony in the hearing board’s decision. Following an internal investigation of the incident, Police Chief Terry Daniels fired Poland in June 2007. The decision was later upheld by City Manager David Jinkens. Poland then appealed the decision to the hearing board. Terminated police officers are allowed a hearing before a hearing board as part of an appeal process specified in agreement between the city and the South Lake Tahoe Police Officers’ Association. The board determined that Poland’s actions justified a six-week suspension and a condition that Poland not be allowed to volunteer for duties that would raise his pay above base salary for 18 months. But the board concluded Poland’s actions did not warrant his termination. Poland is being paid by the city following the board’s decision, but has not returned to work as a police officer since he was fired. The city vehemently fought the board’s decision during the hearing on Wednesday. Poland’s failure to report the BB gun to his supervisor shows a pattern of behavior he has displayed throughout his career that will make him ineffective as a witness during future criminal cases if he returns to work for the police department, argued Cynthia O’Neill, the attorney representing the city in the case. Defense attorneys will be able to cast doubt on any testimony Poland might give in the future, possibly allowing criminals to go free, O’Neill said. “We have dishonesty plain and simple,” O’Neill told the court on Wednesday. “Poland violated the most basic of police responsibilities by not reporting the gun and telling supervisors,” O’Neill said. Poland’s attorney, Steven Welty, argued honesty is not central to the case and, because it was determined there were no guns used during the fight, the BB gun in the car is “totally separate” from the incident that prompted the lockdown. “The crux of the problem is that the board did not find Johnny Poland was dishonest,” Welty said. Although the hearing board found Poland used “extremely poor judgment” by not collecting the gun, the board’s findings do not state Poland was dishonest in his handling of the incident. Poland’s behavior did not rise to level of the “deliberate, clear dishonesty” required to justify termination in legal precedent guiding the case, Welty argued . “This was not a dishonesty issue, they did not find that in this case,” Welty said. The board’s decision also did not meet the legal precedent that it be “arbitrary, capricious or patently abusive” for a judge to overturn it, Welty argued. O’Neill countered by arguing that that the board’s decision would be arbitrary and capricious because the decision would send a “dishonest cop back to the streets.” “We have an officer that cannot do his job,” O’Neill said. “If that’s not harm to the public service, I don’t know what is.” Earlier in the hearing, Judge Steven Bailey questioned whether that was the case. “I don’t think (the hearing board’s decision) was arbitrary, and does it reach the level of patently abusive,” Bailey asked O’Neill at one point during Wednesday’s hearing, before taking the arguments under submission. Bailey did not give a timeline for a decision on the case. Following Wednesday’s hearing, Poland maintained that he was wrongly terminated and said he would continue doing what he had been since his dismissal more than two years ago. “All you can do is sit and wait,” Poland said.

Nevada bill removes guns from those under restraining orders

CARSON CITY (AP) – Nevada Assembly lawmakers heard a bill Thursday that would require anyone under an extended restraining order in a domestic violence case to surrender firearms. Assemblyman William Horne, D-Las Vegas, main sponsor of AB194, said the bill was amended to still allow for ownership of guns, but requires the person under such an order to relinquish any firearms until the order expires. Horne said divorce or child custody proceedings are often a volatile time in a relationship in which domestic violence has occurred. Abusers are known to use guns against their victims, and also against others “who happen to just be in their way,” Horne added. “We are attempting to remove the firearm during this period of time when tempers are at their highest, people aren’t thinking their clearest,” he said. The Southern Nevada Domestic Violence Prevention Task Force reported that the majority of domestic violence deaths are caused by guns. Nationally, about 2,500 women have died as a result of domestic violence since 2004. The task force didn’t provide specific numbers of such deaths in Nevada, but noted that in 2004 the state ranked 5th among the states in the numbers of women killed by someone they knew intimately. Assemblyman Ty Cobb, R-Reno, asked about the burden of proof required when a domestic violence accusation is made. Frank Sullivan, a Clark County Family Court hearing master, said a judge relies on sworn testimony to find that probable cause exists in an apparent abuse case. He cited court precedent that allows guns be taken away in such cases. Cobb pressed him on constitutional issues. “Doesn’t that raise any concerns on a level that a legislator has to review in terms of taking away constitutional rights just for probable cause?” Cobb asked. Sullivan said the burden is on judges to hear the facts, as they do with any case. “It puts responsibility on the judiciary to take it seriously. You are taking people’s liberties, their right to possess a weapon,” Sullivan said. Details on how the guns will be surrendered and where they would be stored are still being worked out. The bill also would direct a court to order either person in a dispute to take care of an animal that has been kept as a pet by either of them or their child. No one spoke in opposition to the measure.

Prosecutor urges resolution in the case against former Broc’s puppy store operator

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. – Three misdemeanor charges against the former operator of Broc’s Puppies, Dennis Franks, need to move forward, said El Dorado County Deputy District Attorney Tony Sears during a court hearing in South Lake Tahoe on Friday. Unless there is a benefit to hearing the existing charges with a second criminal complaint that has yet to be filed, the case should be settled or a trial date should be set at Franks’ next hearing on June 4, Sears said. Franks did not attend Friday’s hearing, but has denied wrongdoing in his operation of the store. Prosecutors filed animal cruelty, failing to care for an animal and obstructing police officer charges against Franks in July after he allegedly refused to give a Shetland sheep dog puppy proper veterinary care and was evasive when questioned about it by a county animal services officer. For the past several months, prosecutors have been working on a 200-plus count complaint against Franks that includes both criminal and civil charges. Filing of the complaint has been delayed due to complexities involved in combining criminal and civil charges. A heavy workload has also held up progress on the new complaint, El Dorado County Assistant District Attorney Hans Uthe said on Friday.

Giants’ prospect Villalona charged with murder

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic – A top prospect for the San Francisco Giants was charged with murder in the death of a 25-year-old man last weekend at a bar in his Caribbean homeland. Angel Villalona, who received a club-record $2.1 million bonus when he was signed by the Giants in 2006, wore a bulletproof vest Monday to his hearing at a court in the city of La Romana. He pleaded innocent to the murder charge. The 19-year-old Villalona could face up to 20 years in prison if found guilty in the Saturday night shooting death of Mario Felix de Jesus Velete. Judge Aranibal Manzano Zapata ordered Villalona jailed for two months while authorities prepare their case in the Dominican Republic. Villalona turned himself in 12 hours after the shooting at a La Romana bar. “This is a serious case of voluntary homicide,” public prosecutor Jose Polanco said. Police haven’t said what the motive for the shooting was. Villalona, who appeared tired at Monday’s hearing, refused to talk to reporters and tried to hide his face from photographers. The first baseman played in 74 games with Class-A San Jose this season, batting .267 with nine home runs and 42 RBIs. Baseball America chose him as the Giants’ top prospect before the 2008 season and he was selected for the Futures Game during All-Star festivities that year. The Giants said Monday night they wouldn’t comment further after issuing a statement Sunday saying the club was “disappointed” to learn that Villalona was considered a suspect by Dominican police. “We will monitor the situation closely and trust that the judicial process in the Dominican Republic will resolve the matter promptly and fairly,” the team said in Sunday’s statement. Frank Micheli, president of the Azucareros del Este – Villalona’s winter baseball team – did not immediately return calls.

McCourt marital pact on Dodgers ruled invalid

LOS ANGELES – A postnuptial agreement giving Frank McCourt sole ownership of the Los Angeles Dodgers was thrown out Tuesday by a judge, allowing McCourt’s ex-wife to seek half of one of baseball’s most storied franchises and leaving the team’s future uncertain. Despite the ruling by Superior Court Judge Scott Gordon, the bitter saga over who owns the team is no closer to resolution. It could, however, force the feuding former couple to reach a settlement to avoid further off-field distractions. The ruling wasn’t expected to affect team operations but does mean the Dodgers could eventually be shared under California community property law. Gordon said there wasn’t a mutual understanding between Jamie and Frank McCourt about what the pact spelled out when they signed it in March 2004 in Massachusetts, shortly after the Dodgers were bought for about $430 million. “The parties had mistaken belief and no agreement as to the meaning of the agreement, the content of the agreement, and the effect of the (agreement) on their property and property rights,” Gordon wrote in his 100-page tentative ruling. The agreement was designed to spell out that the couple’s luxurious homes would belong to Jamie McCourt as a way to protect the properties from her ex-husband’s creditors. However, the 10-page document has become a lesson in how to bungle a postnup. Two conflicting versions were signed, and both McCourts acknowledged they hadn’t read the agreement, something Judge Gordon highlighted in his ruling. The testimony by both parties “paints a picture of two people who had no involvement in the drafting or execution of the (agreement) and related documents and further that they so entrusted all matters regarding the (agreement) to their lawyers, that they did not closely read or did not read at all, the drafts or final copies of the various (agreements) involved in this case,” Gordon wrote. Jamie McCourt’s lawyer, David Boies, said his client was pleased with the decision, but she wants a reasonable resolution of divorce negotiations that involved the postnuptial agreement. “It’s in the interest of her, her family, Dodger fans and the team,” to settle, Boies told The Associated Press. “She’s not going to insist on exactly half, but if she’s prepared to compromise, Frank has to look at this case with some realism.” Lawyers for Frank McCourt plan to ask Gordon for a hearing to argue he is the sole owner of the Dodgers because he has title to the team, stadium and surrounding land – worth hundreds of millions of dollars. “Without the agreements in place, it becomes the court’s job to determine which property is Frank’s and which is Jamie’s based on who holds legal title to the team,” attorney Marc Seltzer said in a statement. “The facts are crystal clear on this point. The Dodgers are solely in Frank’s name.” The ruling came after an 11-day trial that focused on whether the agreement should determine who owns the team. Frank McCourt contends the agreement gives the Dodgers to him. His estranged wife argues no one told her she gave up her purported stake in the team by signing the document. The couple have been embroiled in a nasty and costly divorce trial, where legal bills alone are estimated to top $20 million. The case has provided the public a rare glimpse into the inner workings of a Major League Baseball team. Through testimony and reams of court documents, observers have learned about the Dodgers’ finances and how the former couple’s lavish lifestyle affected the team. Both sides gave differing accounts of what their intentions were when they signed the agreement, but one aspect was clear – neither of them read the agreement closely enough. During the trial, Jamie McCourt, 56, maintained she was the team’s co-owner and would never have signed away her purported stake in the Dodgers had she known the agreement took it away from her. Frank McCourt, 57, countered his wife was the driving force behind the agreement. Both took the witness stand during the trial and gave snapshots of their nearly 30-year marriage. Jamie McCourt’s legal team argued the pact wasn’t valid because their client didn’t have her own attorney when the agreement was signed, and Frank McCourt eventually agreed to make all their assets community property. The lawyers also pointed out there were two versions of the agreement, due to a family lawyer’s error. One gave the Dodgers and related assets to Frank McCourt, and another did not. The Dodgers were hemorrhaging tens of millions of dollars every year under previous owners before the team was bought and mostly financed by short-term loans, according to court documents. Jamie McCourt testified that she and Frank McCourt frequently talked about selling the team if they couldn’t turn around its financial misfortunes. She was fired in October 2009 as the team’s CEO, a job that paid her $2 million salary. She filed for divorce the same month, citing irreconcilable differences. The McCourts have been married since 1979. Most of the McCourts’ assets have been tied up in real estate and they both argued in court documents they have been strapped for cash, despite their affinity for spending. Court documents indicated the former couple has taken out more than $100 million in loans from Dodger-related businesses. Dodger fans were unsure how the judge’s decision would impact the team’s ability to reach the postseason, but they have been encouraged by a flurry of off-season moves that included the acquisitions of ex-Padres pitcher Jon Garland, Giants infielder Juan Uribe and bringing back hurlers Hiroki Kuroda and Ted Lilly. “My initial reaction is that I want this whole divorce case to be over soon as possible so the ownership status can be finalized and we can move on,” said Scott Mosher, 43, of Yorba Linda.