Jones & Mayer. More Failure.


Now that the Howard Jarvis Taxpayer’s Association has weighed in on the issue of Fullerton’s 10% water tax with the suggestion of potential legal action, it seems an opportune time to consider the quality of legal support the City receives from its high-priced lawyers, Jones & Mayer.

Specifically, how can anybody explain the fact that the City Attorney Richard Jones has overlooked the obvious fact that the City of Fullerton’s in-lieu franchise fee of 10% was nothing but an illegal utility tax that was never substantiated by any objective study as required by Prop 218; and that it amounts to paying costs for alleged services that far exceed the actual cost of any services rendered to the water users, in violation of the State Constitution. Every year since he was hired in the early 90′s Attorney Jones’ bosses on the City Council approved water rates that automatically passed along this tax to the rate payers. Of course discussion of the embarrassing 10% add-on was avoided like the plague and was quickly dismissed when anybody brought it up.

Well, Friends, the answer is pretty simple: Attorney Jones wasn’t representing the interests of the people of Fullerton, he was representing the interests of the City staff and city councils who depended on that annual $2.5 million rip-off to close their General Fund budget gaps. That’s right, the General Fund that goes to pay the salaries of City employees;  that goes to pay the Council’s stipends, insurance, and car allowances; that goes to pay the for the Council’s junkets to fancy hotels to attend League of Cities meetings; and that goes to pay pensions – including those gaudy six-figure pension bonanzas of Councilmembers Don Bankhead and Pat McKinley.

The reason for employing an attorney is to get sound legal advice, not to have someone tell you what you want to hear; or, even worse, not tell you what he thinks you don’t want to hear. But such is evidently not the case in Fullerton.

For Jones & Mayer placing the interests of the staff and defending the indefensible is nothing new. And the price tag for this string failures has mounted over the years. Let’s take a moment and reflect upon some of these issues. Hmm. So many to choose from. Here’s a sampling:

Good grief, this is pretty embarrassing. It’s clear that the City Attorney is more interested in harassing the citizens of Fullerton than in sticking up for their rights. And this seems like a pretty good barometer to assess the attitude of the council majority – Bankhead, Jones, and McKinley.

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  1. #1 by truthseeker on November 29, 2011

    Keep the fire burning, the lights on and the leash short.

  2. #2 by PJ on November 29, 2011

    I support the lawsuit.

    HALF of my water bill last month was extra fees not related to water!

  3. #3 by streets of fullerton on November 29, 2011

    can’t blame the higher rates on the drought, the weather hasn’t been cooperating…

  4. #4 by Fullerton Resident on November 29, 2011

    Anybody who has seen Jones in action knows his only interest is in protecting the policies of the staff. It’s really quite sickening. There’s no integrity there just a real good income.

    This service needs to go out to bid at least once every decade.

  5. #5 by Reality Is on November 29, 2011

    Thanks for posting those links from the past. I’ve never read anything from your pre Kelly anti government work. Interesting reading for sure. :)

  6. #6 by College Park Codger on November 29, 2011

    First J & M scares the council majority from even commenting on the Thomas killing. Now they scare them from even trying to enforce Sellers’ contract, where he agreed to live in the City. “Police Officers Bill of Rights”—clearly they represent staff and employees, not the Council.

    Agency staff is the same–remember when Odderman scared Mayor Jones into voting for that Mithaiwala low-income housing project?

  7. #7 by Reality Is on November 29, 2011

    Can you post that section in his contract where it says he must live in the City of Fullerton? Thanks.

  8. #8 by anonymous on November 29, 2011

    I guess I have been complacent, thinking my elected officials are looking out for my/our best interest. Yes, this is sickening.

  9. #9 by Reality Is on November 29, 2011

    Scary part is it’s the same in every city around all the way up to the national level!!! Politics blows!! :)

  10. #10 by Polliwog on November 29, 2011

    I agree the advice the city of Fullerton received by Jones and Mayer is dismal. When the city has an new city counsel I feel the best firm to represent the city would be the firm owned by Shawn Nelson. He has a proven track record and the wisdom and experience to represent it’s citizens.

  11. #11 by Reality Is on November 29, 2011

    Too much of a conflict and a past. Best thing would be along the lines I preach for Chief. Go outside, go new. Fresh. Someone with a passion, a new vision, and a desire to prove themselves in a legal, energetic manner. :)

  12. #12 by Polliwog on November 29, 2011

    But how could Bushala and friends cash in on bringing into the city new venders if they don’t hire their “under the table business partners” to share the spoils of their victory when they control the city government?

  13. #13 by Anonymous on November 29, 2011

    I’m wondering again… about the above story…car allowances; that must be such a nice perk, who has a car allowance?
    I wish I had a job with a car allowance.. but I digress.

    Also what kind of “junkets” are you referring to?

    I am so mad at myself….
    WHY, oh WHY didn’t I become a public servant?

  14. #14 by Fullerton Local on November 29, 2011

    Thank you for the effort you put forth in bringing to light the tragic events that happen in our once proud little city. Your site FFFF goes above and beyond the call of duty and for one resident I say THANK YOU and please dont stop! Maybe other residents will open there eyes and see whats really going on….

  15. #15 by fedupwithmorons on November 29, 2011

    polliwogre, it’s vendor not vender as you have it spelled.

  16. #16 by Plain Cake on November 29, 2011

    nitwit-yeah, ok-dont forget to take your meds -especially that one for paranoia

    Someone is doing something for you, ungrateful potato skin

  17. #17 by Mark Shipman on November 29, 2011

    I’m going to have to disagree with this statement:

    “The reason for employing an attorney is to get sound legal advice, not to have someone tell you what you want to hear; or, even worse, not tell you what he thinks you don’t want to hear.”

    Many hire attorneys for the purpose of hearing what they want to hear. A common line of defense, personally, when accused of corporate malfeasance is that due diligence was sought by those who should know. If legal representation could not ascertain the legality of a situation how should those not trained in the law be expected to come to a different conclusion.

    Just my observation.

  18. #18 by Anonymous on November 29, 2011

    Funny with this whole water thing went. Does fluoride make your hair turn blue?

  19. #19 by The Fullerton Harpoon on November 29, 2011

    Right. If you are a weasel in the first place, you might do that.

    But the primary point of the post is the ethical quality of Jones & Meyer.

    Our council majority doesn’t even have the huevos to throw Jones under the bus, although they may have second thoughts after they are recalled.

  20. #20 by Erin on November 29, 2011

    http://www.ci.san-fernando.ca.us/city_government/city_council/agendas_minutes/2011/11-21-11-CC-Audio.mp3

    San Fernando Mayor admits at the end of a council meeting @1:04 that he is having an affair with a Council Woman with his wife in the front row.. Do you think Fullerton would ever come clean like this…

  21. #21 by Erin on November 29, 2011

    I’m so glad I’ve crawled out from under that rock..

  22. #22 by Fred Alcazar on November 29, 2011

    What the hell is a “vender?”

    FPOA GED idiot.

  23. #23 by vw type 53a on November 29, 2011

    Reality Is :
    Scary part is it’s the same in every city around all the way up to the national level!!! Politics blows!!

    Bingo!

    …but we are starting here. We don’t have a voice that can be heard nationally, so it is what it is. We will do what we can on a local level and hope the echo carries up the chain. “Think Globally, Act Locally” or something like that.

  24. #24 by truthseeker on November 29, 2011

    We will change things in our own backyard and others will follow our lead. Politics is awesome for those on the right side of things. It blows for the thugs.

  25. #25 by Anonymous on November 29, 2011

    Fullerton Harpoon, I’d agree with you if life were absolutely perfect, but as Mark said, many hire attorneys to cover their asses and hear what they wish.

  26. #26 by One for the books on November 29, 2011

    Crazy stuff going on there! WOW!! Why would he admit to that in public session?

  27. #27 by One for the books on November 29, 2011

    End corruption in Fullerton!! RECALL!!!

  28. #28 by cg on November 29, 2011

    Old corruption out, but, new corruption coming in. politics, isn’t freedom grand…..

  29. #29 by truthseeker on November 29, 2011

    Freedom comes at a price and it is very grand. This time it is not going to be another “who” song cuz this time we won’t get fooled again.

  30. #30 by cg on November 29, 2011

    Don’t let those bubbles, up your bum feel too good. Cause when they pop, crap hit the fan. I think it’s good that you are so positive, I still have my questions, but I will stay positive also. Here’s to a City with ethics…..

  31. #31 by Reality Is on November 29, 2011

    Did you see the Mayor of San Fernando’s speech last night? Lol as he’s telling people not to speak and obey the rules he wanted to let everyone know that he lost his business, filed personal bankruptcy, filed corporate bankruptcy, and ohhhh and that’s hes also been bangin the fellow council lady for awhile. His wife was in the front row and he had her escorted out by the cops lol. Politics is a mess everywhere. Herman Cain for Fullerton Mayor? Lol :-)

  32. #32 by homebaseump on November 29, 2011

    For what its worth:
    THE TEAM THAT MAKES THE RULES,WINS.
    You may challenge the status quo under their present rules, but in order to advance the cause and obtain your goal, tactics must be exercised that surprises and confuses your adversary.
    Use your ingenuity and take action, ragging out on this blog is not going to get the message to the voters.

  33. #33 by One for the books on November 29, 2011

    Is there video? How do you know the details of what happened?

  34. #34 by Reality Is on November 29, 2011

    Yes. Video and audio. Google it.

  35. #35 by epoc on November 29, 2011

    occupy fullerton city hall?

  36. #36 by One for the books on November 29, 2011

    WOW! Next week’s city council meeting in San Fernando portends to make those in Fullerton look tame by comparison!

  37. #37 by One for the books on November 29, 2011

    I am more than willing to protests, but living like animals in a commune just doesn’t float my boat!

  38. #38 by nipsey on November 30, 2011

    That is not what the contract said, it said he was to make a bona fide effort to reside in Fullerton by the end of 2010. Of course he did not do this, because if he did he would live in Fullerton as it is not diffcult.

  39. #39 by van get it da artiste on November 30, 2011

    These three are so gone from any form of governing and the recall can’t come sooner. I bet these three and their recent predecessors believed raising 10% tax on the essence of life, water, would not financially harm anyone and give fullerton’s snivel servants more money to buy goodies for themselves. But I am remiss, fullerton’s civic leaders did give us a 10 million dollar remodeled library in an era where libraries are becoming extinct due to internet, kindle ah you know incredibly easy personal access to literature, information and trivia. A scene from the film “Ghandi” shows poor villages pushed into increasing poverty and misery because the British governors raised the tax on salt so to fund their safaris. Extreme comparisons, so far, but premises identical.

  40. #40 by One for the books on November 30, 2011

    Water tax… another fat-cat ripoff scheme! Oxygen tax coming soon??

  41. #41 by AntiCorruptionUnit on November 30, 2011

    You would be amazed at the cash flow J&M have flowing in as a result of representing cities like Fullerton. THEY love stupid.

    J&M are bottom feeding attorney’s and they are very good at milking their clients.

    Last time I heard this law firm was council for the California Chiefs and Sheriff’s association.

  42. #42 by Wrong Guy on November 30, 2011

    City Attorney Richard Jones was reluctant to tell Mayor Jones it was optional to ‘fill out a card’ to speak at the council meetings.
    Shows what a butt-puppet Richard Jones is to his bosses.
    Way to go Erin for educating those bozos how to ‘do their job’.

  43. #43 by One for the books on November 30, 2011

    Were people actually thrown out of the council chamber? There was screaming in the background and it sounded like someone told the mayor F… you, but no video to see what happened.

  44. #44 by Friendly Neighbor on November 30, 2011

    Wrong Guy :City Attorney Richard Jones was reluctant to tell Mayor Jones it was optional to ‘fill out a card’ to speak at the council meetings.Shows what a butt-puppet Richard Jones is to his bosses.Way to go Erin for educating those bozos how to ‘do their job’.

    Actually the attorney was a substitute. Jones was not there. He did try a few times to tell Dick but Dick was on such a power trip that he wouldn’t listen. Even Blankhead tried to reel in Dick. Pure comedy.

  45. #45 by The Inquiring Mind on November 30, 2011

    Richard Jones is also the city attorney for La Habra.
    Remember…there was originally a lack of water argument against the Coyote Hills development .
    That argument was put to rest because Chevron “sold” La Habra some water rights and La Habra agreed to a 30yr contract to supply water to the new development.
    What a coincidence!

  46. #46 by Friendly Neighbor on November 30, 2011

    One for the books :Were people actually thrown out of the council chamber? There was screaming in the background and it sounded like someone told the mayor F… you, but no video to see what happened.

    I wouldn’t say people were thrown out of the meeting. Jimmy and Erin both were “escorted” out. Jimmy came back in with his “blue card” filled out, and I believe Erin left shortly after hanging out in the penalty box for awhile.

  47. #47 by a bushala bully on November 30, 2011

    I think that guy (forgot his name) who bragged-offered on the anti recall “website” that he will pay your water bill if you can find an overcharge on your bill-will be payin alot of bills when Howard Jarvis gets through

  48. #48 by Wrong Guy on November 30, 2011

    Thanks for that FN…I wasn’t at this meeting but watched it on the city’s website, however you couldn’t see who was sitting in the attorney’s seat.
    He kind of sounded like Jones though.

  49. #49 by R. Finkelheim on November 30, 2011

    You mean like he had marbles in his mouth?

  50. #50 by Curious on November 30, 2011

    RI, you’re losing what little credibility you ever had. College Park Codger wrote; “he agreed to live in Fullerton”. He didn’t write; “he must live in the City of Fullerton”. Stop lying!

    Reality Is :
    Can you post that section in his contract where it says he must live in the City of Fullerton? Thanks.

  51. #51 by KP on November 30, 2011

    Reality Is :
    Scary part is it’s the same in every city around all the way up to the national level!!!

    The difference between you and the people that believe in this blog is that we are doing something about making Fullerton NOT “like every city around”! You suck ass you :-) :-) :-) :-) :-)

  52. #52 by Reality Is on November 30, 2011

    I thought you were talking legal contract. Like he violated his contract and they could fire him for it.

    You clarified. It said try your hardest. Which means if he says he tried that’s the end of the story. He’s long gone enjoying retirement anyways.
    :-)

  53. #53 by Reality Is on November 30, 2011

    Yes I see that. Crickets? :)

  54. #54 by The Fullerton Harpoon on November 30, 2011

    Not quite yet.

  55. #55 by nipsey on November 30, 2011

    Reality Is :
    IIt said try your hardest. Which means if he says he tried that’s the end of the story.

    No it doesn’t. It means that if push comes to shove he’d need to show that, for example, either he or a realtor he hired searched for suitable homes, and that they did not find a suitable home after making a documented bona fide effort (a Reality Is doesn’t find anything because he doesn’t look for it would not qualify), and the the lack of suitability was not simly that it was in Fullerton and not San Clemente, which meant his acceptance of the conract wasnot in good faith. Hard to prove, perhaps, but not done and done.

  56. #56 by Reality Is on November 30, 2011

    Yes you are right. If you think someone is going to sue or fire him or attempt to get pay back for that then you are smoking crack. :)

  57. #57 by nipsey on November 30, 2011

    Arrest me, I have a surprise!

  58. #58 by Reality Is on November 30, 2011

    Can I touch you after I put the cuffs on? Lol ;-)

  59. #59 by Did you know? on December 1, 2011

    Remember that the Law Firm of Jones & Mayer employs Attorney Paul Coble who is good friends with Pat McKinley. Paul Coble is a retired captain from LAPD just as Pat McKinley is, and they have been friends/colleagues since the 1960′s. Like most of the attorney’s from Jones & Mayer, Paul Coble is as big a Weasel as they come. There is NOTHING those attorney’s won’t do for money. Their position on any issue is precisely what their paying clients position is on any issue. Helping police chief’s and sheriff’s successfully engage in Whistle Blower retaliation is one of their biggest selling points to city/police management.

  60. #60 by Reality Is on December 1, 2011

    That and don’t forget defending lawsuits against the cities. It’s amazing how much money they make defending lawsuits and doing things where they can bill long hours. The budgets for these firms are amazing. Sick. But in an era where all cities are being sued daily, these law firms are making more and more every year to defend the lawsuits. So many are BS lawsuits too so the city and the attorneys want to fight them until the end to prove a point, so then it costs the maximum amounts. Nuts.

  61. #61 by Reality Is on December 1, 2011

    Tony & Chris. Put up a comparison of the City Attorney and City Contract Attorney bills for the last 10 years. It’s sick.

  62. #62 by Bobbie on February 5, 2013

    Jones & mayer is live and well in South Pasadena! Pulling the same sorts of tricks — covering up employees’ crime and using the City Attorney’s (Richard Adams) and Jones & mayer to get the employees to perjure themselves. Jones & mayer made me face penalties over $6 million and 4 1/2 years in jail for building code violations in my backyard.

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