The Fullerton Police Department has also been a collaborator in the craziness “working with” the dysfunctional culture, following political orders and smelling lots of overtime, no doubt, and maybe even relishing the opportunity to crack a few 909 noggins once in a while.
And of course, the media has been utterly silent on the $1.5 million abuse of the City budget, the drunken violence, the sexual assaults, the broken laws, the mega bonanza for the subsidized, out-of-control bar owners.
Here’s another in a series of small rip-offs that show how casually and frivolously Fullerton’s head employees threw our money around under the incompetent regime of Joe Felz.
Back in September, then Chief Danny Hughes decided to have a lunch “meeting” with the lawyers involved in Manny Ramos’s employment arbitration. Why? Most likely to get the taxpayers to pick up the tab. And we did. We also paid for the gustatory pleasures of Danny’s luncheon companions.
Okay, it’s not Maxim’s, its Islands, but still you would think our high-priced lawyers could afford to pay for their own food, right? After all, they were no doubt billing for the time it took to consume their Kilauea Turkey Burgers.
A few years back we pried the lid off the FPD barrel, hoping to discover and toss out some of the bad apples. Unfortunately, our search brought forth a cornucopia of ethical and even criminal misconduct. These names might ring a bell: Rincon, Mejia, Major, Hampton, Ramos, Wolfe, Cicinelli, Mater, Baughman, Sellers, Tong, Nguyen, Craig, Blatney, Coffman, Kirk, Basham, Goodrich, Cross, Nowling, Wren, McKinley, Siliceo and Bair.
Exhausted by wading through this morass of misbehavior, we took a well-earned break in 2013. Unfortunately, the Culture of Corruption did not. Here’s an OC Weekly story about a Fullerton police officer Hugo Garcia, who was charged with felony fraud and embezzlement in 2014. Uh, oh, an “alien” body snatcher has once again grabbed one of “Patdown” Pat McPension’s recruits.
Officer Garcia recently pled guilty and ended up with 100 hours of community service and 18 months of probation for his crimes. Somewhere along the way he became “no longer employed” by the Fullerton Police Department, but we’re not entitled to know why. Nobody knows what other deeds this criminal may have pepetrated upon the public while he was wearing a badge and a gun.
I hope you didn’t miss the charming snippet from the Weekly article: “…the OCDA, which stresses Garcia was off-duty and not acting in his official capacity as a police officer at the time of the crime.” Somehow the DA found it necessary to exculpate Mr. Garcia’s on duty behavior, to reassure us that Garcia’s felonious nature only kicked in when removed his FPD uniform.
Here’s the letter Fitzy wrote to then mayor, Sharon Quirk-Silva:
Naturally, once safely in office this support for looking into possible, maybe someday, perhaps switching to the Sheriff Department at huge cost savings to the taxpayers of Fullerton evaporated like the morning dew on a summer day. Since gaining office Fitzgerald, along with Jan Flory and Doug “Bud” Chaffee have been resolute in their goal that no reform of the Fullerton Police Department take place and that no acknowledgement of any Culture of Corruption could possibly exist.
Some cynics suggested this letter was only meant to call off pro-recall forces; other cynics suggested this was the price Fitzgerald had to pay for Supervisor Shawn Nelson’s endorsement. Probably it was both. Either way the commitment was thinner than the paper it was printed on. And Fitzgerald never mentioned it again.
On the City’s website, right above a news release about an upcoming osteoporosis seminar at the Community Center, we discover that the City Council has unanimously chosen a replacement for Joe Felz. Felz, you will recall, drove off of Glenwood Avenue, ran over a tree, blew a tire and tried to drive away in his crippled vehicle.
Allan Roeder, former City Manger of Costa Mesa, is the replacement, on an interim basis. He is part of a small pool of extremely expensive place holders brought in like bullpen pitchers, when the starter gets into trouble in the late innings. These already pensioned-off fellows go on to rake in enormous second incomes while already collecting their massive CalPers checks every month.
The new guy was hired yesterday in a Special, Behind-Closed-Doors meeting of the City Council.
Why the City needs to pay somebody a hundred grand for a five or six month stint is a question you should ask one of your “unanimous” council who seem to be oblivious to the fact that the City is running massive deficits every year, already. Oh well, it’s not their money, right?
Here is our new Mayor, Bruce Whitaker extolling the virtues of Mr. Roeder:
“We are happy to have someone as established and seasoned as Mr. Roeder to serve our city,” said Fullerton Mayor, Bruce Whitaker. “Allan’s experience will be welcomed at City Hall and he will be a valuable asset to the entire city until we appoint a permanent city manager.”
Now did Mr. Whitaker actually say that? Let’s hope it was a canned quotation put in his mouth by some overpaid “public information officer.” Having Felz around for the past six or seven years is proof positive that from a strictly practical perspective we don’t even need a city manager, and would probably have been a lot better off without the last one we had.
Well, now we have one that can absorb the blame for whatever unfortunate happenstances come our way in the first half of 2017, and be off down the road to the nearest bank.
Sometimes the best Christmas presents are the ones you give yourself. In this case that would be Complaint #PSB16-0048.
See, when you submit a complaint to the FPD about an incident that involves their personnel’s abandonment of policy, they do respond in writing. Here’s the response to the complaint filed by Travis Kiger about the behavior of the FPD cops who dealt with the Joe Felz incident in the early hours of November 9, 2016 in which Felz jumped a Glenwood Avenue Tree, ran over a tree, and attempted to leave the scene of the accident; all we know is that the doughty minions of the law confronted him in some as yet unknown manner, smelled alcohol on his person, declined to give him a Breathalyzer test and drove him home. We also know that the watch commander, the egregious Andrew Goodrich, and the former police chief Danno Hughes were in communication, a fact that most certainly never would have happened had you or I been the motorist. In fact, Goodrich would no doubt have our pictures in the next morning’s early editions.
Now, as to the content of the letter, notice how now the FPD has now decided to do nothinguntil the DA figures out what to do. It’s hard to see how this is anything other than temporizing, given the need to at least pretend to some proactivity on the matter to show the public – in a “timely manner.”
Of course we were also promised some sort of “independent person” report too, by our estimable City Attorney, Dick Jones, that seems to have vanished into the late December air. But a civilian investigation is important too, given what might be an overly charitable adios to Mr. Felz by sympathetic council members.
FFFF has written about this particular scam before: the Fullerton cop union sends out a pleading request for donations to…itself. Now the supplicant is FPOA boss, Stewart Hamilton, and he writes to you just before Christmas – the Season of Giving!
The thing is so illogical, so dumb, and is really nothing more than pandering to the brainless, or maybe kids with access to their parent’s debit card.
Here’s the latest version of the plea for your hard-earned dough:
Notice first the emotional supplication from behind the Thin Blue Line: we’re there for you now we need you! Well, they want your money, that’s for sure, as will become evident by the end of the letter.
But no, it’s really not about money, see, it’s about family! “Knowing we are not alone” makes all the difference. Alone? They’ve got a over a hundred members plus a completely subservient city council majority.
The cheapest and dirtiest part of this greasy swindle is tying it to helping local charities and their good works. Except that there’s no details and no information about a charitable deduction. And what kind of gullible numbskull would make a charitable donation via the cop union? I’ll answer that: someone who shouldn’t have access to cash or credit.
The recipient is told that somehow his donation will “make a difference” to “fallen heroes” although this is not explained; possibly because Fullerton’s one and only “fallen hero” fell twenty-seven years ago.
But the union, that pours tens of thousands of dollars into each Fullerton politcal campaign to elect lackeys on the council like Flory, Chaffee and Fitzgerald, wants you to know how much they appreciate your generosity. Give a hundred bucks and get a lapel pin! Give $250 and you can add a “toy K9” to your bric-a-brac shelf! Double down on that and you will get a “custom” plaque you may hang on your den wall – right next to the plaque with the singing rubber bass.
For the guy with only fifty dollars to part with, you, sir, will get a decal for your car window, although Mr. Stewart assures us that it will not get you preferential treatment should you be unlucky enough to fall into the clutches of the FPD. Still you have to wonder if, maybe, former City Manager, Joe Felz wasn’t displaying a decal the nigh he jumped a Glenwood Avenue curb, ran over a tree, tried to get away and was subsequently driven home by grateful members of the FPOA.
However, a couple of really interesting statements did stumble from Felz’s possibly sober lips.
First there was this shiny pearl:
“‘…why don’t we focus on who we are.’ Felz said, stating the city needs to focus on things to be proud of such as the downtown area.”
Proud of the downtown area? Another joke? In business terms, downtown Fullerton is an abject failure – at least as far as the taxpayers are concerned, costing a million and a half more annually to police and clean up than it brings in. Maybe Felz was proud of the profit he helped provide for his pals, lawless bar owners like Jeremy Popoff who is still operating his business, Slidebar, without CUP, as required by the municipal code, almost three years after he postponed his own hearing.
And then this radiant gem:
“Felz has many new ideas for the future of Fullerton and he is highly optimistic about the years ahead.”
Well that happy future went up in smoke the early November morning Sober Joe jumped the Glenwood Avenue curb, ran over a tree, and tried to drive off. And it gives the lie to the sappy farewell notice read by our choked-up lobbyist-mayor, with its formulaic “I’m quitting to spend more time with my family” bullshit.
Once in a while news from the County is so pregnant with consequences for us in Fullerton that we here at FFFF feel obliged to share it with the Friends.
In case you weren’t following the weird story: on Good Friday, 2015 3rd District Supervisor Todd “Super Victim” Spitzer got scared of a Christian proselytizer in a Foothill Ranch Wahoos, went out to his car and returned with handcuffs and a loaded pistol. He “hooked up” this poor sap and waited for the deputies to arrive. Of course nothing came of it. Mr. Bible was released from bondage and everybody went his own way.
Pretty weird, in a “dress up like a cop and play” sort of way. I mean, who drives around with handcuffs in his trunk, right?
Unfortunately for Spitzer, news of the bizarre incident was finally leaked to The OC Register who reported on it in August 2015, much to the merriment of the pistol-packin’ supervisor’s numerous detractors. But the story gets better – or worse – depending on your point of view.
Apparently Spitzer couldn’t leave the depiction of himself as a nutcase, alone. Sort of like obsessively picking at a scab. So he enlisted the help of Jean Pasco, the County’s press release writer to write some sort of clarifying/absolving press release. Although this document never saw the light of publication, the Voice of OC got wind of it and did a PRA request for all related docs. Hilariously, the County refused, claiming that unfinished documents don’t constitute “records.” The Voice sued the County for release of the relevant material. The County fought back.
It got worse. Under Spitzer’s guidance County Counsel demanded to depose Voice publisher Norberto Santana, ridiculously suggesting that conversations between him and Spitzer were relevant to the matter. Voice objected to the blatant harassment attempt.
Meantime, the completely unnecessary lawsuit drags on, the costs of which, when the County inevitably fails, will be borne by you and me. And where is our own Supervisor Shawn Nelson during all this? Nowhere to be seen or heard as far as I can tell. Evidently, he, too, believes that we peons are only to know things when he and his pals at the County feel like sharing, and that it is right and proper that we pay the costs of them keeping public information from the public.
An alert Friend sent in this image of a guy recognized as Orange County District Attorney investigator, Abraham Santos, at the scene of the Memorial Joe Felz Crash Site. Well, now we know that the DA is indeed involved in this mess. What sort of crime he might be investigating and how he is investigating it, are far from clear. No one was ever arrested, or charged. We aren’t even sure if anybody got a traffic citation for reckless driving. Could the DA be investigating the behavior of the Fullerton cops? For some reason that idea provides no consolation. But the sooner the deal is whitewashed, the sooner we can get the video recordings made by the cop cams.
Also please note that Sappy McTree has been removed.