Red Ink Tsunami

Last night’s budget workshop showed some pretty dire forecasting. Due to exploding pension costs, especially for our good friends in “public safety” Fullerton is going to deplete its reserve funds in five years, just like other standout OC cities such as Westminster and Garden Grove and Stanton.

The “unfunded pension liability” issue has been around for years, despite the public employee union’s efforts to minimize it, but here our Director of Administrative Services, Julia James, informs the Council that the California Public Employee Retirement System (PERS) is still using happy-talk return projections. The City’s cost to pay for our fire and police Heroes is expected to double.

Hmm. Did you catch our lobbyist-councilwoman Jennifer Fitzgerald interrupt Ms. James at the 4:25 mark in a sneering attempt to downplay the crisis as bureaucratic alarmism? Fitzgerald has all sorts of selfish reasons to avoid talking doom-and-gloom, namely, she has been right there over the past four years as the S.S. Fullerton was taking on water and rather than try to plug the holes was happily drilling more. Naturally her pals in the police and fire unions are not going to want to share the pain. And James’s talk about possible revenue sources to staunch the bleeding includes a tax, which would be a likely coffin nail in SparkyFitz’s already dubious political future.

Roy, The Reluctant DA

 

Um, okay.

The other day FFFF had representation in the comments section of from “Roy,” in a post about – Roy. He’s a reasonable sounding fellow who claimed to be the jury foreman on the Kelly Thomas murder case, and who also got a ration of shit on the John and Ken radio program as he defended his work on the jury that exonerated the cops who baited, harassed, and killed a schizophrenic homeless man.

When asked (by me) if he had ever worked for the DA Roy said that he had completed the District Attorney’s TAP program, a gig that takes civil lawyers and immerses them in the DA culture for a couple of months. Roy noted that this relationship had been disclosed during the voir dire of the jury selection process.

Well, this got me thinking of the completely inappropriate placement of a juror who had received psychological indoctrination into the mindset of the prosecution apparatus. But it also made me wonder about the defense attorneys who accepted Roy and the possible reasons for their approbation.

One of the  very first things they must teach in TAP to would-be prosecutors, is that to get ahead in that line of work you need convictions; and the cops are the guys whose testimony will get you convictions. The abstract concept of justice doesn’t come within a million miles of the equation. If justice is done, well, what a happy coincidence! Therefore, a virtually complete trust must be given to whatever the police have done, or, to be more accurate, what they say they have done. And if you are a defense attorney representing cops, what better sort of chap to have on your jury; and better still if this guy gets himself appointed foreman.

But what about the Tony Rackauckas? Did the DA believe that Roy was possibly a reliable vote for conviction given his prior TAP relationship? Of course it’s possible that both these potential prosecution and defense motives are accurate, which would explain Roy’s presence on the jury.

On the other hand, there has been a lot of speculation that DA Tony Rackauckas intentionally boobed the case by charging the wrong persons with the wrong crimes; and that he also blew it by trying the case himself, even though he hadn’t personally prosecuted a case in decades.

And then it hit me. Maybe both sides wanted Roy on the jury for the same qualification: a person able to grasp the big picture, that is, a subliminal or maybe even overt desire to protect a system in which the prosecutors and cops exist in a symbiotic relationship where convictions mean everything, and neither are held responsible for arresting and prosecuting the wrong people and gathering information any way they can get it.

Well, there it is. Have at it.

 

No Justice for Kelly Thomas

Today the OC Register ran a story about the DOJ dropping a civil rights case in the matter of Kelly Thomas, the schizophrenic homeless man who was bludgeoned and suffocated to death by six members of the Fullerton Police Department in July, 2011

What the Feds have been doing for five-and-a-half years is anybody’s guess, but the answer is more than likely, nothing. The criminal case against cops Ramos and Cicinelli was thrown away by our do-nothing DA over three years ago. Kelly’s father, the mercenary Ron Thomas, was paid his blood money 14 months ago.

Here is U.S. Attorney Eileen Decker’s fatuous comment: “Neither accident, mistake, fear, negligence nor bad judgment is sufficient to establish a willful federal criminal civil rights violation.”

Thomas was obviously singled out for special treatment by Mssrs. Wolf and Ramos on that hot July night precisely because he was mentally ill and homeless. And that special treatment consisted of harassment, intimidation and death. If that’s not a civil right violation, I can’t imagine what is.

 

Ron Thomas Comes A Callin’

We here at FFFF always value feedback and welcome any comments you may have to help improve our humble blog. Here’s an example from a dissatisfied reader, a phone call:

It seems Mr. Thomas was unhappy with my post this morning, reminding Friends that:

  1. Thomas had gotten a $4.9 million payout in 2015 courtesy of the people of Fullerton, and;
  2. That in 2011 he told the media that he would be donating proceeds from a lawsuit or settlement to “homeless programs.”

Although Mr. Thomas thinks he has been “slandered” I am hard pressed to see any slander in that post, especially since the title of the post takes the man at his word – which is apt given his public persona as a truth-talkin,’ straight shootin’ son-of-gun.

Mr. Thomas says the post is full of inaccuracies, but the only specific he gives is the rather laughable notion that the payout was “handled through insurance,” not the taxpayers, a distinction without any difference as far as he ought to be concerned.

Anyway, Mr. Thomas says we have no idea what he’s done with the money – which I guess must true, since he seems to take issue with the idea that we possibly and reasonably expected him to keep his word. I guess we’ll have to start figuring it out where it has been going.

 

Ron Thomas To Donate Fullerton Millions to Homeless Programs

Future Philanthropist…

Below is a video from late 2015 featuring Ron Thomas, the father of Kelly Thomas, who had just gotten a massive check courtesy of the taxpayers of Fullerton.

First, enjoy the feeble bleating of “city attorney” Dana Fox who is just soooooo darn glad the settlement bought peace of mind so everybody can “move on,” although, damn, that’s a pretty high price tag. Of course it ain’t coming out of his pocket, or “Patdown” Pat “I hired them all”  McKinley’s, or Manuel Ramos’s or Jay Cicinelli’s or Joe Wolfe’s. We picked up the check for this, just like we always have for the FPD Culture of Corruption, and as with all settlements, the public who pays the freight never gets to learn key information – in this case the extent to which Captain Dan Hughes and former Chief McKinley may have helped cover up the mess and perhaps even if there was collusion between the cops and originator of the phony phone call that led to Thomas’s death. Naturally, neither Hughes, Joe Felz, Jennifer Fitzgerald, Jan Flory or Doug “Bud” Chaffee wanted a trial.

And Ron Thomas himself may have wanted to avoid a trial, too, since that would have meant a jury and the general public would have found out that he sold the picture of his broken, comatose son for publication on FFFF – for $1200.

Anyway, at the end of this video you will hear Ron Thomas exclaim that the big settlement is an admission of liability by the City, by which he really meant us taxpayers. He says that’s all he ever wanted. Did that make you feel any better?

And now we pivot just slightly to another video, this one from 2011, wherein Ron Thomas has alerted the media that he is going to donate all of any lawsuit or settlement amount to the homeless.

Now at least we can be satisfied that some good has come out of the Kelly Thomas murder, even if we had to pay for it – $6,000,000 so far, not counting the invoices forwarded by Mssrs. Jones & Meyer, Fox, and of course the ever helpful hazmat clean-up crew run by Michael Gennaco. At least $4.9 million (less Gary Mardirossian‘s giant fee) is being given to homeless programs. Right, Ron?

Ron….Ron…?

2016 Fringies© – Best Most Outrageous Cover Up

Woof

In this abbreviated FFFF year, we really only have two cover-ups to offer. And you know what they are.

 

First is the caught-on-video assault and battery/false arrest of an FJC kid by an arrogant old sonnovabitch named Dino Skokos, an ex-cop with a “disability” retirement and obvious anger management issues. The FJC mush-mouth  machine went into immediate Orwellian production mode, including hiring a law-firm that specializes in defending government agencies to conduct an “investigation.” Ha. I lift my leg on them.

If there’s a bottom to this, you won’t get there…

Then, of course, there is the Case of the Mysterious Disappearing City Manger, in which Mr. Joe Felz, while motoring home from a series of parties, jump a Glenwood Avenue curb, uprooted a tree and tried to drive off. Stopped by the cops, he flashed his stay-out-of-jail card, got a pass and a ride home. The citizenry was promised  an “independent person” investigation and was told cryptically of some sort of “ongoing (or potential) criminal investigation.” No details have been forthcoming and nobody is holding his breath waiting to ever see any.

FJC Hornets Take Top Spot in Final National Football Poll

Running past the opposition…

The Fullerton Junior College Hornet football team have been named the number one JC team in the country per JCFootball.com. The team went 12-1 in 2016 and was one aggressively lousy call away from beating Saddleback, and running the table.

So congrats you Hornets and die-hard Hornet fans.

And maybe somebody in the FJC administration will wake up and decide to start playing home games at FHS or over at CSUF.

The Yellowing Submarine

Things never looked better for Fullerton.
Things never looked better for Fullerton.

An alert Friend directed our attention to the Fullerton Observer’s “reporting” of the recent Joe Felz/Danny Hughes Glenwood Ave. Road Rally. Here’s the article. As usual the Observer does its level best to downplay the incident –  since for the Yellowing Observers City Hall can do no wrong. If you want, you can see it here. Below is a facsimile.

Journalism at it's finest!
Journalism at it’s finest!

Let’s enjoy some of the unintended hilarity.

First notice that neither the chief player in this drama, nor even his august title are mentioned in the headline, a rather glaring omission, one would think.

It is not until the end of the second paragraph that we discover the tree killer is our beloved city manager; and it wasn’t until the next sentence that he is identified – only as “Mr. Felz.”

None of the pertinent facts are shared: that Felz had been drinking; that he had tried to drive away; that he had been given a pass on the breathalyzer test that would have been forced on you or me, or even Sharon Kennedy, editor of this mess.

Ironically, Page 6 contains a saccharine farewell to Chief Dan Hughes, whose last official task as chief was to make sure his boss got a safe ride home and tucked into bed without the worry of an annoying and embarrassing DUI rap. Thanks for the solid, man!

“Leaked to a local blog.” Ha ha! Yes, indeed! But no mention of the evil FFFF, where original and dangerous attitudes prevail! Jeez, even Sappy McTree got more shine than we did.

And finally: “…witnessing a driver (you mean THE driver) trying to maneuver his vehicle off the causeway.”

Causeway? Just like The Observer of old: error riddled, incompetent, supine and illiterate.

Will We Get a Refund?

Item 7 on Tuesday’s City Council Agenda brings back a sore subject: paying back the water users who’ve been ripped off by years of an illegal 10% tax on their water bill.

Thanks to the previous council the plug was finally pulled on this scam last year. But that was then, and liberals Chaffee and Flory won’t want to give back anything that was pilfered from the taxpayers. So what a bout Jennifer Fitzgerald? She’s supposed to be a Republican, but in Fullerton that hasn’t meant much and she was a die-hard supporter of the Three Bald Tires.

7. WATER UTILITY OPERATIONS
Over the past two years, the City has conducted a review of its Water Utility operations in order to have a comprehensive overview of water utility infrastructure needs, rates and rate structures and define General Fund costs related to operations of the Water Fund.
Recommendation by the Engineering Department:
1. Determine the cost for services provided by the City to the Water Utility.
2. Establish the total amount of refund to be issued (following a cost for service determination).
3. Determine the timing of refunds (one-time or multi-year payments).
4. Establish an Appeals Board to address refund complaints and any other billing conflicts.
5. Authorize the mailing of the required Proposition 218 notice which begins the 45-day comment period related to the proposed “pass-through’ of water supply cost water rate increase.
6. Authorize the update of the July 2011 “Comprehensive Water Rate Study Report” which outlines the recommended infrastructure needs and funding plans.
7. Direct staff to make any necessary City financing processes to implement Council direction.

Here’s my prediction: just as in 2011, the “cost study” will be rigged to jack up the value of City services to the Water Fund to get as close to 10% as possible. Then there will be no need for a refund and no need for an apology for illegally swiping $27,000,000 to pay for their own perks and pensions.

Nice, huh?