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.
UPDATE: a keen-eyed friend wrote in to inform us of a couple interesting facts about the City’s “Back the badge” documents. First, the original contract and the first purchase order don’t agree. The PO describes a one-year term while the contract is for only six months. Second there is no PO that covers the period from May to November 2014. The City’s controller should not have been able to write checks without a PO to write checks against, so something is fishy there.
FFFF has already shared with the Friends here some of the more ludicrous aspects of “Back the Badge” a PR outlet for cop departments and unions that we pay for.
The whole shabby deception is so bad we decided to dig a little deeper to see just how the Fullerton taxpayers got hooked into paying for the cops to peddle their propaganda – to us.
The documents we received indicate a completely non-transparent, slipshod City-vendor relationship in which deliverables are sketchy, and grossly overvalued.
First, it’s important to point out that this relationship was approved in secret by former City Manager Joe Felz in spring 2013, presumably under his spending authority. The City Council may have been informed, but the public most assuredly was not. Even Felz must have been aware of the possible public blowback against this nonsense. And he undoubtedly had the support of council persons Flory, Chaffee and Fitzgerald in trying to keep this gross squandering of public funds out of the public eye.
It is critical to recognize the contract for what it is: a fixed fee arrangement in which the vendor gets his contracted monthly amount regardless of what he actually accomplishes. These sorts of contracts are comparatively rare in government precisely because they are not tied to specific scopes of work. In essence there is no real oversight at all, even if anybody felt like doing it – which they didn’t.
If you peruse the invoices you will find all sorts of weird “deliverables” of intangible sort like “PR services,” “OC Register columns,” and “Fullerton News Tribune” just the sorts of things that are impossible to value and make you wonder if the real media was in collusion with Back the Badge. FFFF has already noted how the Yellowing Fullerton Observer has published an article, verbatim, from Back the Badge, here.
Of course some of the contractual items like “traffic/performance reports” yielded no responsive documents in our public records request. Anyway, as I noted it above it hardly matters.
One extra-contractual proposal sent to former Chief Danny “Galahad” Hughes offers 40,000 print copies of “Behind the badge Fullerton magazine” for a mere twenty grand. Who approved that, and where did these print copies go? That we shall likely never know, as the police PR mechanisms are obviously none of our damn business, even though we are bankroller and target audience.
My favorite item in the proposals from Back the Badge is something called “crisis counseling.” This must be a service that is called upon when something really bad occurs and the cops need to polish up that road apple, and quick! So did Back the Badge spring into crisis counseling mode the night their benefactor, Joe Felz, smelling of liquor, drove off Glenwood Avenue, and was given a free pass and a ride home by the Fullerton Police Department?
On December 17, 2016, the City issued a new Purchase Order for more of those valuable Back the Badge services. The invoice cites the brand-new interim Chief but there is no reference to the Acting City Manager since by this time Joe Felz was long gone, the victim of his own reckless behavior. So who authorized the issuance of this new PO? The police chief, whoever he is, has no such spending authority. It seems as if the Culture of Opacity and Unaccountability is humming along on auto pilot.
Well, this is Fullerton and if you want to find out what is going on – well, good luck with that.
Well, the short answer is that if they don’t get a call from the Chief of Police telling you to drive the dude home, they’ve got their man. And if they’re lucky they get to keep his impounded his car.
Seriously, though, the virtually useless OC Register ran another one of its slanted, pro cop pieces yesterday about the evils of mary-j-wanna, and I wouldn’t even bother posting about it except that it featured the images and words of Fullerton’s expert dope detecting cops.
The extreme irony of Fullerton cops being set up as exemplars in the detection of impaired drivers seems to have escaped the writers and editors at the Register, given the department’s behavior in the case of the Missing Maniacal Motorist, former City Manager, Joe Felz, who was apprehended after jumping a Glenwood Avenue curb, uprooting a tree, and trying to drive off. Despite emitting an odor of alcohol strong enough to be detected by a cop on the scene, the boyz in blue gave Joe a pass and a ride home. I’m not sure, but he may have been tucked into bed, and gotten a glass of warm milk and a cookie, too.
The year is almost over and I would be remiss if i didn’t briefly recount one of the most memorable events of 2016 – the carpetbagging candidacy for State Senate of Sukhee Kang, the former dismal Irvine councilman who, uninvited, declared his candidacy THEN moved to Fullerton to make it legit. He bought a mini-mansion on a golf course. He had an Irvine flunky named Dan Chemilewski try to make the thing appear normal and kosher, but that failed.
In the end, Sukhee spent a ton of money, almost all of it his own. The more he spent, the worse it got. And on election day he lost to a guy named Josh Newman by three points – a remarkable disaster that left almost every Democrat in Orange County – and the state – quickly looking for the exit.
Last week the ever helpful Fullerton City Hall scribe Lou Ponsi scribbled a story about how Fullerton needs a transit dedicated line from the CSUF area to the Fullerton “metro center.”
No, I am not kidding. “Senior” Planner Jay Eastman believes Fullerton has a metro center.
A cynic might conclude that the sole purpose of this venture is to more efficiently direct college kids into the open air saloon that downtown Fullerton has become.
Trolley? Bus? Light rail(!)? The world is Jay Eastman’s oyster, just so long as somebody else is picking up the tab. In this case the OCTA is going to pay 90% of the cost of a “study” to determine just what Fullerton needs: $270,000 worth, with us paying the other $30,000.
All of which goes to show that OCTA has an awful lot more money than they know what to do with.
Thus spake David Whiting of the OC Register in another of his breathtakingly sycophantic ride along reports, this time with some Anaheim cops the other night. He writes about their heroics, here.
Good Lord! Whiting dons body armor! Almost a Hero himself as he chronicles the travails of folks who now could be the targets of violent crime themselves.
Of course it’s easy to mock this “journalistic” rubbish for what it is. It’s especially fun given the history of the bootlick Whiting and the Culture of Corruption in the wake of the Kelly Thomas murder. Remember this? Or this? Or this? Or this? And of course, the worst bullshit of all, here.
The reference to the cops as Roman soldiers is just hilarious; but it’s more telling than a dated reference to a Joseph Wambaugh novel, as Whiting innocently supposes in his hermetically sealed, irony-free hyperbaric chamber.
The militarization of the cops is precisely the problem that created people like Chris Dorner and Jay Cicinelli and that puts us citizens at risk from violent cops each and every day.
And recalling the activities of the cops in Anaheim and Fullerton last summer I think a reference to The New Praetorian Guard is much more apt.
In any case, why-o-why can’t the people who run the Register get it? Being little else than a pro-cop propaganda outlet is no way to run a real newspaper.
In the wake of the Kelly Thomas murder at the hands of the FPD, two different yet eerily similar tactics emerged for deflecting responsibility away from the cops.
Fullerton’s antique liberal crowd quickly banded together so that society itself could be blamed, not the FPD: the problem was not murderous, corrupt or even incompetent cops. Oh, no. The problem was one of homelessness and the solution was to provide a homeless shelter! Why Kelly would probably even be alive today!
On the other hand, the anonymous cop-protectors keep insisting that the problem lay with poor parenting for Kelly’s death, as if a schizophrenic, 35 year-old man was somehow the responsibility of his parents, and as if that somehow exculpates the six cops who beat him to death and stood around laughing as he died in a pool of his own blood.
Of course both groups relied heavily upon a completely comical whitewash of the FPD Culture of Corruption by paid-for opinion of Michael Gennaco.
The County of Orange’s attempt to cram a permanent homeless shelter in east Fullerton across the street from single-family homes and an elementary school have taught us four things, so far.
First, it is very clear that no Fullerton elected representatives were told anything about this high-handed plan. Second, the County can do it with or without the City’s agreement. Third, nobody at the County gives a damn that they will be paying $3.15 million for a broken down old building that nobody knows the cost to make habitable. Four, the media will never report any of this.
As to the first point, here is a report about a meet and greet event by Fullerton Mayor Bruce Whitaker, who asked the County for a few weeks’ delay so that the City Council could learn just what the County has in store for us. Request denied.
And here is an e-mail we received from some local resident who says he has just started a petition to seek redress:
Hello!I’ve started the petition “Fullerton city council: Stop the County from opening a 24/7 homeless shelter at 301 S St College Bl” and need your help to get it off the ground.Will you take 30 seconds to sign it right now? Here’s the link:
This is a 29,000 square foot building that is located near an elementary school, park and houses. This homeless shelter will make Fullerton the dumping ground for homeless. Crime will increase and spread to the whole area. This deal is being done without much awareness from the public. A life long friend of County Supervisor Nelson stands to make nearly 100k from the deal. This is bad for North OC. This shelter will end up looking like skid row in downtown LA where crime and drug use is rampant. Fullerton is not LA.
You can sign my petition by clicking here.
Well, good luck with that! Apparently the County can do whatever it likes and your County Supervisor isn’t interested in your opinion.
Believe it or not, Acting Chief Dan Hughes, the alleged “reform” chief the Fullerton Police Department needs so desperately seems to the beneficiary of a campaign – to have himself appointed Chief permanently.
Check out this:
So who’s playing games? Is it our amiable Acting Chief who seems to have zero control over his badged and armed goons?
Or perhaps it is the greasy little mole Doug Chaffee who decided to agendize the issue of giving Hughes the job even though the council majority has stated that it wants to do a recruitment to get the best candidate for the job. Nice job politicizing a personnel appointment.
Now I don’t know about you, but I believe the appointment of Hughes to permanently take over the cesspool would be pretty bad. The Old Guard would dearly love the voters of Fullerton to think the Kelly Thomas murder was a weird one-off, something that can never happen again because Rusty Kennedy has taught the poor, unwitting Fullerton cops how to deal with the mentally ill homeless population.
Um, not so fast, Mrs. Flory. Please explain the following personnel issues and embarrassing events that have occurred under the rancid regime of which Acting Chief Danny has been a lead player:
1) Erroneous raid on Robin Nordell’s home. No apology for a year.
2) Kelly Mejia steals iPad from Miami TSA checkpoint.
3) Todd Major rips off Explorers to feed pill habit.
4) Miguel Siliceo popped for sending wrong man to jail.
5) Kenton Hampton assaults and arrests and tries to convict innocent Veth Mam.
6) Ditto Frank Nguyen.
7) Cary Tong violates policy in arrest of Trevor Clark; City sued.
8) Albert Rincon sexually assaults as many as a dozen women in his custody; civil suit settled by two victims for $350,000.
9) Vince Mater charged by DA with destruction of evidence after the jailhouse suicide of Dean Gochenour.
10) April Baughman arrested for ripping off the FPD evidence room for a period of years. Where is the accomplice? Who was taking inventory? Such things are not for us to know.
11) City sued again – by Edward Quinonez who alleges he was accosted and falsely arrested by – Kenton Hampton. What a multi-tasker!
12) Phony “horning” tickets handed out by FPOA boss Barry Coffman to intimidate protesters; Hughes is seen sending out instructions.
13) DA charges Manuel Ramos, Joe Wolfe and Jay Cicinelli in the death of Kelly Thomas; Hughes lets them view video, re-write reports, pats all on back, handshakes all around and lets them stay on streets.
14) Danny says he’s watched video 400 times; says it will give public the real story (he is right).
15) Danny says those who perceive a Culture of Corruption are liars or ignorant.
15) Danny returns Craig, Hampton and Blatney to duty.
16) Permit Internal Affairs Sergeant Jason Sheen to bring a bong into the council chamber for demonstration in front of kiddie soccer players.
I don’t know about you, but I have seen as much of Acting Chief Danny as I care to. It’s obvious this man is a congenial glad-hander. But he is inextricably entangled in the Culture of Corruption with absolutely no interest in recognizing past FPD malfeasance, let alone atoning for it.
Just as bad, it is clear from recent events that he has absolutely no control, or no interest in controlling his employees.