Way back in 2010 I offered a post attacking Norberto Santana and his relatively new blog Voice of OC. The title was “The Sad Degenerate World of Norberto Santana.” It was a pretty tough post attacking Santana’s objectivity given the fact of his financial backing by the OCEA union and what some of us perceived as slanted reporting. I won’t go into any more detail. You can check out the original post, here.
Well, over six years have passed and I, like many others have come to appreciate the good things Norberto and the Voice of OC have done uncovering the bad behavior of many of our so-called “conservative” leaders in Orange County. The Voice has been particularly effective uncovering the influence peddling going on in Anaheim, but also covering the County level, where the Board of Supervisors have been working us over like we were peons on their plantation. Their Board’s latest little tactic is to limit public comment to just 3 minutes per person, per meeting. Pretty shameful, right?
With an almost complete lack of competent news coverage on local stuff from the mainstream media, it is more important than ever that we recognize and financially support the the Voice of OC.
A writer for The Hornet named Madalyn Amato, reports that although an “independent investigator” has been engaged, nothing else has been forthcoming. The fact that the investigator, a law firm called Currier & Hudson, solely specializes in acting as defense counsel for government agencies, should send out appropriate warning bells. See where this is going?
In the aftermath of outrage, the bureaucratic playbook is being executed as expected.
First, ignore any criminality on the part of the district employee and announce an independent investigation, with the goal of diverting responsibility, or even better, procrastinating ’til everybody’s forgotten about the incident.
Naturally, the independent investigator is really just a carefully selected government defense pettifogger, hired to relieve the agency of as much liability as possible and absorb any leftover PR issues. Of course, hiring a law firm comes with desirable effects, such as the benefit of attorney client privilege. See, it’s easier to control an investigation if the investigator can’t actually reveal any findings detrimental to the institution.
And now we wait. The employee takes a paid vacation, the real police fail to deliver a criminal investigation, and NOCCCD eventually pays out a quiet settlement to the victim who will make a deal in a civil courtroom. Nothing to see here.
And now let’s let Fullerton Junior College President Greg Schulz take us home via The Hornet article:
President Greg Schulz promised the college’s full dedication in reaching a conclusion regarding the incident.
According to the City of Fullerton’s website the City Attorney is looking for an “independent person” to investigate the activities of our City Manager, Joe Felz. Here’s the PSA:
Now in the first place, the idea of of our mush-mouth City Attorney employing anybody not willing and able to deliver the right verdict on the events of Wednesday morning, November 9th, is ridiculous; but really, an independent “person?” Attorney Jones’s gardener? His CPA? His car detailer?
Seriously, though, the hiring of an investigator by the City and calling him (or her) independent is a complete farce. For there is a fundamental conflict of interest here, just as there is for the Fullerton Police Department to investigate their own boss. I can see it, you can see it. Probably even comically ardent FPD supporters like Chaffee, Flory and Fitzgerald can see it. But unlike us, they don’t care.
The truth of what I’m saying is pretty evidently contained within the facts of this situation: it is not a personnel matter. Joe Felz was driving home from a series of private parties in Downtown Fullerton’s Liquor Row. He was not on duty, he was not engaged in any official capacity. He was just a guy fidgeting with wires under his dashboard who ran off the road, knocked over a tree, churned up some dirt with spinning tires, moved on down the road a bit, was interviewed by the cops, was given an okie-dokie by them, was driven home by them, and was tucked into bed.
What does any of this have to do with Mr. Felz’s job as City Manager?
Okay, you may have painfully listened to the five-minute drone of Fullerton City Attorney Richard Jones on a previous post, explaining why no information was forthcoming in the Case of the City Manager and the Dead Parkway Tree. Sorry to inflict that on you, but no pain, no gain, as they say.
If your cerebral synapses are sufficiently recovered, reflect back on what Mr. Jones, Esq. said, and what he was asked to repeat twice by our Mayor, about electronic records generated at the scene and how they could not be released via PRA request because they were part of an “ongoing investigation;” but moreover, because they were somehow part of some sort of double-top secret “personnel” proceedings.
But wait! A quick trip to Jones and Meyer’s website newsletter to clients (we are clients, aren’t we?) reveals some interesting case law that seems to show exactly the opposite of the malarkey Jones was pitching to a remarkably incurious Council the other night. Here’s the synopsis:
See? The video was created before any administrative investigation, or internal affairs investigation even started.
So let’s get this straight. A “client alert” sent out less than four months ago seems to contradict what Jones said, and reiterated twice on Tuesday night. Hmm. Hopefully someone can drop by to explain why the case of City Manager Joe Felz isn’t covered by the Greenson case finding by the Court of Appeal.
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.
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.
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.
Friends, last week we received the following e-mail from some guy who ran afoul of the fine fellows who make up the FPD. The story’s a bit jangled but you’ll get the picture:
Sent: Sunday, February 10, 2013 1:46 PM Subject: FPD
Hi Travis, I was recently arrested by the Fullerton PD. I had a professional recording device on my chest, which was recording for some time before I was stopped. There were 3 camera men and myself. We were basically trying to make a public reaction video. It shortly got out of hand. It was in broad daylight. The officers, myself and the camera man were all at the same intersection… All in plain site. I was eventually taken down, then an officer took my recording device and also an sd card from one of my camera men. I was the only one arrested, even though it was a group activity. I’m being charged with police obstruction, which has resulted in a hold on my employment. I’m also facing 100 days jail time. I’m a full time student and I work two jobs. I have no previous criminal record. No one got hurt, and we explained to the officers, what was going on. I feel like I’m being charged for something that shouldn’t have escalated this far.I also feel that they tampered with the audio… which apparently was 12 minutes long. I haven’t heard any one it.
They went through my cell phone, without any permission…
They didn’t want to give me clean water…
I was shackled and handcuffed, while sitting in a holding cell.
I was held down by multiple officers, while handcuffed. “Claiming I was resisting”
The DA read my case report and was hysterical… The Public Defender was the same way.
“They were joking about it in the court room.” Obviously It was a ridiculous case.I plead not guilty to the charges, and I’m now awaiting the pre-trial.If you have any information for me or any questions, I would appreciate it.
Hmm. Is any part of this story true? Was anything left out? I don’t know, but I’d say the burden of proof now lies squarely on the doorstep of Danny Hughes’ Culture of Corruption.
And now for a recap of this guy’s claims:
1. Likely peaceful situation escalated into a dangerous situation by undertrained or malevolent Fullerton cops. Check.
2. Citizen roughed up. Check.
3. Citizen told to stop resisting. Check.
4. Citizen thrown into jail, mistreated. Check.
5. Citizen’s recording devices confiscated without warrant; illegal search and seizure of evidence. Check.
6. Citizen being prosecuted for getting in the way of the cops. Check.
7. “Truthy” Fullerton cops to be called as witness in order to lock up citizen? Check.
Yes, I do believe I’ve seen this show before, starring Kelly Thomas, Trevor Clarke, Veth Mam, Edward Quinonez, Emanuel Martinez; and of course also the men and women of the Fullerton Police Department.
Good luck, dude. My advice is to go to the next City Council meeting and find out what your Police Oversight Commission can do for you.
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.
Friends, here is a letter sent to Mayor Bruce Whitaker and thoughtfully provided to us from a citizen who live in the Chapman Park neighborhood across the street from the proposed site of a County homeless shelter.
I omit this individual’s name and number to spare them annoying calls from the bureaucrats but it was included in the letter to Whitaker:
Subject:proposed homeless shelter
This is in regards to the proposed homeless shelter to be opened in the old Linder’s Furniture building on State College in Fullerton. I am a long time Fullerton home owner (almost 30 years) and live in the Chapman Park tract directly across State College from the proposed site. I would like to voice my adamant opposition to this project! If the shelter goes in at this site you are opening us up to security and safety issues, property value drops & outright living in fear. We have a park in our tract that will potentially become the hangout for the people of the shelter, all they have to do is walk across State College Blvd and they are at the pedestrian entrance to our housing tract. This park is a little league park full of kids on the weekends, and homeowners including myself walk the park frequently in the mornings and evenings. A great many of the homeowners in this tract are older single women like myself who live alone and the thought of our community/tract being opened up to this kind of influx of homeless and mentally ills is frightening. I have already had my house broken into and robbed in the recent past and what is being proposed will bery likely increase the chance of this happening again. It’s bad enough that our neightborhood has been turned into a parking lot by the students from Cal State Fullerton and the city won’t help us with that issue, now we are going to be asked to have the residents of this shelter desend on us also. I know this seems like the old “not in my backyard” standard but truthfully this is a very disconcerting and potentially dangerous situation for us. It seems like there must be an available building in a more industrial location rather than this one so close to homes, little league fields and schools. And what happens when the over/under pass project reaches State College?
I know my voice probably doesn’t matter and nothing will change as it appears deals have already been made and this is being railroaded through but I hope at the very least that the pedestrian entrance at the corner of State College and Fender will be completely sealed up. And when our houses get broken into or tagged and the mentally ill and homeless accost us at the park I hope you will personally come visit us to see what you have allowed.
A very unhappy Fullerton resident
Hopefully this tax-payer’s voice will matter, although the odds seem against it.
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.