The Chief is Gone Long Live the Chief

It’s now been a day since Chief Dan Hughes left us to go work for the Mouse. After all the praise he’s been showered with it’s time somebody said what too many of us are thinking and that’s that if the FPD stinks it stinks like a fish from the top down so we’re gonna take a quick look at the top.

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First let us recall the letter to Joe Felz from Benjamin Lira outlining Hughes place in the chain of command corruption.

Dan Hughes didn’t think there was a problem with the FPD because he was a part of the problem and he certainly didn’t see a problem after he took over and made some changes that we can’t fully verify because of records laws and access that only our betters get. Some go as far as to claim he said the video of Kelly Thomas being beaten to death “wasn’t that bad”.

Dan Hughes was so confident in the goodness of his department that he was under the impression that only a vocal minority lost favor with the Police Department after the Thomas beating (Rincon, Mater, Major, Hampton, Nguyen, Mejia, et cetera). A vocal minority.

The actions of the FPD are what spurred the recall. FPD beat a man to death and then the council majority sat on their hands. Remember the recall? It led to three of those City Council Members being removed from office by a factor of 2-1. If only a vocal minority was against the Police than a even smaller minority was in favor of them going on this metric.

Hughes was the head of the Patrol Division at the time of the Kelly Thomas murder and said nothing as Spokesman Andrew Goodrich lied to the people of Fullerton about the boo-boos that FPD sustained in the process of their fucking up a guy, as Ramos promised, who committed the heinous crime of being homeless.

Manny's Boo boo
Manny’s Boo boo

Hughes was on the same police force that the Genacco report said suffered from a Culture of Corruption and he did nothing on record to stop it. If there was a Culture of Corruption he was a part of it for 20+ years before we could prove it existed to enough people to notice. To pretend that he wasn’t a part of the problem is naive.

On his way out the door we learn that the FPD arrested a couple for being victims of a crime based on the word of actual criminals because apparently police work, like looking at the video that exonerates the true victims, was just too hard for this pillar of our community and his reformed department.

We Also learned on Wednesday that Chief Hughes left a parting gift for City Manager Joe Felz. Felz got to get away with an alleged DUI, if nothing else he got at least got away with destruction of city property because we’re told, well nothing. We’re told nothing. The only reason you know anything about this story is because we here at FFFF got ahold of a memo from Danny boy himself. It’s all hush-hush and will remain that way during the closed session at council on Tuesday.

Speaking of secrets.

Did you know that we already have a new Interim Chief? You’d think we residents would be allowed to know who’s running our Police Department. Suckers. You’re allowed to know what they tell you you’re allowed to know and when they tell you if they bother to even tell you. The ink is probably already dry on the contract and we don’t even know if it was legally opened up to candidates. Wanna bet that the Council rubber stamps the new Chief behind closed doors too?

The good thing for Disney and their new VP of Dineyland Security and Emergency Services is that at least he’ll have fewer DUIs to cover up for his bosses now that the House of Blues has left Downtown Disney.

Under New Manangement

 

Friends for Fullerton’s Future is now owned and operated by a brand new collection of miscreants, malefactors and truth-tellers. Sure, some of our old Friends will still be here. Some new ones, too.

In 2013, the previous proprietor of this esteemed institution decided to shut it down – after thousands and thousands of posts and hundreds of thousands of comments. In 2010 and 2011 FFFF was named the Best Blog in Orange County by the OC Weekly. Well, guess what? We’re back.

On a hot July night in 2011 a sick, homeless man was bludgeoned and suffocated to death in one of our gutters by members of our own police department. He choked to death in his own blood as the cops that killed him were nursed for their scrapes with soothing words, Bactine and band aids. A supposedly distraught mother and father were bought off with $6,000,000 of our money, in order to keep the truth from us.

And what the Hell has happened in Fullerton the meantime?

In 2012, a new 3-2 city council majority emerged, belligerently determined to eradicate the memory of Fullerton’s second recall; blindly determined to ignore the Culture of Corruption that pervaded the Fullerton Police Department. You remember that culture? Remember the names: Rincon, Mater, Major, Hampton, Nguyen, Mejia?  Search our archives, Friends, to remind yourselves.

Jan Flory, Doug Chaffee and  Jennifer Fitzgerald replaced the Three Bald Tires – Bankhead, McKinley and Jones – as proprietors and caretakers of the corrupt Old Regime and as custodians of the silence.

It is four years later. Now our streets are choked with traffic that will only get worse with the advent of new massive projects created to enrich a few developers, their “consultants” and their lobbyists.

Lobbyists? Our own mayor is a professional lobbyist. She says she wants us to  “participate in building a better future for our city.” How? Apparently, by promoting more gargantuan housing development by her own future campaign contributors, while turning a blind eye to the incredible waste of resources spent policing the downtown booze-fueled free-for-all created by her predecessors and her own current campaign contributors.

Hundreds of millions of gallons of water have been poured into leaky Laguna Lake by the City government as Fullerton citizens have been forced by their own government to let their landscaping die. In the past four years, $45 million dollars have and will be been transferred from reserve accounts to keep the City solvent, as our own mayor takes credit for a “balanced budget.”

Are things changed? You tell me, humble readers.

Oh yeah, we’re back. And we’re kind of pissed off.

 

Armed And Dangerous

Bad Cop, Good Cop

Christopher Jordan Dorner is on the loose. Heavily armed and with nothing to lose, this ex-LAPD cop is bent on deploying any means necessary to implement his “manifesto” of revenge on those he deems as dirty cops, and even their families.

So far three people are dead and Torrance cops have shot up two women in an incompetent case of mistaken identity.

While we may ponder the outcome of the current manhunt for this apparently deranged former police officer, it also behooves us to contemplate the means and methods that created and permitted Dorner’s cophood in the first place.

The LAPD is now quick to point out this guy’s history of nutsiness, and yet somehow Dorner was given access to training and weaponry in both the military and in the LAPD that are now being used effectively against civilians and the cops themselves.

How did that happen?

At FFFF we have offered a glimpse of the LAPD mindset in the personages of former Fullerton Police Chief Pat “Patdown” McKinley and his idol, LAPD Chief Darryl Gates. And we have seen an influx of LAPD cops and tactics into Fullerton since McKinley’s arrival in 1993 – current Police Chief Danny Hughes’ formative years, in fact.

Then there was the flurry of claims and allegations against FPD cops for brutality, culminating in the callous and lethal assaults on Veth Mam and Kelly Thomas in 2010 and 2011, caught on video.

It appears that in the police business potential violent instability is seen as less of a problem than a tool to be unleashed on an unruly citizenry.

All of which begs the questions: how hard is it to become an LAPD (or Fullerton) cop, particularly for ex-soldiers, and why in the world aren’t we weeding out the Christopher Dorners before they get a badge and a gun?

 

 

Excuses, Excuses

Ponsi2

OC Register excuse for a journalist, and notorious bad-cop-story-misser, Lou Ponsi, really outdid himself today with a ridiculous “story” about all the excuses his pals on the force heard from folks who wanted to dodge a traffic citation. Real tough, hard-hitting piece there, Lou.

I wonder if Ponzi will ever tire of writing stupid fluff pieces for one of the most notorious police forces in California. I also wonder if writing salacious cop-accounts of wanton females is the best story line, given the well-documented behavior of FPD serial sex batterer Albert Rincon, whose activities were essentially known, and condoned by the department.

Anyhoo, that’s all introductory to my own version of a real human interest piece, something of which we are all too familiar, by now. And that’s the excuses doled out by the cops themselves to try to explain away their own malfeasance – crap subsequently sucked up by drones like Ponsi. Enjoy.

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1. He was running.

2. He was fighting.

3. He disobeyed a legal command.

4. He was reaching for his “waistband” (whatever that is).

5. That donut was supposed to be jelly-filled.

6. We put our lives on the line every day.

7. Our belts weigh 80 pounds.

8. We die at average 53 years old.

9. We try to arrest the right guy.

10. He thought he was beating up the right guy.

11. That’s POBR covered. Can’t talk about it.

12. It was not just honking. It was excessive horning.

13. No, it’s not tax deductible, but give us your money anyway, you’ll get a decal.

14. The job stress hooked me on those pills.

15. I just set my bag of chicken on that iPad. After that I don’t know what happened.

16. I got mad at my DAR and smashed it against the wall.

17. We slammed his head against the bars as we removed the dead body.

18. Those ladies weren’t like you.

19. Just wait to see the video. You’ll change your minds. I’ve seen it 400 times.

20. There were broken bones.

21. There was only one, maybe two deeply involved.

22. He was breaking into cars.

23. He was high on PCP.

24. He was a gang banger.

25. I feared for my safety.

26. The 90 pound girl with the jack knife entered the 22 foot radius so we had to shoot her 18 times.

27. Ron Thomas was never a deputy sheriff.

28. He was just a smelly bum.

29. The free sandwiches and beers are just a small perk for an otherwise unrewarding job.

30. My second wife doesn’t understand me and my girlfriend just wants a chunk of that pension.

31. It was suicide by cop.

32. He was a terrorist.

33. It was just a bong from the evidence room. It’s not like i was going to use it or anything.

34. Once you take a guided tour of the station you’ll feel differently about everything.

35. it was really all just a misunderstanding.

36. They are either misinformed or lying.

And now, feel free to add your own.

 

 

 

Whatever Happened to April Leanne Baughman?

To swerve and deflect

Haven’t heard that name lately? How about her alias, April Leanne Wilson?

She’s the FPD employee who (miraculously, considering the caliber of the detectives who work there) got caught last March stealing from the the evidence room at FPD Central. Here is Ms. Baughman’s court record.

Right now she’s free on bail after having ripped off more than $50K from the till.

To a certain extent you have to cut April some slack. After all, when you look around and see a culture of chaos, corruption, incompetence it must be hard for a person of marginal integrity not to give in to temptation.

According to police spokesholes, Baughman had been at it for quite some time. Which begs the inevitable question, who the Hell was in charge? Either nobody was doing inventories and audits, or the egregious Baughman had one or more accomplices helping her out. Will there be any accountability? Want odds?

Either way it’s another black eye for the department and its “leadership” who would have us believe everything is hunky dory at Commonwealth and Highland.

And before you feel obliged to credit the FPD for nabbing one of their own, consider what would have happened if Baughman were not a civilian employee. Would we ever have heard anything from the Culture of Cover up?

 

Sellers Sighting in Pasadena

He keeps popping up like a bad penny. It’s Iron Mike Sellers at the Rose Bowl.

That’s right, Fullerton’s former top cop who let Pat McPension’s Neanderthal goons run amok, and who, when the chips were down took 1) a vacation, 2) a tummy ache medical leave, and 3) a disability retirement and massive pension with thanks and well-wishes of the Albert Pujols of City mangers, Joe Felz.

Vince Mater Gets Wrist Slapped For Destruction of Evidence in Fullerton Jail House Death Case

I always hate it when the stooge press indicates that a “former cop” was convicted of something when the former cop was an active cop when he did what he did to get convicted.

And so I won’t say “former Fullerton cop Vincent Mater plead guilty…” Rather, I will say dirty Fullerton cop Vincent Mater who clearly had something to hide in the wake of the Dean Gochenour Fullerton jail suicide and who demonstrated as much by destroying his DAR plead guilty to day…

Here’s the text of the DAs press release:

FULLERTON – A former Fullerton Police Department (FPD) officer was convicted and sentenced today for destroying evidence by crushing his audio-recorder after an inmate committed suicide in jail following a driving under the influence (DUI) arrest by the defendant. Vincent Thomas Mater, 42, pleaded guilty to a court offer by the Honorable Frances Munoz to one misdemeanor count of destruction of evidence and one misdemeanor count of vandalism. Mater was sentenced to three years of informal probation and 60 days of community service. The People objected to the sentence, arguing for jail time based on the nature of the crime, destruction of evidence possibly related to an inmate’s death, and the defendant’s violation of his position of trust.

At the time of the crime, Mater was a police officer with FPD.  At approximately 9:45 p.m. on April 14, 2011, Mater conducted a DUI investigation after making a traffic stop of a vehicle being driven without its lights on in the dark. Mater was in uniform and driving a marked FPD patrol car. Mater arrested the driver, Dean Gochenour, upon determining that Gochenour was under the influence of alcohol.

Mater transported Gochenour in his patrol car to the Fullerton City Jail (FCJ) and turned him over to FPD jailers to be booked upon arrival. Throughout the duration of his contact with Gochenour, Mater wore an FPD-issued Digital Audio Recording device (DAR), which was activated and would have audio-recorded any statements made by Mater or Gochenour.

At approximately 11:30 p.m., inmate Gochenour committed suicide by hanging himself in a cell at FCJ. The Orange County District Attorney’s Office (OCDA) was subsequently contacted to conduct the custodial death investigation.

In the hours after Mater learned of Gochenour’s death, Mater destroyed his DAR by crushing it and removing the mother board and circuit board. The audio captured on Mater’s DAR of the defendant’s interaction with Gochenour could not be recovered as a result of the damage. Mater destroyed the evidence that would have been relevant to the OCDA’s custodial death investigation.

FPD investigated the case against Mater regarding the destruction of evidence and submitted it to the OCDA for criminal prosecution.

To read the OCDA’s full report on the custodial death of Gochenour, visit www.OrangeCountyDA.com and select “OCDA Report Custodial Death Investigation – Inmate Dean Gochenour” from the Investigation Letters tab under the Media Center. The report was issued March 13, 2012.

Deputy District Attorney Brock Zimmon of the Special Prosecutions Unit prosecuted this case.

I don’t know who “the honorable” Frances Munoz is, but I sure want to end up in her court if I ever get busted doing anything naughty. Probation and sixty days’ community service? Really? You or I would be looking at hard time. Oh, well we’ve always know there were rules and regs for us and a get out of jail card for the cops.

Did something fishy happen to Dean Gochenour before or after he was deposited in the FPD jail? Thanks to Mater we shall probably never know.

Oh, and yeah, Mater’s now a former Fullerton cop, although whether he was fired or permitted to walk away we will never know. That shall remain a mystery, too.

Have They Gone Too Far?

You would think that even a band of rogue cops with the recent history of malfeasance such as the FPOA brethren would recognize that publishing a wanted poster of your political opponents is crossing a line.

Damn straight. Wanted for re-election.

Well, I guess not. When you are willing to defend killers, robbers, pickpockets, liars, perjurers, incompetents of all kinds, property room thieves, sex perverts, and who knows what else, you’ll defend anything.