The Sound of Silence

I would have done it even cheaper...
I would have done it even cheaper…

Not much has come out of Fullerton Junior College lately on the case of cop-turned-security guard Dino Skokos who handed out an unwarranted beat down on an undernourished FJC student in October.

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.

The cleanup is underway
The cleanup is underway

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.

Close enough...
Close enough…

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.

Trust the System that Can’t be Trusted

Remember when Our Mayor, Jennifer Fitzgerald, had the City Attorney, “The Other Dick Jones“, repeat the city’s position on the Joe Felz alleged D.U.I. incident?

That they’re looking into it, via an outside investigative group without subpoena power that is answerable only to the City Brass, and that any potential criminal charges would be forwarded to the District Attorney?

It’s a good thing that we can trust the District Attorney, Tony Rackauckas, to be interested in the law and to not be too cozy with Law Enforcement.

Oh wait. Nevermind.

In the latest episode of “You’ve Got to be F*^%ing Kidding Me” the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals has kept the entire D.A.’s office off of the most high-profile shooting case in county history for misconduct. All because the D.A. is too cozy with Law Enforcement and doesn’t follow the law.

(more…)

Records Request? Denied!

A few people, myself included, who had records requests in with the F.P.D. and City Hall regarding the Joe Felz/Sappy McTree incident were emailed denial letters today. Mine was based upon Section 6254(f) and 6255 of the California Government Code and was sent to me by Greg Palmer of Jones & Meyer, the law firm for our City Attorney “The Other Dick Jones™”.

One records request was hilarious because it denies records to one party when the denial letter was actually sent to another party altogether. These lawyer folk sure are awesome with the details let me tell you and it looks like we’re getting our money’s worth.

The first part of my emailed denial got to me because it says that I can view the 911 call log at F.P.D. during regular hours. Oh really? I went and tried that and they told me to put in a records request which could take x-amount of time and now my denial letter for the audio/video tells me that I can go look at something that F.P.D. told me I couldn’t look at when I was at the desk.

Isn’t it amazing how well the government lies to people? It’s almost as though they do this on purpose to frustrate the commonners while avoiding any real transparency.

After reading this boilerplate nonsense I emailed back to dispute the lie argument that “The Other Dick Jones™” said at Council when he said that the video/audio couldn’t be released owing to it being a “Personnel Matter”. I pointed them to a California Supreme Court Ruling and they were clearly nonplussed. But they responded that that’s not what their letter stated and I was in the wrong because of what CA Government Code 6254(f) said by gum.

I’m the curious type so I went back and re-read 6254(f) and 6255 and it talks about releasing records “unless the disclosure would endanger the safety of a witness or other person involved in the investigation, or unless disclosure would endanger the successful completion of the investigation or a related investigation.”.

So I asked what investigation? There was no citation and no arrest made so what was being investigated?

(more…)

We Get Mail

FFFF has always been a drop box for mail from sources that prefer not to be identified. Some are obviously credible; others perhaps less so – sort of like like Sgt. Andrew Goodrich the FPD spokeshole who claimed that the cops who killed Kelly Thomas suffered broken bones, etc.

Yesterday, we received an e-mail from one of our readers identifying himself as “DTF” who passed along what was presented as information sent out by a disgusted cop who was hired, and departed the FPD for a different agency during former POChief Danny Hughes reign:

cop-letter

 

And there’s more, relating to the Joe Felz incident:

I have excellent sources at FPD who hate the Hughes clan because of the lies and double standards. 

Get a hold of those videos before they are  erased, hopefully that hasnt already happen. Admin is trying to make the officers sign a new policy to prevent them from talking about the incident.

When the first two officers arived on scene, Felz was still in his car trying to free it from the sidewalk and tree. The officers pull up behind Felz just as he dislodges his car and drives away. The officers purse him and actually perform a semi pit maneuver to stop his vehicle. (There is minor damage to one of the police cars if not both) 

This next part is sketchy. One version he was pulled out of his car at gunpoint and Felz identifies his self and  immediately says to call Hughes. The other version is he flees his car when it has been immobilized and there is a short foot pursuit.

But one thing I know is that the officers on scene said Felz was HAMMERED there was no doubt he was drunk. 

There is definitely video of the whole incident from the point the officers arrive on scene.

FYI no breathalyzer is necessary on scene. You can’t make a person take one at the scene. But the accident it self, coupled with his obvious impairment is plenty to have arrested him.

Put pressure on the PD to release the video. This is another huge cover-up by Hughes and his boys.

DTF

Friends, feel free to lend credence to this information in any degree that makes you feel comfortable.

The Odd Case of the Client Newsletter

richard_jones

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:

mav-evidence

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.

A Sober Take on the FPD & Joe Felz

I’ve gotten some praise and taken some heat personally for being a part of bringing this blog back online after it’s hiatus because anybody who knows Fullerton politics knows that F.F.F.F. has it’s fans and its detractors. When I found out that there was a new owner I was excited and more so when asked if I wanted to participate as F.F.F.F. gives me an outlet to continue the writing I was doing on my own site without feeling like I’m still running for office.  We were still in the planning stages when that memo from Chief Hughes popped up and now we’re off to the races.

We need to understand the context of this memo and why it matters lest the city sweep it under the rug and further erode trust in government.

To start we must admit that City Manager Joe Felz is culpable for his actions on the night of his accident but he is also culpable for the stain he has just put upon our city after 30+ years of work and it’s somewhat sad when a career might end in a downward trajectory. I barely know Joe Felz and up until now my interactions with him included me giving him grief to prove a lie the Mayor keeps telling about our roads. That said I have no personal animus towards him but the actions the night of the election by him and members of F.P.D. require due diligence and honest brokering of information which are two things constantly lacking from all levels government. For the sake of argument let us pretend that the most absurd rumor coming out of City Hall is true and he simply blew a tire coming around a turn and he was perfectly sober.

Felz himself, and the F.P.D. specifically, should have done everything in their power to remove any doubt or suspicion or wrongdoing to mitigate the allusion of impropriety, special treatment or worse. If he blew a tire and ran down Sappy McTree he could have left his car where it was and called AAA. He could have moved his car off of poor Sappy and parked and called AAA. Instead he decided to try and drive away and likely home. When Police arrived they could have done their jobs without getting the Chief involved until AFTER their initial assessments and inspections.

This isn’t armchair Monday morning quarterbacking or simple 20/20 hindsight because this is their job. Felz is the top man in our city and the F.P.D. has policy for this type of accident which we’ll get to in a minute. Everybody involved in this incident is paid handsomely to do their jobs and will help bankrupt our town with their pensions from these jobs so at a minimum we should expect that they do their jobs when called to a scene.

(more…)

Taco Tuesday. No, Wait, That’s Not Right…

Here’s a tidbit from Tuesday’s upcoming Fullerton City Council Closed Session Agenda. The Closed Session is where the council secretes itself away from public scrutiny to discuss lawsuits and personnel and real estate deals.

felzonagenda

#2 deals with the replacement of of our recently departed PoChief, Danny Hughes, who was last seen applying his fingerprints all over a case involving helping out a pal in serious trouble.

#4 deals with the “performance evaluation” of the very person Hughes helped out – his boss, City Manager, Joe Felz, who was seen early Wednesday morning swerving down Glenwood Ave on his rims, after ploughing over a tree in the parkway, unable to negotiate the intersection at Highland Avenue in a, um, er, ahem, competent manner.

Things were going smoothly. At first.
Things were going smoothly. At first.

I’ve got it on pretty good authority that item 4 was agendized by the City Attorney; but at whose behest? Will the topic of Mr. Felz’s Wild Ride come up? How about the apparent cover up that is now being investigated not only by us, but by numerous mainstream media outlets?

Could there be action taken? If there were we would never know, because this is  “personnel matter” not a criminal one – as the very same City Attorney has informed the media.

Hey, Wait A Minute! I’ve Seen This Show Before!

Danny says you are either ignorant or misinformed!!!
Danny says you are either ignorant or misinformed!!!

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.

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?

New Centurions Watching All Our Backs?

Those army boots look a little soiled. Let me at 'em!
Those army boots look a little soiled. Let me at ’em!

“New centurions watching all our backs.”

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.