Posts Tagged Fullerton Police Officers’ Association
I’d say Steven Greenhut hit it out of the park with this piece in today’s OC Register:
Despite the revelations, police unions continue to behave as before, trying to intimidate council members who refuse to go along with their demands for ever-higher pay and benefits, and protections for their members from oversight and accountability.
Two councilmen in Fullerton, Bruce Whitaker and Travis Kiger, are experiencing treatment similar to the Righeimer episode in Costa Mesa. The Fullerton police union is angry at the role those men played in demanding reform in the wake of the death of Kelly Thomas, a schizophrenic homeless man fatally beaten by Fullerton officers in July 2011.
Please read the rest of “Steven Greenhut: Others feel wrath of police unions”
Last April I wrote this look back at what sure seemed like monkey business on the part of FPD spokesorifice Andrew Goodrich. Knowing what we know now about the lawless way that FPD operates when so inclined, the idea that they leaked potentially embarrasing information about someone they considered a political enemy is in no way surprising.
Many have wondered how Goodrich, after having failed to tell a single truth at any juncture of the Kelly Thomas murder epsiode, kept his job. The obvious answer is that the City Council, the City Manager, and the Acting Chief think he is doing a good job.
It could also be that because the estimable Goodrich is an officer in the police union they don’t have the guts to take this valuable piece of manpower and put him back on the street.
- Joe Sipowicz
The other day, our Travis Kiger engaged in a comical e-mail exchange with Fullerton PD’s $130,000 per year spokesperson, Sergeant Andrew Goodrich. Here it is:
Note that according to Goodrich, FPD policy is that the police log book may be perused at the station – but not copied. When unexpectedly queried as to how the Voice of OC(EA) managed to get a copy of a domestic dispute entry involving Assemblyman Chris Norby last September, the good Sergeant noted that it was due to the “constant” requests they had from the media. Hmm. Well, that makes so little sense that we may as well backtrack to review what happened. Something ain’t quite kosher. In fact a smell is emanating from this pile of Goodrich road apples.
Last fall, 72nd Assemblyman Chris Norby seems to have gotten into an argument with his wife. Some sort of delivery person, adventitiously arriving at the front door of Casa Norby, called the cops, who arrived, took a statement, and left. The date of the incident was September 2nd.
The Voice of OC(EA) finally got around to posting about the issue, here, on September 27 – almost four weeks after the fact. The Register followed up with a story a couple of days later. Other than that, general media silence. Wow, Andy, what a feeding frenzy!
Now that we know Goodrich’s excuse for violating FPD policy is nonsense, we are entitled to ask why Goodrich was so cavalier about passing out copies of the log – against policy; and further, we ought to ask how and why the Norby episode came to light at all.
Note that the report posted by the Voice of OC(EA) was time stamped September 20, seven days before it was published. This means that they either sat on the story for seven days, or they received the document several days after it was printed. Hmm. And remember, according to Goodrich, the log is regularly purged.
Although it is possible that the Voice took a week to getting around to publishing its story, is it at all likely that an intrepid Voice reporter came across an FPD log entry in the course of his typical day’s toil? Or is it a whole Hell of a lot more likely that an employee of the Fullerton Police Department, growing tired of waiting for some lucky journalist to discover what would surely be an embarrassment for Norby, leaked it to a pro-union news source?
Mr. Goodrich could help clear this up by sharing his records of media requests for this information, and explain the date on the printout.
Of course it is possible that some other party reading the log came across the item, recognized Norby’s address, and passed it on to the Voice; but that would be supported by pretty long odds.
In any case, there certainly is an object lesson here for all of us, Friends. Privacy seems to be selectively practiced by the Fullerton Police Department. And mostly it is not practiced to protect the public – but them.
Here’s the story we reported at the end of June, a truly embarrassing tale of theft and utter stupidity perpetrated by one of Fullerton’s Finest. And a harbinger of things to come. Forget the final sentence. We now know very well about the moral turpitude that pervades pat McKinley’s police force.
- Joe Sipowicz
The following report confirms that an off-duty Fullerton police officer was arrested for stealing an Apple iPad at a Miami International Airport TSA checkpoint last month. According to court documents, FPD Officer Kelly Mejia was caught on surveillance video taking an $800 iPad from another passenger just after it had passed through the x-ray machine in the presence of TSA security agents.
After the security footage was reviewed, Miami police canvassed the airport and discovered Mejia holding the iPad at the boarding gate. Mejia initially stated that she found the iPad and that she intended to keep it. Upon further questioning, the arresting officer says that Mejia confessed to taking the iPad and was placed under arrest for 3rd degree grand theft (a felony in Florida.)
The arrest report refers to Mejia’s occupation as a police officer and lists the address for FPD Headquarters as her place of employment. Kelly Mejia has been working with the Fullerton Police Department for at least six years and earns about $86,000 per year as a patrol officer.
It’s hard to imagine that this type of brazen theft in a high security zone would be anyone’s inaugural venture into pickpocketing. The authority granted to the occupation of police officer certainly presents many opportunities to bring home a little something extra on the side. I wonder if anything else is missing around here?
And how many pending criminal cases in Fullerton will be called into question if this officer loses her credibility in court? Will this officer be fired or just slapped on the wrist? Is this another indicator of ethical problems within Fullerton cop culture?
We’ll never know.
Accused murderer Manny Ramos was able to make bail early this morning, and KTLA says the fundraising was done by Ramos’ fellow Fullerton police officers.
One of our readers passed along this letter purportedly from FPD officer Benjamin Lira seeking donations to get Ramos out of jail. It was posted to the Big City Cops Facebook page, an online hangout for off duty cops.
Check out that nifty logo of the police group who was passing around the letter. I’m told that oderint dum metuant is Latin for “Let them hate so long as they fear.”
As is evidenced from the comments tonight, the comments from the last few city council meetings, the FPD protests, and the current city council agenda which is full of lawsuits which will cost the city millions of dollars, it’s obvious that there is a great deal of anger and mistrust towards the Fullerton Police Dept and the City of Fullerton.
A large number of negative incidents involving Fullerton police officers continue to come to light, ranging from alleged sexual misconduct of officers towards women whom they have stopped, to officers allegedly committing theft, to charges of false arrest, and so on. Our family experienced a mistaken raid on our home by armed undercover vice cops who were looking for the home next door.
Clearly, it is in the best interest of everyone for the FPD and the city council to work hard to win back the trust of people. In doing so it seems obvious that it would be Wise to Avoid Doing Things That Unnecessarily Increase Distrust.
THE CURRENT UNACCEPTABLE SITUATION
There is a situation in the FPD that can be corrected. Making this correction should take away some of the distrust.
Your current FPD Spokesperson / Public Information Officer has had, and still has, a major role in the Fullerton Police Officers union. (FPOA)
Here are three examples of his significance to the union:
- RECENT—On behalf of the police union, Mr. Goodrich was 1 of 3 signers of the 2009-2011 police union contract. (Signatures are found on pg 45 of the “ Fullerton Police Officers Association (FPOA)-Police Safety Unit” labor agreement, http://www.ci.fullerton.ca.us/depts/pers_serv/labor_agreements.asp
- CURRENT—On behalf of the police union, Mr. Goodrich is on the small negotiating team for the current police union contract. As a member of that team he would be trying, of course, to get the highest salary and best benefits possible for the union members. To do so, you would assume that he would be trying to put the officers in the best light possible.
- IN THE PAST— In 2003, Mr. Goodrich wrote a how-to article for union members entitled, “The Value of Political Involvement-Your Association’s Role in Local Politics.” This piece explained effective ways for the union to get their choice of candidates elected to the city council and WHY it is in the union’s best interest to do so. (Goodrich’s document is located within this article, “Peer into the Thought Process of the FPOA,” www.fullertonsfuture.org)
I think it is absurd for someone in a significant role in the police union to be the spokesperson for the Fullerton Police Department. This situation obviously causes distrust by many in the community and it makes the leadership of the FPD, the city manager, and the city council look foolish.
In his “union role”—Mr. Goodrich’s union task would be to put police officers in as positive of a light as possible.
In his spokesperson role”—when he is speaking on behalf of the FPD—putting police officers in as positive of a light as possible should not be his concern. His concern should be honesty, accuracy, and transparency.
HERE’S MY SUGGESTION:
The current FPD Spokesperson/Public Information Officer (Mr. Goodrich) should be reassigned to a different position and he should be replaced by an officer who has not had a major role in the Fullerton Police Officers Union.
UPDATE: Here is a post from waaaay back in November, 2010 about how our police union leaders view the political process and their ability to manipulate it to their own advantage. Of course the egregious Andrew Goodrich figures prominently in our post. Be sure to read the last sentence!
Just in case you thought there was any doubt that public service might not be the number one priority of Fullerton’s boys in blue, take a look at the document below, a veritable “how-to” article on political influence written in 2003 by FPD PIO and union front-man, Andrew Goodrich.
See, it’s all about how to leverage your members dues to create a political machine and get what’s coming to you. Actually it’s about defining what’s coming to you and getting a subservient collection of clowns you elect to go along for the ride.
I especially enjoyed Goodrich bragging about batting one thousand. The record looked great in 2003, but then the wheels started coming off the squad car. Chris Norby and Shawn Nelson jumped ship PDQ (although Norby stayed on the Police Reservation long enough to vote for the obscene 3@50 deal in 2001, thanks Norby). The pitiful police-backed pipsqueak Mike Clesceri was tossed out in 2004 after a mere one term; and ditto the equally useless Leland Wilson who was just a bad memory by 2006.
In 2010 the union backed a geriatric of dubious mental competency, a poster boy for pension abuse, and a guy who dodged criminal responsibility by giving his DNA to the DA. Hey two outta three ain’t bad - for them. For the rest of us? Not so good!
And here’s a little bit more about Mr. Goodrich: promoted to “Community Services bureau leader – and police public information officer” last January as chronicled by Barbara Giasone:
Goodrich also signed the May 3, 2010 MOU on behalf of the FPOA, along with Barry Coffman and Robert Kirk.
And just in case you feel your tax dollars that pay for 3@50, etc. are insufficient thanks to the police for all they do you can always help out some more. Here’s a solicitation we received from the FPOA just yesterday. Your gift is supposed to go to FPOA “community outreach” but IS NOT tax deductible. Hmm. You get a decal of a police badge.
In closing I really feel compelled to wonder whether or not any of the three worthy gentlemen named above have been posting comments on our blog.
Out here on Screech Owl Road I’ve been tuning in on the doings in sleepy little Fullerton that is sleepy no more. It’s hard to miss. You’ve made world-wide news – and not in the way anybody wants to become famous.
Anyway, I got to wondering the other day about the Police Department spokeshole, Sergeant Andrew Goodrich, a bumbling oaf who has made a real hash out of public relations in the aftermath of the Kelly Thomas homicide.
For a while I tried to make sense of the weird things he was saying, and obviously leaking to selected individuals, individuals who then exercised no intellectual scrutiny over what they were disseminating.
My friends back in Fullerton informed me that Goodrich is a shot-caller in the Fullerton Police Officers Association (FPOA), the local cop union. These are the boys (and girls) in blue who pour tens of thousands of dollars into Fullerton elections to get the most simple minded pro-cop lackeys they can find into office. Over the years they have succeeded marvelously.
Then all of Goodrich’s bullshit started to make sense: Kelly Thomas ran; he was combative; he had “legal documents” that didn’t belong to him; a photograph of a dirty, muscular, mean-looking guy was released purporting to be a two-year old booking picture of Thomas; two cops suffered “broken bones” in the encounter. All this trash was floated out to the public to discredit the victim and divert attention from the horrific bludgeoning death perpetrated by the police.
Of course, later it was revealed that there were no broken bones (the cops were back on the street); the identity of the man in the picture was challenged; the so-called legal documents in Thomas’s possession was trash Kelly had fished out of a dumpster; reports from people who knew him that Thomas was basically a harmless dude.
So who does Goodrich really work for? Fullerton taxpayers pay his salary, but it is crystal clear that he he is working for his brethren in the FPOA and will do anything he can to obfuscate, obscure, misdirect and mislead you – the very people who pay his lavish $130,000 a year salary plus benefits.
This becomes even more troublesome when you consider that he is one of the leaders of the union that has hired a lawyer to defend the six cops that participated in the Thomas beat down.
Who in God’s name permits a union officer be the official spokesman for a city department? The egregious Chief Mike Sellers, for one. And, naturally, the ex-cops on the city council Pat McKinley and Don Bankhead, as well as the buffoonish Dick Jones, of course – another individual embraced by the cop union.
Well this crap has got to stop. Sellers should be fired of course, and he should take his union spokesman with him when he goes.
In what appears to be a rising tide of embarrassing news personnel-wise, the Fullerton Police Department has a new case of Bad Cop to explain to the public.
Fullerton police officer Todd Major plead guilty this month to fraudulent use of an access card and felony grand theft of money and property belonging to the City of Fullerton. Major is now serving out his 6 month sentence in the Theo Lacy County Jail with three years of probation to follow.
Major was a sworn police officer at the time of the theft, earning $90,000 a year in the Community Services Bureau. His case was prosecuted by the big boys at the State Attorney General’s office.
The plea deal included the dropping of additional charges indicating that Major also stole from the Fullerton Car Show, two Troy High School administrators, eleven Fullerton Police Explorers, and the Vons, Ralphs and Albertsons supermarkets.
At this time we don’t know what this convicted cop stole or how he stole it. Due to the union’s fierce protection of bad cops, we also aren’t entitled to know if he was fired or how much paid leave he received before he went to jail.
Anyone with more information on these crimes is invited to contact this blog.
All sorts of interesting stories have been coming in since we exposed the affirmation of beating and theft allegations against a Fullerton police officer last week. Here’s the first one:
Last month an off-duty Fullerton police officer was allegedly captured on video at a Florida airport making off with an Apple iPad belonging to another passenger while going through a security checkpoint. The officer was supposedly identified on security footage, hunted down just before boarding, arrested and charged with 3rd degree Grand Theft.
In Florida, Grand Theft is a felony punishable by a maximum of 5 years in prison.
We’ll sit tight on the officer’s name until we can finish gathering up the details. For now, consider this a warning to iPad owners in Fullerton: hold on to your goods when the Law is nearby.
For all the lavish compensation bestowed upon Fullerton’s Finest, you’d think we’d be able to avoid hiring of such low caliber cops. But the more we look, the more this seems to be par for the course for the FPOA.