Is Prohibition Sneaking Back Into Fullerton?

sean-francis
Sean Francis holds forth; Greg Mayes is evidently displeased.

Police Captain Greg Mayes is calling for the Planning Commission to prohibit the serving of bottled liquor at local speakeasies. Unfortunately for responsible bars like the Continental Room, this new rule against “bottle service” will eliminate high-end customers from local bars, making plenty of room for the get-drunk-for-cheap crowd that Fullerton cops love to hate.

Continental owner Sean Francis made a strong case to the Planning Commission for allowing him to continue serving $200 bottles of alcohol to the look-at-me crowd. Although he probably could have drawn enough favor from the commission to pull off a coveted exemption from the rules, Mr. Francis took the high road and continues to push for a policy that would allow other bars to restore bottle service too.

It’s been a long time since Prohibition was repealed, and it still seems silly to attempt to force it upon careful bar owners and responsible patrons. This new policy is a misguided attempt to curb obnoxious activity that is actually perpetrated by the low budget crowd who would never pay for bottle service, but will now fill our bars even more.

Fighting, public urination and drunk driving are already illegal.  Why can’t the police crack down on activity that directly harms others, rather than creating more laws that only inhibit law-abiding customers?

Fullerton’s drunks will always find a way to get wasted with or without bottle service. The Planning Commission should not penalize responsible citizens and business owners for crimes they did not commit.

26 Replies to “Is Prohibition Sneaking Back Into Fullerton?”

  1. Has there ever been any small-government types on the Planning Commission? It seems like the type of job that attracts nothing but control freaks. They always know what’s best for us.

  2. is the city council serious? I just finished cruising SOCO’s nightlife/boozeries with my european cousins and they loved it. Heads up, main street, the only thriving economy in europe is the indomitable spirit of its youth’s desire to live in the moment and enjoy life. my advice to fullerton city council’s save the foxers fools is don’t bite the only hand that funds your silly projects.

    1. Van, this hasn’t come to the council yet. The PD is putting pressure on the planning commission to kill bottle service via changes to conditional use permits. By the time an ordinance comes to council, bottle service will already be restricted. The police department will then say “see, nobody really wants it”.

      The staff strategy: It’s much easier to ram a restrictive ordinance through the system after it’s already in effect.

  3. maybe because his cronies are going down like he is–from the AUG 2009 FULLERTON Observer:

    BAD COP GOES DOWN
    Years ago the Observer printed a series of
    articles inspired by Fullerton police officers
    who contacted the paper anonymously
    in early 2005. They were fed up with
    the corrupt actions of a fellow officer and
    with what they saw as lax discipline dolled
    out to him by department management.
    They felt the officer, John Cross (and his
    partner Gregg Nowling) were giving the
    dept. a bad name and creating a situation
    where other bad cops would feel they
    could also get away with anything.
    The most serious complaint against
    Officer Cross involved the beating of a
    handcuffed young black man in the elevator
    of the police station. Stopped for playing
    his car radio too loud, the young man
    was arrested after giving a false name to
    police. The beating was caught on tape
    and witnessed. Cross was demoted, but
    not dismissed.
    Other complaints over the years included:
    an insurance kick-back scheme involving
    the Police Association, which cost the
    city money (Cross was president at the
    time); repeated failure to turn on his DAR
    (digital audio recording) device as
    required by law. The device records what
    happens during an incident with the public.
    It prevents corruption, as well as protecting
    both officers and the public in
    contested cases; failing to follow up on a
    case of a potential suicide; and other incidents
    of conduct unbecoming an officer.
    The final straw came when he failed to
    contact dispatch when an intoxicated offduty
    sheriff was brandishing a weapon
    near a local business. Although no shooting
    incident occurred the outcome could
    have been very different. Because it was
    not reported to dispatch the incident was
    never fully investigated, allowing a crime
    by law enforcement to go unpunished.
    Police Chief Pat McKinley (now
    retired) fired Cross in August of 2007.
    Cross immediately contested but the arbitrator
    held up the termination. His final
    appeal was heard in a closed City Council
    session and comes before the open session
    for a final decision on Aug. 4th.

  4. Re: BAD COP GOES DOWN – Thanks for posting this. There is more to the story of John Cross’s demotion and termination that needs to be discussed. Nobody has been held accountable for allowing this guy to stay on the force after allegations of brutality and racism. Stick around for more….

    1. Travis,

      John Cross was terminated by FPD and the arbitrator held up the termination. We can speculate on allegations of brutality, racism, and conduct unbecoming of an officer. The department took appropriate actions and I feel any further comments about Mr. Cross are unnecessary and malicious; essentially irrelevant at this time. I think it would be better if you stuck to current issues which involve current employees. Capt. Mayes is fair game but there is no need to inventory the speculative sins of a former employee who has not been with the department for the last 2 years

      1. Alan, not everyone feels that the department took completely appropriate action and there are several current staff members who were involved in those actions.

        Furthermore, we prefer to learn from past mistakes. Thus, we will rehash prior events over and over until patterns of decent behavior are established.

        1. I agree the current staff should be considered when rehashing prior events. Mr. Cross is done, no need to keep dragging him through the mud. Keep up the great work!

          1. So, FPD doesn’t fire someone, and that makes you unhappy. They fire someone, and that makes you unhappy. It sounds like you just want to be unhappy.

            Firing a police officer is NOT a simple matter. You can lament that it should be, but it’s not. Just because YOU don’t like the actions an organization takes doesn’t make them wrong, it just means you don’t like it.

          2. JustAGuy, you have an amazing ability to dispute a post that hasn’t even been written yet. If you can hold your horses, there will be plenty of time to explain what’s wrong and why… and it won’t be “because I don’t like it”.

          3. Well said JustAGuy, too many people unhappy about everything and they cant talk about it…because it doesn’t make them happy. Miserable…

  5. Wine is served in bottles at the table in many Fullerton restaurants. The Celler, Summit House and others are going to get screwed.

  6. Francis has been trying the city for years, they finally blocked this guy from getting away with more mayhem. he should pack up his Bentley and drugs and take the drunks to his Brea bar.

    we dont want you

  7. Good Travis, we are very anxious to read and hear all about this story. Very proud the city didn’t buckle and pay-off an amount for a rightful firing in this economy.

  8. Alan :
    Travis,
    John Cross was terminated by FPD and the arbitrator held up the termination. We can speculate on allegations of brutality, racism, and conduct unbecoming of an officer. The department took appropriate actions and I feel any further comments about Mr. Cross are unnecessary and malicious; essentially irrelevant at this time. I think it would be better if you stuck to current issues which involve current employees. Capt. Mayes is fair game but there is no need to inventory the speculative sins of a former employee who has not been with the department for the last 2 years

    Alan, Cross tried to sue the city for a ton of money, but lost once the closed session council (two weeks ago) didn’t buy it–the final approval was Tuesday. That’s pretty current if you ask me.

  9. I like your post Travis. I have enjoyed bottle service at the Continental Lounge and I would not like to see the government deciding what type of booze we choose to drink.

  10. John Cross is a horrible human being…..He shouldnt be employed anywhere and should be ashamed to show his face in fullerton.

  11. Juju .
    you dont know what your talking about. The guy handed out more man years of incarceration than any cop in fullerton. Also served for 17 years and made a huge difference in many peoples lives. You sleep under the blanket of protection that he provided. Why dont you pick up a weapon and do the job not just whine like a lib ….

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