Should the city actively seek to suppress any evidence of harassment by city staff from the court record when prosecuting code violations? That’s exactly what’s happening in the strange case of an allegedly overgrown fig tree in south Fullerton.
A few weeks ago this woman, henceforth known as “The Fig Tree Lady,” came before council to tell her side of the story in a code enforcement case against her fig tree, which was allegedly hanging over a public sidewalk last year. The Fig Lady accused city staff of singling her out for criminal prosecution as retribution for her embarrassing victory over the city attorney (Jones & Mayer) several years prior.
That same day, the city attorney had filed a motion in court to suppress any evidence of harassment by City employees.
The fig lady’s guilt or innocence will be decided in court, and is not really the point here. But why is the city using it’s legal muscle to suppress any evidence that it’s code enforcement officers might be harassing citizens?
What if this woman did have evidence that the city attorney and staff were giving her case “special treatment”? Shouldn’t she be able to make her case to the judge? Is someone using the city’s expensive legal resources to bully and silence this outspoken critic in some sort of personal vendetta as the Fig Lady claims?
If the motion is granted, the woman would not even be allowed to submit this current photo of her tree (courtesy of Greg Sebourn) as evidence that the situation has been corrected.
Obviously the tree is not a threat anymore. Why is the city attorney still spending our money to silence and prosecute this woman? And are they really worried that she could prove her claims of harassment?