The Culture of Cover Up?

You, know some people have the remarkable habit of speaking a whole bunch of words without saying anything. Fullerton City Attorney Richard Jones has been doing it for years and years as compliant councils sit there silently during his mind-numbing droning.

In the clip below, from last night’s Council meeting, he explains why the public need be told nothing about the City Manager, Joe Felz, driving home after a party, running off the road, trying to leave the scene of an accident, smelling of liquor, and most likely flashing his Get Out of Jail card.

jail-card

First listen:

There’s five minutes of stuff that could have been said in about 40 seconds but Jones needs to make sure he has touched all the bases of possible objection, added some mumble-words in the service of phony legal propriety, and his accomplice, Mayor Jennifer Fitzgerald is on hand to make sure some of the points are reiterated – twice.

Yes, the bases are touched.

  1. The matter is subject to an “ongoing criminal investigation” by FPD, possibly to be turned over to the do-nothing DA, so mum’s the word! But what’s this? Who has committed a crime? No one was arrested no one was even cited. If not then, when, and how? Sure seems like a bogus smoke-screen.
  2. The issue is a “personnel” matter. But wait. Felz was not acting as an employee at the time of the crash. He was undoubtedly a private citizen. So how on God’s green earth is this a personnel matter? Another dodge to avoid response to legitimate PRA requests?
  3. The issue of the body cameras is noted as governed by some statute that is not elaborated, merely cited. The incurious Council let that one sail by. In the end, Jones informs us that Mr. Felz has privacy rights, too, which is awful sweet, but begs the question – if any of us were detained in similar circumstance can there be any doubt at all that the video would be turned over to the media by Andrew Goodrich before the first rays of morning sun had warmed the walls of the police station tower?

In the end some word nuggets tumble out that do lead into the direction of actual meaning, if only unintentionally freed from the bondage of this pettifogger’s mental jail.

One bit of this statement is very interesting. At 4:08 Jonsey mentions the investigation of the poli…the City Manager. Maybe I’m too cynical, but could this be the real source of investigation – how the cops deliberately violated their own policies and ignored violation of the Vehicle Code? That would sure make sense if a cover-up of the whole embarrassing mess was being orchestrated. After all, they could try “miscommunication in the chain of command” or some such nonsense, Gennaco-style, and if all else failed, toss the rat on conveniently departed Chief Dan Hughes who is now over the wall and making tracks southward.

Behind Closed Doors Chronic Failure Food and Drink Fullerton City Council I Aint a Swallerin That Jennifer Fitzgerald Law N Disorder Setting The Bar Low Transparency

37 thoughts on “The Culture of Cover Up?

  1. Yeah, funny how all the facts conveniently collided (Hah!) so that there can be no release of public information to the public.

    1. I watched the video and wonder if anyone else noticed the Freudian slip by the City Attorney at 4:00 into the tape where he’s summarizing the actions that the City Attorney’s office is being requested to do, and says that they’re hiring someone to investigate the conduct of the police department, and then catches himself and corrects his statement with,” the conduct of the City Manager”

      Huh?

      Even a professional liar/lawyer is having trouble keeping up with the many deceptions that exist in Fullerton city government.

      Oh what a tangled web they’ll weave to try and get us all to believe.

      1. I hope they’re bringing back Michael Gennaco and his fake Office of Investigative Review. He did such a wonderful job of whitewashing everything four years ago. Can he clear his busy schedule for another go?

  2. ” undoubtedly a private citizen” I doubt this can penetrate the skulls of the masses.
    “if any of us were detained in similar circumstance can there be any doubt at all that the video would be turned over” No Sipomeister, if you mean will the videos ever “totally” get turned over, the answer is; ahh, no…. Probably , ain’t no such thing by now.

  3. if any of us were detained in similar circumstance can there be any doubt at all that the video would be turned over to the media by Andrew Goodrich before the first rays of morning sun had warmed the walls of the police station tower?

    Absolutely no doubt at all.

  4. Good post.

    You know, I got to thinking about all the politicians and city hall bosses who are drunks, and all the likely free rides home and cover-ups that happen.

    Obviously Felz likes to drink. How many of these have already been swept under the rug?

  5. The council is directly responsible for the city manager. He is literally their only employee. They should be demanding to review the recordings from that night and take action.

    Unless they don’t want to know what happened.

  6. There is a major conflict of interest if the Fullerton PD is allowed to handle this criminal case. It should have been referred to an outside agency the next day. The fact that our council is silent and sitting around like bumps on a log makes them complicit. Someone needs to take charge.

        1. Yeah, but did any of the others speak up? What about Whitaker and Sebourn?

          This should have been turned over IMMEDIATELY to another agency.

    1. I think this can be a personnel matter if Felz used his position to get special treatment – an almost unavoidable conclusion, really, given the circumstances of “smelling alcohol.”

      I agree that there is no criminal case at all. Since Felz was not detained or arrested or even cited.

      1. Any dipshit can see that he tried to leave the scene of an accident and failed to notify the party who’s property was destroyed. The evidence has been collected (by the public). There’s no reason to ignore it.

        1. Yeah, but the cops saw that too and didn’t do anything about it. My point is that as far as police officialdom is concerned, no crime was committed, therefore using that as pretext for hiding public records is BS.

        1. I agree. There is no evidence. Just video and audio. It will show normal FST’s. Them saying he’s not drunk. End of story. Nice and short and simple and to the point where no one will ever be able to prove otherwise. The DA won’t ever file hit and run for 175 feet from the scene either.

      1. Just that
        Why wasn’t a breathalyzer or blood test administered to confirm or deny whether Joe Felz was impaired.
        Given that the officers failed to administer one, then the body cameras the taxpayers paid 100s of thousands for, be reviewed by a neutral party that is an expert in detecting impaired behaviour.

        That’s not so hard to do and the quicker the better if Fullerton values their already sullied reputation and have any hope of salvaging it’s dignity.

        1. Driving over a tree, flailing around trying to escape it, then drive off on bare rims (maybe) after having been witnessed drinking all over town = impaired behavior.

        2. PAS is just an FST. No record provided or kept. Just a readout. PAS also isn’t a requirement for DUI. The blood and breath tests are done after the arrest is done and at the jail. It never got that far, so no evidence kept of any intoxication so DUI is dead in the water.

  7. According to the register Felz told the councilmembers that he was fiddling with wires under the dashboard when the crash occurred. Imagine that – rewiring you car while driving. Now that’s valuable manpower!

  8. Retreat to the cone of silence dragged down Bankhead, Jones and McKinley last time. It is a strategy that I do not recommend, but by all means, double down.

  9. If all of you that feel strongly about this, and live locally, showed up at the last council meeting it may have made more of an impact. The room was 2/3 empty. I’m sure some of you did, but we only had 10 or so people speak on this topic. This sends a message to them that they can get away with it. More people, more press coverage. Just saying.

    1. I mean nothing to these people. i’m just another gald-fly still pissed about Kellly Thomas in their eyes. I am also not a very good public speaker. Had Tony or Travis walked up to the mic it would have put the fear of god in them. I’m fucking serious. If this is about trying to change things it must be about more than blogging. Bogging is part of it, but it needs to me more than that. (having said that, I am very grateful that you guys are back on line)

      1. Not true. Tony and Travis are old news around these parts. That’s why you haven’t heard one word from them since Travis got kicked off the dais. Travis opened his mouth about checkpoints and his political career was over.

        Oh, hi Travis!

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