Would You Like to Phone a Friend?

We kicked off our relaunch by letting you all know that City Manager Joe Felz was in an alleged DUI accident at the wee hours on 09 November 2016 following some possible revelry in Downtown Fullerton where he was allegedly spotted at three bars before allegedly running down a tree. We showed you some photos of the poor innocent tree that was taken from our fair city far too soon. We showed you gouges in the road that will likely get pushed up the queue for our Mayor’s 8-Mile-Per-Year charade of a repair estimate.

We here at FFFF are trying to piece together what happened and are looking to see if Joe Felz was released with a criminal citation as per the FPD Policy Manual section 420.3.3 but this is where the transparency problems come into play. We aren’t allowed to know much and certainly not in a timely fashion. Even council members are forbidden from talking about pending or current investigations regarding current city employees. They won’t, or can’t, even confirm if such cases are in fact pending or current. The City can take 1-2 weeks to get back to records requests because they under-staff the transparency while going heavy on the revenue generators.

With Chief Dan Hughes on his way out the door to go work as the Mouse’s Top Cop we have an interesting problem on our hands.

You see in our fair city the City Manager makes the appointments to Interim Chief should a vacancy appear. This means that Joe Felz will likely be appointing the very person in charge of the Fullerton Police Department which is tied into a possible pending or ongoing investigation of our own City Manager Joe Felz. How nice it must be to know that you get to choose the guy or gal who could be tasked with sweeping your alleged dirty deed under the rug. While it is true that Chief Hughes cites possibly bringing in the CHP to investigate, owing to a conflict of interest, it is still his own officers who would be called to testify about the scene should this alleged crime go to trial.

I’ve read the Fullerton Police Department Policy Manual on DUIs and I can’t figure out why in this alleged case the Chief of Police needed to be involved in a simple DUI. Notified sure. Directly involved though? According to the Manual, section 514.2.6 specifically, Exigent Circumstances exist with chemical tests because of the non-permanent nature of the chemicals (allegedly alcohol in this case). Taking the time to call the Watch Commander who then takes the time to call the Chief who then has to call back in theory could allow the alleged blood alcohol level of our allegedly drunk City Manager to drop to a point of allegedly legal sobriety.

Of course that brings us to section 514.2.2 of the aforementioned FPD Police Manual. That states;

If the arrested person chooses a breath test and it can be accomplished without undue delay, the arrested person shall first be transported to the jail for breath testing preparatory to booking.

fullerton-police-department-policy-manual

I don’t see any mention of transporting anybody to the Jail, a whopping 0.6 miles away, but I suppose that’s because the “field sobriety test” had nothing to do with actually testing for chemicals in the blood. If a chemical test had been completed that long drive to the Jail would have happened and been mentioned in the Chief’s memo to City Council which it was not.

jail-felzcrash

 

Expect to hear a lot about the “ongoing investigation” and remember kids that you too can allegedly drive drunk and have the on scene officer call the watch commander who then calls the Chief of Police who then calls back to give the go ahead to the on scene officer to do his/her job. You might even get a free ride home. Oh wait. No. Most of us would simply be arrested and have our cars towed to the impound.

14 Replies to “Would You Like to Phone a Friend?”

  1. “We showed you some photos of the poor innocent tree that was taken from our fair city far too soon. We showed you gouges in the road that will likely get pushed up the queue for our Mayor’s 8-Mile-Per-Year charade of a repair estimate.”

    Funny! And true. Little Joe has racked up quite a record in six years. Mammoth apartment blocks, oceans of red ink, third world roads and a dead tree. He should have been kept at the museum where he found his niche. He is a perfect example of the Peter Principle in action.

  2. Field sobriety tests. Pass. PAS decide. Pass. Done. Is that hard to understand? Only report will be a traffic collision report. Simple. Don’t expect much.

  3. My money is on the 4 or 5 video/audio recordings from the responding officers. That will explain quite a bit. Release the tapes.

    1. They will wait for about a month to release the tapes. They want everyone to form their opinions, make up their own stories, paint their own pictures. Then they will release the tapes and shut everyone up immediately LOL

      1. Why the drama?

        Release the tapes immediately and end any and all speculation about what might have transpired, with what actually happened.

        Seems simple to every one else except for Simon…er I mean “Reality Is”

        

    1. Police commissions are over talked and over rated. They have no power. They offer opinions and ideas. They cost millions if done right. Like LAPD, they say violation of policy and Beck does no discipline anyways. Cops are protected from politics which is a good thing. Get over the commission. It’s worthless and that’s why there are only a few in the State.

      1. Actually, this ordinance was specifically drafted to have teeth. In addition to subpoena power, the commission would have standing to appeal the decision of the Chief of Police to the City Council in the event the Chief elected to not follow the recommendation. It would cost some money to effectively implement but the cost would not be anywhere near that amount for a city this size and, besides, how many millons of dollars do we already pay out on use of force/ battery/ assault claims? I’ve honestly lost count at this point.

  4. What about just doing the right thing, is that so hard? Other public leaders know how to do it. Like when Hughes and other police staff discovered that Judge Fish had received a traffic ticket from a Fullerton Police Officer. Hughes sent the traffic Lieutenant to the courtroom of Judge Fish with instructions to tell Fish the ticket was “taken care of, destroyed”…. Fish was furious! The Judge wanted no part in a ticket fixing plot. He insisted on the ticket and later paid the fine.

    Chief Hughes did no favor for City Manager Joe Felz on election night… Joe by all accounts is a likable, nice man who made a mistake. Based on his driving, Joe was cleary intoxicated and was not thinking clearly. He drank too much ran off the road and hit a tree. He blew out both of the tires and tried to flee the scene. The first thing out of his mouth was “I’m Joe Felz the City Manager, I need to talk to Chief Hughes”. It was at this point Joe was depending on Chief Hughes to make sound, sober, ethical decisions for him but the deck was stacked against Joe on this night.

    You see the majority of the Fullerton Police patrol supervisors who could have responded done their duty and preserved the public trust were not working that night but Sgt. Corbett was. Chief Hughes can trust Corbett to do what Hughes NEEDS done.

    This incident is all about Transparency, Honesty and Ethical Decision making for this is the hallmark of the Danny Hughes legacy.

    Had the honest officers who were present (all of which are experts in drunk driving investigations) been allowed to do their job and evaluate Joe this would have been a “TRANSPARENT” act.

    If Joe proved he was not drunk by blowing in a PAS device this would have been an “HONEST” act.

    First off I don’t know of anyone who gets to wake up and talk to the Chief of Police at 2am while they are being investigated for drunk driving and hit and run but “hey it’s your boss” If Chief Hughes would have told Joe “ Joe I’m glad you are not hurt, I’m glad you did not kill anyone. Joe you will be treated fairly and kindly just like any other member of the public while we conduct our sworn duty. That would have been ETHICAL DECISION MAKING.

    Poor Joe relied on Chief Hughes to think for him that night.. Decisions were made by Chief Hughes not based on TRANSPARENCY, HONESTY, ETHICAL DECISION MAKING or all the other stuff written in the hallway of the Fullerton Police Department.

    It appears decisions that night were made for personal reasons like. FAVOR, FEAR, POWER and GREED.

    As the dark days of Fullerton Police Department comes to close with the parting of Chief Hughes, on this day I pray for the safety of the men and women of the Fullerton Police Department and it’s citizens. I pray for strong, ethical leadership in the future. I hope the officers of the Fullerton Police Department have learned not to worship false Idols in the future.

    As a law enforcement officer, my fundamental duty is to serve the community; to safeguard lives and property; to protect the innocent against deception, the weak against oppression or intimidation and the peaceful against violence or disorder; and to respect the constitutional rights of all to liberty, equality and justice.
    I will keep my private life unsullied as an example to all and will behave in a manner that does not bring discredit to me or to my agency. I will maintain courageous calm in the face of danger, scorn or ridicule; develop self-restraint; and be constantly mindful of the welfare of others. Honest in thought and deed both in my personal and official life, I will be exemplary in obeying the law and the regulations of my department. Whatever I see or hear of a confidential nature or that is confided to me in my official capacity will be kept ever secret unless revelation is necessary in the performance of my duty.
    I will never act officiously or permit personal feelings, prejudices, political beliefs, aspirations, animosities or friendships to influence my decisions. With no compromise for crime and the relentless prosecution of criminals, I will enforce the law courteously and appropriately without fear or favor, malice or ill will, never employing unnecessary force or violence and never accepting gratuities.
    I recognize the badge of my office as a symbol of public faith, and I accept it as a public trust to be held so long as I am true to the ethics of the police service. I will never engage in acts of corruption or bribery, nor will I condone such acts by other police officers. I will cooperate with all legally authorized agencies and their representatives in the pursuit of justice.
    I know that I alone am responsible for my own standard of professional performance and will take every reasonable opportunity to enhance and improve my level of knowledge and competence.
    I will constantly strive to achieve these objectives and ideals, dedicating myself before God to my chosen profession . . .
    law enforcement.

  5. From the archives: a glimpse at Dan Hughes’ unruly past when charged with contempt for mouthing off to a judge.

    http://articles.latimes.com/1992-12-09/local/me-1679_1_judge-drops-charge-against-detective

    FULLERTON : Judge Drops Charge Against Detective
    December 09, 1992|RENE LYNCH

    Contempt charges were dismissed against a Fullerton police detective Tuesday after he apologized for comments he had made while testifying against four men accused of gunning down his former partner.

    In a hearing in Norwalk Superior Court, Judge J. Kimball Walker agreed to drop the contempt charge after Fullerton Detective Dan Hughes, former partner of slain Fullerton narcotics officer Tommy De La Rosa, read aloud a short apology.

    “At no time during my testimony did I ever intend to show disrespect to the court,” Hughes said.

    Hughes was held in contempt Sept. 23 after he took the witness stand and asked the judge to be “fair” and to act “a little bit better” during the trial. The judge also said Hughes slammed a door when leaving the courtroom, but Hughes’ attorney, Daniel K. Spradlin, said someone else slammed the door while following Hughes outside.

    “I gratefully accept the apology,” Walker said shortly before dismissing the citation. Walker said he understood that Hughes was under stress and concerned about the trial at the time of the incident.

    Prosecutors tried unsuccessfully to have Walker removed from the case, which was tried in Norwalk. Police openly worried that Walker was showing bias toward the defendants.

    De La Rosa was killed on June 21, 1990, in Downey, during an undercover drug sting that went awry. Three Los Angeles men, Raul Meza, Jose Yuriar and Jesus Araclio, were convicted for their roles in the officer’s slaying.

    The men are expected to be sentenced Jan. 4 along with a fourth man, Fredrico Marriott, also of Los Angeles County. Marriott was originally charged in De La Rosa’s death, but Walker dismissed those charges because of insufficient evidence. Marriott was convicted on drug charges.

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