Behind the Badge – The Gravy Train
UPDATE: a keen-eyed friend wrote in to inform us of a couple interesting facts about the City’s “Back the badge” documents. First, the original contract and the first purchase order don’t agree. The PO describes a one-year term while the contract is for only six months. Second there is no PO that covers the period from May to November 2014. The City’s controller should not have been able to write checks without a PO to write checks against, so something is fishy there.
FFFF has already shared with the Friends here some of the more ludicrous aspects of “Back the Badge” a PR outlet for cop departments and unions that we pay for.
The whole shabby deception is so bad we decided to dig a little deeper to see just how the Fullerton taxpayers got hooked into paying for the cops to peddle their propaganda – to us.
Here are the documents we were given.
The documents we received indicate a completely non-transparent, slipshod City-vendor relationship in which deliverables are sketchy, and grossly overvalued.
First, it’s important to point out that this relationship was approved in secret by former City Manager Joe Felz in spring 2013, presumably under his spending authority. The City Council may have been informed, but the public most assuredly was not. Even Felz must have been aware of the possible public blowback against this nonsense. And he undoubtedly had the support of council persons Flory, Chaffee and Fitzgerald in trying to keep this gross squandering of public funds out of the public eye.
It is critical to recognize the contract for what it is: a fixed fee arrangement in which the vendor gets his contracted monthly amount regardless of what he actually accomplishes. These sorts of contracts are comparatively rare in government precisely because they are not tied to specific scopes of work. In essence there is no real oversight at all, even if anybody felt like doing it – which they didn’t.
If you peruse the invoices you will find all sorts of weird “deliverables” of intangible sort like “PR services,” “OC Register columns,” and “Fullerton News Tribune” just the sorts of things that are impossible to value and make you wonder if the real media was in collusion with Back the Badge. FFFF has already noted how the Yellowing Fullerton Observer has published an article, verbatim, from Back the Badge, here.
Of course some of the contractual items like “traffic/performance reports” yielded no responsive documents in our public records request. Anyway, as I noted it above it hardly matters.
One extra-contractual proposal sent to former Chief Danny “Galahad” Hughes offers 40,000 print copies of “Behind the badge Fullerton magazine” for a mere twenty grand. Who approved that, and where did these print copies go? That we shall likely never know, as the police PR mechanisms are obviously none of our damn business, even though we are bankroller and target audience.
My favorite item in the proposals from Back the Badge is something called “crisis counseling.” This must be a service that is called upon when something really bad occurs and the cops need to polish up that road apple, and quick! So did Back the Badge spring into crisis counseling mode the night their benefactor, Joe Felz, smelling of liquor, drove off Glenwood Avenue, and was given a free pass and a ride home by the Fullerton Police Department?
On December 17, 2016, the City issued a new Purchase Order for more of those valuable Back the Badge services. The invoice cites the brand-new interim Chief but there is no reference to the Acting City Manager since by this time Joe Felz was long gone, the victim of his own reckless behavior. So who authorized the issuance of this new PO? The police chief, whoever he is, has no such spending authority. It seems as if the Culture of Opacity and Unaccountability is humming along on auto pilot.
Well, this is Fullerton and if you want to find out what is going on – well, good luck with that.
29 Replies to “Behind the Badge – The Gravy Train”
The council should send this $4,000 per month contract out to bid.
FFFF will write stories about the FPD for $0!
Propaganda, fascism’s sharpest tool. Actions speak louder than words, and the past actions of Fullerton PD has at times horrified the public they vowed to,protect and serve. “Back the Badge” highlights irony not the excellence of Fullerton PD.
Sad to know our city spends money to prop up a Dept. that has such a bad rap. Very sad.
Brea could have done this and perhaps for less.
The OC Register has sunk to a new low. Reprinting paid PR puff pieces from police departments is not journalism.
You only need look at the crumbling streets to see the money is going elsewhere.pensions,pay raises.
The mismanegment of money is apathy of the majority of people in this town who vote in politicians like Fitzgerald.
40,000 copies? And does anybody have one copy of Back the Badge?
FPD is a total joke. They have a force large enough to pull over vehicles without any cause, as they did to me on several occasions; but if a resident calls to report a theft, they do nothing about it, and even the phone dispatcher shows laziness to initiate the report filing. Have not we had enough of FPD pay raises by Fitzgerald & Co and the lack of resoluteness to stop FPD’s open-ended dirty history?
Someone did something wrong on the Sappy Tree Felz fiasco. We are still waiting
Fullerton is for sale.
The City is bleeding red ink and Felz wastes $200,000 (& counting) on a useless PR campaign to make a bad cop department look god. Not BE good. Just look good.
Revolving doors well lubricated and operating at full speed. Dan Hughes enjoying $220k per month from us and using the Disney business credit card like there ‘s not tomorrow. $250k a month from his new job too. Life is good when you screw others
You meant per year, right? That’s bad enough.
Curious to know why the millions of dollars missing with the golf contract is overshadowed by these trivial sums in question buried under mounds of CPRA requests and thousands of characters of text. Is this some sort of a diversionary tactic perhaps.
Most likely Tony Bushala owns the golf course management company and gave Joe Felz a huge kickback.
Mr Harpoon, are you for real? This is an ongoing loss epic in proportion compared to these trite sums of hotel and burger bar bills you and your writers dredge up for the readers.
You’re a hard act to follow. You’ve solved so many of Fullerton’s problems already. Can you remind us of what you’ve done, and what qualifies you to order FFFF around?
I think the question is more than fair. Friends for Fullerton’s Future supports causes that promote intelligent, responsible and accountable government in Fullerton and Orange County. That is something that we don’t have and by just throwing around snide remarks with no follow-up or teeth in them yields squat.
What is your weird fixation on the golf course? Strange.
Anyway, FFFF has already posted about it – posts written by the guy who discovered the issue – in case you missed it. And there will no doubt be more.
Please forgive us, Your Eminence, if we also choose to blog about other things besides the Fullerton Golf Course. However you are certainly free to start your own blog exclusively dedicated to the topic.
I have read these articles and seen several you tubes where people try to take them to task. The golf course issue is several million dollars. I think the point should be well taken. I also think it should be forced on the sitting council members with or without Levinson’s involvement. It is a very large net loss to the taxpayers. I am perplexed as to why this issue, considering the large amount of damning evidence in existence, continues to be ignored.
It is perplexing unless you realize that It was Bushala’s group that worked against Levinson last time he ran for office. Same players at work here this time around with a couple of new recruits that can’t see the forest for the trees. It should come as no surprise that the issue will never be raised they way it was presented by Levinson. This site is a spin cycle for dirty laundry and that has always been the extent of it. Bushala rode the broken bloody back of Kelly Thomas to try to get his men on the council so he could get his projects through. Tony will never rock the boat hard enough to tip it over because he is in it. All his cop hating rhetoric is just a rouse. I think Levinson’s coverage of Fullerton politics cuts much deeper and gets just a little to close to all the players for Tony’s comfort. That is why he is not associated with this group. I think he was banned here along time ago. He is still very active though.
I’m always last one to get the news. Get this!!, I just found out at last council meeting that Chafee wears a wig. Anyway I love FFFF but I will check this Levinson coverage out
Or perhaps he’s not associated with this group because nobody asked him to be associated. You can’t refuse a spot on the dance card you were never offered.
Or maybe because he’s a kook.
“It is perplexing unless you realize that It was Bushala’s group that worked against Levinson”
Oh, really? Robocalls? Mail? What was it? Provide details about the “group” if you think you can back up that ridiculous claim.
Frankly nobody had to “work against” Levinson because he wasn’t a factor. Never has been.
P.S. I think you should focus on the golf course and not all this other petty stuff.
The Fullerton Harpoon
I must say the article you are referring to is very good. FFFF does a very good job.
The golf course last agreement is just another unequal exchange between high return on private investment and the Fullerton taxpayer losers, losers because misrepresented by the likes of Fitzgerald, Flory, Chaffee, Felz, etc. Nothing extraordinary since is just business as usual in Fullerton
It’s only going to ge worse. The cost to keep up with the golf course maintenance is going to skyrocket as a result of the bad weather. The golf course management company (as far as I know still part of Goldman Sachs) entered into a beautiful contract. Zero risk , guaranteed profits and blank checks. On the other hand, evident lost of revenue by the city from its mismanagement . Maybe it’s time for these self serving officials to stop unsound development and take a look at their bellies
I can Barryly believe how curious it is that Curious beats the same drum as a Barryly relevant Fullerton nutter.