Kangaroo Court Transcript Reveals Felzian Development Scheme

Remember that quasi-judicial nuisance hearing against the Grand Inn back in April? The one where former police chief Danny Hughes went under oath and accidentally told us that Joe Felz was drunk when he crashed his car and got a ride home from the Fullerton PD?

After some wrangling down at city hall, FFFF finally got its hands on the entire hearing transcript, which you can view here.

It got ugly real fast.

The transcript reveals that former city manager Joe Felz did meet with developer Urban West to discuss purchasing, assembling and rezoning the four lots on Euclid and Orangethorpe to build high-density apartments, which included a large lot owned by Renick Cadillac. Unfortunately for Felz and Co., one of the lots was owned by an unwilling participant, the Grand Inn.

Coincidentally (or not), these development meetings occurred just prior to a long, expensive effort by the Fullerton Police to document the Grand Inn as a public nuisance in order to shut it down. Was the sudden crackdown on the Grand Inn related to the Felz/Renick/Urban West development deal? Of course Felz denied the accusation under oath, much like he denies being drunk when he crashed into a poor sapling on Highland. But to the reasonable observer, it stinks like hell. In Fullerton, where there’s smoke, there’s fire.

Your honor, I do not recall…

If you still haven’t connected the dots yet, consider the PD’s year-long effort to attribute nearby crimes to the Grand Inn in the context of the police department’s complete disregard for the large volume of calls stemming from the actual public nuisance that is the Slidebar.

In true Fullerton fashion, Mr. Felz could not get through the hearing without invoking his right to not incriminate himself.

Back to the development scheme – which would not be complete without the insertion of our favorite lobbyist/councilperson. In the testimony we learn that Jennifer Fitzgerald had met with Renick and Felz at least once in the early stages of this fiasco. We’ll never know the depth of her involvement with the developer, or whether she was wearing her lobbyist hat or her elected official hat at the time. But we can assume she was aware of the value of her vote, should a lucrative zone change come before the council in the near future.

It was just a meeting.

Either way, Renick and Urban West seem to have given up on the deal, since Renick is now rebuilding its showrooms. But the city is stuck pursuing it’s selective enforcement action against the Grand Inn (or are they?). More taxpayer money goes down the drain while nothing is accomplished.

24 Replies to “Kangaroo Court Transcript Reveals Felzian Development Scheme”

  1. Ex Parte communication with Fitzgerald concerning development.

    I’m shocked. Wait. No I’m not.

    Sounds just like a lobbyist. That’s my VP.

  2. They did the same to me. Enforcement action against my house only because i give 30 day notice to same of they friends.

    1. I see it. Page 52:

      Q BY MR. MILLER: Okay. All right. Now, I’m going to discuss something only briefly. You were involved in some incident on the night of November 8th to 9th, right, of this past year?

  3. Fitzgerald may have been helping an auto dealer pull out in order to build another prison block? No bueno!

    1. Team Felzgerald really screwed over Fullerton. I think the voters eyes will start to open next time around.

      1. No, they won’t. As long as she waves the flag and gets the endorsement of Royce she’ll be fine, because no one with the means to do so will expose her.

        1. You mean Tony will never go after Fitzgerald? You mean he won’t spend $250,000 to recall her for failing to lead, for the water tax and not being transparent? Well I guess we should all just go home now.

            1. You have to admit Nipsey that Barry Levinson makes some very interesting disclosures on the Fullerton Informer website…

              REMEMBER THIS?

              “I recently met the developer of the Socowalk project, Tony Bushala, in Fullerton. He had an interesting tale to tell about Socowalk. He said that he started to buy the properties involved in that project piecemeal and eventually he had 26 lots. That included an abandoned Union Pacific Right of Way and surplus property from the Harbor Blvd. and Lemon St. grade separation – these were leftover remnants.

              The area was clearly blighted, but Bushala saw the potential. His vision for the area was a transit-oriented development. The original development concept for the area began in 1985. It took twenty years to see it through.

              The Socowalk project did not use any redevelopment money. It was fully funded by private money. Bushala bought the properties and conducted an EIR. The zoning was already for multi-family use. Six homes were deemed by the developer to have historical value and he paid to move them to other properties in town.

              The developer gave relocation assistance that was not required to each of the residents in the project area. They were rental tenants and each of them received $3,500, in 2002, to relocate. Many of them used that money as down payments to purchase homes elsewhere.

              Once the properties were razed the development was sold to the Olson Company. They then hired architects and designed the eventual development.

              The “soco” aspct of “Socowalk” was the brainchild of Orange County Supervisor Chris Norby who previously served as a Fullerton Councilman. Norby, according to Bushala, was a big inspiration to pursue this development without resorting to help from the City of Fullerton.

              A recent article in the O.C. Register slammed the Socowalk development and quoted a resident who was unhappy with crime in the area and with the fact that the locals don’t appear to be mixing with the Socowalk residents. However, according to Bushala, there are plenty of residents that love the neighborhood and are very happy to be living in downtown Fullerton.

              There are numerous restaurants, bars and other venues within walking distance of Socowalk. The downtown Fullerton area is quite vibrant and filled with a diverse crowd of all ages most weekends and evenings.

              I personally visited one of the downtown Fullerton bars a few weeks ago. It was quite a scene. That area used to be quite dead – and now it is thriving. Clearly this type of redevelopment can work – particularly when the public sector gets out of the way.”

              1. Yeah that’s pretty neat, but not as neat as the one about Apple HQ shaped like Satan’s zygote, or something.

  4. Does anyone remember the amounts that the Redevelopment Agency gave to Renick way bacK? I don’t think it was near as much as the subsidies they gave to the old Toyota dealership on Harbor that will be the next prison block; a development that was not general planned or zoned but got streamlined by the Planning Dept so that their absurd pensions never get jeopardized.

    1. Yes, car dealerships have always been the biggest recipients of Redevelopment graft, and their owners are big contributors to council campaign funds. The transcript shows Renick pleading political ignorance. Give me a break.

  5. I see references to the previous testimony of Officer Siliceo, who has since been charged with filing a false police report. Great witnesses, Fullerton. You played yourself.

  6. What kind of city manager brings his personal criminal attorney to an administrative hearing? Felz is the laughing stock of Southern California government.

    1. “Felz is the laughing stock of Southern California government.”

      It’s more likely that he’s a poster child for it.

  7. No one should ever be surprised by a city doing whatever they can to get a car dealership and the associated tax revenues.
    Not saying it’s right or wrong, it’s simply economics,

    1. Except it’s often not that simple. Look at downtown, a massive and easily remedied net loss to the city, and yet it persists.

      ‘The City’ routinely advocates for things which are a big deal to someone but end up being net losses to the public. The interests of the city and the people pulling its levers aren’t necessarily aligned.

      1. Isn’t that the plan. Isn’t that why the council is made up of who it is made up of? Isn’t that why bushala went to sleep after he helped get Fitzgerald elected and woke up after he got Fitzgerald and Whitaker back up there to Ram the projects through for a second term? You know what they say if it first you don’t succeed try try again Of course these prestigious leaders we’re not able to Ram through the DCC sp4 Tonys big Bonanza. Why don’t you go back to the Auntie recall website and look at some of the cash pages and everything they were talking about is 100% correct about mr. Bushala I’m no fan of Larry Bennett but he had that part right and Tony is no different than Curt Pringle or anybody else he’s in this for his own self-interest and he’s got all you guys running around with a hook in your nose and catfish chain connected to it
        That worthless Bruce his bushala clone twin Greg & bushala plant Fitzgerald who love developer monies for their campaign contributions and tons of it are there to rubber stamp highrise . I just love this gamesmanship going after a Fitzgerald with these little fluff pieces that have no bearing on getting rid of her just to stir the pot enough to make people think that you actually are legitimate yes these three got reelected with help and Tonys money .you think everybody is an idiot because you act like they are. What is this business about running away from the Wi-Fi fill me in on that. Tell me what that has to do with criminals running our city government who kill people in frame people and waste all our money and leave the place and ruin Well I can see why you’re afraid of the Informer because all your buddies are bunch of dirtbags and the guys you want to make people think are crazy make it painfully obvious and evidently clear to anybody with half a functioning brain. But hell if that’s all you got I guess that’s all you got.

    2. It looks like the city (Joe) was trying to get rid of the car dealer and place it with a stack-n-pack apartments block. That’s not surprising either, but it doesn’t make it right.

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