Pay The Lady: Nepotism At Its Worst

Today’s ethical lapse comes to us courtesy of the Fullerton Fire Department.  See those shirts pictured above?  Fire Captain Brian Seymour ordered nine of them for some kind of “Peer Support”.

Once the use tax is factored in, we paid about $40 per shirt.

Check out the reconciliation report.  One can clearly see the purchaser was Brian Seymour.

Below, we see the invoice from the vendor, Linksoul, where the salesperson was Mary Seymour.  Wait a minute, that must be a coincidence.  No City employee would be foolish enough to use taxpayer money to purchase unnecessary clothing from a relative’s clothing business, right?


Mary Seymour is the Fire Captain’s wife.  Linksoul is a clothing company started by her brother.  A couple minutes with Google was enough to locate this article from Carlsbad Magazine with a quote about nepotism that couldn’t be more ironic under the circumstances.

Hinman, W. (2014, March & April). The Man Makes The Clothes. Carlsbad Magazine, 38-43.

So while the City of Fullerton prepares to be crushed under the weight of CalPERS pension obligations, we have people like Brian Seymour not just wasting our money — he’s sending cash to his wife’s family business.

Brian Seymour made $294,761 last year in pay and benefits.  Why didn’t he pay for these shirts with his own money?

Did anyone make him reimburse the City?   Whose idea were these shirts, anyway?  Perhaps most important is why didn’t it occur to Brian Seymour that sending money to the family business was improper, and likely a violation of City policy and/or State Law?

Thanks to a certain FFD employee for bringing this to our attention.  You know who you are.

27 Replies to “Pay The Lady: Nepotism At Its Worst”

  1. Employees are the heart and soul of our city. — Jan Flory

    Yup. The bankrupt morally compromised heart.

  2. I can’t understand why anyone would think this is OK. But there are the signatures. Good enough for Fullerton.

  3. Good work. The apologists will tut-tut this, of course, but the fact of misappropriation is inescapable. A crime was committed here. Will there be repercussions? Of course not. This is Fullerton where the people in charge don’t give a rat’s ass.

    There’s a council meeting tonight. Will Whitaker bring up the issue of misuse of the credit cards? I’ll give odds. Long odds.

    1. Yeah, they’ll try to brush this off as no big deal, but two issues are hard to avoid: one is that this behavior is rampant throughout the City government: the cards are being serially abused to buy private items for public employees, and two, small theft suggests larger theft, too.

      Comically, Fitzgerald and Chaffee and Flory claimed the City didn’t need any audits. Really? Sure looks like the ghost ship is sailing to Folsom.

  4. Do I need glasses or is the approving official for this purchase Kathy Schaefer?

    I think I understand now. A Fullerton employee sends public money to his family because a Brea employee said it was okay.

    You can’t make this stuff up.

  5. I’m getting a strong sniff of something vile.

    Are Brea employees approving frivolous and possibly illegal purchases for the Fullerton stations and are Fullerton employees returning the favor? That would be a criminal conspiracy to defraud the taxpayers, right?

  6. Dave, as I sit here counting the days to retirement, please know that I, and so many others at the City appreciate what you’re doing. The abuse you’ve had to endure along the way is totally uncalled for. I don’t know what makes you tick, but you’re incredibly brave to post these things under your real name AND show your face at City Hall. And I pray nobody resorts to violence to shut you down. That’s unfortunately the caliber of people we have working around here, you never know. Just know you’re doing a great service for everyone living and working in Fullerton. Thank you.

  7. Making us pay for “peer support” shirts is a scam by itself. Buying them from your wife’s business with a government credit card? Priceless.

  8. This reminds me of Fire Chief Knabe’s taxypayer-funded steak dinner on the way home from an unsanctioned rescue mission. The Fullerton Fire Department seems to think they are untouchable.

    1. “The Fullerton Fire Department seems to think they are untouchable.”

      So far, the evidence suggest they’re right. So far.

    2. You mean when the ‘rescue” experts got lost in Yosemite and decided that jumping into Hetch Hetchy Reservoir was a fine idea?

  9. Wow- that shirt product photo is total garbage- and the styling is weak. Our studio can provide you with superior apparel photos for your business. Heck- maybe you could have sold the FFD even more shirts if you had better photography. Please contact our office immediately for help.

  10. I wonder how long it will take for Embryo and Leviathan to steal this story and take credit for it.

  11. There is an undeniable Culture of Corruption in the FFD just like the FPD. The cause? Decades of pampering and looking the other way by Chris Meyer and Joe Felz – two overfed and unqualified city managers who got their jobs by hanging around long enough.

    The arrogant sense of entitlement by the fireslugs is almost breathtaking.

  12. Whatever happened to that FFD firefighter who was arrested during the July 4th uprising in Huntington for disorderly conduct and resisting arrest a few years back? That story sure fell off the radar screen. I’ve always wondered whether he kept his city job. Anybody know?

  13. This incident is minor compared to other incidents of nepotism occurring in Fullerton’s city government. Just give me some time while I research the title of a house located on Malvern Ave. in Fullerton to show nepotism at a very high level in Fullerton’s municipal,government.

  14. It was nice to see the FPD cean up their act after the many years of mismanagement and corrupt culture… Its time to call out the FFD for its actions. Let Knabe answer for this. He has no problem in placing restrictions on the public… such as taking away our fire works for the last 25 years until measure X . Now he wants to add new restrictions on buisness owners when the apply for increase occupancy for their resteraunt/bars . its time to take a look in his own department.

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