Florentine Forgery/Fraud Case To Go to DA?
By now the Friends are well-aware of the attempt by Joe Florentine, the scofflaw proprietor of a restaurant and bar in downtown Fullerton, to fraudulently alter and submit official documents in pursuit of a Conditional Use Permit.
He even admitted it.
Reliable sources have indicated that a criminal investigation has been opened by the Fullerton Police Department based on a complaint filed by the property owner, Mario Marovic, and passed along to the District Attorney’s office.
Now the felonious miscreance of a Fullerton Florentine family member is about as newsworthy as a mailman bitten by a dog – no surprise there. Rather, the key facts of interest in this case are that Mr. Florentine had lots of help inside City Hall, including the Planning Director, the City Manager, and of course our top-notch City Attorney, Dick Jones, who finally had to recuse himself from dispensing laughable advice due to a conflict of interest.
Apparently, City Manager Ken Domer knew exactly what was happening and was determined to proceed with the fraud anyway.
It’s hard not to believe that some fall out from this conspiracy will land in the proximity of new Councilmembers Fred Jung and Nick Dunlap, who will certainly be averse to the radioactivity. The City Manager is already on the thinnest of ice after blowing $130,000 on a marginally legal PR campaign to promote Measure S, and then unsuccessfully trying to spend another 90 grand just before Christmas to hire an expert to try to fix the budget shortfall. City Managers are protected by contract but there is no contractual protection for a person who has violated the law. Will we soon be hiring a management search firm?
As always, Jones and Meyer are likewise compromised by their corrupt and incompetent and self-serving practices. But Dick Jones, like Talleyrand, always seems to be able to keep his head on his shoulders despite all the revolutions.
And what was the role of Mayor-for-hire Jennifer Fitzgerald, who was the evident and malignant influence around so much of the Fullerton’s recent mismanagement and the cover-ups that inevitably followed? It’s difficult to believe that she wasn’t pushing this through for the benefit of her pals, the Florentines.
Finally, if in fact, City leaders are found culpable in this conspiracy to commit fraud, what is the legal exposure to the taxpayers of Fullerton for both the legal costs incurred by the property owner in the case, and for other damages he may have suffered?
As FFFF learns more about the status of the case we will certainly share it. City Hall probably won’t.
12 Replies to “Florentine Forgery/Fraud Case To Go to DA?”
Quick correction, while Dick Jones did recuse himself before the vote, he did NOT recuse himself before giving “laughable advise” to the City of Fullerton and he in fact provided a memo stating that a tenant had the legal right to apply for a CUP without the landlord’s consent. The fact that he didn’t preside over the actual meeting does not erase the conflict of interest his firm engaged in.
Yes, I realize that. I was trying to say the his recusal stopped him while in the process of giving laughable advice.
Joneses advice that an irrelevant and immaterial case in San Francisco (dug up by Florentine’s lawyer) gave Florentine the right to alter a public document and subvert Marovic’s rights as land lord is what was supposed to give Domer cover to keep the fraud going. At least that’s what can be gleaned from the material I read and the video pf the PC hearing.
I think Domer will blame Jones and Jones will have nobody to finger, Fitzgerald having orchestrated the scam. Domer should be fired and prosecuted (but won’t). Sadly I predict that Jones will also find some way to keep his snout in our trough.
Sean, “The fact that he didn’t preside over the actual meeting does not erase the conflict of interest his firm engaged in.“
If you recall, he actually sat there and presided over the issue. At one point he recommended the Commission take a break.
It looks like you are correct (I had to pull the video to confirm, as I wasn’t at the meeting).
The Voice Of OC reported his office recommended recusing himself and the attorney he sent to the meeting said that. He also indicated he was only presiding over the meeting because the staff recommendation was to continue it. However, the Planning Commission disregarded the recommendation, but the attorney remained on the dais. So, yeah, its even worse than initially mentioned.
Imagine how much damage the boob Domer could do if he actually had competent attorneys on his side.
What’s the most unbelievable thing about this whole affair is not that Jones, Domer, and company relied on highly questionable legal fiction to justify the CUP, but that somehow they thought that using an altered – forged – city document would be OK. Are they that stupid, or do they think that everyone else is even more stupid?
What else have they forged?
Check out the essay series The Seven Wall of Local Government. The final installment lays out how bureaucrats are in essence untouchable and that practical insulation from responsibility affects their behavior and attitudes. Since Domer didn’t actually alter or sign the forged document he must think he is in the clear – just following legal advice, doncha know. Ditto the Planning Director – Matt Somethingorother who probably believes he is in the clear because he was just following Domer’s orders. If the unbelievable happens and push comes to shove, they may try to pin it on the lowly staffer who was told what to say in the labored staff report. Or maybe Jones will finally be called on the proverbial carpet for his misfeasance. But I doubt it.
Never forget: this criminality was upheld by our City Council. Even Whitaker said nothing.
How do you figure “it was upheld by our city council”.
This issue came before the city council? If so, when did that happen?
Whitaker knew what was going on. Incompetent criminal Staff used the City Attorney to threaten him with aiding and comforting the enemy (the citizenry) and that if he talked, it would put the City in even more legal jeopardy. If you do what’s just and moral by exposing state sponsored criminality, and you are part of the government, you’re considered a traitor. That’s how government survives.
Yes, all you said was true. So you are saying Whitaker said nothing to avoid…avoid what? Doing the right thing? He had to be shoved into defending himself AFTER Jones claimed the council voted unanimously to sue FFFF and Ferguson when it did so such thing.