The Cost of The Florentine Sidewalk Scam

Gone, but not quite forgotten…

Of course everybody is now familiar with how, in 2003, the Florentine Mob successfully put a permanent building on an area that only had an “outside dining” encroachment agreement. The details of the case reveal an incompetence and misfeasance on the part of city staff that is truly mind-numbing, the principle party being F. Paul Dudley, Planning Director, who “approved” the illegal permanent structure as it was being built in June, 2003. He also  seems to have personally approved a loan to the Florentine crew, and rental terms on the space that weren’t approved by the City Council.

Staying awake long enough to break the law…

Of course it wouldn’t be Fullerton unless our legal-eagle Dick Jones also played a part in the fiasco, and in the inevitable cover-up. He actually put his signature on a completely different agreement in August, 2003 – two months after Dudley did his sleazy back-room deal. How’s that for staggering incompetence?

The gun was smoking badly…

Note that “for some reason” the agreement was not formally executed until August. For some reason? Jesus H., Jones, did you even bother to ask why you signed something that was obsolete, or why in Hell you were signing it?

So the embarrassing enclosure was allowed to continue in July, 2003 even though the furor continued for months, and the deal was finally buried in 2004 whereby the parties involved, Shawn Nelson, Don Bankhead, Dick Jones, Mike Clesceri and Leland Wilson surely hoped it was forever interred.

Well, now it’s 2020. The legal party responsible to remove and restore the encroachment area has fled the scene, and the embarrassment of the Florentine addition that squats on public property, remains.

The owner of the rest of the building, Mr. Mario Marivic is apparently embroiled in a legal fight with the FloMob, and good luck to him. But good luck to us, too. Because we, the citizens of Fullerton, have an unowned room addition on our right-of-way, and the people on the hook for its possible removal are gone. Mr. Marovic is under no obligation to remove the structure, and he is not even under any obligation to pay the measly 25 cents per foot that the egregious F. Paul Dudley “negotiated” with the Florentines. The City’s options are limited: it can terminate the encroachment and pay to remove the building addition itself, or it can negotiate a new lease agreement with Marovic, and the sidewalk stays as is. Either way, the public loses.

So this Ghost of Incompetence Past continues to haunt us almost 20 years after the con was consummated. Mr. Dudley has been six-figure pensioned, and the inept councilmen who were indifferent to the notion of government accountability are dead or moved on. But Attorney Dick Jones is still around, profiting off of the gullibility, incompetence and militant ignorance of our “leaders.”

17 Replies to “The Cost of The Florentine Sidewalk Scam”

  1. the F in F Paul stands for Francis. Apparently, he hates his real first name. no matter, I thought it stood for the other F word I call him.

      1. I guess the question now is, how much would it cost to remove the wart on the side of the former Florentines ?

  2. This is another City/Jones/Terry Galvin/Chalupsky/Dudley fuck up.

    That room addition shouldn’t have been permitted on an “Outdoor Dining Encroachment” form that looks like it was made by kids. The building owner should have been made a party to the deal so that this perfectly predictable scenario COULDN’T HAVE HAPPENED.

    1. All very true. But as Molly McClanahan famously said hindsight is 20/20, meaning that it’s easy after the fact to complain about people not doing their jobs in the first place; meaning that accountability is a dirty word.

  3. The Harpoon must be losing some of his/her spitefulness to omit the City Manager’s malfeasance. Really and truly, I don’t remember who was the Liar in Chief at the time- Armstrong?

    1. It was Chris Myers, Armstrong’s successor. Maybe I was feeling generous. Or maybe I just forgot.

  4. The City can go after the Floretines’ corporation – Intimate Inns of California. But there’s probably nothing in that bank account. And that’s about it.

    Marovic should sue the City to recover any legal costs associated with the forgery conspiracy; he can use that to leverage a sweet deal on the addition. Or he can tell the City to remove its addition and to restore his building and leverage a sweet deal on the addition.

    For this we have the Culture of Corruption and the utter incompetence of The Other Dick Jones.

  5. What happened to the mini-empire of restaurants the Florentine owned on that corner? Palapa Grill, Tuscany Club, 100 North, Florentines,….there might be more. Are they all out of business? They have been lifeless during this entire pandemic. Thanks.

    1. Well, they all sank in the same ship. S.S. Paisan. The weight of the corruption just pulled the whole thing to Davey Jones Locker. All for the best.

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