The trouble with being away so much last summer and fall was that I missed all sorts of Fullerton-related stuff. And one of those things was the separation of Tony Florentine from his Earthly cares.
The Florentine paterfamilias, bar owner and restaurateur passed on to his reward back in July of 2022.
FFFF has been diligently following the activities of Tony and his offspring, Joe, in a series of posts going back well over ten years.
We documented how in 2012, Tony loudly inserted himself into the anti-Recall campaign as a staunch supporter of Fullerton’s incompetent Old Guard councilmembers Jones, Bankhead and McKinley, parroting the nonsense peddled by his old Rotary pal, Dick Ackerman. He had lots of good reasons for defending the boobs as they let him run illegal entertainment in his business establishment, and as he and his son did everything they could to dodge the City-ordained -and not enforced – conditions of approval for use permits.
But the history went farther back. In 2003 Tony got the City to look the other way as he purloined a public sidewalk and got away with it, creating a legal headache that still hasn’t gone away. The Florentines pulled out in 2020 and left the City as landlords of a building extension that the co-joined building owner didn’t own.
Years before that, if we can believe a former associate, in 1989 Tony took a torch to his business, The Melody Inn, that also destroyed one of the oldest buildings in Fullerton and began an embarrassing Redevelopment boondoggle.
Whether or not Tony once drove a copper spike into a street tree because it was blocking his sign is a matter of conjecture, but that’s the tale told by some old Fullertonions.
Joe Florentine was happy to follow in dad’s footsteps as he continued to dodge installing required fire sprinklers in the Tuscany Club and even went so far as forging an official City planning document granting himself use authority over the building he rented because he had a lease there. That fiasco cost us $25,000, not counting legal eagle Dick Jones’s time. The Florentines just seemed to think that laws and rules were nothing but inconveniences to avoid.
So belatedly FFFF says farewell to Mr. Florentine – who brought a little Jersey color to our drab town. In parting it has to be said that neither he or his kid are that important in and of themselves, but they symbolize a governmental culture of incompetence, and a willingness in City Hall to tolerate scofflaws that have become synonymous with Fullerton.