Suffering The Stolen Sidewalk Saga

Gone, but not quite forgotten…

Two months ago I reminded the Friends that the never-ending story of the stolen Commonwealth public sidewalk was alive and well. The provocation was a closed session agenda item listed as “significant exposure to litigation” between the City of Fullerton and Mr. Mario Marovic, the owner of the building at the northeast corner of Harbor and Commonwealth. Marovic had submitted some sort of claim against the good folk of Fullerton, often an aggressive gambit to stall and temporize.

Meet the new proprietor, same as the old proprietor…

A quick rehash of the facts: Marovic took over the space from the decamped Florentine crime family and immediately gained access to the “bump out” on the sidewalk; and he then began remodeling it along with the rest of the first floor space for his new bars. He had no authority to do so because, of course, the City acquired responsibility to dispose of the building add-on after the Florentine’s bugged out on their lease with the City. In his application for CUPs for the new bars Marovic even included the City owned space as his own.

In the late summer of 2022 Marovic was well-along with his remodel even though his CUP hadn’t been approved, but the issue of the egregious bump out resurfaced, thanks to FFFF. In September, 2022 the City and Marovic reached an agreement that was signed by Eric Leavitt, our esteemed City Manager, and not the Mayor at the time, Fred Jung.

The terms of the agreement were simple enough, and FFFF has shared them before. The thrust of the deal was that Marovic could open his new bars (including the bump out) and he would then undertake to remove the bump out and restore the public sidewalk. Here is the actual clause describing terms and deadlines of the deal:

As you can see, demolition was to have begun at the end of March, 2023 – almost ten months ago – and be the rework complete by July, 2023 – five months ago. Marovic opened his businesses, alright, but never started demolition, and probably didn’t meet any of the other deadlines, either.

A little late, Kimberly…

So when is an agreement not an agreement? Apparently, when it’s written and approved as to form and content by Kimberly Hall Barlow, the obnoxious member of Dick Joneses “I Can’t Believe It’s A Law Firm” crew.

I almost know what I’m doing…

It’s interesting to note that Barlow didn’t approve the six month old agreement until March, 2023 – 4 days before demolition was to supposed to have started.

Of course Dick Jones and his fine stable of attorneys have been bungling the case of the stolen sidewalk from the very beginning, including personal conflict of interest, embracing ludicrous legal rationale at the behest of the Florentines, and even countenancing forgery on an official City document by Joe Florentine.

Still, one has to wonder what our elected officials themselves have done about this. Clearly the unwillingness of the City to enforce a legal agreement, signed by Marovic stems from fear of legal action. But Marovic is undeniably in breach of the contract he voluntarily signed, even though there is zero evidence that it was signed in good faith.

The City can and should begin the process of revoking Marovic’s CUP, the permit that has allowed him to make a lot of money over the last 10 months while failing to live up to his side of the bargain. As owner of the bump out the City has every right, at least, to revoke the CUP that covers its own property, as gotten fraudulently.

The City can also notify Marovic that it intends to remove the building addition itself, since he won’t do it, and bill the scofflaw for the cost.

Staying awake long enough to break the law…

Of course neither of these remedies will take place, because this is Fullerton, where the elected officials are feckless and beholden to the Downtown Liquor Cartel; and because they insist on, decade after decade, following the dismal advice of Dick Jones.

34 Replies to “Suffering The Stolen Sidewalk Saga”

  1. Marovic saw them coming. I don’t see how he can win this unless Jones recommends caving in and selling him the building addition.

    When is an agreement not an agreement? When Dick Jones is your lawyer.

  2. I wonder if some of the councilmembers are getting comped there.

    I remember this dude had a Jung campaign banner on his bldg.


  3. Let’s face it, in Fullerton all you have to do is frown at the City Council and you get away with murder. Literally.

    All Marovic had to do was threaten legal action and Dick Jones, Zahra, Jung, Whitaker and Dunlap folded up like cheap lawn chairs.

    That agreement was worthless and obviously Marovic knew he had swimmers too far from the shore.

    1. Sadly true. Whitaker and Dunlap have the spines of jellyfish.

      Jung seems to be full of bad ideas for promoting himself. Like the green power scam where no one has ever accepted responsibility for anything – and he was there from the get go.

      1. So get rid of Jung dummy. Roll the dice. Might end up making Ahmad king. Be careful what you wish for!!

            1. It sounds awful. But except for endless, self-righteous pontification there would be no policy difference at all.

  4. Jesus Christ, Mario Marovic and Joe Florentine could have been separated at birth. What’s the difference. They both had contractual obligations with the people of Fullerton and they both told us “fuck you.”

  5. I wonder why the I Can’t Believe It’s a Law Firm waited until just before the deadline to approve the deal – instead of six months earlier when the City Manager signed it. Shouldn’t the City Attorney have signed it first?

  6. We’ll just see a continuation of the status quo after a while with as little publicity (none) as possible.

  7. Of course the City Attorney should have signed it first. But this is Fullerton. We don’t really have a “City Attorney”. We have a favored for-hire legal firm that is not elected and does NOT answer to the people. The more fuck-ups Staff commit, the more $$$$$/hours Staff gives to JonesMayer . It’s a recipe for failure. This relationship is a dream scenario for City Managers. There is no one ever looking over his shoulder and with a rotating Mayor no council-member ever develops enough power to figure out what happened or hold the CM responsible for fuck-ups by him and his Staff. It’s a babboozle-fest for a year or two. The CA has no reason to buck the CM or he will not send the work to him. Both creatures benefit. In biology they call it mutualism.

    1. Same story in other cities like La Palma. Incompetent staff. No accountability. Attorneys make bank sweeping up staff and city council member poop while taxpayers foot the bill.

      1. Correct. The tacit job description of a City Attorney:

        1. Protect staff at all cost.
        2. Manipulate the council so you always have a majority
        3. Repeat.

    2. Fullerton ignores the rotation and there is still no elected oversight. Jung has been mayor for 2 years and look at the mess – the trail to nowhere, the stolen sidewalk, a fuck up noise ordinance and who know how many other screw ups.

  8. If I recall correctly, the City sprang the “remove the bump out” *after* construction was mostly completed. City should be responsible for the cost of removing the bumpout, but since the City is broke, won’t happen. Marovic is not without blame for taking advantage of the situation in the first place, but most of the fault lies with the City in that they weren’t more aggressive on this as soon as Florentine abandoned his lease and closed whatever was last in his parade of restaurants on the site.

    1. I will never argue that the City hasn’t been at fault in this. Nevertheless your friend Mario was well-aware of the history of the encroachment.

      And, by the way, Marovic was mostly completed with construction without a CUP to go with it, a risk he undertook voluntarily.

      In any case, and this is the real point, Marovic signed an agreement and completely reneged on it. This wasn’t a gentleman’s agreement (Marovic clearly isn’t one) but a written and signed contract.

      If you can shed any light on his strategy at this point, I would love to hear it.

      1. Thanks for that. The ONLY issue is Marovic signed a contract and didn’t do anything to fulfill it.

        No gentleman, indeed.

    2. The dolts in City Hall didn’t even realize they(we) owned the room addition, true. However Marovic sure seemed like he wanted to get away with something.

      The City WAS responsible for removing the “bump out” and they let Marovic open on the condition that HE remove it.

  9. This episode begs the question: who is protecting Dick Jones? We can be sure Zahra and Sheena are. At least one of the other three is too. I always thought it was Fred Jung who believed Jomsies promises. Now I’m startin g to think it’s Dunlap – who seems terrified to ruffle anybody’s feathers.

  10. Once again, the City, led by the stalwart partnership of I Can’t Believe It’s A Law Firm is getting ready to blink.

    The same useless people who wrote the contract will advise our useless City Fivesome that unless we drop the issue, Marovic will press a damaging claim for this or that. But of course he’ll keep getting paid no matter what.

    And Dick Jones will enjoy his third decade covering up Paul Dudley and his complete incompetence.

  11. Is this whole blog just you bitching and whining and being an absolute Karen ? who even reads this shit? Sad miserable boomers who have nothing better to do? You call this journalism ? I hope this is just a side hustle because if you actually consider yourself a professional journalist this is just sad and pathetic

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