Friends, here’s a fun post from two-and-a-half years ago introduction you to the egregious Gregory Palmer, Esq., who is employed to hassle citizens, ignore legal PRA requests, and most importantly, to investigate and stop kinky sex in the municipality that employ Dick Jones as City Attorney. Enjoy.
A few days ago Joshua Ferguson told us the story of how one of the lawyers working for our City Attorneys, Gregory Palmer, gave him a big Fuck Off when he made a reasonable, and as it turns out LEGAL, request for the video recordings from FPD cops the night they possibly gave the City Manager a skate on a DUI, gave him a ride home and tucked him into bed. Mr. Palmer got tired of talking to one of the people who pay his retainer and basically said: if you don’t like it, sue.
Now I don’t care for this kind of assholery on the part of people who are supposed to be working for me, so I thought I’d check out Mr. Palmer and share some information, gleaned from the Jones and Mayer website. It’s always nice to know who and what you’re dealing with.
Apart from his alleged expertise dealing with “sexually-oriented business,” – whatever that means, this bit caught my eye:
Mr. Palmer has handled several high profile cases. In 1997, he prosecuted the First Southern Baptist Church and its pastor for illegally housing the homeless on its grounds.
So Mr. Palmer and Dick Jones actually brag about about shutting down a church engaged in an act of Christian charity.
Why crazy? Well it’s not really crazy at all if you’re “Jacob” Poozhikala, the scofflaw proprietor of the notorious downtown gin joint at Harbor and Commonwealth.
JP23 is just the sort of place that the creators of DTF’s nightlife economy didn’t envision and yet have done nothing to stop.
Mr. JP has been in violation of conditions placed on his permits seemingly forever, and the City government just can’t seem to screw up the courage to tell Mr. JP to go screw himself once and for all. The list of violations over the years reminds me of a lurid passage in a Dickens novel – occupancy violations crowding, cover charges, illegal occupation of substandard spaces, illegal site use (shipping containers!), etc. Even the minor requirements laid upon Mr. JP, such as exterior lighting have just been ignored.
Without delving into the details of that awful story I will only say that the patrons of the place probably don’t exercise the greatest judgment in the first place.
So what’s the latest?
Last week the City Council received an update on the status of this enterprise. Apparently, Mr. JP says he has been planning to sell his business to an eager young nephew, a gambit that has gained even more time for Poozhikala to evade making the remedial requirements demanded by the City. The alleged nephew-sale was supposed to happen last November, but still hasn’t been consummated. There are still the outstanding deficiencies to be rectified, and then there is the looming problem of the all-important new entertainment permit that has to be approved.
Our old pal, handjob lawyer Gregory Palmer stood up to bring the Council a status update on the whole affair. It was like watching an old jalopy lumber down the street. It was painful to watch this cut-rate pettifogger trying not to say things that were spelled out in the staff report, the funniest of which was:
It was very clear to all of us in the room with Mr. Pathiyil that he was nothing more than a “straw man” put up by Jacob Poozhikala to avoid his responsibility, and that Mr.Pathiyil was not a bona fide purchaser.”
In their communications, Mr. JP has declared to the City that apart from “training” his young protégé on the intricacies and mysteries of saloon owning, he will have no interest in the ongoing business. The City staff report laconically informs us that:
The purchase price for all of the business equipment, inventory and packaging; books, records and files, trademarks and trade names, as well as goodwill, was zero dollars ($0.00).
However, for some unstated reason, Mr. JP intends to remain the principle tenant of the building and supposedly collect rent from his nephew.
Mayor Jung correctly observed the unlikelihood of Poozhikala letting go of the reins. It does seem pretty likely, as the staff report warned, that The Pooz is using his nephew to act as a decoy so a new business can be established with a new entertainment permit, unsullied by the business’s long history of bad behavior.
Finally, the report was received and filed, the issue of the permits still in the works.
And so the saga of JP23 sags along. And aren’t law-abiding citizens, taxpayers, and the owners of legitimate businesses indeed justified in calling this never-ending pas-de-deux with Mr. JP what it is? It’s crazy.
Word has seeped out from the once hermetically sealed walls of City Hall that we may not have Richard “Dick” Jones, Esq. to kick around much longer. It would seem, if the rumors are true, that Good Ol’ Dick has had enough of screwing the taxpayers of Fullerton with his pettifogging, self-serving legal advice and is “retiring” with all of his ill-gotten spoils.
Well, possibly not all his spoils, because he must believe his “I Can’t Believe Its A Law Firm” will have some residual value after Mudslide oozes off.
Now I don’t know about you, Friends, but a collection of lawyers that includes Kimberly Barlow and Gregory Roosevelt Palmer doesn’t seem like it could be worth very much to me; but Jones is supposedly pitching the continued services of his collection of miscreants, so he must plan on keeping his name on the letterhead and probably receiving revenue thereby.
Will our city councilcreatures keep this gang on retainer? After the abysmal performance of Jones in the pas it’s hard to imagine anybody wanting them around, at all. Of course this is the same gaggle that has kept Jones, et al., on the clock for over twenty years – and that’s a lot of bungling and cover-ups.
A lot has happened in Fullerton over the last several years and while my involvement has waned ever since the City threatened me civilly and criminally because I happen to be associated with this blog, and this blog published embarrassing things City Hall would rather hide from the people, I have remained committed to finding the truth and speaking up against the vapid and self-serving corruption of our council majority & the city hall they oversee.
In my capacity as a chronic malcontent these last few years I have made numerous records requests looking for information and many of those requests have been ignored, delayed or denied owing to dubious legal claims or just outright misrepresentations of the law. As such I have opted to sue the city of Fullerton for violations of the California Public Records Act.
The now filed Petition for Writ of Mandate alleges that the City of Fullerton has violated the CPRA in regards to my records requests related to no less than 5 separate issues.
Back when I first started filing requests, specifically for the body worn camera and dash cam videos of the Joe Felz DUI incident, the city was able to hide behind a lack of enforceable disclosure laws as SB1421 was not yet the law of the land. Cities did/do this because they know it takes a lot of time, effort and commitment to make them comply with disclosure laws.
Here in Fullerton the arrogance got so bad that they didn’t even try to hide their disdain for the public and transparency. At one point after claiming the Felz video was exempt from disclosure owing to the non-existent sham investigation, City Attorney Gregory Palmer asserted to me; “If you are dissatisfied with the response you have remedies”.
Skip ahead a few years and it turns out I DO have remedies and I have opted to act upon them. Hence this lawsuit.
For those interested, the lawsuit reads as follows (after the jump, emphasis in original, exhibits in the Writ link above):
California’s Brown Act specifically enumerates when public agencies can meet in secret (Closed Session, they call it) away from the prying eyes of the nuisancy public that pays for the whole show. One of these exempt categories is “litigation,” in which secrecy is deemed to be okie-dokie. The problem is that government agencies, when given an inch will invariably take a mile.
But when you fail to specifically constrain the arm of government, they will invariably flex those muscles. And so it is that “litigation” has come to includeanticipated litigation which, of course, could cover just about anything, anywhere, at any time. And that label seems to give the City of Fullerton reason to believe it can omit the names of anticipated litigants. The anticipated litigants must, necessarily remain in the dark about what the government is about to do to them, while the government, for its part, gets a jump on its adversary. Of course this isn’t right, but what do rights have to do with the City of Fullerton government?
Let’s first take a look at the City’s Closed Session agenda for September 17:
Notice the final two items have been draped in the magical shroud of “anticipated litigation.” We may wonder what the Big Mystery is. Rumors are circulating that at least one of the the items in question is the City’s desire to sue humble little us, Friends for Fullerton’s Future, and that the council has voted to do so.Could that really be true? FFFF, of course, would be the last to know. But the City Attorney made no mention of such doings while “reporting out,” from the Closed Session. If they’re true, what are we to make of the rumors?
The City has already sent a couple of laughable nastigrams in our direction, both of which were duly ignored, so litigation is plausible, but only if the City initiates it. This means that it is the City instigating, not reacting to likely litigation, and begs the question of why this issue would not be a matter for public discourse. And it also suggests that it is the city manager and his bumbling lawyers who will have advocated this harassment to cover up their own corruption they didn’t want exposed.
Well, I’m sure that covering up its clownish behavior is the last thing the esteemed council, upright city manager and brilliant city lawyers would ever do, so it seems pretty certain everything will be made clear. One way or another.
Thanks to our friend and contributor Lonnie Machin’s recentposts on this blog, the City of Fullerton has decided to send a Cease and Desist letter threatening me and “Friends for Fullerton [sic]” with legal action.
The letter in it’s entirety is as follows:
Friends for Fullerton
Re: Cease and Desist – City of Fullerton Police Department
Dear Mr. Ferguson,
It has come to the attention of the City of Fullerton that you have recently published on your website documents which have clearly and undoubtedly been sourced from the confidential personnel files of several current and/or former Fullerton Police Officers. The State of California has statutorily recognized this right of confidentiality. (See Penal Code §§ 832.5, 832.7 and 832.8.) Any disclosure of such confidential records is strictly limited and must be authorized by a court order from a Superior Court judge. (See Evidence Code §§ 1043-1047; Pitchess v. Superior Court(1974) 11 Cal.3d 531 and its progeny.) Indeed, the Fullerton Police Department has an affirmative duty to resist attempts at unauthorized disclosure and the officers who are the subject of such records expect their right of privacy will be respected. (See Craig v. Municipal Court for the Inglewood Judicial District et al. (1979) 100 Cal.App.3d 69.) Finally, the improper disclosure of such records is prosecutable as a misdemeanor violation of law under Government Code section 1222 (See Attorney General Opinion, 82 Op. Att’y Gen. 246 (1999).) Any person facilitating the illegal disclosure of such documents in violation of the law may be prosecuted as either a principal in that crime or as an aider and abettor.
For all these reasons the City of Fullerton demands you immediately:
1. Remove these Confidential Documents from Your Blog within one hour of your receipt of this e-mailed cease and desist letter;
2. Refrain from posting any other Confidential Documents illegally obtained to Your Blog in the future:
3. That you immediately send to our office within 24 hours all Confidential Documents you and your employees have in your possession. You are also instructed not to make any copies of the Confidential Documents in any form (including but not limited to electronic, imaged, hard copies, etc.)
3. That you immediately delete all electronic copies of the Confidential Documents in your and your employees’ possession.
Your failure to follow these instructions can result in legal action being taken against Friends for Fullerton’s Future wherein the City will seek all necessary legal remedies.
We require your immediate compliance with this cease and desist letter. Notify the undersigned of your compliance with the above within 24 hours of your receipt of this correspondence.
Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.
Gregory P. Palmer
City of Fullerton
For several months FFFF has been stymied in our attempts to find out who talked to whom in the early morning hours of November 9, 2016 when former City Manager Joe Felz drove off Glenwood Avenue, ran over a tree, and tried to motor off. Although he was stopped by the cops and smelled of liquor, calls were made and Felz got off scott free. For a while.
We want to know who had a hand in this dereliction of duty on the part of a police department that has become psychologically addicted to MADD DUI award ceremonies at council meetings. We want to know the role of former Chief Dan Hugheswho admitted to communication with councilmembers; of then-mayor Jennifer Fitzgeraldwho claims to have no responsive documents although she has admitted to getting a call at 3 AM of the morning in question; of the ever-egregious Watch Commander on November 9th, Andrew Goodrich, whose frequent indifference to competent police work has been well-documented on these pages; of one Sergeant Corbett, who showed up at the scene and gave Felz the Breathalyzer pass so that no irrefutable evidence of Felz’s inebriation exists.
Over the months we have been stonewalled by the excuse of phony police investigations, phony personnel investigations, by ridiculous reading of the law, and by the outright prevarications of Fitzgerald.
Now we’re going to try to get to the bottom of this: to find out who was behind the Felz Free Ride and the obvious creation of a double standard for drunk drivers in Fullerton. We have been advised brusquely by City Attorney employee and sex law specialist Gregory Palmer, Esq. that we have recourse. So we have engaged the services of an attorney, Kelly Aviles, to help us find out what the people in City Hall don’t want us to know.
Aviles is a California Public Records Act specialist who serves as litigation counsel for Californians Aware, an organization that helps journalists in the fight for government transparency. Aviles has represented several major news organizations in lawsuits to turn over unlawfully withheld public records.
Back on December 1, 2016 KTLA reporter Chip Yost made a Public Records Act request about information surrounding then-City Manager Joe Felz’s alcohol odorific Wild Ride.
Poor Chip. Of course he was given the big FU from Gregory Palmer, employee of the City Attorney and best known by us for his enthusiastic adult sex business work. Palmer cites disclosure laws that have now been thrown out by the State Supreme Court, and somehow believes that communications from then-Chief Danny “Galahad” Hughes are exempt, too.
One thing that was turned over is the following memo from Gretchen Beatty, HR Director, who somehow has taken it upon herself to write an apology for Felz even though she admits the latter is still “on duty.” Under the comical subject line “Keeping You Informed” she proceeds to tell her “colleagues” nothing they surely didn’t already know.
Gretch says the FPD is “completing its independent investigation” which is a wonderful oxymoron and also not true. But let’s not let truth impede upon the business of City Hall. Rather, let us observe business as usual.
Nicole Bernard. This exorbitantly remunerated assistant to now departed Wild Rider Joe Felz came to prominence – really as an aside – for a footling junket to Las Vegas where she displayed an inordinate love of Starbucks corporate fare. Later she was the subject of an inside City Hall poison pen letter we received that contained all sorts of allegations and innuendo. We weren’t necessarily buying it, but we sure were left wondering what this individual actually accomplishes to pull in her titanic salary.
Gregory Palmer, Esq. This fine gentleman, who is employed by our City Attorney, Jones & Meyer, emerged in November directing an honest citizen making a legitimate public records request to go fuck himself. Then we learned from his biography that he is especially proud of his work dealing with “adult businesses,” which strikes me as pretty kinky. But I’m just a dog and leave it to you humans to contemplate Mr. Palmer’s preoccupations.
Sappy McTree. Poor Sappy McTree led a short, undistinguished life on a Glenwood Avenue parkway. While some plant life is born to be great, others have greatness thrust upon them. Consider the sextillion possibilities in the early morning of November 9th, 2016, and the odds of the unfortunate Sappy jumping out in front of our former City Manager’s careening vehicle diminish into vapor. And yet there he is, undone by a heartless universe that laughs at our feeble calculation of likelihoods.
Yet before Sappy was sent to the chipper, he graced our pages, even in his state of extreme distress.
Ling Ling Chang. This superficial creature, candidate for the State Senate and remarkable only for previous prevarications about her life story, was foisted upon us by a repuglican machine which cynically miscalculated that only an Asian candidate could beat another Asian candidate. They both lost to the same non-Asian, but not before wasting almost seven million bucks.
A few people, myself included, who had records requests in with the F.P.D. and City Hall regarding the Joe Felz/Sappy McTree incident were emailed denial letters today. Mine was based upon Section 6254(f) and 6255 of the California Government Code and was sent to me by Greg Palmer of Jones & Meyer, the law firm for our City Attorney “The Other Dick Jones™”.
One records request was hilarious because it denies records to one party when the denial letter was actually sent to another party altogether. These lawyer folk sure are awesome with the details let me tell you and it looks like we’re getting our money’s worth.
The first part of my emailed denial got to me because it says that I can view the 911 call log at F.P.D. during regular hours. Oh really? I went and tried that and they told me to put in a records request which could take x-amount of time and now my denial letter for the audio/video tells me that I can go look at something that F.P.D. told me I couldn’t look at when I was at the desk.
Isn’t it amazing how well the government lies to people? It’s almost as though they do this on purpose to frustrate the commonners while avoiding any real transparency.
After reading this boilerplate nonsense I emailed back to dispute the lie argument that “The Other Dick Jones™” said at Council when he said that the video/audio couldn’t be released owing to it being a “Personnel Matter”. I pointed them to a California Supreme Court Ruling and they were clearly nonplussed. But they responded that that’s not what their letter stated and I was in the wrong because of what CA Government Code 6254(f) said by gum.
I’m the curious type so I went back and re-read 6254(f) and 6255 and it talks about releasing records “unless the disclosure would endanger the safety of a witness or other person involved in the investigation, or unless disclosure would endanger the successful completion of the investigation or a related investigation.”.
So I asked what investigation? There was no citation and no arrest made so what was being investigated?