Cal State Fullerton’s Pension Tsunami Shell Game and Our Kid’s Future

Titan waste

After showing you how management lives in the lap of luxury last week, I received an email from a Friend who brought to my attention a Cal State University system business practice that forces out qualified, lower paid part-time lecturers and untenured faculty, and brings back higher paid, semi retired faculty. The faculty and management at our own Cal State Fullerton know this practice as FERPing. Just the sound of the acronym sounds like something they should apologize for and we haven’t even said what exactly FERPing is.

The Faculty Early Retirement Program, as the name implies, allows faculty to retire early and then come right back to work. On the surface it creates a lower fiscal burden on local university funding which looks like a cost savings for guys like Milton A. Gordon, who gets $302,042 per year while living rent-free at the El Dorado Ranch. The reality is that it costs taxpayers and students more than if the schools utilized the lower paid, part-time faculty who are otherwise forced out under FERP.

Retirement never looked so lucrative. While everyone else must take furloughs or are getting laid off outright, the FERPers receive FREE parking, ALL of their retirement benefits, and 50% of their last salary. That’s part of the reason why your kid’s tuition continues to rise and classes are getting canceled. This Cal State double-dipping program is brought to you by the public employee unions as a result of the spineless leader who is content to live in his rent-free mansion with an inflated salary and the entitlement attitude of senior public employees. Some FERPers have been milking us for more than 5 years!

Here is an example of the compensation structure that FERPers use to determine just how good retirement might be:

Age: 63 1/2 years (CalPERS retirement age percentage factor: 2.5%)
Length of Service: 27 years
Highest Salary: $87,500(during any 12 month period of CalPERS covered employment)(minus $133.33 monthly deduction for Social Security = $1,599.96)
Calculation: 27 years x .025 (age factor percentage) = 67.5% of highest salary
Estimated CalPERS retirement salary: $85,900 x .675 (age factor percentage) = $57,982
Plus estimated FERP salary: (half of faculty base $70,800) $35,400
Total estimated retirement salary plus FERP salary: $93,382

It’s time to wean the leaches off our sweet cream before all we are left with is sour cream for our kids. Email Milton Gordon at [email protected] or you can call him in his CSUF public employee office at (657) 278-3456. Tell Milton Gordon it’s time to act fiscally responsible with our tax dollars.

Below are some links I stumbled over which helped put FERPing in perspective for me:

Cal State Fullerton President – Lifestyles of Our Rich Public Employees at the El Dorado Ranch

“It’s good to be king!” Indeed, if you are Cal State Fullerton’s president, Milton Gordon, you are living the good life at the old Chapman family property known as the El Dorado Ranch at 225 West Union Avenue. Gordon’s residence is a sprawling 4+ acre palatial estate sitting high in the Fullerton hills overlooking the commoners eking out a living below and no longer appears to be a working ranch despite its name.

The 8+ room mansion may be slightly dated from the 1950s but the age is compensated for by the 8 bathrooms!   The nearly 6,000-sqft palace was a gift to Cal State Fullerton back in 1989 from C.J. Chapman, Jr., Mary Anne Baine, Elizabeth E. Bowman.  They also gave the Cal State Fullerton Foundation $159,000 for maintenance.  Currently, this enormous public property is valued at $3,351,724 for tax assessment purposes (although the property is exempt from actually incurring property taxes).  I would guess the value to be more like $4,000,000 in a “normal” economy.  The secluded compound is an excellent destination for Fullerton residents and tourists alike to visit although there is no formal docent to guide you.

The real kicker is that the Chapmans stipulated in an agreement with the State that we, the taxpayers, have to house the university president there and maintain the houses and property.  Notice that I said “houses”?  That’s because there is also a guest house on the property to house the president’s assistant.  Nice perk for being an assistant to a university president.

It would have been nice if the Chapmans would have sold the property out-right and used the proceeds for a scholarship endowment.  The money would go to those who need it the most.  Milton A. Gordon is among the highest paid public employees earning $302,042 according to the Sacramento Bee!  I guess it’s hard to afford a Fullerton home on $302,042 per year.

The Chapman family has given and given and given to Orange County residents in one way or another, for many years.  We have all benefited from them in several ways.  Every time I have someone from out of town visit me at my college, I have to specify “Chapman Avenue in ORANGE, NOT FULLERTON.”  Then when I have out-of-towners visit mom, I have to specify, “Chapman Avenue in FULLERTON, NOT ORANGE.”  They still get it wrong…  In 1954 the Chapman’s were nice enough to build that nice university bearing their name where your son or daughter can attend for $18,750 per semester.

Here is an interesting fact: Milton A. Gordon was named CSU Fullerton president in August, 1990. So it seems that the Chapman’s and Gordon timed it just right to get the El Dorado Ranch in the hands of Gordon.  Gordon being a mathematician could do the math and see the sweet deal, leading me to wonder what more there might be to this back story.  For Gordon, it’s still good to be king!

Bill Hunt on CCWs and the 2nd Amendment

As part of an ongoing report, March 1, 2010, FFFF’s Travis Kiger, Fullerton businessman Larry Lazar and myself sat down with Bill Hunt, 2010 candidate for Orange County Sheriff.  The round table discussion was an opportunity to ask some important questions that we think are on the minds of voters.  No topic was off-limits.

We had some questions about concealed weapons permits (CCW’s) for the man whose slogan has been “The Sheriff should be in the business of protecting people’s rights, not restricting them.”

We asked Hunt how his stance was different from his opponent’s.  Hunt told us that he is a constitutionalist and believes that the current system lends itself to corruption.  Hunt believes that statistics from than 39 “Shall Issue” states are proof that CCW’s lower crime rates.  Further, he believes that an armed citizenry will help keep the peace at a time when the Sheriff’s Department is looking to lay off sworn deputies.

We also asked Hunt to lay out the process that a permit applicant can expect if he is elected Sheriff.  Hunt said, “If we have someone come in and they are a range owner and maybe they have one of these reciprocal CCW’s that’s good in thirteen states, and they’re in good standing in those states, then I think we need to shorten up that process.  We need to verify that the permit is legitimate and have had backgrounds on them, and then do an updated background to make sure there have been no problems in the interim.  Then we check their training.  If they’re proficient, we have our range master check them out.  If they’re proficient, sign them off.  If it’s a new person with no current CCW then we need to do the full background check, send them through the full NRA familiarization course, and get them through the process!”

Hunt also wants to waive or at least reduce fees for low-income applicants. The logic is simple: low-income areas have higher crime rates thus more victims.  Lowering fees would put the odds back in the hands of citizens rather than the criminals.

View the transcript

A cookie-cutter approach is the wrong way to handle it.  There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to CCW’s, crime victims, and high propensity targets.

“When seconds count, cops are minutes away!” – Bill Hunt

View the transcript of this interview

Bill Hunt on the Greg Haidl Incident

As we reported, March 1, 2010, FFFF’s Travis Kiger, Fullerton businessman Larry Lazar and myself sat down with Bill Hunt, 2010 candidate for Orange County Sheriff.  The round table discussion was an opportunity to ask some important questions that we think are on the minds of voters.  No topic was off-limits.

Hunt Speaks Out About Haidl & Co.

Back in 2003, Greg Haidl, son of Assistant Sheriff Don Haidl, was awaiting trial (where he was eventually convicted of sexually assaulting an unconscious teen) when he was picked up by deputies in San Clemente after they found marijuana in a car driven by Haidl’s friend.

FFFF: “You’ve taken a lot of criticism for some events that happened a long time ago with Haidl’s son, specifically the October 26, 2003 incident.  Can you tell us what happened?”

Bill Hunt: “Here’s what happened.  At the end of the day, me and my captain were sold out by a sheriff and assistant sheriffs, Jaramillo and Haidl, who were involved in this thing behind the scenes and then lied about it and tried to hang it on me.  And you’ll remember by that time I was a candidate for the office [sheriff].”

Hunt went on to describe in great detail the events behind the criticism that eventually lead to his resignation. The following is a synopsis of Hunt’s full explanation:

Gregory Haidl was out on bail on rape charges and living with his mother in San Clemente.  On October 26, 2003 at around 10:00PM Haidl was skateboarding with a couple of friends in an industrial complex when Deputy Roche spotted them and made contact.  It seems everyone agrees that there was marijuana in a car that the teens used to get to the industrial complex.  After a brief interrogation by Deputy Roche, a sixteen-year old male confessed to possessing the pot.  Based on an audio record of the incident, it was a solid bust based on a solid confession.

Deputy Roche, knowing Haidl was involved, called his supervisor, Sergeant Richard “Dick” Downing.  Downing arrived, reviewed the circumstances, and called his watch commander.  At some point, Haidl was driven home to his mother’s house by Sgt. Downing and the sixteen-year old was allowed to leave with the third suspect in the third suspect’s car.   It is at this point that the cover up seems to begin.

Sgt. Dick Downing called his watch commander, Lloyd Downing.  Lloyd Downing then called Jaramillo who told him “Don’t log it, take care of it.” Lloyd Downing said, “It’ll be our little secret.”  Then Lloyd Downing called Dick Downing and told him not to log the event. But Sgt. Downing wasn’t dumb and he wanted to do the right thing.  He told Roche to log it in the deputy’s log and then he intentionally did not enter it into the sergeant’s log.  This way, Sgt. Downing could say he followed orders without really doing anything wrong.  Next, Jaramillo called Carona and a six minute conversation ensued.

Sgt. Dick Downing decided to call Hunt and explain that Roche found Haidl and his friends with some dope and that Haidl had been taken home.  He didn’t tell Hunt that he had already spoken with the watch commander or what the watch commander had told him.  Hunt then called his captain to let him know what happened.

Days later Hunt ordered Deputy Roche to submit his report and book the confiscated marijuana which had been stored in Sergeant Downing’s file cabinet.  Roche wrote up the report and submitted it to the shift supervisor, Sergeant Nancy Gafner, who reviewed it and determined that there are subjective opinions in it.  Roche stated that, although the sixteen-year old minor confessed to possessing the marijuana, he believed it to be Haidl’s.  Gafner felt that the opinion should be omitted because there were few or no facts to support it and asks Hunt if he concurred.  Hunt read it and decided that he wanted Roche to explain why he was so sure was Haidl’s dope.  Roche explained that he just felt that the kid was covering up for Haidl but he could not articulate exactly why.  Hunt then told Roche to omit the opinion and only include the facts.

Greg Haidl

Later, Carona and Jaramillo conspired to dump the entire case on Hunt’s shoulders.  Hunt said “So if you look at the indictment of Mike Carona, that’s on page 19.  It says in there defendant Carona, defendant Jaramillo, and co-defendant Don Haidl conspired to arrange for preferential treatment for co-defendant Haidl’s kid.  And they don’t mention me in there. But remember, the attorney general didn’t know about this. They didn’t do an independent investigation. They didn’t pull phone records.  They took a corrupt Sheriff’s word on an investigation that only looked at us and didn’t look at their involvements.  My captain went to Jaramillo several times and said ‘let me go to the media and explain it. This is a nothing deal that you let spin out of control.’  They wouldn’t let us and that’s why.  If they found out what our involvement was it didn’t make sense with what happened on the back end.  They wouldn’t be able to get the stories straight.”

All of these details come to light through the media over the course of years.  David Lopez of KCAL9 news and R. Scott Moxley of OC Weekly were able to corroborate the much of the story. Lopez ultimately caught Carona in a lie when he asked “Did you get involved with this on October 26, 27, or 28?” Carona responds, “No. No sir.”

There is so much more to this story and we encourage you to read Hunt’s own words on the case and decide for yourself.  Hunt names names and tells it like it is. Read the full transcript.


LA Times on Anderson at San Clemente City Council meeting

R. Scott Moxley “Our Little Secret”

Nancy Gafner signed affidavit

Full transcript – Hunt’s own words

An Interview with Bill Hunt – Marijuana and States’ Rights

Last night, FFFF’s Travis Kiger, Fullerton businessman Larry Lazar and myself sat down with Bill Hunt, 2010 candidate for Orange County Sheriff.  The roundtable discussion was an opportunity to ask some important questions that we think are on the minds of voters.  No topic was off-limits.

We will share with you what Hunt had to say about Marijuana, concealed weapon permits (CCW), citizen oversight, DUI checkpoints, illegal immigration, Sandra Hutchens, Craig Hunter, emerging technology, OC political insiders, controversial endorsement by Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, OC jail reform, and dealing with federal agencies.

The lengthy discussion yielded too much information for us to share with you all at once, so we will be breaking it down into topics of interest.  For that matter, we will not be spelling out every single word said only because this series of posts would soon turn into a full-length novel.

First Impressions

To my surprise, Bill Hunt arrived by himself with no handlers or henchmen.  As our discussion progressed, it was clear why he came alone.  Bill Hunt told us that he does not need anyone reminding him of where he stands on any issue.  In fact, he didn’t lay out his talking points or any of the shenanigans that you might expect a typical politician to do.  Hunt is an energetic man who has spent a tremendous amount of time and thought on the development of his platform and studying what lays ahead for his political race and the Sheriff’s Department.  He is well-read and seems to possess new perspectives and insight on old problems.  Bill Hunt clearly has an in‑depth knowledge of the crisis that faces the Sheriff’s Department and jail system.  He presented some out-of-the-box innovations, leaving us with the hope that he would serve the People well.

Bill Hunt on Marijuana

No, the South County candidate for sheriff isn’t ON marijuana but we did ask him about the subject.  Bill made it clear that he isn’t in favor of legalizing pot but that he respects the will of the people.

FFFF: “If you are elected sheriff and the DEA came into OC and asked OCSD to help shut down medical marijuana dispensaries, would you oblige them with support?”

Bill Hunt: “No.  I would prevent them, it’s unconstitutional!  I’m not an advocate for legalizing marijuana but on the other hand the sheriff is elected to enforce state laws. So, if I’m elected sheriff to this county enforcing state law and I’m using federal law to circumvent state law, then I’m not really being true to my office and my oath of office. The sheriff can prevent the feds from coming in and doing that.”

Hunt goes on to say, “Medical marijuana is legal within certain parameters, just like alcohol is.  If a kid is drinking alcohol or if you’re drunk driving, it’s a violation of law and we’ll enforce it.  The same thing with people who extend beyond the legal limits of medical marijuana, we’ll enforce that. But we [law enforcement] can’t be taking a vendetta just because the general consensus in law enforcement is they [law enforcement officers] don’t like it.  The public has already ruled.  Now, I think it’s a zoning problem, a business problem, not a law enforcement problem.  The cities need to get together and regulate it just like they tattoo shops and bars just like their CUP’s [conditional use permits] provide. It’s a regulatory issue, I think, right now more than law enforcement.”