And who should know that better than the Florentine Family whose nightclubs at the corner Harbor and Commonwealth, as FFFF recently noted, were out of compliance with their Conditional Use Permit that requires the installation of fire sprinklers.
Now, you might think that someone who suffered such a terrible tragedy as losing a business just a few hundred feet from his current one would be a lot more concerned about a repeat performance in 2019. And you might think the Fullerton municipal government would be a lot more concerned about fire safety and well-being of the Florentines’ patrons.
It was easy to predict that after his announcement that he was quitting Congress at the end of the year, a host of would-be successors would jump in to replace Ed Royce (R-Security State). And so it has transpired. The lure of Congress is too hard to resist for the career politician – just think White House photo ops and no term limits.
There were already a bunch of Democrats challenging Royce, none of whom I had even heard of. It’s the Republican crowd that is of interest because the top vote getter of this tribe will probably reach the November run-off; possibly even against another member of the same club. We’ll ignore the no-names and the Fruit Loops.
First there is Young Kim, a wholly owned subsidiary of Royce, who has in fact, endorsed her to carry on his sterling legacy. Kim lost her last election as an Assembly incumbent, and that doesn’t bode well for the cynical north OC “Asian Strategy” that also failed so spectacularly in 2016 for Sukhee Kang and Ling Ling Chang. Poor Young may have access to some of Ed’s left over campaign dough, but she has the problem of coming across as just another empty suit and the puppet of her husband who created her political career, such as it it.
4th District County Supervisor Shawn Nelson’s suit is far from empty, his record at the County has been a complete disappointment. Elected in 2010 on a platform of accountability, pension reform and a full cross-departmental audit, he immediately ditched accountability, engineered a massive pension for himself, and has done nothing to shrink the bureaucracy or establish any kind of bureaucratic competency. Just the opposite, in fact. Fullerton residents will recall that Nelson tried to look good at the County by sneaking a homeless shelter into strip center next to an elementary school and a residential neighborhood in East Fullerton.
Then there is former State Senator, Bob Huff, the former legislative waterboy for Redevelopment and occasional Traditional Values panderer who was termed out of his Sacramento gig and who also lost his last election – a try for LA County Board of Supervisors. Huff may count on an influx of money from people who used to lobby him, and of course the very deep pockets of his patron, Ed Roski, who owns the City of Industry. Huff is the veritable poster boy for government griftery. It’s hard to see how Huff can get any traction in OC against other ‘pugs, but he’s wishin’ and hopin.’
That’s it for now although we may see other entries. At present, there are no candidates who can run on a real conservative record, although they will certainly tell you otherwise as they invade our mailboxes with their trash.
The Voice of OC is reporting that our congresscritter, Ed Royce has had enough congresscrittering and is quitting his seat next January. This will be seen a great news for the Democrats who were targeting this seat due to a recent increase in their own party’s registration, and who believe that the S.S. Trumptanic vortex will suck all sorts of Republicans down to Davey Jones’ Locker.
I don’t know about that, but I do know it will be wonderful to get shed of Ed. Set aside Royce’s dutiful loyalty to our new, budget-busting security state and his willingness to vote for tax bills he hadn’t read. Instead let’s focus on his dismal record meddling in the local political affairs of Fullerton.
For almost 25 years he has backed city council (and Legislature) candidates of the worst Republican stripe – dimwitted and vapid RINOs like Pat McKinley Leland Wilson, Julie Sa and Mike Clesceri; creepy slouches like Larry Bennett; sleepy nincompoops like Don Bankhead; a useless carpetbagtress like Linda Ackerman; and let’s never forget: Dick Jones, Doc HeeHaw, the clownish donkey from Galveston who seemed to take joy in bullying his constituents and braying utter nonsense. Royce could not have cared less about sticking us with this parade of non-entities. He obviously didn’t care if Fullerton developed no new generation of real conservative leadership. What mattered was to elect hollow shelled Republicans that posed no threat to him, and to keep potential Democrat challengers from becoming potential in the first place.
Hey, since 2012, we’ve fired 11 cops for cause. That’s about 8% of the average number of uniformed cops in Fullerton in any given year. Who they are and how badly they had to behave to get fired as Fullerton cops is a mystery. But based on past behavior FFFF has documented, it must have been pretty damn bad.
12 were suspended for one reason or another. It is not our privilege to who or why.
166 were “reprimanded,” whatever the hell that means. But it amounts to more than the entire sworn employees in any given year. Obviously many of our fine officers received multiple reprimands. Are they still out there peering through our windows at night? Who knows?
While statistics for the other categories actually seemed to get better as Danny “Gallahad” Hughes ended his dubious chiefhood the health of prisoners in the Fullerton jail took a major turn for the worse. This statistic is troubling given reports about behavior in the jail, perhaps the most egregious being that of Vince Mater who was too stupid not to get caught destroying evidence after the “suicide” of Dean Gochenour. It’s charming how jail injuries are written off as possible scraped knees. But of course what really happened to these unfortunates is shrouded in mystery.
Of course these are the published statistic and may bear no relationship whatever with actual events. How many cops were permitted to “retire” rather than face the music is something we shall never know, and will never appear in these tables. How many “Citizen Complaints” disappeared down the proverbial rabbit hole never to be heard of again must remain a mater of speculation; speculation about which is a perfectly justifiable pastime so long as the cops shroud their activities in a veil of secrecy.
A few weeks ago FFFF ran a post on the status on Dino Skokos, the FJC security goon and “disabled” former LA Deputy Sheriff who beat up and handcuffed a kid on campus in October, 2016. Right after the video of the event went viral, the district snapped into defense mode, placing Skokos on administrative leave and putting its lawyer to work on an in-house “investigation.” FJC President, Greg Schulz declared his dedication to reaching a conclusion of the incident.
The winter had passed; spring had come and gone. Summer was well along when in July, Schulz was directly confronted on the subject. In Schulz’s long and winding stream of nonsense a shiny pearl accidentally popped out of its oyster in the river bottom sludge: Skokos “was not going to be an employee of the district.”
What that meant was anybody’s guess, and some, like me, were skeptical. Was Skokos still on leave? If so, why? Who knew?
So FFFF followed up on an earlier Public records Act request that had been ignored. When that was intentionally misunderstood we filed yet another one. And finally we finally got this:
According to this list, Skokos was on admin leave – meaning he was getting paid for doing nothing – until the end of September, two full months after Schulz said he was no longer going to be an employee of the district, and almost an entire year after he assaulted that kid. And coincidentally (or not) that date corresponds exactly with the peculiar day projected earlier in the summer that Skokos was to come off administrative leave.
And here’s the last insult to public transparency on the part of Schulz & Co.: we have no idea whether Skokos is still employed by the district – whether at FJC, Cypress, district HQ, or at some other locale.
So how about it Greg? You promised a conclusion to this incident over a year ago. Did that promise include actually telling us about it?
In the likely event that no answer will be forthcoming from Schulz, you might try broaching the subject by our able and eager Trustee, Molly McClanahan, who has a long history of demanding accountability from her bureaucratic underlings.
Three long months ago FFFF updated the story of FJCs rogue “Campus Safety Officer”, Dino Skokos. You remember Dino, right? He’s the former LA Deputy Sheriff, who, while enjoying a $48K annual disability pension courtesy of LA County taxpayers, and while costing us $75,000 per year us as a guard at FJC, was caught on video assaulting some skinny kid for refusing to identify himself. Be sure to watch the video if you need to remind yourself.
That was over a year ago. Yes, the Earth has made an entire revolution of the Sun, and then some.
Skokos was placed on administrative leave way back on October 14, 2016. And what has been going on in the twelve month interim?
The other day I discovered this notice from the City. It’s a class for citizens to help their fiscal literacy. And unlike the proverbial lunch, it’s free!
So let’s get this straight. The City of Fullerton, which has been incapable of balancing its budget for at least four years, and that has dipped into reserved funds to the tune of $45,000,000, and that is a couple years from insolvency, is promoting financial empowerment and estate literacy to the citizenry! How funny and unintentionally ironic.
I wonder if this free class will be promoting the benefits of a new sales or utility tax to pay all the salaries and benefits of those experts in City Hall who have dug us into this hole.
Some things, like toenail fungus, never seem to go away. And one of them, apparently, is Jay Cicinelli. He is the disabled, one-eyed Fullerton cop who, on the hot July night in 2011, gently kicked Kelly Thomas in the head with his knee and compassionately smashed his face with a taser. At least that’s how Cicinelli’s lawyer wants you to remember it.
The City fired Cicinelli and his pals Manuel Ramos and Joe Wolfe for violating police department policy. Of course on the witness stand FPD’s genial Corporal Punishment T. Rubio exonerated the behavior Ramos, Wolfe and Cicinelli by contradicting his own department, and thus giving a brain-dead jury ammunition to acquit the three of the criminal charges brought by our useless DA, Tony Rackaukas. Of course Rackaukas had every opportunity to skewer the integrity of Rubio who sure seemed to be committing perjury, but the DA didn’t. The whole episode appeared to be nothing other than a grand plan to obfuscate the reality of what happened to Kelly Thomas.
Anyhow, the actions of Cicinelli and their relation to department policy seem to be key in an appalling effort by Cicinelli to seek reinstatement to the FPD, and to no doubt rake in five years worth of back pay and benefits. Well, this is California and the cop unions have us by the proverbial balls, so Cicinelli’s reinstatement is not only plausible, it is highly possible, proving what little control the people have over their “public safety” employees. Here are the relevant docs. Try to keep your last meal down.
The other day FFFF ran a post on recent efforts by the Fullerton Police Department to share its Heroic doings with the public. Some were struck by the blatant and ongoing hypocrisy of the department’s alleged attitude toward DUI driving, given the fact that our former drunk-driving City Manager, Joe Felz, was given a free pass by the FPD after running off the road, plowing over a tree, and trying to escape the scene of the crime.
I’m struck by the constant effort of the department to spin PR yarns to make itself look good – despite all the evidence to the contrary. Get a load of the “while you were sleeping” shtick. It’s the old “we Heroes are keeping the streets of Fullerton safe while you get to sleep safe and sound – and how can you put a price tag on that?” routine. This relentless drum beat of the upbeat continues long after Chief Danny “Galahad” Hughes‘ departure, meaning that the strategy of fooling the public into mistaking a tsunami of PR for reform, is alive and well.
Anyway, I though I’d share a few other FPD activities that happened while we were sleeping, or maybe even when we were wide awake, sort of a public service announcement. Please observe the veritable FPD crime wave:
The other day I invited Fullerton Mayor Bruce Whitaker to write a post informing FFFF readers about what he believes he has accomplished in his seven years on the city council. The moment seemed opportune. The Mayor had engaged in a brief repartee with some of our commenters who didn’t seem too pleased with him; and of course Whitaker has declared his candidacy to replace State Senator Josh Newman, should Newman be recalled. I pointed out that Whitaker’s post would be read by thousands of people in the next few months and it wouldn’t cost him a penny. We get as many new visitors everyday – several hundred – as returning Friends.
But we’ve heard nothing from our Mayor. Oh, well.
In lieu of a post by him, I am creating an open thread where friends and foes alike can share their opinions about what Whitaker has achieved on our city council and how this records may be extrapolated to a State Senate performance.