A few days ago we shared a story from one of our Friends about the futility and general dopiness of the house cat rabies protocol at the County’s animal police department. The gist was that if you get bit by your cat a medical facility will report you to the good folks at OC Animal Care, an agency that seems more dedicated to avoiding embarrassment than caring for our four-footed friends.
We noted with some amusement that the department admits that there hasn’t been a case of a cat contracting rabies in OC for 62 years.
One of our commenters, Joel, noted that there is a “Rabies Control Desk.” I didn’t believe it so a made a public records request just to see. Sure enough, there is a desk!
Once in a while we here at FFFF like to shine a spotlight on some of the more ludicrous doings down on the County farm, and today’s special comes from a Friend who wants to be known as Stephanie. Apparently, Steph had an encounter with the good folks at OC Animal Control recently and decided to share her story. Here it is:
I’d like to relate an experience I’ve recently had with the county’s animal control people. I was breaking up a cat fight between my cat and a stray when my pet in a real excited state bit my hand pretty badly. Fortunately the nurse at urgent care warned me that they were legally required to report the incident to the County and my cat would have to be quarantined under County supervision, all because of rabies. This was ridiculous because my cat had just got its rabies vaccination.
Sure enough, the Animal Control people started showing up a few days later. I made up a story about getting bit by a stray somewhere and after returning for further interrogation several times they finally sent me this letter:
Wow! Medically cleared by Animal Control! The funniest part of this letter is the reassuring reminder that no cat has contracted rabies in Orange County in 62 years. What’s not so funny is the time, resources, and bureaucratic rigmarole involved in an incident that was nobody’s business but hers.
For some people the release of video showing the “justified” July 5th shooting of a female teenager by a Fullerton policeman is cause for celebration. Well, we can store that information in the Sad Troll folder and move on. Really, though, one must linger over the sad state of affairs when the FPD has to broadly publicize the fact that their man didn’t kill anybody illegally, with malice or by incompetence.
What a difference eight years make, right? For on July 5th, 2011, and in the months following, the FPD made every effort to hide, lie about, obfuscate, deflect, and misdirect information in the wake of their illegitimate killing of the homeless man, Kelly Thomas.
Has the FPD opened a new chapter in its relationship with the public that supports it?
Maybe. I don’t know, but I doubt it.
When there is exculpatory evidence, it seems, the police are only too happy to release information; thus, within one week of the recent event, the dead teenage girl’s demise was the subject of an FPD press video, complete with slow motion footage showing what happened. And yet when police actions are reckless, incompetent, or even criminal, the PR apparatus retreats into the bunker and cannot say a word.
This is the twisted legacy of former Chief Pat “I Hired Them All” McKinley and the goon squad he imported from the LAPD.
As we saw with McKinley’s second successor, Chief Danny “Galahad” Hughes, when something bad goes down the department has taken the position that the best medicine is not overdue reform, clean-up and real accountability, but a stiff dose of community relations and departmental tours. This, even as Hughes himself participated in the most dubious undertakings.
Maybe someday police departments like FPD will come to realize that covering up for bad police work is itself bad police work; that the public that pays for their salaries, benefits and early “retirement” ought to be served instead of abused; and maybe, just maybe, people in California will start getting honest answers and timely, truthful information instead of phony or non-existent “internal” investigations, shifting stories, and outright deception from the police.
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.
It’s a sad fact that most stories about political corruption and malfeasance end up getting drowned out by a tsunami of other news – often just more corruption and malfeasance. And so it is with Fullerton’s lobbycreature/councilmember Jennifer Fitzgerald – for whom no lie, shakedown or chisel can ever be too small. Here’s a post from almost two years ago when we uncovered that Fitzgerald, who publicly forswore council pay had started, in fact, to take the emoluments of her office.
In March of this year our lobbyist-council person Jennifer Fitzgerald began to receive the typical council pay check, plus 100 bucks a month to not enroll in the City’s health insurance plan.
“So what?” you may be saying to yourself. Well, here’s the problem. In her self-promotion for political office in 2012 Fitzgerald got way up on her high horse about refusing compensation for “public service.” She even made a promise!
And that’s not all. Enjoy this lecture on the high moral ground Fitzgerald stakes out for herself in 2013. She made a big deal about her refusing compensation when she first joined the council. Could the moralizing get any thicker?
Between 2013 and now a lot has changed for Ms. Fitzgerald, most notably a vice presidency at Curt Pringle and Associates, the notorious lobby shop where no public asset is too valuable for cheap disposal. It may very well be that Fitzgerald now has a completely different attitude toward “public service” than she did five years ago.
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.