Author Archives: Joshua Ferguson

Fire Hero Lies Placentia

Fullerton Fire Would Rather Watch Placentia Burn

Well folks, once again the Fullerton Fire Heroes are putting their union above your safety & spreading propaganda to do it.

Check out this “Community Update”.

Fire Hero Lies Placentia

Placentia changed their fire service to save money because the constant mercenary screaming from the Unions have bankrupted their town, much like our own. So Placentia opted to outsource medical calls to an ambulance company. Seems logical, but logic and these unions are mortal enemies.

Ultimately this “Hero” Union is mad because under the Placentia model they no longer get to play Uber for Paramedics who respond to the vast majority of calls.

85% of ALL fire calls in Fullerton are medical. There are AT MOST 2 paramedics in a unit of 4 heroes. That means that 85% of calls, 50% of our responding fire department is playing Uber & standing around. They stand around more at the hospital as they wait for the patient to be admitted or discharged. There obviously has to be a change to how this is done and calls are handled. This is just a vast waste of time & resources.

But nooooo. The Fullerton Fire Department wants to scare you with “unproven fire department” when FFD likely trained alongside some of those very same Placentia Fire members they’re worried are “unproven”. Placentia has to follow all of the same State Mandated Fire Safety protocols. They also hired a well credentialed & proven Chief to lead their new department.

Keep in mind that Fullerton Fire has no problem having a mutual aid agreement with OC Fire – the very entity that managed to let their own Fire Station burn down in the rain.

So much for “proven”.

Fullerton Fire would rather let Placentia residents risk life & property than have a mutual aid agreement with them and they’d rather let your house burn & your life be lost than let Placentia come here to offer assistance if they’re closer to your emergency.

Fullerton Fire, who will show up en mass to tomorrow & park all of their trucks in front of City Hall to bully their point of view, cares more about their wallets than your safety and this “community update” is proof.

All because the Placentia model scares their union. They’re scared that Fullerton residents might get tired of broken roads and a crumbling city propping up those Giant Bro Trucks in the parking lot & the Sweet, Sweet Benefits they enjoy.

Enough.

Tell City Hall to support Placentia and that our neighbor on the other side of CSUF can count on our help if needed. It’s time to put a stop to these Union lies & this blatant disregard for doing what’s right.

If the City votes against helping Placentia, we need to make sure to vote against this Council.

Keep Protesting All the Way to November

Photo Courtesy of Voice of OC

There was a protest today in Fullerton, like many cities around the country, sparked by the George Floyd murder in Minneapolis. People are justifiably angry about the actions of the officers involved who killed Mr. Floyd.

This blog has long stood against police misconduct and abuses of authority from the Pre-Kelly Thomas days to my ongoing lawsuit trying to expose the ongoing Culture of Corruption within the City of Fullerton.

We’re allies on the issues of abuses of authority and unaccountable police.

That said I implore you to focus your anger.

Police abuse people not for such a simple issue as wrongthink. Manual Ramos threatening Kelly Thomas with his balled up fists wasn’t a Black vs. White issue. When 50% of the Officers fired for the murder of George Floyd are POCs it breaks the lazy narrative.

Police do terrible things because we as a society let them. We tell them it’s okay. We condone and support their actions. We give them endless benefits in their checks and qualified immunity in the courts.

We do it every election at the ballot box.

In 2016 Jennifer Fitzgerald, our current Mayor, won election with more votes than any candidate has ever received in the city of Fullerton. She won with these numbers despite being the biggest bootlicker on council since the 3 council members we recalled.

During her tenure, this woman has caused our budget to be absolutely CONSUMED by police pay and benefits. Public safety currently accounts for more than $7 out of every $10 we spend in our general fund. This is ridiculous but it has no end in sight and we’re getting less and less for it.

Our city cannot afford to fix our roads because she and those like her have never seen a police pension or pay raise she didn’t adamantly support.

Meanwhile she has fought, tooth and nail, against any meaningful reform of the Fullerton Police Department from her seat on council. She glad hands police and supports their militarization at every opportunity. She has supported asset seizures which is when the city steals your property to pad their budgets. She has gone so far as to support hiding records from the public by not demanding the City follow basic public records laws. Hell, this blog got sued for showing that FPD is RIGHT NOW doing everything they can to AVOID publicly disclosing wrongdoing by their officers.

This blog exposed a pervert cop who was caught filming up a 16 year old’s skirt while assigned to Fullerton High School and her solution was to vote, multiple times, to SUE US. Oversight? Accountability? Assurances that there is chain of custody and accountability? That FPD won’t turn more of our kids into victims of sex crimes? She’s been as quiet as a church mouse on those issues because she puts bad cops over our kids & our city as a whole.

Did she demand accountability after the Fullerton PD put their friend & then City Manager Joe Felz above the drunk driving laws? Nope. She cried that she’d miss her friend.

Did you know that Fullerton purchased 160 AR-15s? That’s more than one PER officer. Why? Why does FPD need that kind of firepower? It certainly isn’t to protect you. And if it’s not to protect you, it’s to protect the very police that our elected officials refuse to hold accountable from you.

Fitzgerald eagerly supported this purchase and militarization without hesitation. As did Jesus Silva & County Supervisor Doug Chaffee.

They do the bidding of the Fullerton Police Officer’s Association and the FPOA cares about one thing and one thing only – keeping cops with fat wallets above the law at your expense. Remember that the less accountable they are, the more you pay when they screw up. Those millions that Fullerton paid Ron Thomas certainly didn’t come out of any police pensions or FPOA bake sale.

In the near decade since Kelly Thomas was murdered we have seen no meaningful reform of the Fullerton Police Department. No transparency. No real oversight. Jennifer Fitzgerald has now been Mayor twice in that time. She was put onto council in the election months after the recall resulting from the Kelly Thomas murder – she even ran on exploring changes to the police department and it was all bullshit to placate you. She allegedly refused to even watch the Kelly Thomas video unless her buddy, Chief Danny Hughes, was there to guide her opinion. Imagine somebody saying that about the George Floyd video – that they wouldn’t watch it without the Commander in charge to guide them through it? That’s our Mayor.

If you care about police accountability. If you care about justice. If you care about any of the things the protesters claim to care about in this moment of national outrage – make your voice heard at the ballot box AND the in the streets.

Don’t forget. Don’t get complacent. Vote against anybody who puts the FPOA above we the people. Kick the Jennifer Fitzgeralds with their constant bootlicking to the curb. Be a part of the change that stops the platitudes.

Press Release – City of Fullerton – Notice of Data Breach

FULLERTON, California (May 13, 2020) – The City of Fullerton (the “City”) announced today that we’re too dumb to use Dropbox and that led to the internet having access to things we’d rather you not know about – such a pervert cop filming up skirts and having child porn on his phone while stationed at Fullerton High School, a Lieutenant in Fullerton PD having not one, but two, Internal Affairs investigations against her that we dropped in order to bypass Public Records laws (SB1421 specifically), employees stealing things and us cocking up the investigation so badly that they got away with it, a City Employee overturning a Parks Vehicle while likely under the influence and on and on and on.

This isn’t new, in fact most of it came to light against our will almost a year ago so none of this is recent but we’re calling it a “recent event” that “may have impacted the security of personal information of some City residents and employees” because that sounds better than “our lawyers, who we refuse to fire and stand behind 100% are too stupid to use Dropbox and they totally screwed the pooch”.

The City became aware of posts on a public website, we all know which one but we won’t say because reasons, which contained confidential City information – see the list above. The city immediately began throwing money around trying to figure out who to blame and how we can get away with avoiding any responsibility. During the City’s investigation, it discovered that we are in fact too stupid to use Dropbox. We’re calling Dropbox “an internal data storage account” because it sounds better but yeah it was Dropbox. We gave out the website (CityofFullerton.com/outbox) on multiple occasions, to countless people, made it a legal public record and then sued some guys and a blog because they allegedly clicked links we put their names on in that Dropbox account – again that we told them about.

We gave them access and ignored that we had total control over who could see what and then our crack team of bureaucrats, lawyers and IT professionals somehow missed that we were too dumb to figure out Dropbox from about 2016 through June 21, 2019. The investigation further revealed the data included copies of emails and attachments that contained certain protected information. Information we never should have put online in an unsecured fashion but you don’t pay us the big bucks and for our lifetime pensions so we’ll be smart – you do it because we extort it out of you by taking away your toys (the library, roads, parks, etc) if you don’t give in to our mercenary demands. As a precaution, the entire contents of the Dropbox account were reviewed to identify the information that may have been accessible online for all the world to access. The City provided written notice to those individuals whose information was found on Dropbox. However, a small number of files we uploaded to Dropbox between 2016-2019 we totally deleted and therefore were not recovered and were unable to be reviewed and now we have no idea who’s information we negligently put online for the whole world to find. Whoopsie.

What Information Was Involved? On October 25, 2019, a day after suing the FFFF blog over our cockup, the City provided written notice to a small number of individuals whose sensitive information was found on Dropbox despite knowing about it for months. However, because we’re dumb and deleted things, a small number of files we uploaded to the non-password protected, public facing Dropbox account (at CityOfFullerton.com/outbox) were not able to be recovered and now the City is providing this additional notification. The personal information that we may have totally put on Dropbox in the files we absolutely deleted may include your name, Social Security number, driver’s license number, payment card information, medical or health information, and/or passport number. However, the City is unable to confirm the contents of these files or whether sensitive information was present in these files because, again, we’re dumb and don’t pay attention to what all we put on Dropbox despite us giving that account out willy-nilly. Hey, we waste your money and you don’t say anything so we figured you wouldn’t mind if we did the same with your data.

What Are We Doing? Suing people to cover up our incompetency mostly. The City takes the security of our employee and citizen information very seriously. So seriously that The City put that information on a non-password protected, public facing Dropbox account (CityofFullerton.com/outbox) in violation of HIPPA, Dropbox Terms of Service, Legal Best Practices, Common Sense, etc. In The City’s diligence The City immediately secured the Dropbox account at issue by deleting everything because passwords and access controls are too hard for our IT department and lawyers to figure out despite The City maybe needing those things for our pending lawsuit and to find out what we put online. The City reviewed existing security measures as a byproduct of our Dropbox screwup and finding essentially none paid $541,000+ to a digital security expert to do what our IT department should have been doing all along –  ensuring the security of The City’s network and keeping our idiot lawyers off of Dropbox.

The City is also providing information about our stupidity and about the steps individuals can take to help safeguard personal information – basically just don’t trust The City to be competent.

In addition, the City is offering to spend more of your tax dollars to offer identity monitoring services through Kroll because nobody in The City pays a price even when it costs you over half a million dollars and counting.

What You Can Do. The City encourages individuals to remain vigilant against incompetent city staff and council members who would compromise your information while putting you at risk of identity
theft and fraud through gross negligence.

Under CA law, individuals are entitled to vote incompetent asshats out of office every election cycle and we strongly recommend throwing circus ringleader Jennifer Fitzgerald out on her ass along with Go-Along-To-Get-Along rejects Ahmad Zahra, Jesus Silva and Jan Flory should Flory’s corrupt self decide to grace us with another council run.

For More Information The City also encourages individuals to read our other press releases where we pretend that we didn’t get slapped down by the Appellate Court and that we’re winning this ridiculous case that we filed against our own watchdog citizens to cover our asses.

Again, at this time, there is no evidence that any information has been misused but we want to drag a few guys through the mud and hope that our infinite resources (your tax dollars which we’ll be taking more of soon) are enough to scare them into submission so we don’t ever have to take responsibility for our own government incompetence. After all, would YOU keep voting for City Council members (Fitzgerald, Zahra, Silva, Flory) who stood by lawyers as dumb as mentioned above OR who let a City Manager attack citizens in the courts and press while taking home $242,931.63 in 2019? We think not.

Joshua by Spencer

The Cost of Suing Us

Yes, that is the answer!

Fullerton just “separated from employment” 150+ non-union part-time staff. Why? Because despite years of Mayor Jennifer Fitzgerald’s lies about a “Balanced Budget” and our mythical reserve fund – we had no plan for a rainy day.

During meetings, myself, David and others warned the City Council that a downturn was likely in the future and with CalPERS continually raising our pension costs we needed to be smarter financially.

Fitzy & Flory wanted none of that and spent like floozies in Vegas throwing every dollar we had at every uniform in sight with Silva, Chaffee and so on along for the ride.

Now here are we looking at a month of limited tax revenue and 150+ people lost their jobs with the city. 150+ positions aren’t being eliminated – no no no, they’ll tax us more to fill those again later and cry about not being to staff the libraries and parks to justify the new taxes/fees and whatever added costs to us they can cook up along the way. But 150+ people are now wondering how they’ll pay their bills.

But let me drive this home for you some more – the city is suing myself, David and this blog because we allegedly clicked some Dropbox links in an account they sent us and told the world about in PRRs. Remember, according to Kimberly Hall Barlow this isn’t about publishing or the 1st Amendment – this is about alleged theft and “hacking” because we allegedly clicked some Dropbox links.

In the process of investigating that alleged crime, the city found out that their network (which has fuckall to do with Dropbox) was incompetently setup and they hired an outside firm to fix it. This was the reason they claimed they waited to sue us for months on end – that they had to secure their network – which again has fuckall to do with Dropbox.

Glass Box Discussion

The firm they hired, Glass Box Technology, has a contract with the city for $60k/month not to exceed $500k.

Glass Box Contract

So far, according to the City Council approved Check Register, they’ve paid Glass Box $541,451.25 to date which is $41,451.25 over their “not to exceed” limit.

Glass Box Checks

That’s over half of a million dollars SO FAR because the City found out that they suck at running their own network as a BYPRODUCT of suing us which has nothing to do with what they allege we did. This was an unnecessary expense that has to come out of next year’s General Fund because it’s yet another major cockup for which nobody will be held accountable.

How many of those 150+ people wouldn’t need to be unemployed right now were it not for sheer incompetence in City Hall? Seems that $500k+ would have covered quite a few part timers.

Then we have the expense of our idiotic City Attorneys, Jones & Mayer. Since this nonsense started back in June with their Cease & Desist letters, the city has paid Jones & Mayer $891,074.49. We have no way to know how to split that up or what to attribute to the lawsuit against us because City Hall has a long history of lying about funding and hiding expenses in the wrong accounts. Just because something is coded to the Library, might not mean it has anything to do with the Library.

J&M Checks 2020

But if we assume that just 5% of their work product can be attributed to the lawsuit against us, and considering the reams of paper they keep filing with the courts we know their billable hours are stacking mile high, we can attribute approximately $44,553 to this stupid lawsuit. Seems to me that’s a few more part timers who could still be employed were it not for the malicious lawsuit being pursued by Fitzgerald, Flory, Silva and Zahra.

We don’t know how much the city has paid their other experts or consultants in their pursuit of the evil “hackers” who allegedly clicked Dropbox links – some with my name on them – but so far we know it’s pushing $500k+.

Where there’s smoke…

Remember this come election time & demand answers from these idiots on council who would rather spend your money, and it is your money, attacking us over their own stupidity than spend it providing the very services they’re elected to oversee in our city.

Shame on Fullerton. Shame on Mayor Fitzgerald. Shame on the City Council for always squandering your money pursuing their egos instead of your best interests. Sure, they’ll blame the need to “separate from employment” those 150+ people on this “global pandemic” – but that’s only because they constantly spend all of your money elsewhere while lying to you about our “balanced budget”.

Joshua by Spencer

Appeals Court Slaps Fullerton… Again

Joshua by Spencer

Trying to look passed all of the bullshit the city has thrown at us

Twice now the City of Fullerton has managed to baffle a judge with bullshit and get the judge to issue a prior restraint against myself, David and this blog stopping us from publishing “secret city hall documents”.

Twice now the city has boasted of their win only to be slapped down by the CA Appellate Court.

First they spiked the football during a 05 November 2019 City Council meeting where hack & pretend-an-intellect Ahmad Zahra threw softballs at City Attorney Kimberly Barlow to support their lies & defamation. This was the meeting where they tacitly admitted to violating disclosure laws (The Brown Act) by not properly voting & disclosing said vote to sue us prior.

A week later the Appellate Court sided with us on the publishing gag & slapped it down.

The second time a judge granted a prior restraint the city ran to the North Orange County Chamber of Commerce who pretended to care about the newsworthiness of the case & they issued a Press Release. Said PR was basically just a hit-piece against us with a laughable lie by City Manager Ken Domer who hasn’t once tried to settle this case despite his bullshit postering about wanting to work with us to “bring it to a close”.

That time it took the Appellate Court 10 days to slap the publishing gag down. Not only did they stay the prior restraint – they took over the case entirely by accepting our appeal.

Now we’ll wait to see what happens next as the Appellate Court hears both sides & makes a ruling. Will they side with Fullerton who claims we “plundered” their public, widely available, known about & non-password protected Dropbox Account by virtue of allegedly clicking links that even literally had my name on them? Or will the Appellate Court laugh at Fullerton for trying to bury us with litigation, fees and threats all to cover the incompetence they’ve admitted to in their own arguments?

Time will tell and we’ll keep you updated.

Fullerton’s Veritable Serpico Problem

Serpico

Fullerton, like most departments, has a problem reminiscent of Serpico and this problem is years in the making. This problem is part of the story of the sordid “Culture of Corruption” that was documented after the Kelly Thomas beating. This veritable Serpico problem is a cancer within the system where once in uniform even good people turn a blind eye to corruption and stand idle as their unions and water carriers work to stomp on both people working towards and laws aimed at transparency.

For those unfamiliar with Frank Serpico he was an officer in the NYPD who stood up against widespread corruption and suffered for this crime against the Blue Wall of Silence. When he was shot in the face in the line of duty his fellow officers went so far as refusing to call for help.

This reverse Serpico problem is the common issue of Officers refusing to speak out, refusing to stand up and refusing to be good ethical humans for fear of reprisals from their brothers and sisters in blue.

Today I want to tell a story that should have been told some time ago – the tale of how ethics can get you fired at Fullerton PD.

I’d like to tell you about one Corporal Paul Irish.

You see, Corporal Irish was fired for dishonesty. A year or so ago I spoke to Paul and I was given copies of the files related to his termination. Honestly I didn’t know what to do with what he gave me and I sort of let it sit waiting for the time to really dig into it. Life, kids, you know the drill. That box sat in my garage patiently waiting for me to have time. Skip ahead and, well, the city cost me my job recently and I find myself with more time on my hands. So I got to reading.

To sum up hundreds of pages of paperwork — what Corporal Irish DID was, allegedly, tell his supervisors he was giving a talk on seat belt safety when he actually gave a talk on ethics. When they hammered him for his dishonesty on what his talk was about they ran a full investigation into the issue which ultimately led to his termination for more alleged dishonesty.

The transcript of the talk is [HERE] and the actual audio as recorded by Corporal Irish is here;

According to the information I have seen, these are the charges for which Corporal Irish was fired:

PSB #2014-72​IA Investigation
Corporal Paul Irish
Potential Policy Violations:
​340.3.5 (g) – within policy
​340.3.5 (h)
​340.3.5 (i)
​340.3.5 (l)
​340.3.5 (n)
​340.3.5 (z)
Recommendation to Staff: Not within policy – Termination Approved

FPD Manual Conduct

That’s a bunch of jargon so I’ll allow the Fullerton Police Department’s Policy Manual chapter on Conduct explain all that legal speak:

(h)Knowingly making false, misleading or malicious statements that are reasonably calculated to harm or destroy the reputation, authority or official standing of the Department or members thereof.

(i)The falsification of any work-related records, the making of misleading entries or statements with the intent to deceive, or the willful and unauthorized destruction and/or mutilation of any department record, book, paper or document.

(l)Any knowing or negligent violation of the provisions of the department manual, operating procedures or other written directive of an authorized supervisor. Employees shall familiarize themselves with and be responsible for compliance with each of the above and the Department shall make each available to the employees.

(n)Criminal, dishonest, infamous or disgraceful conduct adversely affecting the employee/employer relationship, whether on or off duty.

(z)Any other on-duty or off-duty conduct which any employee knows or reasonably should know is unbecoming a member of the Department or which is contrary to good order, efficiency or morale, or which tends to reflect unfavorably upon the Department or its members.

Remember, this all stems from Corporal Irish giving a talk on ethics that his supervisors didn’t approve of him giving and being mad at being “lied to” about said briefing.

Here’s the pertinent part of the Hearing Officers Report:

Irish Allegations

This should be put into some context with current events in order to explain the aforementioned Serpico problem. When some cops are fired for seemingly trivial issues while others are given a pass for egregious conduct it sets bad examples. It tells Officers who to follow, which lies are okay and where things stand in regards to the Blue Wall of Silence. This is how a cancer grows in a department. A blind and subservient government is how it remains untreated and metastasizes.

This year, thanks to this blog, we learned that Fullerton PD and Fullerton City Hall worked to enter into an agreement in order to shield Lieutenant Kathryn Hamel from the disclosure of her crimes. The city was willing to stop investigations in order to protect her, the wife of Irvine Police Chief Mike Hamel, from any sustained findings of dishonesty which would have made her crimes public records under the CA law known as SB1421.

Currently there is an also an officer, Jeff Corbett, being charged with a felony for falsifying his reports as related to the drinking and driving of former Fullerton City Manager Joe Felz in November 2016. That Sergeant was only terminated after a friend of this blog filed a citizen complaint which triggered an investigation which led to a sustained finding of dishonesty. Only AFTER that investigation was concluded in September of 2017 did FPD open their own investigation and terminate Corbett.

These are current issues at the Fullerton Police Department as ignored by our current City Council, City Hall and police brass.

The hearings over Irish’s termination went through 2016 and well into 2017 while Sergeant Corbett was being given a pass for clearly violating department policy during the Felz incident. This is at best an inconsistent application of policy and a strong indicator of favoritism in the department – ergo, cancer.

If you think I’m being hyperbolic about comparing Paul Irish to Frank Serpico in premise, in the notion that the Department will crush one of their own to cover their corruption or incompetence – remember that I’m being sued, along with David Curlee and this blog, for allegedly clicking links and posting stories that showed police misconduct. Stories that showed the Kathryn Hamel deal. A story about a pervert cop at Fullerton High School that FPD and City Hall wanted kept secret. The city has never disputed those stories, or others – they’ve just demanded we remove the truth from this site while defaming us as thieves and hackers.

Your tax dollars are being used to punish us not because we allegedly clicked links and thus broke a federal law in the process. We’re being sued because we, yet again, embarrassed Fullerton PD by pointing out corruption and malfeasance and my records requests, if fulfilled as required by law, would embarrass them further. They’re using your money and the courts to intimidate and attempt to silence us because we again stepped out of line. We got in the way of the Blue Wall of Silence and both those in uniform and those in charge at City Hall are too self-interested and too cowardly to stand up for what is right. Too worried about their pensions, campaign dollars and cronyism to be ethical. They preach integrity and practice treachery.

Sadly the tale of Paul Irish is just another in a long line of such stories. A story of the government using it’s weight to silence dissent. A story about government arrogance crushing a voice even when it comes in the form of an officer talking about the things the Police Department hypocritically displays on their own walls. Ethics used during times of convenience are no ethics at all.

OC Superior Court in Santa Ana

Fullerton v. FFFF – New Judge, New Court Dates

OC Superior Court in Santa Ana

Things just keep on moving in the legal battles between us and Fullerton.

Yesterday the Hon. Judge Lee ruled that our two cases, Joshua Ferguson v. Fullerton and Fullerton v. FFFF, Joshua Ferguson, et al are related in response to our request for such a ruling.

As such we will no longer be gracing Judge Lee’s courtroom in Department C31 on 27 February 2019.

Currently we have a Status Conference regarding the City suing us on 12 Dec & a Case Management Conference on my Writ of Mandate case on 16 Dec in front of the Hon. Judge James Crandall in Department C33.

OC Superior Court Related Cases Dec2019

For context we argued, and the city opposed, the point that these two cases are related owing to them involving the same parties and general facts:

“[T]he two actions are based on similar claims, arise from the same transactions and events, and require the determination of substantially identical questions of law and fact. The CPRA lawsuit alleges that the City has improperly withheld records it claims are confidential or exempt from disclosure. The City’s lawsuit claims that in the process of responding to Defendants’ CPRA requests, it placed confidential or exempt information on its website, www.cityoffullerton.com/outbox. In both cases, the City has the burden to show that the documents are confidential.”

We’re of the opinion that the city’s case against myself and this blog is retaliatory owing to the fact that the city waited months to file their case and only did so AFTER I filed my Public Records lawsuit.

The city claims they waited to “secure their network” which is utter nonsense considering their own experts, in their own declaration, stated that the city needed approximately 30 days for the company Glass Box to fix their network (not Dropbox) vulnerability. Yet the city sent their original Cease & Desist email on 14 June, their letter to our attorney Kelly Aviles on 17 July and then they waited an additional 99 days to file their lawsuit against us on 24 Oct.

That’s a lot more than the 30 days recommended by Glass Box and sure is convenient timing. It’s even more convenient that the City had to vote “again” on 19 November “in an effort to clarify any Brown Act violations” when they refused to report out about their alleged vote back in September that Whitaker denies even took place.

I will be very surprised it the city does not attempt to appeal this decision to link the cases.

OC Superior Court in Santa Ana

Fullerton v FFFF – Fullerton’s Small Loss & Big Costs

OC Superior Court in Santa Ana

Yesterday Kimberly Barlow with Jones & Mayer, on behalf of the City of Fullerton, asked the Hon. Richard Y. Lee to change the Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) against myself and this blog. An exhibit to said TRO was NOT INCLUDED when the Judge signed the original order and Jones & Mayer wanted to substitute the list of files we were originally told we couldn’t publish, share or delete with a shiny new list that allegedly only included private records. Read about that issue in our previous post [HERE].

The judge denied Ms. Barlow’s ex parte request. While Judge Lee agreed he had authority to change the TRO, he wasn’t going to do so as he didn’t believe it was necessarily the “clerical error” Fullerton’s attorney was claiming. Chalk up yet another loss for Jones & Mayer.

During the hearing Ms. Barlow took umbrage with our opposition paperwork, specifically the part about costs. Here’s the relevant part from our opposition (emphasis added, linked [HERE]):

Finally, filing of the anti-SLAPP motion by the Defendants within a week of the date this lawsuit was filed, halts proceedings so that Defendants and the Court are not burdened by the time and ever-increasing costs incurred in response to a frivolous lawsuit.

Yet, at present, the Defendants have been required to incur the expense of filing multiple briefs, a writ petition, numerous objections, last week’s court appearance, and are now must oppose on the City’s ex parte request to reconsider a restraining order, a request this Court has already rejected. Currently, Defendants have incurred nearly $100,000 in legal fees, which despite the pending SLAPP motion, are continuing to increase.This is exactly the point of SLAPP suits: To discourage public participation by running up litigation expenses, even though the City’s suit is completely meritless.

Ms. Barlow didn’t understand how it could possibly cost so much to fight her nonsense. She claimed it couldn’t cost so much to fight a TRO that in her words had no effect because the exhibit listing the files had been left off.

How could it cost so much? Gee. I wonder.

Perhaps if the City Attorney didn’t co-mingle everything up to and including billable hours she would understand how every time our attorney responds to the City’s paperwork, filings, declarations (alone totaling 21 and counting with 4 declarations from Strebe, 3 from Klein and so on and so forth), it costs money. There are more pages in those declarations than the first two Harry Potter novels combined. Plus every time our attorney has to read an email, field a phone call, talk to media on our behalf and show up to court, it costs us money. Every time the City does something, she informs us, which costs us money. And on and on.

We’re a month into this process, with three months to go before the anti-SLAPP motion, and we’re already staring down $100k. Imagine the bill when the dust settles. If our ONE attorney is racking up billable hours responding to the city’s filings, one can only imagine the costs being incurred over at Jones & Mayer in creating all of that paper they’re attempting to bury us under each day.

Yesterday, three weeks after getting it, Ms. Barlow went to court to argue that the TRO she demanded, received and then we had stayed, is incomplete. This mistake, which Barlow blames on the court, led to that hearing. Her appearance as well as our attorney’s appearance is costing billable hours and somebody is going to have to pay the piper.

We’re betting it’ll be the taxpayers.

As always we’ll keep you posted as to the details of this case as they happen.

Bruce Whitaker Voice of OC

Who’s Full of it? Whitaker or the City Attorney?

Bruce Whitaker Voice of OC

We’ve made it onto the Voice of OC again. The newest story [HERE] revolves around a fundamental problem with government secrecy – you never know who’s telling the truth after something nefarious happens.

According to City Attorney The Other Dick Jones™, the City Council voted in closed session back on 17 September to sue us for allegedly clicking links.

Council Member Bruce Whitaker, mind you, claims that no such vote happened back in September.

Only one of them can be telling the truth and with history as our guide we know where to place our bets.

To bolster their claims of a vote in September the City “cured” their illegal Brown Act violation two weeks ago on 05 November by allegedly re-voting to sue us 4-1 (Whitaker dissenting). But did they ever actually vote back in September or is that just a ruse being cooked up to make their case against us look less retaliatory?