Sukhee Scuttles Southward. Say, Joe, Weren’t You Paying Attention?

The phony professor says: my residency in your town will be this long…

In 2015, the former Mayor of Irvine moved into a gated Fullerton neighborhood to run for the State Senate. His name is Sukhee Kang and his embarrassing and embarrassingly expensive campaign ended in a primary election disaster when he came in last, behind Fullerton’s Josh Newman.

Poor Sukhee had nothing to offer except a disastrous record in Irvine, a phony ballot designation as an educator, a vanity press “autobiography” written by somebody else, the dubious title of carpetbagger, and of course a long list of Democrat party big shots from up and down California who were unconcerned over the ethical problems of an incompetent politician moving into a district to hijack it for his own political aggrandizement.

One of Sukhee’s imbecile Democrat apologists actually tried to make it seem like a perfectly reasonable move – he and Mrs. Sukhee were just a couple of lonely, restless empty-nesters on the move. In reality the ploy was a race-based scam that necessitated hiding Sukhee’s political origins and record.

And now this poor fool is gone – back to Irvine according to Thy Vo of Voice of OC, thus abandoning his wafer-thin commitment to north Orange County. FFFF checked. Sure enough, Sukhee sold his golf course house on November 16, 2016 – eight days after the general Election created a new, Democrat State Senate incumbent. And after his realtor’s commission got paid, Sukhee took another loss.

Always look for the union label…

And here’s the fun, ironic bit. The campaign guy who took over the Josh Newman senate campaign after Sukhee hit the showers, a person named Derek Humphrey, is also working for our latest carpetbagging opportunist – millionaire union executive Joe Kerr, who, in reality lives in ritzy Coto de Caza and wants to be a county supervisor for us. Once again the Democrat establishment seems intent on coalescing around a man who is blithely unconcerned about the ethical problem of carpetbaggery – at least so long as victory seems even remotely plausible.

One of these creatures periodically exhibits common sense…

You would think Mr. Humphrey would be acutely aware of the pitfalls of north county carpetbagging, but, hey, a job’s a job, right?

For our local historians, and Humpy, too, here is a list of well-off carpetbaggers who have recently failed when folks in north Orange County were made aware that a carpetbagger was on the loose:

2009 – Linda Ackerman

2010 – Harry Sidhu

2010 – Lorri Galloway

2016 – Sukhee Kang

 

Woe to the Charitable Donor

The City — but mostly the police department — periodically receives donations from various groups.  The donors range from businesses like McCoy Mills Ford, to local service groups such as the Elks Lodge, Rotary Clubs, Ebell Club, or even Fullerton residents.  Before anyone pummels me in the comments section for something I didn’t say, I have nothing against these groups and I’m sure their intentions are good.

That being said, I suspect nobody realizes how their money is being (mis)spent once it leaves their hands and enters the City coffers.

  • After acceptance by the City Council, the money is generally moved to the “95” Trust/Slush Fund where donations, deposits, and other miscellaneous cash is kept.
  • The 95 Fund is not part of the City’s budget.  The City Council does not currently vote on expenditures from this fund.
  • The 95 Fund is not audited, or included — like other funds — in the City’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR).

Lax oversight and false promises should not come as a surprise.  Such is the case when the Fullerton Rotary Foundation gave $500 for the police Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP).  Former Police Chief Dan Hughes made the following claim in his agenda letter to the City Council:

Below are the procurement card transactions for the last two-plus years on the RSVP account.  Remember, Dan Hughes said the money would be used for supplies and equipment

Apparently food is considered “supplies” and awards and trophies are “equipment”?

Dan Hughes made other questionable assurances about donated money.  To the best of my knowledge, there is no such fund (account) in memory of FPD officers Jerry Hatch or Tommy De La Rosa.  Nothing appears in the Chart of Accounts for either of their names.  (anybody in the know, feel free to correct me)

Paul Hatch, who donated $500, is the father of deceased FPD officer Jerry Hatch.  One has to wonder if Dan Hughes told the elder Hatch that, indeed, there was a fund in his son’s name — when, in reality, there probably isn’t one.

The Fullerton PD, like many others, has an Explorer program for teenagers.  If we take the website at face value, the meetings and duties resemble a college class coupled with part-time job.  Surprise!  The procurement card purchases tell a different story.  Pizza parties, bowling, airsoft games, trampoline jumping, $2100 of coins, and enough kettle corn to induce a coma.  They even charged some RSVP expenses to this account by mistake.

The check registers for the same time period show a handful of checks issued:

October 14, 2016 — Learning for Life  $18.75
September 16, 2016 — Orange County Law Enforcement Explorer Advisor Association (OCLEEAA)  $300.00
August 19, 2016 — Andrew Coyle  $127.16 
March 4, 2016 — Learning for Life  $41.25 
December 11, 2015 — Learning for Life  $250.00  
October 23, 2015 — Orange County Law Enforcement Explorer Advisor Association (OCLEEAA)  $300.00 
March 13, 2015 — Learning for Life  $355.00  

Moral of the story?  They spent more on bowling, pizza, and buffalo wings than on any educational materials for the explorers.

A sad state of affairs.

Fullerton’s New City Motto: “Not Guilty, Your Honor!”

It was like getting hit with a broomstick all over again…

Earthly human Friends, you may or may not care care for the proposed motto in the title. If not, feel free to share your own in the comments thread.

All I know is that the line of criminal defendants is getting even longer and the list of uncharged miscreants longer still.

Of course to the Old Guard, like my former mistress, everything is just copacetic in Fullerton and the real problem is not a busted budget, lying councilwomen, cratered streets, broken water mains, occasional landslides, a hit-and-run city manager or even a conga line of bad cops.

No. The problem is a lazy, ignorant and cheap citizenry that expects honest cops, decent roads a competent $200,000 city manager and a truly balanced budget.

When I was on Earth used to complain about the conditions at Casa Flory and then BAM, out came the broomstick. Well Fullerton humans, I can already see the backswing…

FFFF Fights City Hall for Release of Wild Ride Felz Communications

Here’s to secrecy…and to all my good ideas, too!

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.

I’m not telling the truth and you can’t make me…

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 Hughes who admitted to communication with councilmembers; of then-mayor Jennifer Fitzgerald who 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.

Standards were applied, all right. I should know, I’m in charge of the bureau!

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.

Here is the first communication with City Attorney, Richard Jones. It probably won’t be the last.

Click to read (4 pages)

Will all this lead to a lawsuit? That depends on whether the City Attorney decides to obey the law; and perhaps on whether there are three councilmembers with any integrity.

Behind the Bullshit Goes Bye-Bye

We’re great guys. Or else…

Of all the money that former City Manager Wild Ride Joe Felz wasted during his shaky tenure, nothing was quite as egregious as the annual fifty grand Stumblejoe blew on Behind the Badge, a silly, pointless PR outlet that passed along empty feel-good tales involving Fullerton cops. No one knows if anyone even bothered reading this pabulum. The idea of us taxpayers actually forking over this dough in order to be administered unhealthy doses of saccharine PR back at us was bad enough. The fact that this policy decision was made, maintained and mismanaged by a bureaucrat made it worse.

Fortunately, last Tuesday, the City pulled the plug. City staff teed up the item as a cut – unless three councilmembers voted to save it. They didn’t. Here’s the video.

Of course cop supported candidates Bud Chaffee and Jesus Silva thought the whole idea was just peachy. Predictably, Jennifer Fitzgerald seemed to be going along. Bruce Whitaker and Greg Sebourn opposed wasting any more on this crap. Sebourn correctly pointed out that the cop union, having plenty of money to stick its snout in Fullerton politics, can easily afford to promote the good deeds of its membership.

Whatever changed Jennifer Fitzgerald’s mind to drop support for this ridiculous concept that has cost us $200,000 in the past four years remains a mystery, but she suddenly did a 180. Hopefully FFFF had something to do with the sudden shift to fiscal responsibility.

In the end the self-serving BS rhetoric of Chaffee and the feeble gibberish of Silva amounted to nothing and the council unanimously went along with the proposed package of cuts that included Behind the Badge.

Rest assured, Friends, FFFF will be following up with a Public Records Act request to get a copy of the termination notice.

 

Our Police Force Could be Second to None. An Essay

No, seriously. I mean it.

And not like Doug “Bud” Chaffee means it when he says our fire department is “second to none.” The unintentional irony of Chaffee’s words escapes the Hero worshipers. He’s right. Our fire department is second to none because they are all virtually the same. Same standards, same recruiting pool, same ridiculously grand benefits, same sense of unearned entitlement. Response times? The differences are statistically minuscule, statewide.

But back to the cops.

If you were an honest person with a sound work ethic what would you do to work for the absolute best police force in the State of California? Would you work for less money than you could in a department with a worse, or much worse reputation? Maybe not if you really had the sense of excellence that is pretended by all police departments, but that we know to be a pure myth. You are not a parasite, or a racist, or a belligerent fool with a gun and a Taser who is delighted to have a union that will oppose any real investigations into bad behavior, and that has no qualms about possibly bankrupting the city that employs you.

Wouldn’t it be great to have 150 great cops who are interested in serving the public and a lot less inserted in grabbing what they can under the delusion that somehow the taxpayer should be eternally grateful to any thug or idiot with a badge and a pistol and a club?

How can this happen? Not by denying the obvious Culture of Corruption that has become the unfortunate hallmark of our department, and that was vigorously denied by our former Chief, Dan Hughes who spent the final twenty years of his career being nurtured by the culture, and nurturing it in turn. No. We need an outside agent who is rigorously analytical, ethically sound and emotionally confident. Somebody like Joseph McNamara immediately springs to mind. And then you start recruiting decent, empathetic, intelligent human beings – not messed up LAPD castoffs, perverts, kleptomaniacs, self-righteous thieves, lazy sociopaths, paranoid thugs and drug addicts who become liabilities the day they are hired. You institute a culture in which bad behavior will result in termination, not cover up.

In the meantime the lazy, stupid and violent bad cops would be weeded out as quickly as possible under the ridiculous two-tiered justice system known as POBR.

It will take years. Maybe 10 or 15.

The sooner we start, the better.

The Desperation Has Arrived

In case you weren’t already convinced, Tuesday’s study session agenda provides ample evidence that Jennifer Fitzgerald lied when she said Fullerton has a balanced budget.  She also boasted during her campaign that Fullerton, unlike other cities, didn’t have special sales taxes because we manage our finances (better).  Short of widespread cuts citywide, that scenario — city sales taxes — looks to be nearly inevitable in the near future:

While not part of the public budget workshop, the City Council will confer in Closed Session beforehand about the (likely) sale of 15 City-owned parcels across town:

The City never provides more than a parcel number, so I’ve taken the liberty of capturing a screen shot of each parcel from the county’s GIS viewer and added a brief description.

After all, these are public assets.  We deserve to know which parcels of public land City Hall is seeking to dispose of.

 

Hunt Branch Library — parcels 030-290-16 and 030-290-21

(more…)

How Fitzcal Irresponsibility Drove Us Over the Cliff

“Hey, it was balanced for a few seconds!” Jennifer Fitzgerald, probably

Now that the City of Fullerton is finally admitting that our budget is not balanced!, contrary to Jennifer Fitzgerald’s campaign claims, this would be a good time to revisit how we got here in the first place.

The City of Fullerton website includes links for the minutes and agenda for the last four years of city council meetings and beyond and can be found here.  You’ll find that on October 20, 2015, Fitzgerald voted for the Memorandum of Agreement with the Fullerton Municipal Employees Federation 1200 (resolution 2015-52), which provided increased costs of $5,595,576 over the next four years, and then voted for the contract at the second reading on November 3, 2015. The resolution passed 3-2.

But that’s not all, not by a long shot.

On November 3, 2015, Fitzgerald voted for the Memorandum of Agreement with the Fullerton Police Officers’ Association – Safety and Dispatcher Units (resolution 2015-59), which provided increased costs of $9,502,904 over the next four years, and then voted for the contract at the second reading on November 17, 2015. The resolution passed 3-2.

Fitzcal responsibility.

On February 16, 2016, Fitzgerald voted for the Memorandum of Agreement with the Fullerton Firefighters’ Association (resolution 2016-16), which provided increased costs to the city of $1,959,821 over the next two years, and then voted for the contract at the second reading on March 1, 2016. The resolution passed 3-2.

On April 5, 2016, Fitzgerald voted for the Memorandum of Agreement with the Fullerton Management Association (resolution 2016-23), which increased costs to the city of $1,175,030 over the next four years, and then voted for the contract at the second reading on April 19, 2016. The resolution passed 3-2.

Also on April 5, and again on April 19, 2016, Fitzgerald voted for a revised resolution providing for raises to confidential non-represented employees (resolution 2016-24), which increased costs to the city of $391,857 over the next four years. The resolution passed 3-2.

And on December 6, 2016, Fitzgerald voted for the Memorandum of Agreement with the Fullerton Police Management Association, which increased costs to the city of $882,492 over the next four years. The resolution passed 3-2. Oh, and if you’re interested, this was the meeting where outgoing councilmember Jan Flory berated Josh Ferguson for having the temerity to claim our budget wasn’t balanced and we were exhausting our reserves (starting at around 1:21:00).

Over the course of her first term in office (the December 6 hearing was a lame duck session), Jennifer Fitzgerald voted for pay increases totaling nineteen million five hundred and seven thousand nine hundred and fifty three dollars ($19,507,953) over a four year span – or almost five million dollars per year. And Fitzgerald’s vote was crucial for the passage of each and every one of these pay increases.

And let’s not forget the numerous “side letters” Fitzgerald approved over the years as well – including one for $500,000 on November 5, 2013, for $450,000 on March 4, 2014, for $60,000 per year on April 15, 2014 (to “adjust” Fullerton Fire Management’s pay to bring it into parity with Brea’s), and for $202,00 on November 14, 2014, plus several other agreements for less than $100,000. Oh, and let’s not also forget the $4.9 million settlement of Ron Thomas’s lawsuit which Fitzgerald also voted to authorize, which will be indirectly paid for by the city through increased insurance premiums for decades to come.

So Jennifer Fitzerald didn’t just mislead voters about our supposedly balanced! budget. – she was one of the architect of our current fiscal mess in the first place.

Behind the Badge: The No-Bid No No and An Email to the Council

I rescued a cat. The beat down on that kid never happened.

FFFF has tracked the obscene waste of taxpayer money – $200,000 so far – on a vacuous, pro-cop PR outlet run by Cornerstone Communication called “Back the Badge.” We have noted a supremely fuzzy contract, approved only by a bureaucrat and managed in the most slip-shod fashion.

On February 2nd, Mr. Travis Kiger sent a communication about it to Mayor Bruce Whitaker. We faithfully reproduce it, here:

Mayor Whitaker,

After reviewing the contract, purchase orders and payments to Cornerstone Communications, along with the communication from the city below, it is clear that the City Manager issued the contract and payments improperly.

City code 2.64.050 and city policy requires a Formal Bid Procedure be followed for awards over $50,000. On 3/28/2013, the City Manager signed a contract with Cornerstone Communications not to exceed $40,000 with no evidence of a Formal Bid Procedure. On 5/20/13, less than 2 months later, the city issued a purchase order extending the contract by 6 months and $23,000. This PO brought the total contract value to $63,000 in the first year. This maneuvering suggests that the City Manager intentionally bypassed the city’s requirement for a formal bid procedure.

This issue is even more alarming considering that City Manager and the Chief of Police had an existing relationship with Bill Rams, the proprietor of Cornerstone Communications, prior to the initial contract issuance.

Additionally, there were $32,000 of payments to Cornerstone Communications from 4/1/14 through 11/1/14 that were made without an active contract or purchase order. This is an egregious error that is further complicated by city management’s pre-existing relationship with the vendor.

There are other problems with this vendor relationship. Purchase orders were issued in excess of the contracted amounts and term without an updated contract. The contract is open ended, vague and does not provide for specific performance. The contract does not require the vendor to deliver performance reporting, nor is there evidence that the vendor provided evidence of effectiveness of deliverables, which is customary in online marketing agreements.

Given the improper nature of the issuance of the contract, which was renewed over four consecutive years without the approval of the City Council, and the sudden departure of the City Manager who oversaw this contract, I strongly believe the council should review the contract and payments to Cornerstone Communications at a public meeting immediately.

Thank you,

Travis Kiger

Email re Cornerstone Communications

Cornerstone Communications Contract and Invoices

Now let’s see what Mr. Whitaker and the City will do with it, if anything.

JPA Business Plan: Prey on sick and dying people

Just watch the video.

“The ambulances will have to wait their turn.”   Did you catch that last part?

Just the opposite will happen if the ambulance component of this JPA proposal goes forward. The ambulances will be going straight for your wallet, and more than ever before.

Yesterday, I talked about the JPA Feasibility Study authored by Citygate Associates LLC that showed little, if any, reason to merge the Fullerton and Brea Fire departments. A separate study on ambulance service was sought from a company named A. P. Triton, LLC.

The ambulance study makes its bias against private ambulance companies known from the very start. They denigrate private companies for making a profit, then propose ways for the JPA to do exactly the same, with rates far beyond what is being charged now.

The consultant spends considerable time salivating over revenue collection potential.

(more…)