The Fullerton Observer in a Nutshell

Pravda
Fullerton Observer in their Native Russian

I don’t read the Fullerton Observer because I find little value in their brand of blasé government cheerleading masquerading as serious “local” journalism. However, that doesn’t mean that I can always escape their content, after all they were the rag-tag group of City Hall Sycophants who hired a consultant to help the city smear me and this very blog with ludicrous claims of “hacking”.

More recently however it was brought to my attention that they ran a story titled “Weighing the Costs of Police Officers on Campus” and it’s a good example of where the Observer fails at local journalism.

The piece is a pretty run of the mill “school to prison pipeline” story with Fullerton data dropped into what feels like a form letter. It’s got local numbers and some local meeting information but it does what the Observer often does and it just… misses. And it misses where it counts – locally.

To summarize, it’s about School Resource Officers – or Fullerton cops on campus – and what role they have and possibly shouldn’t have in student discipline. Seems like a good idea for a story, I’m probably even in agreement with the writer on quite a few things.

But how in the ever loving hell are you going to write a story about SROs in Fullerton schools and completely omit the story of former Fullerton Police Officer AND SRO Jose Paez?

Paez

That’s the dude who used his department issued Body Worn Camera (BWC) to film up a 17 year old’s skirt. He also, based on the audit of his own BWC, had sexually explicit material of students on his (maybe department issued?) cellphone. We’ve never been given an explanation of this issue or a reason to believe anything has changed at FPD to stop another Paez from perving on our children.

It’s literally the single biggest example of why SROs, locally, need oversight and to be questioned.

In case somebody at the Observer finds this story, Paez’s case is #19NM12214 over at OC Courts.

Paez Case Detail

See the issue?

An entire piece on School Resource Officers that omits the best LOCAL example of the complete lack of transparency and oversight in the very program being discussed.

It’s not a shock though. The Observer has long been unwilling to point real criticisms or questions in the direction of City Hall. For such a shocking story, that we broke mind you, they’ve only ever mentioned Paez precisely twice on their site; once to regurgitate the FPD press release and once to mention in passing that the Fullerton school board avoided the topic.

Hell, the Daily Titan has covered this story more than the Observer which speaks volumes.

People ask me quite often why I’m so critical of government and while there are a few answers to that question, one answer would certainly be because somebody has to be critical when the fourth estate is more interested in acting like the fifth column.

We’re Still Being Stonewalled on Police Misconduct

Nothing to See Here

If you recall, I’m suing Fullerton because they suck at following the law when it comes to turning over records – especially related to police or employee misconduct.

By way of example as it is also a part of my case, let us focus on the case that brought me to this blog – FPD giving then City Manager Joe Felz a ride home after he drunkenly hit a tree on election night in 2016.

At that time the City wasn’t legally required to tell us anything because the public had no right to know when the people we pay break the law and the cops cover it up. This blog doggedly pursued the story and forced the city to do an investigation. That’s right, we forced their hands.

That investigation led to the termination of one Sergeant Rodger Corbett for falsifying a police report. Instead of Corbett doing his job, Joe Felz was given a ride home because despite FPD celebrating and getting awards for all of the drunks they pull over in Fullerton, hypocrisy and special favors was the order of the day when the law pertained for Fitzgerald friend Felz.

Skip ahead and in 2019 the law changed when SB1421 went into effect. That law change required police to turn over files on various issues including “sustained findings” of dishonesty which includes falsifying reports. As such I requested the pertinent files in the Felz caper on 01 January 2019 and here we are two weeks away from the 2 year anniversary of that request with no records to show for it.

I sued the city in Oct 2019. It’s now mid-December 2020. So much for transparency. (more…)

Unions Lose Bid to Reinstate Bad Apples

It only took 8 years but the Trial Court has finally decided that Jay Cicinelli and Joseph Wolfe are not entitled to their jobs back at the Fullerton Police Department for beating Kelly Thomas to death.

Cicinelli Writ of Mandate Denied

Remember those protests a few months back about police accountability? Yeah, welcome to  Fullerton. We were bitching about these issues before it was cool.

Let us not kid ourselves here – the only way these guys were able to fund their lawsuits against the city, that we taxpayers have been paying to defend against for more than half a decade, is because they were largely (if not entirely) being funded by various police unions & police legal funds.

This is the type of justice system the police want and demand in their contracts and giveaways. This is what their bought and paid for candidates promise and deliver year in and year out. That the police unions will fight for years to reinstate a violent one-eyed sociopath who never should have been hired on in the first place should be, well, eye opening (pun intended).

Despite the caterwauling from union hacks & bureaucrats, we’ll never get the best and brightest no matter how much we spend when it takes this long to get rid of the most rotten of bad apples.

Now we get to wait and see if the unions fund an appeal to drag this nonsense out for another decade at our expense. Kelly Thomas was unavailable for comment as of this writing.

Only a clearly biased person could consider this a brutal and inhumane act. It is appalling the level of prejudice Cicinelli suffered.

The Sacrifice

Whenever government gets itself into a bind, the first impulse of our bureaucratic overlords and their elected representatives is to resort to the taxpayers for relief. In Fullerton the case is not much different except that here, allegedly, managers and department heads have agreed to 5% and 10% cuts, respectively during our time of troubles. Likewise, according the the union boss, rank-and-file paper pushers have been told to accept the same 5% deal. Whether this gesture of sacrifice is meant to be reimbursed if the proposed 17% sales tax increase is approved by voters remains to be seen.

But that’s not the point of this post.

The point of this post is to ask whether anybody has requested the same sacrifice from our Heroes – the guys and gals who provide “public safety” services to us peons. Word out of City Hall is that no offers have been made voluntarily and none have been demanded. Could it be that’s because the Hero unions are much richer and much more political than the organization representing other city workers?

We are always being bombarded by Hero propaganda that promotes the selfless service and sacrifices by people who ride around in cop cars and fire trucks. Well, I’ll believe that when these worthy public servants step up to the proverbial plate and take the same haircut as everybody else.

Former Deputy DA & CHP Opinion Slaps Fullerton

Joshua by Spencer
Trying to look passed all of the bullshit the city has thrown at me

A quick catch up for those of you who might not know. The City of Fullerton is suing this blog, myself and David Curlee. We’re being sued for allegedly clicking on links on the internet and for this blog then allegedly publishing things from those links.

Things such as police misconduct, employee theft, city malfeasance and police cover-ups and so on and so forth.

The city’s argument is, essentially, that we didn’t have permission to click links.

In discussing this issue lately I was reminded about a case from here in California from back when Arnold Schwarzenegger was Governor. What happened was somebody accidentally put an audio file online on the governor’s website that wasn’t supposed to be there and somebody from the Phil Angelides for Governor campaign found it and sent it to the press.

It was known at the time as “TapeGate“.

Immediately the California Highway Patrol (the CHP had authority) sprung into action to see if anybody had violated the CA Penal Code – the same section (502) that we’re accused of having violated.

A 38-page report was submitted and that was the end of the story.

Until now. To see if there were any parallels I put in a California Public Records Act request and got the 38-page report from 2007 and it’s findings are quite illuminating in context. (more…)

And So It Begins…

We all knew that we were going to be bombarded with political mail in support of the City Council’s proposed 17% sales tax hike on this November’s ballot. And we all knew that the City Council hired a PR outfit to blow our money to educate us about the beauty of the thing – to the tune of $130,000. Of course none of this is legal, but this is Fullerton where everything is legal that the deplorable City Attorney “Dick” Jones says is legal.

Some of the Friends have already received pro-tax propaganda from our masters in City Hall and here is a sample:

Like it? You paid for it.

Tap dancing around the edge of the truth…

As usual, government tries to con us into bailing it out after it has failed so spectacularly the past decade to maintain reserves, balance budgets and pushing back against never-ending salary and pension demands from the public employee unionistas. Care about the homeless? Vote for our tax; Want potholes fixed? Tax! Youth programs? Who doesn’t love ’em – vote for our tax. Seniors? Ditto. Emergency services? They’re really getting hungry. A usual, the propaganda is larded up with misleading information and scare tactics and, gosh, we should be scared.

You will not be asked to reflect upon the reality that this same operation has dismally failed to fix roads in the past; that this bureaucracy has no intention of starting now. A Culture of Corruption in the Fullerton Police Department? Oh, we fixed that years ago – no, don’t look at that body over there, we have no idea how it got there. You’ll have to sue us to find out!

This crew has burned through tens of millions in reserve funds while its spokeholes on the council Jennifer Fitzgerald and Jan Flory lied about balancing the budget.

Ken Domer
Domer. There’s a lot less there than meets the eye.

Good luck, passing this obscentiy, boys n’ girls. The public is hurting badly at the moment and your first recourse was to try to harness us oxen with the yoke of a new and regressive tax. Well, guess what? The yokes on you, City Hall, and you’d better have a Plan B stuffed into one of Domer’s desk drawers if you know what’s good for you.

Fitzgerald Is Quitting, She Says

Sucked dry…

But the problem is that everything she says is a lie. Don’t believe me? Then read this self-satisfied “I’m Done” statement sent out this AM.

The bullshit was piling up so fast we needed wings to stay above it…

First let’s celebrate this announcement, if actually true. It means everybody’s life is going to get better in Fullerton as the sticky webs of self-interest entangling Fitzgerald and the taxpayers are cut.

And now let’s examine the stockpile of dishonesty this statement contains.

No, Ms. Fitzgerald, you did not “comprehensively” reform a corrupt police department. In fact, you permitted the fester to continue with zero accountability and more massive legal settlements. When anybody tried to uncover your malfeasance, you used public resources to sue them into submission. Even that failed.

No, Ms. Fitzgerald, you did not discover stable sources of revenue to address water and sewer. You continued the rip-off of the water fund by diverting a massive amount of money to pay for general fund expenses. And as you passed out more pay and pension increases to your union friends, you told everybody the budgets were balanced, a reckless lie that led Fullerton toward insolvency.

No, Ms. Fitzgerald, you did not increase road repair in your 8 long years. The roads in Fullerton are now the worst in the county according to your own pals at OCTA.

No, Ms. Fitzgerald, Hilcrest (sic) Park is not rehabilitated. It’s landscaping is still a disgrace and dying faster than ever, retaining walls and paving are deteriorating. Instead you wasted millions on poorly built, ramshackle woods stairs and a ceremonial bridge that nobody uses.

Yes, Ms. Fitzgerald at the behest of your developer buddies you are personally responsible for adding thousands of “housing units” – mostly in the form of massive, overbuilt tenements-of-the-future that made a mockery of Fullerton’s zoning and have placed an even greater burden on our frail infrastructure.

Yes, Ms. Fitzgerald you sure did prioritize “downtown revitalization,” if by that you mean running interference for scofflaw bar owners like Florentines and the douchebag Jeremy Popoff; defending a scene of nightly mayhem that cost the citizens $1.5 million more per year than it generates in revenue. Your “improved working relationship” with business owners meant directing staff and the City Attorney to ignore serial code violators and even to tolerate forged official city documents; and to harass people who didn’t fling themselves at your feet.

Sorry, dear, but nobody is going to be unhappy to see you go, if in fact and at long last you are finally telling the truth. You may feel “immensely proud” of all your alleged good works, but that’s just obvious self-delusion. Your constituents almost without exception – at least the ones paying attention – are feeling immensely relieved at the happy prospect of your departure; and immensely disgusted at your legacy of putting the interest of you and your friends above the interest of the city.

 

 

 

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.

Joe Felz in the News. Again.

I’ll drink to that!

Entertainers and politicians are often cited as saying there is no such thing as bad publicity.

However, former Fullerton City Manager Joe Burt Felz is not a professional politician or entertainer, although his political machinations and his alcohol-induced behavior have been cause for entertainment.

You will certainly recall Felz’s now infamous “Wild Ride” in which the badly inebriated Felz took a wide turn on Glenview Drive, ran over poor Sappy McTree, and then tried to elude the cops on on three tires. His subsequent catch and release by a corrupt Fullerton Police Department is now the stuff of legend – and the cover-up of which is the cause of the City’s egregious lawsuit against Joshua Ferguson and this very humble blog.

Well it turns out Joe has been misbehavin’ and not following his court mandated service. His probation was revoked on December 6, 2019.

Oops!

A hearing to to review Poor Joe Burt’s violation was held December, last.

Who knows if Felz has ever bothered to delve into the mysteries of Victim Impact Counseling? And who knows if he got, or will get a pass because, after all, judges are just public employees in silly robes? And they always stick together.