Although it has no doubt escaped notice by many, last Monday was the 10-year anniversary of the bludgeoning of Kelly Thomas by a gang wearing the colors of the Fullerton Police Department. This Saturday will mark the date his family removed the homeless, schizophrenic man from artificial life support.
But the Friends haven’t forgotten. And we haven’t forgotten that people who did this to Kelly Thomas were acquitted by a bone-head jury; that the FPD was never reformed; that the police department over the past decade has continued to employ and deploy angry, prevaricating, larcenous police officers; that the FPD sucks up half our budget. And we will never forget how Fullerton’s “establishment” liberals hid behind their drawn curtains in fright when justice was demanded, and instead tried to divert attention to the homeless problem.
And let’s never forget the millions paid out to Kelly Thomas’s mother and father.
No, Sharon Quirk, this was not about socks. It was about a dead man, chocked to death in his own blood.
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”.
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?
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.
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.
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…)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 usabout 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:
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.
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.
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.
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.