Fullerton Police Chief and current Cast Member Copper at the Walt Disney Corporation Danny Hughes was compelled to testify at a nuisance hearing today, 24 April 2017, at Fullerton City Hall.
During the hearing he was asked, under oath, about his involvement in the Joe Felz DUI disaster. According to an article in the Voice of OC, Hughes claimed that Felz was afforded some sort of “objectivity” by the orders he issued to his officers that night. He also had some choice words about Fullerton. Let’s go to the audio (transcribed below without his “uhs”):
“When there is a, especially in the city of Fullerton, where there is somebody, whether it be a City Council Member or in this particular case the City Manager, those types of incidents are gonna, what I would describe, blow up. No matter what that decision is made regarding the outcome of that case there there will be allegations and conspiracy theories and all sorts of information that comes from that. So, uh, generally speaking the supervisor would notify a Lieutenant, that Lieutenant would notify the Captain, the Captain would generally either make the decision or contact me.”
Allegations and Conspiracy Theories. How quaint. That’s almost as cute as when Pat McKinley tried blaming the Kelly Thomas protests on “outside agitators”.
Let me break this down for former Chief Hughes and the cops in the audience.
That same “If you aren’t a criminal so what are you afraid of?” maxim that you all love so much? It applies double to you. Our fair residents have no reason to trust the FPD after the years and years of corruption and corrupt officers that just can’t help themselves from turning to the dark side. Bad Apples you say? Maybe, but I don’t see any heroes stepping up to put them down. I don’t see officers testifying against their corrupt allies. My inbox isn’t exactly brimming with HeroMail™ regarding what needs to change on the inside. Maybe if that blue wall of silence didn’t protect violent felonious acts and sexual predators we wouldn’t feel the need to make “allegations” about your culture of corruption.
Further to the point the Felz incident has nothing to do with the outcomes of a “case” but rather with the circumspect treatment at the scene of a crime. Nobody cares if everybody on city staff was called that night because what matters is that AFTER the calls were made the officers on the scene opted to not do their jobs be it by choice or by following possibly illegal orders.
Hughes stated in his own memo that Felz smelled of alcohol and yet nobody made sure that the situation was beyond reproach by administering a breathalyzer. Felz was treated differently than the thousands of drunks that are arrested yearly here in Fullerton and that’s how you end up with “allegations” and “information that comes from that”.
As for the “conspiracy theories” comment? The idea that Hughes was complicit in a Felz cover-up isn’t the stuff of conspiracies as that’s just simple deductive reasoning. THIS is a Conspiracy:
Exit Question: In the above audio Hughes claims the following:
“So, uh, generally speaking the supervisor would notify a Lieutenant, that Lieutenant would notify the Captain, the Captain would generally either make the decision or contact me.”
I believe the Watch Commander from Hughes’ own memo above was Lieutenant Andrew Goodrich. So was protocol and the chain of command, generally speaking, broken when Lieutenant Goodrich called Hughes and not his Captain? And if so, why?
One of the more startling examples of stupid waste at Fullerton City Hall has been the exorbitant expense of Behind the Badge: fifty large ones a year for former bad OC Register “journalists” to publish and disseminate pro-cop propaganda pabulum. It was all phony crap meant to obscure the real news about the FPD: a litany of bad behavior and criminal activity that over the past decade has spanned the breadth of the California Penal Code. Fortunately, thanks to the Friends this ridiculous waste is coming to an end. We wanted to make sure, too, so we requested the good bye letter.
And here is our temporary police chief Dave Hinig, hand-wringing over the loss of what can only be described as no loss at all for the taxpayer:
Is this some sort of sick joke? Value? To whom? Certainly not for the people who were paying out almost $250,000 over the past four years.
And what’s really laughable is all this lachrymose bullshit over a contract that was made in secret, was grossly mismanaged, and that had no actual requirements for performance – even if Joe Felz had had any inclination to oversee what he initiated.
Well, anyway, Behind the Badge is going away although why we have to pay another $8000 for two more months of this unadulterated literary manure is beyond me.
City Hall did something really helpful this week. The Clerk’s Office worked with Administrative Services to post very detailed budget documents online in advance of next Tuesday’s City Council budget workshop. I asked if this could be done and they made it happen 24 hours later. Thank you!
Budget detail of this depth has never been provided to the public. This is a big step in the right direction, and likely never would have happened if Joe Felz was still in charge.
From this cache of documents, we are able to see the type of General Fund waste that Dan Hughes justified during his tenure as police chief. The next time you call the Police Department and are told no officers are available to respond to a call for service, just remember where his priorities were.
Much of this is charitable and/or personal expenses. Dan Hughes was Fullerton’s highest compensated employee in 2015 with $358,403 in wages and benefits. He should have paid these expenses out of his own pocket, or simply not at all.
Let us not forget that it was the City Council — led by Fitzgerald, Flory, and Chaffee — that let him get away with shenanigans like this.
One can only hope the current City Council sees fit to finally end this nonsense.
Young Kim, who last year managed to get herself unelected as our State Assemblywoman still lusts after political office, it seems. So now, unemployed, she is running for County Supervisor, a job she is no more qualified to hold than she was a seat in the State Legislature. Actually, a ling cod is more qualified to be a County Supervisor.
Her campaign, run by the proudly sleazy Dave Gilliard, just announced that Kim is endorsed by OCs two top law enforcement officials: DA Tony Rackauckas and the Sheriff, Sandra Hutchens. In days gone by these endorsements were no doubt a help to a campaign. Now? Probably not so much.
Hutchens and Rackauckas are both embroiled in a several years-old scandal involving the illegal creation and deployment of a system of jailhouse snitches. The jail deputies have repeatedly lied about the existence of the system and its use, and the DA’s crew has not only known about it, but has prosecuted people based on it. And tellingly, the DA has charged no Deputy Sheriffs with perjury even as the evidence of their lies and their destruction of evidence has become irrefutable. The result of this crooked fiasco so far is that the Feds are investigating the County – which will, of course, lead nowhere. More problematic is the DA causing the release of murderers and other not nice people in order to keep a lid on the whole steaming pile.
I know, “public safety,” right?
But loyal repuglican foot soldiers that they are, both the DA and Sheriff got on board the Young Kim Express as it was crawling out of the station, getting behind, they hope, the front runner who might eventually approve their budgets some warm June day at the County; and maybe willing to deploy the considerable resources of the County of Orange to run interference for their own criminal behavior.
The OC Registerreports that one of Fullerton’s Finest, Miguel (AKA Sonny, Sonny Black) Siliceo has pleaded not guilty to charges leveled by the District Attorney.
A while back I shared the news that Siliceo was charged by the DA with filing a phony cop report. It had to do with a case in which some dude in our downtown booze palace had been busted and charged with “resisting” Sonny’s attempt to hook him up. The trouble was that cop video exonerated the guy. This has been an unfortunate recurrence in Fullerton where all sorts of people end up in the Fullerton jail and workable pretexts need to be ginned up by the cops to explain their presence in the clink. Remember the unfortunate Veth Mam?
Poor misunderstood Sonny has been on paid leave since October, which is costing us plenty, but it still may be cheaper than having him on the streets getting into mischief.
According to his mouthpiece, Michael Schwartz, Siliceo came to Fullerton in 2006 from Tustin. Which makes you wonder why a 40-year old cop would suddenly move to a new employer. Of course because of the obnoxious Police Officer’s Bill of Rights, the taxpayers and citizens are not permitted to know anything about Sonny’s departure from Tustin. But now we can start to make some educated guesses.
And just for fun, you may remember Mr. Schwartz as the beneficiary of the bungled case our District Attorney tried against the one-eyed Fullerton cop, Jay Cicinelli, who smashed in Kelly Thomas’s face with a the butt end of a Taser – right before the homeless man was bon voyaged by the FPD into a lethal coma.
Our former City Manager, Joe Burt Felz, the guy who couldn’t keep his minivan on Glenwood Avenue in the early morning hours of November 9th, is scheduled to go to court for arraignment on April 3rd. That’s Monday.
You may remember the Wild Ride incident, in which motorist Felz, after a night of election partying, jumped a curb, ran over a tree, and tried to drive away. After a few months of procrastination, DA finally charged Felz with a couple of misdemeanors. The obvious problem to anyone paying attention is that there is no physical evidence of inebriation, leaving charges that could be easily batted away by the dimmest of defense attorneys.
So when asked to enter a plea, what will Felz’s high powered attorney do? Guilty is problematic, personally, for Felz. and his ever-dimming reputation. Not Guilty could mean the embarrassment of a trial at some point, no matter how implausible that event seems – a trial in which video evidence is bound to surface; but it would have the salubrious effect of delaying PRA requests under the bogus argument that that legal proceedings are underway. Then there is the nolo contendere plea, which seems to offer the benefit of making the thing go away, possibly with some sort of fine and suspended sentence without having to utter the word guilty.
If the hearing is held as scheduled we will be alerting the Friends as to the outcome.
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 bureaucratmade 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.
Next Tuesday’s Council meeting brings us another Budget Show, one more in a line of footling meetings strung out like faux pearls on a cheap necklace. This one is particularly entertaining since it acknowledges a big structural deficit that the suggested cost savings will do almost nothing to correct: “modest” revenue increases are broadly suggested, but apart from some fee increases and one-time sale of “surplus” property nothing meaningful is proposed. Obviously the recommendation for a utility tax or a sales tax increase will be sprung like a rabbit out of the magician’s hat at the last moment.
One entertaining bit of the agenda memo is the inclusion of a small table identifying some of City Manager Allan Roeder’s “loose sofa change,” giving the impression that maybe, just maybe, Mr. Roeder regrets his previous offhand dismissal of a $50,000 per year contract that accomplishes nothing as not worthy of councilmanic attention. Of course I am referring to the ridiculously conceived and suspiciously ill-managed “Behind the Badge” agreement that was improperly contracted by Wild Ride Joe Felz in the first place.
Well, good for Roeder, even though desperate times call for desperate measures And it takes a lot of desperation for a City bureaucrat to even tacitly acknowledge the expendability of a contract. The irony here is thick. It is the exploding pension cost of the Fullerton police Department that is breaking our bank. Even as we pay for the cops to peddle their dopey PR right back at us.