The Song of Roland

FFFF has been reporting on the doings of our fine police department for years. Every now and then we’ll get a missive from a citizen complaining about selective and an random harassment by one of our finest, in this case by a fellow named Rolando, who relates his tale, below. Perhaps one of our esteemed councilmembers will care enough to look into the matter. Yeah, right.

To Whom it may concern:

Hi,

My Name is Rolando. I was harassed and Threatened by officer who infracted me.

After the officer illegally pulled me over on commonwealth ave and impounded my Truck and trailer and Threatened me that I will never operate in Fullerton ever again, that he was going to see to it at commonwealth ave location. officer refused to write me a ticket simply because he did not have to since I own the vehicle.

After 2 hours i travel to the Fullerton police station to pay the release fee for the impound yard and as I had conclude my business and walked out of the building, come’s running out the door a cadet Named YOONE to recall me back to the front desk. Officer request!. I returned to meet the Very man himself whom impounded my vehicles trailer to further harassment and threatening because the cadet made a mistake of not notifying the officer and released my truck but not my trailer and cars. Keep in mind this officer was off his shift and out of uniform to pull me back in the front desk lobby and harass and threaten me. Is this normal ?? I don’t think so. It does not feel right to me. No I’m wondering what more is this officer willing to do ;he has a personal problem with me.

The officer is pursuing a figment of his imagination to hold hostage my property and bankrupt me financially by acquiring daily charges at the tow yard.

I asked to speak with the watch commander to no avail. I was asked by the staff to leave and not return until I bring back special requests that I am not required too. He is abusing his power as a law enforcement.

My only doing wrong was crossing his path.

I was over weight on my trailer while parked in the street.

This should of been a citation or in this case an impound, pay fee’s release property and go to court.

They are asking me to provide a MC permit. I don’t fall under that requirement because I am not a class A. The officer know that. I can’t get a appointment with the chief or anyone who is not bias.

I don’t know why officer’s take it personal for a person who is actually a functioning ,providing citizen that pay tax.

How can they request respect when they abuse the power we citizens appoint to them.

Do you have insight on how to recover in promptly or who to talk to ?

Pls help if you can.

Thanks,

Rolando

We Get Mail…And Other Stuff

Here at FFFF HQ we always leave the door open for Fullerton citizens to share their issues. This instance is a little different. We received (anonymously) a statement that purports to be by a 5th District resident. I don’t know who wrote it, or in what context it was written. I don’t need to know. It is a well-written, eloquent, and damning indictment of Ahmad Zahra’s weepy, sleezy, self-serving 4 year tenure on the Fullerton City Council. And it’s all true.

Money talks…

Here’s the statement as we received it:

“1. Mr. Zahra denied the voters of Fullerton the opportunity to elect a member to a half term on the Fullerton City Council. Although he at first vocally supported an election to fill the at-large seat vacated by Jesus Silva on the Fullerton City Council, Mr. Zahra ultimately voted to appoint someone to the two year remainder of this term despite dozens of public speakers from all backgrounds pleading for a special election. Mr. Zahra argued that a special election would be too expensive, but went on to support at least one other questionable expenditure far in excess of the estimated cost of such an election.

“2. Following the appointment of Jan Flory to the aforementioned two year seat on the city council, she joined council member Jennifer Fitzgerald and Mr. Zahra himself in appointing Mr. Zahra to a paid seat on the Board of the Orange County Water District, supplanting the city’s then current representative, whose term had not yet expired. The vote gave the appearance of an obvious quid pro quo, wherein Mr. Zahra supported appointing Ms. Flory to the council in exchange for her support in appointing him as Fullerton’s representative to the OCWD.

“3. Mr. Zahra consistently voted to support spending over a million dollars on legal fees to sue two writers from the Friends for Fullerton’s Future blog who downloaded private files from an unguarded and publicly available folder on the city’s website— a folder to which the city itself had directed the bloggers. The blog’s publication of of at least some of these files revealed incompetence and malfeasance on the part of the city’s administration and police department. In addition to being an enormous waste of public funds on a suit the city was unlikely to win, this lawsuit represented a serious attack on freedom of the press, on par with legal actions taken against the publication of the Pentagon Papers fifty years ago—that is, an attempt by government to suppress publication of materials embarrassing to it and to punish news outlets who would do so. Council member Zahra’s support of this lawsuit alone should be reason for any news organization to decline to endorse him for public office.

“4. Mr. Zahra participated in a council subcommittee consisting of himself and then Council member Jennifer Fitzgerald. This economic development subcommittee held meetings behind closed doors with no publicly available agendas, no publicized meetings times or places, and no subsequent public notes. The public were not invited to attend. No one knows what was discussed in these meetings.

“5. No notes were ever made available from the aforementioned subcommittee meetings, but Mr. Zahra subsequently supported, with great enthusiasm, the development of the former Kimberly Clark property into a massive warehouse distribution site for Goodman Logistics, a frequent host of Amazon delivery services. It is no exaggeration to state that Goodman subsequently stripped the site of every living tree, including a perimeter of large, mature pine trees and groves of fruit trees that included the last orange tree orchard in Fullerton.

“6. Mr. Zahra falsely claimed authorship of a story about the Orange County Water District submitted for publication and ultimately published by The Fullerton Observer. Subsequent discovery that the article was actually authored by OCWD staff caused public embarrassment to the Observer and revealed that Mr. Zahra was willing to uncritically and deceptively pass along an agency’s public relations material to The Fullerton Observer as his own writing, casting clear doubt about the independence of his representation of Fullerton on the Board of this agency as well as his trustworthiness as a public official.

“7. Mr. Zahra has refused to reveal the ultimate disposition of criminal charges brought against him while serving on the council. Although the charges were reported by the Observer to have been dismissed, court records were sealed, denying the public the right to know what actually happened in the case of a public official accused of assault and vandalism. Whether or not the charges were judged to be justified, Mr. Zahra should have revealed exactly how this case proceeded and how it was ultimately concluded to dispel any doubt in the minds of his constituents.

“8. Mr. Zahra appointed to the Planning Commission, arguably the most important and powerful committee or commission in the city, a representative for a pro-development organization Her role as director of this organization represented a clear conflict of interest between her profession and her public service. She ultimately resigned from the Commission part way through her term with no prior notice during one of its meetings, leaving before the meeting has been concluded the the evening. Such an appointment, in my opinion, calls into question Mr. Zahra’s judgement.

“Additionally, we should remember that the 5th District was created to accommodate representation by the area’s largely Latinx population—the only such district in the city. Endorsing the only non-Latino in this contest would not seem to advance this goal.”

The Mysterious Police Report

FFFF has just received an interesting document from an anonymous, yet seemingly informed source.

Something happened after a council meeting last year that caused the Fullerton cops to take a police report and to inform the councilmembers, obliquely, what they were doing – as if the council already knew. So what was it? Our informant tells us that Ahmad Zahra, the perpetual victim, filed a complaint against Fred Jung for some sort of assault, or threat or something. That part isn’t clear.

Looking down from above…

The fact that this police report never went anywhere means that there was nothing behind it, and in fact that Zahra probably and deliberately filed a false report to begin with. That would be a crime, of course, if anybody is keeping track, and well within broadly described moral compass Zahra has drawn for himself.

FFFF could do a Public Records Act request to get the documents, but I have a sneaking suspicion they are long gone, rather like the records surrounding Zahra’s battery and vandalism case.

Unemployed and Out of Touch, That’s Our Boy

Here’s something for Latino voters to contemplate: their current representative in District 5, Ahmad Zahra. Dope near schools. What a piss-poor idea. Well in Zahra’s orbit, marijuana money talks. Loudly. Zahra is always bleating some “progressive” platitude or other to manage his little social media coterie, but the fact is he is in deep with the weed lobby despite the Latina opposition that spurred a recall attempt.

Here’s the front of a mailer we just received:

And of course there’s a backside.

No, Zahra isn’t working for D5. In fact he isn’t working for anybody. He’s unemployed. But he is looking for work – with the Long Beach Cannabis Cartel that’s just dying to make inroads into Fullerton.

LEADERS NOT LIARS

The Fullerton Collaborative hosted a candidate forum, which featured some good questions and some not so good. It featured 5 out of 6 City Council candidates running in Districts 3 and 5 this year. Shana Charles received a hall pass and did not stay for the forum.

Ahmad Zahra was his usual full of himself self. The notorious man who never wasted a selfie opportunity was untruthful, effortlessly deceived the audience, remaining true to his duplicitous self.

SERIAL LIAR

Here’s a list of the many, oh, so many lies.

LIE #1: “The district I’ve called home for the last 21 years.”

TRUTH: Zahra’s voter registration record doesn’t agree.

LIE #2: “As a medical doctor.”

TRUTH: Zahra is not a licensed medical doctor or a medical professional of any kind.

LIE #3: “The budget needs to be reflective of the needs of our community.”

TRUTH: Zahra wasted a million dollars of the people’s money frivolously suing a local blog and its authors, and were it not for the new Council, that bill would still be accumulating. A million dollars would have paid for a fire engine and more than a handful of Parks and Recs, Police, or Firefighter, or Maintenance employees.

LIE #4: “We have a shortage of staff and we need to invest in those areas.”

TRUTH: Zahra had an opportunity to pass a budget with a 1% cut and $1 million dollars to the City Manager to fill staffing concerns. He voted no, not once, but on three different City Council meetings. 

LIE #5: “I would love to see more drug programs and engaging our school district on drug prevention programs.”

TRUTH: Zahra advocated for publicly and voted for on four separate occasions to have weed sold in Fullerton with only a 100 foot buffer zones to schools or homes or churches or parks.

LIE #6: “Supportive housing is crucial, but we need to make sure we are also outreaching and creating transparency.”

TRUTH: 1600 Commonwealth is an affordable housing development and so little transparency and outreach was done that the neighbors protested en masse and killed the deal with Pathways of Hope because of lack of outreach and transparency.

LIE #7: “We need to make sure our parks are maintained and cleaned.”

TRUTH: Zahra voted to give away Union Pacific Park in the heart of his district to a for-profit event planner for weddings.

LIE #8: “I have been one of the most engaged Council members. Everybody knows I’m out there.”

TRUTH: Woodcrest neighborhood mothers and residents have come to one Council meeting after another in the past 2 years complaining about Zahra’s lack of accessibility and lack of engagement with them. But then again, they are not kissing his ass and stroking his giant ego. He works with the Center for Healthy Neighborhoods. Why? Because their director donates to his campaign and their employee Egleth Nuncci is his permanent tag-a-long. No other non-profit or community group gets any engagement from Zahra.

LIE #9: “We also need to expand our ability to do corporate partnerships.”

TRUTH: Zahra strong armed Republic Services, the City’s trash hauler to give his pet project city in a foreign country a trash truck and then promptly took a selfie and credit for saving democracy. That’s not a corporate partner. That is a quid pro quo.

LIE #10: “I have worked with this Council, despite sometimes the hard times and differences we’ve had.”

TRUTH: Zahra only works for and with Zahra. He has no contact with his Council colleagues. So how are you working with this Council, Ahmad?

LIE #11: “Be faithful with my votes.”

TRUTH: Zahra made an impassioned speech about how important voting was in his country of Syria and that the at large Council seat vacated by Jesus Quirk-Silva should be determined in a special election to betray the people and his faith in democracy the very next meeting and appoint the elderly disaster Jan Flory, who in turn voted to appoint him to the Orange County Water District and its healthy stipend, one he took without objection and then donated to his campaign.

LIE #12: “We see so many Councilmembers come and then they make backroom deals.”

TRUTH: See TRUTH #11.

The truth is Ahmad Zahra is nothing more than a serial liar. Things come apart so easily when they are held together by lies. It’s always the ones with dirty hands doing all the finger pointing isn’t it?

IF COPS HAVE RIDE ALONGS, DO FIRE HEROES HAVE SLEEP OVERS?

For over a year Fullerton “Fire” Heroes have been pressing for Fullerton’s admission into the ranks of the OC Fire Authority, an agency that will give them more of what they crave: our money. We, as always pick-up the check.

Tuesday night, the Orange County Fire Authority proposal and the rebuttal were presented to Fullerton’s City Council, and the fire Heroes brought out the entire circus: wives, children, retired firefighters, Anaheim firefighters, Ahmad Zahra’s strange sycophant Bernard, and Ahmad permanent Plus One, Egleth Nuncci.

We have a deal.
He tells me what to say and I say it…

Of the OCFA, the Voice of OC recently wrote: “(They are) wrestling with some big issues right now, including a drop in staffing, stalled contract negotiations, along with an ever expanding wildfire season and a revolving door of fire chiefs over the past decade.”

Is Orange County’s Fire Authority on Fire?

Judging by the public comments from the fire Heroes and their supporters, this article aptly describes Fullerton.

Fullerton’s budget currently allocates an astounding $21.5 million dollars for fire Hero salaries. That is $21.5 million dollars more than as ever been allocated in general fund money for streets, roads, sidewalks or streetlights. It’s no wonder the city if falling apart. If the OCFA comes in it’s going to cost even more.

Of course, this enormous expense is humped by Fullerton taxpayers, who get the best EMT service $21.5 million dollars can buy because over 80% of all Fullerton “fire” calls are not fire calls. They are medical calls!

We want your business. And by business I mean screw you.

In the meeting, OCFA Chief Brian Fennessy says Fullerton fire is a department in crisis because they are losing so many fire Heroes to other departments.

According to Voice of OC reporting, in their last fire academy, OCFA wanted to recruit 50 fire heroes to help boost their staffing levels.

Why? Because staffing levels have “dropped to the point that firefighters are being regularly forced to pick up extra shifts.” 

Sounds familiar Fullerton? Same complaints our Fullerton fire Heroes cry about their very own department.   

“They (OCFA) got 19 firefighters, two of which quit within the first month to return to their old fire departments in the Inland Empire that were offering better pay and benefits.

“With that lack of new personnel, it’s putting stress on the existing staff, with many reporting they’re being forced to work dozens of hours of extra shifts against their will.”

A Fullerton fire Hero’s wife said the exact same thing at the Council meeting about the department that issues overtime to her “overworked” husband with such regularity, it is widely known in fire circles that overtime for fire heroes is a part of the salary.

There are a few certainties in life. Death. Taxes. And the pressure terrorism campaign from the Fullerton fire heroes will most certainly begin in earnest.

Zahra is bought and paid for by the Fullerton fire union, so he can’t say yes fast enough to the OCFA move. His fundraiser was dutifully attended by Fullerton Fire Union President Dan Lancaster, who snagged over $60,000 in overtime pay alone in 2020.

Lancaster, you are now Hero and Deserve. Go get that second house at the river. And a giant truck to haul that big boat.

The fire union will definitely contribute on behalf of Ahmad’s campaign in the form of independent expenditures, of which for some reason they are always absolved.

The hypocrisy in criticizing a candidate taking donations from Tony Bushala or a John Saunders as being in the pocket of developers, but taking money from the fire heroes is beyond reproach.  

Also, Fullerton’s fire union and its fearless leader Lancaster need to learn to count. Supporting Zahra gets you to 1 vote. Unless you can count to 3 Dan, you have nothing.

So support Zahra at your own peril or get better union representation that will get you better results.

Silva, Jung, Dunlap, and Whitaker can use the facts presented to see that the problems Fullerton’s department faces are the problems all departments countywide are facing. Even the glorious OCFA, when considering their sexual discrimination lawsuits, and recruiting issues, isn’t the shining city on the hill it claims to be.

The four will be the target of text, phone, and mail campaigns urging citizens to support their fire Heroes because the near 90% of their department that makes in excess of $100,000 (not counting overtime) they are not adequately compensated.

Where’s the Fire, the Orange County Grand Jury report asks.

The answer: Fullerton’s budget trying to placate its fire Heroes, who after Tuesday’s Council whine session look less like Heroes and more like entitled welfare recipients. 

Is the OC Democrat Party Deliberately Trying to Split Latino Votes? Looks Like It.

When council districts were finally created in Fullerton – in response to a lawsuit, one district was designed to support Fullerton’s large Latino community – District 5. In 2018 D5 elected a non-Latino which of course was surprising but perfectly legal. But what would Latinos think about a concerted effort by the OC Democratic party to make sure the Latino vote was divided to protect Ahmad Zahra, the non-Latino incumbent?

Enter Tony Castro, the dead-beat nobody who popped up out of nowhere and pulled election papers the day after Oscar Valadez, who has lived in D5 for over 20 years.

Recently FFFF has been bombarded with spam comments all of which came from Tony Castro himself. I took out the trash, but not before salvaging this little gobbet of that is quite revealing: a statement that Castro was approached by one Ajay Mohan:

This snippet has the ring of truth. There is an Ajay Mohan and he is the director of the OC Democrat Party. Here he is:

Now that’s not very good, is it?

Now why would Mr. Mohan recruit an unknown, broke, Tony Castro to run against the incumbent who has the endorsement of Party Central? The answer is, unfortunately, crystal clear: to take votes away from Oscar Valadez. This dirty little trick is as old as elections themselves, of course, but to see the Dems do it to working class Latinos betrays a special sort of cynical mindset.

Get off my grass…

Which brings us to the OC Dem Party Chairperson, Ada Briceno, a Latina unionista who apparently has decided to bamboozle La Raza in support of the egregious Zahra – who has supported dope stores near schools, who battered a Latina woman, and who voted to give away a public park in the barrio to a private events center/caterer.

A Reminder…The People of the State of California vs. Ahmad Zahra (B9447693)

Fullerton 5th District Councilman Ahmad Zahra seems to have adopted the strategy of rewriting his previous interaction with the wheels of justice, to wit: he was not arrested because nobody cuffed him and tossed him in the FPD slammer. And oh, by the way, “there was no case.”

Well there sure was a case, Friends.

Here’s what it looks like:

Looks guilty to me…

Zahra has previously claimed he was somehow exonerated, too, although he seems to think that statement is satisfactory. And yet other than his say so, he has shown no evidence to show the DA dropped the case – for any reason. Meantime, a source in the DAs office has indicated that Zahra pled guilty, did community service of some sort, and had his criminal record safely sealed.

Liar

Here is a fun video in which District 5 Councilman Ahmad Zahra stumbles and stutters his way into denying that he was arrested for battery and vandalism. It happened right outside his fundraising party when protesters showed up.

With some coaching from a masked friend he concludes that there was no “case,” and no arrest because he was not handcuffed and was not taken to a jail cell.

It was not an arrest says Zahra because some “citizen” (in air quotation marks) did something.

Uh huh. Get a kick out of how Zahra tries to incriminate Tony Bushala of something dishonest; the woman rightly points out that it is Zahra who was elected to represent Fullerton and who needs to come clean.

The confrontation then disolves into Zahra’s Spanish speaking camp followers adding a little ethic flavor like they constantly do at council meetings.

Well the thing is simple. The District Attorney, Todd Spitzer charged this miscreant with crimes, so the fact that he may or may not have spent some time in the FPD lock up is hilariously irrelevant.

Come clean Ahmad. If there was no case you can prove it by sharing the correspondence from the DA saying so. But one thing will always be undeniable: you were arrested and charged. No getting away from that albatross around your neck.

Did Zahra Spy on His Victim?

Zahra-Busted
Time to come clean…..

Word from a well-placed source suggests that back in 2020 after being arrested and charged with battery and vandalism perpetrated against a woman named Monica F., Fullerton City Councilman Ahmad Zahra, through his Irvine attorney, hired a P.I. to investigate his “alleged” victim.

Now why would anybody do that?

I leave it to readers to draw their own inferences from this.

The issue of whether Zahra was “exonerated” as he exclaimed publicly, and that he and mom were the real victims; or whether he pled guilty to get his dirty slate wiped clean remains in doubt. He has never provided any evidence from the District Attorney Todd Spitzer that charges against him were dropped.

Whatever the case, the broader story is not going to go away, and in fact is likely going to become a focus of opponents in this fall’s City Council election.