Disband the FPD?

We're from FPD and we're here to help.

In the wake of a rolling tsunami of scandals, cover-ups, and abuse of its own citizens I have been hearing increased calls to disband the department altogether and bring in the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.

Apparently the issue is not just FPD-fatigue and the brutal costs their misbehavin’ is going to cost the taxpayers; nor even police misconduct in general – since the OCSD has had its own share of bad behavior in recent years.

Anything you can do I can do better...

No, the prime motivation will be the comparatively low cost per capita that the OCSD charges its contract city partners for varying levels of service. Some have said that the City could easily save the General Fund $10-15 million a year, and that’s nothing to sneeze at.

Former Fullerton councilmember and current County Supervisor Shawn Nelson would be in a perfect position to help broker this deal

So could we be seeing the streets of Fullerton patrolled by guys in green? Perhaps. Why not? The current police force has disgraced itself so badly in the past few moths that from a public relations standpoint there would never be a better time.

The Double Standard

A public service announcement...

We all know there’s laws for us and there’s laws for cops. The sort of stuff Fullerton Police Department members have been busted doing lately, or accused of in court proceedings would land you or me in jail. For a long time. It’s hilarious to listen to the FPD apologists bemoan the “lynch-type mob” of protesters that want answers before the official cover-up, er, investigation is over, thus denying our fine officers “due process.”

The latest example of the double standard that exists is the revelation that the Kelly Thomas killers were permitted to view (and review, and review again, one surmises) the taxpayer-owned video that shows the killing. This is just fine and dandy according to interim Chief Kevin Hamilton because it helps our boys in blue refresh their memory as they cook up and orchestrate plausible accounts of what they did. But it is not okay for for the public to see the video because it might color the recollections of eye-witnesses!

The same crapola is going on with the request to hire one Michael Gennaco to come into Fullerton and have a look around. Forget the fact that this is going to end up costing the taxpayers the better part of $100K. The real issue is why the City is embarking in this direction when the so-called investigations by the FPD, the DA, and the FBI are ongoing!

We are not permitted to seek answers while these alleged investigations are ongoing, and yet the Three Blind Mice (hopefully Whitaker and Quirk-Silva are smart enough to vote no) are willing to instigate yet another “investigation” at the same time.

It seems very clear to me that the Gennaco hiring, and the attempt to make it appear as both an emergency and some sort of reform action is nothing but a PR gimmick to make the City look like it is finally doing something proactive in the wake of the Kelly Thomas homicide. Of course it’s nothing but a cheap trick to try to stem the tide of public relations disasters that have befallen Fullerton since the image of Kelly’s battered face and crushed neck went globally viral.

Playing ‘Hide the Tape’ is Not So Fun Anymore

The folks over at PBS SoCal were kind enough to let us post this “Inside OC” special on the Kelly Thomas story in its entirety.  It contains interviews with Ron Thomas, Bruce Whitaker, Chris Thompson and a couple of milquetoast experts on homelessness and mental illness.

Most notable, however, is the Q&A with District Attorney Tony Rackauckaus. His persistent insistence that witnesses (and the rest of the public) not be able to view any videos before they testify is reduced to a mere “preference,” but only after he is confronted with the likelihood that police officers watched the recording as they coordinated their own reports on the incident.

The case for keeping that tape away from the public seems to diminish every time one of these goofs steps in front of a camera.

There Is An Emergency in Fullerton!

Things never looked better for Fullerton.

Yep, there sure is.

The City Manager has called an emergency meeting of the City Council this morning at 9:00, a mighty odd time to hold a public hearing. The ostensible purpose of this emergency is to hire an outsider to evaluate the condition our FPD condition is in.

It’s pretty obvious that this decision could have waited until the next scheduled meeting. So what’s the emergency? Maybe City Manager Joe Felz and the Gang of Three are trying to look like they are finally, really and truly taking things seriously. And maybe they prefer dealing with Kelly Thomas related humiliations at nine o’clock in the morning to avoid hundreds of angry commenters.

Fail to the Chief...

The really pathetic aspect of the abject failure of leadership in Fullerton and this desperate and transparent effort to defuse a recall is that the real emergency existed on July 5, 2011 and was completely unknown to our oblivious City Council, including the supposed law enforce experts Pat McKinley and Don Bankhead. Or maybe they knew and just didn’t care. After all, McKinley was police chief from 1993-2009 and has admitted he hired all the cops who have made Fullerton famous lately; and Bankhead has been on the city council since 1888. Oops. I mean 1988.

Has it really been that long?

F. Dick Jones has been on the council for 15 years; will he not take responsibility for the state of affairs he created?

Hail no!

What about the ever-compassionate Sharon Quirk? She has been on the council for seven long years. How many police-related monetary settlements has she approved?

Knitting socks as fast as she can...

Well, there you have it. An emergency. But its an emergency created by world-wide attention to the Fullerton Police Department’s culture of corruption, not by the corruption itself.

Well, go ahead and have your emergency meeting, folks. You can run but you can’t hide.

Chief Sellers Takes a Powder?

I just heard from a reliable source that Fullerton Police Chief Mike Sellers has put in for a minimum 30 day medical leave for some undisclosed malady.

Yikes! Is this going to be a stress-related gig? Can it be preliminary to a pension tax-grab? Is it driven by the dismal McPension interview on CNN?

I don’t know, but when I do I’ll let the Friends know all about it.

Whitaker Says “Release the Video!”

FullertonStories.com just published this letter from councilmember Bruce Whitaker, in which he demands that the video and audio recordings of the July 5th police beating of Kelly Thomas be released to the public.

Read the letter

Don’t forget to check out the printed responses of the other councilmembers, including McKinley who says “I disagree with that last sentence about releasing the video.  It isn’t a wise thing to do and is for the authorities to do.”

What does that mean?

Would Fullerton be a Ghost Town without Redevelopment?

Here’s a revealing exchange between Fullerton City Councilman Bruce Whitaker and his two dinosauric RINO colleagues Don Bankhead and Dick Jones. The subject is Redevelopment.

Whitaker points out that Redevelopment property tax diversions from school districts are back-filled by the State and that absent Redevelopment diversions back, taxes could go up. He also takes exception to Bankhead’s assertion that without Redevelopment Fullerton (or downtown, take tour pick) would be a ghost town. Bankhead loves big government economic central planning; Whitaker has faith in the private sector.

Naturally the ever-increasingly disheveled Doc HeeHaw (say that haircut sure looks like blight to me) stimulates himself by babbling about about stim-u-lus and even mentions Prez Obama and how Fullerton’s government stimulus is real stimulus. Thanks, Comrade Heehaw.

Well, there you have it Friends. A clearer distinction between calm, conservative opinion and rambling, emotional, Jurassic nonsense could not be drawn.

Kudos to Whitaker. And shame on all the Fullerton voters and repuglican string pullers for making sure nincompoops like Jones and Bankhead re-elected.

Is Bruce Whitaker A Man of His Word?

He sure is.

See, Bruce campaigned on a platform of reforming Redevelopment, recognizing that redevelopment grabs needed funds from schools and other core government functions. And where does it go? To subsidize boondoggle after boondoggle with no accountability; and the creation of “affordable” housing empires in which staffers create fantastically expensive housing for less poor people than the ones they pay off to skeedaddle.

Well, at Tuesday “emergency” Redevelopment/city council meeting Whitaker stood tall and was the lone vote against an 11th hour encumbrance of funds meant to stymie Governor Brown’s long-overdue plan to put Redevelopment in California out of business. His argument is clarity itself, and he opposed the panic mode plan.

On a sad note, Sharon Quirk went a long with the pro-Redevelopment crowd. Well, we obviously have more work to do.

Anyway, here’s Bruce:

Can Coyote Hills Be Saved?

Widely misunderstood...

As part of its project mitigation planning, the Orange County Transportation Authority’s Measure M program has sequestered a huge pile ‘o cash, something in the neighborhood of $200,000,000. The purpose of this dough is to procure sensitive habitat from private property owners who might have development plans.

Naturally, the West Coyote Hills property was on the initial list, until removed by its owners last year. Chevron likely thought their plans for development were in the bag in 2010.

It wasn’t, and now it’s 2011. And apparently the OCTA is re-opening consideration of applications for the first funding from the mitigation fund. Chevron has until Jan 13, to file an application to the OCTA if they want to participate in the program.

Chevron may believe they now have 3 secure votes to approve what the Council denied last June. And they may still prefer to face long years of entitlement, inevitable lawsuits, and two or three embarrassing economic cycles in order to make a big profit. Or perhaps upon further reflection, they might come to realize that selling part or all of their property for a big payday up front without mitigation cost and without dragged out development issues, is preferable.

The Fullerton City Council might want to consider this too, and help persuade Chevron to take this alternate path. Bruce Whitaker, for one, has an excellent opportunity to make this overture.