FFFF supports causes that promote intelligent, responsible and accountable government in Fullerton and Orange County
Category: Dick Jones
Mayor Dick Jones is a councilmember in the City of Fullerton. He is known for using his position on the council to serve out mindless babble and execute revenge on those who have spited him in decades past.
We invite you to review HBO’s Last Week Tonight’s overview of Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPP Suits). We all have a responsibility to stand up to bullies who write checks to lawyers to keep critics silent. We do it for our Republic, we do it for our neighbors, and we do it for our families. Mr. Oliver outlines what happens when we don’t.
We’re currently over halfway through our $10,000 goal to support the Ferguson Family. If you have the means, please support this blog’s efforts to support a family that’s doing more than their fair share to stand up to the government boot squashing your right to know, your right to criticize, and your right to a free and independent press.
While we lack the means for a musical production, we invite anyone who’d like to volunteer to join the “Eat Shit, Dick” dance troupe to contact us immediately. We have good work to do.
For some lawyers, every problem is a nail. Don’t like what you see? Take it personally and swing a hammer as hard as you possibly can. Damn the consequences and damn the people involved, what matters is your pride and smiting that heretical nail.
Unfortunately for Fullerton taxpayers, that’s exactly the mentality of the legal wunderkind at Jones and Mayer. Annoy the city and get the legal equivalent of “See these fists? They’re getting ready to fuck you up.” We all know how well that strategy of bullying and brunt stupidity worked out for all of us the last time around. Yet here we are, repeating history, and somehow expecting a different result.
Many of you wonder why the many writers associated with this humble blog post under fake names. Some of us own property, some of us have kids, some of us have parents in Fullerton, and some of us own businesses in town. All of us have been threatened by city employees as a result of our participation in local politics. Most of us don’t want to have our lives turned upside down because we want the city to fix potholes instead of covering for employees who lie, cheat, steal, and occasionally beat members of the public. A few of us are made of tougher stuff and attach the real and personal consequences of speaking up for the public to their livelihood. Sometimes it’s a black sedan parked across the street from your house, sometimes it’s a little something special left in your trash can, others it’s anonymous letters sent to clients and employers, and for some (now former) contributors to this blog it’s literally two men dressed in black wearing a silver badge showing up on your doorstep at 11pm telling you and your wife it’s time to leave town. Most of you won’t believe any of that, but to one degree or another, every single one of us had something occur within six months of criticising a member of city council or a senior employee at the city or union. Fullerton plays for keeps, so keep your mouth shut or bad things will happen.
Why? Because if voters really understood that brass at FPD really do intimidate submitters of official complaints from women sexually assaulted by officers, really do lie under oath to protect those on their side of the thin blue line, and really do withhold backup from officers who report evil cops to internal affairs, they’d revolt and throw enablers like Jennifer Fitzgerald, Jan Flory, Doug Chaffee, and the recalled bald tires out of town on a rail. While the abuse at the fire department and non-public safety positions is comparatively much less severe, we still have evidence of employees drinking on the job, destroying city assets, stealing property, and using their official capacity to profit both on and off the taxpayer clock. This stuff literally happens every single month and FFFF is the only local information provider willing to publish accounts exposing just how bad things are.
Want to know why our roads look like shit? Well, read the archive. You’re not dealing with decision makers who are pure as the driven snow. They have a vested personal monetary and political interest to keep the public in the dark.
So, I put it to you reader. If you were a city official wanting to keep the voters in the dark, what’s the best way to make sure facts, accounts, or even just rumors make their way out into the public for consumption?
Clean up the city? Stop the lying, cheating, stealing, pussy grabbing, and beating of people?
Come clean and ask for forgiveness? Simply tell the truth about lying, cheating, stealing, pussy grabbing, and beating of people?
What about just locking it down and staying quiet. Just don’t acknowledge the lying, cheating, stealing, pussy grabbing, or beating of people?
Fullerton goes with it’s version “WE ARE SPARTA!” method of attacking the messenger. Don’t like that your lying, cheating, stealing, pussy grabbing and beating of people is getting out in public? Break the knees of anyone telling that story and your problem gets solved real quick. After all, if it fails, it’s not like you’re going to jail for wrecking someone’s life.
Last week, one of our writers Joshua Ferguson, announced he had filed suit to get access to documents Fullerton is legally required to produce concerning city employees lying, cheating, stealing, pussy grabbing, and beating of people. Guess what FFFF received a week later as a direct consequence of standing up to the entrenched and belligerent interests at city hall?
That’s right, two of our named authors are being sued. Along with an employer.
Why? Because the city knows exactly what will happen. Screw mortgage payments, screw tuition bills, and screw putting food on the table: You didn’t shut up when we told you to, so now we’re doing to take your whole fucking life away because we can. Enjoy these fists fucking you up. Good-bye paycheck and hello desperation.
In the end, perhaps the court will see this isn’t even a thinly veiled attempt to attack the public’s right to know, free speech, and the fundamental precept that the government shouldn’t use its resources to go about wrecking lives. If that happens, it will be years or months from now, you will pay the bill, and the damage caused by Jones and Mayer swinging their hammer will be done. This blog has 3236 articles and counting. Hundreds of news stories emanating from bad things at city hall were broken here. All of that threatens to come to an end because our writers won’t risk being attacked by the local powers at be for telling the truth.
Be that as it may reader, remember this: Your roads look like shit because people like Jennifer Fitzgerald and those who support her would rather spend her time attacking messengers and threatening families than make hard choices about how big the raises should be for those who endorse her campaigns for office.
This is your Fullerton. If the endless supply of stories concerning lying, cheating, stealing, pussy grabbing, and beating of people hasn’t gotten your attention yet, maybe this latest round of intimidation will. In the meantime, your roads are as shitty today as they were yesterday, and they’ll still be shitty tomorrow when this lawsuit moves forward.
Friends, an environmental symbiosis exists in nature when two organisms interact in a way that is mutually beneficial. In the course of human organizational activity we see such symbioses frequently. In the nasty intersection of government and politics such relationships are depressingly common. And nowhere can we see this operation in better form than in the way Fullerton’s politics intersect the management of police business, a business that affects everybody.
Let me begin my essay with a recitation of police behavior in our town that ought to give any decent person reason to give a second thought to nonsense pitched by both the government and the media.
In all of his endeavors Hughes was serially assisted by the smarmy and arrogant Andrew Goodrich, former union goon and, not coincidentally, the otiose and corpulent spokeshole for department. Friends will recall that it was Goodrich who immediately promulgated lies about cops getting broken bones in the aftermath of the Thomas bludgeoning by his cohorts. Goodrich was caught by FFFF over the years selling so much garbage that he was actually nominated for a coveted Fringie® in 2011.
Some of FPD’s bad behavior has suggested a sexual pervy streak running through the department, and a predilection for looking the other way about it. Albert “Alby Al” Rincon, instead of being fired and prosecuted by McKinley for sexual battery, continued to roam Fullerton’s streets looking for victims – gals he no doubt figured would keep their mouths shut. They didn’t, costing taxpayers hundreds of thousands and the City a reprimand from a federal judge. Naturally no charges were ever filed.
Recently we’ve been favored with the story of tubby ginger boy Jose Paez, whose “crime” according to tough guy DA Todd Spitzer, was the unauthorized photographing of his victims. Unfortunately for the girls and women he associated with as a school officer in the FJUHSD, what he was taking pictures of was their undergarments – while they were being worn.
A few months ago the story leaked out about an enterprising young FPD lad named Christopher Chiu, who seems to have found a persuasive way to talk a young woman out of her clothes on the top of the Lemon/Chapman parking structure so he could examine her breasts and nether parts in search of “evidence.” Before the courtly charm of playing doctor wore off, he suggested his availability for a dinner date. Yikes.
Former Sergeant Jeff Corbettwas actaully rung up for obstructing justice although seamy stories about sexual escapades while on duty have been circulating for a long time. But to be fair to poor Jeff, it was sending Wild Ride Joe Felz home after the hit-and-run of Sappy McTree that got him busted.
Apart from uncontrolled libido, the gallant gents of the FPD have often displayed their ethical sensibility in an orgy of mayhem against people who hadn’t done anything wrong, or by simply revealing how little they care for the basic concepts of justice. Maybe the cultural shift to full-on violence and callousness was the result of Pat McKinley’s well-known militarization of the FPD.
Jay Cicinelli is known across the globe as the goon who smashed in Kelly Thomas’s face with a Taser handle and admitted it on tape. This one-eyed jack was employed by McKinley as a favor to an old LAPD crony. Now this twice disqualified creep actually wants (or wants us to believe he does) his job back!
Our obese old pal Manuel Ramos had a long history of lazy and oafish behavior as an FPD cop, culminating in the actions that instigated Kelly Thomas’s death. Bully? Check. Overweight slob? Check. Natural born prick? Double Check. FPD material all the way.
Over the years FFFF has related stories from the citizenry about abusive and violent behavior of Fullerton’s cops, particularly those patrolling downtown open air booze court. But none of these stories can equal the brutality and the callous treatment of Veth Mam by one Kenton Hampton. See, Hampton’s official version of the story got real fuzzy after it became clear that his recollection of events strained even the credulity of an OC jury past the breaking point, especially when video evidence showed up in court. During a downtown scuffle involving the cops, Hampton arrived by car upon the scene and knocked the phone camera out of the hand of an innocent bystander, Mam, who was giving away about 100 lbs. to Officer Hampton. After throwing the hapless Mam around like a rag doll, Hampton tossed him in the Fullerton clink where he was charged with assaulting a cop, a story Hampton testified to under oath. Was he ever punished? Of course not. Under “Chief Danny” Big Bad Ham seems to have been promoted to a desk job.
And then there is the laundry list of incompetence or indifference. We first met Miguel “Sonny” Siliceo as he tagged one Emanuel Martinez who spent five months at Theo Lacy courtesy of a deliberate misidentification. Spoke-sphincter Andrew Goodrich comforted us with the words “we try to arrest the right guy.” Years later Siliceo, in a different matter, was convicted of filing a false police report, something very, very hard to accomplish.
And to round out our categories of misconduct, we must pause, I suppose, at least for a moment to reflect on a few of the various petty crimes and thievery perpetrated by our boys and girls in blue.Todd Major ripped off Explorer Scouts to feed his pill habit.April Baughman ripped off the property room of $50,000. Kelly Mejia tried to boost an i-Pad right under the watchful security cameras at the Miami airport. Hugo Garcia was apparently told his services were no longer required after being busted for purloining something or other (off duty, of course; on duty the man was a veritable saint). And then there was the tale of Officer Timothy Gibert, another MADD awardee who got popped out in the high desert defrauding home improvement stores. Just how many small-time thieves and pickpockets we have employed over the years will never be known for sure.
So, finally, let’s end this painful revelation with the not-so funny story about Josh Eddleman and Jerrie Harvey two innocent people jailed and prosecuted due to the bungling of newly minted “detective” Barry Coffman, best known for his enthusiastic handing out of tickets for “excessive horning.” Once againSpokesanus Goodrich informed the public that the FPD really, does try to arrest the right people, gosh darn it, a statement so insincere that maybe not even David Whiting would believe it.
Of course this quivering pyramid of gelatin was the President of the Fullerton Peace Officer’s Association for years and years, supporting political candidates who could be counted on to serve and protect his wayward union members while bestowing lavish pay and benefits.
And here is the nexus of casual corruption: without a compliant city council and their hand-picked city manager, this sad litany of crime and no punishment would be an awful lot shorter. The cop union, along with their “firefighter” brethren and sistren diligently help elect reliable stooges to the city council through vast campaign spending via their political action committees. And what a roll call of dunderheads, incompetents, buffoons, seniles, lackeys and assorted political grifters they have greased into office.
Don’t forget the lengthy corn-pone career of possibly third degree syphilitic Doc Hee Haw – Dick Jones – who once blurted to an aggrieved citizen at a council meeting “you won’t get anywhere bad-mouthing the police in this town.”
Sharon Quirk-Silva was marginally smart enough to dodge the Kelly Thomas fallout and the subsequent recall. But like almost all of Fullerton’s liberal establishment crowd, she blamed the murder on homelessness, not on bad cops. She ignored the cover-up, and did nothing about the Albert Rincon matter, despite proclaiming her outrage on the nightly news wherein we learned she has daughters.
Of course Doug was in need of assistance himself when his carpetbaggin’ wife, Paulette was busted on video stealing campaign signs on private property.
The cop union knows when it has a live one on the line, and never has that bee more true of Jan Flory, who not only trotted around the city council track in the 1990s, she did so again in 2012 with the help of a hundred thou’ of union scrilla. Maybe her vote on the [email protected] was fondly remembered, but more likely the support was for favors to come. Of course she delivered by approving pay raises and by paying out vast legal settlements against Fullerton police that avoided the embarrassment of ugly stuff getting out at trial. Everything gets hushed up and we pay for the silence. And of course, no, reform was not on the table.
No story of the symbiosis between cops and politicians in Fullerton is complete without mention of our lobbyist councilcreature Jennifer Fitzgerald, who has a career monetizing her job “representing” you and me. Jen’ has made it her specialty to cozy up to the cops, including pay raises, quiet settlements costing us millions, and even wasting $50K a year on the utterly moronic “Behind the Badge” propaganda embarrassment. Holier than holy, her best pal was “Chief Danny” with whom she may have conspired, in the early morning of November 9, 2016, to have the cops drive drunken, hit-and-run Joe Burt Felz home and then tuck him in with a warm glass of milk.
And most recently we see the completely dim and inarticulate Jesus Silva, installed in office courtesy of the police union. One wonders how this nincompoop manages to get his shoelaces tied without help, and yet we can be sure of one thing – he will slavishly follow the example of his better half, Sharon Quirk in support of the people who put him in office.
If someone takes the time to review the history of Fullerton over the past forty years, one thing becomes shockingly clear: when it comes to building things, maintaining things and planning for things, the City government just can’t do much of anything right. And yet over this long history, the City and the public seem to have the shortest of memories.
For the denizens of City Hall, the fact that the jalopy has no rear view mirror makes perfect sense. After all, if you’re pulling down well over a hundred Gs, with a trampoline retirement coming your way, why spoil things with strange notions like accountability and responsibility? It’s so much easier to pretend nothing bad has happened.
The people who live here on the other hand, have no such incentive; quite the reverse, in fact. So how come constant repetition of the disastrous lessons from the past are tolerated? Is it easier to just ignore the millions upon millions wasted in foolish vanity projects, make-work comedies, and deteriorating infrastructure? Maybe.
But I hope that by continuing the drumbeat started on this brave blog 11 years ago, sooner or later the populace will wake up to the ineptitude and dissimulation by its highly paid, and so far untouchable masters of disaster.
And so join me Friends as I take you on trip down memory lane, Fullerton style.
Today almost nobody remembers the comical City endeavor to transform Harbor Boulevard in the early 80s by removing on-street parking, adding medians, spike-laden, pod-dropping floss silk trees, and bizarre concrete peristyles along the sidewalks. Comical, did I say? It would have been funny except that it doomed the businesses along Harbor to slow entropy. The ridiculous peristyles were soon removed but the rest of the mess lasted for decades and many of the hideous trees and broken sidewalks are still there as a reminder that the City is perfectly willing to waste millions on hare-brained, concept-of-the-day tomfoolery that gives them something to do.
The Allen Hotel, was Fullerton’s first foray into “affordable” housing back in the late 80s. It was a slum, alright and thirty years after the City’s bungling acquisition, the site is just begging for more “redevelopment.” Will it get it?
The CSUF Stadium & Fundraising Fiasco of 1990 ought to give plenty of pause to those contemplating Big Projects with public money. The brainchild of slimy City Councilman and later slimy State Senator, Dick Ackerman, the idea was to build a permanent home for the CSUF football team. Only trouble was that the $15,000,000 stadium was completed the same year the plug was pulled on a dismal gridiron program. In typical fashion, the City invested in a fundraising plan in which a company was hired at a cost of several hundred thou to raise money, and didn’t. Oops!
The horror story “Knowlwood Corner” is a veritable textbook case of government bureaucratic misfeasance, from start to finish. The story started in the early 90s and dragged on for years and years; when the signature building was finally built, the missing second floor became a perfect symbol for this misadventure. From stupid economic micromanagement to horrible architecture, this one touched all the bases – and it took seven years to do so.
The Bank of Italy Building was another disaster from the early 90s, but one that actually gutted an historic building. Millions in public money were wasted to pay for something that never should have been undertaken in the first place.
The North Platform remodel of 1992-93 proved that no matter how bungled things were in Fullerton, it could always get worse. A landscape architect was hired to place as many impediments between passengers and trains as was humanly possible. Some of the citizens got wise, and half the crap was ripped out. Heads rolled in City Hall. Oh, wait, no they didn’t.
Few folks now remember the Fairway Toyota dealership expansion fiasco from the mid-90s that required threatening an old lady with eminent domain and then closing off Elm Avenue forever. The City’s investment disappeared like an early summer morning’s dew when the dealership took off for Anaheim a few years later. After years of housing a used car dealership, the City permitted the development of another massive cliff dwelling along Harbor Boulevard. The losses were never accounted for but at least the neighbors got a nice view and early shade.
Fullerton’s Corporate Yard expansion was a mid-nineties project that left the City gasping for air. Despite hiring an outside construction manager and paying him a couple hundred grand, the project dissolved into a litigation mess that only escaped public embarrassment because nobody on the City Council gave a damn. Settlement details vanished into the haze.
The so-called Poison Park on Truslow Avenue may set the standard for Fullerton incompetence, although admittedly, the competition is fierce. In the late 90s, the City had Redevelopment money to burn and just couldn’t wait to do so. So they bought a piece of industrial property and built a park that nobody outside City Hall wanted. Cost? $3,000,000. Of course the site attracted gang members and drug dealers as predicted. Worse still, the land was contaminated and the “park” fenced off. It’s been like that for almost 15 years. And Counting.
No story of Fullerton calamities would be complete without once again sharing the tale of the Florentine Sidewalk Hijacking, in which a permit for “outside dining” was transformed one day by the Florentine Mob into a permanent building blocking half a public sidewalk. The Big City Planner, Paul Dudley, said everything was peachy. He was lying, of course, but did anybody really care?
Some people might conclude that the majority of Fullerton’s disasters can be laid at the feet of the Redevelopment Agency (really just the City Council) and well-pensioned, inept managers like Terry Galvin and Gary Chaplusky. When they weren’t slapping brick veneer on anything that didn’t move, they were screwing everything else up, too. But when we regard the history of Laguna Lake we enter into the realm of Fullerton’s Parks and Engineering mamalukes. After spending a small fortune on renovating the lake, the thing leaked like a sieve. Hundreds of millions of premium MWD gallons were pumped into the thing to keep it full. The public and council were left in the dark, even as citizens were told to conserve water in their homes. Did anyone in charge give a damn? Did anyone ask how much money and water were squandered over the years? Of course not. This is Fullerton. We could ask Engineering Director Don Hoppe for details, except that he is now comfortably retired and pulling down a massive pension.
Our professional planners, have been knee deep in Fullerton’s morass. Over-development (see example, above) has been fostered and nowhere was this better seen than in the Core and Corridors Specific Plan. This idiotic plan wasted a million bucks of State money without a backward glance after the whole thing was finally dumped on the QT – too stupid even for Fullerton. Did anybody ask for their money back? Nope. And yet a link to a blank web page titled Core and Corridors still exists! Hope springs eternal.
The 2000s proved that nobody in City Hall or out, was learning anything, even after the expensive failures of the 90s. The “West Harbor Improvement” project in 2009, was an endeavor so unnecessary that it could only be proposed in Fullerton, where government “place making” has never succeeded. The alley is a barf zone behind a bunch of bars that only needs hosing down every Sunday morning.
This litany of disasters, follies and debacles brings us to the Pinewood Stairs at Hillcrest Park which put on display the incompetence of the designer, the city staff, the construction manager, and a contractor who couldn’t build a sand box to code. Wasting $1.6 million is bad enough; permitting the code violations and construction deficiencies go unfixed is even worse. Barely two years old, the ramshackle structure moves more than the Tacoma Narrows Bridge.
And over all these years Fullerton’s “leaders have neglected our aging infrastructure and permitted zone changes allowing for massive new development that has lined the pockets of developers and political campaign coffers, and left the rest of us with even more traffic and more burden on our roads and pipes.
We have had a lot of fun on this site making fun of City Councilman Dick Jones and his clockwork-regular gaffes and buffooneries. But, when you’re right, you’re right. We teased him for his creation of what we thought was a purely imaginary place: Kharakhastan, and we had some fun at his expense. Well, aren’t we embarrassed! It turns out there really is such a place!
A little research by our International Geography and Socio-Ethnography Department uncovered the following information:
Kharakhastan is a small ethnic enclave located within the Republic of Kazakhstan (former Soviet SSR) that comprises 135,000 square kilometers with a population of approximately 211,000 (2006 census).
The geography consists of arid upland steppe ascending to sub-alpine terrain and ultimately to high peaks. The highest point is Krysighi Peak (formerly known as Mt. Stalin’s Birthday and later Worker’s Peak), at 5439 meters high. The main industry in Kharakhastan is animal husbandry including sheep and tapirs, although a burgeoning Asian market for an aphrodisiac distilled from beaver gonads has spawned a nascent beaver ranching business in the many small tributaries that descend Krysighi Peak.
The principal city in the Kharakhastan region is Pilgur, documented by the Venetian Marco Polo, and known for its splendid 16th Century mosque.
When Kazakhstan broke away from the former Soviet Union in 1991, Kharakastan declared its own independence as a sovereign republic, an independence that lasted a mere four days and was crushed by Kazakh leader Nursultan Nazarbayev, who arrested Kharakh politcal headmen and outlawed the Kharakhastani People’s Liberation Party (LPKI).
Kharakhastan has never been recognized by the internatonal community, although former American President Bill Clinton toured the area in 2006 on a visit to Kazakhstan. The Reformed Kharakhastani People’s Liberation Party (LPKID) currently holds 3 seats in the Khazakh legislature.
Well, there you have it. Kharakhastan. Who knew? And to Dick Jones, our profound apologies!
Two years ago FFFF ran a series of posts based on the observations of “Fullerton Engineer” about the ludicrous elevators addition to the existing bridge at the Depot. Nobody wanted this project except for city staff and only because the dime was somebody else’s. And so a strange bureaucratic odyssey began with fits and starts of activity to waste $4,000,000 of transit money doled out by distant agencies. Then in 2017 the monster was shocked back to life with an infusion of $600,000 of Fullerton’s own cash. Ouch. Let’s let our Friend, Fullerton Engineer take it from here:
It appears as if the depot elevator project is grinding to a conclusion: the elevator foundations and steel are finally done and the traction elevators are almost complete. Are congratulations in order? Not quite, although I suspect there will be a victory celebration and ribbon cutting and back-pats all around when the City Council takes its first expensive elevator ride.
A construction sequence that should have taken perhaps seven months has dragged on for two years.That’s right – two years. No one in charge seems to have offered any explanation, probably because no one in authority has ever asked for any. As I noted in the spring of 2017, the request for more money was shrouded in double talk and obscurantism. Somebody was hiding something.
Over the past two years as I have driven by the site it was more likely that I saw no one working as when I did. So what were all those people who were being paid, and well paid, to oversee this fiasco doing? Who knows? Have delay claim change orders ever been processed? Have they been rejected? Is a lawsuit coming or is it just going to end in a feeding frenzy on a complicit public agency? PRA requests may shed light on this disaster, if in fact they are not ignored by the city’s lawyer.
Don Hoppe, our former City Engineer has disappeared into a well-pensioned retirement. His replacement, a professionally unqualified bureaucrat will take no heat for this embarrassment. It’s no-fault government where the taxpayer foots the bill.
Back in December, in his first at-bat, Ahmad Zahra surprised me by speaking of the Constitution and transparency whilst simultaneously voting against FitzSilva in their attempt to appointJan Flory to Council. Zahra was on fire with gems such as:
“My decision is going to be contingent upon us making sure that the appointment process is fair and open and transparent. So until we can make that decision, I don’t see how we should take votes away from people.
“The question is, is there a fairer and open and more transparent process than voting itself? Can we come up with that? Can we come up with something better than what the Constitution come up with? That is my question for the council. I’m leaving my decision until I hear other council members.”
Tonight we get to find out if Zahra is a man of principle standing by his own talking points at the last meeting or if that was all simply a clever flex to show who has the real authority on this issue in an effort to get his preferred pick onto council.
For those new to the story here’s the gist as I understand it —
Jesus Silva wanted incumbency in 2022 and thus opted to run for the District 3 seat on council.
Council then chose to change the law ON ELECTION DAY in the case Silva beat Sebourn in order to limit the options for voters.
Silva took home the ring on election day and in winning he vacated his at-large seat which runs until 2020.
Then in December the dynamic duo of Jennifer Fitzgerald and Jesus Silva testily complained that they needed Ahmad to go along to get along in order for them to get what they wanted. Zahra didn’t go along which brings us to today.
Tonight we’ll watch as FitzSilva likely tries to lay it on thick and blame Ahmad for the cost of the election should he choose transparency and an election (as he did back in December). This is posturing bollocks but I’m wondering if he’ll stand firm. Both he and our residents need to know that the fault here lies partially with Silva for running, partially with council for changing the city ordinance, ON ELECTION DAY, to facilitate this choice between the devil and the deep blue sea, but really the fault lies with our City Attorney The Other Dick Jones™ for offering terrible advice and putting us in this situation in the first place. Zahra is blameless here on the issue of cost should he choose openness and transparency by way of a special election.
Prepare for the same shenanigans with FitzSilva promising a fictionally transparent process in this city which is allergic to the very premise of transparency. The same transparency which had Jan Flory meeting with at least 2 (if not 3) current council members and bringing a cabal of people to lobby for her to be appointed without the citizenry any the wiser. THAT type of so-called transparency should be rejected and here’s hoping that Councilman Zahra continues to impress the way he did during at his last at-bat.
Remember Jay Cicinelli? The one-eyed officer who was so disabled from LAPD that he took a disability pension but was so-not-disabled that he was able to be a working Fullerton Corporal? Ring any bells?
He’s the guy who in July 2011 used his taser on Kelly Thomas to “beat him probably twenty times in the face” because Thomas had the audacity to not just sit still while former officer Manual Ramos played games and threatened him. Don’t remember that part?
Cicinelli was fired from the Fullerton Police Department in July 2012 (and the decision was later upheld by the Council). As we told you a while back, Cicinelli is trying to get his job back and in a “we told you so” moment it looks like he may get his wish.
How? Well, a Judge here in OC thinks the Council was mean to poor old Jay when they fired him and upheld his firing because something something bias.
On 14 September 2018, Judge David Chaffee (no relation to Council member and Supervisor Candidate Doug) made a Judgement that Bruce Whitaker and Greg Sebourn should recuse themselves from Cicinelli’s due process violation hearing. His reasoning? Whitaker and Sebourn had the audacity to think we rabble had a right to know what had happened to Kelly Thomas and a right to the evidence.
Judge Chaffee seems to think that because POBAR (the Police Officer’s Bill of Rights) and other as-terrible laws preclude the public from getting basic information about officer actions and alleged crimes that our elected officials shouldn’t be allowed to talk about the things our officers do on duty and under the color of authority.
Judge Chaffee made the point, several times, that Bruce Whitaker spoke out as a council member on items that had not been agendized. Because apparently Judge Chaffee doesn’t understand the Brown Act and that it would have been illegal for Whitaker to speak on those items in the public square had they been agendized.
What all of this leads up to is that this judge wants our current council to re-hear Cicinelli’s bias complaint and he goes so far as to say that not only should Whitaker and Sebourn recuse themselves, he actually recommends that the council wait until AFTER the next council is seated after the November election. He wants a 2019 Council to hear a case from 2011, because of alleged bias.
This is utter nonsense. The council now is Whitaker, Sebourn, Chaffee, Fitzgerald and Silva. Silva, mind you, who is the husband of Sharon Quick-Silva who was on council during the Kelly Thomas incident.
In November Silva is competing with Sebourn for District 3’s seat and Chaffee is running for Supervisor and will be off of council. Chaffee’s wife is the most well financed candidate in District 5. Thus the “very likely probability” is that Sebourn will beat Silva and Silva will stay on council until 2020 when his term expires. So one seat will change which could just end up swapping one Chaffee for another. This is hardly a reason to delay an action in front of our council – especially regarding something so important.
Here is the general premise of Cinicelli’s complaint and Judge Chaffee’s beef with the council and how it handled the case:
The argument against Sebourn and his alleged bias is just laughable. From the judgement:
Golly gee. Sebourn wanted a jury trial and for people to be able to know what happens and for people to not be forced to make decisions in a vacuum. The horrors. If this was the sole thing I knew about Greg Sebourn he’d get my vote every election. That the court thinks this is a problem would be hilarious if it wasn’t so tragic.
The worst thing you can impugn Whitaker for after reading this judgement is his being too willing to talk to the public and help us know what was happening, which is something to be celebrated. He worried about a cover-up and the argument against that is that it’s legal for officers to cover-up things per POBAR. Don’t believe me? Then why are officers allowed to view evidence up to and including videos of their own actions before writing their statements? You, as a citizen, are not allowed such a privilege as that would taint your memory and allow you to change your story to coincide with the evidence. The officers who beat Thomas did in fact write their reports while watching the video and all subsequent testimony is tainted by that fact despite complaints to the contrary.
I submit as evidence a quote from the Gennaco special investigation report regarding this fact:So Whitaker asked questions the people of Fullerton, arguably the world, wanted answered and he’s being painted as a biased figure against this poor officer who wasn’t physically qualified for the job he had, while double dipping a pension, and who showed no remorse for his actions.
I guess Judge Chaffee missed the video evidence from that night. So HERE IT IS.
If that’s too much maybe this will suffice:
Is that inhumane and brutal?
What about in the context of having done nothing wrong beyond being an annoyance to a Slidebar Rock ‘N Roll Cafe employee (with a direct line to Police Dispatch)?
How about Judge Chaffee walk a mile in Kelly Thomas’ shoes instead of demanding that our City Council walks a mile in Cicinelli’s? After all, asking our council to walk a mile in Cicinelli’s shoes is asking them to walk a mile in the shoes of a sociopath (also from the Gennaco report):This is why we need police reform. This is why we need oversight. If you didn’t think the deck was stacked against you just keep in mind that a judge just ruled that Jay “Savage Person” Cicinelli was unfairly fired because a councilperson dared to ask questions and demand answers of our corrupt police force.
Unfair? Don’t forget that one of our officers WAS JUST INDICTED for a cover-up with the Joe Felz incident. This is the legacy of former Untouchable Police Chief Danny Hughes.
My hope is that the council tells Judge Chaffee to kick rocks. They should address this bias nonsense straight out and immediately, list all of the policy violations and problems with Cicnelli’s conduct on the fateful night Kelly Thomas was killed and then vote to uphold Cicinelli’s firing.
The Voice of OC is reporting that our congresscritter, Ed Royce has had enough congresscrittering and is quitting his seat next January. This will be seen a great news for the Democrats who were targeting this seat due to a recent increase in their own party’s registration, and who believe that the S.S. Trumptanic vortex will suck all sorts of Republicans down to Davey Jones’ Locker.
I don’t know about that, but I do know it will be wonderful to get shed of Ed. Set aside Royce’s dutiful loyalty to our new, budget-busting security state and his willingness to vote for tax bills he hadn’t read. Instead let’s focus on his dismal record meddling in the local political affairs of Fullerton.
For almost 25 years he has backed city council (and Legislature) candidates of the worst Republican stripe – dimwitted and vapid RINOs like Pat McKinley Leland Wilson, Julie Sa and Mike Clesceri; creepy slouches like Larry Bennett; sleepy nincompoops like Don Bankhead; a useless carpetbagtress like Linda Ackerman; and let’s never forget: Dick Jones, Doc HeeHaw, the clownish donkey from Galveston who seemed to take joy in bullying his constituents and braying utter nonsense. Royce could not have cared less about sticking us with this parade of non-entities. He obviously didn’t care if Fullerton developed no new generation of real conservative leadership. What mattered was to elect hollow shelled Republicans that posed no threat to him, and to keep potential Democrat challengers from becoming potential in the first place.
Some things in life are perfectly predicable. Things like physics and math. They’re not really that difficult to understand, but some people in our society are a little slower than others.
For example, next week there will be idiots who put a frozen turkey into a vat of hot liquid fat because #Merica. Despite many public service announcements to the contrary, stupidity will have its unavoidable and predicable consequences.
Tonight Fullertonians will miss out on the discussion taking place behind closed doors at City Hall concerning the state of the city’s budget. Voters won’t get to hear about the new contract negotiations designed to help the massive multi-million dollar structural deficit, the $100,000,000 in deferred infrastructure maintenance, or the equally massive unfunded pension debt. Instead, we’ll get a null report from The Other Dick Jones ™, and the facade of all being well will continue into this year’s planned First Night festivities.
Like so many idiots with a tank of propane, recent City Councils had fair warning of the current financial crisis. The math just isn’t that hard to understand. Every year, every single year, since each of their elections, Fullerton has spent more from the general fund than it has taken in. Tens of millions of dollars in reserves have evaporated. *POOF* gone, without a trace.
At the current rate, Fullerton may be bankrupt in two years.
This Thanksgiving, while you’re enjoying your non-idiot prepared bird, I want you to remember tonight’s secret city council meeting. I also want you to remember a meeting held just last year.
Just last year, the council authorized the largest pay raises for staff in a decade.
“The budget is balanced!” — Jennifer Fitzgerald
“Fullerton is in excellent financial shape!’ — Jan Flory
Well, the math simply doesn’t lie. The budget was not balanced and the city was not in excellent financial shape. Jen and Jan dunked their frozen bird and lambasted all the chronic malcontents who protested their fine stewardship.
Like that, Joe Felz hit a tree, and their financial bird exploded, the raging predictable disaster apparent for all to see.
Tonight the Fullerton City Council will likely authorize reducing pay and benefits for city employees, just in time for the holidays. When this is over, some employees will have their salaries reduced or their hours cut. Others will simply lose their jobs. Many of those individuals are good people who do good work. This isn’t their fault, but it will be their house that gets burned down and it will be their life that gets ruined.
Now Jen and Jan, two of those responsible for dunking this turkey? Don’t worry. They’ll be fine. Jen just gave herself a $9000 raise and Jan retired.