MEET DIRTY DOUG

FFFF has squirted some cyber-ink on the missus, so I thought we ought to start spending a bit of time with Pilferin’ Paulette’s hubby, the egregious Doug “Bud” Chaffee.”

If the snout fits, wear it…

This piece was recently sent out by Chaffee’s OC Board of Supervisor challenger, Sunny Park of Buena Park.

The swine were offended by the comparison…

The reference here is to an early foray of the Chaffee Crime Family into “affordable” housing, the subsidized sort that always costs so much more than the regular kind. Of course this was thirty years ago and Chaffee has a much longer list of grifts large and small, including selling out the advocates of preserving the West Coyote Hills, creating phony districts in Fullerton, supporting overbuilt prison, I mean apartment blocks with inadequate parking, and of course spending all his time failing to reform the Fullerton Police Department.

On the Board of Supervisors Chaffee has distinguished himself by hiding COVID information from the public, overseeing the public humiliation and politicization of the Health Care Agency, and being a lackey for the misfeasance of his fellow board member, Andrew Do. And the funniest thing of all is that he, as Chairman of the Commission to End Homelessness, had to confess to reporters that he didn’t know what the Commission does.

Putting politician’s faces on animals has always struck me as desperate and sort of silly, persuasion-wise. But Sunny is running against an incumbent (and recumbent) Democrat and needs to syphon enough votes to 1) at least come in second; and, 2) keep Bud from reaching the magic 50%+1 number thereby forcing a runoff in November. Will this help?

The Quirk-Silvas Wish You Happy Holidays

Here’s a delightful season’s greeting from Fullerton power couple Sharon Quirk and Jesus Quirk-Silva.

We’re a team!

As far as these things go, it’s completely benign. Or banal. Especially compared with those tasteless cards mailed by the woman who financed the Quirk-Silva’s house, Loretta Sanchez.

Great minds think alike…

But there’s a bit of a problem here, and one I sure hope the “greeters” address.

The mailer was paid for by Ms. Quirk’s campaign committee, which is okay so far as that goes. But her husband, Jesus Quirk-Silva is the co-beneficiary of this epistle, since he too, is an elected official.

Now there’s nothing illegal about benefitting politically from your wife’s political ascendancy, unless, of course, there is fungible benefit therefrom.

And so, I hope that Mr. Quirk-Silva will be reporting this donation from his wife’s campaign coffers; and of course that the missus will be reporting the contribution.

The Deal

When he’s not lecturing us on ethics, Fullerton City Councilman Ahmad Zahra climbs down from his high horse to participate in all sorts of activities that don’t seem very ethical at all.

Zahra-Busted
It’s the though that counts…

We have seen how he became embroiled in a battery and vandalism case in which he had the record permanently sealed. He claims exoneration but word has escaped the DAs office that Zahra pleaded guilty, did community service had had his record expunged.

We have also seen how Zahra claimed authorship of Water District-related articles actually ghost-written by a district bureaucrat; and how he tried to leverage this pseudo-expertise to keep his well-compensated seat on that board.

Grab it and consume it as fast as you can…

Then there’s the about-face Zahra played on the suckers of Fullerton when he announced that the open seat on the Council should be decided by a vote, and then promptly voted to appoint Jan Flory to the vacancy at the behest of Jennifer Fitzgerald.

The closer you look, the worse it gets.

And that last bit is what this story is about. The deal that Zahra cut with Fitzgerald to appoint Flory and get himself appointed to the lucrative Orange County Water District Board, a board that pays stipends for all sorts of meetings and sub-committee meetings.

Check this out:

Just before Zahra was replaced on the Water Board in 2021 by Bruce Whitaker, the District paid $10,000 to “CL7” for something called a “OC Water Special Water Insert.” I don’t know what that means, but I do know that CL7 is the name of Jennifer Fitzgerald’s side biz – when she wasn’t using the City to make bank for lobbyist Curt Pringle. So what’s going on here? A little gravy slopping out of the boat, or a legitimate job for a real public service? Knowing Fitzgerald’s complete lack of ethical compass and her influence peddling, I would bet on the former. Easy enough to find out: a PRA on the work order and a sample of the work product, and maybe any correspondence regarding this contract ought to do it.

And did Zahra have a role in this little handout? Was this a little payback for getting appointed in the first place? These sorts of little deals happen in OC political/government circles all the time. It’s all just easy government cheese. Maybe Zahra will be forthcoming about what this was all about. Maybe, but don’t count on it.

The Dope Lobbyist

The train of thought was weak but it sure was short…

We here at FFFF have never thought of Jesus Quirk Silva as a very bright fellow, but he seems to have learned at least one thing on the Fullerton City Council. And that lesson came courtesy of former councilwoman-for-hire, Jennifer Fitzgerald.

Gone, but not forgotten…

That lesson is simple: it’s more fun to try to peddle influence based on your elected position than it is to hold down a day job.

And so Mr. Quirk Silva has embarked on a new potential career path – away from teaching multiplication to slack-jawed pre-pubescents, and into the exiting realm of lobbying local governments.

Adan Ortega
Who knew a liquid could have so many angles…

Quirk Silva’s “employer” is Adan Ortega, of Ortega Associates, who you may remember as the desperate Fullerton MWD director who was replaced by Fred Jung, and who then tried to get appointed as a representative from the city of San Fernando.

I fully expect Quirk-Silva to attempt to follow in the footsteps of Fitzgerald, although he can barely utter a coherent sentence.

Now why does any of this matter, really? Because government ought to be about governing, not about being a bagman between special interests, other lobbyists, developers, and your colleagues on local boards and councils.

As a Fullerton Councilman, Quirk Silva doesn’t have that much juice, but he could be pulled and persuaded very easily. More importantly, his wife, Sharon Quirk Silva, is a state Assemblywoman, and as such actually does command respect for how she might be able to move something along in Sacramento.

And now back to Ortega. FFFF sources have indicated that he was attempting to break into the legalized marijuana biz here in Fullerton as a lobbyist, but got caught up in the interminable incompetence of the last city council, and the reluctance of the new council to go down the happy MJ trail. The same sources suggest that a cartel of cannabis interests from Long Beach is still very interested in reviving the issue in Fullerton.

You said it, man. Nobody fucks with the Jesus

The Jesus has been a long-time, big-time cheerleader for legalized dispensaries in Fullerton, so there are several loose strings as yet not quite tied together.

When they are, FFFF will be sure to let you know.

New County Districts Approved

In case you weren’t paying attention (and care), our beloved County Board of Supervisors approved a new district map this week.

All sorts of fun and games took place to get this little self-serving project done, and all sorts of political angles were contemplated, no doubt. Central county actually got a new district number altogether, while other districts morphed to suit the tastes of our political lords and masters. Here’s the map:

The 4th District – represented by the seemingly senile and genuinely corrupt rodent, Doug Chaffee, lost a chunk of Anaheim between Harbor and the 57 Freeway and gained the southern half of Buena Park and the garden spot known as Stanton. Here’s their City Motto:

Community Pride and Forward Vision identifies Stanton as a place where innovation and pride in the community are an important aspect of life. Residents enjoy major retail opportunities, active civic volunteers and business-friendly City organizations.

I wonder if there are going to be any legal challenges to this map. It has flaws. The idea of putting Mission Viejo in the same district as Yorba Linda seems absurd. Costa Mesa is now in District 5, but it’s a damn long haul from South Coast Plaza to the real south coast at San Clemente. Irvine is divided between districts and so are Garden Grove and Orange; Anaheim is split into 3 separate district pieces. Buena Park and Fountain Valley are reunited.

But any real legal challenge would have to come from injured “communities of interest,” which means aggrieved minority groups, mainly. District 2 looks suspiciously like a “packed” Latino enclave, but this would probably be to the liking of residents there who will finally get a non-Vietnamese-American Supervisor.

The head and the hat were a perfect fit…

In our 4th District we can be sure his minions were weighing the likelihood of potential challengers to Chaffee. There are none in either Stanton or Buena Park. Losing southeast Anaheim was no political loss.

So it remains to be seen if anybody in north Orange County is willing to take on an incumbent Democrat – no matter how vulnerable (and useless) he is.

The Joe Felz Case and the Culture of Corruption

Before we publish the unedited video of our former City Manager, Joe Burt Felz, arrested for drunk driving, only to be taken home and tucked into bed by his own MADD recognized cops, let us share some highlights of the video as shared and analyzed by FFFFs own Joshua Ferguson. Ferguson was the target of a vindictive and highly expensive lawsuit courtesy of the City’s “I Can’t Believe It’s A Law Firm” of Jones and Mayer. And so it is appropriate for Joshua to remind us what happened – and to remind those not paying attention that the Felz catch and release was a far from isolated case of malfeasance by our police department and our esteemed leaders in City Hall.

There is no no doubt that Danny “Gallahad” Hughes lied to the City Council about Felz, and that the cops knew doing the right thing was professionally dangerous.

As Ferguson says, if there is a lesson to be learned in this long train of corruption, you can be sure that Councilmen Ahmad Zahra and Jesus Quirk Silva haven’t learned it. They voted until the bitter end to keep the moribund lawsuit against FFFF staggering along.

Redistricting A’ Comin’

Early on the morning of August 18th our City Council voted to appoint an advisory committee to consider drawing a new district map for Fullerton council seats. The Council decided to keep final approval for themselves.

You may recall that the City voters adopted districts in 2016 as part of the legal settlement with minority groups. That map was cooked up behind the scenes by Jennifer Fitzgerald with the assistance of downtown bar owners whose aim appeared to be splitting up downtown into 5 parts, three of which were each connected to their main body by tenuous electoral tissue. Naturally, the one and only map went along on the ballot with the question of having districts at all. Amazingly, all the councilmembers, including Bruce Whitaker went along with the sham, gerrymandered map, whose ostensible author, Jeremy Popoff, was Fullerton’s worst scofflaw bar owner.

The process of redistricting is almost always a charade with just enough public participation to look sort of legit. This time will be no different. It’s bound to consume staff time and require the services of a friendly consultant and a subscription to web-based demographic software.

It’s hardly necessary. Fullerton naturally divides into clear-cut areas of “communities of interest” both geographically and ethnically. So here’s my suggestion for a new map. I offer it humbly to the Friends, and the deciders, free of charge.

Consolidation, compaction, clarity. Northwest, North Central, East, South Central and Southwest. Gee, that was easy.

More Fitzgerald Fun: Bid Rigging and Nest Feathering?

Leaving Fullerton City hell a lot worse off than she found it…

In Fullerton, reasonable people may be forgiven for their skepticism regarding the probity of the folks in City Hall causes them to consider cynical possibilities.

In this case, the object of scrutiny is once again our former Mayor-for-Hire, Jennifer Fitzgerald, who has ditched Fullerton after years of working as a lobbyist on our dime. On her way out the door, Fitzgerald got some sort of gig with a company called Tripepi Smith, an outfit that hires itself out to governments to promote stuff like bond floatations and new taxes.

Yes, that is the answer!

Well, so what? you say. Somebody at Tripepi Smith thinks Fitzy is a useful addition to their stable of government string pullers; and they also think there is some way in hell she can peddle her wares in Texas, where she has fled.

The thing of it is, Tripepi Smith was given a contract by the City of Fullerton in 2020 to broadcast City Council and Planning Commission meetings. But that’s not all. The first RFP went out early in the year and there was only one respondent. You guessed it: Tripepi Smith. The incumbent 25-year contractor cried foul, claiming he hadn’t been notified, despite assertions to the contrary from now-fired City Manager, Ken Domer. And it turns out that Domer’s second in charge, Antonia Graham, actually had a testimonial on Tripepi Smith’s web page from when she was employed by Huntington Beach.

The embarrassed council put the gig out to bid again in April, and in August 2020 Tripepi Smith was once again selected – over the incumbent – by a hand-picked collection of cities – one of whom Tripepi Smith actually works for.

Now, what Fitzgerald’s efforts in this peculiar procurement were is, of course, a matter of speculation. But we do know that she controlled what went on in City Hall, and we also know that when it came to personal opportunities, she never missed a trick. Was she in cahoots with Domer to make sure the applicant pool for this service was small and that Tripepi Smith would inevitably get the job? I can’t say. But I can say that a suspicious bid process was followed by some sort of personal opportunity for Jennifer Fitzgerald. That is all.

More Fitzgerald Fun

I’m not telling the truth and you can’t make me…

By now all the Friends know that our former Mayor-for-Hire, Jennifer Fitzgerald, has crammed all the loot she could stuff into her bags and is hightailing it for a state that has no extradition treaty. But her name still resonates, of course – a symbol of government treasury looting.

Well, here’s something interesting- a FitzySpark story that has several layers, each one suggestive of fraud.

For the past several years Fitzgerald reveled in the title of “Vice President” of Curt Pringle and Associates, an elevated title that suggests she was a valuable employee. But was she?

Here’s a snap from a report showing that Fitzgerald received a little government stimulus cheese to help out “payroll” for her little influence peddling operation “CL& Communications.”

If the cheese stinks, nibble on it…

Hmm. So she’s working for Pringle for years and yet collecting PPO money? And of course her little one man show has been around a lot longer than 2 years or less. In fact, here is some helpful corporate info on Fitzy’s biz:

Uh oh.

Please notice that CL7 Communications has been around since 2009. Has the government been defrauded? I don’t know. You could try asking Dick Jones. Notice also that this business continued to exist through the years when Fitzgerald was supposed to be an officer of Curt Pringle Associates.

Hmm.

Now for more fun, kindly observe:

Bailed out by you and me…

It’s in my interest and that means it’s good for everybody…

Well at least Pringle’s been around longer than two years so there’s a rare bit of honesty from the greasiest lobbyist in Orange County. He got $175,000, also for “payroll” and one wonders if that included 1099 payments to Jennifer Fitzgerald, who gives every indication of not being a Pringle employee at all, but rather a contractor. And if that’s true, Pringle and Fitzgerald have violated California employment labor law and the Federal tax Code. See, the IRS wants employers to pay for stuff like Social Security and Medicare through withholding; and the State wants to make sure employees are not being exploited, and that Worker’s Comp insurance is in place by the business.

Now I don’t know that SparkyFitz wasn’t a real employee of Pringle; and I don’t know if Pringle was faking it to dodge paying taxes. But something smells here, and it isn’t overripe government cheese.

The Trail of Tears

From 2000 and 2010. The idea may have been bad, but it sure was old.

You have to hand it to government bureaucracies. They never give up on stupid ideas. But why should they? With all the time in world, huge amounts of money given to them by others, and with zero accountability, what is there for them to lose?

Specifically, I am talking about an item on the May 4th Agenda, dutifully approved by the City Council, to take $1.8 million in State grant money and  $330,000 in Fullerton park money to design and build what they are pleased to call The Union Pacific Trail, Phase II.

Of course we all know that Phase I was a total waste of money – a weird “equestrian trail” (complete with pony railing) that has never seen a horse, that was attached to the poisoned and fenced off UP Park that dies a merciful death at Highland Avenue.

Hugo and Alice. One down, one to go…

Our crack Deputy Parks Director, some person named Alice Loya pitched the item to a less than bedazzled Council, making sure to point out that the area was disadvantaged, an irony certainly lost on City bureaucrats whose job it has been to un-disadvantage this neighborhood over the past 50 years.

Let me share a paragraph from the staff report, that, as usual, is so full of lies to rationalize the scheme that one wonders if the City staff would ever pursue this nonsense if they had to use City funds to pay for it:

The proposed project will transform an existing 50 to 80 foot wide, blighted corridor into a greenbelt trail providing alternate transportation, linking the Transportation Center and several parks, including Independence Park at its terminus. This proposed trail aligns with the Hunt Branch Library to the west, providing potential future linkages. The total cost of the project is estimated at $2.1 million.

Hmm.

Lie Number One: Alternative transportation? What the Hell does that even mean? Walking?

Lie Number Two: the trail would not link anything to the Transportation Center since it would terminate at a narrow sidewalk behind the Ice House that includes a 90 degree turn. And of course just a week ago, or so, our very same staff tried to sneak through an idiot scheme to cut off the UP right-of-way completely with their private event center on the Poisoned Park site.

Lie Number Three: the proposed extension does not link “several” parks. It would indeed terminate at the Independence Park parking lot but the only other “park” it would touch is the fenced off Poisoned Park that nobody even wants.

Almost as good as a lie Number Four: the proposed trail would be virtually impossible to link to the “aligned” Hunt Branch Library, nearly a mile away, because gosh darn it, the rail siding is still being used by…the railroad. But what the Hell let’s throw out the chimera of “connectivity” to fool the dopes on the City Council, right? It’s always worked just fine in the past.

Almost as good as a lie Number Five: when has the City ever built anything on time and on budget? That proposed cost would sky rocket, of course, as Fullerton’s army of staff, consultants, and design professionals hump the “greenbelt” into submission. Remember the wooden steps at Hillcrest Park and the elevator-from-Hell at the Depot?

Maybe it looks better when the sun goes down…

But what wasn’t said was much more important than the propaganda ink spilled to promote this idiocy: nobody will use this “trail” since it passes through sketchy industrial zoned property, completely empty at night, and would remain, just like it is now, an attractive nuisance that the taxpayers will be on the hook to maintain out of the General Fund.

Dunlap-Jung
Can these two help bring some accountability to Fullerton?

On the bright side, members of the new Council commonsense majority pointed out that Staff was already devising a top-secret Specific Plan for the area, and gee, wouldn’t it make sense not to piecemeal things like Planning Director Matt Foulkes  tried to do on the ill-fated aquaponic farm/event center? They did treat the item as still very provisional, but FFFF knows better – we know that government money once available, will be spent, most likely on something nobody outside City Hall wants.

Zahra-Busted
Why is this man smiling?

Naturally, Councilman-in-search-of-camera-opportunity, Ahmad Zahra scrounged up some of his usual misguided acolytes to beat the drum for this utter waste of $2.1 million bucks. After all, this project would be mostly paid for with “free money” of the sort “progressives” love to accept, then waste. We need look no further than the $1,000000 Core and Corridors Specific Plan, paid for by the State Sustainability Commission, that was quietly abandoned, never to see the light of day. And ironically, the old UP Right of Way passes right through the middle of two of the C&C Specific Plan Areas, suggesting to me, at lest, that the City is not, and never has been interested in the well-being of the part of Fullerton accept as something to play with.