Doug, Dunn & Domer: Protecting Pilfering Paulette?

Paulette Stolen Sign
Caught Red Handed

Fullerton can be a funny town with funny stories.

Consider if you will a version of Fullerton where Doug (Chaffee), (Acting Chief) Dunn & (City Manager) Domer have come to an agreement.

In exchange for not referring the Mayor’s wife to the District Attorney’s Office and not investigating the true extent of just how many signs Paulette stole, the Chaffees agreed to suspend Paulette’s campaign. They’ve agreed that she’ll stay out of the public eye through the election.

Doug will also skip the next Council meeting and the city will make no public statement on the matter until December. All parties agreed this was the best way to minimize impacting Doug’s campaign for Supervisor.

That wouldn’t be so hard to believe.  That level of corruption feels about right for these idiots in the town we call home.

Even we have a hard time with the next part.

Apparently, Doug, Dunn, and Domer agreed to send a city vehicle to collect Paulette’s various sign caches. The collection is substantial and the triple alliance can’t decide if they’ll move the signs to the city yard to be reclaimed by their owners or to destroy them.

Keeping a crime quiet is one thing. Using city resources to cover it up? Well. That’s quite another.

How does your version of Fullerton align with this potential reality?

In any case, this clearly needs to be taken up by someone well outside Doug’s reach. It’s clear that Doug has influence over Fullerton’s management, but he may also control the purse strings of county officials soon. That means we can’t trust that favors haven’t already been exchanged with the District Attorney and Sheriff offices.

Stealing signs may be Petty Theft, but using government resources to cover up a crime is not. We hate to make a federal case over something so insane, but if Doug, Dunn & Domer really are colluding to cover up Paulette’s crime to benefit Doug’s campaign, that’s serious business.

In any case, this much is clear: we’re owed an explanation. Has Paulette and Doug’s property been searched? What about their cars where videos show her putting the stolen property? Did Doug, Dunn & Domer meet? If so, when and where? How long did the meeting last?

So far, the city has said nothing. Not one word. Not one iota of acknowledgement. Nothing from PD. Nor the Mayor. Nor the Council. Not even the City Manager. Not a word has been uttered publicly from anybody.

Even for Fullerton, that’s odd.

The County has been equally as silent. Our DA is too busy campaigning to make sure this is handled in an expeditious and honest fashion.

We think that all this silence means that at least part of this leak. . . hypothetical . . . might be true. Here’s why:

In Fullerton we’re accustomed to our city hiding behind disclosure laws to “protect the city from liability” while managing to only protect bad apples from being thrown in the waste bin. We watched it after the Kelly Thomas murder and we watched it again with the Felz Sappy McTree coverup. We’ve seen it countless times before and since.

Our rotating crop of City Council members, City Managers and staff just default to incompetency, lies and dubious readings of the law out of habit. It’s the natural state at City Hall.

Keystone Cops

Usually POBAR (the Police Officer’s Bill of Rights) can be blamed for a lot of this when a cop is involved.

Sometimes we’re told nothing for no reason whatsoever (How did that Parks & Rec vehicle end up on it’s roof and who was to blame?).

But this time is different.

Just yesterday a City Council candidate, Paulette Marshall Chaffee, dropped out of the race for the District 5 seat on council because she got caught red handed being a thief.

Paulette Sign Thief
Oops, She Did it Again

Her pity-me-party dropout letter is nonsense and we all know she’d be at the candidate forum tonight were it not for the videos we posted here to FFFF.

This time, there’s no scapegoat. There’s no underling for the Chief of Police to blame, there’s no entry level parks employee to take the heat, and there’s no crazy homeless person to label as the problem.

This time, it’s the very rich Mayor’s wife. The Mayor who’s about to become a County Supervisor and control the very large budgets for some very powerful people.

Maybe we’ll get lucky and somebody at City Hall will do the right and honest thing and tell us what’s happened so far and what’s happening.

We’ll have our eyes on the city yard otherwise.

CHAFFEE QUITS

Anyone know what to know a defining feature of shitty politician?

They never, ever, apologize.

Enter, Paulette Marshall Chaffee. Over the past week, FFFF’s crack investigative pool embarrassed Pilfering Paulette into suspending her campaign after posting not one, but two separate videos of Mrs. Chaffee taking down political signage and driving away with property that isn’t hers.

Hat tip to Sharon Kennedy at the Fullerton Observer for getting a statement from Chaffee:

“I have too much respect for the people in this community to put them through this clearly toxic campaign. therefore I have decided for the good of the community to suspend my campaign for Fullerton City Council District 5.”

Really? Too much respect?

Let’s consider that. Pilfering Paulette has “too much respect for the people in *this* community to put them through this clearly toxic campaign”, but not enough respect not to steal.

(more…)

Oops, Did She Do It Again?!

In case you missed it, Paulette Marshall Chaffee looks to have been caught on video stealing signs from private property in her pretend district while illegally parked in a red zone because if one rule doesn’t apply to her – why should any amiright?

But Oops. It looks like she did it again.

Is it kleptomania? A spontaneous sign stealing spree?

(more…)

Meet the Candidates – Johnny Ybarra

Taking a brief break from the non-stop coverage of (mostly) bad news from the Fullerton Police Department, we have received our first candidate response to the FFFF Candidate questionnaire, and it is realtor Johnny Ybarra, who is running in District Five.

To reiterate: all City Council candidates for the 2018 election are strongly encouraged to respond to the questionnaire and their responses will be reprinted in full at our earliest opportunity. All candidates have received the questionnaires already and we hope to hear what the other candidates have to say soon.

Our original questions, and Mr. Ybarra’s responses, are as follows:

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District 5 Ballot Loses a Candidate

Well, it looks like District 5’s ballot is going to be one candidate shy come election time this November as our prospective progressive/socialist climate warrior neighbor Jose Trinidad Castaneda III didn’t quite make the cut.

If you don’t know – you need 20 registered voters to sign a petition for you to run for city council and they must be valid signatures. 20. Castaneda, with his “deep roots” in District 5 opted to turn in just 23 (leaving the 7 extra spots blank) and a few were disqualified. Apparently Castaneda couldn’t be bothered to do the bare minimum which is to turn in 20 valid signatures.

Socialists of a Feather

Upon finding out that turning in just above the bare minimum number of signatures, despite some bloviating on his campaign Facebook page, wasn’t good enough owing to disqualifications he did what any good socialist does and he sued.

CastanedaSues

And today he lost that lawsuit.

CastanedaWritDenied

Let that sink in for when he runs his write-in campaign or perhaps carpetbags in 2020. He couldn’t be bothered to meet the bare minimum threshold and then sued because he didn’t think the rules should apply to him. This is not a mentality Fullerton needs or can afford and yet the mentality that typically is attracted to our City Council.

It seems that in this 60% Latino District the top two Progressives are a Caucasian Carpetbagger and a Syrian Showman. Which of the race baiting district election supporters saw this coming?

*Editorial Correction – In the original version of this post we said that District 5 lost a candidate. According to Castaneda’s lawyer, Greg Diamond, “Trini” plans on running a write-in campaign. So while he may still be a losing candidate, there will in fact be one-less than anticipated candidate on the ballot.

The original post also stated that Castaneda did the bare minimum. The law is to turn in 20 valid signatures and thus stating that Castaneda did the bare minimum is factually incorrect. Had he met the minimum threshold he would have qualified. He factually did less than the bare minimum and attempted to do just above the bare minimum.

Good Bye and Good Riddance

Ed Royce, holding forth to a mesmerized audience. (Image pilfered from Voice of OC)

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.

Well, so long, Ed.

Who Is Paulette Marshall?

Good question. She is the spouse of Fullerton Councilman Doug “Bud” Chaffee, and has often been considered the brains of the operation.

She is also rumored to be a future council candidate from the 2nd District once that district comes up for election – now slated for 2020. Here is Ms. Marshall attending an underpass opening ceremony. She’s the one over on the left wearing the purple jacket.

Here’s a close up.

But wait. Why is she even there? She doesn’t hold any official position in the city. And even more importantly, why is she wearing a City of Fullerton badge bearing the official city seal?  How did she get that badge and why is she wearing it?

A cynical person might suspect that Ms. Marshall is posing in a photo op like this for future campaign material, projecting the subliminal message of “incumbent.” But that would be extremely unethical and really hard to credit.

Old Hornet Rejects New Tax

Here’s a fellow named Skip Davis who gives our “honorable” City Council an earful about the proposal to create a new property tax in downtown Fullerton to pay for the mess created by City politicians in the first place: the Culture of Booze.

It was fun to watch ol’ Skip unload on the notion of a Bizness Improvement District with its attendant tax, a tax generally aimed at people completely innocent of the mayhem that our City Council caused and their cops can’t control. But Skip makes a salient point: why is his retirement income so easy for the government to lay its hands on when the Heroes in the back of the room have completely sacrosanct (and massive) pensions.

All citizens are equal, but some citizens are more equal than others (Part 1)

I have a thought experiment for those of you who work in the private sector.
Let’s suppose you are accused of some misdeed by your employer. It could something minor like rudeness to a customer, or something potentially criminal such as embezzlement, assault or even potentially murder or manslaughter.

Hypothetically

Let’s further suppose your employer comes to you and asks you about certain accusations. What do you suppose would happen if you refused to answer any questions about that incident unless you had an attorney present? And if you did speak to speak to your employer what are the chances they would agree to not use your statement against you in a criminal action? Could you refuse a polygraph test under any circumstance? And could you insist your employer never disclose the results of their investigation upon pain of criminal prosecution?

The answer in the private sector is clear cut: while you have constitutional rights in criminal proceedings (including the right to have an attorney present and against self incrimination) if you refuse to cooperate with an employer you can be fired on the spot.

Not so for many of our public employees. Thanks to the Police Officer’s Bill of Rights (Government Code §3300-3311) many of the rights afforded to all of us in criminal prosecutions are also afforded to officers in administrative actions. For example, pursuant to Government Code §3303(f), statements made under duress, coercion “or threats of punitive action” are inadmissible in civil proceedings as well as criminal. Thanks to the decision in Lybarger v. City of Los Angeles (1985) 40 Cal.3d 822, an officer can be disciplined for refusing to answer questions in an administrative hearing, but only if they are first told that the statements cannot be used against him in any criminal matter. An officer also has a right to have council present during any administrative proceedings relating to their conduct. And if there is a violation of any of these or other rights, there is no requirement to exhaust administrative remedies first (like the rest of us have to); the officer can immediately sue in Superior Court.

The combination of the protections in POBAR and the Supreme Court decision in Copley Press, Inc. v. Superior Court (39 Cal.4th 1272) have combined to essentially make our public safety employees above the law. Copley guarantees that any complaints against officers that are handled through the police department will be investigated at the sole discretion of that department, since the public is typically not told how the department ruled or why. Or even whether they looked into the matter at all. Remember, Chief Dan Hughes once admitted that many complaints against officers were simply tossed into the wastepaper basket, since there was no ramification for the department for doing so.

“After careful deliberation, we have concluded that no evidence exists to warrant disciplinary action. At least, not anymore.”

This does not mean that there are no good officers in Fullerton, but it does mean that there are no meaningful external check on the conduct of officers that are a problem, so long as the conduct is not so shocking it winds up becoming a national story. And even then, the protections afforded by POBAR makes firing for even the most shocking crime difficult. See for example Kenton Hampton, who is still employed by the Fullerton Police Department (and pulling in $175,958.90 in total pay and benefits as of 2015, according to Transparent California) despite his involvement in the beating death of Kelly Thomas and the beating/ false imprisonment of Veth Mam (video here) and the fact that even Joseph Wolfe may actually be reinstated despite his role in Thomas’s death.

Since we cannot rely on transparency (state law prohibits it), and we cannot rely on officers within the department to come forward (don’t forget, Copley makes disclosure of internal personnel records a criminal offense, and as Paul Irish has recently learned, even mild, non-specific criticism of department policy can get you in more trouble with your employer than standing around doing nothing while your fellow officers beat a man to death), I concluded several years ago that an effective independent Civilian Oversight Commission was the best method of placing some check on our public employees. Rather than simply advocate for the civilian oversight, those of us who were advocating it decided to prepare their own proposed ordinance, which Matt Leslie has been hosting on his Fullerton Rag blog ever since (it can be found here, although the transfer does appear to have altered the subsections in a way that makes it a bit confusing).

The specifics of and the benefits of the proposed ordinance, and the means in which this City Council could implement it, will be discussed in Part 2.