A Tale of Five Killings

See those guys over there? They didn't do it!

I wonder if I’m the only person who sees the irony in the way law enforcement has pursued the recent killings of homeless men in north Orange County, versus how they dealt with the murder of Kelly Thomas – another helpless, homeless man.

An army of cops was mobilized to locate the murderer of four homeless men in and around “The Canyon” area of Anaheim. Without getting into the details of the capture of the suspect, I note that the police and DA Tony Rackauckas were only too willing to immediately discuss and share evidence about the recently nabbed suspect. Charges were brought, post haste. Forensic evidence studied? Naw. Lab tests performed? Of course not. Has the Coroner weighed in? Hell, that could take months! Why wait?

Now consider the murder of Kelly Thomas, a killing captured on government-controlled video, a killing witnessed by dozens of people who will testify that Thomas offered no resistance and that he was physically intimidated by Ramos and piled on by three other cops. We waited for 10 long weeks while the the Coroner did some sort of forensic work or other, even though it was known from blood samples taken at UCI that Kelly was not intoxicated.

The DA made a big deal about all the witnesses his investigators interviewed; but, what the DA was really doing is now pretty clear to me. It looks to me like he was working the system as hard as possible to avoid making a case against the killers. Defending the cops and propping up the rickety justice system in this county must have been the mission. Wolfe? Exonerated. Blatney? Exonerated. Hampton? Exonerated. Craig? Exonerated. Rewritten reports? Who cares? Superiors covering up? Not his problem. True, Ramos and Cicinelli were eventually popped, but only after a public outcry never seen before in OC. And Cicinelly who allegedly knee-dropped and repeatedly face-smashed Thomas was given a laughable $25,000 bail. You get more for shoplifting.

Then, of course, there’s the wretched abuse of justice perpetrated against Veth Mam, and no doubt others like him rung up on false charges because it fits into some crooked or lazy cop’s path of least resistance.

Any doubts about who the DA is working for? I have some.

The Shameful Water Triple (Er, Quadruple) Dip

UPDATE: Of course the comment from “Do the math” is right on the money. The 10% in-lieu fee is defined as a percentage of gross revenue – including the in-lieu fee itself! This tricky little dodge adds 10% of the 10% – an add-on of yet another 1% to the cost of your water bill! Uh, oh! Quadruple dip!

The Desert Rat

Way back in 1970 the Fullerton City Council passed Resolution No. 5184 dictating that 10% of the gross revenue collected by the Water Department was a reasonable amount to cover ancillary costs from supporting City departments. Here’s the key language from the Resolution:

That an amount equal to ten percent of the gross annual water sales of the Municipal Utilities Department during the fiscal year ending June 30, 1970 is hereby transferred to the General Fund in payment for the services of the Finance Department of the City and of the City Administrator, the City Attorney and the City Clerk to the Municipal Utilities Department of the City as a part of the operating costs of the waterworks system of the City during the fiscal year ending June 30, 1970.

That at the end of the fiscal year ending on June 30, 1971 and at the end of every fiscal year thereafter, a sum equal to ten percent of the gross annual water sales of the Municipal Utilities Department of the City shall be transferred to the general Fund of the City in payment for the services, during such fiscal year, of the Finance Department of the City and of the City Administrator, the City Attorney and the City Clerk to the Municipal Utilities Department of the City.

What sort of justification proved that 10% of the water revenue in 1970 should have gone to the General Fund is anybody’s guess.

In 1982 the City Council passed an ordinance permitting itself the authority to collect an “in-lieu” fee from  the water utility as a fixed percentage of revenue. Despite the name change, the City continued to add the historic 10% to Fullerton’s water bills, and rake it off directly into the General Fund – without so much as a second thought.

A bit confusing? Not really. The original justification for the fuzzy 10% figure was to reimburse the City for vague incurred costs; calling it an in-lieu fee never changed the inescapable fact that the 10% amount was supposed to pay for actual costs associated with running the waterworks. Either way, as of 1997 and the implementation of Prop. 218, that became illegal.

Flash forward to today, and peruse this year’s budget documents. The Water Fund is Fund 44. Check out the total column on the right.

Summary of Appropriations by Fund.

Notice the amount directly allocated in the 2011-12 budget to the City Manager and Administration: $1.7 million ($29,917 + $1,678,962).

Now let’s see some actual charges. Observe Fiscal year 2009-10, over there, in the left column.

Summary of Expenditures and Appropriations by Fund

Good grief! As you might have guessed (based on this year’s budget), in 2009-10 the City directly charged the Water Fund over $1.5 million for the City Council, City Manager, and Administrative Services; plus fifty grand for Human Resources, and $100,000 for Community Development!

And this means that those services that were originally being used to justify the 10% levy on our water bills are already being charged directly to the General Fund. Double Dip!

Of course it gets worse. We now know the 10%  is a double dip; but hold on to your water bill. Because the directly charged costs for “administration” are considered part of the base waterworks cost; the automatic 10% in-lieu fee (which was supposed to pay for “administration” but that pays for nothing), is applied to that! That increase this year is at least $170,000, if you add 10% to that $1.7 million figure we saw in the first table. Triple Dip!

And that, Friends, is a triple gainer off the high board and right into the deep end of the pool.

 

 

Mob Mentality?

The closer you look, the worse it gets...

Apparently FPD PIO Andrew Goodrich misses the irony when describing an outraged public he thinks is suffering from a mob mentality; of course it’s okay for the cops to act like a lynch-type mob, as they did with Kelly Thomas.

Here’s an e-mail in which the propagandist Goodrich shares his observations on an LA Time editorial with his boss, soon to be sick Mike Sellers. Goodrich may have wished for some cooling off but it didn’t happen. And the not so “glowing” tone of the media didn’t get any better, either.

Another Round of Anti-Recall Fabrications

After discovering that Fullerton was not biting on their “Bushala Buying Fullerton” fairy tale,  the Anti-Recall committee moved on to their pathetic and even hysterical Plan B: maybe Fullerton will believe that both Tony and Chris Thompson were hooked up several times by the Fullerton PD, hauled and away and placed under investigation by the Orange County DA?

Since this story can be factually disproven, they might want to consider going back to their buying Fullerton strategy.

This week, Larry Bennett attached his name to this mailer which can be seen (here) and additionally attached it as a file to an email blast which can be seen (here).

This monolithic mailer must have cost a bundle to send out. Along with a giant pair of handcuffs and the header of “Busted”, it includes three more postage paid opportunities for voters to tell Bankhead, Jones and McKinley what horrific leaders they have actually been.

The Fullerton Recall has had an uninterrupted and remarkably cooperative relationship with now Interim Chief Dan Hughes and the Fullerton PD with regard to our signature gathering activities at retail locations. It is informally understood between our campaign and the FPD that they WILL NOT arrest our people for signature gathering activities. But in California it is legally incumbent upon any police officer to assist any citizen in executing a citizen’s arrest if the accuser claims to witness a crime.

The bottom line is that signature gathering in front of multi-tenant retail centers s is protected by the First Amendment and legal precedent.

But a number of times, supermarket managers upset by the unwillingness of the Fullerton PD to agree that a crime is occurring, have chosen to file a citizens arrest.  The process takes 3 minutes.  The police take your name, fill out some paperwork describing the citizen’s accusation, issue a “release” to the signature gatherer and submit a copy of the accusation to the DA to review.  Chief Hughes has confirmed that in every case, the DA has quickly and formally disregarded the accusations for lack of evidence.

There are NO pending cases against Tony, myself or any of our signature gatherers.  Note that we continue to gather signatures during the “arrests” and after the police leave.

Most notable with all of this continues to be the absolute unwillingness of the anti-recall campaign to address or debate the real issues of the recall:

  • An absence of management over out-of-control Fullerton cops.
  • The theft of $27 million of taxpayer’s money with an illegal franchise tax.
  • The planned doubling of our exorbitant water rates.
  • A multi-million dollar annual city budget deficit.
  • Bankhead and Jones’ effort to secretly and retroactively spike the pensions of their buddies who run city hall.
  • Putting every Fullerton voter $1,700 in debt with a $124 million unfunded city employee pension liability.
  • Absconding with $10 million per year of revenue for schools and public safety through an illegal and massive expansion of the corporate welfare known as Redevelopment.

Good News! Sellers Isn’t Dead Yet.

Which is a lot more than we can say for Kelly Thomas.

August 10th, 2011. A day of bathos at the Fullerton Police Department: just five weeks after the murder of Kelly Thomas at the hands of his cops, Police Chief Michael Sellers, having perused his benefits package, packs it in. Sort of.

A shitstorm is blowing up and our old friend FPD PIO Andrew Goodrich wants to get a perspective on “hats.”

Register Finally Gets on With Board Fullerton Water Rip-off

 

File under better late than never. Teri Sforza of the Register has advertised Fullerton city government’s dirty little secret. Well, I guess it was really a big secret. Not any more.

A little MSM attention will help get the word out: F. Richard Jones and Don Bankhead have been ripping us off for 15 year by adding 10% to our water bills to pay for their perks and pensions. A $27,000,000 rip-off. Now that’s not very nice, is it?

Sellers Examines His Package

Suddenly it just wouldn't be worth it anymore...

It is now August 4th, 2011 – about a month since six of now-MIA Chief Mike Sellers’ cops participated in the brutal beating death of a homeless man – and in the middle of a full-bore campaign of obfuscation by his underlings.

Here is Sellers scoping out his contract and his “executive” benefits a few days before his doctor told him he was really, really “sick.”  He is looking forward to “wrapping things up.” And how.

 

And then an inquiry into the IRS to get “squared away.”

Count The Ironies

Retirement was on his mind...

The date is July 19, 2011 and Fullerton Chief of Police Mike Sellers has just returned from his cruise and is still on vacation. FPD murder victim Kelly Thomas has been off life support for one week. Clouds are gathering, alright.

“Chief” seems interested in sharing his knowledge of some newfangled strategy called “predictive policing,” which, presumably, would not predict crimes perpetrated by the cops themselves. His correspondent, Dennis Kies, then Interim Police Chief of Costa Mesa, is suitably unimpressed.

Some folks may remember Kies from his days as police chief in La Habra, a tenure punctuated by the over-reaction cop shooting of 25 year-old Korean-American artist Michael Cho on the final day of 2007.

Then discussion of a new job at Seal Beach comes up, and apparently Kies name had popped up. “Chief” shares the bennies package.

I don’t know what a “medical retiree clause” is, but it probably has something to do with Chief’s Disease. Ironic that in less than a month Sellers himself would be  rollerskating out of Fullerton with a bad case of it.

Oops. Slidebro Backtracking?

Brandon Ferguson of the OC Weekly is suggesting that downtown Fullerton bar owner Jeremy Popoff appears to be talking out of both sides of his mouth considering his recent voicemail left at the Weekly, and assertions made subsequently on-line.

On Facebook, Mr. Pop denies dodging requests to talk to the Weekly about his establishment’s role in the Kelly Thomas murder. And he seems to be accusing Ferguson of somehow twisting the words of his voice message.

You can be the judge since Ferguson has thoughtfully posted a link to the audio and shares a screenshot of the facebook page.

True, enough, the actual word of the voice mail message are non-specific – but the topic is clear enough – Kelly Thomas – and Popoff clearly says the stories are “not true.” Since the only issue involving his establishment and the murder are the questions of who made the call to the cops, and why, we know exactly what he is talking about.

The only thing I can think of is that perhaps Slidebro is getting nervous about his denial that the call to FPD on the night of 7 /5/11 did in fact come from the Slidebar. But as Mr. Jeremy acknowledges himself, the preliminary hearing is only six weeks off and all sorts of things may start coming to light.

Broken Bones and Blaming Whitaker for the Truth

Oh, oh! The truth almost escaped her mouth! (Image generously borrowed from Fullerton Stories)

It is July 22, 2011 and now-MIA Chief Sellers gets an e-mail from City Hall’s version of Andrew Goodrich, city publicist, Syliva Palmer.

She’s subsequently fled the the scene of the crime, and won’t have to answer embarrassing questions about this correspondence – like her insinuation that Councilman Bruce Whitaker leaked inside information to FFFF in a post. Apparently the otiose Palmer was too lazy to actually read the post, and too stupid to follow the link to The Fullertonian – the ones who actually caught Goodrich in the broken bones lie.

But so what if Whitaker had actually had a hand in disseminating the truth? The outright lie about Fullerton cops suffering broken bones was propagated by Goodrich, clearly with the blessing of Sellers and Plamer, and now we may safely assume, Palmer’s boss City Manager, Joe Felz. Perhaps with the blessing of the Three Dead Tree Stumps, too. That would certainly fit the truth-challenged profile of Pat McKinley.

Note also that Palmer laments the fact that the media didn’t talk to other reliable councilmen who, presumably were only too happy to toe the party line.