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.

His Finest Hour?

After a night of election celebrating, former Fullerton City Manager, Joe Felz, drove home drunk as the proverbial skunk, ran off the road and over a tree, then tried to drive off before being apprehended by his own cops.

The ensuing cover up cost a cop his job, gave the FPD yet another black eye, and eventually entangled the City in a losing a retaliatory lawsuit against FFFF and bloggers Joshua Ferguson, David Curlee.

Partial videos have finally been released, although the dash cam videos have not. Of course this is not a surprising omission given that the cop in charge at the scene -Sergeant Corbett – did his level best to obscure images the still-inebriated Felz; the dash cams would undoubtedly show the the not-too flattering images of Felz hit-and-run and his comical attempt to escape the long arm of the law.

Mayhem Continues in Downtown Fullerton

Hook ’em horns…

The Florentine Mob may be gone; the douchebag Jeremy Popoff has popped off somewhere; but the battlefield known as Downtown Fullerton – created and nurtured by our own government is still in fine form. And by fine form, I mean gunfire.

The FPD has announced that it has apprehended one of our stand up DTF patrons who allegedly fired shots a the JP23 “restaurant” following an altercation therein.

Somebody got shot. Here’s part of the cop’s statement (self-congratulatory bullshit omitted):

On Tuesday, July 6, 2021, at approximately 1:03 AM, Fullerton Police Officers responded to 101 S. Harbor Boulevard, JP23 Urban Kitchen and Bar, regarding a subject who had been shot.

Upon arrival, Officers located a 24-year-old male with a single gunshot wound. Officers immediately rendered aid to the victim, and he was transported to a local trauma center. It was determined the gunshot wound was not life-threatening and the victim was expected to survive.

So once again the establishment known as JP23 finds itself in the middle of crime, although most of the crime at this place comes from the refusal of the owner to obey the Fullerton Municipal Code and his own Conditional Use Permit.

Oh, well. I guess there’s a certain amount of psychological reassurance that some things just don’t change. And mayhem in Downtown Fullerton appears to be one of them.

10 Year Anniversary

Although it has no doubt escaped notice by many, last Monday was the 10-year anniversary of the bludgeoning of Kelly Thomas by a gang wearing the colors of the Fullerton Police Department. This Saturday will mark the date his family removed the homeless, schizophrenic man from artificial life support.

But the Friends haven’t forgotten. And we haven’t forgotten that people who did this to Kelly Thomas were acquitted by a bone-head jury; that the FPD was never reformed; that the police department over the past decade has continued to employ and deploy angry, prevaricating, larcenous police officers; that the FPD sucks up half our budget. And we will never forget how Fullerton’s “establishment”  liberals hid behind their drawn curtains in fright when justice was demanded, and instead tried to divert attention to the homeless problem.

And let’s never forget the millions paid out to Kelly Thomas’s mother and father.

No, Sharon Quirk, this was not about socks. It was about a dead man, chocked to death in his own blood.

The Dead Kennedys & Others

Now that the City of Fullerton’s retaliatory lawsuit against FFFF bloggers Joshua Ferguson and David Curlee has finally done its inevitable Zeppelin Hindenburg act, some folks who promoted and nurtured the despicable assault on freedom are already trying to rewrite their participation.

Don’t get too close. They bite…

Kimberly Barlow, Esquiress of the lamentable law firm of Jones, Mayer and Gecko is saying she’s just “happy the City got its documents back” another disingenuous swipe at Ferguson and Curlee who never deprived Barlow of anything; her “happiness” is costing us $750,000, at least , but she forgot to tell the reporter this inconvenient fact.

Zahra-Busted
Why is this man smiling?

Ahmad Zahra the hapless, preening poseur, and insufferable boohoo gasbag is now claiming that he was a “fan” of settling this lawsuit, a statement completely unsupported by any fact as the City continued its legal harassment of FFFF.

The track record was poor…

Then there’s Sharon Kennedy, the (former, supposedly) proprietor of the Fullerton Observer. In a comment string at their blog, Kennedy is now denying her involvement defaming our bloggers and pretending that her involvement was strictly objective. Unfortunately for her, the facts suggesst a slimy collaboration with the City and Jones, Mayer and Gecko. Her “expert” who claimed that she hired him, produced an opinion that was a joint statement to the Observer and an official Declaration to the Court in the case. How that happened and who, if anybody remunerated this self-styled expert is unknown – so far, but it looks suspicious as all Hell. Commenters are questioning Kennedy, but she isn’t answering. And naturally, the expert conveniently backed up the long-since debunked statement of the City’s own “expert.”

Kennedy can claim innocence all she wants, but her track record of venom toward this blog and really toward anybody else whose honesty threatens the well-being of government employees is well-known, and the malice might be pretty easy to prove in court if anybody cared to hold her accountable.

Well, the rats can scurry off the SS Jones, Mayer and Gecko as quick as their little legs will hurry them along. But the facts are incontrovertible and somebody, and soon, is going to have to pay the proverbial piper – just like the taxpayers are going to have to pay for the horrible and intentional malice of City Hall and its lawyers.

 

 

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.

 

Flory’s Weed Connection

SureJan

In a previous post I alluded to Jan Flory’s alleged investments in the weed industry. Today I’m confirming it (as others have) and shedding light on a possible reason for her willingness to vote for an ordinance to put weed in neighborhoods despite HER OWN expectations that a buffer be added later.

A buffer that cannot be added until AFTER the ordinance goes into effect.

So not only did Jan Flory open us up to litigation by expecting a future council to take away zoning rights from landowners, playing along with The Other Dick Jones as he gave terrible legal advice which pushes Fullerton closer to being sued (all under the negligent eye of City Manager Ken Domer), but she ALSO voted to possibly enrich herself in the process. (more…)

Fullerton City Attorney Lies by Omission, Weed Lawsuits Likely Inbound

dick-jones

It’s high time the Fullerton City Council fired City Manager Ken Domer and the City’s resident law firm Jones & Mayer. They have opened the city up to too much litigation (including a public records lawsuit I have against the City) and frankly are incapable of doing their jobs in an honest and professional way.

Allow me to explain by way of legal weed in Fullerton. (more…)

14 Years on Council and Jan Flory Still Couldn’t Figure Out Her Job

JanFlory-Official

Jan Flory’s last full meeting on council sums up pretty much everything I hate about hack politicians. When the Marijuana map and ordinance came up for a vote she expressed dismay that the ordinance had been “turned upside down” at the second reading which she’d never seen in her 14 millennia on council for all the good it did.

The issues mostly related to zoning and where legal weed shops would and wouldn’t be allowed in Fullerton. Many people didn’t want the council to change our zoning laws to allow weed into neighborhoods, requesting a farther “buffer” between homes and pot.

Before voting, Flory lamented that she understood why voters might not like having pot shops in their neighborhoods and that the council should “amend the ordinance as soon as possible”.

SureJan

She then, of course, voted for the ordinance with Jesus Silva & Ahmad Zahra giving it the third vote needed to become the law of the land.

Let’s go to the video evidence:

What the ever loving hell Jan. That was literally your job – to make sure the ordinance was good & respected the wishes of citizens BEFORE voting for it. That’s how this whole “representative democracy” thing is supposed to work. Oh. Wait. I forgot. She only represented Fitzgerald, Silva and Zahra this time around as they’re the only ones who actually voted to put her on council.

As for her bluster about the ordinance being turned “upside down”, it clearly wasn’t turned upside down enough in the second reading or it would have addressed the VERY citizen concerns that Flory herself thought needed to be addressed. I can’t decide if this was stupidity or just arrogant preening. Both. Both is probably it.

Why not just vote no? Or vote to leave it to the next council? Clearly by her own words, Jan Flory thought that the new council was capable of fixing her mistake but she just had to vote because… why?

The best part is that her vote actually changes zoning and therefore adds a vested property right in the properties that she voted to allow to sell weed. It’s not an easy fix to now take away that vested right and in fact opens the city of Fullerton up to possible litigation should somebody be able to show a loss (or taking) from the government action of removing their new right to sell weed in the future.

Not only does the new council have to vote to fix Flory’s arrogant/ignorant mistake, per her own wishes, they have to do it quickly before somebody can build a strong enough case to sue.

Way to go Jan, despite all of your years bragging about your law practice you managed to open the city up to yet another potential set of lawsuits because you just had to get the last vote in before leaving council once again. After 14 years on council I would expect you’d have learned a thing or two but alas I suppose not.

It should be noted that at no time did the City Manager, City Staff or City Attorney’s Office correct Mrs. Flory in order to let her know the complications of overturning her vote. That, of course, would have required them to proactively do their jobs and that’s just not how we do things in Fullerton.

Zahra Ignores History to Avoid Accountability

As I’ve outlined in previous posts, our City spends an inordinate amount of money on pay/pensions and less and less each year on actual infrastructure and things that benefit us, the local taxpayers.

I’m used to the pushback from the local BooHoos who love taxes, but I caught a post by City Council hack Ahmad Zahra claiming that our financial troubles are from past councils and that he wants to look forward.

Zahra Blame Shifting
“Regardless of how we got here…”

“Regardless of how we got here and who to blame, we’re here now and we’re on the bring.”

Our veritable Government Rafiki would have you believe that the sins of the past don’t matter because he wants to look to the future (but only when government incompetence is involved).

Rafiki In the Past

I honestly couldn’t eyeroll hard enough when I saw that nonsense from Zahra for the simple reason that Ahmad Zahra SUPPORTS the very financial sins that got us where we are today – being begged for more taxes so bureaucrats and union hacks can make more while watching our roads & our city crumble.

Because Zahra won’t tell you the truth or give you the facts, it’s time for a history lesson from yours truly.

Back in the day our then idiotic governor, Gray Davis, signed SB 400 which was sold on a lie (like most all legislation) that it would benefit government employees but wouldn’t cost taxpayers a dime more in actual costs. Those benefits came in the form of a 3% at 50 pension formula which, despite the lies told to sell it, bit us in the ass because the government is full of thieving bastards who have no incentive to the tell the truth or worry about taxpayers. Oh, and they also suck at math and their jobs.

These pensions are calculated on highest pay which means that after 30 years on the job, officers would qualify for 90% of the highest pay for the rest of their lives. This was also grandfathered and given to people who were never promised it during employment or contract negotiations.

This next part is very important and needs to be repeated. This pension giveaway isn’t based on averages or aggregates. If an officer worked patrol for 27 years making $75k/year and then jumped into command in the last few years of the job making $150/year, his pension would be based on that $150/year.

So Officer Friendly here will get 90% of $150k for the rest of his life and contrary to popular mythology the average officer outlives the average taxpayer.

The math on this problem is simple. 90% of $150k is $135k/year meaning the officer in this scenario will get $60,000 MORE in retirement every year than he earned over the first 27 years of his career.

But wait, there's more!
But wait, there’s more!

This is a “defined benefit”. That means that if the State screws up in their planning (what? no!) and under-funds the pension funds (in this case CalPERS) then Officer Friendly loses nothing. If the market goes to hell (like when the State kills the economy over a virus) you can kiss your 401K goodbye but not so if you work for the government. They lose nothing, nadda, zip, zilch. That’s right, zero. Here in CA we have what’s known as “The California Rule” which was made up by the courts to say that once you promise a government employee something you can never take it away regardless of how bad it may hurt you. If your city promised the moon and stars to the police and then goes bankrupt, you the taxpayer still owe them the moon and the stars.

This has been fiddled with slightly over the years and newer hires get 3% at 55 but all of the problems still persist.

Which brings us back to Ahmad Zahra. Governor Davis passed the law that allowed that 3% @ 50 formula but it had to be approved in contracts at the local level. Here in Fullerton it passed in 2002 in a 5-0 vote with City Council members Bankhead, Clesceri, Jones, Norby and…. Jan Flory all voting to screw us financially well into the future.

Fullerton Vote SB400
These are the names of our destroyers

Skip ahead to 2018 when Jesus Silva vacated his at-large council seat to run in District 3. That newly open seat was filled when Zahra, who had previously signaled a preference for representative democracy, opted to apparently sell his integrity for a seat on the water board and became the deciding vote in appointing the very same Jan Flory back onto Fullerton’s City Council.

There’s a lot of depth to this speculative story but to summarize, Flory was hopping mad that Bruce Whitaker got put on Water Board (a lucrative job) in her place when she left council in 2016 and wanted revenge. The fix was in with Fitzgerald & Silva to replace Whitaker with Zahra should Zahra sell out his pretend principles and gift the open council seat to Flory. Lo and behold he voted for Flory and immediately Whitaker got replaced by Zahra on the Water Board.

Zahra had no clue what the water board but he did what was best for Zahra. Same with Measure S. He doesn’t care that taxes hit the poorest hardest despite living in the poorest district in Fullerton – he needs the Union Hero endorsement so screw the poors if it helps his career. This is man who champions vanity projects while ignoring police oversight all while demanding more and more of your hard earned money via taxation which he calls “revenue”.

This is why Zahra wants to “regardless” his way out of the blame game and ignore who got us into this mess – because the weasel doesn’t want you to know that he endorsed and voted to put one of the very architects of our local financial misery BACK onto the council less than 2 years ago. That he supports the very things that got us into this mess and will continue to support bleeding you dry as long as it benefits him.

And this isn’t just a case of Ahmad being in the majority. Without his vote Jan Flory wouldn’t and couldn’t have been appointed because there were only 4 council members at the time and Bruce Whitaker was a solid no vote against Flory.

Jan “3% @ 50” Flory is only currently back on council thanks to Ahmad Zahra so don’t believe his Rafiki schtick. His actions matter, not his empty and pathetic rhetoric.