Dan Hughes is a Liar

Disney Danny.

Fullerton Police Chief and current Cast Member Copper at the Walt Disney Corporation Danny Hughes was compelled to testify at a nuisance hearing today, 24 April 2017, at Fullerton City Hall.

During the hearing he was asked, under oath, about his involvement in the Joe Felz DUI disaster. According to an article in the Voice of OC, Hughes claimed that Felz was afforded some sort of “objectivity” by the orders he issued to his officers that night. He also had some choice words about Fullerton. Let’s go to the audio (transcribed below without his “uhs”):

“When there is a, especially in the city of Fullerton, where there is somebody, whether it be a City Council Member or in this particular case the City Manager, those types of incidents are gonna, what I would describe, blow up. No matter what that decision is made regarding the outcome of that case there there will be allegations and conspiracy theories and all sorts of information that comes from that. So, uh, generally speaking the supervisor would notify a Lieutenant, that Lieutenant would notify the Captain, the Captain would generally either make the decision or contact me.”

Allegations and Conspiracy Theories. How quaint. That’s almost as cute as when Pat McKinley tried blaming the Kelly Thomas protests on “outside agitators”.

Let me break this down for former Chief Hughes and the cops in the audience.

That same “If you aren’t a criminal so what are you afraid of?” maxim that you all love so much? It applies double to you. Our fair residents have no reason to trust the FPD after the years and years of corruption and corrupt officers that just can’t help themselves from turning to the dark side. Bad Apples you say? Maybe, but I don’t see any heroes stepping up to put them down. I don’t see officers testifying against their corrupt allies. My inbox isn’t exactly brimming with HeroMail™ regarding what needs to change on the inside. Maybe if that blue wall of silence didn’t protect violent felonious acts and sexual predators we wouldn’t feel the need to make “allegations” about your culture of corruption.

Further to the point the Felz incident has nothing to do with the outcomes of a “case” but rather with the circumspect treatment at the scene of a crime. Nobody cares if everybody on city staff was called that night because what matters is that AFTER the calls were made the officers on the scene opted to not do their jobs be it by choice or by following possibly illegal orders.

Hughes stated in his own memo that Felz smelled of alcohol and yet nobody made sure that the situation was beyond reproach by administering a breathalyzer. Felz was treated differently than the thousands of drunks that are arrested yearly here in Fullerton and that’s how you end up with “allegations” and “information that comes from that”.

As for the “conspiracy theories” comment? The idea that Hughes was complicit in a Felz cover-up isn’t the stuff of conspiracies as that’s just simple deductive reasoning. THIS is a Conspiracy:

Still more believable than Hughes’ version of events on 09 Nov 2016

Exit Question: In the above audio Hughes claims the following:

“So, uh, generally speaking the supervisor would notify a Lieutenant, that Lieutenant would notify the Captain, the Captain would generally either make the decision or contact me.”

I believe the Watch Commander from Hughes’ own memo above was Lieutenant Andrew Goodrich. So was protocol and the chain of command, generally speaking, broken when Lieutenant Goodrich called Hughes and not his Captain? And if so, why?

Behind the Badge

One of the more startling examples of stupid waste at Fullerton City Hall has been the exorbitant expense of Behind the Badge: fifty large ones a year for former bad OC Register “journalists” to publish and disseminate pro-cop propaganda pabulum. It was all phony crap meant to obscure the real news about the FPD: a litany of bad behavior and criminal activity that over the past decade has spanned the breadth of the California Penal Code. Fortunately, thanks to the Friends this ridiculous waste is coming to an end. We wanted to make sure, too, so we requested the good bye letter.

And here is our temporary police chief Dave Hinig, hand-wringing over the loss of what can only be described as no loss at all for the taxpayer:

Is this some sort of sick joke? Value? To whom? Certainly not for the people who were paying out almost $250,000 over the past four years.

And what’s really laughable is all this lachrymose bullshit over a contract that was made in secret, was grossly mismanaged, and that had no actual requirements for performance – even if Joe Felz had had any inclination to oversee what he initiated.

Well, anyway, Behind the Badge is going away although why we have to pay another $8000 for two more months of this unadulterated literary manure is beyond me.

Photo Fun: Jesus Asks Questions

If you don’t ask you’ll never find out…

Friends, in response to our public records act request regarding council communications on November 9th, 2016, we actually received the image below from newly-elected but not even sworn-in councilman Jesus Silva.

The first message from the afternoon of November 9th is “responsive,” but not requested since Silva was not yet a councilman. Still it’s pretty darn funny.

The second message dated five days later is a completely gratuitous offering, and you are free to make of it what you will. To me it looks an awful lot like Jesus was planning a list of invitees to an upcoming fundraiser. Let’s hope Felz didn’t waste any time on a purely political exercise for somebody too lazy too do his own research. Of course Stumblejoe had other things on his mind on November 14th.

Jesus Silva’s phone

I wonder if Joe had a restful weekend.

Coverup Deepens As Fitzgerald Tampers With Phone Records

When Councilwoman Jennifer Fitzgerald finally got around to not misunderstanding the public records request for her phone communications on November 9th, 2016, FFFF received a document that purported to be responsive to our request. Here it is:

Have you ever seen a phone bill that wasn’t sorted chronologically? That’s because the document we received is not a phone bill. It’s data that was dumped into an Excel spreadsheet and deliberately sorted to confuse the chronological record and quite possibly to obscure the sequence and time-frame of redacted calls. This is not the public record that was requested and is not responsive to the request that was made by FFFF. In fact, this clumsy effort at obfuscation gives every indication of being an attempt to hide Ms. Fitzgerald’s communications in the early hours of November 9th.

And just for fun we have helped out with the names associated with the numbers:

Names added by FFFF Telephonic Investigation Team.

As usual, when someone looks like they’re trying to hide something folks get a little suspicious that there is something worth hiding. And when it comes to our lobbist-councilwoman, we’re naturally suspicious to start with. So rest assured, Friends, we’ll be demanding that we get the original record, and not some self-serving, massaged data.

It’s All Just a Case of Miscommunication

How funny. When you hire a lawyer the City’s legal minions suddenly realize that peddling bullshit may just have ramifications. They become slightly less obnoxious to the citizens they are supposed to be working for.

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

In the case of Jennifer Fitzgerald’s phone records from the early morning of November 9th, 2016, the public was first told that there were no responsive records. FFFF knew that was a lie because Fitzgerald herself admitted she was in communication with the police chief, Danny “Galahad” Hughes that night; and Hughes memorialized his conversations with councilmembers the very next day in a written memo.

That was when FFFF decided to lawyer up.

Well, here’s the response FFFF attorney, Kelly Aviles, received to her first demand letter. Mostly it’s a clarification about what FFFF wants. But the final page of the response contains this priceless gem:

 

 

Seems it was all just a “miscommunication,” donchaknow, in which the poor, befuddled lobbyist-councilwoman Fitzgerald thought members of the public were seeking information about some whole other day, you know, just for the heck of it. But boy was she hustling to cooperate when she found out what FFFF really wanted!

Yeah, sure, whatever you say, “Jen.”

The Infection of Unaccountable Money

This is the second in a series of posts written by our Friend, Fullerton Engineer.

Anybody who thinks the problem with transportation and “transit” funds  is that there aren’t enough of them, either isn’t paying attention or is profiting off of the notion – either as a government bureaucrat, a consultant, a lobbyist, or an engineering construction contractor. The partisan political yappers can be added to the list too.

California government is awash with money. It is also awash with the characters and interests listed above, who all stand to gain from the new Gas Tax that will be levied on everybody else. Sure, everybody benefits, right? And the mantra of “our infrastructure is crumbling?” It sounds dire and maybe it is. But the solution is not new taxes, but effective and accountable use of the resources we already have. Until our governments can demonstrate that they are responsible stewards of what they have, why entrust them with any more?

As was recently noted on this blog, governments are rarely penalized for their misuse of their property, and the same goes for misuse of existing funds; and it would never occur to the transportation lobby to shape up. Why bother, when a helpful Legislature is more than happy to raise taxes and then start handing out salvers of freshly slaughtered pork? The simple fact is that grant funds from a distant government attracts a long line of bureaucratic applicants willing to spend that money in any fashion that meets the bare minimum of requirements from other bureaucrats in Sacramento. This diffusion of authority and ultimately the lack of coherent oversight is at the root of California’s current infrastructure woes. The fact that every dollar sent off to Washington or Sacramento or even collected by OCTA comes back after a big whack has been taken off the top only exacerbates the situation.

And then there is the problem of “transit” projects, a bottomless well of bureaucratic mismanagement, political corruption, and misuse of public funds for pet boondoggle projects that provide minimal, if any benefit to the public, but lots of benefit to the people entrusted with spending the money and those receiving it.

It may have been expensive, but it sure was unnecessary…

Which brings me to case of The People of Fullerton v. the Added Train Station Elevators,  a study that will examine the long and painful (and ongoing) history of this completely unnecessary project that is quickly approaching a $5,000,000 price tag. This comedy of errors and overspending was to be paid for with funds from sources apart from Fullerton’s Capital Funds, namely State transportation funds Prop 1B and Prop 118,  and of course the completely mismanaged OC Measure M Renewal funds. When somebody else is picking up the check it’s a lot easier to lose sight of priorities and interest in accountability. In this instance the availability of this play money has acted like a disease that has rendered everyone senseless and indifferent – a sort of malaise in which no one seems to care about what they are doing or how much it costs.

Fullerton Engineer

Fullerton’s New City Motto: “Not Guilty, Your Honor!”

It was like getting hit with a broomstick all over again…

Earthly human Friends, you may or may not care care for the proposed motto in the title. If not, feel free to share your own in the comments thread.

All I know is that the line of criminal defendants is getting even longer and the list of uncharged miscreants longer still.

Of course to the Old Guard, like my former mistress, everything is just copacetic in Fullerton and the real problem is not a busted budget, lying councilwomen, cratered streets, broken water mains, occasional landslides, a hit-and-run city manager or even a conga line of bad cops.

No. The problem is a lazy, ignorant and cheap citizenry that expects honest cops, decent roads a competent $200,000 city manager and a truly balanced budget.

When I was on Earth used to complain about the conditions at Casa Flory and then BAM, out came the broomstick. Well Fullerton humans, I can already see the backswing…

Stumblejoe’s Day in Court

Your honor, I’d like to make a toast. I mean enter a plea…

Today, Joe Felz’ attorney, Bob Hickey, attended a pre-trial hearing at North Court.  FFFF’s trusted courtroom observer was there to hear a plea of “not guilty” entered on Felz’ behalf.

Those wishing to follow the docket may do so at http://www.occourts.org.  Select “Online Case Access” then “Criminal and Traffic Case Access”. His case number is 17NM03367.

This could get interesting!

Wild Ride Joe Felz Goes to Court

Cheers, Your Honor…

Our former City Manager, Joe Burt Felz, the guy who couldn’t keep his minivan on Glenwood Avenue in the early morning hours of November 9th, is scheduled to go to court for arraignment on April 3rd. That’s Monday.

Poor Sappy. So young, so vibrant…

You may remember the Wild Ride incident, in which motorist Felz, after a night of election partying, jumped a curb, ran over a tree, and tried to drive away. After a few months of procrastination, DA finally charged Felz with a couple of misdemeanors. The obvious problem to anyone paying attention is that there is no physical evidence of inebriation, leaving charges that could be easily batted away by the dimmest of defense attorneys.

Your Honor, can I borrow that wooden hammer thingy?

So when asked to enter a plea, what will Felz’s high powered attorney do? Guilty is problematic, personally, for Felz. and his ever-dimming reputation. Not Guilty could mean the embarrassment of a trial at some point, no matter how implausible that event seems – a trial in which video evidence is bound to surface; but it would have the salubrious effect of delaying PRA requests under the bogus argument that that legal proceedings are underway. Then there is the nolo contendere plea, which seems to offer the benefit of making the thing go away, possibly with some sort of fine and suspended sentence without having to utter the word guilty.

If the hearing is held as scheduled we will be alerting the Friends as to the outcome.

 

FFFF Fights City Hall for Release of Wild Ride Felz Communications

Here’s to secrecy…and to all my good ideas, too!

For several months FFFF has been stymied in our attempts to find out who talked to whom in the early morning hours of November 9, 2016 when former City Manager Joe Felz drove off Glenwood Avenue, ran over a tree, and tried to motor off. Although he was stopped by the cops and smelled of liquor, calls were made and Felz got off scott free. For a while.

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

We want to know who had a hand in this dereliction of duty on the part of a police department that has become psychologically addicted to MADD DUI award ceremonies at council meetings. We want to know the role of former Chief Dan Hughes who admitted to communication with councilmembers; of then-mayor Jennifer Fitzgerald who claims to have no responsive documents although she has admitted to getting a call at 3 AM of the morning in question; of the ever-egregious Watch Commander on November 9th, Andrew Goodrich, whose frequent indifference to competent police work has been well-documented on these pages; of one Sergeant Corbett, who showed up at the scene and gave Felz the Breathalyzer pass so that no irrefutable evidence of Felz’s inebriation exists.

Standards were applied, all right. I should know, I’m in charge of the bureau!

Over the months we have been stonewalled by the excuse of phony police investigations, phony personnel investigations, by ridiculous reading of the law, and by the outright prevarications of Fitzgerald.

Now we’re going to try to get to the bottom of this: to find out who was behind the Felz Free Ride and the obvious creation of a double standard for drunk drivers in Fullerton. We have been advised brusquely by City Attorney employee and sex law specialist Gregory Palmer, Esq. that we have recourse. So we have engaged the services of an attorney, Kelly Aviles, to help us find out what the people in City Hall don’t want us to know.

Aviles is a California Public Records Act specialist who serves as litigation counsel for Californians Aware, an organization that helps journalists in the fight for government transparency. Aviles has represented several major news organizations in lawsuits to turn over unlawfully withheld public records.

Here is the first communication with City Attorney, Richard Jones. It probably won’t be the last.

Click to read (4 pages)

Will all this lead to a lawsuit? That depends on whether the City Attorney decides to obey the law; and perhaps on whether there are three councilmembers with any integrity.