ACLU Joins EFF and Reporter’s Committee In Support of FFFF

ACLU, EFF, RCFP, ACLU SoCal
The ACLU, ACLU of SoCal, EFF & RCFP Join FFFF

Yesterday the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the ACLU of Southern California & the Electronic Freedom Foundation (EFF) filed a joint amicus brief in support of us here at Friend’s for Fullerton’s Future in our ongoing legal battle with the City of Fullerton. Here’s a sample:

“Rather than accept responsibility for its own failure to limit public access to information, the City instead is attempting to stretch computer crime laws to punish those journalists—first, for uncovering unflattering information and, later, for publishing it.”

Likewise, The Reporter’s Committee for Freedom of the Press filed a separate amicus brief supporting FFFF against the City of Fullerton. Here’s a sample:

“Amicus is not aware of any case where a federal or state anti-hacking law has been misused so brazenly to target routine newsgathering—namely, the collection of government information available to any internet user.”

On the City’s side of the ledger is an amicus filed by the League of California Cities – a group the City PAYS to belong to with your tax money and they managed to argue nothing relevant to the case. Here’s a sample:

“However, hosting this information electronically presents a variety of cybersecurity issues for local governments, many of whom have limited budgets for network and security systems, outdated technology, and limited IT staff to implement organizational safeguards to protect against cybersecurity breaches and/or human error.”

They’re arguing that the City has a limited budget and it’s gosh darn tough to “implement organizational safeguards to protect against… human error”. I can’t laugh hard enough at that premise knowing their payroll and the gross negligence the city itself is claiming.

They’re all fascinating reads in different aspects.

Ultimately you know the City messed up big and that Jones & Mayer gave terrible legal advice when the ACLU et al are siding with us on the merits. The Fullerton City Council might want to consider taking a hard look at these new briefs before just blithely listening to Kim Barlow and The Other Dick Jones™ again.

I’d like to personally thank the ACLU, ACLU of SoCal, the EFF & the RCFP for their support in this exhausting case. Without their support, and the support you friends, this would be a much harder fight on all of us here at FFFF. It’s nice to have real allies when the other “journalism” outfit here in Fullerton enlisted a hack to fight against us.

Florentine Forgery/Fraud Case To Go to DA?

The family goes way back…

By now the Friends are well-aware of the attempt by Joe Florentine, the scofflaw proprietor of a restaurant and bar in downtown Fullerton, to fraudulently alter and submit official documents in pursuit of a Conditional Use Permit.

He even admitted it.

Reliable sources have indicated that a criminal investigation has been opened by the Fullerton Police Department based on a complaint filed by the property owner, Mario Marovic, and passed along to the District Attorney’s office.

Now the felonious miscreance of a Fullerton Florentine family member is about as newsworthy as a mailman bitten by a dog – no surprise there. Rather, the key facts of interest in this case are that Mr. Florentine had lots of help inside City Hall, including the Planning Director, the City Manager, and of course our top-notch City Attorney, Dick Jones, who finally had to recuse himself from dispensing laughable advice due to a conflict of interest.

Domer-Decorations
Hitching to Blythe…

Apparently, City Manager Ken Domer knew exactly what was happening and was determined to proceed with the fraud anyway.

It’s hard not to believe that some fall out from this conspiracy will land in the proximity of new Councilmembers Fred Jung and Nick Dunlap, who will certainly be averse to the radioactivity. The City Manager is already on the thinnest of ice after blowing $130,000 on a marginally legal PR campaign to promote Measure S, and then unsuccessfully trying to spend another 90 grand just before Christmas to hire an expert to try to fix the budget shortfall.  City Managers are protected by contract but there is no contractual protection for a person who has violated the law. Will we soon be hiring a management search firm?

dick-jones
Staying awake long enough to break the law…

As always, Jones and Meyer are likewise compromised by their corrupt and incompetent and self-serving practices. But Dick Jones, like Talleyrand, always seems to be able to keep his head on his shoulders despite all the revolutions.

Leaving Fullerton even worse off than she found it…

 

And what was the role of Mayor-for-hire Jennifer Fitzgerald, who was the evident and malignant influence around so much of the Fullerton’s recent mismanagement and the cover-ups that inevitably followed? It’s difficult to believe that she wasn’t pushing this through for the benefit of her pals, the Florentines.

Finally, if in fact, City leaders are found culpable in this conspiracy to commit fraud, what is the legal exposure to the taxpayers of Fullerton for both the legal costs incurred by the property owner in the case, and for other damages he may have suffered?

As FFFF learns more about the status of the case we will certainly share it. City Hall probably won’t.

 

We’re Still Being Stonewalled on Police Misconduct

Nothing to See Here

If you recall, I’m suing Fullerton because they suck at following the law when it comes to turning over records – especially related to police or employee misconduct.

By way of example as it is also a part of my case, let us focus on the case that brought me to this blog – FPD giving then City Manager Joe Felz a ride home after he drunkenly hit a tree on election night in 2016.

At that time the City wasn’t legally required to tell us anything because the public had no right to know when the people we pay break the law and the cops cover it up. This blog doggedly pursued the story and forced the city to do an investigation. That’s right, we forced their hands.

That investigation led to the termination of one Sergeant Rodger Corbett for falsifying a police report. Instead of Corbett doing his job, Joe Felz was given a ride home because despite FPD celebrating and getting awards for all of the drunks they pull over in Fullerton, hypocrisy and special favors was the order of the day when the law pertained for Fitzgerald friend Felz.

Skip ahead and in 2019 the law changed when SB1421 went into effect. That law change required police to turn over files on various issues including “sustained findings” of dishonesty which includes falsifying reports. As such I requested the pertinent files in the Felz caper on 01 January 2019 and here we are two weeks away from the 2 year anniversary of that request with no records to show for it.

I sued the city in Oct 2019. It’s now mid-December 2020. So much for transparency. (more…)

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…)

Why Did Fullerton Aide & Abet Forgery?

Caution – ethical behavior narrows ahead…

It’s been 11 months and we still don’t have any answers, let alone accountability, over the forgery committed on behalf of the Florentine family with the apparent blessing of City staff.

For those new to this story, a fraudulent Conditional Use Permit “Master Application Form” was illegally modified to allow a tenet, Joe Florentine, to change the property rights of a property owned by somebody else.

When this story first came up, Dick Jones of Jones & Mayer, the City Attorney tried to run cover for the fraud by claiming that Florentine had standing to make changes to the property rights based on an old non-relevant case in San Francisco. What the City Attorney didn’t answer, and nobody on City staff has managed to explain to date, is why the City aided and abetted fraud and forgery?

Irrespective of the alleged ability of Florentine to request changes to his permitting, he didn’t have the right to falsify or forge a document.

Here’s the CA Penal Code on forgery:

Penal Code 115 PC

115 (a) Every person who knowingly procures or offers any false or forged instrument to be filed, registered, or recorded in any public office within this state, which instrument, if genuine, might be filed, registered, or recorded under any law of this state or of the United States, is guilty of a felony.

We know that the Master Application Form was falsified, there is no question on that front. The area for the “Signature of Property Owner” was illegally replaced with “Signature of Applicant/Use Owner”. (more…)

Former Deputy DA & CHP Opinion Slaps Fullerton

Joshua by Spencer
Trying to look passed all of the bullshit the city has thrown at me

A quick catch up for those of you who might not know. The City of Fullerton is suing this blog, myself and David Curlee. We’re being sued for allegedly clicking on links on the internet and for this blog then allegedly publishing things from those links.

Things such as police misconduct, employee theft, city malfeasance and police cover-ups and so on and so forth.

The city’s argument is, essentially, that we didn’t have permission to click links.

In discussing this issue lately I was reminded about a case from here in California from back when Arnold Schwarzenegger was Governor. What happened was somebody accidentally put an audio file online on the governor’s website that wasn’t supposed to be there and somebody from the Phil Angelides for Governor campaign found it and sent it to the press.

It was known at the time as “TapeGate“.

Immediately the California Highway Patrol (the CHP had authority) sprung into action to see if anybody had violated the CA Penal Code – the same section (502) that we’re accused of having violated.

A 38-page report was submitted and that was the end of the story.

Until now. To see if there were any parallels I put in a California Public Records Act request and got the 38-page report from 2007 and it’s findings are quite illuminating in context. (more…)

And So It Begins…

We all knew that we were going to be bombarded with political mail in support of the City Council’s proposed 17% sales tax hike on this November’s ballot. And we all knew that the City Council hired a PR outfit to blow our money to educate us about the beauty of the thing – to the tune of $130,000. Of course none of this is legal, but this is Fullerton where everything is legal that the deplorable City Attorney “Dick” Jones says is legal.

Some of the Friends have already received pro-tax propaganda from our masters in City Hall and here is a sample:

Like it? You paid for it.
Tap dancing around the edge of the truth…

As usual, government tries to con us into bailing it out after it has failed so spectacularly the past decade to maintain reserves, balance budgets and pushing back against never-ending salary and pension demands from the public employee unionistas. Care about the homeless? Vote for our tax; Want potholes fixed? Tax! Youth programs? Who doesn’t love ’em – vote for our tax. Seniors? Ditto. Emergency services? They’re really getting hungry. A usual, the propaganda is larded up with misleading information and scare tactics and, gosh, we should be scared.

You will not be asked to reflect upon the reality that this same operation has dismally failed to fix roads in the past; that this bureaucracy has no intention of starting now. A Culture of Corruption in the Fullerton Police Department? Oh, we fixed that years ago – no, don’t look at that body over there, we have no idea how it got there. You’ll have to sue us to find out!

This crew has burned through tens of millions in reserve funds while its spokeholes on the council Jennifer Fitzgerald and Jan Flory lied about balancing the budget.

Ken Domer
Domer. There’s a lot less there than meets the eye.

Good luck, passing this obscentiy, boys n’ girls. The public is hurting badly at the moment and your first recourse was to try to harness us oxen with the yoke of a new and regressive tax. Well, guess what? The yokes on you, City Hall, and you’d better have a Plan B stuffed into one of Domer’s desk drawers if you know what’s good for you.

Lawyer Dick Jones Stands in Bread Line

dick-jones
Staying awake long enough to cash the check…

Well, now that the names of those receiving Trump Bucks as part of the Great Federal Covid Giveaway 2020 have been published, we here at FFFF thought we’d see if we could dig up some local recipients of government welfare, you know, just to see if we knew any names on the list.

Well, Lo and Behold!

Business Name: RICHARD D. JONES, A PROFESSIONAL LAW CORPORATION
Business Type: Subchapter S Corporation
Lender: Pacific Mercantile Bank

Loan Amount: $350,000-1 million
So our City Attorney has fallen on hard times and lined up for a bailout. I really wonder if this is the sort of “business” anybody envisioned when the light bulb went on. Jones has made a fortune dispensing bad advice to cities across Southern California and here in Fullerton he has made a name for himself by suing honest citizens to hide his own errors. On one issue alone, Jones managed to cock up the law, participate in a conflict of interest, and support the forgery of public documents

The Cost of Suing Us

Yes, that is the answer!

Fullerton just “separated from employment” 150+ non-union part-time staff. Why? Because despite years of Mayor Jennifer Fitzgerald’s lies about a “Balanced Budget” and our mythical reserve fund – we had no plan for a rainy day.

During meetings, myself, David and others warned the City Council that a downturn was likely in the future and with CalPERS continually raising our pension costs we needed to be smarter financially.

Fitzy & Flory wanted none of that and spent like floozies in Vegas throwing every dollar we had at every uniform in sight with Silva, Chaffee and so on along for the ride.

Now here are we looking at a month of limited tax revenue and 150+ people lost their jobs with the city. 150+ positions aren’t being eliminated – no no no, they’ll tax us more to fill those again later and cry about not being to staff the libraries and parks to justify the new taxes/fees and whatever added costs to us they can cook up along the way. But 150+ people are now wondering how they’ll pay their bills.

But let me drive this home for you some more – the city is suing myself, David and this blog because we allegedly clicked some Dropbox links in an account they sent us and told the world about in PRRs. Remember, according to Kimberly Hall Barlow this isn’t about publishing or the 1st Amendment – this is about alleged theft and “hacking” because we allegedly clicked some Dropbox links.

In the process of investigating that alleged crime, the city found out that their network (which has fuckall to do with Dropbox) was incompetently setup and they hired an outside firm to fix it. This was the reason they claimed they waited to sue us for months on end – that they had to secure their network – which again has fuckall to do with Dropbox.

Glass Box Discussion

The firm they hired, Glass Box Technology, has a contract with the city for $60k/month not to exceed $500k.

Glass Box Contract

So far, according to the City Council approved Check Register, they’ve paid Glass Box $541,451.25 to date which is $41,451.25 over their “not to exceed” limit.

Glass Box Checks

That’s over half of a million dollars SO FAR because the City found out that they suck at running their own network as a BYPRODUCT of suing us which has nothing to do with what they allege we did. This was an unnecessary expense that has to come out of next year’s General Fund because it’s yet another major cockup for which nobody will be held accountable.

How many of those 150+ people wouldn’t need to be unemployed right now were it not for sheer incompetence in City Hall? Seems that $500k+ would have covered quite a few part timers.

Then we have the expense of our idiotic City Attorneys, Jones & Mayer. Since this nonsense started back in June with their Cease & Desist letters, the city has paid Jones & Mayer $891,074.49. We have no way to know how to split that up or what to attribute to the lawsuit against us because City Hall has a long history of lying about funding and hiding expenses in the wrong accounts. Just because something is coded to the Library, might not mean it has anything to do with the Library.

J&M Checks 2020

But if we assume that just 5% of their work product can be attributed to the lawsuit against us, and considering the reams of paper they keep filing with the courts we know their billable hours are stacking mile high, we can attribute approximately $44,553 to this stupid lawsuit. Seems to me that’s a few more part timers who could still be employed were it not for the malicious lawsuit being pursued by Fitzgerald, Flory, Silva and Zahra.

We don’t know how much the city has paid their other experts or consultants in their pursuit of the evil “hackers” who allegedly clicked Dropbox links – some with my name on them – but so far we know it’s pushing $500k+.

Where there’s smoke…

Remember this come election time & demand answers from these idiots on council who would rather spend your money, and it is your money, attacking us over their own stupidity than spend it providing the very services they’re elected to oversee in our city.

Shame on Fullerton. Shame on Mayor Fitzgerald. Shame on the City Council for always squandering your money pursuing their egos instead of your best interests. Sure, they’ll blame the need to “separate from employment” those 150+ people on this “global pandemic” – but that’s only because they constantly spend all of your money elsewhere while lying to you about our “balanced budget”.