We’re constantly told that policing in Fullerton is physically demanding work that necessitates extreme financial compensation. Without multi-million dollar pensions, we’re warned, our city may not be able to afford the best of the best. And so for decades we’ve been paying, and we’ve been paying quite a bit.
At least it’s good to know we’re getting the best.
They say the wheels of justice turn slowly. They would be right. Today a pre-trail hearing for Joe “Burt” Felz’ DUI caper was on the docket over at North Court. Joe sent his attorney to handle the matter, who promptly asked the court to continue the case to a future date. That date is June 20.
There isn’t much else to talk about, so enjoy a little photo fun courtesy of the FFFF courtroom reporting team.
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:
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?
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.
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:
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.
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.
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!
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…
The OC Registerreports that one of Fullerton’s Finest, Miguel (AKA Sonny, Sonny Black) Siliceo has pleaded not guilty to charges leveled by the District Attorney.
A while back I shared the news that Siliceo was charged by the DA with filing a phony cop report. It had to do with a case in which some dude in our downtown booze palace had been busted and charged with “resisting” Sonny’s attempt to hook him up. The trouble was that cop video exonerated the guy. This has been an unfortunate recurrence in Fullerton where all sorts of people end up in the Fullerton jail and workable pretexts need to be ginned up by the cops to explain their presence in the clink. Remember the unfortunate Veth Mam?
Poor misunderstood Sonny has been on paid leave since October, which is costing us plenty, but it still may be cheaper than having him on the streets getting into mischief.
According to his mouthpiece, Michael Schwartz, Siliceo came to Fullerton in 2006 from Tustin. Which makes you wonder why a 40-year old cop would suddenly move to a new employer. Of course because of the obnoxious Police Officer’s Bill of Rights, the taxpayers and citizens are not permitted to know anything about Sonny’s departure from Tustin. But now we can start to make some educated guesses.
And just for fun, you may remember Mr. Schwartz as the beneficiary of the bungled case our District Attorney tried against the one-eyed Fullerton cop, Jay Cicinelli, who smashed in Kelly Thomas’s face with a the butt end of a Taser – right before the homeless man was bon voyaged by the FPD into a lethal coma.
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.
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.
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.