New Centurions Watching All Our Backs?

Those army boots look a little soiled. Let me at 'em!
Those army boots look a little soiled. Let me at ’em!

“New centurions watching all our backs.”

Thus spake David Whiting of the OC Register in another of his breathtakingly sycophantic ride along reports, this time with some Anaheim cops the other night. He writes about their heroics, here.

Good Lord! Whiting dons body armor! Almost a Hero himself as he chronicles the travails of folks who now could be the targets of violent crime themselves.

Of course it’s easy to mock this “journalistic” rubbish for what it is. It’s especially fun given the history of the bootlick Whiting and the Culture of Corruption in the wake of the Kelly Thomas murder. Remember this? Or this? Or this? Or this? And of course, the worst bullshit of all, here.

The reference to the cops as Roman soldiers is just hilarious; but it’s more telling than a dated reference to a Joseph Wambaugh novel, as Whiting innocently supposes in his hermetically sealed, irony-free hyperbaric chamber.

The militarization of the cops is precisely the problem that created people like Chris Dorner and Jay Cicinelli and that puts us citizens at risk from violent cops each and every day.

And recalling the activities of the cops in Anaheim and Fullerton last summer I think a reference to The New Praetorian Guard is much more apt.

In any case, why-o-why can’t the people who run the Register get it? Being little else than a pro-cop propaganda outlet is no way to run a real newspaper.

Back Room Deals at the FPD; Hughes Wants Blatney, Craig and Hampton Back on Our Streets

What we have here is failure to communicate...

Acting Chief Dan Hughes has been trying real hard lately to peddle the notion that he is in charge of a new and improved Fullerton Police Department, even though when you get right down to it there really wasn’t all that much to fix – just some irritating communication problems.

Although the scribes at the OC Register have apparently bought into this malarky, others who have seen the veritable conga line of crime perpetrated by the boys and girls in FPD blue, are a long way from being convinced. After all, the first step toward recovery is admitting the problem right?

Which is all preliminary to the point of this post.

Our FPD deep cover source informs us that Hughes is pressing to have three of the cops who ganged up on Kelly Thomas, and who stood around as he gasped his last breaths in the gutter, return to active duty. That would be cops Hampton, Blatney, and Craig. Of course he needs the DAs assurance that these goons won’t be prosecuted for anything. Which is why he came out with all that BS about how he and his boys were part of the “prosecution team” and why Tony Rackaukas praised the FPD for all their hard work for the benefit of Lou Ponsi. Looks like that deal’s done. It’s all about damage control now, and surely the City’s highly paid lawyer Michael Gennaco chipped in to help exonerate the three accomplices though his double top-secret report.

We have also been informed that although he is formally being fired, a back room deal is in the works to reward Joe Wolfe, the thug who started the murderous beat down on Kelly Thomas, with a nice, fat disability claim if he goes quietly. Of course we’ve been told that Wolfie re-injured his shoulder in the “tussle”, most likely bashing Kelly’s face with his elbow. That ought to good for a hundred thou’ of our money, give or take. Nice.


Fullerton Employee Arrested for Embezzling $35,000

The OC Register is reporting that the former risk manager for the city of Fullerton was arrested today and charged with running an embezzlement scheme and stealing over $35,00 of public funds.

Darryl Phillips, former Fullerton employee

According to the story, Phillips is accused of processing false injury claims filed against city workers on behalf of his friends. Phillips apparently had the authority to approve the claims and authorize payment himself. He has been charged with 10 felonies and is out on $50,000 bail.

Of course this type of thing won’t sit well with the local critics, especially in the awakened age of Bell. Questions abound. For instance, who hired this guy? What else did he steal? Who else is stealing? Why did he have the sole authority to pay fraudulent claims? And finally, was the arrest intentionally delayed until two days after the election, in order to protect the public image of former public employees, two of whom were running for office?

We’ll probably never know the answers to all of these burning questions, but that won’t stop us from asking.

Townsend Uncovers Fullerton’s Overtime Racket

Register reporter Adam Townsend dropped a bomb early this morning with an in-depth report on Fullerton’s astounding overtime costs.

The report summarizes the $3,000,000 spent on overtime last year, listing the top 102 overtime earners (view the Register’s list). Among them, a paramedic named Timothy Hartinger worked the most overtime in 2009 with 1,160 hours at time and a half pay, bringing his total earnings to a glorious $138,117.

Notably, these wage figures do not include an additional 33% in pension contributions or thousands of dollars in health insurance premiums for public safety union members.

Naturally, the overcompensated fire and police union members came up at the top of the list and made their best efforts to deflect criticism with emotional falsities. One fireman played the classic union card, repeating the claim that he would die 10 years earlier because his job is so dangerous. Nice try pal, but CalPERS actuarials have proven that public safety employees live just as long as everybody else.

FFFF favorite Jack Dean made his way into the report, saying “Considering the unemployment situation, it doesn’t appear to be right that there’s so much overtime when so many people are unemployed,” concluding “there appears to be something wrong with this structure.” Something wrong, indeed.

Even the city manager got in on the fun when asked about minimum staffing for firefighters, which significantly boosts their expensive overtime pay. “The provision is there because of the union. If I had my preference, I’d do away with it, but it’s sacred to the firefighters,” said Chris Meyer.

We’ve been hard on Register reporter Adam Townsend in the past, but it’s great to see that there’s still some life left in the Register’s local coverage. It takes a little bit of courage to rock the boat of public safety employees, and hopefully we’ll see more of this in the future.

Observer Smacked Down

Nobody told us about the depth charges.

Previously we noted the Fullerton Observer’s legal maneuvering in an attempt to add itself to the city payroll. Last week we found out that Sharon Kennedy’s court filing had been met with objections by both the Orange County Register and the City of Fullerton.

The City’s objection is based on the same points we brought up a few weeks ago – namely, the Observer is not printed within the city, it is not printed weekly and it doesn’t have a bona fide list of paying subscribers as required by law. That’s three strikes for the Observer.

City of Fullerton’s Objection

The city calls into question Sharon Kennedy’s own filing, where we learn that the Observer boasts a whopping 598 paid subscribers and a monthly online distribution that rivals FFFF’s daily hits.

Next we have an objection filed by OC Register attorneys, which finds fault with the notice that Kennedy filed for her own hearing. The Register sums up the problem by saying “It is ironic that the Petitioner [Fullerton Observer] is seeking to publish important legal notices, yet cannot even publish its own Notice correctly.”

OC Register’s Objection

Kennedy pushed out her hearing to the end of July. I suspect she will drop it all together rather than suffer further embarrassment.

Bottom line: Kennedy’s dying cause here is to get the Fullerton Observer onto the city payroll. We’ve already demonstrated the paper’s inability to criticize city staff, engage in any kind of investigative journalism within city hall or participate objective reporting all while claiming that it is a legitimate newspaper. It’s hard to imagine any of these conditions improving should Kennedy’s paper wind up on the taxpayer’s dole.

The Register Finds Time for Sex

It’s been a couple of months since The Fullerton Savage’s debut on this blog drew over sixty responses to the story of a new sex oriented shop in downtown Fullerton.  Now the Register has gotten into the act with a story about the same subject.  Adam Townsend, the author, and many commenters on this blog seem to think I had something inherently against the business in question.  This is what Mr. Townsend wrote:

‘The author called the shop’s merchandise “trash.” ‘The blog said that seeing the underwear-clad mannequins and other sexually-oriented merchandise would harm children and said allowing the business to operate was “engendering blight.’

To be fair, I did use the word “trash”, but trashy isn’t the worst thing to associate with lingerie.  I never wrote that the sight of the busty mannequins etc. would “harm children.”  I did write that they would get “quite an education” from looking into the shop’s windows.  Remember, we are The Education City!

So maybe Adam Townsend got the wrong idea about my attitude toward a sex-themed business.  No big deal, but where he really blew it in his article was when he wrote that I ‘said allowing the business to operate was “engendering blight.”‘

No, Mr. Townsend, what I asked was “Is there any better evidence of redevelopment engendering blight?”  This is no small distinction.  Shops like The Naughty Teddy are sometimes cited as examples of blight when cities are trying to establish redevelopment zones.  Downtown Fullerton has been a redevelopment zone since 1973.  My point, Mr. Townsend, was that despite nearly forty years and millions of dollars spent to push out pawn shops, lure in restaurants, add trees, build signs, commission murals, rehab storefronts, brick street medians, redesign traffic signals, build mixed use developments, and whatever else The Redevelopment Agency unilaterally decides is good for the area, in the end a 5,000 square foot shop that sells lubricants, videos and sex toys to the 21-and-over only crowd is open for business near a major intersection downtown.

Well, just for the record, I don’t really care what consenting adults do for sex and I don’t care what a business sells, as long as both are safe.  But if a city spends millions of taxpayer dollars trying to turn a downtown into restaurant Disneyland or whatever it is they are trying to do with it, I would really like to know how The Naughty Teddy fits into their vision for the whole place.

Did the business lie on their application to the city, as has been claimed, or are they the victims of a prudish municipal mindset?  I don’t know.  Several tattoo parlors have already opened downtown, and the city is right behind that curve.  Look for an agenda item concerning the classification of tattoo parlors on the next council meeting agenda.

The OC Register Editorial Board on the Fourth

Today the print edition of the OC Register contains two endorsements of Shawn Nelson. One is in their list of all ballot and candidate endorsements. The second is part of a piece called “Ten things that matter in this election.”

We agree with this statement from the Register: “The two most important issues, we believe, are public employee union pension reform and continuing a lawsuit that challenges a retroactive pension spike for sheriff’s deputies. If the lawsuit prevails, it will have implications in California and nationwide. Mr. Nelson is the only candidate to pledge to pursue both issues.”

Frank Mickadeit on Harry Sidhu

Harry, what deal did you cut?
I promise to drop the lawsuit
I promise to drop the lawsuit

Today the Register’s Frank Mickadeit penned an interesting column about Harry Sidhu’s desire to drop the county’s pending lawsuit that would eliminate a retroactive union pension spike. The same pension scheme that’s breaking our government.

The lawsuit, by the way, has already been filed and is pending review by the court. And yet Sidhu says “it’s a waste of money to go further”.

A waste of money? Imagine filing a lawsuit, doing discovery and depositions to the point where all that’s left is for a judge to decide if your case has merit to go to trial… and then you decide to drop the lawsuit?

It makes no sense, but that’s what Sidhu wants. And that’s what the unions want, too.

OC Register Chooses Shawn Nelson

In addition to Steven Greenhut‘s op-ed on Shawn Nelson a few weeks ago, several other Register editorialists have recently decided that Shawn Nelson is the superior candidate for OC Supervisor.

Brian Calle sized up the Supervisor race in Sunday’s print edition. After looking at all three candidates, Calle determined that Sidhu is weak on pensions while Nelson is committed to bold reforms. Calle concluded that the pension issue is inarguably the most important issue facing Orange County right now, “bar none.

John Seiler wrote on the Orange Punch blog about the $900,000 that the unions have spent trying to defeat Shawn Nelson. Seiler draws some interesting comparisons to John Moorlach’s election in 2006, when the unions also spent big money in a failed attempt to defeat a candidate who was known for being fiscally responsible. At the time, Nick Berardino called Moorlach “the biggest threat in the county to employees’ personal financial security.” Sound familiar?

We’ve been hearing the same message over and over: this race is about the clash of The Unions vs. The Rest of Us. Will that resonate with voters in 2010? Something tells me the answer is an overwhelming “yes”.