Parks Director Told to Hit Road

Hugo came, Hugo left…

Today the City Manager, Ken Domer notified the Parks Commission that he was canning Hugo Curiel, the guy who’s been in charge of the Parks Department for 7 years, or so. Here’s the mealy-mouthed text:

Was the handwriting on the wall?

So there was “no one single issue” leaving us to wonder what the real reasons were for letting Hugo go-go. We know it wasn’t the extravagant waste of money on a Hillcrest Park bridge; we know it wasn’t for the incredibly bungled wooden stairs project; we know it wasn’t because he ignored maintenance of existing parks; we know it wasn’t for the Strange Case of the Flipped Over SUV; we know it wasn’t because he proposed almost a million bucks to buy a 15,000 square foot lot to build a park on. Mr. Curiel survived all those disasters with his Fullerton career doing just fine.

Domer-Decorations
Hitching to Needles…

So what was it? I don’t know but it must have been something very bad, even though Domer is clear that the firing wasn’t “for cause.” So maybe it was just personal in some way, requiring “a different direction” whatever the Hell that means. And maybe it was meant as a pre-emptive bloodletting meant to forestall future personnel whackings closer to the Domer domicile.

The Cost of The Florentine Sidewalk Scam

Gone, but not quite forgotten…

Of course everybody is now familiar with how, in 2003, the Florentine Mob successfully put a permanent building on an area that only had an “outside dining” encroachment agreement. The details of the case reveal an incompetence and misfeasance on the part of city staff that is truly mind-numbing, the principle party being F. Paul Dudley, Planning Director, who “approved” the illegal permanent structure as it was being built in June, 2003. He also  seems to have personally approved a loan to the Florentine crew, and rental terms on the space that weren’t approved by the City Council.

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

Of course it wouldn’t be Fullerton unless our legal-eagle Dick Jones also played a part in the fiasco, and in the inevitable cover-up. He actually put his signature on a completely different agreement in August, 2003 – two months after Dudley did his sleazy back-room deal. How’s that for staggering incompetence?

The gun was smoking badly…

Note that “for some reason” the agreement was not formally executed until August. For some reason? Jesus H., Jones, did you even bother to ask why you signed something that was obsolete, or why in Hell you were signing it?

So the embarrassing enclosure was allowed to continue in July, 2003 even though the furor continued for months, and the deal was finally buried in 2004 whereby the parties involved, Shawn Nelson, Don Bankhead, Dick Jones, Mike Clesceri and Leland Wilson surely hoped it was forever interred.

Well, now it’s 2020. The legal party responsible to remove and restore the encroachment area has fled the scene, and the embarrassment of the Florentine addition that squats on public property, remains.

The owner of the rest of the building, Mr. Mario Marivic is apparently embroiled in a legal fight with the FloMob, and good luck to him. But good luck to us, too. Because we, the citizens of Fullerton, have an unowned room addition on our right-of-way, and the people on the hook for its possible removal are gone. Mr. Marovic is under no obligation to remove the structure, and he is not even under any obligation to pay the measly 25 cents per foot that the egregious F. Paul Dudley “negotiated” with the Florentines. The City’s options are limited: it can terminate the encroachment and pay to remove the building addition itself, or it can negotiate a new lease agreement with Marovic, and the sidewalk stays as is. Either way, the public loses.

So this Ghost of Incompetence Past continues to haunt us almost 20 years after the con was consummated. Mr. Dudley has been six-figure pensioned, and the inept councilmen who were indifferent to the notion of government accountability are dead or moved on. But Attorney Dick Jones is still around, profiting off of the gullibility, incompetence and militant ignorance of our “leaders.”

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.

 

Fullerton’s “Father” Dennis Casts the First Stone

A few days ago I broke the story of Fullerton Council member Ahmad Zahra being charged by the OC District Attorney for battery & vandalism. The Fullerton Observer picked up on it and quoted/cited us as the source. Fullerton’s “Father” Dennis then shared the Observer’s Facebook post on the issue and in doing so decided to besmirch my character and call me a fascist and Klansmen.

Father Dennis KKK Dickbag
How to be a dickbag in one easy post…

I was going to let this go with a snarky Facebook post but the more I thought about it, the more I wanted to lay waste to the idea that somebody can get away with being such a total dickbag without response simply by virtue of a fancy title.

First let us put aside the robes that shield him from much criticism because clearly he has ignored their meaning and supposed importance. Despite being a member of the Order of the Servants of Mary (OSM), he forgot that he’s supposed to, and I quote (emphasis added);

“be at the service of God and all people, drawing inspiration from Mary, Mother and Servant of the Lord”

I’m sure Mary, mother of Jesus and Servant of the Lord, would absolutely twist a local blog’s name  (It’s FFFF not FFF or Tri-F) to impugn them as fascists and members of the KKK. Right? I’m positive that passage is in a missing chapter of the Bible which is still locked in the Vatican archives. Maybe not.

Hey “Father” Dennis, on what grounds do you compare me to the KKK? Because I’m white and you don’t like my politics? You offer no other substance so let’s just go with self-loathing racism. It’s all the rage these days with commies and crybullies online so it would track with your politics. Is that the same basis for likening me to a fascist?

Like I said, total dickbag.

The stupidity here is that I’m called these things by intellectual cowards because I think the law shouldn’t favor one group of people over any others and that the State shouldn’t dictate how you live your life. I want you to keep what you earn and for private charity (like, *gasp*, the tax exempt Church) to pick up the slack instead of a useless government that fails on every level. My political ideology is directly opposite of fascism but alas Father Dennis knows as much – or he would if he bothered to get to know the people he insults.

When *I* insult somebody at least I get the insults and facts on which I base them correct.

But no, not “Father” Dennis. Not the savior of the poor who’s so piously busy saving Orange County’s downtrodden by demanding the State steal from you to give to them and attempting to turn a city sidewalk into a third world shantytown.

Father Dennis Shanytown
Photo from the Fullerton Observer

“Father” Dennis looks to be taking his cues from Communist China and just rewriting biblical theology to suit his personal desires and petty grievances while hoping he can cloak his ugliness in the robes of faux piety.

You cast the first stone here “Father” and unlike so many others around town I’m willing to catch it and throw it back at your smug, sanctimonious, self-righteous ass.

Fullerton is Pan-Handling for Decorations

Domer-Decorations
Hey man, can you spare a wreath?

Welcome to Fullerton. Instead of working for solid solutions to tough financial problems the city is pan-handling for Holiday Decorations to make sure YOU see/feel the pain for their malfeasance now that their Hail Mary Pass of Measure S got blocked and blocked hard.

I’d feel remiss if I didn’t point out that the city is asking YOU to donate to the government so they can decorate in the most politically neutered and poll-tested way possible. We all know they won’t be putting up any religious icons for fear of offending people around religious holidays.

Holiday Pan-Handling
Of course they want YOU to be more giving…

Good luck friends, here’s hoping our new council isn’t as ridiculously and cartoonishly incompetent as councils past that led us to this point. Well, except Zahra and Silva. There’s no saving those two corrupt clowns.

Because nothing says “holidays in the time of Covid” like your city government begging you for decorations to keep the empty locked down streets… festive.

Cho Collects Corrupt Cronies

Barf Man Returneth…

When FFFF first introduced Andrew Cho to the Friends we noted that his list  of “endorsers” was a veritable rogues’ gallery of political crooks, swindlers and liars. And now the collection is complete:

What do we have here?

It is right and proper that the Cho, the hapless stooge of outgoing Mayor-for-Hire Jennifer Fitzgerald should have the backing of “Democrat” Doug “Bud” Chaffee, the senile and incompetent clown who let Fullerton go to Hell even as he bought himself a job at the County. It’s also perfectly predictable. Lobbyist Curt Pringle, who employs Fitzgerald is a big fundraiser for Chaffee, obviously expecting favors in return. This is one of them.

And let’s never forget Chaffee’s better half Paulette Marshall, whose well-documented political hijinks and actual crimes, must have been well-known to hubby.

But the recommendation that bankruptcy lawyer Cho’s record in “financial recovery” is somehow an asset should cause even the dimmest wit to ponder Fullerton’s future with Cho on the council dais.

 

Two BK Chuck Sargeant

Driving around Fullerton’s District 2 the other day, I noticed a certain District 2 City Council candidate’s signs screwed directly into trees. Having never seen anyone do something like that and still mourning the loss of Sappy McTree to drunken wannabe bureaucrats, I had to figure out who Chuck Sargeant is and what kind of person would go around screwing Fullerton’s trees in such a way?

Yes, Fullerton has a long history of choosing foxes to guard the hen house that is our city budget. Yes, it’s so bad that they’re trying to raise our taxes. But even then, I was a tad surprised to find that District 2 candidate Chuck Sargeant had filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in 1992.

And he didn’t pay taxes for 3 years and the state placed 10 liens against his property.

And then he filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy again in 2012 (that bankruptcy didn’t clear until 2016, the same year he was running for council last time).

And I wouldn’t have even looked into him had Gnarly Charlie not gone and screwed his freaking signs into trees all over Harbor Blvd.

The last thing Fullerton needs is another council member like Ole Chuckles who spent money he didn’t have and screwed creditors to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars. So there it is… Fullerton District 2 Council candidate Two BK Chuck.

So Now We Know

Some recent commenters on our humble blog have wondered aloud who outgoing Mayor-for-Hire, Jennifer Fitzgerald was going to pick to be her choice for successor. Now we know.

Look familiar? Not to me, either…

Today a Friend forwarded some sort of statement (an English version) from a fellow by the name of Andrew Cho. Who is this person? Nobody I’ve asked today has ever heard of the guy; but, one thing is certain: he was chosen to be a reliable vote for all the things the Curt Pringle lobbyist Fitzgerald holds near and dear. I’d rather not slam the guy right out of the chute, but, hell, just look at who this mysterious person reports as his endorsers.

First, of course is the utterly unspeakable Fitzgerald.

Leaving Fullerton City hall a lot worse off than she found it…

If that weren’t bad enough, number two (and I really mean number two), the completely corrupt Dick Ackerman whose record running a fake non-profit to pay his wife, creating a fake address so she could run for the legislature in our district, and illegally participating as a lobbyist to promote the 2008 OC Fair swindle, have been well-documented on these pages.

Oh no, not again.

Next we discover Ling Ling Chang, our current State Senator who originally ran for office pretending to own a business and attending Harvard. Both were lies, but that mendacity didn’t seem to put a dent in her armor of shamelessness.

Ling Ling shocked by some new liberal outrage!

Then there’s the support of Young Kim, the bubbleheaded perpetual candidate and her slimy husband Charles, who foisted the incomprehhensible nitwit Julie Sa on Fullerton way back in 1992.

No there, there…

Of course poor Cho must not have a clue that these endorsements will do a lot more harm than good, and if he doesn’t yet, he soon will.

 

 

 

 

 

Fitzgerald Is Quitting, She Says

Sucked dry…

But the problem is that everything she says is a lie. Don’t believe me? Then read this self-satisfied “I’m Done” statement sent out this AM.

The bullshit was piling up so fast we needed wings to stay above it…

First let’s celebrate this announcement, if actually true. It means everybody’s life is going to get better in Fullerton as the sticky webs of self-interest entangling Fitzgerald and the taxpayers are cut.

And now let’s examine the stockpile of dishonesty this statement contains.

No, Ms. Fitzgerald, you did not “comprehensively” reform a corrupt police department. In fact, you permitted the fester to continue with zero accountability and more massive legal settlements. When anybody tried to uncover your malfeasance, you used public resources to sue them into submission. Even that failed.

No, Ms. Fitzgerald, you did not discover stable sources of revenue to address water and sewer. You continued the rip-off of the water fund by diverting a massive amount of money to pay for general fund expenses. And as you passed out more pay and pension increases to your union friends, you told everybody the budgets were balanced, a reckless lie that led Fullerton toward insolvency.

No, Ms. Fitzgerald, you did not increase road repair in your 8 long years. The roads in Fullerton are now the worst in the county according to your own pals at OCTA.

No, Ms. Fitzgerald, Hilcrest (sic) Park is not rehabilitated. It’s landscaping is still a disgrace and dying faster than ever, retaining walls and paving are deteriorating. Instead you wasted millions on poorly built, ramshackle woods stairs and a ceremonial bridge that nobody uses.

Yes, Ms. Fitzgerald at the behest of your developer buddies you are personally responsible for adding thousands of “housing units” – mostly in the form of massive, overbuilt tenements-of-the-future that made a mockery of Fullerton’s zoning and have placed an even greater burden on our frail infrastructure.

Yes, Ms. Fitzgerald you sure did prioritize “downtown revitalization,” if by that you mean running interference for scofflaw bar owners like Florentines and the douchebag Jeremy Popoff; defending a scene of nightly mayhem that cost the citizens $1.5 million more per year than it generates in revenue. Your “improved working relationship” with business owners meant directing staff and the City Attorney to ignore serial code violators and even to tolerate forged official city documents; and to harass people who didn’t fling themselves at your feet.

Sorry, dear, but nobody is going to be unhappy to see you go, if in fact and at long last you are finally telling the truth. You may feel “immensely proud” of all your alleged good works, but that’s just obvious self-delusion. Your constituents almost without exception – at least the ones paying attention – are feeling immensely relieved at the happy prospect of your departure; and immensely disgusted at your legacy of putting the interest of you and your friends above the interest of the city.

 

 

 

Fitzgerald’s Empty Promise

 

That was then…

We’re all used to politicians who can lie on demand. Then there’s our own councilcreature/lobbyist Jennifer Fitzgerald who has turned lying into a virtual cottage industry. Here’s a repost from 2017 telling a story that I promise is going to haunt our ethically devoid Mayor come election time, this fall.

She probably hopes that Fullerton citizen have either forgotten or are unaware of this issue. If either is the case, some of us will work to rectify that.

In March of this year our lobbyist-council person Jennifer Fitzgerald began to receive the typical council pay check, plus 100 bucks a month to not enroll in the City’s health insurance plan.

“So what?” you may be saying to yourself. Well, here’s the problem. In her self-promotion for political office in 2012 Fitzgerald got way up on her high horse about refusing compensation for “public service.” She even made a promise!

And that’s not all. Enjoy this lecture on the high moral ground Fitzgerald stakes out for herself in 2013. She made a big deal about her refusing compensation when she first joined the council. Could the moralizing get any thicker?

Between 2013 and now a lot has changed for Ms. Fitzgerald, most notably a vice presidency at Curt Pringle and Associates, the notorious lobby shop where no public asset is too valuable for cheap disposal. It may very well be that Fitzgerald now has a completely different attitude toward “public service” than she did five years ago.