No, not against us… yet. Or against the Rock Wagner family for that Kathryn Hamel created wrongful death nonsense. You know the one, that’s the case that led to Hamel “resigning” and the city illegally dropping their sustained findings against her. Yeah, that’s gonna be a pricey lawsuit as well.
But no, this particular million dollar lawsuit stems from the Fullerton Airport Manager, Brendan O’Reilly, lying about when a hangar contract with former tenant Air Combat ended to illegally take said hangar from them to give it to the City Council favored/connected event company Hangar 21.
The ruling was aired live on Wednesday (no archived footage is available), and it hasn’t been released in writing yet, but for those who watched live were able to witness the jury side with Air Combat. The jury agreed that the City lied about the start/end date of Air Combat’s contract and awarded Air Combat $1.2Million in damages. That number will move around a bit as legal fees and other costs are calculated by the judge but it’s a huge slap in the face for Fullerton taxpayers and another black eye for CIty Hall / City Council.
Chalk one more loss up to Jones & Mayer and our incompetent City Staff. I hope you enjoy continually paying out for this nonsense because more is coming (see above).
It was an obvious case of corruption/incompetence at all levels of City Hall & Council that allowed this to happen and nobody, I repeat nobody, at City Hall is being held accountable for this million dollar loss that was entirely avoidable. And THAT dear Friends is the real reason the City wants to raise your taxes with Measure S – because being responsible with your tax dollars is just too darn hard.
Friends, an environmental symbiosis exists in nature when two organisms interact in a way that is mutually beneficial. In the course of human organizational activity we see such symbioses frequently. In the nasty intersection of government and politics such relationships are depressingly common. And nowhere can we see this operation in better form than in the way Fullerton’s politics intersect the management of police business, a business that affects everybody.
Let me begin my essay with a recitation of police behavior in our town that ought to give any decent person reason to give a second thought to nonsense pitched by both the government and the media.
In all of his endeavors Hughes was serially assisted by the smarmy and arrogant Andrew Goodrich, former union goon and, not coincidentally, the otiose and corpulent spokeshole for department. Friends will recall that it was Goodrich who immediately promulgated lies about cops getting broken bones in the aftermath of the Thomas bludgeoning by his cohorts. Goodrich was caught by FFFF over the years selling so much garbage that he was actually nominated for a coveted Fringie® in 2011.
Some of FPD’s bad behavior has suggested a sexual pervy streak running through the department, and a predilection for looking the other way about it. Albert “Alby Al” Rincon, instead of being fired and prosecuted by McKinley for sexual battery, continued to roam Fullerton’s streets looking for victims – gals he no doubt figured would keep their mouths shut. They didn’t, costing taxpayers hundreds of thousands and the City a reprimand from a federal judge. Naturally no charges were ever filed.
Recently we’ve been favored with the story of tubby ginger boy Jose Paez, whose “crime” according to tough guy DA Todd Spitzer, was the unauthorized photographing of his victims. Unfortunately for the girls and women he associated with as a school officer in the FJUHSD, what he was taking pictures of was their undergarments – while they were being worn.
A few months ago the story leaked out about an enterprising young FPD lad named Christopher Chiu, who seems to have found a persuasive way to talk a young woman out of her clothes on the top of the Lemon/Chapman parking structure so he could examine her breasts and nether parts in search of “evidence.” Before the courtly charm of playing doctor wore off, he suggested his availability for a dinner date. Yikes.
Former Sergeant Jeff Corbettwas actaully rung up for obstructing justice although seamy stories about sexual escapades while on duty have been circulating for a long time. But to be fair to poor Jeff, it was sending Wild Ride Joe Felz home after the hit-and-run of Sappy McTree that got him busted.
Apart from uncontrolled libido, the gallant gents of the FPD have often displayed their ethical sensibility in an orgy of mayhem against people who hadn’t done anything wrong, or by simply revealing how little they care for the basic concepts of justice. Maybe the cultural shift to full-on violence and callousness was the result of Pat McKinley’s well-known militarization of the FPD.
Jay Cicinelli is known across the globe as the goon who smashed in Kelly Thomas’s face with a Taser handle and admitted it on tape. This one-eyed jack was employed by McKinley as a favor to an old LAPD crony. Now this twice disqualified creep actually wants (or wants us to believe he does) his job back!
Our obese old pal Manuel Ramos had a long history of lazy and oafish behavior as an FPD cop, culminating in the actions that instigated Kelly Thomas’s death. Bully? Check. Overweight slob? Check. Natural born prick? Double Check. FPD material all the way.
Over the years FFFF has related stories from the citizenry about abusive and violent behavior of Fullerton’s cops, particularly those patrolling downtown open air booze court. But none of these stories can equal the brutality and the callous treatment of Veth Mam by one Kenton Hampton. See, Hampton’s official version of the story got real fuzzy after it became clear that his recollection of events strained even the credulity of an OC jury past the breaking point, especially when video evidence showed up in court. During a downtown scuffle involving the cops, Hampton arrived by car upon the scene and knocked the phone camera out of the hand of an innocent bystander, Mam, who was giving away about 100 lbs. to Officer Hampton. After throwing the hapless Mam around like a rag doll, Hampton tossed him in the Fullerton clink where he was charged with assaulting a cop, a story Hampton testified to under oath. Was he ever punished? Of course not. Under “Chief Danny” Big Bad Ham seems to have been promoted to a desk job.
And then there is the laundry list of incompetence or indifference. We first met Miguel “Sonny” Siliceo as he tagged one Emanuel Martinez who spent five months at Theo Lacy courtesy of a deliberate misidentification. Spoke-sphincter Andrew Goodrich comforted us with the words “we try to arrest the right guy.” Years later Siliceo, in a different matter, was convicted of filing a false police report, something very, very hard to accomplish.
And to round out our categories of misconduct, we must pause, I suppose, at least for a moment to reflect on a few of the various petty crimes and thievery perpetrated by our boys and girls in blue.Todd Major ripped off Explorer Scouts to feed his pill habit.April Baughman ripped off the property room of $50,000. Kelly Mejia tried to boost an i-Pad right under the watchful security cameras at the Miami airport. Hugo Garcia was apparently told his services were no longer required after being busted for purloining something or other (off duty, of course; on duty the man was a veritable saint). And then there was the tale of Officer Timothy Gibert, another MADD awardee who got popped out in the high desert defrauding home improvement stores. Just how many small-time thieves and pickpockets we have employed over the years will never be known for sure.
So, finally, let’s end this painful revelation with the not-so funny story about Josh Eddleman and Jerrie Harvey two innocent people jailed and prosecuted due to the bungling of newly minted “detective” Barry Coffman, best known for his enthusiastic handing out of tickets for “excessive horning.” Once againSpokesanus Goodrich informed the public that the FPD really, does try to arrest the right people, gosh darn it, a statement so insincere that maybe not even David Whiting would believe it.
Of course this quivering pyramid of gelatin was the President of the Fullerton Peace Officer’s Association for years and years, supporting political candidates who could be counted on to serve and protect his wayward union members while bestowing lavish pay and benefits.
And here is the nexus of casual corruption: without a compliant city council and their hand-picked city manager, this sad litany of crime and no punishment would be an awful lot shorter. The cop union, along with their “firefighter” brethren and sistren diligently help elect reliable stooges to the city council through vast campaign spending via their political action committees. And what a roll call of dunderheads, incompetents, buffoons, seniles, lackeys and assorted political grifters they have greased into office.
Don’t forget the lengthy corn-pone career of possibly third degree syphilitic Doc Hee Haw – Dick Jones – who once blurted to an aggrieved citizen at a council meeting “you won’t get anywhere bad-mouthing the police in this town.”
Sharon Quirk-Silva was marginally smart enough to dodge the Kelly Thomas fallout and the subsequent recall. But like almost all of Fullerton’s liberal establishment crowd, she blamed the murder on homelessness, not on bad cops. She ignored the cover-up, and did nothing about the Albert Rincon matter, despite proclaiming her outrage on the nightly news wherein we learned she has daughters.
Of course Doug was in need of assistance himself when his carpetbaggin’ wife, Paulette was busted on video stealing campaign signs on private property.
The cop union knows when it has a live one on the line, and never has that bee more true of Jan Flory, who not only trotted around the city council track in the 1990s, she did so again in 2012 with the help of a hundred thou’ of union scrilla. Maybe her vote on the 3@50 was fondly remembered, but more likely the support was for favors to come. Of course she delivered by approving pay raises and by paying out vast legal settlements against Fullerton police that avoided the embarrassment of ugly stuff getting out at trial. Everything gets hushed up and we pay for the silence. And of course, no, reform was not on the table.
No story of the symbiosis between cops and politicians in Fullerton is complete without mention of our lobbyist councilcreature Jennifer Fitzgerald, who has a career monetizing her job “representing” you and me. Jen’ has made it her specialty to cozy up to the cops, including pay raises, quiet settlements costing us millions, and even wasting $50K a year on the utterly moronic “Behind the Badge” propaganda embarrassment. Holier than holy, her best pal was “Chief Danny” with whom she may have conspired, in the early morning of November 9, 2016, to have the cops drive drunken, hit-and-run Joe Burt Felz home and then tuck him in with a warm glass of milk.
And most recently we see the completely dim and inarticulate Jesus Silva, installed in office courtesy of the police union. One wonders how this nincompoop manages to get his shoelaces tied without help, and yet we can be sure of one thing – he will slavishly follow the example of his better half, Sharon Quirk in support of the people who put him in office.
The Fullerton Firefighters are pushing a narrative that they’re understaffed and underpaid on social media, so let’s talk about it.
We constantly hear about how underfunded, unpaid, underappreciated, undereverything our Police and Fire Depts are from the “Hero Deserve” crowd and the opposite side likes to point to pay rates, pension spiking, double dipping, medical presumptive, lies about early death, OT abuse, CalPERS costs and other fiscal rebuttals.
But what we almost never talk about is how we actually implement service and if we do things in a smart, fiscally sound or even common sense way in our departments. Our City Council won’t touch these issues because they’re petrified of the unions spending campaign money against them or they’re colluding with the unions in order to get those sweet, sweet endorsements.
Since council won’t discuss these things openly I figured we can do it ourselves before dropping numerous records requests.
Therefore for the sake of starting discussions I’ll drop two topics;
If our fire engines, with a crew of 4, have a max of 2 Paramedics on board and 85% (per their statements) of their calls are medical then what do the other 2+ crew members do during the majority of these calls? Are they glorified Uber just taxiing the paramedics around? What do they do at the hospital? How much time do these non-paramedics spend doing crowd control and the like?
Every time I see a police stop or call where the police department is at a scene I see multiple vehicles on scene. To the casual observer it seems that there are multiple units at every stop seen. I understand the premise of needing or wanting backup but why not drive around in pairs so you have backup with you at all times instead of needing to wait for it and waste the resources (gas, etc) on another vehicle?
Does anybody have stats on these things? How many calls for FFD are actually medical? How many calls does each crew actually respond to and what do they do on scene? How much OT is accumulated for passive activities?
How many calls does FPD respond to and how many of those calls require backup? How much backup typically responds? What’s the response time for this backup? How is this different for traffic stops versus calls for service?
I think as the city prepares for budget meetings with so much of our budget going towards salaries and pensions these numbers should be discussed and be as transparent as possible. If we need to pay people more to retain them we need to make sure we’re getting the most bang for our buck and the best, most logical and fiscally sound, service possible.
Last night the Planning Commission voted to loosen the rules on bars while promising, yet again, that the city will hold bad actors in our downtown accountable.
They made the same empty promises staff, Planning Commission and Council have been giving the people of Fullerton for well over a decade despite any substantial actions. They can’t even be bothered to close businesses without permits but hey, trust them this time because this time they mean it. Really.
During public comments Joe Florentine suggested if you don’t like the DUI culture that you move to Podunk.
This actually happened.
The guy who stole a sidewalk thinks the entire city belongs to him and his beer shilling compatriots. He and other bar owners in attendance also tried to blame “pre-gaming” and 7-11 for all of the drunks sent out onto our decrepit roads at 2am.
Not one member of the Planning Commission asked about negative impacts, what was already being done, why nobody is ever shut down or brought before them and not one of them bothered to challenge staff or the owners on why they all supported alleged “penalties”. These people are all shameless and useless.
But Mr. Florentine put the idea out there that you either accept his vision of Fullerton or leave so I present for your consideration the vision that these guys have as this is what they support, want and endorse year in and year out.
Here is a map of the DUIs in Fullerton in 2018. Google Maps wouldn’t let us show duplicates so if 5 DUIs happened at the same spot there is only one pin.
Here’s just Downtown for 2018:
There were 636 DUIs in Fullerton in 2017, 633 in 2018 and with 80 DUIs so far this year the city is on track to keep up with this yearly average.
Nobody last night seemed to care about the carnage, mayhem or dangers on our roads so long as it makes the right businesses a profit (while driving other businesses out). What’s sad is that this idea of a Bar-Only Downtown is ruining a part of town many of us love.
But hey, if you don’t like having 1.7 DUIs a day in Fullerton (and that’s who is caught mind you) then just move to Podunk. After all, according to Joe Florentine this is a college town and we need to focus on serving students (who for the first three years of college are too young to drink mind you).
Maybe when a DUI hits the stolen sidewalk on Harbor, instead of innocent businesses like the Ophthalmologist on Orangethorpe, Mr. Florentine will change his tune on the unaccountable behavior he continues to support.
Until then except more the same and be happy about it or do something to change the focus of our city council. Or hey – maybe just move to Podunk.
Jesus Silva, Jennifer Fitzgerald and Ahmad Zahra just manipulated you and the entire city for the sole purpose of putting Jan Flory back on city council.
Jan (Staff is the heart of the city) Flory.
Jan (3% at 50 Pension Crisis) Flory.
Jan (Hold no one accountable ever) Flory.
This woman was and will be a train wreck for council because she has zero regard for our budgets, has never shown a desire to hold people accountable and is nothing but a shill for those who are supposed to work for us.
I’m not sure why Zahra would have neutered himself by giving FitzSilva their third vote on every agenda item. I’m not sure why Zahra would have given Chevron 3 votes to develop Coyote Hills when he campaigned against that issue.
I’m not sure why Zahra would have switched in less than a month from a man of votings rights and constitutional principles to selling out and playing along in a mockery of an appointment process.
No. Sorry, I am sure why. Ahmad Zahra is just another in a long line of hacks who will lecture us from the dais while having no principles himself. Just like his pal Josh Newman – another self-righteous and pompous ass who thinks it’s okay to lie to your face as long as it gets him into power and the good graces of his corrupt party. He’ll spout wiki-quotes and nonsense for the sole reason of justifying his incompetence and malfeasance.
Zahra can preen and pretend to care about our budget all he wants. He can use whatever emotional ploy to try and justify an appointment process. What he cannot do is pretend that the reasons for an appointment excuse his actions in participating in a farce of a process that was the antithesis of the open and transparent system we were promised.
I really don’t have much to say that I haven’t said at this dais before, or which hasn’t been reported by local media such as the Voice of OC.
It’s my opinion that this whole process has been riddled with malfeasance and corruption since the get-go. Yes Councilmember Zahra, there is plenty of blame to go around and money is an issue but that doesn’t excuse the way the city has handled this issue including changing our municipal code on election day.
Tonight’s issue has been so mired in the muck that even after you directed staff to reach out to the Neighbors United for Fullerton to have them change their meeting agenda and NUFF was gracious enough to accommodate your last minute favor – two of you snubbed them, disrespected the citizens, abdicated your moral authority on even the pretense of openness and transparency and you insulted all of the people who put themselves up for consideration.
I know about the lobbying by power brokers and the behind the scenes closed door meetings on both sides of the aisle as you preen and haggle to get your anointed pick onto the dais.
It was obvious a month ago who was the favorite before we the people even knew how the process would play out legally. That’s how baked into the cake the corruption and dishonesty is in Fullerton.
But I’m here to dare you to be better than you think you can be and better than you have been in the past. I’m here to dare you to be open and honest and to give the people a chance to vote for their own representation with a special election.
Regarding cost, It may have been hard to look at a struggling mother and explain where this $400,000 might be spent but as a struggling father of 3 I ask if you looked her in the face and explained why 70+% of our general fund goes to salaries and pensions to support people to do jobs we then don’t have the funds to complete – such as our aging infrastructure including that dark park?
If the cost is truly too much to bear then I can offer you a compromise. Everybody who tunes into these meetings knows that Whitaker doesn’t like me because I ran in the Newman recall instead of supporting him. Silva doesn’t like me for calling him out both here and on the FFFF blog time and again. Fitzgerald – well that list to too long to recount here but suffice it to say she and I won’t be getting tea anytime soon. And Zahra – he’ll learn if he hasn’t already.
I’m the one guy none of you wants up on that dais. I’m a “chronic malcontent”, I pick on everybody in power, I don’t smile enough and I have this beard. I have it on good authority that this beard alone disqualifies me with half of the city.
And all of that means that I can’t win reelection. I obviously won’t be tightly allied with any of you so you’ll have to compromise and work together to find solutions that aren’t one-sided nonsense and best of all my blogging by virtue of the brown act will all but need to cease and who of you wouldn’t see that as a bonus?
You know I’ve read the budget, you know I’m well versed in city issues and oh who are we kidding here – even if I was the best candidate this was done before it started. I didn’t throw my name in because I wanted the position – I put my name in to highlight the corruption and ridiculousness of this travesty of a process. The process ended up being worse than I anticipated so my goals were on point.
In summation I dare you to be better than yourselves. To actually embrace openness and transparency and to give the people the voice that you’ve been trying so hard to deny them.
The following came through from the City Clerk’s office regarding the agenda for tonight’s special meeting:
“Following applicant presentations, City Council will hear public comments regarding filling the City Council vacancy. After public comments, City Council will deliberate and vote to appoint an applicant to fill the vacancy through December 2020.”
It looks like the cat is out of the bag and this farce can be put to bed. The council is going to appoint somebody and all discussions related to a special election and the integrity of voting rights, transparency and openness is and was just gloss. You can’t claim to be open and transparent when you’ve already decided, without public notification and input, on the council’s decision before the “special meeting” meant to decide the very issue of direction.
Don’t think the council has decided already? Then ask yourself why 2 of 4 council members couldn’t even be bothered to show up to the Neighbors United for Fullerton (NUFF) forum last night? Not one of them was present for the entire event, a whole whopping 2 hours of their precious time was too much to give up for this oh so important open process.
Silva gave an opening statement and Whitaker stayed the longest which is amusing considering he voted for a special election and was the only voice really against this sham. The “public forum” that council directed staff to ask about and that council voted to approve and that NUFF was kind enough to host – was too much of a hassle for our council to attend. Go figure.
NUFF by the way deserves a hearty thank you from the citizens of Fullerton for rearranging their agenda to accommodate this charade. It’s not NUFF’s fault that Fullerton’s council acts like Fullerton’s council. NUFF did a great job all around and I personally thank them.
On a personal note, it was nice to see Josh Newman acting like the man I voted for in 2016 and not the man we recalled from office in 2018. I know he loathes me, which is fine, but you wouldn’t have known it last night which is what mattered.
Back to the travesty of the appointment process – with all of the behind the scenes meetings, deal making and huckstering going on right now it’s anybody’s guess how long it’ll take tonight for the anointed one to finally be appointed.
Should the obvious not happen, the council has a pretty good crop of people if they’re looking to find the least suitable, most mathematically challenged applicant to rubber stamp higher taxes and less accountability for staff. I counted at least 3 people in last night’s beauty pageant who wouldn’t hold anybody accountable or demand fiscal restraint – which really is a hallmark of Fullerton’s electeds.
I’m probably the only person who put in an application who can unite the council – but that’s because they’re united in not wanting me anywhere near that dais. Heck, I’m pretty confident that I wouldn’t want me anywhere near that dais.
As far as beauty pageants go I was the best dressed but we never made it to the swimsuit competition or special talents so that was sad. Maybe tonight will be different. Maybe not.
Back in December, in his first at-bat, Ahmad Zahra surprised me by speaking of the Constitution and transparency whilst simultaneously voting against FitzSilva in their attempt to appointJan Flory to Council. Zahra was on fire with gems such as:
“My decision is going to be contingent upon us making sure that the appointment process is fair and open and transparent. So until we can make that decision, I don’t see how we should take votes away from people.
“The question is, is there a fairer and open and more transparent process than voting itself? Can we come up with that? Can we come up with something better than what the Constitution come up with? That is my question for the council. I’m leaving my decision until I hear other council members.”
Tonight we get to find out if Zahra is a man of principle standing by his own talking points at the last meeting or if that was all simply a clever flex to show who has the real authority on this issue in an effort to get his preferred pick onto council.
For those new to the story here’s the gist as I understand it —
Jesus Silva wanted incumbency in 2022 and thus opted to run for the District 3 seat on council.
Council then chose to change the law ON ELECTION DAY in the case Silva beat Sebourn in order to limit the options for voters.
Silva took home the ring on election day and in winning he vacated his at-large seat which runs until 2020.
Then in December the dynamic duo of Jennifer Fitzgerald and Jesus Silva testily complained that they needed Ahmad to go along to get along in order for them to get what they wanted. Zahra didn’t go along which brings us to today.
Tonight we’ll watch as FitzSilva likely tries to lay it on thick and blame Ahmad for the cost of the election should he choose transparency and an election (as he did back in December). This is posturing bollocks but I’m wondering if he’ll stand firm. Both he and our residents need to know that the fault here lies partially with Silva for running, partially with council for changing the city ordinance, ON ELECTION DAY, to facilitate this choice between the devil and the deep blue sea, but really the fault lies with our City Attorney The Other Dick Jones™ for offering terrible advice and putting us in this situation in the first place. Zahra is blameless here on the issue of cost should he choose openness and transparency by way of a special election.
Prepare for the same shenanigans with FitzSilva promising a fictionally transparent process in this city which is allergic to the very premise of transparency. The same transparency which had Jan Flory meeting with at least 2 (if not 3) current council members and bringing a cabal of people to lobby for her to be appointed without the citizenry any the wiser. THAT type of so-called transparency should be rejected and here’s hoping that Councilman Zahra continues to impress the way he did during at his last at-bat.
The agenda is online (HERE) for next Tuesday’s council meeting and the one major item of note, item #3, is the possible appointment of a council member to fill out the remainder of Jesus Silva’s abandoned at-large seat.
Item 3 States:
3. On December 4, 2018, Council Member Silva was sworn in as the District 3 City Council Member. This created a mid-term vacancy in Council Member Silva’s prior at-large City Council seat which expires in December 2020 and requires the City Council to consider the legally available alternatives for filling the vacancy.
Recommendation by the City Clerk’s Office:
Appoint a qualified individual to the fill the vacancy through the remainder of the term, either through direct appointment or following a process for applications and / or interviews and / or other steps as determined by City Council.
Direct Staff to prepare resolutions to call a special election to fill the vacancy for the remainder of the term for consideration at the next City Council meeting.
Continue discussion to the January 15, 2019 City Council meeting.
This agenda item, according to City Manager Domer, was written intentionally vaguely so that council can do whatever they want on Tuesday. If they want to just appoint somebody on Tuesday, solidifying the premise that they’ve already been wheeling and dealing behind closed doors, then they can appoint whomever they want. If they want to take a different path, such as an election, they can direct staff to start that process as well.
This item will be somewhat fun to watch because of how it played out up to this point. It only matters because Silva beat Sebourn. As for the ability to appoint a crony to fill out Silva’s seat, that was passed 3-1-1 with 2 (R)s swinging into the Yes column on 16 October 2018 and again 3-1-1 with Fitzgerald ($R), Whitaker (R) and Silva (D) voting for this move on 06 November (election day) 2018.
If another liberal (D) ends up on council after Tuesday, the (R)s in Fullerton will have nobody to blame but their own council majority. A council majority that this vote could cost them.
UPDATED: Corrected the 06 November vote. A previous version claimed it was 5-0 when it was the same 3-1-1 as the 16 Oct meeting.