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.
Young Kim, who last year managed to get herself unelected as our State Assemblywoman still lusts after political office, it seems. So now, unemployed, she is running for County Supervisor, a job she is no more qualified to hold than she was a seat in the State Legislature. Actually, a ling cod is more qualified to be a County Supervisor.
Her campaign, run by the proudly sleazy Dave Gilliard, just announced that Kim is endorsed by OCs two top law enforcement officials: DA Tony Rackauckas and the Sheriff, Sandra Hutchens. In days gone by these endorsements were no doubt a help to a campaign. Now? Probably not so much.
Hutchens and Rackauckas are both embroiled in a several years-old scandal involving the illegal creation and deployment of a system of jailhouse snitches. The jail deputies have repeatedly lied about the existence of the system and its use, and the DA’s crew has not only known about it, but has prosecuted people based on it. And tellingly, the DA has charged no Deputy Sheriffs with perjury even as the evidence of their lies and their destruction of evidence has become irrefutable. The result of this crooked fiasco so far is that the Feds are investigating the County – which will, of course, lead nowhere. More problematic is the DA causing the release of murderers and other not nice people in order to keep a lid on the whole steaming pile.
I know, “public safety,” right?
But loyal repuglican foot soldiers that they are, both the DA and Sheriff got on board the Young Kim Express as it was crawling out of the station, getting behind, they hope, the front runner who might eventually approve their budgets some warm June day at the County; and maybe willing to deploy the considerable resources of the County of Orange to run interference for their own criminal behavior.
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.
For several months FFFF has been stymied in our attempts to find out who talked to whom in the early morning hours of November 9, 2016 when former City Manager Joe Felz drove off Glenwood Avenue, ran over a tree, and tried to motor off. Although he was stopped by the cops and smelled of liquor, calls were made and Felz got off scott free. For a while.
We want to know who had a hand in this dereliction of duty on the part of a police department that has become psychologically addicted to MADD DUI award ceremonies at council meetings. We want to know the role of former Chief Dan Hugheswho admitted to communication with councilmembers; of then-mayor Jennifer Fitzgeraldwho claims to have no responsive documents although she has admitted to getting a call at 3 AM of the morning in question; of the ever-egregious Watch Commander on November 9th, Andrew Goodrich, whose frequent indifference to competent police work has been well-documented on these pages; of one Sergeant Corbett, who showed up at the scene and gave Felz the Breathalyzer pass so that no irrefutable evidence of Felz’s inebriation exists.
Over the months we have been stonewalled by the excuse of phony police investigations, phony personnel investigations, by ridiculous reading of the law, and by the outright prevarications of Fitzgerald.
Now we’re going to try to get to the bottom of this: to find out who was behind the Felz Free Ride and the obvious creation of a double standard for drunk drivers in Fullerton. We have been advised brusquely by City Attorney employee and sex law specialist Gregory Palmer, Esq. that we have recourse. So we have engaged the services of an attorney, Kelly Aviles, to help us find out what the people in City Hall don’t want us to know.
Aviles is a California Public Records Act specialist who serves as litigation counsel for Californians Aware, an organization that helps journalists in the fight for government transparency. Aviles has represented several major news organizations in lawsuits to turn over unlawfully withheld public records.
Of all the money that former City Manager Wild Ride Joe Felz wasted during his shaky tenure, nothing was quite as egregious as the annual fifty grand Stumblejoe blew on Behind the Badge, a silly, pointless PR outlet that passed along empty feel-good tales involving Fullerton cops. No one knows if anyone even bothered reading this pabulum. The idea of us taxpayers actually forking over this dough in order to be administered unhealthy doses of saccharine PR back at us was bad enough. The fact that this policy decision was made, maintained and mismanaged by a bureaucratmade it worse.
Fortunately, last Tuesday, the City pulled the plug. City staff teed up the item as a cut – unless three councilmembers voted to save it. They didn’t. Here’s the video.
Of course cop supported candidates Bud Chaffee and Jesus Silva thought the whole idea was just peachy. Predictably, Jennifer Fitzgerald seemed to be going along. Bruce Whitaker and Greg Sebourn opposed wasting any more on this crap. Sebourn correctly pointed out that the cop union, having plenty of money to stick its snout in Fullerton politics, can easily afford to promote the good deeds of its membership.
Whatever changed Jennifer Fitzgerald’s mind to drop support for this ridiculous concept that has cost us $200,000 in the past four years remains a mystery, but she suddenly did a 180. Hopefully FFFF had something to do with the sudden shift to fiscal responsibility.
In the end the self-serving BS rhetoric of Chaffee and the feeble gibberish of Silva amounted to nothing and the council unanimously went along with the proposed package of cuts that included Behind the Badge.
Rest assured, Friends, FFFF will be following up with a Public Records Act request to get a copy of the termination notice.
Editor’s note: This was originally composed on March 3, moments before Joe Felz was charged with DUI hit-and-run. As such, the Renick agreement may have gone bottoms up. If not, well that just makes it more fun.
I have it on pretty good authority that our former City Manager (and now accused criminal Wild Ride Joe Felz) is picking up a consulting gig for Renick Cadillac down on Orangethorpe and Euclid.
Now what possible use would ol’ StumbleJoe be to a car dealership?
The story goes that Renick would like to acquire the site occupied by the Grand Inn which is situated right between the dealership and the asphalt lot on the corner of Euclid and Hill Avenue where Renick parks its spare Subarus. Looks like the idea may be to get the cops to start dishonestly documenting alleged bad activity at the motel. If you can harass the motel, the owner might have a lot more incentive to sell out.
Just so Renick can park its cars without having to drive out on Euclid. Really?
I don’t know about you, but I’m thinking this source may have it wrong. That maybe Renick is not planning on expanding at all, at least not for the long term; but that rather we are seeing a lot assemblage in order to build a future penitentiary-like apartment block.