Felz’ Plea Deal Looking Sweeter

Today Joe Felz’ attorney Bob Hickey entered North Court and had a closed door meeting with the DA and the judge. When they emerged, the pre-trial hearing had been rescheduled once again to August 14. The delays clearly represent the formation of some sort of plea deal for Felz. The whole darn thing got me thinkin’…

File photo

Plea deals occur because both the DA and the accused want to avoid the cost of a trial. Normally the DA would have the upper hand, as he has the ability to offer reduced charges and penalties. The defendant comes to the table with nothing except the ability to waste the DA’s time, at a great personal cost. Lawyers are expensive.

In Felz’ case, there was an extra card to play. Felz knew that a trial burdened the DA and the City of Fullerton with the added threat of public exposure. Police Chief Danny Hughes and Sergeant Jeff Corbett had committed obstruction of justice that night when drunk driving Felz was driven home instead of being arrested. The city and its police department needed to keep this quiet and keep themselves free from any courtroom scrutiny. Felz, on the other hand, didn’t have much to lose.

In case you forgot.

When DA Investigator Abraham Santos’ blew the whistle in May, the odds tilted heavily in Felz’ favor. For the DA, a Felz DUI trial suddenly meant the opportunity for Hickey to dig into the Hughes/DA collusion. The threat of reputational damage to both the institutions and the individual players is suddenly enormous leverage against the DA. Hell, Hickey might even be able to get Santos to testify against the DA and Hughes on the stand. Savage!

So today things aren’t looking to good for the prosecution, who’s already mired in scandal and has little to gain from pushing the Felz case anyway (what’s another DUI conviction? North Court is full of ’em.) While each delay keeps Felz unemployable for a bit longer, it also brings the promise of a dropped case or a neutered plea deal. Keep your eyes out for either one.

Kangaroo Court Transcript Reveals Felzian Development Scheme

Remember that quasi-judicial nuisance hearing against the Grand Inn back in April? The one where former police chief Danny Hughes went under oath and accidentally told us that Joe Felz was drunk when he crashed his car and got a ride home from the Fullerton PD?

After some wrangling down at city hall, FFFF finally got its hands on the entire hearing transcript, which you can view here.

It got ugly real fast.

The transcript reveals that former city manager Joe Felz did meet with developer Urban West to discuss purchasing, assembling and rezoning the four lots on Euclid and Orangethorpe to build high-density apartments, which included a large lot owned by Renick Cadillac. Unfortunately for Felz and Co., one of the lots was owned by an unwilling participant, the Grand Inn.

Coincidentally (or not), these development meetings occurred just prior to a long, expensive effort by the Fullerton Police to document the Grand Inn as a public nuisance in order to shut it down. Was the sudden crackdown on the Grand Inn related to the Felz/Renick/Urban West development deal? Of course Felz denied the accusation under oath, much like he denies being drunk when he crashed into a poor sapling on Highland. But to the reasonable observer, it stinks like hell. In Fullerton, where there’s smoke, there’s fire.

Your honor, I do not recall…

If you still haven’t connected the dots yet, consider the PD’s year-long effort to attribute nearby crimes to the Grand Inn in the context of the police department’s complete disregard for the large volume of calls stemming from the actual public nuisance that is the Slidebar.

In true Fullerton fashion, Mr. Felz could not get through the hearing without invoking his right to not incriminate himself.

Back to the development scheme – which would not be complete without the insertion of our favorite lobbyist/councilperson. In the testimony we learn that Jennifer Fitzgerald had met with Renick and Felz at least once in the early stages of this fiasco. We’ll never know the depth of her involvement with the developer, or whether she was wearing her lobbyist hat or her elected official hat at the time. But we can assume she was aware of the value of her vote, should a lucrative zone change come before the council in the near future.

It was just a meeting.

Either way, Renick and Urban West seem to have given up on the deal, since Renick is now rebuilding its showrooms. But the city is stuck pursuing it’s selective enforcement action against the Grand Inn (or are they?). More taxpayer money goes down the drain while nothing is accomplished.

Proud Leaders in DUI Enforcement

The Fullerton PD marketing apparatus is still trying to convince the public that some sort of equitable enforcement of DUI exists. Check out today’s promulgation:

This is the very same police department that attempted to cover up a DUI collision committed by its own city manager just a few months ago. Now that we know former police chief Dan Hughes was committing criminal obstruction of justice (according to the OCDA investigator assigned to the case), this propaganda seems even more ridiculous.

One more thing to note: Temporary police chief Hinig is gone, and so Fullerton police are being led by Dan Hughes’ own hand-picked captains Siko and Rudisil. While Hughes’ legacy of corruption and obstruction may become the subject of interest in the ongoing federal probes into the OCDA, it is silly to think that our police department’s age of shame ended with Hughes’ departure.

A Rude, Reckless Cop

If you were worried that Fullerton police officers were beginning to shed their reputation as some of the most boorish and careless cops in Orange County, don’t be.

Here’s a story about a well-regarded Fullerton businessman who was recently provoked into becoming a national bicycle advocate. He even decided to travel to Washington DC to lobby for bicycle safety on behalf of Fullerton’s cyclists. What drove Mr. Joel Maus to take on this cause?

Three months ago he was riding downtown on a street without a bike lane. As he rode the slight downhill of a railroad undercrossing he noticed a metal drainage grate directly in his path. To avoid it, he looked over his shoulder and took the lane to make sure no one tried to pass him dangerously. Then he heard a loud “honk” and the crescendo of an engine behind him as someone swerved into the other lane and went around him.

Someone wasn’t happy to see Joel riding in the lane. And that someone was a Fullerton police officer.

Joel was riding legally and safely. The officer was rude and reckless. Frustrated and determined to do something about it; that night he went home, created a simple logo, and made his first post on the Bike Fullerton Instagram account.

Beep Beep

All of city hall’s feeble and self-serving efforts to project itself as some sort of promoter of bicycling were nearly undone by one imprudent cop who doesn’t seem to care much at all about the risk of smearing Mr. Maus all over the road. Of course this behavior continues to be tolerated by our neglectful city management and a spineless, self-interested city council.

Behind the Badge

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.

“Not Guilty, Your Honor!”

Fullerton PD Corp. Ryan Warner, left, and Officer Timothy Gibert are honored during a city council meeting for their work in getting drunk drivers off the road.
grossly taxpayer funded Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge OC

Thus pleaded former Fullerton cop, and MADD Hero, Timothy Gibert,  to charges of conspiracy and grand theft up in the high desert, and repeating a phrase that is becoming the recognized official motto of the City of Fullerton.

Here’s the news as reported in the Daily Titan.

Young Kim Gets Endorsement From Tarnished OC Law Enforcement

No there, there…

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.

Yes, I am more qualified…

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.

See that guy over there? He didn’t do anything wrong. He told me to say that.

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?

Go ahead, punk. Make my day.

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.

Fullerton’s New City Motto: “Not Guilty, Your Honor!”

It was like getting hit with a broomstick all over again…

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 Tribulations of Sonny Siliceo

Siliceo chillin’ with his bro, on-duty sex pervert Albert Rincon, in happier times…

The OC Register reports 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?

The closer you look, the worse it gets…

And Sonny himself is no stranger to throwing the wrong guy in jail, but apparently now nobody is willing to run interference for him, including our gelatinous acquaintance Andrew Goodrich who once blew off Sonny’s seemingly deliberate misidentification of Emmanuel Martinez that left the guy in jail for 5 months.

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.

Man’s gotta make a living…

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.