It didn’t take racist grifter Adan Ortega long to find a new city to help him keep him aboard his little crony gravy train.
You’ll recall that Mr. Ortega was removed from the Metropolitan Water Board of Directors by Fullerton back on 02 February. Now, according to their agenda for 01 March, Ortega is going to be appointed back to that very board by San Fernando.
Not even a month went by before he managed to get back on the board that allows him to so easily peddle his municipal lobbying firm “Ortega Solutions” to unsuspecting entities. And just like that the grift keeps on grifting.
That he also peddles in racism & the San Fernando City Council is a-ok with that is further evidence that porn is still the moral and ethical bright spot in the San Fernando Valley.
This just goes to show that Fullerton was right to remove him because representing Fullerton’s interests was never his agenda – the same as representing San Fernando won’t be going forward. I guess the taxpayers of San Fernando better hope those evil “white people” in Pasadena look out for their best interests because Ortega will be too busy looking out for his own.
Fullerton has a new(ish) online Public Records portal to view records requests made by the public. If you put in a Public Records Request, and I urge you to submit them often for fun and profit, you’ll get a response sometime within 10 days telling you to wait longer. When you finally get an actual response to your request the Assistant City Clerk will likely email you and in the email will include the following line;
“The City of Fullerton has reviewed its files and has located responsive records to your request. You can inspect these documents online in the Fullerton Public Records Center.”
Maybe you’ll get a link, maybe you won’t. But the “Public Records Center” looks like this:
BE WARNED. This could be a trap.
If you, acting like a normal person on the internet, click on “Public Records Home” and navigate to the “Public Records Request Log” you will be able to see all current public record requests and their responses. This is where the trap comes into play. You see, the City of Fullerton has NOT given you “Expressed Authorized Permission” to view these publicly available public records and as such could be trying to entrap you into a legal case.
After all, that is EXACTLY what they’re claiming we did over on their former PRR portal (Dropbox) and we’ve been in court for over a year with City Hall calling us “hackers” and “thieves” for clicking links on a website (Dropbox) they told us about and sent us links to click.
Now they’re telling people about this new portal and sending people links to this GovQa powered portal as though everything is fine and on the up and up. It is not.
If, or more likely WHEN, the City screws up again and puts something on this new PRR Portal that they later claim shouldn’t be online, they’re likely to sue you under the Federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act as well as the CA counterpart the CDAFA.
To drive the point home that this is serious and not just me trolling you, the hosting software is run by “GovQA” which is a private equity owned company that even tells you in their terms of service (TOS) that you are responsible if you are granted access to things by mistake;
“You must not retrieve information, or in any other way disclose information, for someone who does not have authority to access that information.”
This is precisely what the City of Fullerton claims happened with us on Dropbox.
But how will you know when you’ve been granted access to something you shouldn’t have access to? You won’t. That’s the point.
In our case Fullerton’s City Attorneys have been incapable of figuring out which records on Dropbox were public and which were allegedly not. In their court documents they’ve claimed AT LEAST 4 different lists of offending files.
That’s right. First the City claimed everything on Dropbox wasn’t public. Then some of it was public, then a different some of it was public and then a different some of it still. If City Hall and their small army of attorneys don’t know what’s public – how are you supposed to know what you’re allowed to look at?
This is how you risk getting blamed for City Hall’s screw-ups the way we’re getting blamed.
It gets better. GovQa even EXPLICITLY references the CFAA in their TOS (emphasis added);
“You understand that any person or business entity who obtains information from a computer connected to the Internet in violation of computer-use restrictions is in violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.“
Fullerton, in court, is arguing that clicking on a link we weren’t explicitly told it was okay to click is a violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. That is their actual legal argument.
Consider yourself warned. Do not trust this new system in Fullerton as our case is ongoing with no end in sight. Fullerton City Hall & City Council have never taken responsibility for their own screw-ups so it is incumbent upon you to protect yourself from their litigious and corrupt nature.
Use TOR or a VPN if you need to access these systems. Set up a dummy email account. Do whatever you need to do to protect yourself because even though you have every right to view every document published on that public facing website – that they’ll tell you about – it doesn’t mean that the city won’t entrap you, slander you and play the victim with your own money.
It looks like Councilman Fred Jung has appointed a FFFF ally to the Fullerton Planning Commission by way of appointing Jose Trinidad Castaneda III. While it’s true one of our authors poked fun at his failed 2018 candidacy in D5, we’re known to poke fun at anybody and aren’t a hivemind here on FFFF.
What’s important to me personally and gives me hope is that Castaneda endorsed my campaign for City Council back in 2016.
Castaneda endorsed me not once but at least twice (that I saw), which is more than I can say for a certain Orange Juice Blogger who endorsed me and then rescinded said endorsement because politics and “prior commitments” before learning I existed and was more awesome.
Here’s hoping that some of the more egregious things I’ve heard about Castaneda are not true and that he is looking to represent all of Fullerton in his new duties.
That Castaneda endorsed me in 2016 shows, if nothing else, that he made some good choices 4 years ago. Let’s hope he keeps doing the same.
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.
In a recently discovered set of claims [Link HERE] it is being alleged amongst other things that the Fullerton Police Department, up to and including Police Chief Dunn, retaliated against a former officer for exposing wrongdoing and corruption.
The Officer is claiming targeted harassment.
Is Fullerton now in the business of retaliating against women to hide corruption? Has our city stooped so low as to attack whistleblowers?
There’s a lot to unpack here but first…
I should probably mention that the officer in question is former Lieutenant Kathryn Hamel and that she’s claiming that Chief Dunn gave us, the Friends for Fullerton’s Future, info about Hamel in violation of several laws.
Let that sink in.
Did Chief Dunn give us the very information that the city is suing us for having posted? Inquiring minds want to know.
If nothing else, seeing Hamel claiming damages for a million+ samoleans does seem to explain why the city is trying to shift the blame onto us for their gross negligence. Not that that plan is even going to work.
Her claim states that even IF Chief Dunn didn’t expressly retaliate against Hamel, the city is still screwed for being negligent (which by their own accounts in their lawsuit against us – they were).
Officer Christopher Wren, the dude who was seemingly banging his subordinate in a PD bathroom, is likewise claiming damages from the City of Fullerton over FFFF reporting because it’s his right to use his department issued phone to send nude photos while on the job without you knowing about it.
These claims for damages, usually the precursor to lawsuits, are just more examples of completely avoidable stupidity chalked up to the incompetency of Jones & Mayer and City Staff. Not to worry though, Jones & Mayer has likely investigated Jones & Mayer and found they did nothing wrong and will rectify these problems by billing the city countless hours (at $200/hr) to cover up for their own ridiculously negligent behavior.
Here it is after 4 years of obfuscation by City Hall and Fullerton PD. Here is the 9-1-1 call from the night former City Manager Joe Felz ran over a tree and tried to flee the scene. Pay special attention to the squealing of his vehicle as it limps down Highland away from poor Sappy McTree.
You’ll recall that he was given a ride home by Fullerton PD and given a pass on his DUI thanks to the position of power he enjoyed. This treatment ultimately, thanks to this blog, led to the firing and charging of the responsible Fullerton PD Sargent.
Give it a listen.
Now we await the body camera footage and other records from the incident.
Fullerton Council member and wannabe Mayor Pro-Tem Ahmad Zahra has been charged with battery & vandalism here in Fullerton.
You can find a copy of the complaint as filed by the Orange County District Attorney [HERE]. The counts are as follows (emphasis in original):
“Count 1: On or about September 20, 2020, in violation of Sections 594(a) / (b) (2) (A) of the Penal Code (VANDALISM UNDER $400), a MISDEMEANOR, AHMAD ZAHRA did maliciously and unlawfully deface with graffiti and other inscribed material, damage, and destroy CELL PHONE, real and personal property belonging to MONICA F, in an amount less than four hundred dollars ($400).
“COUNT 2: On or about September 20, 2020, in violation of Section 242 of the Penal Code, (BATTERY), a MISDEMEANOR, AHMAD ZAHRA, did willfully and unlawfully use force and violence upon the person of MONICA F.”
The incidents appear to have taken place on 20 September 2020 with nary a word from anybody at City Hall to the public. It looks like Fullerton is once again up to their old Joe Felz & Chief Hendricks tricks.
Before anybody question is there is perhaps ANOTHER Ahmad Zahra being charged, here’s the incident log from Fullerton PD (with Ahmad’s address redacted by me):
Here is the case detail should you want to confirm it yourself with an OC Courts Criminal Case search:
He was arrested for assault but charged with battery as seen in the arrest report versus the criminal complaint filed by the DA.
The arresting officer put “240” which is:
240. An assault is an unlawful attempt, coupled with a present ability, to commit a violent injury on the person of another.
The Courts have him charged with “242” which is:
242. A battery is any willful and unlawful use of force or violence upon the person of another.
When Zahra was whining and preening that he deserved to be Mayor Pro-Tem he was lying by omission and not telling you that he was, AT THAT VERY MOMENT, facing charges for battery and ticketed with vandalism in what looks like a possible domestic violence crime.
Seems that Zahra was sanctimoniously complaining about what he himself called a “ceremonial” position all the while hoping you wouldn’t find out about his apparent criminal conduct.
We’ll continue to follow this story as it develops. If nothing else it should be interesting to see which OC Dems run to Zahra’s defense or if they’ll stay quiet while hoping, just like with everything else that smears their team, if they ignore it long enough maybe it will just go away and inconvenient victims, including #YesAllWomen, be damned.
If we’re lucky we might get a patented CA (D) “I made a bad mistake, I should have stood up and … drove back to my house” or maybe the “I was set up” defense. Who knows, maybe those are only reserved for the higher-ups in the party.
If you recall, I’m suing Fullerton because they suck at following the law when it comes to turning over records – especially related to police or employee misconduct.
By way of example as it is also a part of my case, let us focus on the case that brought me to this blog – FPD giving then City Manager Joe Felz a ride home after he drunkenly hit a tree on election night in 2016.
At that time the City wasn’t legally required to tell us anything because the public had no right to know when the people we pay break the law and the cops cover it up. This blog doggedly pursued the story and forced the city to do an investigation. That’s right, we forced their hands.
That investigation led to the termination of one Sergeant Rodger Corbett for falsifying a police report. Instead of Corbett doing his job, Joe Felz was given a ride home because despite FPD celebrating and getting awards for all of the drunks they pull over in Fullerton, hypocrisy and special favors was the order of the day when the law pertained for Fitzgerald friend Felz.
Skip ahead and in 2019 the law changed when SB1421 went into effect. That law change required police to turn over files on various issues including “sustained findings” of dishonesty which includes falsifying reports. As such I requested the pertinent files in the Felz caper on 01 January 2019 and here we are two weeks away from the 2 year anniversary of that request with no records to show for it.
I sued the city in Oct 2019. It’s now mid-December 2020. So much for transparency. (more…)
You may have noticed your streets getting torn up by dudes in personal vehicles lately. That’s because Fullerton is set to become the country’s largest SmartCity in the typical Dumbest Ways Possible that we’ve come to expect from our dear leaders.
By way of example, let me share some of the best work which was done on my street:
I’m not being facetious. This is literally some of the best work they’ve done in town that I’ve seen.
In one neighborhood they removed concrete to install an access box, cut it unevenly and then filled the space with… asphalt. They couldn’t even be bothered to finish it properly.
But don’t worry I’m sure we’ll get some oversight on this slipshod work the same way we got oversight with the Stairs to Nowhere. Oh. Wait. No. We were given excuses and bloviating exhortations about how much people love to exercise on the stairs so that meant quality work was out of the question.
If these contractors screw up our roads who gets held accountable? Who’s fixing the problems?
Likely nobody sadly.
But for the sake of it, indulge me in a little history of how we got here.
This goes back to 2014 with the council voting 5-0 to grant an easement to SiFi networks, a privately held company that promised to make us the most awesomest awesome SmartCity that ever awesomed. Our City Staff crowed about how awesome it would be and the project was approved and began ever so slowly. In that time we’ve gotten rid of the useless and feckless Economic Development Committee that this went through, the head of said EDC and City Manager lackey Nicole Bernard has left Fullerton, City Manager Joe Felz… well, Joe Felz’d into Sappy McTree. The head of Public Works Don Hoppe has been replaced by a non-engineer and so on down the list we can head.
The only folks, as of today, who had approval on this project that are still in office or working for the city are City Councilman Bruce Whitaker and the utterly corrupt and incompetent City Attorney’s office of Jones & Mayer. That leaves us with who is overseeing the work today because as far as I can tell, granting an easement doesn’t grant the right to destroy our roads or screw up our sidewalks.
The company doing this isn’t a fly-by-night operation either. This is a network of companies with deep pockets screwing us right now. Lets to run it down.
SiFi networks is a privately owned company that is being financed through global infrastructure venture fund Whitehelm Capital. These are the people who are themselves contracting with construction crews to tear our streets apart to put in fiberoptic lines for fast internet service.
SiFi will then sell access to those fiber lines to the re-selling company Ting (& in other cities GigabitNow). Ting is who we have the option to buy service from and they are a wholly owned subsidiary of Dish Networks through Tucows.
Our city agreed to this project, without oversight of the actual work being done apparently, despite the deep pockets looking to take us for a ride.
The selling point is that they are offering “Gigabit” internet speeds which means 1000 Mbps or, well, pretty fast, and they claim they’re cheaper than anybody else. In looking at their pricing they run $79/mo + $9/mo for their modem. In contrast, AT&T in my area is offering $60/mo + $10/mo for their modem. Install fees vary and if you do or don’t want a yearly contract seems to be the biggest talking points. There is also the issue of data caps but this won’t impact most people because AT&T offers a lot of data in their basic plan that most people won’t use. I’m a part-time gamer and I watch a TON of Tv/Movies and have never breached data caps. Spectrum’s website indicated they were more expensive which is odd b/c I pay slightly less than AT&T and haven no data caps. I’m coming in at about $20/mo cheaper than Ting is offering.
Even if you factor in AT&T’s installation fee, which I’ve never paid after haggling with the rep, they still come out cheaper than Ting.
If the pricing is HIGHER, is Ting at least a better company? Well, no there is no evidence of that. Ting has a rating of 2.5 stars on Yelp but they’re mostly a wireless cellphone re-sellser of T-Mobile lines so that has a lot to do with their nonsense. Their actual reviews on their internet service are few and far-between.
If the service provided by SiFi on our streets is any indicator of the service we can expect from Ting, I’d recommend opting out and sticking with the devil you know in AT&T, Verizon, Spectrum or whomever.
While I’d like to point to corruption and graft as the culprits for the incompetence here, I think Occam’s Razor tells us it’s just good old fashioned Fullerton City Hall incompetence.
One good thing is that as she’s leaving our council today, Jennifer Fitzgerald has finally managed to keep her word of ruining over 8-miles of road in a year. Oh. She said fix. Damn. Nevermind.
As I’ve outlined in previous posts, our City spends an inordinate amount of money on pay/pensions and less and less each year on actual infrastructure and things that benefit us, the local taxpayers.
I’m used to the pushback from the local BooHoos who love taxes, but I caught a post by City Council hack Ahmad Zahra claiming that our financial troubles are from past councils and that he wants to look forward.
“Regardless of how we got here and who to blame, we’re here now and we’re on the bring.”
Our veritable Government Rafiki would have you believe that the sins of the past don’t matter because he wants to look to the future (but only when government incompetence is involved).
I honestly couldn’t eyeroll hard enough when I saw that nonsense from Zahra for the simple reason that Ahmad Zahra SUPPORTS the very financial sins that got us where we are today – being begged for more taxes so bureaucrats and union hacks can make more while watching our roads & our city crumble.
Because Zahra won’t tell you the truth or give you the facts, it’s time for a history lesson from yours truly.
Back in the day our then idiotic governor, Gray Davis, signed SB 400 which was sold on a lie (like most all legislation) that it would benefit government employees but wouldn’t cost taxpayers a dime more in actual costs. Those benefits came in the form of a 3% at 50 pension formula which, despite the lies told to sell it, bit us in the ass because the government is full of thieving bastards who have no incentive to the tell the truth or worry about taxpayers. Oh, and they also suck at math and their jobs.
These pensions are calculated on highest pay which means that after 30 years on the job, officers would qualify for 90% of the highest pay for the rest of their lives. This was also grandfathered and given to people who were never promised it during employment or contract negotiations.
This next part is very important and needs to be repeated. This pension giveaway isn’t based on averages or aggregates. If an officer worked patrol for 27 years making $75k/year and then jumped into command in the last few years of the job making $150/year, his pension would be based on that $150/year.
So Officer Friendly here will get 90% of $150k for the rest of his life and contrary to popular mythology the average officer outlives the average taxpayer.
The math on this problem is simple. 90% of $150k is $135k/year meaning the officer in this scenario will get $60,000 MORE in retirement every year than he earned over the first 27 years of his career.
This is a “defined benefit”. That means that if the State screws up in their planning (what? no!) and under-funds the pension funds (in this case CalPERS) then Officer Friendly loses nothing. If the market goes to hell (like when the State kills the economy over a virus) you can kiss your 401K goodbye but not so if you work for the government. They lose nothing, nadda, zip, zilch. That’s right, zero. Here in CA we have what’s known as “The California Rule” which was made up by the courts to say that once you promise a government employee something you can never take it away regardless of how bad it may hurt you. If your city promised the moon and stars to the police and then goes bankrupt, you the taxpayer still owe them the moon and the stars.
This has been fiddled with slightly over the years and newer hires get 3% at 55 but all of the problems still persist.
Which brings us back to Ahmad Zahra. Governor Davis passed the law that allowed that 3% @ 50 formula but it had to be approved in contracts at the local level. Here in Fullerton it passed in 2002 in a 5-0 vote with City Council members Bankhead, Clesceri, Jones, Norby and…. Jan Flory all voting to screw us financially well into the future.
Skip ahead to 2018 when Jesus Silva vacated his at-large council seat to run in District 3. That newly open seat was filled when Zahra, who had previously signaled a preference for representative democracy, opted to apparently sell his integrity for a seat on the water board and became the deciding vote in appointing the very same Jan Flory back onto Fullerton’s City Council.
There’s a lot of depth to this speculative story but to summarize, Flory was hopping mad that Bruce Whitaker got put on Water Board (a lucrative job) in her place when she left council in 2016 and wanted revenge. The fix was in with Fitzgerald & Silva to replace Whitaker with Zahra should Zahra sell out his pretend principles and gift the open council seat to Flory. Lo and behold he voted for Flory and immediately Whitaker got replaced by Zahra on the Water Board.
Zahra had no clue what the water board but he did what was best for Zahra. Same with Measure S. He doesn’t care that taxes hit the poorest hardest despite living in the poorest district in Fullerton – he needs the Union Hero endorsement so screw the poors if it helps his career. This is man who champions vanity projects while ignoring police oversight all while demanding more and more of your hard earned money via taxation which he calls “revenue”.
This is why Zahra wants to “regardless” his way out of the blame game and ignore who got us into this mess – because the weasel doesn’t want you to know that he endorsed and voted to put one of the very architects of our local financial misery BACK onto the council less than 2 years ago. That he supports the very things that got us into this mess and will continue to support bleeding you dry as long as it benefits him.
And this isn’t just a case of Ahmad being in the majority. Without his vote Jan Flory wouldn’t and couldn’t have been appointed because there were only 4 council members at the time and Bruce Whitaker was a solid no vote against Flory.
Jan “3% @ 50” Flory is only currently back on council thanks to Ahmad Zahra so don’t believe his Rafiki schtick. His actions matter, not his empty and pathetic rhetoric.