Now that the City of Fullerton’s retaliatory lawsuit against FFFF bloggers Joshua Ferguson and David Curlee has finally done its inevitable Zeppelin Hindenburg act, some folks who promoted and nurtured the despicable assault on freedom are already trying to rewrite their participation.
Kimberly Barlow, Esquiress of the lamentable law firm of Jones, Mayer and Gecko is saying she’s just “happy the City got its documents back” another disingenuous swipe at Ferguson and Curlee who never deprived Barlow of anything; her “happiness” is costing us $750,000, at least , but she forgot to tell the reporter this inconvenient fact.
Then there’s Sharon Kennedy, the (former, supposedly) proprietor of the Fullerton Observer. In a comment string at their blog, Kennedy is now denying her involvement defaming our bloggers and pretending that her involvement was strictly objective. Unfortunately for her, the facts suggesst a slimy collaboration with the City and Jones, Mayer and Gecko. Her “expert” who claimed that she hired him, produced an opinion that was a joint statement to the Observer and an official Declaration to the Court in the case. How that happened and who, if anybody remunerated this self-styled expert is unknown – so far, but it looks suspicious as all Hell. Commenters are questioning Kennedy, but she isn’t answering. And naturally, the expert conveniently backed up the long-since debunked statement of the City’s own “expert.”
Kennedy can claim innocence all she wants, but her track record of venom toward this blog and really toward anybody else whose honesty threatens the well-being of government employees is well-known, and the malice might be pretty easy to prove in court if anybody cared to hold her accountable.
Well, the rats can scurry off the SS Jones, Mayer and Gecko as quick as their little legs will hurry them along. But the facts are incontrovertible and somebody, and soon, is going to have to pay the proverbial piper – just like the taxpayers are going to have to pay for the horrible and intentional malice of City Hall and its lawyers.
Yesterday, in a special meeting, the City of Fullerton officially bowed to the inevitable and settled its retaliatory lawsuit against Joshua Ferguson, David Curlee, and this blog. The vote was 3-2 with Bruce Whitaker, Nick Dunlap and Fred Jung voting to end the bloodletting. Jesus Quirk Silva and Ahmad Zahra, who started the lawsuit and have stubbornly kept it alive, voted no. Whether they were laboring under the sunk cost fallacy or if it was simply a childish aversion to admitting their own culpability in the mess, will never be known.
It doesn’t happen very often that honest citizens can prevail against their government. In fact it almost never happens – a tribute to the tenacity of the courageous FFFF bloggers and their attorney, Kelly Aviles.
After a year and a half of lies, defamation, obstruction, incompetence, buffoonery, temporizing, more lying and running up huge legal bills the City has given up. Here are the main points:
$60,000 in compensatory damages to Ferguson and Curlee;
A public statement absolving Ferguson and Curlee of any culpability;
Legal fees for Kelly Aviles amounting to $230,000.
The winners here are justice (deliberately stalled, to be sure) and journalistic freedom against prior restraint; and, of course, any people who want to be able to get information that their own government is legally obligated to provide.
The losers, once again, are the taxpayers of Fullerton who are on the hook for $350,000 plus how ever much the legal team of Jones and Mayer have racked up – a sum estimated to be approaching $500,000.
Well, Friends, you can add as well as I can. At least three quarters of a million bucks to pursue this hare-brained retaliation against bloggers whose only desire was to get information from their own city government.
And so it is particularly amusing to consider the stammering, babbling statement from Jesus Quirk Silva that he was voting against the settlement because of his “fiduciary responsibility” to the people of Fullerton.
Too bad the other two vindictive and profligate architects of this disaster have conveniently exited from our political stage: Jan Flory has resubmerged herself into whatever nasty swamp will have her; and our former influence peddling Mayor-for-hire, Jennifer Fitzgerald, is fleeing the state entirely, having feasted on the Fullerton carcass until there was no more meat on the bones.
The Word out of City Hall is that the “Community Development” Director, Matt Foulkes, is hitting the road. All the way to neighboring Buena Park, a city half the size of Fullerton. This is not a lateral move.
Foulkes no doubt saw the proverbial handwriting on the wall and realized the long, long era of incompetence and no accountability in the Fullerton planning process was over.
The last straw may have been his ass-backward proposal to convert a park into a private event center masquerading as a aquaponic farm.
But Foulkes was by no means simply in over his head. He was part of The Fitzgerald and Domer team that deliberately ignored code enforcement downtown and who actually looked the other way when Joe Florentine forged an official city application document. And then there was the documented theft of the “Fullerton Rail District” name for his own secret plan that envisaged stack n’ pack housing to appease his SCAG overlords, and of course, the now-departed lobbyist, Jennifer Fitzgerald.
Maybe the next Director will be somebody capable of explaining things without a long string of jargon, nonsense and outright lies. It seems unlikely, but the Friends can always hope.
An institution, namely our City Council, that has been moribund/and, or corrupt and cowardly for at least 40 years has finally sprouted a few darling buds, raising hopes that our future is no longer simply a matter of waiting for mental and moral entropy to render our city into a puddle of putrification.
Well, what happened? you ask. Last night the City Council pronounced a loud no to bureaucracy- driven nonsense. Let me explain.
Yesterday evening the Council took up the matter, again, of extending an “Exclusive Negotiating Agreement” or ENR, with some guy who wanted to put a non-profit aquaponic farm on the site of our embarrassingly fenced off Union Pacific Park on Truslow Avenue. The biggest trouble (among many) was that this type of venture is thoroughly dependent upon the financial kindness of strangers and can’t possibly sustain itself.
No problem there! said our Planning Director and incoherent word salad shooter, Matt Foulkes. The aquaponic farm shall be surrounded by a fence and a hedge, and a private event center to pay for it all! In true staff fashion a last minute “letter of intent” from an event coordinator was offered up yesterday afternoon to show the marvelous potential of converting a park into a private facility – open now and then to the public – at the convenience of the operator.
Councilman Ahmad Zahra was in fine fettle – drumming up a handful of forlornly ignorant boosters; and his hapless colleague Jesus Silva stammered and stuttered support for this nonsense as well as his limited ability permits. He moved for an extension of the agreement
But then the fun started: several speakers pointed out both the idiocy of making a deal with a single, impecunious guy. Other pointed out the hypocrisy and nonsense of permitting an event facility that has no parking.
Mayor Bruce Whitaker cogently and patiently explained his rationale for offering a substitute motion to end the deal then and there: the park is part of a much larger Specific Plan area being developed (behind closed doors) and it made no sense to pursue piecemeal development with a single individual on the 1.7 acre site.
Councilman Nick Dunlap echoed that idea and observed, kindly, that the aquaponic guy already had 18 months to work something out with nothing to show for it. Like Whitaker he suggested an RFP process to determine ideas for the site.
Finally Councilman Fred Jung unloaded on the hot mess, decrying the City’s inability to address the park over the years and the arrogance of city staff thinking it could determine what was best for “the community.”
In the end Whitaker’s substitute motion carried the day 3-2 with Zahra and Silva trying desperately to defend the honor, competence and integrity of a planning staff that hasn’t got any of those qualities.
By now you Friends are well aware of the flaming crash and burn known as Yes on K – the $300,000,000 Fullerton Joint Union High School bond grab that was hammered at the March 3rd polls. Yes, we know about the scam: the last minute approval, the deceit and flim-flam, the illegal use of public facilities and personnel to foist this bureaucratic-inspired, taxpayer funded joyride on the public.
Maybe the worst offense by the educrats and their pals who worked behind the curtain for Measure K was the way in which the legal campaign reporting requirements were mysteriously dodged – no records of the Yes on K campaign were to be found on either the Secretary of State’s website, or on the Orange County Registrar of Voters’ pages. How come? We’ll never know because those in charge of such things don’t care and know they are shielded by a system that tolerates it.
But that omission spurred a complaint by anti-K activist Tony Bushala, whose complaint produced, finally, an actual record by the Yes On K Committee. Now we finally get to know who funded this dumpster fire, who organized it, and who profited by it.
First, let’s examine the names of the contributors. You’ll notice that there aren’t very many. And please note that there are are no citizens listed. None. Just parasites of the educrational system: architects and engineers, all. People who have been cajoled, sweet talked, coaxed into giving money – lots of money – to the cause.
Something called Ghataode Barron Architects got stuck for an amazing 50 grand. Let’s remember that name, folks. Another happy contributor was pjhm, a lower case sucker looking to make bank on our dime. And there’s an architectural consultant from North Carolina? Really? Our overpaid administrators had to work overtime to find somebody across the country , Little Diversified,that was dumb enough to be shaken down for a lost cause. Obviously, the Newport Beach office didn’t inform corporate about how little $49,900 buys you in Fullerton these days. Finally, let us not overlook PBK, another architectural operation that has gotten greasy-fat off over priced school construction.
Fortunately the campaign filings also reveal some of the educrats who got themselves reimbursed out of petty cash for “phone bank supplies,” whatever that means. Here they are:
Hmm. Will Mynster. Now where have I seen that name before? Oh, right Principle of Troys HS and an architect himself – an architect of illegal use of public school resources and property for campaign purposes. Renee Gates is an Assistant principal in the district. So is Dan Sage. So is Caroline llewellyn. So is Jacqueline Barry. So is Marvin Atkins. So is Marcene Guerro. So is Steve Garcia. So is Belinda Mountjoy. So is Katie Wright. So is Jill Davis. Adam Baily has graduated to full-fledged principal. Todd Butcher is the guy in charge of construction for the district – a guy whose livelihood depends on a flow of cash from these massive bonds. What these six-figure educrats were reimbursed for remains a secret, although one supposes that manning the phone bank as the campaign took on salt water required lots of pizza and red wine. The real point here, of course, is that the whole operation was run by well-paid public employees with a personal interest in the outcome – and no private citizens, at all.
And finally we come to the campaign consultant, who, along with some unnamed bond salesman shares the credit for this fiasco, although we should be thankful for their failure.. The name is Clifford Moss, who charged the District, er, um, the Committee over $30,000 in “fees,” not counting what they raked in as overhead on stuff like crummy mailers and yard signs. Clifford Moss. Hilariously Cliff’ got their ass handed them by a local guy, Tony Bushala, who didn’t cost anybody else anything. And it looks like Clifford Moss’s Laura Crotty, who somehow managed to spend fifty bucks on name tags, won’t be bragging about her 2018 100% campaign win rate anymore.
The Yes on K campaign blew over a hundred grand, outspent the opposition 10 to 1 and still lost in the “Education Community.” For those in the business that might suggest a rough road ahead – almost as bad as Fullerton’s notorious potholes. But the K Committee left almost 90 grand in the locker room, so don’t be surprised Dear Friends if they don’t try to slip this onto a future ballot at the end of some little-advertised board meeting.
Yesterday a lot of chickens fluttered home to roost for sign thief and fake carpetbagger Paulette Marshall Chaffee. After spending hundreds of thousands of bucks for a part time job on the county’s Board of Education, she was defeated, and defeated badly. The job goes to La Habra’s Tim Shaw, another candidate who unloaded a boat load of dough.
But the most humiliating part of all for Paulette was getting beaten soundly by Vicky Calhoun, a woman who spent almost nothing.
Have we seen the last of Ms. Marshall? Hard to say. The woman is oddly unaware of her own unpopularity and the stigma with which crime decorates the perpetrator.
One thing is certain, however. The tale of the little web of phony “community news” websites that were concocted by the Chaffees without any Fair Political Practices Committee requirements isn’t over by a long shot. Ms. Paulette can look forward to yet another day in court.
There isn’t much worse in this world than a sad clown.
I feel for this clown. Something bad happened to him. He’s a clown! He’s supposed to be happy. He’s not. Clearly this is wrong. This is not his natural state.
One could say the same thing about a man. A man who’s not in his natural state is a sad thing to behold. He’s supposed to be something. He’s supposed to exude something. For some men it’s confidence. For others, it’s strength. For a few men, it’s hope or inspiration. Whatever it is, a man’s natural state is something good.
Back in 2016, FFFF filed a personnel complaint with the Fullerton Police Department against the officers involved in the attempted cover-up Joe Felz DUI accident. The complaint offered a tiny bit of hope that a quasi-legitimate internal investigation might be carried out. It also entitled us to a legally-mandated notification as to whether the complaint was “sustained” or “not sustained.” Sadly, this process represents the absolute limit of public visibility into the California system of police self-governance that has drawn the ire of FFFF for a decade.
Well over a year later, this letter shows that some of the accusations leveled at Sergeant Jeff Corbett and Lieutenant Goodrich, under the leadership of the since-departed Chief Danny Hughes, were indeed sustained.
While state law prevents the public from knowing what disciplinary actions were taken as a result of the investigation, sources inside the Fullerton Police Department indicate that Sergeant Jeff Corbett was terminated in February. Lieutenant Goodrich, who once considered himself a promising candidate for promotion to Captain, was pushed into an earlier-than-planned retirement beginning this Tuesday.
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.