What Happened to Officer Christopher Wren

Wren is on the right
Wren is on the right…

Some of you may remember the story of Officer Christopher Wren, the FPD brother in blue who pled “no contest” to a list of charges back in 2009. That wasn’t enough to get him booted from the force then but it appears he’s off the force now.

So what happened? What would possibly be worse than false imprisoning somebody?

An affair with a subordinate.

The department learned about the affair when Wren’s wife threw him out of the house and a subsequent investigation took place. During the course of this investigation some things were learned and #3 is a fun note.

“A nude photo of you, taken on October 17, 2017, was located on your Department-issued phone”.

One has to wonder how common this problem is around the station and on department-issued phones.

Based on this report these officers, while on duty, just ignored dispatch and the city they were supposed to be “serving and protecting” so they could “talk” about their dalliances. Sometimes for hours at a time.

The list continues.

Wren-Dismissal 03

Let’s look at #10 for a second.

“while on duty and in uniform and in a women’s restroom at the Fullerton Police Station… you met with Officer Riedl for several minutes to discuss your personal relationship”

They met in the women’s restroom for several minutes to “discuss” their relationship. Is that what the kids are calling it these days?

Finally Officer Wren made a point to “confront” Officer Ramek about their “respective relationships with Officer Riedl”.

It would appear that there was quite the love triangle happening at FPD and that despite the department policy on notification of any such relationships (specifically the subordinate one) it was only discovered once Wren’s wife notified FPD that she threw him out of the house.

Based on FPD’s history this looks like classic turning a blind eye to policy until it becomes a problem too big to ignore. Here’s the relevant policy:

FPD Policy Relationship 01

FPD Policy Relationship 02

We’re not sure what, if anything, happened with Officers Riedl or Ramek or how many “discussions” are still happening in the FPD women’s restroom at this time. As more information is released we’ll be sure to share it.

So What Did Lieutenant Kathryn Hamel Do?

Sgt. Kathryn Hamel

By now you’ve likely seen that the City of Fullerton and the Fullerton Police Department cut a deal with Lieutenant Kathryn Hamel and in doing so bypassed CA’s disclosure law known as SB1421.

We just received a tip which gives us some context into this whole Hamel ordeal. Most of the details are buried but a diligent anonymous soul divulged some of it.

First it appears that Lieutenant Hamel was the subject of two internal affairs investigations and at least one of them was completed. This first image shows this much.

Hamel-IA

We know, thanks to Transparent California, that Fullerton at the time only had 6 Lieutenants.

But to narrow it down more we were also sent the following:

This arrest of Rock Wagner resulted in a lawsuit against the City of Fullerton which we believe is still pending.

Finally we have this image which was sent along to show that even the settlement agreement was written to omit certain facts.

Hamel-Skelly

It would seem that Hamel wasn’t innocent of the charges that led to the internal affairs investigations because they rescheduled a “Skelly” hearing against her.

Now let us put that in context with our earlier post:

“all charges against Hamel, including charges relating to dishonesty, deceit, untruthfulness, false or misleading statements, ethics or maliciousness were never resolved or proven because there was no Skelly hearing or opportunity for appeal and, accordingly, are not sustained.”

If you’re wondering what a “Skelly” hearing is I’ll let the city of Fullerton’s own city attorney Jones & Mayer lay it out:

Due process requires that any deprivation of life, liberty, or property be preceded by notice and opportunity for hearing appropriate to the nature of the case. In California, this is referred to as a Skelly hearing or conference, after the California Supreme Court decision in Skelly v. State Personnel Board, 15 Cal. 3d 194 (1975).

The Ninth Circuit held that, at a minimum, these pre-removal safeguards must include notice of the proposed action, the reasons therefore, a copy of the charges and materials upon which the action is based, and the right to respond, either orally or in writing, to the authority initially imposing discipline.

Basically you don’t schedule a skelly hearing unless you’re going to discipline somebody and take something away from them – usually their job. (more…)

Your Voice Means Nothing to City Hall

Nextdoor Water Rate Increase Notice

Last month Fullerton requested feedback via Nextdoor and elsewhere from citizens regarding the raising of our water rates because our city is incompetent and decided not to repair infrastructure over the last several decades and now the bill is coming due by way of broken and rotting pipes.

So what we paid for already we need to pay for again and this time they pinky swear they mean to fix things. For realsies.

Those of you familiar with this blog should know about the “7 Walls of Local Government” which is quite possibly one of the best series of posts on local government ever committed to words in the modern era. If you’re unfamiliar go give it a read and then come back.

The 7 Walls, to many people, is simply theoretical so I wanted to offer this Fullerton water rate issue as an example of the walls in practice.

So here we have a form of Local Government Wall #3 –The Performance.

With the current rate hike under consideration the city claimed that they wanted feedback and in order for your “protest” to be counted you needed to sign a letter and email or send it in to the city. One person per household or parcel so hopefully you weren’t a renter or had more than one opinion in your domicile.

Just emails wouldn’t count, social media posts wouldn’t count and ACTUALLY SPEAKING AGAINST the increase at council wouldn’t count. To quote the city’s own FAQ:

“However, oral comments at the Public Hearing will not qualify as a formal protest of the proposed rate action unless accompanied by a written protest setting forth the required information.”

Gee, it’s almost like they wanted to limit it as much as possible all while claiming to be doing far beyond the bare minimum that’s legally required by law.

But they totally cared about your opinions or so they’d like you to believe and even told council.

Being one to not trust bureaucrats I challenged them on the premise and requested what they did with the “protests” they received up to and during the council meeting in question.

Here is the response:

Water Rate Increase Protests

They “were received, recorded and read by Public Works” and council only got a “response letter”.

That “response letter” was prepared early in order to be included in the agenda packet for the city council meeting on 04 June 2019 and was released to the public at approximately 6:15pm on 30 May 2019.

What this means is that council never received your protest prior to voting and thus those making the decision to raise your rates never heard what you had to say before voting.

Better yet – staff RESPONDED TO your “protest” possibly before you even made it. Any protest that came in after 30 May 2019 and before the item closed on Tuesday was just totally ignored. (more…)

Fullerton Police Cut a Deal to Bypass the Law

As hinted yesterday, we received an anonymous piece of correspondence with a copy of the separation agreement between “Lieutenant” Kathryn Hamel and the City of Fullerton.

It is quite an interesting read. We aren’t the only outlet to receive this so we’re curious to see what coverage, if any, this receives in the press.

From what we have gathered Officer Hamel had at least two internal affairs investigations into her actions. It is alleged that one of them was for giving false statements.

These internal investigations were dropped as a condition of this settlement specifically to avoid disclosure under the law known as SB1421.

To quote the agreement (bold emphasis added, caps lock in original):

“The City will revise its Notice of Intent to Discipline Hamel to remove allegations relating to dishonesty, deceit, untruthfulness, false or misleading statements, ethics or maliciousness.  The Interim Police Chief will place a notice in the file indicating that, pursuant to settlement, all charges against Hamel, including charges relating to dishonesty, deceit, untruthfulness, false or misleading statements, ethics or maliciousness were never resolved or proven because there was no Skelly hearing or opportunity for appeal and, accordingly, are not sustained.   The IA investigation, and related materials including the revised Notice of Intent to Discipline,  will be sealed and maintained in the Human Resources Department, and only in the Human Resources Department, with a notice reading:  “THIS IS A SEALED FILE AND SHOULD NOT BE DISCLOSED OR OTHERWISE PRODUCED WITHOUT WRITTEN PERMISSION FROM THE CITY MANAGER, AND ONLY AFTER RECEIVING A WRITTEN OPINION FROM THE CITY ATTORNEY THAT SAID RELEASE OF INFORMATION IS REQUIRED UNDER APPLICABLE LAW.”

“The City asserts, based on a “not sustained” finding of all charges, that any and all records relating to this investigation are not subject to release under Senate Bill 1421.  The City further asserts that any challenge to this legal opinion by any entity will be defended by the City – in court if necessary – to the fullest extent.”

Since Jerry Brown made it possible to find out when police lie, sexually assault people and cause great bodily harm through SB1421 the police and local governments in CA have been scrambling to find ways to block it’s implementation or ways to work around it and here we see one of those ways.

We citizens should fully expect that this is going to be the new normal.

Lacking consequences the police will continue closing cases and ending investigations to protect their own. Watch as the councils and mayors of our city and state do nothing for fear of union funded reprisals at the ballot box.

This is what happens when there is no objective civilian oversight and departments are allowed to handle their own investigations into the wrongdoing of their friends, family and co-workers. (more…)

Did Fullerton Police cut a deal with Kathryn Hamel?

We’ve been told that Kathryn Hamel was allowed to resign from FPD.

In exchange for her not suing for worker’s compensation the city dropped not one but two internal affairs investigations into her conduct.

Did her husband being the Irvine Police Chief play a role in this deal? Did FPD know that she was guilty and cut a deal anyways?

Time will tell as more details are uncovered.

*Update. This post originally stated she was allowed to retire, she was allowed to resign.

Your Water Rates are Going Up

Water Rate Increase June 2019

I’m not going to try and convince you that your water rates shouldn’t go up – that would be a futile effort at this point as too many of you are happy to rob your neighbors for things you think matter despite the costs and associated corruption.

I’m likewise not going to try and convince you of the malfeasance and incompetence of our city council as that too would waste my time on this lovely Taco Tuesday.

Instead I’ll simply point you to what happened the last time the city screwed the people of Fullerton on their water rates:

Ultimately the illegal water rates, along with the Kelly Thomas murder, helped fuel a recall.

Why mention these things? Because Jan Flory was on council when you were being robbed last time, as was Jesus Silva’s wife, Sharon Quirk-Silva. Jennifer Fitzgerald was the heir-apparent of the three recalled council members who were happily robbing us blind. Ahmad Zhara is on the water board (and Poseidon will rob you more when he supports that boondoggle). Bruce Whitaker is the only council member who will voice concern but that concern will likely go nowhere.

They deserve to be yelled at, mocked and ridiculed for their stupidity and corruption. Mercilessly.

Here’s the basic increase schedule. Enjoy. If you live in an older house with a slightly larger intake pipe prepare to eat an additional $182.76 next year (and more each subsequent year) because screw you.

Water Rate Increase June 2019 B

So tonight when staff and the council play the “we as a city NEED this money for rotting pipes” card you’ll know whom to laugh at profusely. The same jackasses that routinely steal your money to pad pensions and payroll for services which have been denied to you and your neighbors for literal generations.

This current water rate increase is another opportunity to raise your rates/taxes to pay for salaries and pensions to the people actively NOT FIXING the things you play them to fix. But this time they’ll fix it all, they promise. Or something. And if they muck it up again and just steal like normal oh well, the next crop of jackoffs in City Hall will wash their hands of the past and start the process of robbing you anew.

Congrats Fullerton, you’re about to get screwed again. You should be used to it by now.

What Happened to Fullerton’s Lieutenant Hamel?

The last time we wrote about Fullerton Police Lieutenant Kathryn Hamel it was to share the rumor we had heard that she was on admin leave.

“Word also has it that Katie Hamel, wife of Irvine Police Chief Mike Hamel, has been put on leave but we’re trying to very that information and she would make, at least, #4 currently on leave.”

Today we’re wondering what she did to get fired.

We ask because “Dr.” Hamel appears to have a new career as the Dean of Criminology at the online diploma mill that is California Southern University.

Dr Dean Katie Hamel

 

We doubt she just walked away from her FPD gig with the total compensation package of over $230,000/year so the likelihood is that she was fired for cause.

Katie Hamel 2017 Pay

Anybody care to share the cause?

Profiles in Courage

During a quick stop at the on-line Fullerton Observer I read an article by Jane Rands about a dope forum held by the folks at NUFF – an organization of mostly geriatric liberals whose mission seems to be to promote safely pro-government candidates and causes. Aha, thought I, perhaps someone will stand up for the rights of the people of California who have voted twice for marijuana legalization and twice have been thwarted, whenever possible, by the Drug Warrior/Prison Industrial Complex.

Weed Tribunal

The three members of a panel, selected by who knows who, were Ahmad Zahra, Temp Fullerton Top Cop Bob Dunn, and some dude named Richard Ham about whom I know nothing.

Whatever hopes I had about this get together were quickly dashed reading the article. Smilin’ Zahra, it seems, once got a prescription for medical weed for his fibromyalgia, but was too chicken to try it. Scary stuff. Ever the wordy equivocator, Zahra seemed to be all for lots of regulation because gosh darn it, the kids have already been exposed to cannabis by illicit shops popping up next to schools.

The large and seemingly self-satisfied Chief Dunn, who used to be a spokeshole for the notorious Anaheim Police Department, gave the usual cop-blather about the evils of drugs (kiddies were getting into mom and dad’s digestible stash!) and reminding Fullerton’s tremulous seniors that drug driving is a crime. In typical police fashion he suggested that a confused public causes his boys “a lot of effort with little return.” Same ol’ bullshit the cops have been peddling for 60 years. In a grand gesture of philanthropy, however, he did let it be known that he and his posse intended to follow the law. Gee thanks, Bob.

The third member of the Dope Troika was Mr. Ham, a Korean business guy in some sort of hotel business. Good thing he was there, because somebody was able to point out the all the flaws in the present system where cities are allowed to opt-out of legalization and the ultimate consequences of California ridiculous 2016 referendum: the maintenance of an illegal, underground system of cultivation and distribution.

Zahra proclaimed the meeting a “good start” begging the question of why in the world anyone needs to start considering these issues. Why there is any confusion about marijuana in this state after over twenty years of legalization? It’s because the cops and the cowardly politicians don’t want clarity, they don’t want freedom and they don’t want to be deprived of the seizure asset income they get from the War on Drugs.

Mr. Zahra did accomplish one thing. Because of the presence of Mayor Jesus and Jan Flory he warned of the dangers of a Brown Act violation, chasing our stalwart mayor out of the room.

FFFF Classic – Apologies to Dick Jones; Welcome to Kharakhastan!

UPDATE: BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND #4! 

We have had a lot of fun on this site making fun of City Councilman Dick Jones and his clockwork-regular gaffes and buffooneries. But, when you’re right, you’re right. We teased him for his creation of what we thought was a purely imaginary place: Kharakhastan, and we had some fun at his expense. Well, aren’t we embarrassed! It turns out there really is such a place!

A little research by our International Geography and Socio-Ethnography Department uncovered the following information:

Kharakhastan is a small ethnic enclave located within the Republic of Kazakhstan (former Soviet SSR) that comprises 135,000 square kilometers with a population of approximately 211,000 (2006 census).

Kharakh wrestlers await competition at local festival
Kharakh wrestlers await competition at local festival

The geography consists of arid upland steppe ascending to sub-alpine terrain and ultimately to high peaks. The highest point is Krysighi Peak (formerly known as Mt. Stalin’s Birthday and later Worker’s Peak), at 5439 meters high. The main industry in Kharakhastan is animal husbandry including sheep and tapirs, although a burgeoning Asian market for an aphrodisiac distilled from beaver gonads has spawned a nascent beaver ranching business in the many small tributaries that descend Krysighi Peak.

A typical Kharakh family
A typical Kharakh family

The principal city in the Kharakhastan region is Pilgur, documented by the Venetian Marco Polo, and known for its splendid 16th Century mosque.

PilgurMosque

When Kazakhstan broke away from the former Soviet Union in 1991, Kharakastan declared its own independence as a sovereign republic, an independence that lasted a mere four days and was crushed by Kazakh leader Nursultan Nazarbayev, who arrested Kharakh politcal headmen and outlawed the Kharakhastani People’s Liberation Party (LPKI).

Kharakhastan has never been recognized by the internatonal community, although former American President Bill Clinton toured the area in 2006 on a visit to Kazakhstan. The Reformed Kharakhastani People’s Liberation Party (LPKID) currently holds 3 seats in the Khazakh legislature.

Well, there you have it. Kharakhastan. Who knew? And to Dick Jones, our profound apologies!

The Turn Around. Another Lie from SparkyFitz

It’s a sad fact that most stories about political corruption and malfeasance end up getting drowned out by a tsunami of other news – often just more corruption and malfeasance. And so it is with Fullerton’s lobbycreature/councilmember Jennifer Fitzgerald – for whom no lie, shakedown or chisel can ever be too small. Here’s a post from almost two years ago when we uncovered that Fitzgerald, who publicly forswore council pay had started, in fact, to take the emoluments of her office.

 

Joined in mutual interest. The public is nowhere to be seen…

In March of this year our lobbyist-council person Jennifer Fitzgerald began to receive the typical council pay check, plus 100 bucks a month to not enroll in the City’s health insurance plan.

“So what?” you may be saying to yourself. Well, here’s the problem. In her self-promotion for political office in 2012 Fitzgerald got way up on her high horse about refusing compensation for “public service.” She even made a promise!

And that’s not all. Enjoy this lecture on the high moral ground Fitzgerald stakes out for herself in 2013. She made a big deal about her refusing compensation when she first joined the council. Could the moralizing get any thicker?

Between 2013 and now a lot has changed for Ms. Fitzgerald, most notably a vice presidency at Curt Pringle and Associates, the notorious lobby shop where no public asset is too valuable for cheap disposal. It may very well be that Fitzgerald now has a completely different attitude toward “public service” than she did five years ago.