Tag Archives: ACLU

Fullerton Lies to the ACLU, LA Times and Others

The City recently sent out a file from the City Attorney, via Assistant City Clerk Klein, that lists officers who’s records are disclosable under the Records Law known as SB1421. This was sent to those who had requested these files such as myself, the ACLU, LA Times and others. The following is my response;


Dear SB1421 Requesters and interested parties,

It has come to my attention that the City of Fullerton has broken California’s Public Record’s Law, specifically related to SB1421, by denying you records which are quite clearly publicly disclosable.

In the link sent to you by Mea Klein, Assistant City Clerk, as provided to her by the City Attorney, you were told that there are 27 Officers “REQUESTED BY NAME, BUT NO DISCLOSABLE FILE AVAILABLE (27)”. This is patently false.

The City of Fullerton is currently suing me, my compatriot David and the blog Friends for Fullerton’s Future directly related to the published findings on several of these officers.

City of Fullerton Is Suing Me And This Blog

In looking at this list I can quite easily name Officers on that list who have disclosable records under SB1421 including but not limited to Kathryn Hamel, Paul Irish, Miguel “Sonny” Siliceo, Christopher Wren & Nathan Roesler.

A sustained finding was found against Hamel and one cannot simply unring that bell as seen in the recent Contra Costa County tentative decision (CASE NAME: RICHMOND POLICE VS. CITY OF RICHMOND).

This FFFF article related to Hamel is specifically mentioned in the lawsuit against myself and FFFF:

Fullerton Police Cut a Deal to Bypass the Law

Christopher Wren had a sustained finding against for dishonesty related to a workplace affair with a subordinate. In IA Case #17-0038 one of the sustained findings against Officer Wren is as follows:

“6. On December 17, 2017, when Lieutenant Cleggett asked you about your whereabouts, you dishonestly stated to Lieutenant Cleggett that you had been on the phone with your wife the entire time and did not notice Lieutenant Cleggett’s text message.”

This statement of dishonesty was directly related to misconduct as outlined in the timeline of Wren’s activities and being in violation of policy.

Likewise with Christopher Wren, an article is specifically listed in the lawsuit being waged against myself and FFFF:

What Happened to Officer Christopher Wren

The idea that the city attorney is unaware of the sustained findings against their officers which are disclosable under SB1421 is laughable when those very stories are being used by the same attorneys as evidence in a lawsuit where the city seeks a prior restraint against myself and FFFF.

The blog has likewise published stories on how Paul Irish was terminated for dishonesty;

Fullerton’s Veritable Serpico Problem

Miguel “Sonny” Siliceo admitted in his plea deal that he both used excessive force and falsified a police report.

Sonny’s Admission of Guilt

Nathan Roesler filed a false report with the City of Placentia which resulted in an innocent man being arrested for a crime that wasn’t committed against Roesler. This was referred to the District Attorney for prosecution.

Another Possible Cover-up by FPD

These are the cases which are readily and easily pointed out which I believe to be disclosable under SB1421 which calls all of the other officers on the list into question. The City is blatantly lying to you, your organizations and agencies as well as the public and concerned entities about disclosable records despite being in a separate lawsuit over these very violations of SB1421.

If you are honestly seeking these records and others from the City of Fullerton you will likely have no recourse but to seek remedies in order to get to the truth. I have already been forced to take this route unfortunately.

They are likewise violating the law in regards to the officer whose records are “PENDING; NOT YET PRODUCED (3)”. The incident in Corbett’s case was from 2016 and Paez’s was in 2017. The timeline has long passed for required production in both of these cases.

Thank you for your time and I wish you all the best in your efforts to get to the truth.

Sincerely,

Joshua Ferguson
Host, The Hourly Struggle
Writer, Friends for Fullerton’s Future
Concerned Citizen


For the record, City Manager Ken Domer is fine with these lies as he could put an end to them but works with the City Attorneys to keep them going. The same for Police Chief Dunn. He has no desire for you to know which of his officers are corrupt or he’d demand the city follow the law.

The City Council? 4 of the 5 of them have repeatedly voted to sue us without so much as questioning the liability the City Attorney themselves caused. Remember, when the City Council wants YOU to follow the law – they have no problem shielding police from it.

Despite all of their bluster over Black Lives Matter, Jesus Silva & Ahmad Zahra don’t care about police misconduct or oversight. Jan Flory & Jennifer Fitzgerald don’t care about integrity or accountability either. Remember, they all voted to sue US to keep the records of corrupt police from YOU. Hell, Sharon Quirk-Silva, Jesus Silva’s wife, voted AGAINST the very law in question here (SB1421) if you want perspective of how little these people’s rhetoric matters.

Big Brother

Let’s Talk More about Privacy

Big Brother Watching

Tonight our City Council is going to allow the Fullerton Police Department to use asset forfeiture money to purchase two automated license plate readers or ALPRs.

According to the paperwork these devices are used to allow police to drive around and scan the license plate of all cars on both sides of a street at up to 160mph. Tonight this is being sold as a way to enforce parking as part of the Downtown Parking Pilot Program as recommended by staff and the vendor SP+.

But these devices have a dark big brother side to them in how the data is shared and stored.

Apparently Fullerton has had these types of devices since 2008 (as referenced in my earlier post) despite the staff report tonight alluding to their newness. I’m betting the devices are currently being used for covertly tracking specific criminals in the same way that FPD uses the cellphone data capturing “Stingray” that they borrow from Anaheim.

Regardless of how the ALPRs are currently being used,  they aren’t a new concept as far as I can tell for the city or police department owing to our involvement in the UASI.

Urban Area Security Initiative

In the staff report, as a way to sell these ALPRs, it is mentioned that the city currently “chalks” tires to check for parking violations.

Why are our parking enforcers “chalking” tires when they have electronic equipment to do that for them? Does that equipment no longer function? Was there a problem with the implementation of the previous “digital chalking”. Nobody knows because no data, details or explanations are being provided by staff – yet again.

The big issue here, according to the ACLU and others, is that these devices are also used to keep track of where people go and how long they stay at those locations. The police department can track your movements and build a pattern of your activities and then share that data with other agencies.

Do the police really need a record of what church everybody goes to? What about who goes to the local AA/NA meetings? Local clinic? Political rallies/events/protests? Do you want the police to have a record of every time you visited your lover or possible mistress/paramour for the politicians in the room?

Caught Cheating

All of your activities are now that much easier to track and store with this technology and there needs to be safeguards against abuse and misuse.

This giant privacy concern is why the ACLU, EFF, 10th Amendment Center and others are against the use of these devices without strict controls. Surprisingly enough the CA State Legislature mostly agrees with them.

According to the Electronic Freedom Foundation, CA law, in effect since 2016, requires agencies deploying automated license plate readers to divulge:

  • The authorized purposes for using the ALPR system and collecting ALPR information.
  • A description of the job title or other designation of the employees and independent contractors who are authorized to use or access the ALPR system, or to collect ALPR information. The policy shall identify the training requirements necessary for those authorized employees and independent contractors.
  • A description of how the ALPR system will be monitored to ensure the security of the information and compliance with applicable privacy laws.
  • The purposes of, process for, and restrictions on, the sale, sharing, or transfer of ALPR information to other persons.
  • The title of the official custodian, or owner, of the ALPR system responsible for implementing this section.
  • A description of the reasonable measures that will be used to ensure the accuracy of ALPR information and correct data errors.
  • The length of time ALPR information will be retained, and the process the ALPR operator will utilize to determine if and when to destroy retained ALPR information.

Sadly you can scour tonight’s staff report and you won’t find any of this information. You also won’t find these requirements on the website or city archive which begs a question of legal compliance.

But it’s more irritating than that. If this was an issue of non-compliance by virtue of the law changing AFTER we already had the equipment (purchase in 2008, law change in 2016) it would be one thing. It would be illegal but an issue chalked up to oversight and city attorney incompetence. But no. Two years ago our city agreed to remain in what is known as the Urban Areas Security Initiative and we’re in clear violation of that grant process as well:

UASI PII Requirement

I’ve looked for this “publicly-available policy” to no-avail on the city servers. Honestly though I shouldn’t have to look for such information when staff is asking the council to address the license plate readers tonight – the policy in question should have been included and explained in the staff report.

An example of compliance with the law regarding your privacy and how the city handles it related to ALPRs can be seen with the city of Cypress’s Police Department Manual. This is what should have been included tonight before council votes upon such the ALPR issue.

Fullerton, however, gives us this:

FPD Policy Manual

If you look at the top of that page you’ll it was put up back when David Hendricks was Chief of Police.

Chief Hendricks went on admin leave back on 25 August of last year before resigning. So our Police Department hasn’t had a publicly available policy manual for AT LEAST 7 months & 22 days. The best I can find is a policy manual from 2012 on archive.org and the section of ALPRs (page 322) is not compliant with the 2016 state law.

Way to go team. Way to be transparent and compliant with the law. Way be ahead of the curve and to put the interests of the people first. Oh wait. Nevermind on all counts.

Why does staff, let alone council, not care about your privacy? Why do they think it’s okay to violate CA law and their own grant agreements regarding your privacy & transparency? Why is the hunt for more downtown money more important than addressing such fundamental concerns?

I’d tell you to find out tonight but we all know that they’re going to gloss over this issue with some allusions to trust, heroes and the like after being called on their nonsense.

Regardless of who’s on council this is just the Fullerton way I suppose.

cronyism

Tonight the Downtown Bars Win

cronyism

The Fullerton City Council is about to hand the Downtown Restaurateurs Bar Owners two big wins and they’re going to continue to slap down the privacy of those in Fullerton in the process.

The first big win for the bars is in changing the rules around operating a bar in the Downtown area. This is partially because city staff thinks it’s too hard to do their jobs regarding enforcement. It’s just so hard to tell the couple of bars without Conditional Use Permits that they’re operating illegally.

The truth here is that it’s so hard to enforce anything downtown because council won’t let staff or the police department do their jobs so they all have to turn a blind eye to illegal operators and this change to Title 15 allows the downtown scofflaws to now operate *mostly* legally.

Except those without CUPs which the city will continue to ignore because favors and cronyism.

This is being sold as a way to make enforcement easier but let’s be real here – every year for a decade+ the Chief of Police (each of them) has signed off on Live Entertainment Permits which themselves say CUPs will be enforced. Our Chiefs of Police rubber stamp LE Permits for businesses that operate without required fire / life safety requirements.

So if the Police Chief is going to turn a blind eye to life safety in order to rubber stamp a permit for a favored business owner why should we believe that these new relaxed rules will be enforced? Because we’re supposed to “trust” these corrupt kleptocrats.

This Title 15 Change is being pushed to allow “legal non-conforming businesses” to now operate quasi-legally but staff won’t even tell use who that applies to in Downtown. We’re offering a form of amnesty without talking about who gets it and for what and if that’s even a good thing.

Ted White will likely prattle on about lumens and the percentage of tint on a window as cover but there are real concerns being omitted here. Why? Because saying “no, we allowed a business to illegally board up their windows with flammable material without fire sprinklers in clear violation of their CUP” doesn’t sound as easy to wash away in a rhetorical flourish such as “how do we know what 15% tint looks like”? Continue reading

A March for Science, Road Closures and the ACLU

On Saturday the city will shut down several public streets for an event called the “March for Science.” It’s the local version of a nationwide protest of federal budget cuts to scientific research. While the event organizers claim that it is non-partisan, critics say its the nerdy version of yet another anti-Trump protest.

Mad scientists

Naturally the city bureaucrats were eager to accommodate to the public’s expression via a gathering on the city hall lawn and a march through downtown streets, right? Of course not. The City of Fullerton declined the assembly. Organizers were told to come up with $12,000 for city fees, a $2 million insurance policy and provide 90 days notice before starting the march.

What were these fees supposed to pay for? $8,000 went towards some sort of a traffic control plan and $4,000 was earmarked for police fees. Specifics costs were unavailable, but we can read between the lines: it’s $12,000 to put up plastic barricades and have some cops stand around, collecting overtime.

The ACLU got involved and lit up the city for charging excess fees they claim were intended to “discourage community members from exercising their First Amendment rights.”

Predictably, the ACLU communique prompted a change of heart at city hall. City management found a way to drastically reduce fees to a mere $175. The march will proceed as planned, without most of the ridiculously expensive bureaucratic requirements.

The moral of this story, of course, is that city hall’s default reaction to 1st amendment activity is to put up artificial financial/administrative barricades and prevent the unwashed masses from organizing and criticizing government. Around here, if you can’t bring in a lawyer to assert your rights, you’re nobody. That sounds familiar.

On the other hand, I am reminded of a peaceful Fullerton march that occurred in 2011 without lawyers, city approval, plastic barricades, insurance policies, traffic control, fat cops on overtime or any sort of certificate of authenticity. How did that happen?