Tag Archives: CPRA

OC Superior Court in Santa Ana

Fullerton v. FFFF – New Judge, New Court Dates

OC Superior Court in Santa Ana

Things just keep on moving in the legal battles between us and Fullerton.

Yesterday the Hon. Judge Lee ruled that our two cases, Joshua Ferguson v. Fullerton and Fullerton v. FFFF, Joshua Ferguson, et al are related in response to our request for such a ruling.

As such we will no longer be gracing Judge Lee’s courtroom in Department C31 on 27 February 2019.

Currently we have a Status Conference regarding the City suing us on 12 Dec & a Case Management Conference on my Writ of Mandate case on 16 Dec in front of the Hon. Judge James Crandall in Department C33.

OC Superior Court Related Cases Dec2019

For context we argued, and the city opposed, the point that these two cases are related owing to them involving the same parties and general facts:

“[T]he two actions are based on similar claims, arise from the same transactions and events, and require the determination of substantially identical questions of law and fact. The CPRA lawsuit alleges that the City has improperly withheld records it claims are confidential or exempt from disclosure. The City’s lawsuit claims that in the process of responding to Defendants’ CPRA requests, it placed confidential or exempt information on its website, www.cityoffullerton.com/outbox. In both cases, the City has the burden to show that the documents are confidential.”

We’re of the opinion that the city’s case against myself and this blog is retaliatory owing to the fact that the city waited months to file their case and only did so AFTER I filed my Public Records lawsuit.

The city claims they waited to “secure their network” which is utter nonsense considering their own experts, in their own declaration, stated that the city needed approximately 30 days for the company Glass Box to fix their network (not Dropbox) vulnerability. Yet the city sent their original Cease & Desist email on 14 June, their letter to our attorney Kelly Aviles on 17 July and then they waited an additional 99 days to file their lawsuit against us on 24 Oct.

That’s a lot more than the 30 days recommended by Glass Box and sure is convenient timing. It’s even more convenient that the City had to vote “again” on 19 November “in an effort to clarify any Brown Act violations” when they refused to report out about their alleged vote back in September that Whitaker denies even took place.

I will be very surprised it the city does not attempt to appeal this decision to link the cases.

City of Fullerton Is Suing Me And This Blog

You may have already seen the story and/or press release from the City of Fullerton articulating their lawsuit against myself, Friends for Fullerton’s Future and others.

You can read the Voice of OC’s write up on this lawsuit from the city [HERE]:

“Fullerton city attorneys are heading into Orange County Superior Court Friday to ask a judge for a temporary restraining order against resident Joshua Ferguson and a local blog to keep them from deleting city records they obtained and also asking a judge to appoint someone to comb through electronic devices for the records.”

That lawsuit from the city is retaliation for a Public Records Lawsuit I filed against the city last week which was written up by the Voice of OC [HERE]:

“Fullerton residents may soon find out exactly how former City Manager Joe Felz was given a ride home by Fullerton police officers after hitting a tree and trying to flee the scene following drinking on election night in 2016, after resident Joshua Ferguson filed a lawsuit against the city to produce police body camera footage from that night.”

I will have more details in the near future but our current response is HERE]:

“The basic purpose of the First Amendment is to prevent the government from imposing prior restraints against the press. “Regardless of how beneficent-sounding the purposes of controlling the press might be,” the Court has “remain[ed] intensely skeptical about those measures that would allow government to insinuate itself into the editorial rooms of this Nation’s press.” (Nebraska Press, 427 U.S. at 560-561.)

“Consistent with that principle, over the last 75 years, the United States Supreme Court repeatedly has struck down prior restraints that limited the press’ right to report about court proceedings. The Court has made clear that a prior restraint may be contemplated only in the rarest circumstances, such as where necessary to prevent the dissemination of information about troop movements during wartime, Near, 283 U.S. at 716, or to “suppress[] information that would set in motion a nuclear
holocaust.” (New York Times, 403 U.S. at 726 (Brennan, J., concurring).)

“This case does not come close to presenting such extraordinary circumstances. Thus, the City cannot prevail as a matter of law, regardless of how the records were originally obtained. The City’s requests are flatly unconstitutional in and Defendants, therefore, respectfully request this Court denying the City’s request in its entirely.”

More to come as these two cases play out in court.

Law for Dummies

New Lawsuit Against Fullerton Alleges Police Misconduct & Cover-Ups

 

A lot has happened in Fullerton over the last several years and while my involvement has waned ever since the City threatened me civilly and criminally because I happen to be associated with this blog, and this blog published embarrassing things City Hall would rather hide from the people, I have remained committed to finding the truth and speaking up against the vapid and self-serving corruption of our council majority & the city hall they oversee.

In my capacity as a chronic malcontent these last few years I have made numerous records requests looking for information and many of those requests have been ignored, delayed or denied owing to dubious legal claims or just outright misrepresentations of the law. As such I have opted to sue the city of Fullerton for violations of the California Public Records Act.

The now filed Petition for Writ of Mandate alleges that the City of Fullerton has violated the CPRA in regards to my records requests related to no less than 5 separate issues.

Back when I first started filing requests, specifically for the body worn camera and dash cam videos of the Joe Felz DUI incident, the city was able to hide behind a lack of enforceable disclosure laws as SB1421 was not yet the law of the land. Cities did/do this because they know it takes a lot of time, effort and commitment to make them comply with disclosure laws.

Here in Fullerton the arrogance got so bad that they didn’t even try to hide their disdain for the public and transparency. At one point after claiming the Felz video was exempt from disclosure owing to the non-existent sham investigation, City Attorney Gregory Palmer asserted to me; “If you are dissatisfied with the response you have remedies”.

“You have remedies”

Skip ahead a few years and it turns out I DO have remedies and I have opted to act upon them. Hence this lawsuit.

For those interested, the lawsuit reads as follows (after the jump, emphasis in original, exhibits in the Writ link above):

Continue reading

PlaneCrash Fullerton

Fullerton Lies to Fight Transparency – Airport Edition

I’m not sure why Fullerton is so dedicated to being lying liars telling lies to just to tell them but that’s how they do.

Recently somebody put in a Public Records Request to find out if the City of Fullerton was in violation of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Grant Rules and risking a financial headache.

This all stems from Hanger 21 and their non-aeronautical use holding parties instead of making sure the space in question is used for actual aeronautical use as required by the FAA.

Public Records Request number 19-272 asked, and I quote;

“Please provide me with a list of non-aeronautical and aeronautical hangars at the Fullerton Airport.”

The response from the city was;

No Records Available

“The City does not maintain a list, and the Public Records Act does not require the City to create records in response to a request.”

Oh really.

Weird. This email from Airport Manager Brendan O’Reilly seems to say otherwise.

Non-Aero Uses at Airport

“Here’s what I wrote up for the eviction of the twelve non-aero tenants, along with the letter I sent out last February as a warning.”

So there’s a list of non-aeronautical tenants when the city needs it but not one when the city is required to disclose it? It sure seems that Brendan O’Reilly is making things up at his convenience to suit his immediate needs.

Oh Lying Liars and the Lies they tell.

This isn’t the first time that O’Reilly has been caught lying. He previously lied to the city about the airport having a waiver for non-aeronautical uses which the city doesn’t have. He got away with it because our council and staff are lazy, incompetent or both.

In the end, these lying liars who lie are going to cost you, the taxpayers, millions.

It’ll cost you when AirCombat wins their lawsuit because the city is illegally renting an aeronautical facility to a non-aeronautical user at below market rates AND the city purposely disqualified two applicants (including AirCombat) from the lease because Hanger 21 could pay more. BUT we rented to H21 at below market rate (if it wasn’t on an airport) because they could pay more than the tenants who would actually use the space for aeronautical uses which the city is legally required to prioritize.

Then it’ll cost you once more when Hangar 21 sues the city for estoppel for damages they incurred after the Feds force H21’s eviction from the property due to an illegal lease.

Oh. And don’t forget that the airport wasn’t even zoned to allow for Hanger21’s business when they were approved. Again, per Airport Manager O’Reilly:

Hanger21 PL Zoning

“After our EDAT meeting on October 5, it seems that we won’t be able to get CC approval for the item because of the PL Zoning issue.”

This is the bullshit Fullerton’s Council tolerates. This is the bullshit they will continue to tolerate because they don’t know any better. This is the bullshit we get to pay for because our City Council is too spineless to ask a single pointed question, let alone demand compliance with our own laws.

It isn’t going to get better until voters hold these nitwits accountable and make them responsible for their actions. Good luck getting that to happen.