Tag Archives: Culture of Corruption

Is Fitzgerald Out?

I’m not telling the truth and you can’t make me…

Rumor is circulating that our Mayor-for-Hire, lobbyist Jennifer Fitzgerald isn’t going to be running for election to represent District 1 in Fullerton this fall. Good news, indeed, if true, for those who care about honest, competent government.

But is it true? No pronouncements have been forthcoming from the woman herself which suggests that the rumor isn’t true, or that the influence peddler is going to try to slide in a candidate of her own choosing – one who may just be amenable to continuing the Culture of Corruption in the FPD and the Culture of Incompetence in City Hall.

Pringle and Fitzgerald

What her departure might mean for her future value for the swamp known as Pringle and Associates remains to be seen.

Well, I guess we’ll know in about six weeks. And if Her Highness is just playing games and is going to run after all, we’ll be reminding voters of her:

  1. Promise to take no pay or benefits, and then doing just that.
  2. Lying about a “balanced budget” for years while depleting reserve funds to pay for ever-greater pension obligations.
  3. Covering up the drunk driving of her best buddy, City Manager Joe Felz, a spectacle that has embarrassed the City, ever since.
  4. Ignoring the roads of Fullerton until they have become the worst in Orange County , as determined by the OCTA.
  5. Presiding over the shoddy or incompetent  construction of vanity projects that put money in the pockets of her campaign contributor.
  6. Working as a lobbyist while representing the City of Fullerton.

Axis of Casual Corruption.

So bring it on Jen.’ We’ve been paying attention and we’re gonna make sure your neighbors know all about your record. Stooge endorsement from recalled former council buffoons, corrupt liberals and government camp followers and a new tsunami of prevarication ain’t gonna cut it in 2020.

 

The Consortium of Corruption

Not pretty, but it works…

Friends, an environmental symbiosis exists in nature when two organisms interact in a way that is mutually beneficial. In the course of human organizational activity we see such symbioses frequently. In the nasty intersection of government and politics such relationships are depressingly common. And nowhere can we see this operation in better form than in the way Fullerton’s politics intersect the management of police business, a business that affects everybody.

Let me begin my essay with a recitation of police behavior in our town that ought to give any decent person reason to give a second thought to nonsense pitched by both the government and the media.

See this badge? It means honesty and integrity. Or not.

We all remember the words of former FPD Chief, Danny “Galahad” Hughes when he said that anybody who claimed a Culture of Corruption in his department was a liar or misinformed. Of course this is the same individual who orchestrated the Kelly Thomas killing cover-up, who ordered the ticketing of “excessive horners,” and who is implicated up to the top of his bald head in the illegal catch and release of drunken former City Manager, Joe Burt Felz.

 

Spokesphincter was the last straw. Apparently.

In all of his endeavors Hughes was serially assisted by the smarmy and arrogant Andrew Goodrich, former union goon and, not coincidentally, the otiose and corpulent spokeshole for department. Friends will recall that it was Goodrich who immediately promulgated lies about cops getting broken bones in the aftermath of the Thomas bludgeoning by his cohorts. Goodrich was caught by FFFF over the years selling so much garbage that he was actually nominated for  a coveted Fringie® in 2011.

Just gimme a minute, here.

Most Friends believe that the author of FPD’s Culture of Corruption was none other than former top-cop Pat “Patdown Pat” McKinley, who imported a bunch of cops from LAPD, including the one-eyed cop on disability, Jay Cicinelli, who bashed Kelly’s face in with the butt end of a Taser. McKinley admitted to hiring all these thugs and he brushed aside the accusations against FPD sexual batterer Albert Rincon by telling an audience that the victims were inferior types of women, anyhow. On the Fullerton City Council he acted in tandem with Hughes as architects of the disastrous cover-up. His plans were inadvertently exposed on CNN. His history of playing twisted, amateur psychologist was well documented.

 

GOD MODE ACTIVATED. Lookin’ out for the ladies, oh yeah!

Some of FPD’s bad behavior has suggested a sexual pervy streak running through the department, and a predilection for looking the other way about it. Albert “Alby Al” Rincon, instead of being fired and prosecuted by McKinley for sexual battery, continued to roam Fullerton’s streets looking for victims – gals he no doubt figured would keep their mouths shut. They didn’t, costing taxpayers hundreds of thousands and the City a reprimand from a federal judge. Naturally no charges were ever filed.

Recently we’ve been favored with the story of tubby ginger boy Jose Paez, whose “crime” according to tough guy DA Todd Spitzer, was the unauthorized photographing of his victims. Unfortunately for the girls and women he associated with as a school officer in the FJUHSD, what he was taking pictures of was their undergarments – while they were being worn.

Chiu-FPD-Awards-Promotion

How ’bout a date, honey?

A few months ago the story leaked out about an enterprising young FPD lad named Christopher Chiu, who seems to have found a persuasive way to talk a young woman out of her clothes on the top of the Lemon/Chapman parking structure so he could examine her breasts and nether parts in search of “evidence.” Before the courtly charm of playing doctor wore off, he suggested his availability for a dinner date. Yikes.

Speaking of sex in our city, let us not, Dear Friends, forget the hi-jinks of stumblebum Detective Ron “My Request Stands” Bair, who ended up extracting sex from the mother in a child custody case in which he was a witness. Half a mil on us and adios, Ron. Enjoy the spectacle of the outraged Keystone Kop demanding that councilmembers turn over their cell phone records to him.

Wren, on the right, getting a MADD award. Maybe anger management paid off…

The parade continued recently with the sordid tale of Christopher Wren, a Riverside County anger management clinic grad who was holding clandestine conferences of varying duration with an Officer Riedl – in various FPD assets, including his squad car and in the ladies toilet room. Ick.

Former Sergeant Jeff Corbett was actaully rung up for obstructing justice although seamy stories about sexual escapades while on duty have been circulating for a long time. But to be fair to poor Jeff, it was sending Wild Ride Joe Felz home after the hit-and-run of Sappy McTree that got him busted.

Apart from uncontrolled libido, the gallant gents of the FPD have often displayed their ethical sensibility in an orgy of mayhem against people who hadn’t done anything wrong, or by simply revealing how little they care for the basic concepts of justice. Maybe the cultural shift to full-on violence and callousness was the result of Pat McKinley’s well-known militarization of the FPD.

Ay caramba!

Jay Cicinelli is known across the globe as the goon who smashed in Kelly Thomas’s face with a Taser handle and admitted it on tape. This one-eyed jack was employed by McKinley as a favor to an old LAPD crony. Now this twice disqualified creep actually wants (or wants us to believe he does) his job back!

The gift that keeps giving…

Our obese old pal Manuel Ramos had a long history of lazy and oafish behavior as an FPD cop, culminating in the actions that instigated Kelly Thomas’s death. Bully? Check. Overweight slob? Check. Natural born prick? Double Check. FPD material all the way.

Joe, plumbing…

Of course the proud specimen known as Joe Wolfe was Ramos’s accomplice on that fateful night Thomas was goaded into flight. Good old Joe was there with baton in hand to deliver the first blow to the schizophrenic homeless man.

Over the years FFFF has related stories from the citizenry about abusive and violent behavior of Fullerton’s cops, particularly those patrolling downtown open air booze court. But none of these stories can equal the brutality and the callous treatment of Veth Mam by one Kenton Hampton. See, Hampton’s official version of the story got real fuzzy after it became clear that his recollection of events strained even the credulity of an OC jury past the breaking point, especially when video evidence showed up in court. During a downtown scuffle involving the cops, Hampton arrived by car upon the scene and knocked the phone camera out of the hand of an innocent bystander, Mam, who was giving away about 100 lbs. to Officer Hampton. After throwing the hapless Mam around like a rag doll, Hampton tossed him in the Fullerton clink where he was charged with assaulting a cop, a story Hampton testified to under oath. Was he ever punished? Of course not. Under “Chief Danny” Big Bad Ham seems to have been promoted to a desk job.

MADD Heroes. Far right “Sonny” Siliceo contemplates the downside of an honest future. Tim Gibert, top left, contemplates a career at the Home Depot key duplicator.

And then there is the laundry list of incompetence or indifference. We first met Miguel “Sonny” Siliceo as he tagged one Emanuel Martinez who spent five months at Theo Lacy courtesy of a deliberate misidentification.  Spoke-sphincter Andrew Goodrich comforted us with the words “we try to arrest the right guy.” Years later Siliceo, in a different matter, was convicted of filing a false police report, something very, very hard to accomplish.

To swerve and deflect

And to round out our categories of misconduct, we must pause, I suppose, at least for a moment to reflect on a few of the various petty crimes and thievery perpetrated by our boys and girls in blue. Todd Major ripped off Explorer Scouts to feed his pill habit. April Baughman ripped off the property room of $50,000. Kelly Mejia tried to boost an i-Pad right under the watchful security cameras at the Miami airport. Hugo Garcia was apparently told his services were no longer required after being busted for purloining something or other (off duty, of course; on duty the man was a veritable saint). And then there was the tale of Officer Timothy Gibert, another MADD awardee who got popped out in the high desert defrauding home improvement stores. Just how many small-time thieves and pickpockets we have employed over the years will never be known for sure.

I will slide over details of how the FPD has deliberately ignored clear cases of lawbreaking by its pals, and has actually prosecuted criminal cases against politcal opponents because that sort of behavior we would naturally expect. But it is a segue, doncha know.

So, finally, let’s end this painful revelation with the not-so funny story about Josh Eddleman and Jerrie Harvey two innocent people jailed and prosecuted due to the bungling of newly minted “detective” Barry Coffman, best known for his enthusiastic handing out of tickets for “excessive horning.” Once againSpokesanus Goodrich informed the public that the FPD really, does try to arrest the right people, gosh darn it, a statement so insincere that maybe not even David Whiting would believe it.

Of course this quivering pyramid of gelatin was the President of the Fullerton Peace Officer’s Association for years and years, supporting political candidates who could be counted on to serve and protect his wayward union members while bestowing lavish pay and benefits.

And here is the nexus of casual corruption: without a compliant city council and their hand-picked city manager, this sad litany of crime and no punishment would be an awful lot shorter. The cop union, along with their “firefighter” brethren and sistren diligently help elect reliable stooges to the city council through vast campaign spending via their political action committees. And what a roll call of dunderheads, incompetents, buffoons, seniles, lackeys and assorted political grifters they have greased into office.

Really and truly Jurassic In Every Way

Back in the late 1980s winning campaigns for elected office in Fullerton really started getting expensive, a fact exploited by the “public safety” unions in the the 1990s.  And who became the poster boy for the police association? Why, none other than former Fullerton cop Don Bankhead who’s disability retirement account makes Inspector Clouseau look like a veritable Fred Astaire. It mattered not that Bankead was as thick as two short planks. That was exactly the point. He was their boy.

Hail no!

Don’t forget the lengthy corn-pone career of possibly third degree syphilitic Doc Hee Haw – Dick Jones – who once blurted to an aggrieved citizen at a council meeting “you won’t get anywhere bad-mouthing the police in this town.”

The Lollipop Guild was well represented

In 2000, the union coordinated with candidate Mike Clesceri to spy on councilwoman Julie Sa, and to get him elected to the council. A fellow cop like Clesceri was counted on to support the troops. And boy did he, approving the disastrous retroactive 3 @ 50 pension formula.

Loretta and I were getting our nails done…oh, and socks…

Sharon Quirk-Silva was marginally smart enough to dodge the Kelly Thomas fallout and the subsequent recall. But like almost all of Fullerton’s liberal establishment crowd, she blamed the murder on homelessness, not on bad cops. She ignored the cover-up, and did nothing about the Albert Rincon matter, despite proclaiming her outrage on the nightly news wherein we learned she has daughters.

If the shirt don’t fit, it must be…

When he had the chance Doug “Bud” Chaffee could have held the cops accountable in the wake of the KT killing and the subsequent recall, by which he finally got elected. Instead, the cowardly pustule immediately dove for cover, actually wearing a union-bought pro FPD T-shirt at a council meeting.

Of course Doug was in need of assistance himself when his carpetbaggin’ wife, Paulette was busted on video stealing campaign signs on private property.

The designated driver is on the way…

The cop union knows when it has a live one on the line, and never has that bee more true of Jan Flory, who not only trotted around the city council track in the 1990s, she did so again in 2012 with the help of a hundred thou’ of union scrilla. Maybe her vote on the [email protected] was fondly remembered, but more likely the support was for favors to come. Of course she delivered by approving pay raises and by paying out vast legal settlements against Fullerton police that avoided the embarrassment of ugly stuff getting out at trial. Everything gets hushed up and we pay for the silence. And of course, no, reform was not on the table.

I’m not telling the truth and you can’t make me…

No story of the symbiosis between cops and politicians in Fullerton is complete without mention of our lobbyist councilcreature Jennifer Fitzgerald, who has a career monetizing her job “representing” you and me. Jen’ has made it her specialty to cozy up to the cops, including pay raises, quiet settlements costing us millions, and even wasting $50K a year on the utterly moronic “Behind the Badge” propaganda embarrassment. Holier than holy, her best pal was “Chief Danny” with whom she may have conspired, in the early morning of November 9, 2016, to have the cops drive drunken, hit-and-run Joe Burt Felz home and then tuck him in with a warm glass of milk.

Dazed and confused

And most recently we see the completely dim and inarticulate Jesus Silva, installed in office courtesy of the police union. One wonders how this nincompoop manages to get his shoelaces tied without help, and yet we can be sure of one thing – he will slavishly follow the example of his better half, Sharon Quirk in support of the people who put him in office.

Paez

Fullerton Officer Paez Charged with Filming up 16yo Student’s Skirt

Jose Paez (left) with his former Captain Tom Oliveras. Both have been charged with crimes in the last year.

Former Fullerton Police Department School Resource Officer Jose Anthony Paez has been charged with a misdemeanor.

From the District Attorney’s Press Release:

FORMER FULLERTON POLICE SCHOOL RESOURCE OFFICER CHARGED FOR VIDEOTAPING UP HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT’S SKIRT

SANTA ANA, Calif. – A former Fullerton Police Department school resource officer has been charged with secretly photographing and videotaping up the skirt of a 16-year-old high school student.

The Fullerton Police Department initiated an internal investigation into accusations that Officer Jose Anthony Paez was acting inappropriately while on duty. The investigation spanned the last five years of the officer’s on-duty interaction with the public.

The internal investigation revealed several photos and video clips taken on Paez’ personal cell phone in November 2017 that were shot up the skirt of a 16-year-old high school student while Paez was conducting a police investigation on school grounds.

Paez stopped working for the Fullerton Police Department in May 2019. The Fullerton Police Department referred the case to the District Attorney’s Office for criminal prosecution.

“As the elected District Attorney, I am charged with judging the conduct of police officers,” said Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer. “Law enforcement officers are entrusted with a tremendous amount of authority and trust. The actions this officer engaged in betrayed that trust and preyed on the very people he was charged with protecting.”

Paez is scheduled to be arraigned on October 2, 2019 at the North Justice Center in Fullerton. He faces a maximum of one year in the Orange County Jail if convicted.

Deputy District Attorney Laila Nikaien is prosecuting the case.

A quick phone call to the DA’s office reveals that Paez is being charged with PC 647(j)(2):

“(2) A person who uses a concealed camcorder, motion picture camera, or photographic camera of any type, to secretly videotape, film, photograph, or record by electronic means, another identifiable person under or through the clothing being worn by that other person, for the purpose of viewing the body of, or the undergarments worn by, that other person, without the consent or knowledge of that other person, with the intent to arouse, appeal to, or gratify the lust, passions, or sexual desires of that person and invade the privacy of that other person, under circumstances in which the other person has a reasonable expectation of privacy. For the purposes of this paragraph, “identifiable” means capable of identification, or capable of being recognized, meaning that someone could identify or recognize the victim, including the victim herself or himself. It does not require the victim’s identity to actually be established.”

The DA’s office seems to essentially be charging him with peeping when there are questions of possession of child pornography in the audit conducted by Fullerton Police.

The Fullerton Police Department issued a Press Release written to show how awesome they are and how committed to openness and accountability they are – despite have little to no details in the release itself.

The closest we get to details is as follows:

“When the criminal investigation concluded, Fullerton detectives requested the Orange County District Attorney’s Office to review the case for filing criminal charges against Officer Paez, whose employment with the Department ended in May 2019.”

Notice how as don’t even get to know if Paez was allowed to resign or if he was fired. The Press Release then goes on to extoll the unearned virtues of FPD:

“We are committed to being first to hold accountable those within our organization who do not meet the high standards we set for ourselves. That is exactly what happened in this case.”

This is the same city/department that worked out a settlement agreement with an officer to expunge Internal Investigations into her conduct specifically to bypass disclosure laws.

That settlement agreement, and this story about officer Paez are two of the things we wrote about a couple of months ago are some of the stories that led to the City of Fullerton threatening us with prosecution for telling you things we think you have a right to know about but they want kept quiet.

Prepare for City Manager Ken Domer, Police Chief Bob Dunn and the entire council and school board to keep you in the dark as this “ongoing case” works through the system. The city has yet to even give us a date for when Paez left the force or who’s phone the child pornography that FPD found in their audit was on – Paez’s personal one or his department issued phone. Nor have they explained why an officer had student sexts and underage pornography on any device so easily accessed.

Is this just another case of a badge giving somebody a slap on the wrist when a civilian would have been prosecuted to the full extent of the law?

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. Continue reading

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.

Fullerton PD Still Selectively Enforces the Law

In the last week or so Fullerton P.D. has been making it extremely clear that they take D.U.I.s very, very seriously.

This isn’t really news as the City Council regularly helps present M.A.D.D. awards to officers with the most D.U.I. arrests.

 

Fullerton Mayor Greg Sebourn, third from left, with Fullerton PD officers being honored for their contribution in getting drunk drivers off the road.
Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge OC

There is very little sympathy for people who make the stupid decision to drink or do drugs and then drive. This makes sense as when you do so you’re putting not just your own life on the line but are risking the lives of anybody in your potential path.

The however, of course, is if you make such a colossally stupid decision and happen to work for the city.

Were drinking or drugs involved in the January accident and circumstances around the rolled Parks and Rec vehicle? To this day we have no information.

Better yet is if you happen to be one of the high priests of local government. City Manager perhaps. Then you can “take a wide turn” while smelling of alcohol with near impunity.

Dearly Departed Sappy McTree

For those who may have forgotten, back in March Joe Felz was charged with one misdemeanor count of driving under the influence of alcohol and one misdemeanor count of hit and run with property damage. He was charged in relation to his 09 November 2016 accident where he “smelled of alcohol” after running over a tree. Instead of being cited or arrested he was given a chance to talk to the Chief of Police, Danny Hughes, before being given a ride home. Hughes also spoke to then Mayor Fitzgerald.

Thanks to denied Public Records Requests and the burden of suing to get information the city won’t legally hand over we don’t know who called whom that night or who ordered the cover-up and obstruction of justice. We don’t know who arranged to let the City Manager escape the crimes that Fullerton P.D. and City Hall are ever so eager to wield against the commoners. What we do know is the following:

Joe Felz smelled of alcohol and hit a tree.
Felz went on leave for two weeks before vacating his position.
Felz then let his job with the city over “Personnel Matters“.
Jennifer Fitzgerald had the sadz when he left.
The D.A. investigator in charge blew the whistle on a cover-up.
Felz’s D.U.I. case has been postponed twice.

We find out on Monday if former City Manager Joe Felz will actually be prosecuted for the crimes with which he’s been charged. We’ll be watching to see if the District Attorney has any interest in actually prosecuting one of the aristocrats in our midst. More likely they plan to keep continuing the case in the hopes that anger subsides and the status quo of corruption can settle back into place. The worst thing that could happen to the Fullerton Police Department, and the sycophantic City Council, is for the truth to come out so the smart money is on a plea deal or a dropping of charges.

Something to keep in mind here is that our City Council has been silent on this whole fiasco. While it is true that the Felz case is still pending, 9 months after the accident, there is no such investigation going on with F.P.D. and the alleged cover-up. Nary a word has come from Council or the City Manager’s office. This council, all 5 of them, are perfectly fine with police corruption and a total lack of oversight. They could have demanded oversight before hiring a new chief. Or before hiring a new City Manager. They didn’t even bother to address the issue. These 5 are more worried about angering the F.P.O.A. campaign monster than doing the right thing. To add insult to injury the thin blue line would rather wallow in their own corruption than oust their “bad apples” once again proving that the whole bushel has rotted.

Nothing changed after Kelly Thomas died and nothing has changed after Joe Felz’s wild ride.

We’ve been waiting to be proven wrong on this issue. We’ve been waiting for council to demand accountability. We’ve been waiting for the council to demand oversight. We’ve been waiting for the brothers and sisters in blue to step out of the shadows and tell the truth. For 9 months we’ve been waiting and it looks like we’ll be waiting forevermore. For all of the pomp and circumstance about public service and the public good it is once again clear that our government institutions and those inside it are interested in anything but.