Tag Archives: Michael Gennaco

OC Judge – Stop Being Mean to Disgraced Officer Jay Cicinelli

Remember Jay Cicinelli? The one-eyed officer who was so disabled from LAPD that he took a disability pension but was so-not-disabled that he was able to be a working Fullerton Corporal? Ring any bells?

He’s the guy who in July 2011 used his taser on Kelly Thomas to “beat him probably twenty times in the face” because Thomas had the audacity to not just sit still while former officer Manual Ramos played games and threatened him. Don’t remember that part?

Ramos-Fists

Cicinelli was fired from the Fullerton Police Department in July 2012 (and the decision was later upheld by the Council). As we told you a while back, Cicinelli is trying to get his job back and in a “we told you so” moment it looks like he may get his wish.

How? Well, a Judge here in OC thinks the Council was mean to poor old Jay when they fired him and upheld his firing because something something bias.

HERE is the report.

On 14 September 2018, Judge David Chaffee (no relation to Council member and Supervisor Candidate Doug) made a Judgement that Bruce Whitaker and Greg Sebourn should recuse themselves from Cicinelli’s due process violation hearing. His reasoning? Whitaker and Sebourn had the audacity to think we rabble had a right to know what had happened to Kelly Thomas and a right to the evidence.

Judge Chaffee seems to think that because POBAR (the Police Officer’s Bill of Rights) and other as-terrible laws preclude the public from getting basic information about officer actions and alleged crimes that our elected officials shouldn’t be allowed to talk about the things our officers do on duty and under the color of authority.

Cicinelli-GrantedJudge Chaffee made the point, several times, that Bruce Whitaker spoke out as a council member on items that had not been agendized. Because apparently Judge Chaffee doesn’t understand the Brown Act and that it would have been illegal for Whitaker to speak on those items in the public square had they been agendized.

Agenda-Items

What all of this leads up to is that this judge wants our current council to re-hear Cicinelli’s bias complaint and he goes so far as to say that not only should Whitaker and Sebourn recuse themselves, he actually recommends that the council wait until AFTER the next council is seated after the November election. He wants a 2019 Council to hear a case from 2011, because of alleged bias.

NewCouncilThis is utter nonsense. The council now is Whitaker, Sebourn, Chaffee, Fitzgerald and Silva. Silva, mind you, who is the husband of Sharon Quick-Silva who was on council during the Kelly Thomas incident.

In November Silva is competing with Sebourn for District 3’s seat and Chaffee is running for Supervisor and will be off of council. Chaffee’s wife is the most well financed candidate in District 5. Thus the “very likely probability” is that Sebourn will beat Silva and Silva will stay on council until 2020 when his term expires. So one seat will change which could just end up swapping one Chaffee for another. This is hardly a reason to delay an action in front of our council – especially regarding something so important.

Here is the general premise of Cinicelli’s complaint and Judge Chaffee’s beef with the council and how it handled the case:

Whitaker-Letter

Whitaker-KNBC

The argument against Sebourn and his alleged bias is just laughable. From the judgement:

Golly gee. Sebourn wanted a jury trial and for people to be able to know what happens and for people to not be forced to make decisions in a vacuum. The horrors. If this was the sole thing I knew about Greg Sebourn he’d get my vote every election. That the court thinks this is a problem would be hilarious if it wasn’t so tragic.

The worst thing you can impugn Whitaker for after reading this judgement is his being too willing to talk to the public and help us know what was happening, which is something to be celebrated. He worried about a cover-up and the argument against that is that it’s legal for officers to cover-up things per POBAR. Don’t believe me? Then why are officers allowed to view evidence up to and including videos of their own actions before writing their statements? You, as a citizen, are not allowed such a privilege as that would taint your memory and allow you to change your story to coincide with the evidence. The officers who beat Thomas did in fact write their reports while watching the video and all subsequent testimony is tainted by that fact despite complaints to the contrary.

I submit as evidence a quote from the Gennaco special investigation report regarding this fact:Cicinelli-Report-VideoSo Whitaker asked questions the people of Fullerton, arguably the world, wanted answered and he’s being painted as a biased figure against this poor officer who wasn’t physically qualified for the job he had, while double dipping a pension, and who showed no remorse for his actions.

I guess Judge Chaffee missed the video evidence from that night. So HERE IT IS.

If that’s too much maybe this will suffice:

This ins’t inhumane, Judge Chaffee?

Is that inhumane and brutal?

What about in the context of having done nothing wrong beyond being an annoyance to a Slidebar Rock ‘N Roll Cafe employee (with a direct line to Police Dispatch)?

How about Judge Chaffee walk a mile in Kelly Thomas’ shoes instead of demanding that our City Council walks a mile in Cicinelli’s? After all, asking our council to walk a mile in Cicinelli’s shoes is asking them to walk a mile in the shoes of a sociopath (also from the Gennaco report):Cicinelli-SavageThis is why we need police reform. This is why we need oversight. If you didn’t think the deck was stacked against you just keep in mind that a judge just ruled that Jay “Savage Person” Cicinelli was unfairly fired because a councilperson dared to ask questions and demand answers of our corrupt police force.

Unfair? Don’t forget that one of our officers WAS JUST INDICTED for a cover-up with the Joe Felz incident. This is the legacy of former Untouchable Police Chief Danny Hughes.

My hope is that the council tells Judge Chaffee to kick rocks. They should address this bias nonsense straight out and immediately, list all of the policy violations and problems with Cicnelli’s conduct on the fateful night Kelly Thomas was killed and then vote to uphold Cicinelli’s firing.

Gennaco Delivers Report Part Deux

 

According to The OC Register, here, the outside “independent” investigative company hired by the City to look into the actions of the cops that beat Kelly Thomas to death last July has delivered its report on the incident. Unfortunately, nobody gets to see the report authored by Mr. Michael Gennaco except Acting Chief Dan Hughes – because it relates to police personnel matters. And, as everybody knows, those matters are shrouded in a veil of impenetrable secrecy. Just the way the police unions like it.

So we are left to guess at the contents of the report and left to guess whether or not our elected officials will be able to see it. Speaking of guesses, my guess would be no, except for Pat McKinley, of course, who seems to get special privileges when it comes to sticking his nose into personnel matters regarding the dubious characters he hired as former Police Chief.

The issues here are particularly interesting given the fact of the impending trial of Mssrs. Cicinelli and Ramos for manslaughter and murder, respectively. Negative findings could have an impact on that case. If, as many anticipate,  Mr. Gennaco tends to whitewash the case we can expect a comparatively speedy release of the report with some exculpitory headlines by Lou Ponsi.  Gennaco’s undernourished first report was more interesting for what it left out than for what it said,

Also lurking in the back of the room is the potentially costly civil trial and possible Civil Rights charges by the Feds. So if the report indicates that the cops acted way outside policy and procedure look for a protracted release of minimal information, or no release at all.

Don’t Get Your Hopes Up. I’m Not.

Today Fullerton will be favored with the first installment of reports produced by Michael Gennaco. The one tonight is supposed to deal with the FPD PR apparatus and the way it disseminated information in the wake of the Kelly Thomas killing by members of the FPD.  We’ve editorialized plenty on what was said (self-serving claptrap), and not said (the truth) by FPD spokesopening Andrew Goodrich. I do wonder what Gennaco would have to say about the City using a police union boss as its official spokesman – if he addresses it at all, which I think is doubtful.

I have a feeling that the reports issued by Gennaco will be little more than expensive PR for the City.

This might be a good time to remind everybody that the offical sounding “County of Los Angeles Office of Independent Review” is actually a private law firm for hire by anybody with the dough to pay. It’s a small law firm with half a dozen lawyers and a logo that just happens to look like a city seal.

City Seal

Gennaco is really no different than Jones and Mayer or Rutan and Tucker, hired to limit the damage caused by the serial misdeeds of the FPD and limit liability.

Does that sound harsh? Remember, as an attorney, Gennaco’s main concern is to protect his client and gin up more business in the future.  Does that sound like a formula for reform?

Color me skeptical.

 

Uh, Oh. More Bad News for FPD

I stand by my record. And no, you 91 voters don't get to take your votes back.

For a while it was just us, the good folks at FFFF, who decried the Fullerton Police Department Culture of Corruption created by ex-Chief Pat McKinley, and fostered by council somnambulists Don Bankhead and Dick Jones.

Tracy Woods at The Voice of OC is reporting here, that the City’s outside investigator, Michael Gennaco, has revealed that his investigation will uncover more nasty revelations. Cue ominous background music in a minor key:

Asked if more disclosures are coming, he replied, “Oh, yeah. There’s more. There always is.”

Given the likelihood that Mr. Gennaco is trying to break it to us gently, I’d say things look grim for FPD defenders and its cover-up artists, and of course things look even worse for us taxpayers who will ultimately have to foot the bill for former Chief McKinley’s out of control goon squad.

City Council Meeting Tonight

The public meeting starts at 6:30 PM. On the agenda tonight are the issue of hiring contractor Michael Gennaco to “investigate” the FPD. Those of us who have been around City hall awhile know that these contractors always do what the City Manager wants since he’s the guy that got them hired. VOTE NO!

Speaking of the City Manager, Joe Felz, who has overseen the corrupt FPD and who has totally bungled the Kelly Thomas affair is up for a $35,000 raise. Yep, you heard that right. That was bad timing! It’s on what’s called the “Consent Calendar” so unless a member of the public asks the City Clerk to pull this item for discussion it will go through on the nod. VOTE NO!

Also agenized are some more ridiculous “affordable housing” projects of the kind that cost twice as much to build as regular housing. These are being pimped by lobbyists who also happen to be some of the biggest repuglicans in Orange County who are counting on Jones, Bankhead and McKinley to line their pockets. VOTE NO!

Of course you can also make your voices heard in public comments, too, at the start of the meeting.

Fullerton City Hall is located at 303 W. Commonwealth, Fullerton at the intersection of Highland Avenue.

See you all there!

The Double Standard

A public service announcement...

We all know there’s laws for us and there’s laws for cops. The sort of stuff Fullerton Police Department members have been busted doing lately, or accused of in court proceedings would land you or me in jail. For a long time. It’s hilarious to listen to the FPD apologists bemoan the “lynch-type mob” of protesters that want answers before the official cover-up, er, investigation is over, thus denying our fine officers “due process.”

The latest example of the double standard that exists is the revelation that the Kelly Thomas killers were permitted to view (and review, and review again, one surmises) the taxpayer-owned video that shows the killing. This is just fine and dandy according to interim Chief Kevin Hamilton because it helps our boys in blue refresh their memory as they cook up and orchestrate plausible accounts of what they did. But it is not okay for for the public to see the video because it might color the recollections of eye-witnesses!

The same crapola is going on with the request to hire one Michael Gennaco to come into Fullerton and have a look around. Forget the fact that this is going to end up costing the taxpayers the better part of $100K. The real issue is why the City is embarking in this direction when the so-called investigations by the FPD, the DA, and the FBI are ongoing!

We are not permitted to seek answers while these alleged investigations are ongoing, and yet the Three Blind Mice (hopefully Whitaker and Quirk-Silva are smart enough to vote no) are willing to instigate yet another “investigation” at the same time.

It seems very clear to me that the Gennaco hiring, and the attempt to make it appear as both an emergency and some sort of reform action is nothing but a PR gimmick to make the City look like it is finally doing something proactive in the wake of the Kelly Thomas homicide. Of course it’s nothing but a cheap trick to try to stem the tide of public relations disasters that have befallen Fullerton since the image of Kelly’s battered face and crushed neck went globally viral.

The Dead Kennedys

We may not always have agreed with the liberal activism of Fullerton’s Ralph Kennedy, but there’s no doubt that the engineer-turned-civil-rights-activist was the real deal – a committed believer in social justice who was willing to take unpopular stands on behalf of the causes for which he advocated.

In its obituary of him in 1998, the Los Angeles Times wrote: “He was one of those rare people who saw things as they should be. He wasn’t willing to sit in his comfort while others in the world were suffering. He always felt like he needed to dig in and do something to bring about justice, to take action, to risk his own comfort in order to make things better.”

But Kennedy’s two children – Sharon Kennedy, who is publisher of the Fullerton Observer, which Ralph and his wife, Natalie, founded in the 1970s; and Rusty Kennedy, head of the Orange County Human Relations Commission, which claims to advocate for concepts similar to those advocated by the elder Kennedys – are frauds. Their actions (or inaction, really) following the brutal slaying of Kelly Thomas by Fullerton police thugs shows how they have become lapdogs for the political establishment, which is the very opposite of the behavior displayed by their Dad. Unfortunately, modern liberals usually defend government power and abuse — they don’t stand up for the poor and downtrodden any more.

The Observer has run various news stories about the Thomas killing at the hands of cops, but the stories read like articles hatched in the Fullerton PD’s press department. There is no sense of outrage and an unconscionable reliance on official explanations and official sources. (It’s as if Ralph Kennedy, known as a crusader against housing discrimination, took at face value the official government explanations of why black folks were treated as second-class citizens in the old days. “Don’t worry, folks, Gov. George Wallace and his able team of government officials will get to the bottom of it!”) The Observer, promoting the lame efforts of Rusty and his commission, runs a story that declares: “The Orange County Human Relations Commission is responding to community requests for help in the tragic beating death of Kelly Thomas. On behalf of the Commission, Rusty Kennedy endorsed the idea of an outside, independent investigation of police practices and procedures in the case and more broadly across the department. He gave City Manager Joe Felz an evaluation of Michael Gennaco for the LA County Office of Independent Review. The Commission has worked with Gennaco in hate crime cases and most recently in setting up an OIR in Orange County, which is now staffed by Stephen Connelly, one of Gennaco’s proteges.”

The Observer and Kennedy should be denouncing this brutal attack as a hate crime and staging sit-ins and other demonstrations. Instead, they are joining the official whitewash and telling us to trust these not-so-outside investigations. Connelly has not produced a single serious investigation since he became the head of the supposedly independent commission that operates basically at the behest of the Sheriff. You might as well ask Dick Jones to produce an outside investigation.

Fortunately, this blog is filling in the role that lapdog players such as the Fullerton Observer play. Fortunately, Orange County residents are starting to learn that the Human Relations Commission is a way for limousine liberals to live large on other people’s money while pretending to stand up for the principles that true liberals such as Ralph Kennedy actually stood up for.