Mayor Pro Tem Makes Sexually Suggestive Remark At Council Meeting

At Tuesday’s City Council meeting Fullerton Mayor Pro Tem Don Bankhead said “Mayor, if you need any help, I would be more than happy to help you!”  At that moment Mayor Dick Jones had his arm around a Miss Fullerton contestant while the Mayor Pro Tem seemed to study the young ladies.  You can watch the exchange here.  Forward the video player to 0:20:00.

The unsavory comment, captured on the City’s cable TV feed, reflects a good example of poor leadership and disgraceful public service.  Mayor Pro Tem Bankhead was first elected to the Fullerton City Council in 1988.  If he can complete this term without a sexual harassment law suit and another recall election, he will have served for 26 years.

Did Fullerton Councilman Assault Female Cop At Christmas Party?

JUNE UPDATE: I’ve spoken with another police officer who wants to know why we haven’t posted any more information on this story, as there were many witnesses to the alleged act. Rest assured, we are not going to stop digging until we get to the bottom of this.

FEBRUARY UPDATE: I spoke yesterday with the officer in question who has stated unequivocally that an incident did in fact occur, and that Councilman Jones has mischaracterized his innocence. The officer has been instructed by City Human Resources Department to avoid further communication with us.

We all know that Christmas parties are notorious for bad behavior on the part of some of the participants. When you are an elected official maybe you believe you can get away with some extracurricular activity without reproach. And maybe you are a just a bigger target for nasty accusations that aren’t true.


Jones Denies Story

Which is the case with Councilman F. Richard “Dick” Jones?

We have been informed by separate sources, both in the Fullerton PD and in City Hall, that Jones slapped a female Fullerton police detective on her buttocks at a police union Christmas Party on December 18th at the Summit House restaurant; and that the physical assault was followed up with a dismissive slur regarding Dick’s perception of the officer’s sexual orientation.

Yesterday we sent Dick Jones an e-mail asking him to respond to this allegations. Here is what he said:

I just learned of this allegation this weekend. This is completely untrue and I have no idea why or how this rumor was started. People who know me, know I would do no such thing to anyone. Thank you for asking me. Such an accusation is very upsetting as there is no truth to it!

So now we have an accusation and a denial, and as yet no response from the officer in question. So the real question is why anybody in the Fullerton PD would attempt what would evidently be a smear on Jones? That’s a good question and one we will be pursuing.

In any case, difficulties arise, including the possibility of a cover-up of this alleged incident within both City Hall, as well as in the ranks of the police union itself. Apart from the issue of a typical hush-up for a politician, there remains the subject of other parties who may have a stake in making sure that news of the alleged incident doesn’t get out. The City Manager is a close personal friend of Mr. Jones, and would certainly render any investigation problematic. Meanwhile, the police union is apparently in the process of bargaining a new agreement and may very well be in need of Jones’ vote.

If true, the incident would certainly center on the behavior of Jones, of course; and also the rights of the officer in question who may be feeling pressure from her bosses and also from her union brethren to let the matter go – at least for now.

Alternatively we are confronted with the possibility that someone within the Fullerton Police Department has concocted and sold a story in order to make Jones look bad. But what for? Who knows? In any case, the timing may be poor. Angering a potential vote during labor negotiations is probably not the best idea.

We’ll stay on top of this as best we can. Particularly to make sure that this situation doesn’t end up playing a part in a labor agreement negotiation.

Beauties And The Beast – Redux

We caught some flak awhile back for our posts on the subject of old geezers getting all touchy-feely with the tender young Miss Fullertons at Chamber of Commerce mixers, here and here. Some of our readers thought the practice was harmless or trivial.

Whatever one’s perspective, the images were pretty fun. Remember?


"Never any brass knuckles around when you need 'em" almost garnered a coveted Fringie Award.

Naturally when the Miss Fullerton contestants went on display at the council meeting this past Tuesday we thought it was a likely source of entertainment. We were right: The proceedings did not disappoint.

Enjoy our debonair mayor in action. Quite frankly he was almost dumbfounded.

Why Isn’t There a Mr. Fullerton Contest?

Courtesy of Doug Hikawa
They're comin'

Our old friend Barbara Giasone penned one of her edgy, hard-hitting news pieces the other day about the upcoming  Miss Fullerton Competition.

Since we ran a piece awhile back about the geezers in the Chamber of Commerce laying hands all over complete strangers – women young enough to be their grand daughters, this news flash caught our attention.

Smile your way to college!
Cuddle up a little closer...

The propriety of having these young women present themselves at Chamber events to be touched, and touched often, smiling all the while, seems to be a strange way to have to earn an educational scholarship. Just think about it: okay honey you gotta go to this cocktail party full of friendly guys. Just think of them as your dad, or grand dad. What? You’re not 21? Hmm. Well, it’s really not like it’s a bar, exactly. Anyway there’ll be police there too, so that’s okay.

We have a winner...
We have a winner...

Why can’t these young women write essays, or feed homeless people, or do something equally uplifting? Why do they have to attend Chamber of Commerce cocktail parties for photo ops? Seriously. Why?

Watch the hands, Minard...
Watch the hands, Minard...

Well, that’s what pageant winners do, for gosh sakes, some will argue. It’s all harmless, and maybe they like it! Well, maybe they do. And maybe they don’t – and just can’t say anything. In any case it’s pretty hard to escape the conclusion that these contests are are just weird hold-overs from the early part of the last century.

I resemble that remark...
I resemble that remark...

Here’s some help: visualize these women without tiara and sash in the same photos, same poses. Damn friendly girls, wouldn’t you say?

We have no idea what the Miss Fullerton competition entails, but it seems pretty clear that the winner’s attendance at mixer events held by the Chamber is  inappropriate for several reasons.

And if the idea is so damn hot, and not at all sexist, then why isn’t there a Mr. Fullerton constest? We’d love to see Dick Jones with his arms around the waists of a couple strapping, scholarship-hungry young guys!

Beauty and The Beasts

Fullerton School District Trustee Minard Duncan (or someone doing a marvelous impersonation) visited our site a while back and left this observation about City Councilman Shawn Nelson’s wife, Sharon:

Nelson’s wife is a very pretty women as well as pleasant and cordial! It is hard not to drool around her.

Apart from the sharp needle-jump into the red on our FFFF creep-o-meter, it set us to thinking about mature male politicos and attractive, significantly younger females.

Minard lookin' good!
Pretty and cordial, too!

Some politicos avoid having their pictures taken with beauty contest winners for fear that the young woman will get all the attention, and the politician will look rather like an ugly duckling alongside. Others either haven’t learned that lesson, or are so starved for attention that they do it anyway.

Say cheese!
No personal space in this biz. Smile 'til it hurts

And of course some just can’t seem to resist laying hands on the pretty young things.

Yeehaw! A coupla young fillies in the corral...