Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Mayor Throws City Manager & Interim Police Chief Under Bus and Apologizes

After FPD interim chief Kevin Hamilton apologized to the Nordell family and after Mrs. Nordell accepted the apology, Fullerton's Mayor Dick Jones said that it wasn't until the apology was placed on the council's meeting agenda did the council begin to get information.

Mayor Jones went on to blame the lines of communication between the council and police chief are poor. 

"Its not real easy to get information out of departments.  We don't have direct access to them," said Mayor Jones who added "Usually the information chain goes through the City Manager to us."

Mayor Jones apologized as both the Mayor of Fullerton as well as an individual.

The Mayor uses the excuse of poor communication as a way to not apologize for the council's clear lack of concern until a month ago after a year-long bureaucratic ordeal.  The Mayor's admission of poor communication tells us a few other things as well:
  1. The Mayor is aware that his department heads and managers are not openly communicating very important information to the council;
  2. Our fears of a dysfunctional City Hall are justified;
  3. The severity and depth of corruption within the walls of the FPD is being kept from the Fullerton City Council;
  4. The Fullerton City Council is ill-informed and, therefore, unable to adequately govern;
  5. The Mayor and perhaps other council members do not seek out information on their own from department heads, choosing instead to rely solely on the City staff and the Council's meeting agenda;
  6. If the Council is being kept in the dark, how much is being kept from Fullerton residents? 
The City Council should be given progress reports from each department regarding allegations of misconduct.  The Council should know that their were several reports against former Fullerton cop Albert Rincon alleging sexual assault, kidnapping, battery, false imprisonment, etc. all under the color of authority.  And when Federal Judge Andrew Guilford slammed the City saying, "the City’s failure to investigate or punish sexual harassment allegations suggests tacit authorization."

But the Judge didn't stop there. "As stated above, Plaintiffs raise a triable issue of fact as to exactly when the City first learned about allegations against Rincon. The sheer volume of incidents in 2008 alone relative to Rincon’s arrests is sufficient to call into question what exactly the City knew or should have known before November 2008."

It would appear that the command staff of FPD chose not to do anything. 

The sergeants, lieutenants, captains, and chief (McKinley at the time Rincon was implicated) ALL CHOSE TO DO NOTHING.

Last night I suggested the council publicly share what a contract with the Orange County Sheriff's Department might look like.  How much money would we save, not just from law suits but from the actual contract services? $5-million?  $10-million?  More??? 

And if you wondered why the FPD should be scrapped, please read this conclusion from U.S. Judge Andrew Guilford:
You can read the entire Motion for Summary Judgement at FullertonsFuture.org.
seven women certainly raises questions about the City’s custom and practice around sexual assault. Requiring Rincon to attend “pat-down” training is weak sauce that does nothing to hide the unpleasant taste of complicity. At the end of the day, the City put Rincon back onto the streets to continue arresting women despite a pattern of sexual harassment allegations. A reasonable juror could conclude, based on these facts, that the City imply did not care about what its officers did to women during arrest.
Most shocking is the City’s weak “Reprimand” of Rincon. If one woman had brought an allegation of sexual assault, then the Court could understand how the City might have concluded that the allegations were not believable, and find no misconduct on Rincon’s part. But to dismiss the accounts of


Clearly the Fullerton City Council has relinquished their elected authority and are no longer able to effectively communicate or lead.

How long will Fullerton residents allow this to continue before they have had enough?

Monday, October 3, 2011

Another Letter from the U.S. Department of Justice

From my inbox to you! 


Dear Friends:

When I was appointed as Special Master back in May, I promised you that I would make the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) as fair, transparent, and easy to navigate as possible. After a summer of listening to you, I wanted to let you know my plans for opening the VCF and the claims process.

Funding from Congress becomes available to administer the VCF beginning in October, and I am pleased to announce that the VCF is up and running today – and will continue to expand its operations this month.

This week, you will be able to do the following:

  •          Visit the Fund’s new web site, at www.VCF.gov;
  •          Obtain a list of the kinds of documents and information that we will need in order to process your claim, so that you can begin collecting any necessary materials;
  •          Register for the VCF online, the first step in submitting your claim; and
  •          Review newly updated Frequently Asked Questions.

With funding to administer the VCF now available, we are busily creating an online, streamlined claims process so that we can begin accepting your claims through the new VCF website in November. You will be able to submit your claim in two parts: First, the Eligibility Form will be used to determine whether you are eligible for compensation through the VCF. Then, claimants who are found eligible will be invited to complete the Compensation Form, to determine the amount of compensation they are owed. Claimants who do not wish to submit their claims online will be able to use paper claims forms.

Once the claims system is completed, VCF staff will give seminars on how to submit your claim, and the New York City Bar will provide pro bono assistance with completing claim forms at sessions later this Fall. Information on these opportunities will be available on the website.

While I am glad to be officially up and running and looking forward to receiving your claims soon, it is important to remember that you are not required to submit your claim on Day 1. Please remember, though, that for anyone who is a plaintiff in pending September 11th litigation, you must withdraw from the litigation by January 2, 2012 in order to participate in the VCF. For information on how long you have to submit your claim, visit our Frequently Asked Questions at www.VCF.gov/faq.html.

Yours,

Irvine-based Engineering Firm Joins Giant Michael Baker Corporation

Here's an email from RBF:

As our valued client and colleague, we would like to take this opportunity to share with you some exciting news about our company that will bring added value to all of the agencies, companies and organizations that we serve. Today, RBF Consulting has the honor and pleasure of joining one of the most prestigious, well-respected firms leading our industry, Michael Baker Corporation.
Many factors influenced our decision-making process, but the highest and most important consideration has been our clients and our ability to best serve you. We know that as RBF Consulting, a Company of Michael Baker Corporation, we will be able to offer you more in the way of experts, services, and overall capacity while also maintaining our existing quality of service, local experts, projects and personal relationships.

As a result of this combining of capabilities, we have gained the depth and expertise of Baker, with expanded services in architecture, aviation, defense, environmental, facilities, geospatial, homeland security, municipal, civil, pipelines/utilities, rail, transit, transportation and water.   RBF Consulting's 17 offices and over 500 team members will bring Baker to over 3200 people with 107 offices to serve our clients locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. We are truly excited about these added capabilities and services, as well as the highly complementary geographic match of our locations. We would like to share a few key points with you regarding the advantages and purpose of this combining of capabilities.

RBF is prominent in the Southwest while Baker maintains a strong presence in the remainder of the U.S. The combination of the two firms provides an effective West Coast platform for Baker's nationally recognized services and creates a truly national engineering consulting and professional services firm. Based on 2010 financial results, the combination of Baker and RBF will place the combined firm in the range of 26th on Engineering News Record's top 500 Design Firms list. Baker dramatically expands RBF's geographical reach and increases potential market share for its services while being supported by a larger organizational structure. RBF's Water Resources experience and expertise will provide the platform for Baker to build a national water and wastewater practice.

RBF provides Baker with access to a new and diversified client base, including the private sector, which will help Baker to meet its objective of a more balanced public/private business mix. It also creates the critical mass to be even more competitive on Transportation, Civil, Environmental and Defense projects on the West Coast, while integrating further capabilities in Planning and Urban Design.

A combined Baker and RBF places emphasis on and strongly supports the internal and external sustainability initiatives of both firms. Baker and RBF share aligned core values, business philosophies, mission statements and vision for the future.

Together, as we continue our valuable relationship with you, we are excited about the future. As we move forward, we eagerly look forward to bringing you value by delivering innovative and sustainable solutions for infrastructure, development and the environment.

Sincerely,

Robert S. Kallenbaugh, P.E.                     James E. McDonald, P.E.
Co-CEO                                                 Co-CEO
RBF Consulting                                        RBF Consulting

The Apology

It is not often that you find an apology in the Regular Business of the City Council’s Agenda.  I have a bad feeling this is just the first of many apologies to come.

The Council’s Agenda for Tomorrow’s meeting includes a staff recommendation that the Fullerton Police Department publicly apologizes and acknowledge that the department’s narcotics unit mistakenly raided the wrong home.

Staff Report to Council:
“On October 20, 2010 Fullerton PD Narcotics Unit detectives were attempting to conduct a probation search on a male adult subject living at 219 S. Ventura Place, in Fullerton.  Armed Fullerton PD detectives mistakenly entered the Nordel family residence at 223 S. Ventura Placefrom the rear alley, and ultimately through the back door, believing it to be 219 S. Ventura Place.”

It has taken the City nearly a year to issue the Nordell Family an official apology and devise a process to prevent future unlawful entries by our Fullerton Police Department.  

I am concerned that had the Nordell family not brought this to the City Council on several occasions, this public acknowledgment and apology would not be forthcoming.

There are a few lessons we can learn from the illegal raid.

First, people make mistakes.  Officers are people and are not infallible. 

Second, police officers must understand that blindly following their fellow officers into a fight can have deadly consequences.  Although it might not always be practical, officers know the circumstances of the fight first.  Had officers entered a different wrong house, it is reasonable to conclude officers would have been met by a gun wielding home-owner whose door was being kicked in by a gang of masked thugs all yelling. 

The third lesson is that the Nordells have successfully managed to have the Police Department review their actions, recognize the Department’s mistake, and develop a policy for conducting future raids.  The Nordell family did not have to sue over the raid though they certainly had the right to.  Instead, they sought to make their community safer.  In the end, the Nordells may have saved many lives by being vocal and active in the administration of their City’s police services.

Fourth, the Fullerton Police Department has listened to the public and made changes that will protect officers and the public.  This shows that the Department is willing to look at new ways of serving the community.    

I commend the Nordells for coming forward publicly and holding the Police Department and City Council responsible.

Greg Sebourn

Orange County Bail Bonds

The Beauty of a Storm

The Beauty of a Storm
Orange County, Ca.

My Grandma - A Eulogy

LET'S TALK ABOUT 1914 FOR A MOMENT.



FOR STARTERS, GRANDMA WAS BORN TUESDAY, DECEMBER 22, 1914 IN HER FAMILY'S ATWOOD RANCH HOUSE.



IT IS WORTH NOTING THOSE ALSO BORN IN 1914:

JACK LALANNE

JOE DIMAGGIO

DANNY THOMAS



AND WHO DIED IN 1914:

JOHN MUIR, THE FAMOUS NATURALIST FOR WHICH NUMEROUS ROADS, PARKS, HOTELS, AND NATURE RESERVES ARE NAMED.



IT IS ALSO WORTH NOTING THAT IN 1914 WOODROW WILSON SIGNS MOTHER'S DAY PROCLAMATION AND BABE RUTH MAKES HIS MAJOR LEAGUE DEBUT WITH THE RED SOX. MOTHER'S DAY AND BASEBALL- TWO OF MY FAVORITES!! (PERHAPS HER NICKNAME "BABE" CAME FROM BABE RUTH???)



GRANDMA WAS BORN INTO A PERIOD OF TIME FILLED WITH TURMOIL. IN JUNE OF 1914 ARCHDUKE FRANZS FERDINAND WAS ASSASSINATED. WITHIN ONE MONTH WORLD WAR I RAGED ACROSS EUROPE. TWO DAYS AFTER HER BIRTH HOWEVER, GERMAN AND BRITISH TROOPS INTERRUPTED WWI TO CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS. (PERHAPS THEY PAUSE KNOWING THAT A GREAT WOMAN WAS BORNE) WORLD WAR I CONTINUED UNTIL THE TREATY OF VERSAILLES IN 1919.



ALTHOUGH SHE WAS ONLY 5 YEARS OLD, SHE SAW THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS CREATED AND THE 19TH AMENDMENT WAS APPROVED BY THE U.S. CONGRESS GUARANTEEING THE RIGHTS OF WOMEN TO VOTE.



SHE LIVED THROUGH MANY NOTABLE EVENTS. LIKE THE 1933 LONG BEACH EARTHQUAKE OR WHEN ATWOOD FLOODED ALONG WITH MOST OF ORANGE COUNTY IN 1938 AND THE FLOOD-WATERS CLAIMED MORE THAN 50 PEOPLE, 43 OF WHICH WERE FROM ATWOOD! ALL OF THIS DURING A TIME THAT WE READ ABOUT IN SCHOOL AND KNOWN AS "THE GREAT DEPRESSION". SOMEWHERE IN ALL OF THAT SHE FOUND THE LOVE OF HER LIFE, GRANDPA LEO, GRADUATED HIGH SCHOOL, GOT MARRIED, AND HAD KIDS!



THEN THERE WAS WORLD WAR II. FROM PEARL HARBOR TO HIROSHIMA, GRANDMA WAS RAISING MY UNCLE BOB AND MOM ARLINE. WITH AIR-RAID SIRENS AND BLACKOUTS SHE WAS A WIFE AND MOTHER. WHAT A TIME TO RAISE CHILDREN! I BET GRANDMA'S PARENTS WERE ABEL TO TELL HER A THING OR TWO ABOUT RAISING KIDS IN WARTIME.



GRANDMA WAS THERE WHEN THE BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA HELD THEIR 3RD ANNUAL NATIONAL JAMBOREE IN 1953. SHE SAW AIRBASES OPEN IN '42 AND CLOSE IN '99. SHE WATCHED WALTER KNOTT START UP HIS BERRY FARM AND WALT DISNEY TURN ORANGE GROVES AND STRAWBERRY PATCHES INTO DISNEYLAND!



SHE SAW THE HORSE AND CARRIAGE FADE AWAY INTO HISTORY AND SPACE TRAVEL EXPLODE BEFORE HER WITH THE FIRST LUNAR LANDING. JUST IMAGINE HOW MUCH TECHNOLOGY HAS CHANGED OVER THE LAST 100 YEARS. FROM TUBE RECTIFIERS TO SUPERCONDUCTORS; FROM TRANS-ATLANTIC TELEGRAPH CABLES TO SATELLITE TV.



SHE SAW MORE IN HER 93 YEARS THAN MOST OF US WILL EVER READ ABOUT, LET ALONE LIVE THROUGH!



OF THOSE 93 YEARS IT IS MY HONOR TO HAVE BEEN HER GRANDSON FOR 35 OF THEM. SHE WAS MY MOTHER WHEN MOM HAD TO WORK. SHE WIPED MY NOSE AND PUT FOOD IN MY MOUTH. SHE LET ME PLAY WITH GRANDPA EVEN THOUGH SHE NEEDED HIM TO TAKE HER TO THE STORE. SHE WAS MY GRANDMA AND I WILL MISS HER IMMENSELY.



JUST LOOK AROUND THIS ROOM; SHE DID THIS. SHE IS RESPONSIBLE FOR BRINGING SO MANY GOOD PEOPLE INTO THIS WORLD AND TOGETHER TODAY. THIS IS HER LEGACY.



A Dedication To My Loving Wife, Stacey. Thank you for all you do for me!

Brad Paisley - I Thought I Loved You Then


I remember trying not to stare the night that I first met you
You had me mesmerized
3 weeks later in the front porch light taking 45 min to kiss you goodnight
I hadn’t told you yet but I thought I loved you then

Chorus
Now you’re my whole life now you’re my whole world
I just can’t believe the way I feel about you girl
Like a river meets the sea
Stronger than it’s ever been
We’ve come so far since that day
And I thought I loved you then.

I remember taking you back to right where I first met you
You were so surprised
There were people around
But I didn’t care I got down on one knee right there
And once again I thought I loved you then

Chorus
Now you’re my whole life now you’re my whole world
I just can’t believe the way I feel about you girl
Like a river meets the sea
Stronger than it’s ever been
We’ve come so far since that day
And I thought I loved you then.

I can just see you with a baby on the way
I can just see you when your hair is turning gray
What I can’t see is how I’m ever gonna love you more
But I’ve said that before.

Now you’re my whole life now you’re my whole world
I just can’t believe the way I feel about you girl
Well look back some day at this moment that we’re in
And I'll look at you and say I thought I loved you then
And I thought I loved you then...

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