by Barry Levinson
Exactly 1,603 days after the savage beating death of a 135- pound “innocent man” (Police Chief Dan Hughes so proclaimed Kelly Thomas posthumously at a council meeting about a year or so latter), the tragic tale of Kelly Thomas comes to a dramatic close.
Although, I am very disappointed that Mr. Thomas chose to accept the City of Fullerton’s large offer of 4.9 million dollars, instead of going through an open civil trial, it should not be the focus of our thoughts and concerns.
Let’s just review that various costs involved in the Kelly Thomas savage beating death has cost the Fullerton public.
Payout to Mrs. Kathy Thomas $1,000,000
Payout to Mr. Ron Thomas $4,900,000
Estimated legal related fees $500,000
Potential estimated settlements with
fired officers who are attempting to get
their jobs back.
(We shall have to wait
and see on this one.) $5,000,000
Total cost to pay off victims for the FPD’s
bad acts: $11,400,000
The impact this has for the Fullerton
Public. ………………………………… A lasting mistrust of the FPD
Here is the way to start the healing.
Removing Dan Hughes and Joe Felz from
Fullerton city government forever. …………… Priceless!!
It is ironic that the settlement approval came at a hastily called for “Special” City Council meeting for 8 AM the morning before the Thanksgiving Day Holiday. Any fool knows that the timing of this meeting was carefully selected by a majority of our city council along with City Manager Joe Felz.
It was probably the same majority who voted for the $4.9 million settlement, i.e. Fitzgerald, Flory and Chaffee. So the next time Council members Flory, Fitzgerald and Chaffee have the audacity to talk about the openness and transparency of city government, I hope a large segment of the council audience will have the courage to remind them of this 8 AM council meeting.
Now that Police Chief Dan Hughes does not have to worry about testifying under oath before the civil jury (and the world) and answer some very embarrassing, tough and even a few unanswerable questions, he can now sit back and wait for his approximately 200K pension to arrive just over the horizon. It is good to be the king, which is what many of the top public servants truly are these days. It is we the people who get incredibly little consideration from all these so-called civil servants and elected officials. They are supposed to be looking out for the citizens of Fullerton wellbeing in their fiduciary roles. They make multi-million dollar decisions such as with the passage of several 4-year union contracts and in their public council deliberations did not even mention the word “taxpayer”. Their actions certainly show no empathy or concern for those that pay the city’s bills. Council member Fitzgerald as a self-described Republican, deserves the loudest shout-out for her apparent lack of concern for the financial wellbeing of the city and taxpayer.
But I want to leave the readers with a positive message. We the people of Fullerton can look forward to a better-run city government. All we have to do is vote out Ms. Flory and Ms. Fitzgerald next year and vote for people such as Joe Imbriano.
My role going forward will be to do whatever will do the most good for our city. I look forward to continue speaking out whenever our city leadership goes astray or fails in their responsibilities to you the good citizens of Fullerton.
P.S. The city of Fullerton government and its services are in very bad shape. Therefore, we must reject politics as usual. Too many elected officials either work against the people or try to straddle the fence and in so doing accomplish little. Well I am here to tell all of them, to either get with the people 100% or get out of the way for a change is coming.
I report, you decide.