THE CHARADE OF FULLERTON POLICE DEPARTMENT REFORM UNDER FORMER POLICE CHIEF DAN HUGHES AND THE SILENCE OF OUR FULLERTON CITY COUNCIL MEMBERS…MAYOR BRUCE WHITAKER, MAYOR PRO-TEM DOUG CHAFFEE AND COUNCIL MEMBERS JENNIFER FITZGERALD, GREG SEBOURN AND JESUS SILVA. BY BARRY LEVINSON
Our streets are the joke of Southern California, we are drowning in millions of dollars in red ink caused by overly generous salary and pension increases, our traffic congestion is quickly reaching big city proportions and our elected representatives are the poster children for corruption and crony capitalism, yet the biggest problem still remains the corruption throughout the ranks of our Fullerton Police Department. They have the power to use lethal force against the public and the ability to put innocent people in jail. I have first hand experience with the latter statement. This can definitely impact adversely every citizen in Fullerton. It does not matter if you are an activist or you are someone who does not know the names of any of our elected officials. We are all at risk and will continue to be at risk until we clean house at the FPD!
So with this as the backdrop, I spoke at the Fullerton City Council during Public Comments on April 18, 2017. They give you a “generous” 3 whole minutes to speak. In reality, with the current group of council members, it would not matter if they gave you three hours or even three days to speak because they ignore everything out of the public’s mouths unless you choose to kiss their you now what!
I spoke about two very important subjects. The first subject was the failure of our “reformed” Fullerton Police Department to take the statements from Joe Imbriano and myself to report the crime of obstruction of justice by recently retired Police Chief, Dan Hughes in regard to his failure to allow his officers to follow normal police procedure to arrest Joe Felz for DUI and for leaving the scene of an accident with damages. Joe Felz was eventually charged with those two counts, months after the incident by the OCDA Office. I admonished the entire council for its continued failure to discuss this very important issue.
With my remaining 30 seconds I dropped a bombshell in the laps of our distinguished dais. I told them that I was informed by Banc of California employees at the Euclid and Rosecrans Avenue branch that it is closing because a developer bought the property to be part of the development of the entire Sunrise Village Shopping Center to become mixed-use high-density high-rise residential units. The city desperately needs the short-term infusion of money that would be generated by the Park and Recreation Department Park Dwelling fees of $11,700 per residential unit. If they build 500 units for example that would generate an additional $5,850,000 in revenue. This would help to cover the extremely generous salary and benefit employee raises approved by the council last year. More development approvals would be needed to continue paying for these salary and benefit increases approved under Mayor Jennifer Fitzgerald in 2016 for subsequent years. I put the council on notice that I smelled a rat. Namely that the city in my opinion has been dealing with developers to make this mixed use project a reality in the near future. Why else would these landlords create vacant properties with the absence of valuable rents if they only had a hope that they could convert the shopping center to a concrete jungle of mixed use high-density housing units. I told them it was not zoned for that use and that the people of that neighborhood would fight to make sure it never ever came to fruition. You should have seen the faces of Bruce Whitaker and Jennifer Fitzgerald after I finished with my comments. They did not look pleased at all.
Of course, there was no response by any council members to these comments and the Interim Police Chief also was silent after he learned that his department would not take a simple police report by two members of the community. Gee silly me, I thought it was their job to take the statement and then go and investigate; not determine that no crime was committed so therefore no police report was necessary to be taken by them in the first place.
The first order of business has to be from the OCDA Office by filing obstruction of justice charges against Dan Hughes.
Like I said at the beginning of this post, the City of Fullerton and the Fullerton Police Department are corrupt and the Fullerton Police Department needs to clean house