Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Shame on Baldwin Park For Lying Again About Not Having Records (Again and Again and Again)

Our crooked Mayor of Baldwin Park:
Manuel Lozano
The City Officials lie once again about not having records in response to where money went for all the million dollars worth of undocumented cars they towed. After two and half years of pursuing trial against the City of Baldwin Park for records, the City stated that it didn't have records. The court said that's fine; the City's done all it can. The Public Record Act demands no more.

These records reflect on how much Baldwin Park stole from the undocumented. The scandal worked like this. The police department would target drivers who were unlicensed. Then tow their cars for 30 days. Because the towing fees amassed to over $2,000, drivers couldn't pay for their vehicle. The car would sell at auction. The money would go back into the hands of the tow company and the city. The City would claim that it was all about public safety, though, because unlicensed drivers were dangerous to the public.

Well, I requested the bank statements for the Baldwin Park Franchise Fund. How does that fit into Baldwin Park's scandal?

Well, after getting a court order in the first Casas' case, the City after two and a half years released towing records.

Get this. In a four and a half year period, the tow company, Royal Coaches, made $11.6 million off of stealing the cars of the undocumented. The City of Baldwin Park made $2.3 million.

In summary, Baldwin Park towed in that period, about 277 cars per week. The worst city for the towing scandal, before Baldwin Park was exposed, was the City of Maywood, which towed 238 cars per month. Maywood lost its Police Department for operating such a scandal. Why does Baldwin Park's Police still stand? And if it's not the police's fault, which part of it is, someone needs to be accountable for such theft. Remember, it's the police's purpose to protect and serve us, not leave us vulnerable and steal from us.

Here's the main catch, though. The $2.3 million wasn't deposited in the city's main bank account called the General Fund. It was deposited in a fund called the Baldwin Park Franchise Fund.

(Here's a side note. Did any of them pay their taxes? I don't think so. Someone needs to report these crooks to the feds and IRS.)

So, why didn't it go through the general fund? Generally, Baldwin Park uses different funds when they need to launder that money back to themselves, which I strongly suspect is the case here.

So, I requested the bank statements from the Franchise Fund. Then, the Law Office of Tafoya and Garcia said the City did a search and couldn't find any records.

I responded back to the City Clerk, Kristi Russell and said, "I have the cancelled checks. Do I need to present that to you?" Some of them may even have the bank account number on it too.

She said they'll check again.

I mean, it's now come to the point where I have to give the City their own bank account number to get records. How am I supposed to find out the bank account number in the first place?

Because the court won't enforce the public records act, I guess that's the new flavor of defense for Cities: Just to say you don't have incriminating records, when asked for. Then wait for the member of the public to find them. Then when the City is caught they just say, "Oh, we made a mistake or didn't search hard enough."

Like Aleksander Solzehnitzyn, Nobel Laureate once said, "In our country, the lie has not just become a moral category but the pillar of the state."

[Update on Aug. 1, 2015, the City has just stated that the Baldwin Park Franchise Fund and the General Fund are one fund. I don't know if I believe it.]

Sunday, August 28, 2016

My Thoughts On This Summer

I wanted to write a post on what I learned this summer. It's taken me hours to process what the lesson is on this summer, especially since it was so full of things going right and wrong.

Lot's happened. On the litigation front, I got a Supreme Court Order. I had a Supreme Court Order rejected. I had a trial that's taken two and a half years to have.

I holidayed in the Galapagos and saw many wonders of this world. I had the chance to represent a client, who submitted a breakthrough scientific paper. And our cat nearly died, only for him to come back in full health to my mother and I.

Also, the intellectual journey (which people can't really see well, because it's all in my head) has been rewarding. Currently, I'm experimenting with foods to ensure wholesomeness to the body. My mother, who's a wonderful cook, has been observing me and has agreed that I may have learned how to create the golden diet. I'll post what I've learned, if people are interested.

So far, I've been making meals that are fusion between Korean and Swedish cuisines. For instance, today's lunch was bibimbap with cold ocean water fish, accompanied by fermented berry yogurt drink. I'm doing my best to learn as much as I can about Scandinavian foods; I didn't know they eat lichen and moss. How interesting.

When it all came down to what I've really learned this summer, I realized that I'm not as stressed out about litigation as I once was. I remember walking out of the courtroom, even after losing that trial, with dignity and a sense that I performed well and professionally. That doesn't mean that I care less. It also doesn't mean the quality of my work has gone down; in fact, others have commented that I'm getting better and better and more and more professional.

On San Isabela Island, in the Galapagos, I think I just realized you can't control the results. (This is another lesson I seem to have to continually revisit.) I just had to do my best, and if the results don't come out the way I want, then think about why. And if I could do better, do it next time. If I did everything that I was supposed to do, then take pride and joy from that and let time take care of the rest.

In short, I believe, with everything that's happened this summer, I've learned the art of play. On that note, the best thing that's happened this summer, is that my cat, who was on the brink of death, recovered and came back to us to bring us more joy for the years to come.

As I've said before, there's nothing like getting a loved one back from the dead. And that point is really shown by the fact that the relationship has really changed between Jeh Pan and my mother and I, as he now treats us like we're the best humans in the world because he knows that we brought him from the razor's edge of perishing. To rewards us, he plays with us all the time now.

To sum up these days of summer, I quote the philosopher Heraclitus, who once said, "Time is a game beautifully played by children."

Saturday, August 27, 2016

More Corruption in Baldwin Park - City Manager Can Spend Up to $125,000

Simpsons Episode Where
Con Artist Tries to Fleece Springfield
With a Monorail Project
Copyright Fox
The San Gabriel Valley Tribune, the local newspaper, other reporters from other agencies, and Council Woman Susan Rubio are asking questions as to why our City Manager gets to spend $125,000 without Council approval. On the surface, that doesn't seem like a big story. But what if he approves 10 contracts without getting council approval? Essentially, he's spent $1 Million of taxpayer money without having these contracts go to vote or on the council agenda. And why would he do that?

Because, in all likelihood the council members who gave those orders are getting a kickback. Here's how it works. ABC contracting company gets ten contracts for $125,000, which really a million dollar contract. ABC then gives several thousands of dollars back to the council members who approved it. (And later on, ABC says that the project estimate was too low and sends a bigger bill as the project goes on.) The City Manager gets a raise. Everyone's pockets are lined by having a useless project, except the residents are stuck with the bill.

Did this happen with Baldwin Park's new authority to give Shannon Yauchtzee the power to approve $125,000 in contracts? I think so.

The company that got the big contract is AAE. AAE is owned by a man named Sid Mousavi, who appears to be behind the corruption with the bribe deals with the Mayor of South El Monte, a neighboring City. A&E was also the same company that built a multistory useless parking structure that was never needed, or is hardly ever used.

The new project that's been approved is a bike trail. Although we have a few people who bike here, this isn't the bay area. People don't bike in Baldwin Park. Again, another useless project.

That's why I pasted the Simpson's Monorail Episode picture above. A con artist tries to sell the city a useless monorail project. When Bart and Lisa investigate other cities that had a monorail, they realize that other cities are so ashamed to talk about it, because they have a broken train and were fleeced all their money. Fortunately for Springfield, Bart and Lisa were able to foil the con artist.

Returning back to Baldwin Park's scheme: Did Shannon get a raise? Of course he did. A big one too. With benefits, we now estimate the City Manager of this City now makes close to $300,000. Baldwin Park CEO Gets 8% Raise I mean, isn't this all sounding like the City of Bell?

In the heyday of corruption int he City of Bell, the Council and Rizzo voted to become an independent charter city. What that really means is that they no longer needed to follow the general law, so they could spend as much as they want, and give raises to exorbitant amounts. It's estimated that Bell's CEO was making $1.5 million a year.

Baldwin Park is following a similar scheme. By the City Manager having such authority to approve contracts, big projects don't have come up for vote or on the agenda. So, people don't know that money is being filtered through big contractors. (This is another reason to keep the Public Records Act in full enforcement, which I haven't had much luck with recently.)

When the Tribune asked Council Member Pacheco why former staff accused him of corruption, he responded, "It was an outrageous lie what he said about me." Pacheco also said that reinstating the $10,000 cap for services would slow down city business because most of the projects done by AAE and the other two firms cost more than $10,000 each. Pacheco also says he can't remember pulling off the issue of why AAE didn't have to go out for bid.

You can read the local newspaper's detailed coverage of the story here. Why a bike trail for a City that doesn't need one?

I wish I had some witty quote to end with, but all of these rampant schemes are so blatant and out in broad daylight. We just need those involved to be prosecuted; otherwise, we're living in unbearable conditions, where council members like Pacheco are raising taxes, taking our money, and inventing ways to put it back in his pocket. It's a complex form of stealing in my opinion.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Trial Results

On Wednesday, around 09:30AM, I argued in front of the trial court that the City of Baldwin Park and Manuel Carrillo should've been found guilty for not releasing records. The trial court issued a tentative ruling stating that the City and Carrillo did nothing wrong because the City and Carrillo admitted they didn't have records, even though the admission comes two and a half years later, from the filing of the original CPRA request.

I asked the court to issue an order stating that even if they don't have records that the court should still find Carrillo and the City guilty for not telling us earlier they didn't have records. The trial court refused to do so.

It doesn't make sense to me, how the City could drag out a case for two and a half years, and then just say: "We don't have the records." I mean, if they're going to do that, previous case law, states that they're guilty of violating the records act because they should tell the member of the public that before the filing of the lawsuit.

More importantly, if the City and Carrillo can't account for the money, where did the money go?

Well, in any event, Julian allowed me to appeal the case. So, I will. I leave you with one of my favorite quotes from a cool Nintendo character, Zero: "It's not over yet!"

Monday, August 22, 2016

The Upcoming Trial

Picture on laundering money
On Wednesday August 22, 2016, I'll be going to trial again with the City of Baldwin Park and the Baldwin Park Community Center Corporation. Here's what the case is about.

Around January of 2014, we discovered that Manuel Carrillo Jr. the directors of parks and recreation (and also Julian's former boss) was taking in bribe money from local businesses and redistributing it back to himself and most likely to the Mayor and Council Members. One way he was doing it was that he was holding a charity sham event called the Baldwin Park Community Center Corporation, where he purchased tens of thousands of dollars of Walmart gift cards. But he apparently now can't figure out where they went.

It was the discovery of the Baldwin Park Community Center that lead to the head boxing coach, Julian Casas being fired. After we outed this scam, the City conducted two police investigations on Julian and me. Then, it hired a private investigation firm to do it. After not discovering anything, because we did nothing, the City fired Julian on an inappropriate relationship with a minor. Julian and I took the teenagers out to eat during their spring break and that got him fired, after working there for 20 years.

It was this case that got me arrested and jailed and strip searched me as well. Then the Mayor filed a temporary restraining order against me, in which he lied through his teeth about my reputation and character. I defeated him and his attorney, regarding the matter. My attorney sued the City, which settled for a generous amount.

Regarding this case, though, the City's been dragging it out for two and a half years. The City filed a number of frivolous motions to delay the case from going to trial. The City was trying to wear me out and make me go away.

In response, I filed an intermediate appeal (appeals are generally filed after the case is over), in which the Court of Appeals stated that the City was running a sham non profit corporation. I was right! And I was telling the world this is exactly what they were doing. The purpose of a sham non profit is to take in illegal money, like from bribes and drug money, and turn it into what looks like legitimate money; hence, the term laundering (or washing) money.

Well, eventually the trial court got tired of all the City's frivolous motions, and set the case for trial. (In an aside, the trial court asked the city attorney and me to agree on a time. The city attorney wanted three months to file an opposition. I said, "No." Then he wanted two months. I still said, "No," and I gave him a month, which was a generous amount of time. Because we couldn't agree, we had to go back in front of the judge, who gave the City only ten court days to respond. Guess, judge wasn't too happy with all the games the City was playing.)

In filing my trial brief, I argued that the City and the BPCCC have violated California's open record law because they won't release records as to where the money went for those Walmart gift cards, and Carrillo won't show deposit slips of money that Carrillo collected in cash. Why not? Because it went missing because he took it.

Carrillo's main argument, after two years and a half, is that he doesn't have any records. He goes on to say that the records may be somewhere else, though.

Then, Carrillo goes on to state you shouldn't believe Julian and Paul anyways, because Julian was fired by the City for having an inappropriate relationship with a minor. He goes on to say don't believe Paul, who is 31 and lives with his mother.

That's what the City is paying the City Attorney over half a million dollars a year for to argue.

Well, I did my best job. But, as we've seen in some recent cases, my best is some times not enough to convince the court to intervene.

I think this is a good case to show the brokenness in our justice system. It's not any particular judge, but why should a person who has a good case have to wait two and a half years to go to trial? (I mean, the Court of Appeals was faster than the trial court, right, to get a decision handed down before trial.) Doesn't make sense to me. And I don't think the City should've been allowed to drag out the case for so long, only for them to say at the end of it all: Look - we really don't have any records, after all.

Also, it just goes to show what people in power do when you expose their greed and evil. Instead of admitting the truth, which is that Carrillo doesn't have records because he took the money, he says I don't have the records, but maybe they exist somewhere else. And by the way, the people who exposed me shouldn't be listened to because one may be a potential sexual abuser of children, though we have no proof, and the other one is poor because he still has to live with his mother, who I'm happy to live with.

(As an aside, my mother and I nursed our sick kitty back to health this week, who was at the brink of death. After, he was fully restored to super health and activeness.

There's no better feeling in the world to see a dead loved one come back to life. We had a big celebration for the event.

So, the counselor's royal and purple cat named Trial cheated Death to live with his loved ones for more and many days. My personal belief, since I was a child, is this: Love brings the dead back to life.)

So, we'll see what happens this Wednesday. I don't know what to expect. Win or lose, I feel like we've done our part to shine light in the darkest and foulest regions in Baldwin Park.

Friday, August 19, 2016

The Mind Body Connection on Health

Sunrise on Gili Meno taken by Paul Cook
Sorry, I haven't written in awhile. I've been in the middle of litigating another case against the City of Baldwin Park; I'll write more about that in my next post.

In this post, I want to focus on some insights I had on health. Around me, friends and family all seem to be having health problems, particularly cancer.

What I've observed with people who are diagnosed with cancer is that they had a stress triggering event. What that means, is that an event that caused worry and stress seems to have activated the cancer.

These events could include a divorce, being thrown out of a home, or even menopause. I looked further into the psyche-body connection as to what's happening.

It appears that when the body is stuck on a negative memory (repressed or otherwise), it triggers a hormone or hormones that activate a reaction in the body, which is fine when the stress triggering event happens initially. But when the mind gets stuck on this memory, over and over again, the hormone or hormones interferes with the production of the immune system. This is what I observe to be a crucial factor in cancer growth.

It appears that we have to remember the importance of tuning up our immune systems regularly. After all, the more I look into it, the more I realize how sacred and vital it is for us. 

Saturday, August 13, 2016

New Website Launched, Exposing Baldwin Park Councilman's Corruption

Burro - Ricardo Pacheco
An anonymous group came together to launch a website exposing Baldwin Park Councilman's Ricardo Pacheco's corruption - which generally alleges that he traded votes for bribes. The web address is

I personally couldn't stop laughing at the content of the website. So, enjoy.

PS: Sorry to my readers, I've been really busy on several projects. I'll update tomorrow at least on some insights I've had in life.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Local Politicians Can Lie, Cheat and Steal: What Can We Do About It? - Opinion Editorial

Copyright Renegade Tribune
Fighting the machine
I realized this week, today, there's no way to enforce accountability against local government officials and administrators. In other words, there's nothing you and I can do to stop people in the government from doing whatever they want.

I came to this realization, as I was reading the local articles on soon-to-be former Mayor of South El Monte, Luis Aguinaga's guilty plea for taking at least $45,000 in bribe money in exchange for votes. You can read more on the LA Times here: LA Times South El Monte Mayor Story (And in case you didn't know, South El Monte is a neighboring City, in which their public officials know Baldwin Park public officials and do business with the same contractors.)

His scam was pretty simple. In exchange to vote for a useless construction project for the City, the owner of the construction company would give a cash bribe to the politicians. The City would use the funds (which is incidentally our money - which is meant to be used for the public) to give to the contractor. Contractor makes a few hundred thousand, if not millions. Politicians gets a small cut. The citizens (and employees of the City, actually), usually end up being responsible for this money sometime in the future, especially when a loan was taken to pay for the useless project.

I guess I can refer to this scam as "Vote-for-Pay" in the future. The San Gabriel Tribune reported that this is the thirteenth time, in which a politicians in California, recently, got caught in a Vote-for-Pay bribe.

Here are the emerging trends regarding prosecuting local public officials. The majority of convictions of public officials are successful when handled by the FBI and U.S. Attorney. Very few cases are prosecuted by local district attorney's offices. In fact, a number of these kind of cases are rarely charged by the DA, and when they are, the last few cases have been bungled by the Los Angeles District Attorney. Take a look at how Irwindale Mayor Breceda got off the hook. The LA Times reported today how the DA also bungled the prosecution of crooked Los Angeles administrators of the Coliseum. The legal expert on the case, actually stated, "The feds just do a better job."

Another trend is to note that cities with poor, ethnically dominated populations are rife with corruption. (The LA Times calls them working class cities.) Take a look at Bell, Maywood, El Monte, South El Monte, West Covina, Southgate, and Baldwin Park.

And one can see why it's easier for politicians to take advantage of the poor. They offer housing vouchers to those who are willing to trade in their absentee votes. They retaliate and harm those who speak out (such as filing meritless temporary restraining orders against their own citizens.) Those who are undocumented also are afraid to speak out. And on top of all that, the poor have to worry more about paying the rent and putting food on the table then worrying about their civic duty.

And although all those factors are understandable, it stresses an important point in California and our nation today: What's the accountability mechanism to be put into place for these corrupt politicians in these poorer cities?

In a functioning democratic system, voters who have had enough can vote these people out. But in a place in Baldwin Park, that doesn't happen, especially when the public officials are using their family members and employees to defraud the mail-in votes. So, essentially, the residents are stuck with a dictatorship.

I mean, one solution is always a revolt or revolution, but that's not very likely to happen with a working class population, until they can't afford food or rent. The local police force are under the control of the local politicians. And it appears that the local prosecutors haven't been all that successful in their prosecutions.

I used to believe that the state courts were the solution. And although I've had marginal success with state courts, my view is that the courts have not gone far enough to enforce justice against crooked public officials.

Since it's only the federal agencies that appear to be interested in prosecuting and convicting these public officials who abuse their position for pay, I'm all for expanding resources in those federal agencies that prosecute local corruption. Perhaps then, our cities can be restored in serving and maintaining trust with the public. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Manuel Carrillo Collects $24,235.93 in Unused Vacation: Model Employee or Thief?

Manuel Carrillo Jr. / aka Manuel Carrillo
Baldwin Park Parks and Recreation Director
In 2015, Manuel Carrillo, Director of Parks and Recreation collected $24,235.93 of unused vacation and sick leave. In fact, he's been doing this every year I've checked his paychecks, and if he's been doing this since he worked as director, it appears he already fleeced us more than $250,000. That's a quarter of a million dollars or even more.

This is the same guy who said that Julian Casas, former head boxing coach, should get a forty cent an hour raise for being there for 20 years.

Either Carrillo is super healthy and a model employee - who has perfect attendance, which is very unlikely - or he's cheating us by lying about never being sick or never taking vacation. And I know for a fact, he took his whole family to Hawaii in May of 2013.

My question is how come no one gets prosecuted or fired for doing all this?