Monday, December 4, 2017

Will Michael Taylor - Baldwin Park's Chief of Police - Be Making Over a Million More in Retirement?

Mugshot of Michael Taylor
Before his plastic surgery
Will Baldwin Park's re-instated Chief of Police, an alleged public servant, be making over a million more in retirement? Imagine if you could retire a millionaire by showing up to work drunk, no showing to work, being fired, and generally having appalling performance? Welcome to Baldwin Park.

We have to ask more questions and get to the bottom of what the City Council and the Chief of Police are scheming. Those involved need to be prosecuted. This article wants to use Chief Taylor's little scam as an example of three points: (1) Public officials and administrators are stealing our resources; (2) There's no transparency in local government; and (3) Corrupt public officials and administrators need to be prosecuted.

Taylor was rehired officially for one year on December 1, 2017. Taylor was fired by the City Council in September of 2016. An interim chief took Taylor's place. On March 13, 2017, the City Council hired his replacement, David Salcedo. After 49 days, the City Council then fired Salcedo, who then fired an employment lawsuit against the City. (There are questions as to why he was fired, and then rehired, and then given such a lucrative employment contract.)

After being rehired, Taylor requested that the City approve his contract, drafted by the City Attorney, Robert Tafoya. Regarding it, there's a strange clause on page 2 paragraph 3(c), which states, "Taylor's employment seniority shall be restored for accrual and compensation purposes to reflect an uninterrupted employment tenure as of December 10, 2013.  The previous gap in Taylor's employment tenure commencing on September 21, 2016 shall no longer bear on accrual or compensation." Taylor won't have a performance review.

So, what does the badly drafted contract say? In plain English, it states that Taylor's current position and status shall start on December 10, 2013. Furthermore, no matter what, Taylor will not be having a performance review. In other words, he wants and will have no accountability.

What a joke. Imagine, you getting paid upward of $400,000 (with perks a year), and your boss won't check on your work. Only in Baldwin Park.

So what does this contract really mean, and why is it important for you to understand? It means one of two bad things for the citizens, or a combination of the two. One, the new contract impacts his retirement and two, potentially requires backpaying Taylor.

First, by pretending that Taylor was a big shot Chief on paper since December 10, 2013, he's going to report to Cal Pers that he deserves about $50,000 USD a year more. If he lives 20 years after his retirement, bingo: He just made a million more in his lifetime off of taxpayer money.

Think about it. This is a big scam. Cal Pers has rules about the amount you can retire off of, but Taylor didn't like it. So, now he's making up the fact that's been a big shot Chief for four years; so, he could get a bigger pay.

Second, does reinstating his status back to 2013 also give him backpay? If so, a conservative estimate of his backpay would be $420,000. This doesn't include non-salary perks. When those are included, Taylor could be receiving a $600,000 bonus check. (This sum is calculated by taking the difference of Taylor's current salary and adding up all the differences year to year.) It's hard to say what the actual figure would be, because Mayor Lozano and the City Council and City Manager and City Attorney have over and over again refused to release records to show what's really happening.

Assuming Taylor will make over $650,000 this year, let's look at Charlie Beck - Chief of Police for the City of Los Angeles. Charles Beck makes $372,714.52, which includes all his benefit. Taylor will get nearly twice Beck's salary. Taylor works four days a week, if that. But Beck serves 4 million residents in Los Angeles. He has 9,000 sworn officers and 3,000 civilians. In contrast, Baldwin Park has 80,000 (or 50 times less the) residents and about 80 (or 112 times less) sworn officers  and 0 civilian employees. What reason can Baldwin Park have for justifying such a large pay? 

The reason all of this is a big problem, is that that's money that should be reinvested in our city to make it a better place. A good analogy would be to see all that money as actual resources. So, let's say Baldwin Park was a fertile place, with a great river and trees and minerals. Those resources belong to the people. But instead, Taylor and the public officials (mainly from Texas and Arizona) are stealing it all and pocketing the profits for themselves. (I mention these places, because it appears that these public officials and administrators are transplants from a bigger crime ring that appears to originate from Texas. Also, its questionable whether these people see these cities as their home.) Hence, where does that leave the future generation?

(I'm convinced it's people like Mayor Lozano and Taylor and our other corrupt officials that destroyed a whole society like Easter Island. They too just ran out of resources and died. But why? Because of people like this consumed everything, and told the people everything was going to be ok.)

A second problem is what about the other employees of Baldwin Park? Manuel Carrillo, Director of Parks and Recreation, told Julian Casas, former boxing coach, before he fired him, that he could only get a 40 cent an hour raise after working there for 20 years, because there was no money in the budget. The same reason is given now to the other employees of the city. If that's the case, where did the City Council find all this extra money?

Finally, this case shows that our democratic system is truly in crisis. When lying, cheating, and stealing are the way for people to rise in a system like this, how can we ensure that our resources are best being used to serve the public and the citizens?

It appears that regardless of public records law, which the court has declared Baldwin Park to have violated at least 5 times, transparency doesn't exist in such a system? And finally, this isn't the first scam concocted by Mayor Lozano and the City Council. The problem is that the guilty constantly escape prosecution and conviction - which only encourages the ongoing theft of public resources.

The solution has to have at least two parts. First, our societies need to discourage and punish dishonesty. Only in that way, can the public have a fighting chance of knowing what's really happening with our moneys. Second, public officials and administrators need to be prosecuted and convicted for intentional theft, perjury, and other felonies. If we can't lie to the government, then the government also should be held accountable for lying to us.

As George Orwell said, "The very concept of objective truth is fading out of the world. Lies will pass into history."

PS: For you Baldwin Park Officials and Administrators reading this. I just wanted to quote some Hemingway for you. Education is always good. “I'll fight them until I die." - Old Man and the Sea

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