Thursday, May 22, 2014

The City of Baldwin Park Fires The Head Boxing Coach

The City of Baldwin Park fired Julian Casas, head boxing coach yesterday.  As Julian returned home from lunch, a process server was waiting to hand him his termination letter.  The termination letter stated that he took minors out without parents' written consent.  It stated because of this, he placed minors at risk.  Nothing specifies what Casas actually did.  Sadly, the City of Baldwin Park cites that it had the right to fire Casas, virtually for any reason, because he was an at will part time employee.

The real reason the City fired Casas was because we exposed the rampant corruption of this city.  For a better background of what happened, read:  City Retaliates Against Employee For Whistleblowing

I'm writing this blog post from a more personal narrative.  My mentor encouraged me to write it, while I felt down.  He said I may forget later.  I write this for my readers; so, you know what's it's like to do the right thing.

I woke up this morning early.  Perhaps at 7am.  I felt down.  I did work, but after lunch, I just drove back home.  I laid in bed for an hour.  I prayed and tried to understand why I felt so depressed.

While investigators were fishing for anything Julian did wrong, they asked a number of what I considered offensive questions.  They asked if Julian or I ever touched the kids inappropriately.  They asked if we were in a homosexual relationship.  They fished and fished and found nothing.  And still, after finding nothing, because nothing happened, they fired him.  And they fired him to hurt me because we've been exposing everything this city has been doing.

I think why I was most hurt about all of it was I can't believe that this could be happening in the United States.  Up on the podium, these Council Members and Mayor dress in suits.  They smile.  They pretend to be the best people in the world, but in reality, they're laundering money and scamming the citizens with a number of kickback schemes.

In an impassioned speech yesterday, I mentioned how they're so willing to fire Julian.  But they weren't there, when my kid fell into a drug addiction.  They weren't there, when one of my kids did so well in school, then fell into alcoholism.  They weren't there when we visited one of our kids in the hospital because his lung collapsed.  No - but Julian was there.  I was there.

And it's this great sense of injustice, this great unequal dynamics of power, where those in power will spend all the citizens' resources to silence us. It's incredible, really.

Some times, you feel all alone when you stand for something you believe in.  You just really wish anyone that could help, would listen.

I've given up a lot to pursue discovering the truth.  I'm 31 and live with my mother.  I haven't lived at home since I was 17.  I hardly make anything.  My clients have literally paid me a few thousand dollars all year.  I laugh every time people say, "You're a lawyer.  You must be rich."  Not true.

So, why do we do what we do?

Because, I know we do the right thing.  And it's this sense of pursuing what I know in my heart is right that drives me.  Thus, we live on.  We fight for another day.

I told the Council Members, I believe that we should be glad in our sufferings (although I'm not good at this personally myself) because we know that suffering produces character, and character hope, and hope will not disappoint us.  In other words, I know that what the City has done to Julian will only make him stronger.  I hope it makes me stronger too and deepens my compassion for humanity.

I don't know where all this is all going.  I do know that no matter what happens, victory is already ours.  I've already exposed the truth, told the truth, and that one of my other boxers will carry the torch - no matter what happens to Julian or me.  People know.  You know.

And you know this too: despite all the odds, we're doing our very best to stand up against the horror these people have engineered for us.  And we're still going to try because somebody has to.

This week, I've been inspired by Sophie Scholl.  Scholl founded the White Rose Society, which passed out documents that exposed the Nazis.  For this, at the age of 22, the German courts found this college student guilty of treason.  The German state beheaded her.

On the day that she was executed, Scholl said, “How can we expect righteousness to prevail when there is hardly anyone willing to give himself up individually to a righteous cause. Such a fine, sunny day, and I have to go, but what does my death matter, if through us, thousands of people are awakened and stirred to action?” 

Thursday, May 15, 2014

The City of Baldwin Park Attempts To Coerce A Confession

The City of Baldwin Park attempted to coerce a confession from Julian Casas, head boxing coach.  Casas and I, his attorney, have brought to the public's attention many of the great abuses committed by the council members and the Parks and Recreation Director, Manuel Carrillo Jr.

Carrillo has given Casas a raise of 40 cents after 14 years.  Carrillo received a $40,000 raise in one year.

Carrillo has been caught laundering money through his non-profit corporation and doing it in the name of children.  You can read all about it here: Manny Carrillo is a money launderer.

But after we revealed these truths at the council meeting, the very next day Julian Casas was suspended with pay, pending an investigation for the charge of having behavior incompatible with being a Baldwin Park employee.  Read about it here: Boxing Coach Gets Suspended For Whistleblowing

It doesn't end there.  After suspending Casas, the City of Baldwin Park called him in for an interview.  He said he wouldn't be able to come until Thursday because his second attorney wasn't available until Thursday.  The Human Resource Manager stated that he didn't need his attorney.  Casas insisted it was his right, and she said she never really said that he couldn't have his attorney.

But while the city said it respected his wishes for Casas to have his attorney, the HR Manager kept insisting that Casas come into an interview on Wednesday.  Casas stated that his attorney wouldn't be available, but it kept pressing he had to come in.

I told Julian, "Leave it.  I'll come with you.  They won't be expecting me."

Dressed in my suit, we walked into the conference room, where Casas was being interviewed.  I couldn't believe they had two attorneys waiting for him, one being a partner.  They also had a court reporter there.

I sat directly in front of the partner.  Julian sat on my left hand side.  The partner asked if Julian could switch seats with me.  I said, "No - that's not happening."  I remained directly in front of him.

He didn't look too happy.

I couldn't believe the City of Baldwin Park was setting Julian up to have three people in the room without a lawyer.  I couldn't believe they were trying to tell him he didn't have a right to a lawyer.  Oh, Pacheco [the Council Member] and Carrillo [the Parks and Recs Director] and Taylor [Chief of Police and Acting City Manager] hit an all time low.

I kicked off the interview.  "What complaint or allegation do you have against Casas?"

The partner said, "We'll be getting to that later."

"You do understand constitutional law."

The guy looked offended.  "Yes, I do."

"Well, tell me what Miranda says then?"

"Why don't you tell us?"

"So, you don't really know - do you?"

"Look - we're not here to interview me."

He proceeded to interview Julian with a series of safe but trapping questions.  I objected to two of them.  Once for vagueness.  Second, for compound.  The lawyer was trying to confuse Julian by asking a whole bunch of questions - so he didn't know which one to answer.  Then he put words in Julian's mouth and said, "Mr. Casas 'you said . . .'"

I said, "Mr. Casas said no such thing.  You're putting words in his mouth."

I proceeded, "Look, we're really busy.  You have three questions to start asking serious questions.  Otherwise, I'm going to instruct my client that he has the right to remain silent, and we're going to walk out of here."

The partner said we had every right to walk out and every right to remain silent.

He asked a question on Julian's training.

I said, "That's your first question."

He asked another question on the rules and regulations.

I said, "That's your second question."

Then, he went to ask about the boxing students.

"That's your third question.  Julian, invoke your right to remain silent."

Julian said, "I have the right to remain silent."

I said, "Alright - we're walking out now.  That's all.  The interview is over."

He said, "Hey - this isn't a criminal case.  Miranda doesn't apply."

I responded, for the record, "Miranda applies towards any government custodial questioning.  You are no longer allowed to ask questions of my client now or in the future.  You need to go through me.  I represent Mr. Casas.  Good bye."

He tried to intimidate Julian by saying, "You know, if I conclude this interview -"

"Julian - go leave the room.  This is all over now."  Julian walked out.

I said, "Good bye again."  We both walked out.

The court reporter ran out and asked for Julian's address.  I said, "Hey - what don't you understand?  No more questions.  Go away."

As an attorney, that had to be one of the most dirty experiences I been through.  I can't believe they were trying to set Julian up like that.  I can't believe the City of Baldwin Park is in the United States.  I can't believe these lawyers were trying to put words in Julian's mouth so they could fire him for something he never did.  All these people need to be tried.

I got depressed later.  All of this is such a gross miscarriage of injustice against an innocent person - all because he spoke the truth and a Council Member and the Director couldn't stand it.  And it's depressing to feel like nobody cares about all that's happening in this city.

I also realized that even though Marlen Garcia - the former matron council member - is gone, her legacy lives on.  She retaliated against employees who spoke out against her.  She intimidated and bullied employees by putting them on unpaid suspension.  Now, this Ricardo Pacheco has followed in her footsteps and her madness.

What's even more discouraging, is the city finds it fit to spend thousands of dollars to go on a witch hunt after Julian.  Why can't they just use this money to give our boxing coaches a raise?  Is it really that hard?

I've reached out to the Attorney General, the District Attorney, and now I've called the FBI - for tax evasion on these people.  I just wish someone would care.

We are not free in this City.  As Orwell stated, "Freedom is the right to tell people what they do not want to hear."

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Friday, May 9, 2014

Director of Parks and Recreation Suspends Employee For Whistleblowing

Parks and Recreation Director Manny Carrillo Jr. suspended Juilan Casas, head boxing coach, with pay, pending an investigation.  Carrillo stated that he couldn't tell Casas what the investigation was about, only that somebody filed a complaint.  He stated he would no longer be allowed on the premises and to not speak to employees or the boxing participants.

He forced Casas to sign a contract.  Casas was shocked at hearing the news.

The suspension came one day after Casas spoke at the City Council Meeting.  On that day, Casas told a full audience that Carrillo has given him a forty cent raise after 14 years.  He thanked the City, however, for the much needed increase in the hours of the boxing program.  He also mentioned that he's sued Baldwin Park for not releasing records, under Calfiornia's Public Records Act.

Also, at the Council Meeting, Paul Cook, Casas' attorney, passed out to the audience an article that proved that Manny Carrillo Jr. has been laundering money.  Manny Carrillo Launders Money.  He engaged in a public argument with Mayor Lozano, who attempted to cut speaking time for members of the public from three minutes to two minutes.

He also made four announcements to the Council.  One, the City Attorney has charged $50,000 in six weeks, which is almost half a million dollars a year.  The City Attorney has been drafting frivolous motions, which will cost the city three times the amount of a usual lawsuit.  That means, the Casas lawsuit can end up costing the City $300,000.  Cook mentioned he defeated Palm Springs to get the records of its corrupt Finance Director.  And four, he mentioned that Manny Carrillo was laundering money for those in power.

Several of the elderly ladies looked like they were going to cry after they heard the truth.  The audience was clearly upset at the City Council.

The next day, Casas was suspended, pending a trumped up complaint, with pay.

The question that runs through my head is why hasn't anyone else been suspended with pay.  Carrillo's Parks and Recs manager Armando Navo has been accused of sexual harassment.  More specifically, Navo's been alleged to have hired a woman just because he found her hot, started having sex with her, and forced her to have an abortion with his baby.  By the way, Navo's wife also works at Parks and Recs.

What about the fact that Carrillo's been caught red handed laundering money?  Why isn't he being suspended and investigated?  What about the fact that he can't account for the cash the kids have been paying into the boxing program?  What about the cash money that can't be accounted for at the concerts at the park?  Who knows why these people do what they do?  (I'm so convinced of all of Carrillo's stealing of money that I wrote a complaint letter to the District Attorney and to the Attorney General outing this director.)

As I keep realizing, over and over again, George Orwell was right.  "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act."

PS: If you're outraged by reading this, please send this story along.  You can also email the Council Members, Mayor, Carrillo, and the Acting City Manager below:,,,,,,

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Sunday, May 4, 2014

My First Trial Experience

Tomorrow's I'll have my first trial experience.  I can't believe, even before my anniversary of being a lawyer, I'm already getting trial experience.  Thankfully, it's pre-trial tomorrow and not the entire trial experience.

Yesterday, I was visiting my former trial teacher.  He's retired now.  He has over 25 years of training.

He made me drive over his house and watch an episode of Bones with him.  He actually said, "We ain't talking about your trial until you watch this with me."

The case that I'm defending is right here.  Latino Mechanic Falsely Accused

Earlier in the day, when I called my trial teacher up, he said, "We've already been through this case twice.  I don't know what else there is to go over."

I said, "I need to know how to execute better."

He said, "Well, I might be flying my plane into San Luis Obispo.  I'll call you if I have time."  He did have time for me.

At his house, while watching television, I said, "Did you know that one of our friends no longer wants to be a lawyer?"

"I know."

"Why do you think that happened?"

"Same reason, you don't like the profession.  It's goddamn hard.  I told you early on not to get yourself into this mess."

"Do you ever stress out about the fate of your clients?"

"Paul, when I did all this stuff, I was stressed all the time.  They're real people.  They've [the defendants] fucked up.  And now you gotta take care of it.  Of course, it wears on you."

After Bones was finished, the teacher drove me to our favorite Thai restaurant.  He ordered some noodle dish.  I ordered their fried catfish in coconut curry.  It was wonderful.  The whole scene felt like it was from am movie.  

We rehearsed my questions.  At one point he said, "Why the hell you gonna say that?  No!  No! No!"

I asked, "Well what should I say?"

Then he broke it down for me.

He also told me, "Look, Paul, the whole thing is a drama.  It's a play.  You gotta see it like that.  And remember, whoever owns the court wins the case.  Got it?"

I said, "See, I told you it'd be worth it.  I told you that I still needed some pointers."

We talked about trial strategy.  He told me how to sharpen my questions.

Then I went to his house and told him good bye.

Today, I asked another mentor, "Is there anyway I can have a job that's not so stressful?"

He said, "Only if you want to be mediocre."