Saturday, August 23, 2014

Defeating The Bullying City Attorney (Again)

Yesterday, at an emergency hearing, the Judge told off Baldwin Park's shameful and stupid City Attorney. The Judge told him, "Don't you ever file [a forged document] in this court again."

I'm writing this article for all those who have been a victim of bullying. This is part of how to solve the problem.

In our lifetime, we all face off against that guy who wants to show us that he can control our lives. Part of the solution is that you have to hold them to answer to a higher power. My dealings with the bullying and dirty City Attorney Robert Tafoya will show you how you can do this too. Though, even I admit: It's not easy.

Bullies thrive on abusing others in the dark. That means that bullies don't want other people to know what they're really doing behind closed doors. It could be the husband that appears kind to others but punches his wife when he comes home. Or, maybe it's that boss that yells at you when nobody else is there. But everyone likes that boss because he produces good numbers.

Baldwin Park and Robert Tafoya have attempted to bully me to the point where I had to stop it. If it wasn't enough that the City and him arrested and jailed me and then filed a temporary restraining order, they just had to do more. That more was that the City of Baldwin Park, under Tafoya's orders, made me appear at criminal court the same day that I had court with him on Julian's suit.

I told him if we could sign an agreement to change the date. But he didn't want to. He didn't want to because he wanted me to miss court on his matter, and then he could tell the judge, "Let's dismiss this." It's kind of not fair when the powers at be could change your schedule. Then, they tell you they're not going to follow the rules that says they have to let you be at both your court appearances. I told Tafoya over and over again the law says we have to change the date. And even after I showed him where this was in the law, he just had to be stubborn and jerk me around.

He started agreeing to the date change. Then, he'd disagree to it to purposely aggravate me.  I thought: Forget it. I filed an emergency hearing with the judge.

See; for the bully you got to expose his abuse to the higher power. In my case, this higher power was the judge. For an abusive husband, it might be the church, and if you're not religious then the police. And if the City Manager and Council Members can't control him, I'd push him in front of someone who could.

At which point, he started freaking out. He asked me to sign his agreement. I wrote to him, "I refuse to sign your agreement."

So - guess what he did? I couldn't believe it. He removed my signature block from the agreement and filed it in court and had the Judge sign off on the new date. He did this so we couldn't have our emergency hearing, and so, I wouldn't tell the judge about all of his abusive behavior.

It was a difficult decision for me to make. I could've ruined my reputation in front of the judge if he didn't agree with me. Judges hate emergency hearings because it messes up their whole day and calendar because you're filing an emergency meeting that takes priority over everything else. 

But, I also realized, if I didn't take care of this now, the city attorney would do it over and over again. I had enough. I thought, I'm not putting up with this anymore.

Tofu told me not to go to court because there was no more issue because the court's already taken care of the date change. Then, he said, "If you go to court, I'll force the judge to make you pay me close to a $1,000."  See; what a bully he is? Isn't that what bullies do? Try to intimidate and freak you out.

Listen, if that happens, you need to call on your courage to do the right thing. Maybe the threat may come true. But nine times out of ten it won't.

When we appeared in court, the judge started by saying that the issue was dead. It made the city attorney really gleeful.

I said, "No, your honor. The issue is not dead because these issues keep continuing and repeating and escape accountability." (I'm paraphrasing a little because I spoke in much more technical legal jargon.)

The Judge let me go on.

I explained how the City Attorney has been misrepresenting my agreements in this court and other courts with documents I have not signed. Then I pointed out that the judge's order was therefore invalid because it was based on a forged document. The Judge not catching the mistake was embarrassed .

When the Judge figured out what the truth was, he looked at Tafoya.

Tafoya stated, "I did it because Mr. Cook refused to sign it."

The Judge snapped at him, "Then it's not an agreement! Don't you ever do that in this court again."

I made my point clear. I told the Judge the background behind what was happening with this simple date change.The Judge looked bothered.

The Judge stopped me from stating the rest of the facts.  He suggested I file a bar complaint against the city attorney.

The Judge said since the date change I wanted was the one he signed off on, he'd still declare the issue dead. The hearing was over.

I watched the City Attorney walk slowly and quietly to the elevator with his shoulders slouched and his head hung low. In less than 30 minutes he walked to the office and wrote to his bosses and me that he had basically won in court because the judge declared the issue dead. He didn't mention any of other facts I just stated. (Remember, the point about the bully needing to keep everyone else in the dark.)

Then he stated he was going back to court to file a motion where I'd have to pay him thousands of dollars in his attorney's fees because of my "unethical and improper behavior," unless I gave him a phone call.

I replied, "You may file it. . ."

After the hearing, Julian and I walked down to downtown Los Angeles's Grand Central Market. There, we ate some bagels and cream cheese and smoked salmon.  I liked the taste of smokey salmon on toasted and crunchy bagels with that rich, fatty taste of cream cheese.

I felt relieved and at peace. I showed the bullying attorney, I wasn't afraid to make him answer for his misconduct. And I'll do it again, if I have to.

To end this article, I'd like to state, "Take a good look at the face representing Baldwin Park in the courts."

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Emergency Hearing Filed Against The City Attorney Robert Nacionales-Tafoya

Today, I sent notice of an emergency hearing against Robert Nacionales-Tafoya.  Courts generally don't like to hear emergency hearings; so, I reflected long and hard before I did it.

The main reason for doing so was that any type of talks or agreements were becoming futile.  The man fired Julian on trumped charges.  Then his client, the City, arrested and jailed me.  After that, they tried to file a temporary restraining order against me - which didn't work out so well.  Is it really reasonable I could trust this person?

The last straw, for me, was that the Chief of Police - the former and evil City Manager Michael Taylor - had me arraigned on the same court date and time as hearing I had with Tafoya.  Don't you find all this suspicious.  Judging by how hard Tafoya fought me on changing this court date, I suspect that he told the police to arraign me on this day. 

What the City of Baldwin Park was trying to do was make me miss my court date against the lawsuit we had against Baldwin Park, so they could automatically win because I had to be at my criminal hearing.  Now, isn't that really dirty when you think about it?

Anyways, Tafoya didn't want to change the date, even though the law says that he had to.  No matter how many times I showed him the law, he refused to change it.  The new city manager told him to change it.  He said he would but didn't.  Then he lied to the city manager, saying that he could change it without my consent.  Nope.  Not the law.

On Friday, he relented to changing the date.  But he missed the deadline.  That's when I thought, it's finally time the judge just review all his actions.

In my brief, I start with the most pressing issue: the changing of the court date.  But then, I go into the facts, in which Tafoya has tried to make my life a living Hell.  Let's not forget, Julian's firing, my arrest, my jailing, my TRO, and all the nasty conversations, in which he calls me stupid in almost every email.  Now, the judge could see for himself that this City Attorney has really been obstructing justice by intimidating, bullying, and harassing his opposing attorney.

I'm an officer of the court our suit is filed in.  Therefore, I have a duty to present the facts to the judge in the best possible light for my client.  Instead of presenting his best version of the facts, Tafoya has resorted to felonious behavior, through defamation, abuse of the court process, and false arrests in an attempt to stifle my representation.  We'll see what the judge says.

In my brief, (which I'll post later), I even mention how in Tafoya's investigation to trump up charges against Julian, he asked witnesses if he saw us sexually touching the boxing kids.

I conclude my brief with Welch's response to McCarthy's accusations against Fred Fischer.  Like myself, at the time of the accusation, Fischer was a young National Lawyers Guild lawyer.

After McCarthy accused Fischer of being a communist, he demanded Welch fire him. I confront Tafoya with the same words that Welch told McCarthy: "[Y]ou’ve done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?"

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Cities Steal Millions From Us

Even though it started with a question as to why our City boxing club didn't have funding, people have to understand that we're waging a war against a City that has stolen millions of dollars from its citizens.  And I know how they did it!  Our Citizens' War against the City of Baldwin Park matters to you - whether you live in San Francisco or Palm Springs or Germany.  It matters because your City is probably doing the same thing.

First, a story I heard.  (True story.)  An expert on internet dating went on her first date with a guy she met on a website.  They ate at a fancy restaurant and agreed to split the bill in half.  He drives up the bill to $700.  He says he's going to the restroom.  He never comes back.  The duped woman is left with the tab.

Baldwin Park is in debt $58 million dollars.  It's a secret the City has been keeping from the public for at least 8 years, maybe longer.  Baldwin Park has no intention of paying it back because it can't.  Yet, Council Members want to borrow more money.  Why?

Because it goes back to them.  At some point, I'll publish how.  The BPCCC scandal, in which the Director of Parks and Recreation laundered money through an alter-ego entity is only the tip of the iceberg.  I'll get into the mechanics of all this at some point, for now, this is why we the boxers fight against this corruption and why Baldwin Park affects you.

Baldwin Park can't pay off it's $58 million.  It's virtually impossible.  So, what does it do?  It just treats it like a credit card bill and pays off the interest every year.  Then it renews the loan with a bank from time to time.  The bank isn't stupid.  It wants its money.  So, Baldwin Park pledges it's buildings, like the Esther Snyder Center to the bank.  (This is illegal and against the Esther Snyder covenant, but hey - we're in a City that does what it likes whenever it likes.  One only needs to look at what it does to me.)  It may also be pledging city income resources.

The City can't pay off it's $58 million because the law generally prohibits it from collecting all this money.  Cities can't tax our income.  Their main revenue stream is property taxes and sales taxes.  They also get grants too, which in Baldwin Park - they've been using illegally.

In California, property taxes are locked in.  That means, the City Council can't raise it.  Thank God.  Otherwise, in a corrupt city like Baldwin Park - they'd raise it every year.  So, to pay off their debt in five years, my rough estimates show that the City would have to increase their sales tax to 15%, which is a 50% increase from its 9% now.  The City won't do that because customers would just shop in another city and businesses would just leave.

Without many options left, the decision makers hatch illegal schemes to make up for the shortfall.  Part of this is getting a kickback from Waste Management in the amount of $1 million.  In exchange, Baldwin Park awards Waste Management the monopoly contract without ever having it bid, which is required by law.  Then Waste Management raises its rates for all the citizens, all 80,000 of us.  Or also take for instance, Royal Coaches, where the City Police pretextually targets the undocumented for their car, and in exchange, the City in one year received $1.2 Million in revenue from stealing from the neediest and poorest people.  Finally, you see why they gave our boxing coach only a 40 cent raise after working for fourteen years.  Hence, to even keep the City running in this twisted system, it needs to steal from people with complex schemes in violation of our Constitutional Rights.

Going back to the Council Members who want their loan.  They'll release their fabricated study to justify a useless project, like our Transit Parking Structure or the new affordable housing project, that the City doesn't need, to get their loan on behalf of the citizens.  The money gets back to the public officials and their business partners.  But what eventually happens is that the interest accrued (and the outstanding pension and healthcare promises owed to its employees) will outstrip all the revenue that is generated from the grants, property tax, sales tax, licensing fees, and illegal schemes.

Like a homeowner who can't pay the mortgage, the City won't be able to pay what it owes and will have to forfeit property..  Then the City loses a stream of income.  Then, the City has to cut a service for its citizens.

Let's say it cuts back its police services.  Then, as a result, crime goes up.  (But maybe we won't know, as even the LAPD changes the crime statistics for us.)  Property values go down.  The spiral continues downward, as people leave the city or people can't afford the property tax on a house that's becoming worthless.  More services get cut.  The bank takes back more of its lien property.

Like the dating story, the final result is that the public officials and administrators have stolen millions of dollars from us, while we've been duped with the bill because we believed all their lies.  The main point is that my generation, (the Nintendo Generation) will inherit this crippling burden, which will take decades to pay off.  All this: because public officials and administrators made the choice to govern the city in a way to maximize how much they could steal from us.  Like the dating story, the thief isn't held accountable.  The guilty, whom authorized the original loans, could be Council Members or Mayors that are no longer in office or are now dead.

The sad part is that most of the officials and administrators don't even live here.  No wonder why the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office is now investigating Baldwin Park, which I've been telling the world is one of the most corrupt cities in California.  That's why we're doing our best to tell the truth and stop these people from stealing from us.  But, the City is sending me only one message: Shut up! Or else . . . .

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Why we fight - letter to my boxers.

To my readers - especially to my boxers - this letter explains why we're fighting back against the corrupt city of Baldwin Park.  The battle we're engaged in now goes beyond the boxing club, the current situation of corruption, and the City of Baldwin Park.  We're fighting for the current and future right to tell the truth.

A friend asked me why I'm doing all this.  He couldn't understand my motivation.  What he didn't understand was what was really at stake.

What's at stake is whether we can express the truth, whether it be in writing, speaking, or other forms.  We're fighting for a future in Baldwin Park where people won't be afraid to tell their city council members that what they're doing is wrong.
But currently, the City Council and Mayor are telling us we have no rights to speak the truth.  And to prove it, they fired our boxing coach who worked there for fourteen years just because we said it wasn't right they gave him a forty cent raise after fourteen years, while the director got a $40,000 one in a year.

When I booed the director of parks and recreation for getting an $180,000 pay and passed out articles at the park, the Mayor and the police arrested and jailed me.  Then, the Mayor filed a restraining order against me, characterizing me as a stalker.  Then if beating him at the hearing wasn't enough, the City Attorney sent me an email to cease and desist sending criticizing emails to city administrators.  If I didn't shut up, he would take me back to court.  This is supposed to be America, where we have a Constitution and the right to tell the truth.

And so the battle isn't for this particular truth to be told.  It's not whether I can tell people that Manny Carrillo is a money launderer, which he is.  The battle is for everyone's right to speak freely, now and in the future.

What the City is trying to do is stamp out all our rights to hold our public officials to answer for their misconduct.  They've tried to ruin my reputation and career by falsely accusing me.  They fired Julian on false accusations.  The Mayor and his goons thought they would win.  Guess what?  I'm still here, writing, and telling you the truth.  So, who's winning?

I'm a lawyer.  I know Constitutional Law.  I know my rights.  I have a good family.  I'm not poor.  And, I have the training to discover several of the City's illegal schemes.  I often wonder: What would happen if I caved into their terrorizing?  I think it'd be a long time before someone else would come and try again.  Furthermore, if I give up, what kind of message does it send to my boxers and to others?  What kind of message does it send to the people here?  

It sends this one: If you challenge Baldwin Park, Baldwin Park will crush you.  And maybe, they will crush me.  (God knows, the Mayor desperately and illegally tries to.)  But we all need to keep trying, so we give hope to others.  If we keep persisting, one of two things will happen.  Either, we are victorious and people know that a corrupt regime can be brought down by the very few who care.  Or, if we fail, the world will know how cruel these public officials were to their own people.  In either case, we win; they lose.

Someone asked me if being jailed was bad.  Not really.  Because while I was in there, I thought a lot about Sophie Scholl.  Scholl, like myself, got locked up at the age of 22, for distributing flyers.  Except, her articles exposed the Nazis for killing Jews in the Eastern Front.  During this time, the general public didn't know this was happening.  She stood trial in front Judge Freisler, who condemned her to death for high treason at a hearing closed to the public.  Her father pounded on the court door to see his daughter's trial.  The Nazis never let him in.  So, he waited outside and sobbed.  Sentenced to death in the morning, the executioner chopped off Scholl's head the same afternoon.  In her and her father's lifetime, her death achieved nothing.

So, when I thought about this girl who knew she would die for telling the truth, I realized being jailed for three hours was nothing to complain about.  I tell the City, just as she confronted the judge who sentenced her to death, "I am, now as before, of the opinion that I did the best that I could do for my nation. I therefore do not regret my conduct and will bear the consequences that result from my conduct.”

(Note, picture above is reprinted with permission from the San Gabriel Valley Tribune.  It's a picture of my boxers supporting me after I defeated the evil City Attorney, Robert Tafoya, at court.  Behind me from left to right: Erik Garcia, Alejandro Vera, Julian Casas, Lyle Ybarra.  Thanks to the Tribune and all those who supported me that day; I'll never forget it.)

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Our story makes the Washington Post

The City of Baldwin Park's open violation of our First Amendment Rights has finally caught up with them.  Eugene Volokh, the authority on the First Amendment, professor of law at UCLA, and former clerk of the Ninth Circuit and Supreme Court, has written a criticism on Baldwin Park's open violation of our American First Amendment.

Quoting from the Nebraska Supreme Court's opinion, Volokh (who incidentally argued the case before the court) states, "The ability of a constituent to voice his concerns and opinions to his elected representatives, and to those who wish to become his representatives, is the cornerstone of republican government."

As I said, what Baldwin Park is doing is so un-American.

Read the Washington Post article here:

Baldwin Park (L.A. suburb) city attorney threatens local gadfly with restraining order — over two ‘harassing and offensive’ e-mails 

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Baldwin Park City Attorney Threatens Me With Another Restraining Order!

City Attorney, Robert Nacionales-Tafoya (aka Robert Tafoya or Robert Nacionales), sent me a threatening cease and desist letter.  Again, the City of Baldwin Park attempts to chill my speech.

I emailed the Finance Director, Craig Graves, the news article that I had prevailed against the City of Palm Springs for its Public Records Act violation.  I won Graves' personnel file and discovered that he was forced to resign from Palm Springs.  No wonder, he only cooked the books at least twice in Baldwin Park.

After sending Graves that email, Tafoya billed the City for writing this poorly drafted email to me: 

(The Face of Baldwin Park in Court)

Dear Mr. Cook:

I write to request that you immediately cease and desist sending harassing and offensive emails to City Staff including, but not limited to, Mr. Graves.  If you continue these unnecessary, harassing and offensive emails, you will force me to go back into Court to seek that the Court again request that you stop the harassment.     
 I trust this will not be necessary.

What don't these people understand about the First Amendment?  Can't the Finance Director delete my email?  What's the threat of winning a lawsuit against the City of Palm Springs?  Don't I have the right to talk with directors of my city?  And when does the City get to decide what is intimidating and harassing for me to say?  And finally what does he mean that he'll have to again request the court to issue me a no harassment order?  One wasn't issued in the first place.

The City is once again attempting to bully me into shutting up.  That's because I know the truth.  

Manny Carrillo, the Director of Parks and Recreation, launders money through his non-profit.  The sad thing is when the City found out that the former boxing coach and I knew, the City fired its boxing coach.  Julian Casas worked there for fourteen years, even though he received a 40 cent raise after 14 years.  In contrast, the City gave Carrillo a $40,000 raise after one year.  Now, he makes $180,000 a year - arguably, the highest paid in the San Gabriel Valley.  That's not including his perk of having two company cars.

If that wasn't enough, the Mayor arrested and jailed me for booing Manny Carrillo and passing out paper at the park.  Then the Mayor filed an emergency restraining order against me.  The City Attorney did such a terrible job arguing the case, the judge refused to issue a restraining order.  I mean come on: you could win on hearsay evidence, the other party doesn't have to be there, and witnesses don't need to show up.  Even then, he lost. 

Everything they've done to my boxing coach and me is so un-American, some days I wake up and ask myself if I'm really in the United States.  Baldwin Park has become Nuevo Tijuana (New Tijuana), crowning it the Shame of the San Gabriel Valley.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Palm Springs Loses Lawsuit Against Me - Made the News Again

Erik Garcia, my client, sued the City of Palm Springs for withholding records.  After we got the story on the newspaper, the city quickly complied.  They threw in the towel and paid me $12,000, mostly in attorney's fees.  Cities should learn not to violate our California Constitutional Rights to open records.

Read story here:
Palm Spring Loses Public Records Act Lawsuit