Thursday, April 23, 2015

Corruption in American Cities Prove They Want to Indenture People Into Poverty - OpEd

This week, the Pulitzer Prizes were awarded. So far, the prize that actually intrigued me the most went to local reporting. And guess where the local reporting was being done? In a small, working class, Hispanic town, called Cintinela. Interestingly enough, the same news group, Los Angeles News Group, that owns the San Gabriel Valley Tribune (who has reported on my battle with the city from time to time), won its first Pulitzer Prize. Congratulations.

The story the team broke was that a superintended of this poor school district was making $663,000 a year. On top of that, the crook had two bankruptcies, and still got a loan from the school district for almost $1,000,000 over 40 years at two percent. I can assure you, the superintendent, principal of principals, had no intention of paying off that principle.

Only, if we could all be so lucky. Jose Fernandez, I hope you go to jail for a long, long time. The intriguing series of stories can be read here: Superintendent Robs a School District

Why am I so mad? Is this really someone who just stole money from the school district? When someone steals taxpayer money, it can seem like the victims are faceless. But this is not the case. All theft has a victim.

And here, the victims were the children of the school district. To preserve his huge salary and power, Jose Fernandez fired good teachers and principals. In the end, the students suffered. All of them. Centinela has some of the worst performance on academic exams in California. Fernandez stole from the children - literally. Then, after he got caught and fired, he had the nerve to file a lawsuit against the school district.

My entire experience with the City of Baldwin Park and my knowledge of these corrupt little cities really prove that democracy has failed in local politics. I'm not saying that I have a solution to this problem, as Winston Churchill stated, “It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried.”

For those of you who don't know, these Hispanic working class communities have poor democratic participation. For instance, in Baldwin Park, for a population of 70,000, only 2,000 vote. That's about 2.8%, and even then not all of them may be voting because of election fraud. In a richer city, like Pasadena, the voting rate is closer to 5%.

So, really, the people don't care what these crooks are doing and how much its hurting the citizens; or, we're not really being told what's happening. The theory is that with a higher voter participation, the public could vote out people who are committing these crimes. Well, when people aren't participating, the few in power could just take from the bank accounts to give it to themselves at our expense and our children's expense.

Even though state agencies have said that Fernandez stole at least $250,000 from the Centinela School District, he hasn't been yet charged with a crime. Think about that. If any of us stole a quarter of million dollars from anyone, I'm sure we'd be thrown into prison. You don't need a lawyer to tell you that.

But nope; he's out and free. He's actually suing the school district for even more money. All the while, there have been generations of children who haven't been educated and will probably never escape poverty. Research shows that the easiest way out of poverty is through a higher education. I don't have a crystal ball, but this suggests that a better superintendent could have made a difference for at least a number of lives in Centinela.

Without the accountability presented by democratic participation, the people have to rely on those agencies with prosecutorial discretion and hope they will bring charges against these corrupt public officials and administrators. The FBI, the U.S. Attorney General, the California Attorney General, and the District Attorney have to do a better job prosecuting these thieves. Otherwise, the people are doomed to be ripped off in taxes, while those taxes go to one thing only: lining the pockets of these administrators and public officials.

One thing is certain in Southern California and perhaps all of America: the enforcement of law against public officials and administrators of local agencies is weak. Experts agree that the weak enforcement of law against criminals almost always fosters poverty in a society. And so, now you see that this isn't about a superintended who made $663,000 USD + a year. It's about a man who indentured a community into poverty so he could live in luxury.

No wonder, King Solomon once said in his Proverbs: "By justice a king gives a country stability, but those who are greedy for bribes tear it down." We're witnessing, now, how an entire community is destroyed by the greed of these politicians and their administrators.


  1. Attorney Cook, thank you for your dedicated efforts to expose the truth about the humble communities and their corrupted officials! I am confident that your dedication will make a difference! You have my family's support!

  2. Great article, Paul. The sad thing is very few people vote in local elections. Sometimes as few as 10% in some cities. If people had any idea how badly they are being taken by local governments maybe then they would care. Democracy only works when a lot of citizens participate. Unfortunately the wrong people vote, and the wrong people get elected. All because so few have the wisdom to care.