Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Letter to my Boxers - Reminder to be Grateful

Dear Boxers,

I haven't written in awhile, but it's always good to be reminded, as I had to remind myself today, to be grateful. Gratefulness makes you well, and wellness makes others generous. And generosity heals relationships.

I was moved by the story of a Sargent in the City of Bell, who stood against the corrupt Chief of Police, Randy G. Adams. The nameless Chief, only goes by the initials of J. J took a risk of going against the Chief, and jeopardized his career, because he believed and trusted the complaints filed by the citizens of Bell.

Although he didn't have to, he acknowledged the hard work of those who endured and persevered. The memorable thank you was not taken as a final one, but as a motivation to serve in greater capacities of safeguarding the freedom and rights of the free people. One can only gain greater professionalism with a focused attitude, determination, and the right attitude of gratefulness.

Therefore, it's important to remember, if a notable Sargent could extend such gratitude, we should remember those who serve us every day, such as our parents, our coaches, and all those whose work would otherwise remain invisible.

Cook's Tale - The Fisherman and the Owl

Dear Readers,

From time to time, I take my hand at fiction. Here's my version of a Korean-American version of Aesop's Tale called the Fisherman and the Owl. (As a note, there is no puns in this story.)

The Fisherman and the Owl (Unfinished)
by Paul Cook

Once upon a time, there was an owl, who had a community and family. A fisherman and his family claimed the lake to be his and his family, and the owl didn't mind, except the water was becoming fouler, the fish were becoming fewer, and the forest was decaying more day by day.

Though the young and simple owl had nothing and very little support from the other animals, who were afraid of the humans, he tried to do something about it. Using night and mystery to his advantage, he first tried to uncover what was happening.

While the owl was investigating, there were problems amongst the fisherman and his family. One of the son's chose to go his own way and do harm to all. As the resources of the land became scarce, even the forest animals were being bought off by the different humans to turn against the innocent animals.

Now, the owl had a great adventure and great trials and tribulations to get to the truth - because discovering the truth is a costly work. He journeyed into the heart of darkness, and when he found it, the witch of the forest told the powers involved. Now, the powers couldn't let the bird just fly around and tell others.

The owl also knew that too. He was concerned for those creatures who were closest to him. Of the two, the fisherman and the fisherman's son, he recognized the son as the greater evil. The owl knew what he had to do.

He saw that the fisherman set a lure for his son. Seeing it as a way to protect those he cared about, the owl took a lure that wasn't meant for owls but for humans.

The fisherman reeled him. They did get to know each other. Even though it was a rocky boat ride, the owl remained clam and steady. And why shouldn't he? After all - he chose to be captured.

The owl knew that the fisherman was proud of his catch and saw that the owl was better trained in falconry than originally expected. But of course he would be, for in another life and another story, in another land, the owl was trained by several masters of falconry and even in his own land, the owl had a prince's education. (Just after being trained, he earned his freedom and wanted to live in peace with his family and friends, which would have happened except for the fisherman's son.) So, he was already tame.

* * * *

And so, my friends, this story is still unwritten, as an ending has not come out yet. After my writer's block unfreezes, this fable may be finished.

But like every Aesop Fable - there is still a moral.

Moral: Love makes suffering bearable.

Friday, September 25, 2015

My Tire Slashed - Retaliation Suspected

Yesterday, I discovered my tire slashed outside Morgan Park, after publishing my article on Manuel Carrillo - Director of Parks and Recreation - and complaining to him face to face.

I went to the gym early to workout because I had a dinner to go to at 6 PM. When I entered the gym, I heard gangster Mexican music playing - which is called corrido. Some of the lyrics were saying that the Mexican cartels kill the Feds.

For the fourth time in a row, there was no supervisor on duty, except for Manuel Carrillo. I believe this is city's way of not having to deal with my complaints.

Carrillo came out. I complained about the music.

Carrillo said, "They could play the music for fifteen minutes." His body language was filled with hatred and anger. It suggests that he read my special report on him. Special Report on Manny Carrillo

I said, "You're telling me the City is going to sponsor the playing of Mexican gangster music?"

At that point, he went into the boxing gym and told the boxing coach to change the music. Carrillo then told the coaches that I wasn't only allowed in there for 30 more minutes because the children were coming in.

Now, other adults can be in the gym with youth. But, I can't because I organized them to speak out against Carrillo and his corruption and how he mismanaged the boxing gym. In fact, this is what started my entire protest and investigation against the City of Baldwin Park.

I had to complain to Carrillo again about why I couldn't finish my workout at the gym, when I paid my membership. I mean, I've never heard of this. He can hire sex offenders and violent criminals (one who was in the gym working with the children) to be with children, but a scholar and researcher, who has no criminal record, can't be in there with the youth.

He said, he'd negotiate with me to be there for an hour. I told him that if it wasn't for the music incident, I'd leave earlier, but that's already wasted 30 minutes of my time.

I have a UCLA gym membership. If you pay for the membership, you're allowed to stay during the gym hours.

He said that he'd agree to let me stay at the gym, but I couldn't talk to the children. I agreed.

But what is this: a criminal plea bargaining sentence? I'm just there to work out and get trained. I've already paid for a gym membership, so I should be allowed to use the service.

In any event, while working out, I saw Carrillo watching me. I suspect he was keeping watch, while someone slashed my tire out in the parking lot.

I finished my workout and showered. When I saw my car, the front tire was slashed.

I changed the tire to a spare and thankfully had enough time to have it replaced.

I called the Baldwin Park Police Department. The dispatch officer told me that they would take a long time to come out to take my report. So, instead, I'm writing my complaint for the entire public to see.

This all happened to me because I asked the city to change the music about killing the feds and telling the truth about Carrillo. In a normal city, customer service comes first. Here, criminals are hired to work with youth, some who are sex offenders. Something is wrong.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Who really is Manny Carrillo?

Manuel Carrillo Jr. aka Manuel Carrillo
Baldwin Park's Director of Parks and Recreation
Who is he really?
The Legal Lens brings you a new series titled - Identity Disorders. Manuel Carrillo Jr. aka Manuel Carrillo (and more aliases) has been representing to the citizens of Baldwin Park that he's a native of Southern California. In fact, in his biography - he mentions it twice. Manuel Carrillo Jr biography

The truth about this man is that he's from El Paso, Texas. How do I know? I ordered up his yearbook picture from El Paso's Andress High School. (His yearbook picture is posted below.)

Now, why would people not tell you the truth about where they're from? When people are not telling the truth about their past, it usually means that there is something to hide. To prove one instance of this, I'd like to take you back to my public records act case.

We know that Manuel Carrillo hired a criminal once to work with children. Manuel Carrillo hires violent criminal Well how about if I tell you it's not the first time he did so.

Regarding the public records act case, one of the items the city refuses to disclose is the background check of a former lifeguard who went by Robert Hernandez aka Robert Garcia. Coincidentally, her mother was the former Council Member Marlen Garcia. Manuel Carrillo Jr. hired this lifeguard without the appropriate qualifications, and it looks like once again that he may have hired a criminal. And that's the reason the city won't release records.

The circumstantial evidence shows that Robert Hernandez also went by Victor Hernandez in Texas. Because the source states that not all of the criminal records can be verified to be completely accurate, this blog discloses that there can be some room for doubt on the identities. One thing is certain, the picture of Victor Hernandez matches that of Robert Hernandez. He also goes by the alias of Marlon Garcia; isn't that similar to her mother's name: Marlen Garcia.

So, if Mr. Carrillo hired Victor Hernandez, he once again jeopardized the safety of our children, paid Mr. Hernandez well, all because he was the son of a council member. Let's not forget, this is the same Carrillo who gave a boxing coach a 40 cent raise after working there for 17 years, and then fired him for complaining about it.

Here's what Hernandez did. According to the records, Victor Hernandez sexually assaulted a 25 year old in Texas. Hey, isn't that where Manuel Carrillo Jr. is from? Well, as they say, birds of a feather, flock together. (More to come on the real Manuel Carrillo.)

Friday, September 11, 2015

Court Calls Sheriffs on City Attorney For Threats Made

Yesterday, the court clerk called the sheriff after Robert Tafoya, City Attorney for Baldwin Park, threatened to strike the Petitioner's attorney outside in the court hallways. Who knew a dispute over released records could explode into a violent outburst?

Julian Casas, former boxing coach who was fired from the City, filed an emergency petition with the court yesterday because the City of Baldwin Park violated the court order to release records. This is the second injunction Casas has won against the City of Baldwin Park - and still, the City refuses to release documents.

The order commands the City to disclose financial documents received by the City's Parks and Recreation Director, Manuel Carrillo Jr., certifications for a life guard's job application, and bills paid and received by Royal Coaches Towing.

To dispute the allegations against the City, Robert Tafoya came into court, hobbling on crutches. At the hearing, Paul Cook, the attorney for Casas, accused Robert Tafoya of making up new dates in violation of the court order, then trying to force Casas to meet in the police interrogation room to review records, and then ultimately not releasing records. After being exposed, Tafoya became enraged as it was done in open court.

The judge ordered parties to meet outside because Tafoya alleged that the City had the documents to be released. There, Casas attorney stated to him, "Nothing in that box has Robert Hernandez's certifications." At that point, Tafoya dropped his crutches, ran a number of steps, lunged at Cook and stated he was going to hit him if he didn't leave him alone. It appears that the crutches weren't really needed, and that they were being used as a ruse to make the court feel sorry for him.

Tafoya ordered Cook to stay in the courtroom, or else he was going to tell the judge that Cook was harassing him. To be reasonable, Mr. Cook gave Tafoya his space.

Nonetheless, midway through another hearing, the judge interrupted his own hearing and asked why Cook was not outside with Tafoya. After explaining to the judge what happened, the court called the sheriffs on Mr. Tafoya to oversee the meet and confer outside.

Outside of the hallway, Tafoya produced no documents that were responsive to the court order. The parties reentered the courtroom and each disputed whether responsive records were released.

The court stated if Casas still didn't receive records, he could file another motion to have the city sanctioned $100 per day, until the city released the documents.

Casas and Cook believe that the city won't release documents or not admit they don't have them because it proves misconduct regarding the city. Regarding the life guard's certification, it's appearing more and more that the Director of Parks and Recreation hired a lifeguard on the sole basis that he was a council member's son and that that son had some type of history that would otherwise bar him from such a job. It's appearing more and more that the Director of Parks and Recreation took the money collected from the city's recreation programs and did not deposit them in the city bank account. It's appearing more and more that the towing company Royal Coaches misreported on the money owed to the city and directed it elsewhere.

Cook's thoughts are this: "The law is so broken regarding the Public Records Act. What can the people do when foxes are guarding the chicken coop?"

Monday, September 7, 2015

Mayor and Council Members Censoring the Truth?

Mayor Manuel Lozano of Baldwin Park
After publishing my story on how the council approved a $120,000 contract to a known vendor - who has been accused of bribery, the local paper the San Gabriel Valley Tribune printed the story today. The online version can be read here: HERE

In the City of Baldwin Park, a witness has seen a man going to all the stores and vending machines the paper is sold at and purchasing or taking them all. We believe the man is motivated and asked by the city council members and mayor to do so.

The government's intent to hide the truth from the people has been historically seen. Hitler burned books, literature, and art, which were critical of his regime. No wonder our own Los Angeles' Ray Bradbury wrote Fahrenheit 451, a novel which imagines a government that bans the reading of all books and burns any literature confiscated.

The Mayor and Council Members don't want the people to know the truth, which is also evidenced by them violating court orders to release records, which still have not been produced. Now, they've resorted to their version of book burning. 

Friday, September 4, 2015

Baldwin Park Council Members and Mayor Approve Contractor Targeted Once in Bribery Investigation

Baldwin Park Council Members and Mayor approved a $120,000 contract to a known vendor, which the FBI targeted in a probe for bribery. On Aug. 2, 2015, Mayor Manuel Lozano, Council Member: Susan Rubio, Ricardo Pacheco, and "Monica" Garcia voted to approve a contract which would provide the city with "building inspection and plan check services" - whatever that is.

The contract was approved before the city elections in October. Council Member Ricardo Pacheco and Mayor Manuel Lozano are claiming they have no money left in their political campaign accounts. Nonetheless, it is estimated that a local election in Baldwin Park can run up to $80,000. Both Ricardo Pacheco and Mayor Manuel Lozano have not filed their forms yet to disclose their campaign contributors - which the law requires - so that citizens can see who is funding them.

Baldwin Park City Council has been approving a series of contracts before election in violation of state law. At the last council meeting, the council attempted to approve a 10 year extension to Royal Coaches Towing, which already received a five year extension in violation of the requirement for cities to propose tender two years ago (again right before election). And like AAE, Royal Coaches is well known campaign contributor to the incumbent council members and mayor.

This contract was approved to Advanced Applied Engineering Inc. (AAE), which has been a target once of a State Controller and FBI probe into bribery. The CEO of the firm is Sid Mousavi, who was present at the council meeting.

In 2011, the LA Times reported that Sid Mousavi and AAE were being probed by the FBI and California State Controller. The State Controller reported that Sid Mousavi was illegally using taxpayer money, arranging illegal loans, and engaging in self-dealing. The LA Times article can be read: HERE

Two witnesses that sat behind Mousavi during the council meeting reported on seeing that his texts were asking the Mayor and council members where they should have dinner after his contract was approved. After the council meeting, witnesses saw Mousavi high-five Mayor Lozano.

Council members of the City of Maywood have said that executives of the corporation AAE have presented envelopes, full of thousands of dollars in cash to secure the vote. Was the same done here?

Even though Baldwin Park may not be your city, the whole incident shows one money laundering mechanism that is at play in local government. Cities contract shell corporations out for vague and unneeded services. The owners of those shell corporations provide cash donations back to the city council members and mayor - whom desperately need it before election time so that while they're in office they can secure more opportunities for self-interested deals.

Sadly, it's becoming clearer that those who are controlling cities are not the public officials - but those who not only have money, but the knowledge to take from city treasuries, only to return it to our elected officials.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

FBI Raids City Hall in Palm Springs - This Just In!

My activist friend has just told me that the FBI raided the City Hall of Palm Springs. I wonder when the day will come for Baldwin Park. Let's not forget, Baldwin Park's former finance director, Craig Graves, came from Palm Spring's City, until he was forced to resign. Baldwin Park forced him to resign too.

A dozen agents between the FBI and Riverside County District Attorney executed search warrants at Palm Springs City Hall on Tuesday morning, shutting the building down and removing evidence for an investigation.