Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Merry Christmas everyone! I hope everyone is enjoying time with their family and friends.

For me, it's been a typical litigator's Christmas - which means that I've just been working and working and then working some more. I squeeze in time for boxing and running and managing errands, but in general - it really has been the days of the lawsuits, filing them, defending them, and prosecuting them. That just means a lot of paperwork, research, and writing.

Not all has been bad. From time to time, I've been able to hang out with friends this Christmas season. And that's been fun.

I got the best gift this year. I had a personalized thermos. The signature of my name is actually done by hand. Wow!

Anyways, again have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Thank you to Sim and Betty Ling!

Sunday, December 8, 2019

What's on top? The Los Angeles Winter.

Lobster and Cat by Pablo Piccaso
My cat, Jeh Pan (Trial) stood up, hunched his head over the green bucket and looked down at the black water. He reminded me of a Turkish gypsy looking for love. She gazes into her brewed tea, desperately hoping answers will surface for her in the tea leaves.

What was Jeh Pan looking for in that water? What questions could a cat even have?

Jeh Pan pawed at the dark water in the bright green bucket, pressed his nose into it, and then licked and tasted the dark water. After deciding whether he liked the taste or not, he excitedly came to me and sat between my legs and watched me siphon off the dirty aquarium water into the bucket.

I haven't changed the fish tank water in awhile, and by the looks of it, it was time. For some reason, my cat tends becomes fascinated when I clean the aquarium. He wants to bond with me during this time. I still don't understand his thrill with aquarium water changes.

It was a lazy Sunday. And I woke up with a refreshing and amazing deep sleep. I ran 7 miles yesterday out on the streets. Friday, it was the same. I usually run in the hills, but with all the rain that's been pouring, I decided against it, because rain makes mud, and mud destroys shoes.

I know. My last pair of boots were destroyed in the mud. It's because of the suction created by the mud and the force of lifting your foot out of it. That's what you call real wear and tear.

I have a new pair of running shoes too; so, the last thing I wanted to do was destroy my new running shoes. Perhaps, when they get older, I'll worry about them less.

I needed a long run. I was reading a book about the children of alcoholics yesterday. The testimonies were powerful but disturbing and sad.

For instance, I read the story of a bulimic, who turned into an anorexic, who turned into a kleptomaniac. She married an abusive man, who cheated on her and blamed it on her weight. Every time he did, she purged. This in turn led her to be 6 feet tall and 105 pounds. Her teeth were dissolving from her stomach acid, which she spit out. She was killing herself to feel loved.

It only confirms my theory that the children of addict parents are cursed. They either become addicts themselves or co-addicts.

Not a happy read; so, forcing myself out to run, in the rain and cold and night was grueling. But I called on that Korean discipline inside of me and just started running. I remember how many times my Korean judo instructor, a woman, would tell me: "Did you know, I had to swim in ice water at 6AM to start practice? So I don't ever want to hear you complain about practice." Oh, she was tough. Real tough.

Today, outside, it was dark and cloudy and rainy. I enjoyed watching the water spray against my window. The tiny drops reminded me of beads of crystal translucent pearls glued to glass. I was at peace to hear and see the pitter and patter of the rapping rain against my window. It sounded to me like a soft drum roll.

Earlier in the week, I sparred. It didn't go well. My opponent, someone significantly taller and heavier, hit me too many times in the head. He was 30 pounds heavier than me.

I picked it up in the second round, as I wasn't expecting him to be so aggressive in the first. My coach was much happier with my performance then, as my focus concentrated and I changed tact and strategy and landed a number of body shots and a hook. Nonetheless, I should've landed more punches and harder ones at that.

I was disappointed in myself. Inside my chest, I felt a burning shame for not doing as well as I could've. Even though the people who saw the matches were my friends, I still felt the pain of a bad performance watched. I analyzed what went wrong and decided I didn't have enough experience in the ring. There were too many factors that I didn't encounter enough of.

But that's life. You can't win them all. I told myself that the experience could only be salvaged, if I had learned something from it all.

And guess what? I was back the next day at the gym, to work on those lessons without pride or motivation.

The next day, my head paid the price too, with a headache. And to make things worse, my car transmission had failed.

I had work to do too. The work never stops.

In any event, I managed to get through the week. The mechanic loaned me another car. Before that, this week involved a lot of walking.

But even with my failed car, I was touched and grateful that each day I had a ride from someone at the gym. That was very kind of the people who made the extra effort for me.

On the news front, this weekend the Tribune wrote a story on the First Amendment lawsuit, regarding hanging a banner of him as a jackass. I was quoted in the article. I said: "This lawsuit is about protecting the people’s democratic right to openly and freely criticize our elected officials without censorship".

The phrase: "people's democratic right" reminded me of North Korea's official name. (Incidentally, my mother is North Korean.) The official name of North Korea is the People's Democratic Republic of Korea. Ironically, there's nothing people or democratic or republic about that place.

Finally, besides working on litigation, I've been reading a lot. In the last 10 days, I've probably gone through 9 books. Four left to go. My current topics are on addiction, substance abuse, recovery, and tea. I've quit coffee; so, I'm drinking tea instead now.

What have I learned from all this reading? My insight and conclusion on all addictions is this. The root cause of all addiction is pain, shame and guilt. The root solution of all addiction is being forgiven and forgiving others. The latter statement is important, because I haven't seen this proposed in anything I read. I propose that forgiveness is the remedy for addiction.

(I haven't read this directly, but this is what I conclude. Probably at some point, I can write an article about it - but like most of my innovative papers - the current establishment will probably disagree.)

Regarding tea, I find jasmine tea to be beautiful. I also enjoy oolong but need more experience to learn more about her.

Soon, I'll have a whole series of new topics I'll learn about. And that's always exciting.

Well; that's it for now. Tomorrow is new day and the beginning of a new week. Apparently, it'll be sunny tomorrow and that's always a good thing in my book. Perhaps tomorrow morning, I'll find Jeh Pan walking in circles in the dining room. I'll pick him up and squeeze him. He'll meow. And my mom will hear it and scold me, saying, "Stop squeezing the cat."

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Baldwin Park City Attorney, Robert Nacionales-Tafoya, Sanctioned $36,037.54; Potential Bar Discipline May Follow

City Attorney for Baldwin Park and General Counsel for
West Valley Water, Robert Tafoya aka Robert Nacionales-Tafoya,
(c) Los Angeles Times
On October 2, 2017 - the Los Angeles Superior Court sanctioned Robert Nacionales-Tafoya - attorney at law - $36,037.54 for filing a false disability lawsuit for plaintiff Lorena Cabrera against the defendant, Popchips, Inc. The court found that Tafoya hired a doctor with an ex-felony conviction to testify about the plaintiff's disability. The problem was that the doctor never actually examined the plaintiff himself. How can an attorney like this continue to practice law?

Not only was the trial court shocked by the doctor's contrived testimony, the court found that the lawsuit was completely "concocted" and sanctioned the plaintiff and attorney Tafoya $36,037.54. On September 11, 2019 -The Court of Appeal affirmed the sanctions with its opinion.

On October 28, 2019 - Tafoya filed a late petition with the California Supreme Court. On October 29, 2019 - the Court denied Tafoya's excuse for filing late and refused to review his petition. Now, Tafoya and the plaintiff are on the hook for $36,037.54. Also, Tafoya may be subject to bar discipline.

Currently, Tafoya acts as a government attorney for the City of Baldwin park and the West Valley WaterBoard. For the former, he's a contracted city attorney. For the latter, he's general counsel.

According to the court sanction documents, Tafoya and the plaintiff pursued the case to trial, even though they didn't have the facts to support a jury verdict. Their strategy was to prolong litigation, marshaling "scorched earth tactics". In short, even though Tafoya didn't have a case, he was hoping that the defendant would settle with them, because he was driving up the legal fees for the other side.

The defendant, Popchips, decided not to settle and proceed to trial. At the second day of trial, without any explanation, Tafoya left at lunch and never returned. Another attorney, who didn't have sufficient knowledge of the case, had to proceed. At trial, the defendants prevailed.

The Court of Appeal agreed with the trial court. It stated, The plaintiff's "first cause of action for disability discrimination was frivolous because she did not have a disability." It also affirmed that the disability "was completely concocted." The court noted that Dr. Woodward, the "defrocked" doctor who testified at trial . . . never examined" the plaintiff.

This isn't the first time that Tafoya has abused his position as an attorney to defraud the courts and taxpayers. Tafoya's law firm submitted questionable billing at the Central Water Basin. Tafoya defendant an alleged rapist and serial sexual predator. After losing at trial, he cost his client $7.3 million. In a case against my client, Tafoya misrepresented my signature.

Currently, Tafoya is being sued personally in a whistleblower lawsuit. According to the San Bernardino Sun, Tafoya awarded "lucrative" contracts to his friends.

Also, "Tafoya’s law firm, Tafoya & Garcia LLP, paid for certain board members to travel to Mexico, Las Vegas, Phoenix, and Miami; arranged and paid for NFL games, golf and expensive meals; made campaign contributions to Taylor and Crowther, and hosted a fundraiser  for Crowther at the Los Angeles Athletic Club."

Finally, in exchange for alleged corrupt acts and nepotism, the Kaufman Law Firm gave "Tafoya lavish trips, event tickets, expensive meals and other gifts and payments, paid for Taylor, Tafoya and Crowther to attend a football game,".

Tafoya may be facing bar disciplinary action. This is because state law and the attorney's code of ethics requires Tafoya to self-report his sanctions within 30 days. (Bus. & Prof. Code, § 6068(o)(3)). Given the way he operates and Tafoya's history, this most likely did not have happen.

Also, the law prohibits the filing of a frivolous lawsuit. (Bus. & Prof. Code, § 6068(c) and California Bar Rule 3.1).

This type of egregious conducts carried out by licensed attorneys require discipline for three reasons. One, filing of false claims wastes the court's resources. Think about the judge and jury time and defense counsel's time and work all wasted on this case. Two, the courts cannot mete out justice or fair decisions with deceit and dishonesty being admitted regularly. Three, the public loses trust in the justice system and instead turns to vigilantism.

For all the above reasons, no wonder why there's lawyer jokes that go like this. What’s the difference between a vacuum cleaner and a lawyer riding a motorcycle? The vacuum cleaner has the dirt bag on the inside.

*Lawzilla first broke this story.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Baldwin Park Sued for Fining Activist $12,400 for Hanging Jackass Banner of Council Member Ricardo Pacheco

Anti-Corruption Pacheco Banner
On November 18, 2019 - Plaintiffs, Baldwin Park Free Speech Coalition and Robert Elhers - filed a federal lawsuit against the City of Baldwin Park, because the City fined Elhers $12,400 for hanging a jackass sign of Baldwin Park Council Member Ricardo Pacheco - accusing him of being corrupt, a liar, a bully, and an abuser. First and foremost, the complaint alleges that the City's law is attempting to control Free Speech, by retaliating against those who would criticize the city's politicians. Second, the complaint alleges that the City has violated Due Process by blocking Elhers from a fair chance to make his case on why his banner is not violating the law. Third, the complaint alleges that the City is excessively fining Elhers $12,400 - which is grossly disproportionate to the alleged crime of hanging a banner.

For these reasons, a court order (called an injunction) will be sought against the City's sign law again. This is the third Free Speech lawsuit in federal court against the City. In the second lawsuit, also involving Ricardo Pacheco, the federal court declare Baldwin Park's sign law illegal, not just once, but twice.

On or around March 17, 2019 - Elhers hung the anti-Pacheco banner on his commercial property. Elhers felt compelled to do so, after a jury found that Pacheco had sexually and racially discriminated against the former police chief - Lili Hadsell - costing the City around $9 million, which is unprecedented in the City's history. (This includes damages and attorney's fees.)

The allegations of Pacheco's corruption continues. Around June 18, 2019 - Ricardo Pacheco was accused of directly or indirectly charging his water board credit card at strip clubs.

On or around November 8, 2019, it appears, as a result, that Pacheco was suspended and pushed out from his job as assistant general manager at the West Valley Water Board. The Board paid him for three months of suspension and six months of severance pay. Pacheco makes $190,000 a year.

For hanging this sign, from March 17, 2019 until now, the City has cited Elhers in various amounts ranging from $200 to $2,000. The total amount the City has fined Elher is now $12,400.

Also, twice, the City has threatened to place a tax lien with California's Franchise Tax Board.

Elhers believes that by displaying the anti-Pacheco banner he is doing his duty for the public, by notifying them of Pacheco's belief and values. He hopes that if enough citizens see the banner, that they would vote him out of office and vote for someone, who is more honest and public-focused.

The lawsuit also seeks to have the City permit people to present their case to the city manager, in the event that they're fined. In doing so, the City could dismiss fines it issues in error. According to the complaint, city administrators actively blocked Elhers from defending his citations.

Finally, Elhers seeks to stop the practice of the City making up outrageous fine amounts for petty offenses. $12,400 for hanging a sign is excessive.

Regarding the spirit of this case, George Orwell had it right when he said: "Freedom is the right to tell people what they do not want to hear."

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Baldwin Park School District Requests Prosecutor File Felony Against Me; Cook Alleges False Accusation and Retaliation

Tiger and Snake by
Eugene Delacroix
Around November 13, 2019 - the Baldwin Park School District - most likely by Superintendent Froilan Mendoza - filed a complaint with the Los Angeles County Prosecutor alleging I extorted then with the threat that if they didn't drop my citation, I would out Poe and all her dirty laundry. The school district hopes to slow me down by fighting a criminal case or hoping I spend some time in prison. It's clear that the school board members want to punish me for filing a lawsuit against them. I write this so you can see the true nature of our school district: violent, truth-haters, and thieves. In short: They're evil.

Instead of spending the time to think about reforms and how to improve the terrible education the students here are receiving, the members of the school district are angry that they've been exposed.

The administrators have placed Baldwin Park's children at risk by hiring an ex-felon, fraudster, and serial sexual predator to be around our students. Now Poe is alleging that the school board members have been permitting a pedophile to be around our children too.

These are all signs of rampant corruption. We really need to ask how much is are the school board members and administrators stealing from the taxpayer funds?

And what school districts even have a police department? Have you ever wondered why?

Baldwin Park School District has a long history of corruption, violence, and intimidation. For instance, the school member Margarita Vargas, would extort undocumented parents for money (in the form of gift cards). Vargas would figure out which parents were undocumented by last name and whether their children were on free lunch. One parent had enough, complained to the police, and Vargas had to resign.

Other officials have used the school police department to intimidate parents, who criticized the school. Furthermore, there was a time, a few years ago, when the school police would racially profile parents when they dropped their children off at school to snag parents who didn't have drivers licenses. They would then tow the cars, impound the cars for 30 days, and then the cars would sell at auction. The school district profited.

Hence, it's time for change and justice and a new start. The residents and parents need to know the truth about how this district has really been operating, all the wrong they've done, and how much they've stolen from us. Only in this way, can we start allover.

The lessons here? For the activist, remember; when evil government officials get desperate to stop you, they have to retaliate, but without legitimate means, the way they do it is through false accusations. Be prepared. Be strong.

No wonder why the Proverbs say: "A false accusation is as deadly as a sword, a club, or a sharp arrow." (25:18, GNT).

The solution is to not lose heart and to fight such charges to further shame and further expose the nefarious nature of those in charge - who think they could do whatever they want at our expense and our future.

This isn't the first time I've braved through these false accusations before. Remember when the Mayor called me violent and dangerous and filed a restraining order against me to discredit me and to shut me up? I fought him and his attorney. They lost. (It was my first case I won after getting licensed.)

Lucky for me, this time, the Jill Poe story's already gone viral. Hence, killing the messenger won't kill the message. The people already know something is really rotten at Baldwin Park's schools and that change is required.

And if the school board members and administrators think that they can intimidate me with their bullying or threats, they're delusional. They should know my ancestor once said: "The soldier who fights to the death never dies, but the soldier who fights for existence never truly exists."

Well; the people already know what this is all about. So, "[h]ow terrible for [Jill Poe and the school district] . . . You hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look fine on the outside but are full of bones and decaying corpses on the inside."

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Baldwin Park School Police Chief Jill Poe Fired; School District Sued by Poe and Parent-Activist

Disgraced and Fired
Baldwin Park School Police Chief, Jill Poe
On November 12, 2019 - the Baldwin Park School District fired its police chief, Jill Marie Poe for undisclosed reasons. It appears, however, the District was forced to fire her after the Legal Lens, on September 4, 2019, exposed Poe as a an ex-felon, fraudster, and serial sexual predator. The District immediately suspended Poe after publication of the article.

Recently, Poe retaliated against the school district by filing a wrongful termination suit against the District. In her complaint, she alleges that she was terminated because she's a lesbian. Poe points to the fact that the District permits an employee accused of pedophilia to work there, but because of her sexual orientation - the District fired her and not him. Poe also accuses the Legal Lens of extorting her over a traffic citation.

Nonetheless, Poe's allegations are false, and it appears that the fired police chief is having a difficult time coping with the fact that her sordid past has been exposed.

Poe alleges that NBC news, “painted a horrible picture of Poe alleging that Poe should never had been hired". Apparently, Poe believes in her mind that serial sexual predators should be allowed to work with five year old children. She was also stunned that the school district did nothing to defend her in the story.

Troubling for the District, Poe's lawsuit wasn't the only one filed against it yesterday. John Rios, a resident, activist, and father of a child who graduated from Baldwin Park School District, also sued the Baldwin Park School District, the Superintendent Froilan N. Mendoza, and Jill M. Poe.

According to his lawsuit, the school district is failing to release records under the California Public Records Act by denying release and stalling. Most important in these records requests is how Jill Poe passed her background check. Also, the school district refuses to release information as to whether the school police have received proper training required under state law.

Rios is suing for a court order to freeze operation of the school police department, because its officers are not meeting the state requirement of proper training, minimum moral character requirements, and minimum requirements of having policies and standards in place to operate a school police department.

Greg S. Tuttle, long time city activist and small business owner in Baldwin Park, served the complaint to the school district yesterday in front of teachers, parents, and administrators. During public comments period he said, "The school district should shut down its police department. It should stop wasting money on a useless police force and start investing money in education." After speaking, the audience applauded.

The school district's performance is abysmal. U.S. News ranks Baldwin Park School District at 4,418. It says only 17% are college ready. Only 51% are meeting minimum literacy requirements. And only 17% are proficient in mathematics.

Prep Scholar ranks Baldwin Park in the lower 50% of schools with regards to standardized testing - such as the SAT or ACT.

These scandals rock the school district at a time when it is discussing closing down three schools. Parents are now asking where all the school district money went.

The District has a history of corruption. Even in the late 60's, according to a California Supreme Court case called Serrano v. Beverly Hills Unified School District, "Baldwin Park Unified School District expended only $577.49 to educate each of its pupils in 1968—1969; during the same year the Pasadena Unified School District spent $840.19 on every student; and the Beverly Hills Unified School District paid out $1,231.72 per child."

Hence, it appears that properly running school districts are investing over twice as much per student in their children than Baldwin Park is. Both Beverly Hills and Pasadena do not operate their own police department. Furthermore, it's without say that Beverly Hills and Pasadena school districts are in the top quartile of preparing their students for university.

Transparency is required to account for all the missing money that has been skimmed over the decades - especially in the form of hundreds of millions of issued school bonds. A state audit by the controller's office is necessary.

It's been said: "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy". So; it's all of our jobs to drive out these locusts, who are destroying the next generation from even having a future.

Friday, October 25, 2019

Baldwin Park Mayor Lozano Cheats LA County of $10,000 of property tax and refuses to pay $25,000 back to the City

Mayor Manuel Lozano being sued
for filing a malicious prosecution claim against activist.
For the last two and a half years, Baldwin Park's Mayor Manuel Lozano is currently cheating both Los Angeles County and the City of Baldwin Park by shorting the County approximately $10,000 or $3,900 a year. He's also not paying back a $25,000 loan his father borrowed from the City. This is how Lozano's scam works.

Lozano's father, Guadalupe R. Lozano has title to a house on 14509 Hallwood Drive, Baldwin Park, CA 91706. At the time the property was purchased on March 18, 2004 - the property was valued at $99,290.

On August 23, 2005 - Guadalupe received a WHEN PROPERTY IS SOLD OR TITLE TRANSFERS." $25,000 loan from the City. Lozano was mayor then. The City approved the "Residential Rehabilitation Loan Program" application for $25,000 at 1% interest a year. Although others have a monthly loan schedule, the City made an exception for Lozano's father - and never required a payment schedule of him. Instead, Guadalupe's contract states that he doesn't have to pay back the loan "

14509 Hallwood Dr. / Baldwin Park, CA 91706
Note: the 9 cars parked in the yard and driveway
Here's the catch. Guadalupe Lozano died on January 3, 2016. What Mayor Lozano doesn't want you to know is that he's defrauding the City and LA County and all the taxpayers by pretending that his father is still alive; so, he doesn't have to pay increased property taxes and the loan and interest back to the City. At the time of Guadalupe's death, the assets should've been transferred in probate, and the Hallwood property should have a new title with new owners. So, Lozano's committing a big scam.

Terms of Lozano's $25,000 contract of 1% loan,
and no monthly payments
How much is he saving? Good question. Redfin estimates the value of the house at $490,353. Hence, he should be paying a 1% property tax of $4,903. But he's only paying about $1,000 of property taxes, since the house was valued at about $100,000 at the time his father held property.. Hence, every year, Lozano is cheating the county of $3,903.

Since Lozano has been committing this fraud, since January 3, 2016 - for about two and a half years, Lozano has cheated Los Angeles County of an estimated amount of nearly $10,000. Some of the services LA County provides are library services, transportation, public safety, and social services.

Wouldn't it be nice if we could all save $10,000 by scamming the County as the Mayor does?

Lozano's position as to why he shouldn't pay the City loan back, which has now become a conflict of interest, because he's the de facto beneficiary of the property, is because the property hasn't been transferred or sold yet. But that's only because he's illegally not doing it. He's father is death. Therefore by law, this should have been done almost two and a half years ago. Hence, he cheats the City of the money it's owed.

Also, wouldn't it be nice if we could all get $25,000 loans for our mortgages we don't have to pay back?

Incidentally, the Chief Financial Officer of Hawthorne was fired for borrowing a secret $25,000 loan from the City of Hawthorne. (Now he's the CFO at West Valley Water Board, where Taylor, Pacheco, and Tafoya work.)

Mayor Lozano has been Mayor of Baldwin Park for 20 years. No wonder it's been said that "Diapers and politicians should be changed often. Both for the same reason."

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Should Unqualified Sergeant Johnny Patino be Promoted as Chief of Police? Special Council Meeting to Decide.

Council Member Ricardo Pacheco, Sergeant Johnny Patino,
and Mayor Manuel Lozano (top row - from left to right).
Baldwin Park City Council appointed an unqualified Sergeant - Johnny Patino to be the temporary police chief after the former and Police Chief Michael Taylor was fired for the second time. Today, the Baldwin Park City Council will decide by special meeting whether he should permanently be appointed to the position. Even the temporary appointment is controversial, because the police rank and file consider Patino to be incompetent, as he can't even pass the standardized lieutenant test.

Furthermore, officers point to Patino's lack of experience to become chief. This is because chiefs are usually promoted from captains, who respectively are promoted from lieutenants.

Generally, minimum requirements for the chief job requires at least three years of experience in administration. Patino has almost none.

Hence, the City Council leapfrogged Patino two positions to make him chief. This is not a surprise, given Baldwin Park's scandalous and tumultuous history with its chief of police hirings and firings.

These corrupt practices can be traced to at least 1999. In 1999, Chief Lili Hadsell was promoted from lieutenant to chief. She never held the role of captain. Around October 15, 2013 - concerned residents questioned Hadsell's leadership when her 19-year old daughter was caught with a 23-year old man with illegally possessing narcotics outside of a Motel 6 in the City of Chino.

Shortly after this incident, a new elected city council fired Hadsell around December of 2013. She held her position for approximately 14 years.

Hadsell sued the City of Baldwin Park and on March 26, 2019 - the court and jury awarded her a $7 million judgment against the City for sexual harassment and gender discrimination. After attorney's fees, the City is now on the hook for $9 million. This is the largest judgment attached against the City in its history. Hadsell's case is currently pending appeal.

Then, there was Michael Taylor, who was fired twice. The first time, Taylor was fired for being a racist.

After his second hiring, the LA Times reported on his controversial contract, which stated that Taylor could only be fired for being convicted of felony, such as murder, rape, or robbery. Taylor increased his pay in his contract to make himself an extra million in retirement.

Taylor was also caught accepting drug money to run for public office. Some even question whether Taylor was a pederast.

Employee witnesses allege that Taylor showed up to work drunk and worked less than 30 hours a week, for which he was paid over $234,000 a year.

Also in between Taylor's tenure, there was the hiring of Inglewood's Lieutenant David Salcedo. Notice again how the City choose a lieutenant over a captain.

Salcedo appeared to be a problem employee in the City of Inglewood. Although he was a Captain, he was demoted to Lieutenant in December of 2017.

Baldwin Park's rank and file allege that he appeared to have anger mental health issues and would repetitively snap a rubber band against his wrist to keep in control. Thankfully, Salcedo was hired for only 49 days, before he was fired around September 20, 2017.

The LA Times reports that Salcedo alleges that Council Member Ricardo Pacheco ordered him to retaliate against citizens who were criticizing Pacheco with signs and banners characterizing him as a jackass. Salcedo, like Hadsell, filed a lawsuit against the City of Baldwin Park and Ricardo Pacheco for $10 million. The lawsuit is pending.

Patino's temporarily hiring has impacted Baldwin Park's Police Department. Since Patino has been chief, a number of Baldwin Park officers have left the force to other cities. Rank and file allege that Mayor Lozano prefers hiring hispanic brass over anglo managers - who can pass their exams.

Currently, California state controller's office is auditing the City. It's routine for audits to look at hiring and performance evaluation practices of public agencies.

Perhaps, its findings will confirm a quote by Daniel Alarc√≥n: “Nepotism is the lowest and least imaginative form of corruption.”

Monday, October 21, 2019

Taxpayer Money Pays for Mayor Lozano, Council Member Pacheco, and Parks and Recreation Manuel Carrillo to get Drunk

Mayor Manuel Lozano (far left).
On October 12, 2019 - at Baldwin Park's Annual Senior Prom, Mayor Manuel Lozano, Council Member Pacheco, and Parks and Recreation Director Manuel Carrillo, got drunk at the open bar, which was paid by the taxpayer. According to sources, the Marriott serviced the open bar.

Manuel Carrillo with Ricardo Pacheco, both drunk.
These kind of illegal expenditures, approved by Lozano and Pacheco, have drawn the scrutiny from California's State Controller's office, who is now auditing Baldwin Park's books, which the Finance Director Rose Tam has cooked. Already, the State Controller's Office has criticized Council Member Ricardo Pacheco for using a government credit card for strip club expenses at his other job at the West Valley Water under-qualified for the job of assistant general manager - which he was paid approximately $200,000 a year for.

The Parks and Recreation Director, Manuel Carrillo, was also seen drunk on the job, while he was working. Reports are coming in that the audit is scrutinizing the separate accounts he is running.

Already, Carrillo has been caught accepting questionable money; filtering it through his nonprofit corporation, the Baldwin Park Community Center Corporation (BPCCC); and laundering that money into Walmart gift cards. Although the BPCCC was shutdown for its illegal operation, Carrillo started a new nonprofit called the Baldwin Park Charitable Relief Fund.

Manuel Lozano happy and drunk
on taxpayer money.
Carrillo has been a controversial figure, as he's received outrageous raises, while offering other employees a raise of 40 cents an hour after working for 20 years. After researching other directors' salaries, it appears that Carrillo is the highest paid municipal Parks and Recreation
Director in California.

Citizens are eager to see the findings regarding the audit against the City of Baldwin Park.

Saturday, October 5, 2019

City of Baldwin Park Audited After Seven Years of Corruption Reporting

by Banksy
Modified by me
California's State Controller's Office is auditing California's books, after seven years of reporting, which started in July of 2013 with Parks and Recreation Director Manuel Carrillo Jr. According to the San Gabriel Valley Tribune - the Controller's Office was auditing the City for the following reasons:
  • Increasing operating deficits 
  • Deficit fund balances reported in the city’s financial statements 
  • Expenditures in excess of what is budgeted in the city’s general fund and other funds 
  • Lack of physical inventory of capital assets performed 
“In light of the conditions above, we will conduct an investigation to validate the information that is required to be filed with our office,” wrote Efren Loste, bureau chief for the Local Government Audits Bureau. He said the investigation would include a review and evaluation of the city’s internal control system, focusing on the 2016-17 and 2017-18 fiscal years.

In August of 2018, Legal Lens exposed how the Finance Director, Rose Tam, was cooking the books.

The Tribune asks the question whether this is related to West Valley Water Board's audit, which is a separate agency in Riverside County. Linkage exists because three of the City of Baldwin Park's brass also works or has worked at West Valley Water. These players are fired Baldwin Park's Police Chief and current water board Member - Michael Taylor; Baldwin Park's City Attorney and West Valley Water's General Counsel, Robert Tafoya; and Baldwin Park Council Member Ricardo Pacheco - who allegedly has been fired from his position as assistant general manager at West Valley Water.

Another way of asking the Tribune's question is asking whether Tafoya, Taylor, and Pacheco learned how to skim taxpayer money from Baldwin Park and then play the same tricks at another agency, in this case, West Valley Water. I would think so. Zebras never change their stripes.

More reporting to come later.

In the meantime, here's the Tribune article - State controller auditing Baldwin Park for budget deficits, excessive spending.

Manuel Carrillo Jr.,
Parks and Recreation Director, also
money launderer of nonprofit corporation
Baldwin Park Community Center Corporation

Ricardo Pacheco,
Baldwin Park City Council Member and
former assistant general manager of West Valley Water Board
Robert Nacionales-Tafoya, 
counsel for City of Baldwin Park and West Valley Water Board
Michael Taylor,
Twice fired Baldwin Park Police Chief,
and West Valley Water Board Member.

Sunday, September 22, 2019

LIFE AFTER DEPORTATION: A family with roots in the Seattle region starts over in Mexico

ZACATECAS, MEXICO — In a dirt-covered SUV with a cow’s skull on the hood and a wooden rack bearing the Valdez family name, Rafael, Joy, Maya and Catalina drive into the hills above a little town in the central Mexican state of Zacatecas. It’s the kind of town known locally as a ranch. Cattle and men on horseback roam the streets. The Valdezes come here on weekends to find respite from the capital city, also called Zacatecas, and the larger questions of their lives.    Read more on the Seattle Times: Here.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

The Unlocked Sexual Predation History of Baldwin Park School Police Chief - Jill Marie Poe

Jill Marie Poe - Baldwin Park School Police Chief
Baldwin Park School Police Chief, Jill Marie Poe, has a secret sexual predation history that she doesn't want anyone to know about. Why does Poe have access to elementary students as young as five years of age? Five school district members, and former Mark Skarvany willfully ignored her sexual predation history.

On November 1, 1997, former Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) Officer Jill Poe saw that Lisa H.'s uniform pants weren't up all the way; so, she gleaned part of Lisa's underwear. Aroused; Poe then grabbed Lisa by her right forearm and forcefully turned Lisa toward herself and said, "You know when you wear those underwear, you know what you do to me. Don't be wearing those underwear around me. They look good." Officer Poe then made a "Hmmmm, Hmmm, Hmmm", remark.

Then just a few days later, which isn't clear in the record why, while Lisa was in the locker room changing, Poe came charging through the door. She pointed a finger at Lisa and said, "You better get your f***ing partner in check. He has f***ing problem with working. He better get his f***ing attitude in check." Lisa told Poe that if Poe had a problem with Lisa's partner, that Poe should bring it up with him. A witness by the name of Officer Rogers confirmed the event.

Then on November 12, 1997, at the West LA Station, Lisa had some saliva glistening on her lips. Poe came up to her and stated, "You know what I could do with that?" Poe's eyes looked her up and down. She told Lisa how she could please another woman. Poe told Lisa: "Let me know when you're ready to be with me."

When Lisa declined Poe, at around 3:00-3:30PM, Poe kicked Lisa on the left side of her buttock, causing Lisa injury. She kicked her in front of several witnesses.

According to Officer Sibayan, Poe kicked Lisa's buttock about five to six times. He thought there may have been more kicks, because he "did not see the initial kick." Sibayan told Poe to knock it off. At that point, Poe walked away.

Sibayan asked Lisa if she was ok. Lisa stayed silent. After Sibayan asked again, Lisa slowly stood up and said, "I've had it. I'm going to do something about it today."

Lisa checked into the medical center and alleges in her report that Poe's "mental state is highly questionable[. She] committed this act of violence in full uniform in front of witnesses on duty." Lisa wrote that she could not "control [the] situation herself any longer."

According to Lisa she attempted to resolve the conflicts she had with Poe one-to-one. After the kicking-incident, Lisa filed a restraining order petition for her family and herself against Poe in Pasadena Court on or around November 16, 1997 in case number GS004446 to "not threaten, strike, or make physical contact with plaintiff / not keep plaintiff under surveillance / not follow plaintiff / not telephone plaintiff / [and] not block plaintiff's movement[.]"

In her plead to the court, Lisa alleged that "Poe has sexual[ly] harassed plaintiff [Lisa] for approximately (6) months. On November 12, 1997, Defendant Poe kicked [Lisa] on the left side of her buttock (causing injury). . . . [Lisa] is afraid of her safety, and fears Defendant Poe's violent behavior." Lisa adds that "Deft has been disciplined in the past for the same type of behavior / history."

Around December 18, 1997, Poe's then-boss, Sergeant David R. Rossi declared that "Officer Poe has been relieved of duty during the Internal Affairs Investigation of this matter."

On December 19, 1997, with both sides presenting their evidence, Commissioner Martin H. Wegmati found Lisa to be credible and issued a restraining order against Poe that expired on February 20, 1998. On February 19, 1998, Lisa demanded $15,985.00 in attorney's fees and cost from Poe.

It appears a trial for a preliminary restraining order was held between February 20 to February 27, 1998. Lisa's petition was then denied.

On January 7, 1999, probably because Poe spent money on an attorney to defend her restraining order, Poe faked her car being stolen and filed a false police report with the LAPD to defraud her car insurance company. Between March and May 3, 1999, Poe was caught for her scheme and reported to internal affairs.

Nonetheless, adjudication of Poe's sexual harassment and workplace violence didn't end there. Between May 3, 1999 and April 2, 2000, an LAPD Board of Rights convened to adjudicate 17 counts of Poe's misconduct by three officers, including Lisa.

Around April 2, 2000, the Board found Poe guilty of five counts. It found that Poe did (1) make sexual remarks to Lisa, (2) created a "hostile work environment" for Lisa, and (3) Poe kick Lisa in the buttocks. Additionally, (4) Poe also made sexual remarks to an officer Fuller around October 22, 1997. (5) Finally, Poe was leaving work assignments and leaving colleague vulnerable to do personal business on October 12, 1997.

After the adjudication, the Board recommended the Police Chief fire Poe. So; Chief Bernard Parks did just that and fire her.

Then on July 7, 2000 - Poe pled guilty to a felony count of insurance fraud and a misdemeanor count of filing a false police report.

On July 21, 2000 - Poe sued the LAPD to get her job back. Only this time, she didn't have an attorney and represented herself in case number BS064440. Poe was missing her court hearing though, and at one point, the court asked Poe to show cause as to why she shouldn't be sanctioned.

On January 30, 2002 - at the final hearing - which Poe again failed to appear at - the court agreed with the LAPD. Poe lost. She wasn't getting her job back.

Interview with former officers say that Poe's sexual harassment, violence, and bullying started as far back as 1991. Poe was 27 then. As a patrol officer, Poe would allegedly push other women officers against the walls of the locker room when they didn't return her sexual advances.

So far, four women officers, and counting, have filed internal complaints against Poe. Two have been affirmed by the LAPD Board and the court to have been victims of battery and sexual harassment.

Recently, the Legal Lens put in a records request to the LAPD for evidence of Poe's dishonesty or sexual harassment.

On September 3, 2019, the LAPD responded by saying that: "The Department has conducted a search and has disclosable records responsive to your request in regards to sustained dishonesty[.]" Furthermore, "The Department continues to search for records[.]"

Poe's employment history from 2001 to 2011 have been spotty. One source alleges she worked as a private detective for another disgraced officer. Poe's resume needs to be ordered.

Somewhere between 2011 and 2014 - the Baldwin Park Unified School District hired Poe as a safety supervisor and school police chief and given access to children between age five to eighteen. Sources believe this was so she could evade a background check.

Around September 8, 2014 - Poe was promoted in a 5-0-vote as school police chief. Blanca Rubio, who is now state assemblywoman, cast one of the votes.

Jill Poe teaching a class to elementary
students on defending yourself
against cyber bullying.
Having the experience as the perpetrator, Poe now teaches defense social media courses on cyber bullying for school districts. She was one of the speakers for the Safe Schools Conference.

Poe's also been criticized for poor decision making. Around August 19, 2014 - (which is about the same time Poe became Chief) - she ordered semi-automatic weapons for the school. Although Poe alleges that these weapons were returned, especially given her history of dishonesty, proof is still being sought as to where these weapons are.

Furthermore, Poe's been sued as police chief at least twice, civilly and recently. On August 19, 2016, Serene Cottini-Guillot, a former Baldwin Park school police officer, sued Poe.

According to the complaint, Serene alleged that Poe admitted to authorizing Matthew Miedema, around 27 year-old son of the school police sergeant, Carl Miedema, to spy on her and her high school son. Allegedly, Matthew was a drug addict that had mental health issues, and this caused Serene and her son to be afraid for their safety.

The school district settled the case with Serene around January 8, 2018 under a gag order. Because the settlement was done with a public agency, the constitutional legality of its enforcement is questioned by experts.

On September 10, 2019 - the Legal Lens' expose on Poe's sexual predation and felonious history prompted parents to pack the school board meeting. There, community activist Greg S. Tuttle spoke. He said: "My father used to be in sex crimes with Orange County Sheriffs for over 20 years. We don't need to get into details with Poe's sexual history, because children are here. But, I know a sexual predator when I see one. And she has a long history of it. And if you don't get rid of her, we'll have to sue to have her removed."

A woman defending Poe, who some suspect to be Poe's wife, came to her defense and responded. This woman, reading from a pre-written letter, reminded the school board members that Poe had done special favors for all of them. And all of them need to remember those special favors.

On September 15, 2019 - the San Gabriel Valley Tribune published Poe's criminal history on Sunday's front page. Several victims and critics were outraged at the article, because it omitted any discussion of Poe's sexual harassment history or her current involvement with children, some who are as young as five years of age. One critic believed that the article misdirected attention from Poe's current moral character issues and instead pointed to the fact that Poe's convictions were 20 years old, which made it appear that Poe has somehow reformed when she has not.

Currently, the school police chief has been suspended from the school district - pending an investigation. Research has shown that Poe spent considerable amounts of time and money to expunge and destroy her records. Somehow that didn't stop it from surfacing here.

Perhaps Galatians is on point: "Do not be deceived: . . . A [wo]man reaps what [s]he sows." (6:7. NIV.)

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Ex-felon, Fraudster, & Sexual Predator: The Secret Life of Baldwin Park's School Police Chief - Jill Marie Poe

Jill Marie Poe - Baldwin Park School Police Chief
Baldwin Park's Unified School Police Chief, Jill Marie Poe had a secret life, which she doesn't want you to know about. Besides being fired from the Los Angeles Police Department for being a sexual predator - she's also an ex-felon, who pled guilty to auto insurance fraud and filing a false police report. Now, she's around children from age 5 to 18. One has to wonder how this happened.

According to her felony complaint, case number YA043015, on January 7, 1999, Poe, a working Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) officer, was hurting for money. So she had the brilliant idea of defrauding State Farm Insurance of $10,731.30 by faking the theft of her Toyota Four Runner - which had the license plate "POZWAY". She broke glass by her driveway and filed a false police report to the Torrance Division of the LAPD alleging that someone stole her car. After some time, the insurance paid off over $3,000 on bank liens on the car, and Poe received $7,648.51 in cash and went on a trip to the lake with another woman officer named Anderson.

Cover page of Jill Poe's Felony Complaint.
At the lake, Anderson asked Poe what happened to her car. Poe replied that her brother was "fixing it up."

About three months later, Poe took her friend "Marsha", a civilian, to her brother's house, where they were watching the Oscar De La Hoya match. There, Marsha saw Poe's car parked in the backyard of her brother's house. She clearly remembered it, because it had the license plate "POZWAY".

About three months after the De La Hoya fight, Anderson and another officer were talking about if Poe ever got her car back. Anderson was confused, because Poe told her it was being fixed. But now, the other officer told Anderson Poe reported the car stolen.

Hence, Anderson confronted Poe about the car. Poe admitted, "I did something stupid. I reported it stolen, because I needed the money."

Anderson reported Poe to LAPD Internal Affairs.

After Poe discovered she was being investigated internally, she went back to Marsha and told her not to talk to the investigators, because she might lose her job.

A month later, LAPD detectives served a search warrant on Poe's brother at his house. In the backyard, the detectives found the Toyota Four Runner.

Poe was then arrested and charged for a felony count of auto insurance fraud and a misdemeanor of filing a false police report.

Poe represented herself at court, according to retrieved expunged court records. Between July 7 and July 28, 2000 - Poe pled guilty to a count of one felony of auto insurance fraud and one count of a misdemeanor for filing a false police report.

Jill Poe's 17 counts of personnel misconduct committed
at the LAPD. Affirmed by LA Sup. Ct.
Also, during this time, Poe was also fired from the LAPD. Besides her felony charge, former LAPD Chief Bernard Parks filed 17 counts of personnel misconduct, which mainly centered on Poe's stalking and sexual harassing of another woman police officer. For instance, when she saw the other female officer in the locker room, Poe would grab her and state "You know when you wear those underwear, you know what you do to me. Don't be wearing those underwear around me. They look good." Officer Poe then made a "Hmmmm, Hmmm, Hmmm", remark. (See proof.) The Los Angeles Superior Court affirmed Parks' firing of her in Case No. BS064440. The victim obtained a restraining order against Poe at the victim's residence.

On July 7, 2000, after pleading guilty to auto insurance fraud, Poe was ordered to pay back $12,346.23 to State Farm Insurance. The court sentenced Poe to three years of formal probation.

Then on July 15, 2003 - being represented this time - Poe expunged her record under Penal Code Section 1203.4.

Poe's guilty plead entered in open court.
What's off about the entire court proceeding was that the court reduced the auto insurance fraud to a misdemeanor count of grand theft auto. Curious, how that deal was worked out and whether the court even has the power to do that under law.

After her firing, Poe worked for a private company called Master PI Detectives for awhile, allegedly owned and managed by another former LAPD officer.

Around September 8, 2014, all BPUSD board members voted for Jill Poe five-to-zero to become police chief. One of the votes was cast by Blanca Rubio, now California State Assemblywoman. At the time of the vote, however, she was a BPUSD school board member, who approved of Poe's hiring.

Witnesses say that Rubio is a strong supporter of Poe. (In fact, Rubio called Poe to take the police report, when Roger Hernandez started punching and belting her sister, Susan.)

Previous to her hiring, Mark Skarvany was both superintendent and school police chief. (Recently, Skarvany was investigated for bond fraud by the Security and Exchange Commission in Montebello. Also, while serving as Superintendent, Skarvany laundered $1.5 million of education funds according to an audit.)

There are disputed accounts of how Poe passed her background check. One anonymous source says she did her own background check, because she was a former private detective. (Incidentally, a different source says that Poe also signed off on Skarvany having a concealed weapon.) And even another source says because they started her as safety supervisor, she didn't have take a background check. Although Poe alleges she worked for the BPUSD as captain for three years, California Transparency contradicts her. According to it, Poe started in 2013, and after about a year became police chief.

In totality, however, the evidence strongly suggests the school district never ran a background check. This is because around September 8, 2014, after Poe was appointed Chief, a former LAPD officer who worked with Poe as a rookie, called Skarvany, and explained to him, (through his secretary, because the superintendent didn't want to personally hear the facts) that Poe was a convicted felon with a serial history of sexual harassment and abuse. Still, Skarvany refused to investigate Poe's past, suspend, or fire her.

Unsurprisingly, Poe's been a source of controversy for poor decision making. For instance, Poe's ordered semi-automatic weapons for the school. Although Poe alleges that these weapons were returned, proof is still being sought as to where these weapons are.

Type of weapon Poe ordered for the district.
Getty image.
To be sure, Poe can allege that her misconduct happened years ago. Therefore the argument would go, her criminal history and her firing because of sexual harassment is no longer relevant to her professionalism now.

But this is still a current issue. Cal. Gov. Code Section 1029 prohibits anyone who has a felony from being a peace officer, even if the record has been expunged. Also, Cal. Gov. Code Section 1031(d) requires good moral character and a thorough background check.

Again; the question is: How is a proven ex-felon and sexual predator like this is allowed to become a police officer, let alone promoted to Chief, and allowed to work with children, who are as young as 5 years old?

Poe's past haunts her even now. She appears to be a creature of habitual sexual predation. According to court records, a civil lawsuit was filed and settled by a former school officer in 2017 because of Poe's sexual harassment against another former woman officer at the BPUSD.

Poe is still working at the school district and still has access to children. In fact, EdData states that as of the 2017-2018 school year, there were 16,695 students enrolled. At the end of 2017, she was making $157,229.14.

In examining this case, Jesus's teaching becomes clearer: "Be on your guard against false prophets; they come to you looking like sheep on the outside, but on the inside they are really like wild wolves. You will know them by what they do. Thorn bushes do not bear grapes, and briers do not bear figs." (Matthew 7:15-16).

Jill M. Poe far right with her school police officers.

Saturday, August 31, 2019

The Fight for Second Chances

"Between the Rounds" by Thomas Eakins.
My boxing coach told Santiago, "Paul's lying. Go ask him again." At the time, I had finished jumping rope and wanted to improve on my agility: bobbing and weaving and slipping mainly.

During my break, Santiago asked me, "Are you a lawyer?"

Instead of saying, no, like last time, I said, "Why?" (Even though I told myself I was never returning back to the court battles.)

"I have a problem with my record. Because of it, I can't get a new job." 

"What's the problem?"

"I was street racing five years ago, and they charged me with a felony. I was 21. I applied for this job, but I couldn't get it because of my record."

There I was, sweaty, and in shorts, and my hands wrapped up, analyzing the case in the gym. (I should've been in a suit and tie in a swanky office.)

But what Santiago didn't know was that two months ago, I had the same kind of case up in Seattle, Washington and had learned how to do this kind of work.

"Is it a wobbler?"

"What's that?" 

I realized then I shouldn't have used the legalise. "It's when the crime charged could be either a felony or a misdemeanor." I had a feeling this was going to be a good case.

"I don't know."

"Give me your case number when you have the chance."

Santiago texted it to me. I did the research. It was a wobbler. 

I asked him to go to the courthouse and get a copy of the minute order for me.

After he did, later in the week, I went to the law library and analyzed the case. I wanted it. I knew it was a good case. I agreed to take it.

Because this case was different than my Seattle case, I had to draft a brief from scratch. I enjoyed customizing my own motion, even though it took 15 hours to write.

I filed it in court. They set the matter for calendar in two weeks. I think it took us by surprise how fast everything was happening.

* * *

Yesterday, after waiting two hours, the judge called us.

I saw a sign posted on the benches. It read, "Turn off all cell phones." I told Santiago, "How come in the movies, they never show these signs?"

He chuckled.

Then I told him, "Also, in the movies, the lawyers mainly win by what they say in open court. But in real life, generally, you win by what you wrote. So, it's really important that the judge's read my brief."

I knew immediately he read my brief. The prosecutors didn't oppose what we were asking for. The judge granted us everything we wanted. He reduced the charge to a misdemeanor. He expunged my client's record.

I tripped up on my words a little bit in open court, even though there wasn't much to say. I was fatigued. I didn't have the best sleep the night before. It was probably because I haven't been physically present in court for almost a year. Not that you forget how to do it, but I was just exhausted.

I was thinking to myself, this isn't an impact litigation case, which means you're doing a big case to change the law or society. Like Brown v. the Board of Education. 

No. But it'll change his life, and as the Talmud says, "He who saves the life of one man saves the entire world." 

I believe in giving people second chances (except when I'm too mad to think about it). And now my client will have that. Every time my brother or I passed through a significant milestone in life, my father would buy us new clothes. He said that giving new clothes to someone was like giving them a new life.

The client's family told me later that they were in this courtroom before for another family member. So, they were already familiar with the judge and the bailiff. 

But this time they were happy and relieved to see the court grant relief to my client. I wondered if it mattered for them to see that the justice system worked for them this time.

We all went out and celebrated and had lunch outside on a hot summer day. I ordered a chicken sandwich with rice.

But after I came home, I felt exhausted and miserable. I didn't realize how tiring it was to go back into law and motion. It probably took a toll on me to realize that my reputation at the boxing club was also at stake, but I didn't become aware of how draining all this was, until I fell asleep for 12 hours.

Two cases won. Two cases closed this week. Two more pending.

What my client didn't know, was that this was the first case I filed under my nonprofit corporation - Plousiouv En Pistei - which is Greek for Wealthy in Faith. It's not only a second chance for my client, but it's also been the baptism by fire my organization's been waiting for.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

City of Baldwin Park Ready to Outsource Police Services to Sheriffs

It looks like the City of Baldwin Park will begin negotiations in outsourcing the police services to LA County Sheriffs. The evidence that points to this is the fact that the City paid off their $53.7 million CalPERS loan with another loan, a municipal bond in this case. As of March 7, 2019, a public records act request has confirmed that Baldwin Park doesn't have outstanding CalPERS liability. Therefore, this puts the dissolution of Baldwin Park's police back on the table.

Why do this? Because amongst other reasons, the Sheriffs didn't want to take on Baldwin Park with such a high pension liability. It was a risk, but why it concerned the LA County Sheriffs so much is not clear.

This first attempt started around October 4, 2012. Mayor Manuel Lozano and Council Members Marlen Garcia were pushing to outsource these services to the Sheriff. But the outsourcing failed around December of 2013. Besides the protests and the ousting of Garcia, the Sheriffs were uncomfortable with the rising pension costs of the police.

Besides $51 million in employees' pension debt, Baldwin Park's Police Department costs the City $21.8 million. Of the entire $31.15 million operation budget, the police make up 70% of the budget.

Ten years ago, in 2009, the police department budget was only $13.4 million. They made 59% of the entire operation budget of $23.4 million. It appears the police department's costs from rapid expansion and outrageous raises are now crippling the city.

According to the economist Martin Armstrong, the death knell for the Roman Empire happened because Rome could no longer afford to pay its military pensions. The generals then revolted.

Likewise, back in 2012 - the police funded a campaign to get rid of Marlen Garcia. Her political career ended because of her vocal protest of the police.

I predict that the same will happen again when the police department's fate comes on the table for discussion.

The 2019-2020 budget is interesting, because the Finance Director Rose Tam says that $3.85 million in revenue.

Does that mean the City will no longer be funding CalPERS and be co-mingling the employees' pension fund with their general fund?

Or is this an accounting trick, in which savings are now calculated as a revenue?

I emailed her asking what all this is about. She refuses to say.

Well, since the $53.7 million debt has been transferred from employees' pensions to municipal bonds, the City will have an easier time filing for bankruptcy. California law makes it difficult for public agencies to file bankruptcy on pensions. So the risk has now been pushed to the bond holders.

Well, Nicholas Machivelli once said: "“It ought to be remembered that there is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things."

Is there a solution? For certain, the police force budget has to be cut. It's unsustainable at this growing rate.

Nonetheless, I don't believe sheriffs is the solution with their dreadful response time and their currently corrupt Sheriff, Alex Villanueva.

Furthermore, we need to remember - this City has been in a mess with current political regime with Manuel Lozano at the helm. Besides getting rid of the corrupt, changes within the city's ordinance to prevent corruption and ensure better governance and transparency need to be enacted.

For now, one thing is clear. It looks like Baldwin Park's bonds are lot riskier than being presented. I recommend you don't buy them.

As usual, you heard it here first.