Friday, December 31, 2021

2022 - Year of the Water Tiger - Following the Rule of 20


According to the Chinese calendar, last year was the Year of the Metal Ox. This is the Year of the Water Tiger.

Last year, I stated that the ox represents hard work, and that "I'll make sure to work hard and be loyal to cause of Truth and love in hopes of a great harvest to come.". I think I lived up to this. But I had no idea the work would come in taking care of family. 

I can't tell you how difficult this year has been, but it ended well and victorious. And a harvest did come.

As you probably all have noticed, I haven't been writing as much. Part of it is that the court wasn't too happy that I was blogging about my cases. Another part was that I had a lot of family emergencies this year.

My mother ended up in the emergency room twice in January of 2021 (right when the year started). Then my father ended up in the emergency room in March of 2021. 

Actually, even our cat ended up in the emergency room, right before my mother - which was probably the foreshadowing of everything to come. And while that was happening, I was in heavy litigation against the City of Baldwin Park, West Valley Water District, and the Baldwin Park Unified School District.

Everybody is healthy and well now, even Jeh Pan, our cat. It did take a toll on me though. The stress was incredible. I can't even tell you how I managed everything, still kept a stiff upper lip in litigation, and made sure everyone was healed and restored. I don't know. 

I can only say the Lord was with me to give me the strength and wisdom required and the love to endure. I gained 10 pounds in those 11 months from stress, and in these last two weeks, I've lost 10 pounds. So, it all worked out.

Baldwin Park Unified

We ended up winning this case. The School District was illegally ticketing people outside of its area (or jurisdiction in legalise). They were even ticketing people outside of this City, in West Covina! All in all, the court agreed with us, that this was illegal. It's a shameful school district that's failing the students here, keeping them trapped in poverty by a lack of education. 

In the end, I won an amount of attorney's fees, and I donated it to my non-profit. You can read all about it here. I've heard from a major newspaper that they want to write the story.

The City of Baldwin Park

This case, I lost. This was a public records act case, in which the City never released records. My client and I even had video evidence that they didn't release all the records. Then, right before trial, the City submitted a declaration that they released everything and the trial court agreed.

This was totally false on the City's part, and it's been frustrating dealing with players who make misrepresentations just to win, and those who need to hold them accountable do nothing about it. Take for instance how attorney Maribel Medina and Tam filed a restraining order against me, alleging I rammed into Tam's car, and wrote emails to her that I love her. (There's no evidence of this.) They lost the restraining order part of the case, but do they get disciplined for it? No.

I reported Medina to the bar. And that got dismissed too. I'm not surprised. This was like when the city attorney misrepresented my signature, and I reported him. And nothing happened.

I'm realizing more and more, the government can get away with misconduct we can't - like lying, violence, and stealing. (More on this in a later series.)

Well, if you know anything, the City officials and administrators are under federal investigation. I've been telling you guys for years that they're corrupt - and now - it's being proven. And part of the records the City refuse to release regards how they cashed in and spent revenue from cannabis distribution licenses.

In any event, I have appealed the case. I've received two amici letters in support so far. I hope that things go better in this case for next year.

West Valley Water District

In another records case, in which the City Attorney of Baldwin Park represents, West Valley Water District refuses to release its credit card statements. Like in the Baldwin Park case, they're saying they released everything, when they clearly haven't. So, I went to the Bank and asked for it. That's when I got the kicking and screaming from Robert Tafoya, General Counsel on the case. Part of this case went on appeal too. Everything is pending. Let's see what happens.

Thoughts for next year

2020 and 2021 has been hard for the majority of us. It's been one dark and long winter, in which our country is still semi-locked down, restricted, and in disagreement about vaccine passports. From the information I have, and what I see, I think this entire affair will continue until the summer of 2023. I don't want to focus my writing on a general bleak prediction regarding our economy and Covid. Instead, I wanted to focus on a talk that really made made me think.

The Rule of 20

I was listening to talk by Warren Buffet on investing. If you don't know who he is, look him up, and you'll see that he's one of the richest people alive, and arguably in human history. And he said this, he said that if you only had 20 investment choices in your life - you would be picking stocks differently. 

That made me realize why he's rich. It's because he thinks differently than 99% of everybody

Then it made me realize something else, especially because I was running 7-9 miles a day, and dieting. There were a few days, I could only think about food. I thought about roasted bone marrow on toast and tacos and Italian pizza cooked in a wood fire oven with truffle shavings. And I realized, how I needed to get my thinking under control.

But I asked myself, what if you could only eat 20 dishes? What would you choose? I'll tell you, items in my freezer didn't make the list. So, I started wondering - why did I buy it?

What if you could only have 20 pieces of clothes? What would they be? 

What if you could only have 20 items in total, including your car? How would you treat those items? What would you buy?

What if you could only have 20 business decisions, including the cases you picked?

What if you could only have 20 friends? Who would they be?

What if you only had 20 things to say? What would you say?

What if in total, you only had 20 important decisions from birth to death? What would you do?

From the cases I picked, I'm glad that my business advisor Tuttle told me to take on the school district case. I actually didn't want to, but he convinced me after a lot of argument. It'll be one of the cases that defined the middle part of my career. That was a good one in the bundle of 20.

From a family perspective, I'm glad I chose to be there for my cat, for my mother, and for my father. That was important. And it made me realize, life is short.

I wonder how many decisions I have left in total. I wonder what I should do. But I think the questions make you realize, don't spend your time on useless things, when you only have a limited amount of money and time spend in a lifetime.

This year, one Bible verse struck me to try to live by. It says, "Try to be at peace with everyone, and try to live a holy life, because no one will see the Lord without it." Hebrews 12:14. (GNT).

I don't know what next year's verse is. I'll tell you when I know.

I had two books that changed my life this year. I'll write more on both of them. Cured by Jeffrey Rediger and The Kingdom of God is Within You by Leo Tolstoy.

To end, I want to say, the tiger has all kinds of meanings in Asian mythology. It can be both protection and danger. So, it's uncertain. But generally, tigers cross water, because they're on the go. And I think, this will be a year of uncertain transition for everyone.

Happy New Year. Out with the old. And in with the new. I welcome the Year of 2022 - the Year of the Water Tiger.

Monday, November 8, 2021

Federal Grand Jury Subpoenas Records Regarding Allegations of Baldwin Park's Marijuana Bribery Scheme


A federal grand jury has issued subpoenas seeking information about cash and other payments to public officials and cannabis consultants as part of a criminal investigation into pot licensing in Baldwin Park and nearby cities, The Times has learned.

Federal authorities, including agents from the FBI and Internal Revenue Service, have been interviewing witnesses and are seeking a wide range of records regarding Baldwin Park city officials who approved cannabis licenses and consultants who helped businesses obtain the permits, according to interviews and a copy of a grand jury subpoena reviewed by The Times.


. . . Read more on the LA Times.



Thursday, June 24, 2021

Disgraced, Former Council Member, Ricardo Pacheco, and his Wife Fined $15,500.

The Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) fined former Baldwin Park Council Member, Ricardo Pacheco and his brother, Gilbert Pacheco, who is also Ricardo's campaign manager, $6,500. It also fined Pacheco's wife, Lenet Pacheco, $9,000.

Ricardo was fined for hiding his campaign contribution information from voters. According to the FPPC press release, Ricardo did so by failing "to timely file two preelection campaign statements and six semi-annual campaign statements, in violation of Government Code Sections 84200.5 and 84200 (2 counts) and failed to timely file three 24-hour reports, in violation of Government Code Section 84203".

Lenet was fined, because of violations in 2013 and 2018. In 2013, while running for public office as Valley County Water District, which services Baldwin Park, Lenet failed to timely file any campaign contributions. In 2018, Lenet failed to file 11 reports timely. Her husband, Ricardo was Lenet's treasurer for both election years.

The recent campaign violations point to the rife, blatant, and trending corruption in Baldwin Park. The purpose of the FPPC is to ensure that citizens know who is financially supporting those running for politics; so that the voters can know what interest influence the candidate and hence can know if they represent their values and beliefs.

Nonetheless, it's not surprising that the Pachecos wanted to conceal such information, especially in light of the dirty money Ricardo has been accepting. In January of this year, Pacheco pled guilty to accepting tens of thousands of dollars in bribes – including $20,000 in cash – to vote on a police contract. The FBI also accused Pacheco of accepting over $303,000 in bribes.

The self-interest of public officers and administrators is a problem that's currently in the spotlight. For instance, the FBI has served search warrants on the city attorney, Robert Tafoya - who Council Members Paul Hernandez, Alejandra Avila, and Monica Garcia refuse to fire. (Later, Legal Lens discovered that Robert Tafoya was also a campaign manager for Garcia - offering different levels of influence for thousands of dollars in cash.)

The State of California has blasted the current finance director for poor accounting practices, which it found encourages fraud and embezzlement. 

The current Parks and Recreation Director, Manuel Carrillo, has been accused of laundering money through a non-profit agency, which the California Attorney General shut down.

Finally, a number of directors, such as the public works director, the community development director, and the previous finance director, have all suddenly resigned.

Local business owner and activist, Greg S. Tuttle is taking credit for reporting the Pachecos. When asked about the rulings, Tuttle replied, "I keep my word against dirty politicians. I will see you locked up for your corruption."

Thursday, April 29, 2021

Baldwin Park Council Members Refuses to Fire City Attorney and Campaign Contributer, Robert Tafoya; Tafoya Currently Subject of U.S. Department of Justice Probe

Robert Nacionales-Tafoya (c) Los Angeles Times

On April 7, 2021 - Council Member and Mayor Pro Tem, Alejandra Avila stated that she wished "to hold off" on looking for a new city attorney, even though the current one, Robert Tafoya, was served search warrants by the FBI. (See video at 1:10). From the video, it's clear that Avila blocked Council Member Damian's request to find a new city attorney by asking why the city needed a new one, even though the current city attorney appears to be connected with former Council Member Ricardo Pacheco, who pled guilty to accepting over $303,000 in bribe money regarding marijuana distribution. Council Member Paul Hernandez states that he is "comfortable with the services that we're providing . . . I don't feel like we should put out an RFP [Request for Proposal]." Similarly, Council Member Monica Garcia "questioned if it was the right time for this". Garcia made the third request to put a search for a new city attorney, "on hold". Does political campaign contributions have anything to do with keeping Tafoya?

Alejandra Avila

City Attorney, Robert Tafoya, Subject of Federal Investigation

Besides the federal probe, Tafoya has been a controversial figure in Baldwin Park. Tafoya was fined with $36,000 in sanctions in the court by filing a fraudulent disability lawsuit, placing a criminal doctor on the stand that had no personal knowledge of the case, and then walking out on his client's trial entirely. Other problems have ranged from alleged excessive billing and drafting contracts that stated that a police chief could only be fired if he was convicted of a felony. Tafoya also has a money trail that can be traced back to the three council members, who support keeping him.

 Does Political Campaign Contributions from Lawyers Influence City Council Votes?

From January 1, 2017 - September 19, 2020, Council Member Garcia reported that she received $8,800 from Tafoya and his law firm. Also, Garcia received significant contributions from those affiliated with Tafoya. Cristeta Paguirigan-Summers gave $13,200. Cristeta is also affiliated with Albright, Yee & Schmit, who gave $2,000. David Olivas gave $2,000. Leal & Trejeo and Anthony Willoughby II gave Garcia $2,000. Willoughby is currently at the center of an alleged scandal regarding his employment and marijuana distribution licenses.

From January 1, 2018 and October 20, 2018 - Council Member Avila reported that she received $4,457.79 in campaign contribution from Robert Tafoya and his law firm. Furthermore, Avila received another $1,500 from Albright, Yee & Schmit, a firm that Tafoya frequently subcontracts.

From October 12, 2018 to June 30, 2019 - Hernandez reported that Tafoya contributed $6,000, Albright $1,000, and the Kauffman law firm $2,000. (Incidentally, Hernandez received  $3,500 from CA Education Coalition PAC, which is tied to Pacheco, Michael Taylor, and marijuana money.)

Tafoya Raises Campaign Money for Council Member Garcia: Conflict of Interest?

Tafoya holds fundraising events for Council Member Monica Garcia. Email evidence confirms that Tafoya would blast attorneys for money on behalf of Garcia's campaigns. According to Tafoya, $1,000 buys you Bronze standing with Garcia. $1,500 buys one Silver standing. And Gold members require $2,500. But in a representative democracy, are we supposed to pay now to meet with our elected officials?

Furthermore, there's an appearance of a conflict of interest when Garcia votes for Tafoya - who has raised significant sums of money in the past. To ensure the appearance of integrity, Garcia should abstain from voting on any decisions regarding Tafoya.

The Harm to our Local Government and Democracy

It appears that the city council, and other governments, have forgotten their purpose, which is that they exist to serve the people. Instead, career politicians appear to exist for what they can take from the taxpayer and the advantages they receive from selling their influence in office. In the end, the citizens suffer at the expense of the few. 

So the decision to keep a questionable city attorney is really a much bigger issue, because it eventually results in the oppression of the common people. For instance, the City Council decides it wants to misappropriate federal housing funds but can't do so without the approval of the city attorney. A good city attorney would object. A bad one would permit it. And people who need those funds eventually become homeless. And as discussed further below, that's what makes this entire political system unbearable and unworkable. In short, a bad city attorney promotes decisions that hurt the people.

Hence, the above problem reflects a crisis for Western democracies throughout the world. As global wealth is becoming concentrated in fewer people, these fewer people, who have been commonly called the one percent, are having greater influence over our politicians and governments. This trend is the antithesis of a democracy, which is supposed to generally result in the greatest good for the greatest number of people.

Two U.S. Supreme Court cases have enabled this corrosion. The first one was in 1976 with Buckley v. Valeo. That case held that political spending limits violate the First Amendment and hence political spending limits on individuals are unconstitutional. 

The second case, as seen here with the political action committee, is Citizens United. In Citizens United, our Court held that corporations are people and hence can spend as much as they want regarding political campaigns.

The consequences of these decisions are clearly proven in local politics here and for sure in higher levels of government. Reform is required. Amendments to our Constitution must be ratified.

Regarding Baldwin Park, Robert Tafoya in office reflects badly on the City. People in government must not only be honest, but they have to have a reputation of honesty too. As has been so often said, "Trust is the currency of government."

Monday, April 5, 2021

Baldwin Park City Council to Offer CEO Position to Woman Fired for Allegedly Cooking the Books in San Marino

Assistant City Manager of Alhambra
Lucy Garcia

Baldwin Park City Council has decided to offer the CEO position to Lucy Garcia, who the City of San Marino fired because of of misrepresentations of the city budget. When Garcia was Assistant City Manager of San Marino, according to the Tribune, Garcia told the citizens and Council of the City that San Marino was making money, when in fact the City was in a deficit of around $2.3 million.  

The Tribune states that Garcia perpetrated the misrepresentation by failing to report on a $4.6 million loss that was carried into the fiscal year. The budget discrepancy committed was a common trick played by both corporations Enron and World, to make shareholders believe the company was making money.

Citizen activist, and successful business owner, Greg Tuttle also stated that he was concerned that Garcia had no experience as a city manager and lacked the required formal education. Tuttle believes that a retired corporate CEO should be hired for the job, instead of career semi-politicians.

Tuttle and others are disappointed that the new city council appears to be carrying out a legacy of corruption. Two years ago, the California Controller's office accused the Baldwin Park's administration of failing the audit for misappropriation money and by cooking the books. Although the current CEO is being replaced, finance director Rose Tam was and still is in charge of the budget. Furthermore, former employee of Tam, Suzanne Ruelas, accused Tam in her civil complaint that Tam misappropriates housing funds and misrepresents the budget, presumably in the self-interest of select individuals.

On January 27, 2021, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that Ricardo Pacheco pled guilty to accepting over $303,000 in bribe money. The DOJ has also served search warrants on the city attorney, Robert Nacionales-Tafoya. 

Citizen activists are perplexed by the City's Council's choice. Tuttle stated, "I hope that the council members would be more thorough in their background search for the next City Manager. The City needs to be honest and hire good people."

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

City Finance Director Files Frivolous Temporary Restraining Order Against Paul Cook to Avoid Court Ordered Interview

Rose Tam, Finance Director

On January 19, 2021 - Rose Tam, City of Baldwin Park's Finance Director, filed a temporary restraining order against attorney, Paul Cook, alleging racism, harassment, and being terrified for her life. Tam alleged this against Cook based on an email, in which Cook told Tam that Tam should tell us the truth about what was happening with the City's money. Tam also stated that the articles Cook wrote against her alleging that she's very likely cooking the books and laundering money was putting her life in jeopardy.

Tam, and her attorney, Maribel Medina, accused Cook of also distributing fliers, which accused Tam of fraudulent activity. No evidence of this has been presented. (Cook denied this allegation, but does wish he had the resources to make such fliers and distribute them.) The court denied the temporary restraining order and scheduled a preliminary restraining order hearing on January 29, 2021.

At the preliminary restraining order hearing, Medina accused Cook of breaking into Tam's car; however, Medina presented no evidence of this either. The temporary judge couldn't hear the case, because Cook was an attorney, and repeated this to Medina three time. Nonetheless, Medina requested for another temporary restraining order - which the judge denied again. In all, Medina's asked for four orders to protect Tam. Two are still pending.

Cook filed a special motion to strike against the City (which dismisses a case when the filing is frivolous) Tam, and Medina, because the case is so obviously frivolous. The judge continued everything until February 23, 2020.

Medina and the City are Retaliating, Because Cook Received Two Court Orders to Depose Tam

Cook believes there are two reasons that the City (under the direction of Robert Tafoya), Tam, and Medina are filing a frivolous temporary restraining order and preliminary restraining order against him. The first one is that the City is retaliating against Cook for obtaining two court ordered depositions of Tam in two public record act cases. A deposition is when a party gets to interview someone to get information regarding a case.

Currently, key players of the City, like the City Attorney, Robert Tafoya, are under FBI investigation. Hence, there are people who don't want Tam talking about the City budget and how money was moved around.

The second reason is that given all the frivolous filings by Medina, it appears that Medina has virtually a blank check to charge the City for any kind of work (unethical or otherwise). Since the judge issued the first order compelling Tam's deposition, Medina has already filed a temporary restraining order application, a second request for a protective order, a preliminary restraining order application, and a request for sanctions with another request for a protective order. (This money could be better spent on providing housing vouchers to residents and the growing homeless problem in the City.)

In total, Medina has filed four orders trying to get Tam out of this deposition. Medina terminated the last deposition when Cook, attempting to establish Tam's identity, asked what her name was at birth and where Tam was born. The judge hearing the case ordered a deposition referee for Tam. Nonetheless, both Medina and Tam still refuse to go through with the deposition.

Former City Council Member Pleads Guilty to Bribery Charges; Same Council Member Voted to Appoint Tam as Finance Director.

The public officials and administrators of the City Baldwin Park have been engaged in corruption. It was one of those facts everyone suspected and knew, but a difficult allegation to prove until now. Recently, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that former Council Member Ricardo Pacheco plead guilty to charge of bribery. At his house, $302,900 of dirty money was seized. The federal judge can sentence Pacheco up to ten years in prison.

Tam is linked to Pacheco, as Pacheco voted to appointed Tam as the new finance director on January 20, 2016. Pacheco has already proven that his votes generally come at a cash cost. For instance, Pacheco voted on the approval of the police contract for $37,900. 

The question is what Tam had to pay Pacheco for his vote. In another lawsuit, a former employee sued Tam, alleging that Tam cooks the books, misappropriates funds, and forces people to sign off on fraudulent paperwork. According to Ruelas, money that was meant to go to poor for housing instead went into accounts to give the public officials and administrators raises to themselves.

 Tam's Attorney with Questionable Ethics - Maribel Medina.

Maribel Medina
Maribel Medina

Medina has been accused of corruption in the past, leading to a resignation as general counsel. According to Mercury News, parents of a school district protested Medina for being corrupt and drafting fraudulent contracts for construction companies. The president of the teachers union, Rico Tamayo, accused Medina of writing "“up such a faulty contract that benefited Del Terra [the contractor] and didn’t do anything to protect our district". Tamayo stated, “That alone should be reason to get rid of her. ”

The accusations appear to be true. According to the article, "Medina was forced out by the El Rancho Unified School District in Southern California, after it was discovered that the contract she wrote for Del Terra included millions of dollars more in bond money than the school board had requested. She resigned before the board voted to terminate her contract."

Regarding the current cases with Baldwin Park, Medina has no problem lying to the court. In Ruelas v. City of Baldwin Park, the court already sanctioned Medina $8,500 for filing a frivolous motion. In City of Baldwin Park v. Steven McLean - the court found that Medina filed at least one frivolous cause of action. In Cook's cases, Medina was also found to have filed several meritless motion.

In Medina's recent attempt to obtain a restraining order, Medina not only filed a frivolous temporary restraining order application, which another judge denied, but she also falsely accused Cook of breaking into Tam's car in order to obtain a protective order. The judge called it "speculation".

For such unethical misconduct in these cases, Medina is being investigated by the State Bar of California, currently.

History of Retaliation Against Critics with Temporary Restraining Orders Applications.

The City has a pattern of filing meritless temporary restraining orders against critics. Former mayor, Manuel Lozano filed a temporary restraining order against Cook for booing him at the park and confronting him about how he liked strip searching, arresting him after booing the Mayor. The Mayor's temporary restraining order application was denied on July 29, 2014, because Cook had a First Amendment right to protest.

Then around March 15, 2016 - Council Member Pacheco filed a temporary restraining order against Greg S. Tuttle, another local critic, who was investigating their lobbying activities in Santa Barbara. Once again, the judge ruled that Tuttle has a First Amendment right to be involved in local politics and to root out corruption. 

At the hearing, Tuttle admitted that he wouldn't stop investigating Pacheco until Pacheco was put behind bars. Around five years later, that happened.

Reform Required

The above case proves the types of reform required to live in a democratic society. There are two problems here. One, the current checks and balances do not permit members of the public to know how their money is being spent or misspent. Two, attorneys need to be disciplined more for such unethical behavior. Reform is required.


The court denied the permanent restraining order against Cook on February 23, 2021.

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Breaking News - Former Member of Baldwin Park City Council Pleads Guilty to Bribery and Admits Receiving Nearly $38,000 to Support a Police Contract


US Department of Justice -

LOS ANGELES – A former Baldwin Park city councilmember has pleaded guilty to accepting tens of thousands of dollars in bribes – including $20,000 in cash – from a Baldwin Park Police officer working at the FBI’s direction, in exchange for the councilmember’s political support of the Baldwin Park Police Association’s contract with the city, the Justice Department announced today.

         Ricardo Pacheco, 58, of Baldwin Park, who was elected to the City Council in 1997 and served as mayor pro tempore in 2018, pleaded guilty on June 15 to a federal bribery charge. On Tuesday, federal prosecutors unsealed a criminal information against Pacheco, as well as portions of a plea agreement in which Pacheco agreed to fully cooperate in ongoing public corruption investigations. The unsealed plea agreement contains a redacted statement of facts to protect the integrity of ongoing aspects of those investigations.

         In the documents unsealed this week, Pacheco admitted to soliciting and receiving a total of $37,900 in bribes from a Baldwin Park police officer from January  through October 2018 to support and vote for the Police Association’s contract, which was worth at least $4.4 million over three years. The police officer who made the payments did so at the direction of the FBI after another officer and he approached the FBI and agreed to assist in its ongoing corruption investigation. In exchange for the payments, Pacheco voted in favor of the Police Association contract in March 2018.

         The payments to Pacheco included a $20,000 cash bribe in October 2018, which the police officer provided to him in an envelope in a Baldwin Park coffee shop.  Pacheco also solicited and received $17,900 in checks that he directed be made out to his church and sham political action committees he had set up using other individuals’ names but which he controlled.   

         As part of his plea agreement, Pacheco agreed to resign from his City Council seat, which he did in June. Pacheco also agreed to forfeit $83,145 in cash proceeds seized by the FBI, which included $62,900 that Pacheco said he had buried in his backyard in two locations.

         Pacheco pleaded guilty before United States District Judge Otis D. Wright II. Pacheco is scheduled to be sentenced on August 2, at which time he will face a statutory maximum sentence of 10 years in federal prison.

         The case against Pacheco was investigated by the FBI. This case is related to public corruption investigations being conducted by the FBI, IRS Criminal Investigation, and the United States Attorney’s Office.

         Any member of the public who has information related to this or any other public corruption matter in Los Angeles County is encouraged to send information to the FBI’s email tip line at or to contact the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office at (310) 477-6565.

         The case against Pacheco is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Thomas F. Rybarczyk of the Public Corruption and Civil Rights Section.

Monday, January 4, 2021

Ending 2020, Forecasting 2021 - the Year of the Metal Ox

The Year of the Rat's passed and the Year of the Ox has arrived. January, lat year, I was invited to a wedding in New Zealand. I'll never forget celebrating in a glitzy hall, drinking champagne and eating fine food. In New Zealand, I caught up with friends (who are like family). I even went free diving for abalone with one of them. At the time, talks of a new coronavirus were hitting the news. Who would have thought that a few months later, and with a sudden jolt, our world would shutdown? It just goes to show you how little control we have over the events that happen around us.

Last year, for the Year of Rat, I said that it was time to recognize my lowly position, to take advantage of all my resources, and to launch them in the best way to accomplish the missions at hand. I believe I was able to achieve that this year. Mainly, my cases involved the pursuit of the Truth.

City of Baldwin Park and the Public Records Act Lawsuits

Robert Tafoya, currently being investigated by the FBI.
Against the City of Baldwin Park, my client filed two public records act lawsuit with two causes of action. In one cause of action, I'm arguing that a contractor, in this case Robert Tafoya, cannot decide what records can be released and withheld. This is the job of the City - not a contractor. And as a result, the contractor makes a huge profit by virtually denying all public record act requests. 

In my second cause of action, the City withheld financial records. It appears that the City doesn't want to tell us who they're paying millions of dollars too. It appears like rampant corruption. And as we know, the City's failed its financial audit by the State Controller's Office, and currently, various public officials and administrators are being investigated by the FBI. 

The public officials and administrators have done everything it can to oppose this case. The law firm of Leal & Trujillo, through Maribel Medina, filed a frivolous anti-SLAPP motion to dismiss and a demurrer. They lost on both motions and the case progressed.

Rose Tam, Finance Director

Before the end of the year, I received three court orders to compel a deposition (a legal interview) with the Finance Director, Rose Tam. Medina did everything she could to stop the interview from happening. Nonetheless, the court ordered the deposition to continue. So disruptive and unprofessional was Medina's behavior, that the court has now ordered that a referee has to be present at our deposition, because Medina constantly objects, talks over everyone, tells the deponent not to answer, and cancels the interview without cause. Medina has done everything she can to stop us from getting to the truth, but we'll continue to pursue it.

So should be interesting to see what the Finance Director is hiding and why certain players are doing everything to prevent her deposition.

West Valley Water District Lawsuit

Like the Baldwin Park lawsuit, the West Valley Water District won't release credit card statements. General Counsel in that case is also Robert Tafoya, same Tafoya for the City of Baldwin Park. So, no surprises, that Tafoya will do everything he can to stonewall the truth coming out. Like Baldwin Park, West Valley also failed it's audit, and Tafoya is being investigated by the FBI.

Tafoya lied to the judge on several occasions. Tafaoy stated that he released all the credit card statements. Tafoya forced my client to pay for a CD, which supposedly would have all the records. I wrote to him and said that we're only paying once, and if you don't include all the records on the CD, we shouldn't be made to pay again. Tafoya then wrote back that he doesn't now if he would charge us again. (In other words, he wasn't going to produce all the records.)

As expected, we only received 10% of the records. I contacted him and the Finance Director three times about the issue, and they both refused to answer. So you know what I did?

I subpoenaed the Bank for the records. Did that get Tafoya's attention. He demanded and huffed and puffed that I withdraw my subpoena. But if Tafoya released all the records, what's the problem with me asking the bank for them? 

(In another part of this case, I appealed the trial court, because Tafoya missed the deadline to file an answer - so a default judgment issued. Tafoya lied to the judge he never received the complaint, and I told that judge he was lying, because we had clear proof that Tafoya received the complaint. The judge vacated the default judgment, and I had to appeal the judge. 

In general, I'm making a statement to the courts too. This type of dishonest and deceitful practice by attorneys needs to be called out and dealt with by the courts. Our system of justice is not supposed to operate with players like this, who constantly lie and hope they're not punished or caught. More on this later.)

Baldwin Park Unified School District and the Sexual Predator School Police Chief

Jill Poe, disgraced police chief
If you remember last year, I outed Jill Poe as a serial sexual predator, a felon, and a fraudster. You would think after outing this information that the school board would remove her from office. Nope. The District has decided to keep her working from a satellite office at over $165,000 a year. And guess who they got working instead?

The interim police chief, Carl Miedema, doesn't even meet the basic requirements of being a police officer. He doesn't even have basic training.

So the School District is permitting a felon at the helm and untrained interim police chief to be around our children, while they have guns, can arrest, and abuse or kill our children. Sadly, this isn't a joke. (Schools in Europe and Australia and New Zealand don't even have police officers at school.)

Besides being compulsive liars in court, the attorneys that represent the District has put out a laughable argument. Sarah Lustig, for the school district, states that Carl Miedema doesn't need basic training, because he was hired before 1999. That means for nearly 20 years, there's been a police officer at the school that's been there illegally without having basic training.

Lustig's position is wrong. One, the law doesn't say that. But two, the School District is saying because someone has seniority, they don't need to how to use a gun, especially when they're around children? (Lustig by the way was an embarrassment to LA County - when she bullied journalists, who asked for records, so they could report the truth to us. See LA Times article.)

Generally, my cases don't deal with the Baldwin Park School District. But this is certainly a wayward and rogue police unit. Parents really need to demand reform. Currently, dangerous levels of gun power are in the hands of dangerous and rogue officers, and they are being unsafely permitted around our children. Our children are not cattle that should be herded by wayward and violent and rogue cowboys. The youth of Baldwin Park need an education, not abusive policing around them.

First Amendment Case Against Baldwin Park

Sign that caused criminal charges against critic.
My client put up a jackass sign on his building, criticizing Ricardo Pacheco, a public official, as being corrupt. After Pacheco was caught in allegedly taking bribes, Pacheco resigned suddenly from his position as a council member in July of 2020. As a result, the City criminally charged my client's father, an 80 year old man, with a misdemeanor and demanded that he pay over $12,000 in fines. We filed a lawsuit in federal court.

The district court denied our request to strike down the City's temporary sign law as unconstitutional. So, we appealed to the Ninth Circuit. On December 10, 2020 - we had oral argument before the Ninth Circuit. In the meantime, we'll continue to litigate at the District Court. 

We're more certain now, than when we filed the lawsuit that the city's ordinance is evil and unconstitutional and violates the First Amendment right to speak freely and truthfully against those who make tyrannical laws and practices against us. Let's see where this case goes.

My traffic ticket, private criminal prosecution, and the US Supreme Court

In my traffic ticket case (related to the Jill Poe case) and in the above city case, the school district filed a traffic ticket against me illegally by paying a private law firm. I wrote all about this in my last article. The practice of privatizing the prosecution of the criminal justice is an evil that clearly runs afoul of the Constitution. What this practice does is that it enriches a few private law firms (who later make donations to public officials), prosecutes political enemies who criticize these public officials, and judges the innocent guilty and punishes them wrongly. 

This is the first time, and the first time I've had the opportunity to file a petition with the US Supreme Court. I don't know what the future holds. Even if the case is not heard, I feel like I've already won. This is because I brought sufficient attention to this hidden, corrupt, and festering issue that others may have completely missed. Hopefully, other lawyers will see the problem and advocate the arguments I've laid down.

The Year of the Rat

I mentioned last year, that the lowly and small rats were shrewd and heeded their mission to appear at Buddha's birthday. I took the journey of the rat to mean that the year  of 2020 should be one, where in my position of weakness, I figured out ways to take advantage of all my strengths and marshal it against the enemy and be faithful in the mission to expose the truth and make the lives of poor more bearable.

Given that all my clients are poor, and given all that I accomplished this year, I've achieved that goal, but I need to press on.

The Year of the Ox

The ox is completely the opposite of the rat. It's huge and slow and not cunning. Nonetheless, the oxen work hard, are loyal to his farmer master, and works and tills the farm for the harvest to come. 

Likewise, I'll make sure to work hard and be loyal to cause of Truth and love in hopes of a great harvest to come.

One problem I've noticed with the City of Baldwin Park is that it appears that it's been misappropriating the housing fund.  In simple English - the public officials and administrators have been stealing this money, which should be going to the poor in the form of housing vouchers. I hope that for 2021 and going forward, we can make sure that this money goes to the poor to alleviate the hardship they already face daily. Our money shouldn't be going to the exorbitant salaries of administrators, public officials, and they're friends. That would be the right way to spend money, which is what it was meant for.

Happy New Year. Out with the old. And with the new. I welcome the Year of 2021 - the Year of the Metal Ox.