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UPDATE: 1:00PM: 05.23.2014: WE’VE JUST BEEN NOTIFIED THAT JOHN BRANDRIFF HAS SENT A REQUEST TO CITY MANAGER SCOTT BARBER AS TO A “FINDING” ON THE COMPLAINT, BE IT “FOUNDED”,” SUSTAINED” ETC.  BARBER HAS SENT A RESPONSE BACK TO BRANDRIFF, “YOU SHOULD ANTICIPATE BEING CONTACTED IN THIS REGARD SOON.”  INVESTIGATORS HAVE STATED THAT BOTH BRANDRIFF AND THE CHIEF’S STORY WERE CONSISTENT WITH EACH OTHER.  With this said, we can come to the conclusion that the incident occurred as indicated.  With this in mind, we will keep you posted if new details arise regarding any disciplinary actions which may be handed down by the City Manager to the Chief.

“When a City employee with a gun and a badge makes these statements it is the worst kind of intimidation and bullying…”

John Brandriff, a Ward 7 Council candidate back in 2011 and who also served on the City’s Community Police Review Commission (CPRC), tells his story of his verbal exchange with Chief Sergio Diaz, which didn’t end copacetically.  As a result, a complaint was filed against Diaz, and sent to City Manager Scott Barber for review.  Below is that letter.

 

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CLICK THIS LINK TO VIEW JOHN BRANDRIFF’S COMPLAINT LETTER TO CITY MANAGER SCOTT BARBER

According to the complaint letter, Chief Diaz’s expression of disdain stemmed from public comments made at a CPRC meeting in February of this year.  At this meeting Brandriff expressed his disappointment of the Chiefs lack of participation in the Mental Health/Police forum that was conducted at Bobby Bonds Park.  The actual comment was taken from audio at the CPRC meeting, it is as follows:

..as I said before, hopefully you guys will get a better response from the Chief than the forum did.  There were probably 10 or 12 different organizations from all over this City, and from L.A. and out of the County.   And, he (Diaz) didn’t really deemed it necessary when invited, to come and offer up anything to the community.  It was was hugely disappointing for me.  I just thought that there was more community involvement than that..

After expressing this comment, Brandriff states he was “nodded” outside by Assistant Chief Vicino who expressed his concerns of the statement he just made.  Listen to the actual CPRC audio of the comment by clicking the below link, (comment begins approximately around the 20.00 minute mark).

CLICK THIS LINK TO HEAR THE ORIGINAL CPRC AUDIO OF BRANDRIFF COMMENTING ON ON CHIEF DIAZ’S LACK OF PARTICIPATION IN THE MENTAL HEALTH/ POLICE FORUM.

What happened next at the Fox Theater only surmised to Brandriff that the conversation he had with Vicino was shared with Diaz.  What you read next is verbatum from Brandriff’s complaint letter:

I would like to relay an incident that happened to me Sunday night March 9th 2014 at the Fox Theater.  My wife and I arrived with Councilmember Davis and his wife to attend the showing of “West Side Story”.  Shortly after going inside we saw the Chief of Police, Sergio Diaz, and proceeded to say hello.  Councilmember Davis was in front of me and talked to the Chief first. When I went to shake hands with the Chief he pulled me closer and stated that should I ever have any concerns about the way he runs his department that I “should grow some balls and talk to him”.  I responded that I thought discussing some of the issues would be a good idea and that if he had time next week we could get together, it was then that I realized the Chief was very agitated because his response was very abrupt and curt when he said “oh I’ll make the time”.  By this time the rest of my party was starting up the stairs to our seats and I asked Chief Diaz if there was a specific number or person to contact to arrange the meeting he then reached in his pocket, obviously angry and shoved his card at me while moving closer and said “If you have any more political aspirations don’t make an enemy out of me”.

The letter below is the response from City Manager Scot Barber to John Brandriff, which assured him that the Human Resource Department did a full investigation, and that Barber will take appropriate action in accordance with related rules and policies.

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CLICK THIS LINK TO VIEW LETTER SENT TO BRANDRIFF BY CITY MANAGER SCOTT BARBER

An isolated incident you would think?  Not quite, we are seeing a pattern of behavior that actually extends into the community.  As Brandriff stated, “…the kind of behavior you might expect in third world countries not in our City or our Country.”  Again, this is not an isolated incident, Ward 3 Councilman Mike Soubirious had a similar experience whereby the Chief appears to threaten his political career.  According to the PE, the whole thing seemed to begin with a series of emails sent out by Councilman Soubirous to his constituents concerns regarding vagrants and panhandlers.  The response from RPD was that “our hands are tied” or ‘there’s nothing we can do.”  Evidently, Soubirous states he didn’t send an email to Diaz, but the email was forwarded to Diaz by another councilman.  We are thinking here at TMC, could it have been Adams?  If so, would that have been a Brown Act violation we asked?  Incidently, another unamed councilman has been accused of violating the Brown Act, and a complaint filed submitted to the DA, we all know how that will end.  Regardless, that never seemed to stop Adams before.  In response, Diaz wrote back to Councilman Soubirous that no good can come from labeling dedicated public servants as “lazy.”  The next statement by Diaz seems to be on the political threatening side, Diaz states that, “it would be politically unwise to declare war on you cops.”  Already we get the feeling that trouble is a brewing.   We asked the question what kind of history does Diaz have in Los Angeles?  Why is a Chief of Police out threatening elects and candidates?  Why is he acting as some sort of rouge underworld boss shaking down and hard balling constituents asking questions and threatening those who have aspirations of running for office?  Difficult as it seems, Riverside has serious problems in RPD, and no one is minding the store when minding the store are the residents of Riverside.  Diaz was hired by former City Manager Brad Hudson, in which questions still abound on his creative ways of finding money for projects.  Would Diaz’s undisclosed behavior and actions within the City of Riverside be creating a “hostile work environment?”

There have been other incidents on record, one with public speaker Karen Wright when she spoke out at public comment on the naming of El Tequesquite Park to Bonaminio Park.  Another incident occurred with community activist Christina Duran, where she was seated next to County Supervisor Bob Buster who witnessed the whole Diaz exchange.  Another confrontation occurred with “Five Before Midnight” blogger Mary Shelton at a ACLU event.  At this event he (Diaz) confront Shelton, and ask the question, “What are you doing here? Who allowed you to come to this forum?”  An ACLU representative had to intervene to actually smooth over Diaz’s aggressive questioning.  Some are simply calling him a “drama queen.”  Many resident/taxpayers are asking the question of why he hasn’t been fired by City Manager Scott Barber? Is he not representing the interest of the taxpayer because he has obligations that superside the taxpaer? There are many more that, whom were asked not to be revealed, for fear of City and RPD retaliation, but we are even hearing of events occurring in Los Angeles which involve Diaz that are disturbing.  Again, this is the legacy of former City Manager Brad Hudson, the current City Attorney Gregory Priamos and the former Mayor Ron Loveridge.   Even TMC was drawn in to Diaz’s questionable behavior by a comment we made.  This email came from to us stating that Diaz wanted to meet with us, not to talk about how to make the community better, but because of a comment made.  The following is an email sent to TMC back in 2011.

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CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE EMAIL

Sorry, we had to redact to protect individuals from possible retaliation by RPD or other City Officials … after all as most residents understand, this is Riverside…

What Diaz doesn’t get, is that the Community of Riverside also felt slighted when he stated that some of the critics are “sitting at home eating Cheetos in their underwear.”  In addition, he stated in the PE, “It’s a challenging job,” Diaz told me. “It’s not a job for people who prefer to be in their mommy’s basement commenting on news stories.”  Well alrighty Chiefy, we get it… Yes Myrah, we see you signaling that the bag is empty!  Let’s break out a fresh bag of Cheetos.. By the way, was that underwear custom tailored?  Yes the Chief is very handsome and very married, please don’t use 911 to call him again!

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But Diaz’s behavior might be the least of his worries, former Police Administrative Service Manager, Karen Aquino in a letter to California Attorney General claims misuse of funds through Diaz’s foundation.  http://www.riversidepolicefoundation.org  Some of the allegations Aquino makes in the letter is she states Assistant Police Chief  Chris Vicino ran the foundation on City time.  This my friend, if true is known as “time card fraud.”  She also alleges the city funds were directed toward the foundation, and a substantial amount of staff time was dedicated to the foundation at the expense of normal daily police operations.  The allegations of misuse of Police Asset Forfeiture monies was also addressed in this complaint.

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CLICK THIS LINK TO VIEW FULL LETTER

Of course, the same law firm, Cihigoyenetche, Grossberg and Clouse, who found no wrongdoing when former City Manager Brad Hudson hired them at a cost of $150K to investigate allegations of wrongdoing on himself, came to the same conclusion when they were hired to investigate allegations against Chief Diaz.  The City of Riverside can pull a Governor Chris Christie when it comes to investigating themselves, and misinform the taxpayers of Riverside that this is a valid investigation, but it’s all “smoke and mirrors.”  Since Police Asset Forfeiture monies are Federal monies, only the Department of Justice (DOJ) can justify and bring forth a legal determination.

“Respect for the community, respect for other officers, respect for ourselves is going to be the byword by which I will attempt to lead the city of Riverside over the next few years,” he said. “Out of respect comes every other good quality that we strive for in a police department and police officer.” - Riverside Police Chief Sergio Diaz

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BELOW IS A QUOTE WHICH COULD BE FOUND ON THE COMMUNITY POLICE REVIEW COMMISSION WEBSITE:

“Without freedom of thought, there can be no such thing as wisdom; and no such thing as public liberty without freedom of speech.”  — Benjamin Franklin

 So what we’ve seen, is a Chief or Police out of control.  He is obviously not community orientated, as he was originally hired to heal the city, whereby, he has only been confrontational, intimidating and threatening to the residents and citizens of the City of Riverside.  Even the RPD officers are questioning his abilities and qualifications.  After all, he was hired by a former City Manager who had a record of credit card fraud!  I believe it was still okay with the City of Riverside.  But if you have the same qualifications and challenge the city, you will be destroyed.

PEPPER FILES FEDERAL LAWSUIT AGAINST THE CITY OF RIVERSIDE!

JUST IN:6:00PM: ATTORNEY LETITIA PEPPER, WHO WAS ARRESTED FOR CLAPPING IN JUNE OF 2013 FILES LAWSUIT AGAINST THE CITY RIVERSIDE!

According to a press release, former BB&K Attorney, Letitia Pepper files lawsuit against the City of Riverside  for the June 25, 2013 arrest and detainment.  Pepper was arrested for applauding at a City Council meeting last year.

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According to Pepper’s attorney, Jason Thompson, said Mayor Bailey’s animus towards Ms.Pepper appeared to have grown after she wrote in defense of people, which the Mayor had “dressed-down” during the earlier June council meeting. In her letter written to him two weeks before she was arrested for applauding, Pepper addressed the Mayor’s approval of some people and regular attacks on others. During the earlier council meeting, video footage shows Mayor Bailey telling certain citizens they were not allowed to applaud. However, a review of the same footage shows Bailey regularly allowing applause by people he clearly favors. In her letter, Pepper referred to Mayor Bailey’s selective approval and disapproval of citizens writing that the city council had become “so emboldened that it thinks it can treat audience members differently because of who they are.” Pepper continued that approval based on whether a citizen agrees with the position of the Mayor or council members violates the First Amendment. No arrests or warnings for applause on issues Mayor Bailey supported or of people he favors were made during the June 11 or June 25 meetings.

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PRESS RELEASE City Sued for Arresting Lawyer Who Applauded During City Council Meetin (click link to view)

Pepper, who previously worked at Best, Best & Kreiger, a law firm that has represented multiple cities in lawsuits against seriously ill and disabled medical marijuana patients, began advocating on behalf of those citizens after she herself was diagnosed with a terminal illness. Papers filed in federal court by Pepper allege that anti-patient Riverside Mayor William “Rusty” Bailey was retaliating against Pepper in-part because of his long-time dislike for people prescribed medical marijuana and because Pepper had written a letter to him after he’d threatened citizens who applauded during a June 11 council meeting. According to Pepper’s attorney, Jason Thompson, Riverside has been one of the most aggressive opponents of medical marijuana in California. Thompson explained that, despite passage of the state’s 1996 Compassionate Use Act, in May, 2013, with the help of law firm Best, Best & Kreiger, the city prevailed against a group of patients forcing them to leave the City. After winning the decision against patients, Mayor Bailey announced the city had won a “major victory” in its fight against patients. At the same time, the city announced it was shutting-down all remaining patient collectives. Thompson said that although marijuana reduces the size of cancer tumors according to the federal government’s National Cancer Institute, the City has effectively prevented thousands of its disabled and seriously ill citizens from accessing medicine.

The lawsuit filed by Pepper seeks an order requiring the City to follow its own rules as well as seeks money damages. Calls to the Riverside City Attorney’s office and to Mayor Bailey were not returned.  More to come on the trials and tribulations of  “Clappergate!”  Click this link to view TMC’s story on the arrest of Letitia Pepper for the clapping incident.

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THANKS TO DON GALLEGOS FOR HIS ARTWORK ABOVE (CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE)

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WHAT ARE OTHERS THINKING ABOUT THIS CLAPPING INCIDENT?  IS CLAPPING A REAL PROBLEM IN RIVERSIDE?, VIEW THIS TMC STORY!

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UPDATE: MAY 21, 2014: NEW PE STORY BY ALICIA ROBINSON: INVESTIGATIONS OF COUNCIL CLOUDED BY UNKNOWNS:  New article ask the question regarding the Soubirous and Davis investigation, as to what policies or procedure is guiding city officials.  The City has been vague and secretive of the inquisition regarding the complaint and who are behind the filing.

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COUNCILMAN MIKE SOUBIROUS, WARD 3                           COUNCILMAN PAUL DAVIS, WARD 4

UPDATE: POSSIBLE FELONY CHARGES TO BE FILED AGAINST DISTRICT ATTORNEY PAUL ZELLERBACH FOR CAMPAIGN TAMPERING:

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LET’S GET BEYOND THIS, SO I FU.KED UP!  I STILL NEED YOUR VOTE!

We actually knew there was something wrong with this guy, when we brought stacks of info to the “Z” himself, and his associate brought a file of TMC articles, which they wanted to know who was writing them.  Further, are Grand Jury complaint made against former Riverside Police Chief Russell Leach’s wife, Connie Leach, was squashed in the middle of interviews, and we were told the allegations were unfounded.  We know now we were not an isolated incident.  Why it was squashed, we don’t know.  Was there interference by the City of Riverside?  We don’t know.  Was there tampering?  We don’t know.  We could only speculate, and that is not good enough.  What we do know, is that we were made to feel as if we were the provocateur, just for asking the questions..  We found it quite remarkable, when Zellebach made his most telling statement to us, “Is it illegal, or just bad business?”  Why would someone tell us this?  We then asked the question, “How connected and obligated is he to City of Riverside Elected Council? To Judges? To the City Attorney? To the Grand Jury?  and possibly influencing the Grand Jury?  In November of 2011 we asked that question in a TMC posting of “TRIANGLE OF INFLUENCE.”

TMC, RATED RIVERSIDE’S MOST “SLANDEROUS” AND MEZZSPELLED, “MISSPELLED” AND “OPINIONATED” BLOG SITE!  TEMPORARILY BLOCKED BY THE CITY OF RIVERSIDE AT PUBLIC ACCESS SITES WITHIN THE CITY, THEN UNBLOCKED.  I GUESS YOU CANNOT DO THAT ACCORDING TO ACLU.  NOW TAGGED LOCAL BLOGGERS OR LOCAL MEDIA?  RATED ONE TWO ONE STAR OUT OF FIVE IN TERMS OF COMMUNITY APPROVAL RATINGS..  TMC IS NOW EXCLUSIVELY ON FILE WITH THE COUNTY OF RIVERSIDE’S DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S OFFICE, AND PROSSIBLY POSSIBLY ON FILE WITH THE CITY OF RIVERSIDE’S POTENTIAL SLAPP SUIT LIST… WE WILL HAVE TO ASK GREGORY ABOUT THAT ONE ( OUR PEOPLE WILL HAVE TO CONTACT HIS PEOPLE)… AGAIN, THANK-YOU COMMUNITY OF RIVERSIDE AND THE CITY OF RIVERSIDE EMPLOYEE’S FOR YOUR SUPPORT!   COMMENTS ALWAYS WELCOMED, ESPECIALLY SPELL CHECKERS!  EMAIL ANONYMOUSLY WITH YOUR DIRT OR FOR CONTACT!   THIRTYMILESCORRUPTION@HOTMAIL.COM

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This was an article we posted back in May of 2012 when we requested all contracts for outside legal help by the City Attorney’s office.  There were no documents responsive!  This was recently brought to the forefront with a new article by Dan Bernstein from the Press Enterprise, “Riverside: The (Hidden) Cost of Business.”   Bernstein refers to all the non contractual outside legal services which are not documented, a hidden cost as he calls it, but not hidden to taxpayer monies.  One of the most striking documents we at TMC found a couple of years ago was one which Best, Best & Krieger had their own charge card, to charge the City of Riverside as they needed to for legal work rendered.  Charges to the tune in excess of six figures?

CorpCard    CCTWO    CCTHREE    CCFOUR    CCFIVE

CLICK THIS LINK TO VIEW FULL DOCUMENTS OF CORPORATE CARD

 The writers of the below public records request were trying to determine by what authority did the City Attorney’s Office claim their right to hire outside legal without City Council approval.  The following first two documents are the letter of request to the City Attorney’s Office asking them to answer the question of no contracts.  The last letter is a response by City Attorney Greg Priamos stating there are no documents responsive.

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CLICK ON ABOVE DOCUMENT IMAGES TO ENLARGE

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CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE

The question then arose was because of Section 702 Eligilbility, powers and duties of the City Attorney, from the City of Riverside City Charter.   This section of the charter stated, “The City Council shall have control over all legal business and proceedings and may employ other attorneys to take charge of any litigation or to assist the City Attorney therein.”  We were told that state bar requires a lawyer to provide a contract for any work done for a client.  We believe that Section 702 makes all outside legal services require approval by the majority of the City Council.

With this in mind, an new issue arose, this was of the City Manager, Scott Barber.  The PE reported that the city has hired, with two contracts of $49K each, a law firm to conduct an investigation of two councilman, Davis and Soubirous.  The $49K is significant because it is just below the $50K cap that the city manager can spend without seeking council approval.  We don’t contest that the City Manager has the right to spend this money without council approval, but we don’t believe that Section 701 of the City Charter gives the City Manager the authority to hire outside legal without City Council approval.

Section 703 of the City Charter says: “The city clerk shall have the power and be required to: (c) maintain separate books, in which a record shall be made of all written contracts and official bonds.”  We believe the intent of this charter requirement is for there to be a publicly accessible record of how public funds are being spent.  The practice of hiring outside legal services circumvents the intent of this section.

 Section 1401 of the city charter states: “the violations of any provision of this charter shall be deemed a misdemeanor and be punishable upon conviction by a fine of not exceeding one thousand dollars or by imprisonment of a period not exceeding six months or by both such fine and imprisonment.”  We can therefore ask the question, “Is it per incident?”  If it is, it certainly can add up for some individuals.  When we are talking about millions of dollars, as indicated in the Press Enterprise, we have to ask the question, “Does it become a felony?”  How then can one account for such mismanagement of taxpayer monies without a legal rationale for the beneficial purposes of those monies?  What is the real truth here that appears to have been circumvented by City Attorney and City Managers by a document called a City Charter?  A document which appears not to be abided by when it should.

We say this because of the circumstances.  We bring the incident which involved our current City Manager Scott Barber. Just in September of 2012, City Manager Scott Barber decided to take his City Manager hat off and play Council by authorizing a change order of $2.5 million without council authority for the Fox Performance Plaza.  He brought the issue to Council and basically appeared they would rubber stamp the idea, after-the-fact.  Had this type of shenanigans been done before by the prior City Manager?  The City Manager’s discretionary spending cap is at $50,000.00, anything over that amount must go to council.  Certainly violated the Charter Amendment.  What made Barber think that he had the authority to act as an elect and ferret it out without them?  A complaint should have been filed against him with Human Resources, and Council should have fired him immediately.

Or the time, which involved City Attorney Greg Priamos denying that he had anything to do with the command for the arrest of public speaker, Karen Wright.  Officer Sahagun was commanded by the City Attorney to arrest public speaker Karen Wright.  Then Priamos calls the police report “inaccurate”, this then implies that officer Sahagun is s liar.  Brian Smith, RPOA President states, “we call that a lie in the profession, and the State of California calls it lying in a police report a crime.”  So if it is in fact a lie, will Priamos prosecute Officer Sahagun for falsifying a police report?  To this day it remains unclear what Priamos meant by referring to the report as “inaccurate.”  In addition, has yet to give an explanation of what was actually said between himself and Officer Sahagun.  Again is City Attorney Greg Priamos a liar?

The question is, “Why should the taxpayer put up with what appears to be “rogue” activity?  What should be done about it?  Why isn’t anything being done about it now?”  It is appearing that by default we are experiencing the “two sets of rules syndrome.”  So why does the house always win, when the taxpayer should be in charge?

MAY 2012 ORIGINAL TMC ARTICLE: CITY OF RIVERSIDE: OFFICE OF CITY ATTORNEY: “WE DON’T NEED NO STINKING CONTRACTS!”

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It has been apparent to the community of the close working relationship between the law firm Best, Best & Krieger and the City of Riverside.  What’s quite evident in fact is that the working relationship between the two entities involves oral contracts.

According to City Attorney Gregory Priamos no hard contracts exist not even a retainer agreement, when a public request act is initiated.   When it comes to a public accounting of the expenditures of the City Attorney, as requested by Mayoral Candidate Dvonne Pitruzzello, a rejection letter below, for the request was sent.  According to the letter Gregory sent, there is no such accounting that has been prepared, and according to law, the law does not impose any duty to create such a record.  Therefore, non is required.  Since when has the taxpayer not be allowed to know what their money is being spent on?  This should be disturbing to many people, because it states that they treading waters they should not be treading.  And according to the law, the City Attorney’s office is not required to disclose the spending of taxpayer monies.  You have to know there is something very wrong with this picture.  Common sense would tell you there is something to hide behind the dark glasses of City Attorney Gregory Priamos.  But there was nothing to hide after allowing $159 million in illegal RDA loans to be approved by City Council, then rejected by the Finance Office for the State of California.  What would then be the result of his performance evaluation, which was being discussed in closed sessions Tuesday April 4, 2012, at City Council?  I’m sure, just as it went well for our former City Manager, this will go well..

CLICK THIS LINK TO VIEW DENIAL LETTER

Above is a letter sent to Mayoral Candidate Dvonne Pitruzzello regarding her request for an accounting of the City Attorney’s from Gregory Priamos.  The law does state that if no documents are responsive to ones request, they, the city has to help you identify the request.

On 05/15/2012 at City Council, Mayoral Candidate Dvonne Pitruzzello stated to City Attorney Gregory Priamos, ‘how many denials of public records act does it take to get disbarred”?  What’s a real contradiction is that the City of Riverside has ‘retainer agreements’ for services with every other law firm they do business with.  Though an excess in millions of dollars have been paid out to BB&K, there has been no pertinent or rational explanation to the taxpayer.  We were even denied BB&K’s billing hours under the public records act.  As taxpayers, should we believe that we should expect anything less than a written contract?  I would say not.  When individuals ask for a rational explanation regarding no contracts, the city’s implication to the community is that “we don’t need no stink’n contracts”?  Is this an act of arrogance or defiance by a public servant toward their employer, the taxpayer?  If anyone has dealt with lawyers there is always a contract, but it appears that the City is the only entity that is allowed to perform this “verbally”, or as we understand it, not even with a “memorandum of understanding.”  One of the biggest law firms in the nation, Best, Best & Krieger is hands down an exception with the City of Riverside?   What is it between the two?  As community residents, are we also to accept the fact that Best, Best & Krieger is allowed to dictate carte blanche their legal fees to the taxpayer via their own credit card?  It seems so, according to the following documents, but what else is the public to otherwise believe?

CLICK LINK TO VIEW FULL DOCUMENT

 And we’re not talking nickels and dimes, but six figures and more.  So the question is, who’s in charge and watching taxpayer’s coffers?  It appears the city council is not, not even the mayor, it definitely appears that the city attorney’s office isn’t according to the excessive litigation cost.  So who’s minding the store?  Inquiring taxpayers would like to know.  But just maybe, the store has an open door policy, right to the cash register.  Why? Quite possibly in their incestuous relationship that has grown over the years.

Such as the cozy arrangement between certain ex city of riverside employees or just BB&K employees who are strategically now on city committees.  Conflict of interest?   The cast of BB&K characters interlaced with City of Riverside, who previously worked with the city, on their boards and committees are numerous.  Former Grover Trask (former Riverside County District Attorney), Michelle Quellette (City of Riverside’s Charter Review Committee), Jack Clark (Committee to name City Hall after Mayor Ron Loveridge) or Charity Schiller (Vice Chair of Riverside Downtown Partnership).  BB&K has also been in the media with the City of Bell, whereby the city is now suing BB&K attorney Edward Lee for faulty legal advice.  Even Governor Jerry Brown subpoenaed BB&K records regarding pay packages in Bell, California.   In any case, we don’t know how this one fell through the roof, but we did manage to receive one arrangement between BB&K and the City of Riverside to represent Former Chief of Police Russ Leach.  What a surprise, it’s signed by City Attorney Greg Priamos and Grover Trask, former Riverside County District Attorney now in the employment of BB&K.  Oh lets’ just call it a “contract”, or correctly a “retainer agreement”.  Tomato, tomahto, oh let’s just call the whole thing off…  Wish we could, but it gets better.

CLICK THIS LINK TO VIEW WHOLE DOCUMENT

Then there is developer Mark Rubin’s connected liaison with the City of Riverside and the City’s alter ego, the Redevelopment Agency. There is no doubt the brazen display of a conflict of interest displayed and perpetrated by the City of Riverside in approving the Citrus Tower’s lease deal between Best, Best & Krieger, Developer Mark Rubin and the City of Riverside.  “Three peas in a pod?”  Is it at all possible that the BB&K deal was orchestrated and designed to provide a lease revenue stream for the bonds held on the Citrus Tower project?  Was BB&K involved in bond advice for the city?  Councilman Paul Davis first told colleagues he’d heard concerns about “the general perception of the gift of public funds and creating a monopoly” to benefit a private developer, but he ended by saying it was a moot point because the city already has signed a lease.  How long will the City of Riverside continue to terrorize the taxpayer with shear incompetence and their breach of fiduciary duty to protect the coffers of hard earned taxpayer monies by the City Attorney’s Office? Good questions for City Attorney Greg Priamos, who coicidently has attended two of my alma maters, Loyola Marymount University and the University of Southern California.  A sad day for both university’s Gregory.  The question in the community are the ruthless expenditures within the City Attorney’s Office.  How much taxpayer money has been litigated out, or settled out as if it was your own, without any rational cognitive reasoning?  Or was it just for sport?  Or is the threat of litigation just a city tool used against the opposition for what is known in the business as “client control”?  Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.  TMC believes the later is mostly true at our expense.  Therefore why would the city litigate to the tune of 9 million, then lose, and then have to award out 250K in one documented case?  Of course, that wouldn’t happened because after all as taxpayers we should all believe what the city does is rational and in our best interest.  Well the truth of the fact is, that it did, and nothing was in our best interest.  Though he serves at the pleasure of the council, should the City Attorney answer rightfully to the employer, which would be “we the people”?  This I say because the council and mayor has failed to supervise the activities of the city attorney.  The failure is such that we must ask the question of what makes one believe the city attorney needs to incorporate police lights with all the bells and whistles in their pimped out city vehicle? Where did one lose the sight of whose money it really is?  TMC can’t answer that, but I’m sure there is a rational answer from our city attorney, as in the case with the ‘no contracts allowed with our best customer.’  It may not be right but it is an answer.  Ultimately, the council and mayor is responsible for the activities, failures and actions of the city attorney.  In an article in Cactus Thorns, the 29 Palms City Council questions the spending to their City Attorney,  and when they looked at public records, that was even a total shock.   In this continuing painful saga, one can hire BB&K to run a city attorney’s office.  Carte Blanche in Riverside. For a price, instant city attorney, as in this article in The Orange County Register?  In the City of Yorba Linda, for example, BB&K attorney Sonia Carvalho represented the city in the capacity of the City Attorney for over a decade.  Conflict of interest? 

TMC, RATED RIVERSIDE’S MOST “SLANDEROUS” AND MEZZSPELLED, “MISSPELLED” AND “OPINIONATED” BLOG SITE!  TEMPORARILY BLOCKED BY THE CITY OF RIVERSIDE AT PUBLIC ACCESS SITES WITHIN THE CITY, THEN UNBLOCKED.  I GUESS YOU CANNOT DO THAT ACCORDING TO ACLU.  NOW TAGGED LOCAL BLOGGERS OR LOCAL MEDIA?  RATED ONE TWO ONE STAR OUT OF FIVE IN TERMS OF COMMUNITY APPROVAL RATINGS..  TMC IS NOW EXCLUSIVELY ON FILE WITH ZELLERBACH’S DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S OFFICE, AND PROSSIBLY POSSIBLY ON FILE WITH THE CITY OF RIVERSIDE’S POTENTIAL SLAPP SUIT LIST… WE WILL HAVE TO ASK GREGORY ABOUT THAT ONE ( OUR PEOPLE WILL HAVE TO CONTACT HIS PEOPLE)… AGAIN, THANK-YOU COMMUNITY OF RIVERSIDE AND THE CITY OF RIVERSIDE EMPLOYEE’S FOR YOUR SUPPORT!   COMMENTS ALWAYS WELCOMED, ESPECIALLY SPELL CHECKERS!  EMAIL ANONYMOUSLY WITH YOUR DIRT OR FOR CONTACT!   THIRTYMILESCORRUPTION@HOTMAIL.COM

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RIVERSIDE COUNCILMAN PAUL DAVIS GET’S SMART..

Councilman Paul Davis made the call to State Controller John Chiang’s office in order to initiate an audit this past Wednesday morning.  At City Council this past Tuesday, questions just seemed to abound in the audience, and when the answers to questions  just seemed not to be right, it just generated more questions.  The more questions that were asked specifically two Council member Davis and Soubirous, just seem to cause blow back by City personnel.  But why?  In July 2009 the rate for a single family dwelling was $14.94.  By July 2014, the rate was to be $28.55 + CPI (Consumer Price Index).  That evidently was not enough to cover increasing debt by a utility the public owns, and should actually get a divident in my eyes.  But who was running the store?  Because since it was not enough, Public Works had to pose an increase beyond $28.55 + CPI.  Councilman Mac Arthur motioned to pass the increase to $30.98 this July 2014, a $2.43 jump.  Many in the audience at City Council called out for a “recall.”  From 2009 to 2018 the sewer rate will jumped $16.04…quite remarkable!  Why did this happen?  Answers didn’t seem to fit logically into the template of rationality and the audience knew it..

The answers that were given was that CSD’s (Community Service Districst), such as the Jurupa Valley, Edgemont, Rubidoux and Highgrove were not paying their fair share.  The Sewer equipment needed to be upgraded because some of it went back as far as 1940.   Also, the recession, population growth rates, Federal requirement and as Councilman Adams suggested a “miscalculation.”  Of course, the one we know, is debt service from all the bonds taken out against the sewer.  Bonds that should have been used for the very sewer upgrade they are asking for.

The most significant points Council members Soubirous and Davis inquired about, how did the City of Riverside reach this pinnacle point of desperation?  In other words, how did it all happen?  Residents pay a sewer fee in order to maintain, repair and replace sewer related items.  If the fees were adequate over the years, maybe more than adequate, that the City borrowed/loaned/advanced monies to other City projects etc. etc., in the midst, did they inadvertently leave are sewer system to the back burner?  Therefore, are these rate hikes really necessary?  It seems to me, that someone was negligent at overseeing the property of the public.

While Councilman Gardner attempted to say that maybe we won’t need an audit, because we have CSD (Community Service Districts) revenue, reclamation water sales, rate hikes and more bond sales…   Councilman Mac Arthur said nothing was done for many years, but motions for rate hike increase, does Mayor Bailey motion to second?  Rate hikes are necessary in order for bond sales to occur.  Both Gardner and Mac Arthur did not address Davis’s comment of bringing John Chiangs office for an audit of the sewer accounts.

The Membrane Bioreactor is it really necessary?  The reclaimed water as a result is looked at as a commodity and a revenue source!  Therefore, shouldn’t the residents receive a divident or a lower sewer rate as a result of  this?  Isn’t a Membrane Bioreactor indicative of being part of a City’s Purple Pipe Program?  This is another question which we hope the State Controllers Office will have an answer for.  What are we paying for?  Did the City of Riverside sneak in the purple pipe project into the sewer master plan to get around Proposition 218 formalities?  If this is the case will the City of Riverside be set up for another Proposition 218 violation? I’m certainly beginning to feel as many in the community feel, that there “corruption” within the City of Riverside.

Remember, we are a City which owns are own public utilities, we own are water rights, we own the sewer.  So why should we pay for the purple pipe apparatus, whereby reclaimed will be sold at a profit and the taxpayer won’t directly benefit?

Some years back when Utilities Director Dave Wright was in charge, they tried to place a new charge on the taxpaying residents for the water reclamation program also known as the Purple Pipe Program.  The program never went through because there was never a direct benefit to the resident, a proposition 218 possible violation, and residents are wondering if this program was sneaked in the new Sewer Master Plan Project.  Tom Boyd mentioned at City Council that once the water reclamation is completed that we will be able to generate a revenue source from it.  Here’s a link to an article from Loudoun Water, which mentions the Membrane Bioreactor and it’s relationship to reclaimed water and the purple pipe.

Secondly, what appeared to be quite discerning, was when Davis questioned what appeared to be discrepancies in posting of accounting entries.  Whereby the post entry date was done first then the input date was done later, whereby it should be vise versa.  Further, there were several months between the entries which didn’t appear to comply with normal standard accounting.  According to Davis there was a significant number of backdated entries, not just one or two.  CFO Bret Mason explained it was a practice of closing the books for the fiscal year.  Fired former Construction Contracts Administer, Sean Gill brought this issue questioning how the city does contracts.  TMC did a story on this whereby checks were made fromFederal CDBG funds before expiration of those funds, then placed in a desk until they were needed.  Below is a document which appears to be post dated.

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CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE

“The city fired me when I tried to make people aware of their corruption. Its been going on for years. Brad Hudson, Siobhan Foster and Tom Boyd all deserve to be fired for their corruption along with half of the city council. People think Bell is corrupt, I hope they keep digging into the City of Riverside.”  Sean Gill, commented in the Press Enterprise back in May of 2011.

At a finance committee meeting on Wednesday May 14, 2014, Councilman Paul Davis asked the question at to why the staff seems to always go nuts every time we ask a question?  This is probably very telling.  Staff is not use to being ask relevant questions in TMC’s eyes and may construe this behavior indicative with interfering with city staffs work or creating a hostile work environment..  Thus, we now see two councilman who ask tough questions and are now being investigated.  Who are the suspects at the crux of this investigation?  Councilman Soubirous asked at this meeting that a Workshop Committee be formed, for the record, to look into a forensic audit by the State Controllers office.  Again, the appearance of this idea made everyone nervous.  If everything is on the up and up, why should anyone be nervous?

Residents in their district and all over the City of Riverside are calling the Councilman Heroes!  This is a big deal, National News Agencies are being contacted, and are keeping a close eye on the City of Riverside.  The majority or the residents will back up the forces of good which will challenge the forces that exist in the City of Riverside.  Many residents simply feel intimidated to challenge the forces of the City of Riverside, as many feel they will be targeted by Code Enforcement indirectly for frivolous charges, which will cost individual residents financially to much to fight.  That’s how the City wins.  More to come on this.

UPDATE: IS HUMAN RESOURCES DIRECTOR RHONDA STROUT, A.K.A. LUXURY GIRL, LEAVING HER POSITION AT CITY HALL?

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CLICK THIS LINK TO VIEW THE HUMAN RESOURCES BROCHURE.

TMC, RATED RIVERSIDE’S MOST “SLANDEROUS” AND MEZZSPELLED, “MISSPELLED” AND “OPINIONATED” BLOG SITE!  TEMPORARILY BLOCKED BY THE CITY OF RIVERSIDE AT PUBLIC ACCESS SITES WITHIN THE CITY, THEN UNBLOCKED.  I GUESS YOU CANNOT DO THAT ACCORDING TO ACLU.  NOW TAGGED LOCAL BLOGGERS OR LOCAL MEDIA?  RATED ONE TWO ONE STAR OUT OF FIVE IN TERMS OF COMMUNITY APPROVAL RATINGS..  TMC IS NOW EXCLUSIVELY ON FILE WITH ZELLERBACH’S DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S OFFICE, AND PROSSIBLY POSSIBLY ON FILE WITH THE CITY OF RIVERSIDE’S POTENTIAL SLAPP SUIT LIST… WE WILL HAVE TO ASK GREGORY ABOUT THAT ONE ( OUR PEOPLE WILL HAVE TO CONTACT HIS PEOPLE)… AGAIN, THANK-YOU COMMUNITY OF RIVERSIDE AND THE CITY OF RIVERSIDE EMPLOYEE’S FOR YOUR SUPPORT!   COMMENTS ALWAYS WELCOMED, ESPECIALLY SPELL CHECKERS!  EMAIL ANONYMOUSLY WITH YOUR DIRT OR FOR CONTACT!   THIRTYMILESCORRUPTION@HOTMAIL.COM

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COUNCILMAN MIKE SOUBIROUS, WARD 3                           COUNCILMAN PAUL DAVIS, WARD 4

Tonight’s explosive Council meeting regarding the rate increases to residents, ended with questions regarding bonds, loans, advances and debt service to the taxpayer.   The new rate hikes were passed by Council, to replace the old.  According to Councilman Davis, this rate hike will be a 302% increase since the year 2008.  Councilman Davis also made a motion to bring  California State Controller John Chiang do to a forensic audit of the sewer.  Councilman Soubirous asked for same, but to include water and electric.  If we are to increase the rates we need to bring trust back to the community by having a independent entity evaluate the taxpayer’s books over the years.  Davis questioned CFO Brent Mason regarding posting dates and why some entries were backdated. The rest of Council and Mayor Bailey were visually disturbed and shaken by this call.  TMC was right, the ones who went for the rate increase were, Councilman Mike Gardner, Chris Mac Arthur, Steve Adams and Jim Perry.  When Councilman Jim Perry asked for a seperation of the issues, between the rate increases and forensic audit, the audience asked for a recall!  The audience was shocked at Perry’s position not to support the issue of a forensic audit, but he called for a workshop on it.  Councilman Soubirous and Davis can call the State Controller directly requesting an audit without the approval of council or a workshop!  Councilman Andy Melendrez was absent from council, was he glad he was?  What does this mean for the City of Riverside?  The end of corruption?  What is the Council afraid of finding?  A Swiss Bank Account?  It is evident that Davis and Soubirous find the atmosphere in the City of Riverside necessary to ask the State Controller to come in and bring closure for the taxpayer.  What is the nervousness of those council people who are against this.  Colusion?  Why wouldn’t they see this as a win, win situation for the taxpayer? Especially newcomer, Councilman Jim Perry?  Why would he attempt to divert attention to a prominent and relative issue somewhere else?  Did they get to him?  Coucilman Chris Mac Arthur asked the question to the City Attorney if it was proper to request the services of John Chiang’s office.  It was obvious that City Attorney Greg Priamos did not want an audit, when he told council that they should take CFO Mason’s word that the books are in order, but left to their discretion if an outside auditing should be requested.  This in lieu of a letter by an Code of Ethics Adjudicating Body Member, Keith Nelson, Ph.D, calling a local City of Riverside hired attorney Doug Smith a liar, and questioning the unscrupulous behavior of City Attorney Greg Priamos!  Why would anybody rely on the word of our City Attorney Greg Priamos, he has a track record of misinforming council.

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STATE CONTROLLER, JOHN CHIANG

FROM THE DESK OF SCOTT SIMPSON: SCOTT RESPONDS TO RIVERSIDE’S SEWER RATE HIKES:

Scott Simpson was former Chief of Enforcement for the California EPA Department of Toxic Substances Control, and also worked for the Department of Food and Agriculture in their Environmental Hazards Assessment Program specializing in ground water contamination:

Some times what the city does not tell you is most important to the decision to raise the sewer rates.
1. Hudson changed the financing stategy for sewer capital improvements away from voter approval of municipal bonds or property assessments or special taxes. These would show up on your property tax billing. We are still paying off capital improvement bonds from pre-Hudson era on our property tax bill. Bonds in general are a 30 year repayment obligation. Hudson took away your right to vote No on ever increasing debt which is what is driving these outrageous sewer rate increases.
2. Remember last night, staff kept saying the sixteen year period of no rate increases was pre-Hudson and bonds were financed differently. The truth is the operation and maintenance of the waste water facillity doesn’t out pace the cost of living. Especiallysince we experienced a recession that left 25% of our homes and businesses empty and thus not Flushing. This is the real reason they kept saying they have less waste water to treat along with less customer revenue.
3. California courts have ruled that rates fees and charges for sewer sevices supplied to the land are only for the purpose of recovering the annual cost of operation and maintenance. The rates are to be set annually utilizing the accounting records of the prior fiscal year. The courts said, this is the true Variable cost of the sewer service.
4. California courts also say that Fixed costs and Capital improvement cost and infrastructure replacement costs are not to be included in the sewer rates, fees and charges. They (fixed costs) must be a separate charge on the bill. They have also emphasized that capital costs are only lawfully recovered by voter approved municipal bonds, voter approved property assessments and/or voter approved special taxes. All of which will be collected on your property tax bill. The court specifically prohibited the inclusion of debt service in rates, fees and charges.
5. The courts also said that all customers pay the same rate for the same service to their property. This includes tax-exempt educational customers and all governmental agencies recieving the service.
6. The courts have also ruled that You as the indiviual property owner/renter recieving sewer services provided by a municipality can only be charged rates, fees and charges that do not exceed the actual (variable) cost of providing the service to your property. This means the city must individually determine the (variable) cost of the service you impose upon them.
7. Finally, our courts have ruled that when a municipality enters into a new instrument of debt of any kind, this act automatically creates a new demand for new tax revenue which must be approved by the voters before the debt is entered into.

- Scott Simpson

WAS FORMER CITY MANAGER BRAD HUDSON TO BLAME FOR THE SEWER WOES?

It is appearing that much of the problems that the City of Riverside is experiencing may be due to former City Manager Brad Hudson.  When Brad was City Manager for the City of Riverside TMC asked for a forensic audit of the taxpayer utility books, but he just would hide behind the computer, as our City Attorney Greg Priamos currently does.

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FORMER CITY MANAGER BRAD HUDSON

All this activity was in lieu of both Councilman Davis and Councilman Soubirous being investigated for complaints, of which we are not really sure of.  We don’t know who the accusers are and why the complaints were filed.  We know that Councilman and Congressional Candidate Steve Adams signed both contracts with the same law first to initiate the investigation.  Incidently,  these contracts were signed at the the City Manager’s cap of $49,000.00, anything over $50,000.00 must go to council for approval.  Are we looking at the origins of a conspiracy?

We do know that there has been friction with these two council members with the Chief of Police Sergio Diaz, City Manager Scott Barber, City Attorney Greg Priamos and possibly some of the Council members, when pertinent questions were asked and not answered to the desires of the council.

Former City Manager Brad Hudson hired City Manager Scott Barber and Chief of Police Sergio Diaz.  Councilman Steve Adams and Mayor William “Rusty” Bailey were supporters of Hudson.

TMC did a story on Christina Cortez, Whistleblower, back in December 2011, regarding bringing in the State Controller to look into the books of Montebello, California, which ended up being investigated by the FBI.

HERE’S ONE FOR RIVERSIDE POLICE CHIEF SERGIO DIAZ, WHO WE FIND THREATENING LOCAL ELECTS AND POLITICAL CANDIDATES!  There are many instances of outburst and threats by this individual who formerly worked for the Los Angeles Police Department.  Questions abound on his qualification, not only by TMC but by the residents of the City of Riverside which have not been addressed by those at City Hall.

TMC did a story back in June 2011 regarding Costa Mesa Police Chief Steven Stavely with his impressions of City Council.

Over the years, I have had city councils I thought were smart and thoughtful and ones who were less skilled. In every case, I know they were trying to do the right thing – I did not always agree, but clearly they were trying hard to improve the communities we all served. I have never, however, seen a council such as this one. They lack skill, training, education, knowledge, they fail to study (or at least learn). The majority either lies or are so lacking in the necessary skills that they actually believe the junk they say. They act as if they are owners of the business that is the municipal government of the City of Costa Mesa, but they are not, they are merely trustees of these public assets both human and physical and they fail in that role completely. They are in my opinion incompetent, unskilled and unethical.

UPDATE: MAY 21, 2014: NEW PE STORY BY ALICIA ROBINSON: INVESTIGATIONS OF COUNCIL CLOUDED BY UNKNOWNS:  New article ask the question regarding the Soubirous and Davis investigation, as to what policies or procedure is guiding city officials.  The City has been vague and secretive of the inquisition regarding the complaint and who are behind the filing.

    TMC, RATED RIVERSIDE’S MOST “SLANDEROUS” AND MEZZSPELLED, “MISSPELLED” AND “OPINIONATED” BLOG SITE!  TEMPORARILY BLOCKED BY THE CITY OF RIVERSIDE AT PUBLIC ACCESS SITES WITHIN THE CITY, THEN UNBLOCKED.  I GUESS YOU CANNOT DO THAT ACCORDING TO ACLU.  NOW TAGGED LOCAL BLOGGERS OR LOCAL MEDIA?  RATED ONE TWO ONE STAR OUT OF FIVE IN TERMS OF COMMUNITY APPROVAL RATINGS..  TMC IS NOW EXCLUSIVELY ON FILE WITH ZELLERBACH’S DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S OFFICE, AND PROSSIBLY POSSIBLY ON FILE WITH THE CITY OF RIVERSIDE’S POTENTIAL SLAPP SUIT LIST… WE WILL HAVE TO ASK GREGORY ABOUT THAT ONE ( OUR PEOPLE WILL HAVE TO CONTACT HIS PEOPLE)… AGAIN, THANK-YOU COMMUNITY OF RIVERSIDE AND THE CITY OF RIVERSIDE EMPLOYEE’S FOR YOUR SUPPORT!   COMMENTS ALWAYS WELCOMED, ESPECIALLY SPELL CHECKERS!  EMAIL ANONYMOUSLY WITH YOUR DIRT OR FOR CONTACT!   THIRTYMILESCORRUPTION@HOTMAIL.COM                                               

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CLICK THIS LINK TO VIEW FULL S&P BOND RATING FOR SEWER

According to a August 2013 sewer bond rating by Standard & Poor, the outlook is negative.  One of the concerns S & P had was relationship between declining revenue and rising debt service, which almost tripled to $18.3 million in 2013, from $6.2 million in 2012 and from a mere $817,000.00 in 2010 and 2011.  These increases were directly related to $241 million in bonds issuance in 2009, of which $204 million were Build America Bonds.

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CLICK TO VIEW MOODY’S RATING

In 2011 Moody’s assigned a rating of “Negative Outlook,” as a result of the $241 million in bonds and the debt service associated with it.  Not included in the rating is the concern of debt service of $6 million of the proposed bond issuance of $100 million in 2015!  Therefore, one can visualize the grave concern and if extrapolated according to the current number, one can derive why S & P came to their opinion.

Standard & Poor’s view is that the sewer funds maintenance of strong cash levels is important for credit quality, this is reflected in their single A rating.  Further, the concern is the sewer funds inability to significantly improve margins and DSC ( Debt Service Coverage) from recurring revenue could lead to additional downward movement in the rating.

Another concern S & P argued was the application of large cash reserves to soften (lessen) rate increases.  According to S & P this is an acceptable practice in most cases,  though the degree of subsidization in the City of Riverside, historically (the city’s track record) and as projected (forecasted) for the next few years, in S & P’s viewpoint, appears “aggressive.”

An additional concern is the additional $100 million bond issuance scheduled for 2015 which is expected to increase debt service requirements further to the tune of $6million!

Currently, the City of Riverside is in a court battle with the City of Jurupa Valley a CSD ( Community Service District) which the our City wishes Jurupa, as well as other CSD’s such as Rubidoux, Edgemont and Highgrove to pay a portion of the sewer construction.  The City of Jurupa Valley responded with this press release.

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REGIONAL WATER QUALITY BOARD AFFIRMS RIVERSIDE’S EXISTING WASTEWATER PLANT

TMC was on it when it asked the question back in August of 2012 on the City of Riversides bond ratings.  Already then we were seeing downgrades from our pristine AAA to downgrades to AA & A.  The title of our Posting was “TO MOODY TO FITCH, OR WILL POOR BE THE STANDARD IN THE RATING SYSTEM IN CALIFORNIA MUNICIPALITIES?”

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TMC opinion of which this boils down to is the legacy of former City Manager Brad Hudson.  We are seeing the repercussions of his decisions which unfortunately, will impact the residents of the City of Riverside, the taxpayer, in the course of higher taxes.  Unfortunately, to some, as Mayor Bailey, he was are “Moral Compass.”  If only he knew of his background…maybe he did…

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As the City stated, Hudson got things done, you know now how he did it.  Even former Councilwoman Nancy Hart use to say, bless her ignorant heart,  “I just don’t know where you find the money Brad!”  The taxpayer and their children will pay for it dearly.

Even back in 2009, a PE article recognized the need for massive sewer upgrade in the City of Riverside, and the question even then of sewer fund monies being borrowed leads to the need for a forensic audit by the State Controllers Office.

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RIVERSIDE ONLY NOW RECOGNIZING NEED FOR MASSIVE UPGRADE TO CITY’S SEWER SYSTEM

TMC, RATED RIVERSIDE’S MOST “SLANDEROUS” AND MEZZSPELLED, “MISSPELLED” AND “OPINIONATED” BLOG SITE!  TEMPORARILY BLOCKED BY THE CITY OF RIVERSIDE AT PUBLIC ACCESS SITES WITHIN THE CITY, THEN UNBLOCKED.  I GUESS YOU CANNOT DO THAT ACCORDING TO ACLU.  NOW TAGGED LOCAL BLOGGERS OR LOCAL MEDIA?  RATED ONE TWO ONE STAR OUT OF FIVE IN TERMS OF COMMUNITY APPROVAL RATINGS..  TMC IS NOW EXCLUSIVELY ON FILE WITH ZELLERBACH’S DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S OFFICE, AND PROSSIBLY POSSIBLY ON FILE WITH THE CITY OF RIVERSIDE’S POTENTIAL SLAPP SUIT LIST… WE WILL HAVE TO ASK GREGORY ABOUT THAT ONE ( OUR PEOPLE WILL HAVE TO CONTACT HIS PEOPLE)… AGAIN, THANK-YOU COMMUNITY OF RIVERSIDE AND THE CITY OF RIVERSIDE EMPLOYEE’S FOR YOUR SUPPORT!   COMMENTS ALWAYS WELCOMED, ESPECIALLY SPELL CHECKERS!  EMAIL ANONYMOUSLY WITH YOUR DIRT OR FOR CONTACT!   THIRTYMILESCORRUPTION@HOTMAIL.COM

The City Councilman that we believe will approve the new tax hike will be, of course, Steve Adams, Chris Mac Arthur, Mike Gardner and possibly Jim Perry.  The City Councilman we believe will not approve to vote on the hike are, Paul Davis, Mike Soubirous and maybe, Andy Melendrez.  We’re on the fence with Andy..

People have forgotten that Council approved a sewer rate hike five years ago that included new rate hikes for 2009 through 2014.  For 2014, the rate would now include CPI (Consumer Price Index).  But the rate hike + CPI is no longer high enough to cover the new proposed $100,000,000.00 bond issuance, which it needs to continue the sewer expansion.  Now, Public Works is requesting a higher rate increase than just CPI, as indicated in the second schematic.  Why?  The City needs a higher revenue stream for the new bond and its debt service.

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 CLICK THIS LINK TO VIEW CURRENT RATES       CLICK THIS LINK TO VIEW HIGHER REPLACEMENT RATES

The City of Riverside had over $228,000,000.00 paid out in advances and loans from the Sewer Fund.  Each and every loan/advance should be supported with a loan agreement to make sure the taxpayer reaps the benefit of the interest from each loans.  We’ve requested all the loan agreements and the City of Riverside either does not have them or for some reason, are unwilling to give them to us.  Therefore you have to ask the question, if we had $228,000,000.00 loaned out and paid back, as CFO Brent Mason continues to tell us at City Council, we should have $228,000,000.00 sitting in the bank, and why would we need $100 million bond issuance.  If they are saying it was spent on sewer related items, then show us!

Three years ago TMC did the original story on Sewergate.  We knew the City loaned out millions of sewer dollars for redevelopment projects, and that they were illegal redevelopment loans.  The State of California agreed with us and recognized those loans as Unenforceable Obligations.

Don’t forget folks, the City actually needs a total of $700,000,000.00 to complete the master sewer expansion project per Public Works Director Tom Boyd!  This is only Phase One of the project, so more increases to come.

FROM THE DESK OF SCOTT SIMPSON: SCOTT RESPONDS TO THE CURRENT STATE OF AFFAIRS IN THE CITY OF RIVERSIDE:

Scott Simpson was former Chief of Enforcement for the California EPA Department of Toxic Substances Control, and also worked for the Department of Food and Agriculture in their Environmental Hazards Assessment Program specializing in ground water contamination:

Sewer service is a service to your property (parcel of land). California’s Courts have ruled that it is unlawful to include the costs of borrowed money in the service rates. The cost of borrowed money for capital improvement must only be recovered from property assessments or special taxes. Both of these are voter approved and would be included on your property tax bill.
This makes legal sense and comon sense. The Courts expressed that this is the only legal method in Calif to recover capital expense for system upgrade or expansion. Understanding that our City leaders have been dodging our vote on the legal methods of financing sewer expansion, That places the ability to cover these costs only in the service rate! What happened in the recent economic crisis— about 25% of residential and business properties went vacant for a long time. These properties were not paying a fair share of the cost of service to the property. Even though no one is home to flush, the capital cost of the sewer system has to be paid in annual loan payments. This fact of placing capital costs in the service rate set the Public Works Dept. up for a budget crisis! Their only option, continue down the same path and raise your rates to pay the cost of infrastructure that serve some one else’s property!
If the City had done it properly and gotten capital financing via a property assessment or special tax, that bill goes to the property owner annually and even the vacant properties will still get billed and we will see the money at the end of the foreclosure process. The sewer rates won’t have to climb above the 1-2% consumer price index annually. No need to raise the rates. The debt service is authorized and paid over the long term in the lawful and most stable method of financing– property assessments or special taxes.

The lawfull method above also includes government and tax-exempt property owners. They also pay their fair share. These groups consume about 40% of our utility services and don’t pay their fair share of the costs.

- Scott Simpson

TMC, RATED RIVERSIDE’S MOST “SLANDEROUS” AND MEZZSPELLED, “MISSPELLED” AND “OPINIONATED” BLOG SITE!  TEMPORARILY BLOCKED BY THE CITY OF RIVERSIDE AT PUBLIC ACCESS SITES WITHIN THE CITY, THEN UNBLOCKED.  I GUESS YOU CANNOT DO THAT ACCORDING TO ACLU.  NOW TAGGED LOCAL BLOGGERS OR LOCAL MEDIA?  RATED ONE TWO ONE STAR OUT OF FIVE IN TERMS OF COMMUNITY APPROVAL RATINGS..  TMC IS NOW EXCLUSIVELY ON FILE WITH ZELLERBACH’S DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S OFFICE, AND PROSSIBLY POSSIBLY ON FILE WITH THE CITY OF RIVERSIDE’S POTENTIAL SLAPP SUIT LIST… WE WILL HAVE TO ASK GREGORY ABOUT THAT ONE ( OUR PEOPLE WILL HAVE TO CONTACT HIS PEOPLE)… AGAIN, THANK-YOU COMMUNITY OF RIVERSIDE AND THE CITY OF RIVERSIDE EMPLOYEE’S FOR YOUR SUPPORT!   COMMENTS ALWAYS WELCOMED, ESPECIALLY SPELL CHECKERS!  EMAIL ANONYMOUSLY WITH YOUR DIRT OR FOR CONTACT!   THIRTYMILESCORRUPTION@HOTMAIL.COM

TMC had it right in 2012, original post:  We will continue this story tomorrow with a new posting, and we will also be carrying our original “Sewer Gate” signs at Tuesday’s City Council May 13, 2014 7:00pm..

CITY OF RIVERSIDE: TMC REQUEST THE CITY OF RIVERSIDE TO “GIVE OBAMA BACK HIS BONDS”!

TMC’s support of State Controller John Chiang’s Auditing Team started the morning off with protest signs facing incoming city workers. Protest involves the alleged fraud and misuse of Obama’s Federal Build America Bonds by the City of Riverside.  Whereby, bonds intended for one purpose or project, is diverted to other unrelated purposes. In the midst of taxpayer abuse as seen with California Cities such as Bell, Montebello and Hercules which have resulted in millions of dollars lost.  Local community residents have raised the questions of the sanctity of the city’s finances as well as their expenditures.  Concerns of increase power, water, sewer rates along with incidental service fees to get around proposition 218  to cover cost of mismanagement have been prevalent. Now with the City of Stockton, California on the brink of filing for bankruptcy, attention is high.  TMC request the auditing team to dig further.  “Seek and you will find”..  Join us in voicing your opinion in front of City Hall and at todays City Council Meetings, Afternoon session 3:00 pm and Evening session 6:30 pm.  According to the PE the auditing team will be in the City of Riverside for a two month routine evaluation, of one project, the Columbia Grade Seperation. TMC questions the length of time necessary for one project to be evaluated.

     

TMC, RATED RIVERSIDE’S MOST “SLANDEROUS” AND MEZZSPELLED, “MISSPELLED” AND “OPINIONATED” BLOG SITE!   TMC IS NOW EXCLUSIVELY ON FILE WITH THE COUNTY OF RIVERSIDE’S DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S OFFICE, AND PROSSIBLY POSSIBLY ON FILE WITH THE CITY OF RIVERSIDE’S POTENTIAL SLAPP SUIT LIST… WE WILL HAVE TO ASK GREG ABOUT THAT ONE… AGAIN, THANK-YOU COMMUNITY OF RIVERSIDE AND THE CITY OF RIVERSIDE EMPLOYEE’S FOR YOUR SUPPORT!  COMMENTS ALWAYS WELCOMED, ESPECIALLY SPELL CHECKERS!  EMAIL ANONYMOUSLY WITH YOUR DIRT OR FOR CONTACT!   THIRTYMILESCORRUPTION@HOTMAIL.COM

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CITY CODE OF ETHICS NOT SO ETHICAL WHEN IT COMES TO CITY ATTORNEY GREG PRIAMOS AND CITY HIRED ATTORNEY DOUG SMITH?

Board Member, Keith J. Nelson, Ph.D., Inland Regional Board of Trustees, who also served a member of the City’s Adjudicating Body whenever an alleged violation of the City’s Code of Ethics, responded in this letter to Councilman Mike Soubirous regarding his concerns with the behavior and involvement of City Attorney Greg Priamos and outside legal, hired by the city, local Riverside attorney Doug Smith.

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     Attorney Doug Smith             City Attorney Greg Priamo

Of the misrepresentations made to the Council by Mr. Smith, this was the most egregious. There is simply no nice way of stating this – he lied.

The main concern in question was the dual roles of the City Attorney’s Office acting as an advocate to the City, as well as a neutral counsel to the HRB (Human Resource Board.)   Also, City hired attorney Doug Smith materially misrepresenting himself to the Council on March 25, 2014.  Are Priamos and Smith liars?  Keith Nelson seems to think so, considering Smith’s actions most egregious.  Did Priamos tell Smith to lie to City Council of the findings of the Ethics and Conduct Hearing’s adjudicating body?  Currently, Priamos is writing a book on ethics.  The letter is as follows:

FROM THE DESK OF KEITH J. NELSON

April 29, 2014
Honorable Mike Soubirous
City of Riverside
3900 Mail Street
Riverside, CA. 92506

RE: Code of Ethics – J. Hunter v. Human Resources Board members

Dear Mr. Soubirous,

It was a pleasure speaking with you recently at the Boards and Commissions Annual Dinner. Unfortunately, my message today concerns a most troublesome matter. Let me begin by stating emphatically that this letter is not private. Instead, it is intended for you to share with your colleagues on the City Council, and whomever else you deem it contents would benefit. I would, in fact, read this letter into public comment at the next City Council meeting, but it would I’m certain exceed the three minute limitation allowed for such.

I will go off topic for just a moment and formally introduce myself in an effort to create clarity as to my interest and involvement in this matter. I am a 25+ year resident of Riverside who has endeavored to remain active in our community. As you may recall when you were running for Council, I contacted you to discuss your views and commitments on certain issues I feel important to our city. I have three adult children, plus one I am still raising here. I have been involved at many different levels with the city and surrounding area, including but not limited to: the Commission on Disabilities (chairman), Inland Regional Center (Board of Trustees), Team USA Special Olympics (coach), Special Olympics of Southern California (Regional Advisory Council), Regional Center (Business Committee), Arlington Little League (coach, Board of Directors), AYSO Region 47 soccer (founder, coach, Board of Directors), Poly High School Special Needs Boosters clubs, Poly High ROTC Boosters club…and more. I hope that this listing demonstrates my commitment to our community. I have always wanted to be proud of the city I live in.

To the matter at hand: I have served on a few Code of Ethics and Conduct adjudicating bodies (“AB”) during my tenure as the Chairman of the city’s Commission on Disabilities. I have always taken this responsibility extremely serious. If you were to review the administrative records of these hearings, I believe you would find that I often ask the most questions on the AB and deliberate issues of concern at substantial length. As a commissioner and member of an adjudicating body, I find our job comes with a multiple of masters: to our fellow citizens by striving to improve the city in which we live; and to the Council itself, representing our local government towards achieving the highest level of integrity.

Out of all the ethics hearings I have been involved with, the case involving Jason Hunter really bothers me the most from many perspectives. First, the role of the City Attorney’s office, throughout the entirely of the process, was deeply concerning. At the ethics hearing, we were instructed by the City Attorney’s office that it could both represent the city (Human Resource Board members, “HRB”) through outside counsel (Mr. Doug Smith) and serve as neutral counsel to the adjudicating body. We were also informed that the HRB members themselves would not be made available to the AB. As I consider the goal of our Code of Ethics and Conduct, established by our City Charter, is to provide both an actual and a perception of transparency, this dual role and lack of access to key parties is difficult to come to terms with. As such, I am left with the notion that our powers as finders of fact have been curtailed somewhat needlessly.

I have followed up on this matter in particular, because as an adjudicating body a definitive part of our final decision was to bring specific areas of conflict and concern within disciplinary hearings being run by our city staff to the attention of the City Council. My vote, in fact, was predicated on my motion to present said report to the Council (see minutes of December 13, 2013). To date, for reasons mostly unknown to me, this action has not been taken despite assurances of such from the AB Chairman, Mr. Justin Scott-Coe. I will elaborate more as I walk you through the ethics hearing from my perspective. I strongly believe that failing to address these core issues renders the entire Code of Ethics and Conduct complaint process pointless, and wastes significant time on behalf of all parties involved.

Concerns:

•Limitation of Scope.  As an adjudicating body our ability to request information was virtually non-existent. We could not require testimony, subpoena documents nor investigate issues outside of the strict scope outlined by the City Attorney. And yet, we were presented by the city with no justification for this being so. I find these constraints overly burdensome, particularly in light of HRB counsel (Mr. Smith) materially misrepresenting to the Council at the March 25, 2014, appeal hearing that Mr. Hunter had the opportunity to present all evidence. This statement was simply untrue. In fact, many of my reservations during the ethics hearings themselves centered around the somewhat arbitrary limitations put on Mr. Hunter concerning evidence he could present and his ability to provide testimony, either his or other witnesses.

• Training of the Human Resources Board. Of the misrepresentations made to the Council by Mr. Smith, this was the most egregious. There is simply no nice way of stating this – he lied.  Astonishingly, Mr. Smith told the Council the exact opposite of what we concluded. The adjudicating body clearly and unequivocally stated that as a body we were to make a presentation to the Council regarding proper training of boards and commissions, specifically chairmen, and the need for more transparent hearing procedures written in a way such that the average citizen would feel confident in the process and how to present evidence.

Mr. Smith sat in attendance at both ethics hearings as we quite clearly and repeatedly made these points. There was also significant concern over the lack of engagement by non-chair members of the HRB at Mr. Hunter’s disciplinary hearing, and plain disregard for adherence to basic parliamentary procedure as evidenced in the video of this proceeding.

• Actions of the City Attorney.  After viewing the video of the disciplinary hearing in question, and even taking a month-long recess to absorb its meaning, we as an AB concluded, clearly and without reservation, that we were extremely uncomfortable with the actions and demeanor of the City Attorney, Mr. Greg Priamos. However, we were informed by the City Attorney’s office that this inappropriate behavior was out of the scope of our authority to review. Irrespective of such self-serving advice, our
concerns and observations must be brought to the attention of the City Council:

1. The City Attorney was seated in the middle of Council chambers (directly next to HRB Chairman, Mr. Norman Powell) at the disciplinary hearing, and not to the side as seated during regular Council meetings. This provides the visual that the City Attorney was indeed running the meeting. It should be noted that Mr. Priamos can be seen whispering advice to the Chair out of microphone reception throughout various points in the video.

2. The City Attorney responds out of order, not waiting to be recognized by the Chair and without being asked for comment time after time. It is noticeable that his pro-city/anti-Mr. Hunter recommendations to the Chair are followed unswervingly and without debate by the HRB. In one instance, Mr. Priamos even recommends a pause in the proceedings and leaves his seat before the Chair acknowledges his request.

3.In a disturbing revelation made after the conclusion of Mr. Hunter’s ethics complaint hearings, Mr. Scott-Coe admitted to the AB that he had met privately with City Attorney, Mr. Priamos, just prior to the meeting to discuss the hearing in general, and the limits on presentation of evidence and testimony. If the goal our Code of Ethics and Conduct complaint process is full transparency, those instructions should have been made to the entire AB in an open forum. In fact, Mr. Priamos’ involvement at all at that juncture, in light of his behavior at the disciplinary hearing is perplexing. Additionally, the rules of Ethics Hearings should be made public, and properly vetted as such.

4. At the first ethics hearing, held on November 15, 2013, the AB discovered that Mr. Hunter had provided the city with a detailed list of objections and motions concerning the ethics hearing protocols provided to him by the City Attorney’s office, prior to the AB convening. Without delving into these individually, I found it unsettling that the AB was not made aware of the existence of this list until the onset of the hearing, leaving us unprepared to tackle the issues and without justification from the City Attorney’s office regarding their merits.

5. As it is not clear who wrote the rules for Mr. Hunter’s disciplinary hearing, it is unknown who made the decision for the HRB to deliberate in secret with the City Attorney at the conclusion of the presentation of the city’s case. Following, the actions of the HRB taken in this private setting were not announced later to the public. As such the AB could not determine how or why the HRB made its findings or determinations.

It was the general feeling of the AB that certain city staff, including the City Attorney’s office, might have been in violation of the Code of Ethics and Conduct throughout the disciplinary process. However, once again, this was ruled outside the scope of our review by whatmight-be-considered a conflicted City Attorney’s office. Of grave concern were the delays by the city in providing Mr. Hunter with notices and rules, as well as access to particular evidence to provide an adequate defense.

We sincerely question the duality of roles played within the City Attorney’s office (as active advocate and neutral counsel to the HRB) during Mr. Hunter’s disciplinary hearing. Although we were assured this is standard operating procedure, we find the practice debatable as to its fairness. Again, this matter was ruled outside of scope of our investigation.
In conclusion, the true and accurate findings of the AB were misrepresented to the City Council and the mandated presentation per our unanimously-carried motion was never presented. These factors were paramount to my final vote. I don’t believe anyone was comfortable with what they saw transpiring on the video of Mr. Hunter’s disciplinary hearing. It was one of the rare times I was actually embarrassed by our city’s actions.

This is not how I envision a City committed to Arts and Innovation, as well as progressive visions of open and transparent governance, conducts itself. Our presentation absolutely should have been made prior the Council hearing the appeal of our decision carried forth by Mr. Hunter in order to have the Council fully educated.

Further, I am at a loss as to why the AB was not informed individually of the Council appeal hearing on this subject. If in attendance, I would have used the public comment period to rebuke the misleading statements made by the HRB attorney.

This letter is only a high level summary of this matter, provided in an effort to induce open dialog and independent investigation of the facts surrounding both Mr. Hunter’s disciplinary and ethics hearings, as well as the nature of these proceedings in general.

If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact me at your convenience. At this point, the highest motivation should be to provoke meaningful change as to how the city conducts its business in these regards.
Sincerely yours,

Keith J. Nelson, Ph.D.

 

Currently, there is an ethics complaint on appeal with Councilman Steve Adams, whereby Attorney Doug Smith is representing him, and City Attorney Greg Priamos is the legal advisor for the City.  Should we expect the same favorable outcome in a decision by the Adjudicating Body, even though a licensed Attorney hired by the City has been called to the forefront as lying?  There have been more than two Ethics Complaints filed against Councilman Steve Adams, all which have been unfounded.  The current complaint, which is in on appeal, contains evidence not reviewed by the Adjudicating Body.  Evidence which displays that Adams witnessed corruption in the City of Riverside on several occasions which can be construed as “undo influence.”  Regardless, is this whole Ethics Complaint process a formality and a sham?  Set up by those in positions of power to direct a favorable result?  If that is true, do we have corruption?  Should the taxpayer be reimbursed for Attorney Doug Smith’s fees and a complaint filed with the State Bar of California?  Should City Attorney Greg Priamos be fired and a complaint filed with the State Bar of California?

UPDATE: CITY MANAGER: OKAY MR. BARBER, WHO IS RUNNING THE STORE?  This Press Enterprise clipping was sent to TMC to show that in this instance, who is watching out for taxpayer monies?  This clipping shows a Public Notice by the AQMD for a refund amount of $1,407.91 that the City of Riverside has failed to recover in care of the taxpayer.

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The question that residents are asking as the one who submitted it, who’s running the store?  That should be City Manager Scott Barber.  So I’m guessing the City really doesn’t need the money, I believe it could still be put to good use for library books, park programs etc.  You may get use to seeing figures with a lot of zeros, but all monies are important, no matter the amount.

UPDATE: BROCKTON STREET RESTRIPING:  ACCORDING THE RIVESIDE PUBLIC WORKS DEPARTMENT CONSTRUCTION IS PLANNED MAY 19, 2014 TO AUGUST 2014.  The City will be transforming the four lane main arterial commuter route to one lane in both direction for vehicles, and the other two for bikes…  I guess Mayor Bailey and Councilman Mike Gardner think we a Seattle, Washington.  Wood Street residents are not happy as this one resident John Zavesky commented.

Well it looks like Brockton is going to be reduced to a single lane of traffic in each direction so those hundreds of bike riders will have their own lane. This is one house that will not be voting for the current mayor come next election. Between this and the City Council renaming 1/2 a mile of Central Ave. “Riverside Plaza Ave.” these elected officials have clearly proven they aren’t interested in dealing with real social issues such as addressing a responsible solution to the ever growing numbers of homeless folks. That would be working on something socially responsible, a job that is obviously beyond the current crop of elected talking heads.

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Traffice and commuter frustration is at a peak, with the 91 freeway contruction at 14th and Central, the Cridge Bridge not yet done, the new underpass construction at Riverside Avenue and now a reconstruction of Brockton Avenue to a bike lane?  What are the knuckleheads at City Hall thinking.

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There’s more folks, there is study currently on regarding the conversion of Magnolia Avenue to a Commuter Train/Trolley route, one of Mayor Bailey’s ideas.

We must remember that culture can’t be constructed, designed or constructed such some idealist at City Hall envision it.  Culture is born, it is nurtured by the characteristics of the people of that community to become a city which reflects a theme, not by design, but by the working spirit of that community.

UPDATE: CITY WI-FI TO BE REMOVED!  According to the Press Enterprise the City Wi-Fi system will be removed because it’s not working, but if you live in Riverside, you will know that it never worked.  Even when the Measure A campaign was in full mode the City was telling the community that if the measure doesn’t pass, we will be eliminated alone with the funding source of $770,000.00 in funds.  Below is a copy of the handout that was given at the Goeske Senior Center to Vote Yes on Measure A, or else lose programs.

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Even during the City’s campaign on Measure A they knew it didn’t work.  Money continued to be pumped into the program that just could not get off the ground.  The City’s response was that it was taken down because it was never designed for mobile use.  Originally, the city wi-fi was designed for internet access, such as lap tops and home computers.  According to residents it never worked.  But wi-fi is a no brainer, it’s not rocket science, you connect to your location, done.  The No on Measure A campaign tried to warn the community of these informational nuances, but still lost.  Again, much waste at a cost to the taxpayer, at the salvaging of egos.

UPDATE: PRESS RELEASE: INVESTIGATION CLEARS RPD LEADERSHIP OF ALL ALLEGATIONS?  Amazingly, the law firm Cihigoyenetche, Grossberg & Clouse does it again, clearing RPD in any wrong doing with regards to misappropriations of funds through Federally funded Police Asset Forfeiture Program.  It wasn’t to long ago that the City hired them for a measley $150,000.00 to investigate the allegations of fired employees, accusing former City Manager Brad Hudson of preferential contract awarding.  Yes Diaz and Vicino, you would have to waive your rights, unless you paid out of your pocket for the investigation?  If that is not the case it was public taxpayer money, so the investigation is public. TMC brought allegations of Asset Forfeiture misuse back during the Chief Russ Leach years.  In this case the law firm was hired to investigate and make legal opinion on the use of Federal Asset-Forfeiture funds.  That’s fine, anyone can do that, but there opinion doesn’t hold legal water, since the Federal government in the only entity which can make that determination.

AFONE          AFTWO

CLICK THIS LINK TO SEE PDF VERSION

Our concerns with the above documents were when Federal Asset Forfeiture monies were utilized for community programs such as the Multi Cultural Youth Program, a Mayor Loveridge originated Community Program, that appeared to have support through Federal Police Asset Funds.  Illegal?  To the tune of $35,000.00.  This at the time, Chief Russell Leach was in charge, and this amount of $35,000.00 was donated or transferred to his wife, Connie Leach’s runned Multi Cultural Youth Organization…  We asked the DA himself Paul Zellerbach to look into this but all he told us was “Is this Illegal? or just bad Business?”  This while his subordinates flipped through a DA file which contained TMC articles.  Then the people who brought forward the issue and the document were now in the questioning box.  Why was that, I ask? Is it because the City of Riverside held the trump card for the DA?  If this in fact was the case, what did Ms. Aquino know?  Why didn’t she speak out years ago?  Was she protecting the office of RPD?  Was she protecting people within RPD?  We can only suspect her actions to be in the category of quite remarkable..

Investigation Clears Riverside Police Leadership of All Major Allegations

Chief Sergio Diaz and Assistant Chief Chris Vicino Waive Privacy Rights, Agree to Disclosure

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                       CHIEF DIAZ                 ASST. CHIEF VINCINO

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – City Manager Scott Barber announced today that an independent investigation has refuted all major allegations that Police Chief Sergio Diaz and Assistant Chief Chris Vicino improperly used Police Department funds, as alleged by a former administrator.
Barber made the announcement after both Diaz and Vicino relinquished their rights to confidentiality in connection with the investigation. Both men said they made the decision because they wanted the public to know the results of the investigation, even though one allegation against Vicino was sustained. Otherwise, the results could not have been made public under the law.
I appreciate Chief Diaz and Assistant Chief Vicino taking the step they did in order to ensure that the public can know that its police administrators are running the department in an ethical and proper manner,” Barber said. “I am gratified that the public can have a full accounting of the allegations and the ensuing investigation.”
Of eight allegations raised by former Police Administrator Karen Aquino, seven were found to be unfounded. In the only sustained allegation, Aquino alleged that Vicino used a city copier for personal reasons and implied that he asked another employee for the employee’s access code in order to make additional color copies for personal use.
During the investigation, Vicino acknowledged making about 300 copies during a three-year period in connection with a college course he taught. He said he sent a letter to an Assistant City Manager expressing regret for the oversight and pledging it would not happen again and enclosed payment for $30.50. The part of the allegation involving Vicino allegedly asking for an employee’s access code so he could make color copies for his personal use was found to be unfounded.
Vicino told investigators he did ask another employee for the access code to the color copier, but only because he had forgotten his access code and needed to make color copies for a presentation that Diaz was going to do on a new strategic plan for the department.
I have always had faith that an impartial investigation would reveal that this department is run according to the highest ethical standards,” Vicino said. “I regret using the copier for a personal use, but I’m willing to take my medicine out in the open if that is what it takes for the larger issues to be resolved in the minds of the public.”
Other allegations explored in the investigation included:

  • That the department misappropriated city funds by directing employees to participate in Riverside Police Foundation activities while on duty. The foundation, which supports youth programs, is part of the Department’s mission to prevent crime, therefore use of city resources was appropriate, the investigation found.
  • That Vicino engaged in disrespectful and intimidating behavior toward Ms. Aquino. Vicino did not intentionally engage in such behavior and his response was a direct reaction to statements made by Aquino toward another employee during a meeting, the investigation found.
  • That the Department improperly used asset forfeiture funds to purchase vehicles. The investigation found no evidence that either Diaz or Vicino used such funds improperly.
  • That the Department failed to follow the requirements of a $5.1 million federal grant to hire 15 new police officers. The investigation found no evidence to support that.
  • That police administrators failed to notify Aquino that a city vehicle and gas card were used by a retired police employee to help the department participate in the “Baker to Vegas” charity run. There is no evidence to suggest the car or gas card were used inappropriately and department administrators had no obligation to notify Aquino of the pending use.
  • That Aquino was directed to pay for golf tournaments out of the department’s general fund and that thousands of dollars were spent so that Vicino and others could play golf. Aquino was describing charity golf tournaments that department personnel participated in to assist local organizations in raising funds for children’s programs. Investigators described this allegation as “a significant stretch from the truth.”
  • That Diaz signed a contract for a Parole and Corrections Team without proper review of the City Attorney’s Office. The investigation found that this allegation “lacked any validity whatsoever” and that the memorandum of understanding was signed by all appropriate parties.

UPDATE: AND UPDATE THAT IS NOT REALLY AN UPDATE!  WE TOLD YOU SO! SEWER RATES GOING UP!  THE REAL STORY AHEAD!

SENT IN BY SHARON MATEJA, IS THE AMERICAN EAGLE VULTURE JUST THE RIGHT THING TO CLEAR THE WOOD STREETS OF THE COYOTE PROBLEM?

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My Mom called me around 7pm and told me that she was sitting on her back patio and looked down to where her dog was playing on the grass and there stood a coyote. She quickly called her little dog and thankfully Sadie her dog came running up to the patio. The coyote just stood there. My Mom was a safe distance from it being that her patio overlooks the medical center and the RCC ball field. She lives on Rice Rd. The problem is that this is the second time my folks have had a run in with the coyotes and both times have been in broad daylight. My parents have a fence all the way around their property and my Dad walked the perimeter the first time they sited the coyote and there was one area where it looked like the coyote dug under the fence. He patched it up and thought they were safe. They have a little Boston terrier and now they are afraid to let her out. I am afraid for my folks because there is the garage and a room under their house that they use on a daily basis. Can anyone offer any advise on what they can do? We are really afraid now that the coyote has been back twice.   – Julie Sparkman, Wood Streets

TMC, RATED RIVERSIDE’S MOST “SLANDEROUS” AND MEZZSPELLED, “MISSPELLED” AND “OPINIONATED” BLOG SITE!  TEMPORARILY BLOCKED BY THE CITY OF RIVERSIDE AT PUBLIC ACCESS SITES WITHIN THE CITY, THEN UNBLOCKED.  I GUESS YOU CANNOT DO THAT ACCORDING TO ACLU.  NOW TAGGED LOCAL BLOGGERS OR LOCAL MEDIA?  RATED ONE TWO ONE STAR OUT OF FIVE IN TERMS OF COMMUNITY APPROVAL RATINGS..  TMC IS NOW EXCLUSIVELY ON FILE WITH ZELLERBACH’S DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S OFFICE, AND PROSSIBLY POSSIBLY ON FILE WITH THE CITY OF RIVERSIDE’S POTENTIAL SLAPP SUIT LIST… WE WILL HAVE TO ASK GREGORY ABOUT THAT ONE ( OUR PEOPLE WILL HAVE TO CONTACT HIS PEOPLE)… AGAIN, THANK-YOU COMMUNITY OF RIVERSIDE AND THE CITY OF RIVERSIDE EMPLOYEE’S FOR YOUR SUPPORT!   COMMENTS ALWAYS WELCOMED, ESPECIALLY SPELL CHECKERS!  EMAIL ANONYMOUSLY WITH YOUR DIRT OR FOR CONTACT!   THIRTYMILESCORRUPTION@HOTMAIL.COM

CREW

Now a second complaint alleging violation of City Charter 407 came in, this time it’s against Councilman Paul Davis.  Less than a week ago, a complaint came against Councilman Mike Soubirous.  It seems that the powers that be continue in their attempt to get back to a 7-0 team player vote.  We are assuming that the $16,000.00 Team Motivator/Psychologist isn’t working.  It’s clear by the information provided, that Davis was targeted at least on two facts, the work performance of the City Manager Scott Barber and what Davis said in testimony in the Raychele Sterling Case, which may not have made the City Attorney Greg Priamos look so good.

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COUNCILMAN PAUL DAVIS

When you view the overall pictorial of both Councilman, you cannot rule out a conspiratorial aspect by some of the usual suspects.  Just weeks ago Chief Financial Officer Brent Mason presented to City Council and spoke on how we will have a budget shortfall.  They continue to frivously spend tax payer monies in an effort to support their enormous egos and defend there inadvertent liabilities.  We must also ask the question, who are the players and what could they have to lose.

Just in September of 2012, City Manager Scott Barber decided to take his City Manager hat off and play Council by authorizing a change order of $2.5 million without council authority for the Fox Performance Plaza.  He brought the issue to Council and basically appeared they would rubber stamp the idea, after-the-fact.  Had this type of shenanigans been done before by the prior City Manager?  The City Manager’s discretionary spending cap is at $50,000.00, anything over that amount must go to council.  Certainly violated the Charter Amendment.  What made Barber think that he had the authority to act as an elect and ferret it out without them?  A complaint should have been filed against him with Human Resources, and Council should have fired him immediately.

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Do we have a rogue staff?  City Attorney Greg Priamos gives the order to Officer Sahagun to arrest public speaker Karen Wright for going over the 3 minute mark, then lies about having any part of it, until exposed by Sahagun’s police report.  He calls the report inaccurate, then rescinds his comment when he receives a letter from the Police Officers Association resulting in an appology to the public at City Council.  But I regress, there’s a double standard regarding the 3 minute rule?  While former Mayor Ron Loveridge is allowed to go over the 3 minute mark and the buzzard turned off, and no arrest, why are others at a whim being arrested?  Even RUSD Mike Fine went over the 3 minute rule and it was simply okay.  So we target, retaliate and financially shake down those who practice their 1st amendment right of free speech in a public forum.  This is as off beaten as City Attorney Greg Priamos writing a book on ethics and giving a course in ethics to council.  Isn’t that “the pot calling the kettle black?”  Therefore, Priamos must have taken a course in governmental ethics somewhere in order to have the knowledge to provide it.  Where did Priamos take his course?  The laughs are never ending in the on going reality melodrama “As River City Turns.”

Responsible legal advice by our City Attorney is pertinent to decrease the liabilities of the taxpayer.  But we have seen, it may have been the case as in the Moreno Law Suite which addressed violations of Proposition 218 by the City of Riverside.  Further, the city’s approach to the campaign as in conflict of interest mailers in the Measure A campaign as well as the Measure V campaign, whereby taxpayer monies from the general fund are utilized, for what the city states are “informational purposes.”

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Though the Supreme Court stated that “a special edition created and sent to would-be voters, specifically because of the upcoming election,” is improper campaign activity.  I guess Priamos does what is necessary for the greater good of those who feed off city revenues.

Councilman Steve Adams recently spoke of witnessing undo influence within the RFP (Request For Proposal) process, which in turn a formal Ethics Complaint was made, which resulted in complaint being unfounded.  But when you look at the Ethics Complaint process, one can see that process is set up to result in a favorable finding for the defendant, just by default.  Was a city paid investigator hired to investigate this?  Do we pick and choose opportunistically when such activity becomes politically advisable.  Who would play the role of the consigliere, possibly someone with a law degree?  Will these complaints lead new Councilman Jim Perry taking this as a message to not divert course?

In both the Davis and Soubirous case, the PE reports that all emails have been requested in which referenced Barbers “employment status.”  This is telling; what happened between these two council people and the City Manager?  Another question, could it have been the connection between families which include Councilman Mac Arthur, Mayor Bailey and Albert Webb, of Webb Engineering?  Webb contracts were brought in the Raychele Sterling Case.

We certainly would now have to consider if these city employees filed they’re complaints on the they’re own volition, or did they have encouragement, or were they promised promotion?  Plausible denial by some of the usual suspects may give us more thought to a theoretical conspiracy in this matter.

The fact that Councilmen Soubirous and Davis called for a forensic audit for transparency and accountability, IS exactly why these two councilmen are being investigated. These two men ask the tough questions on our behalf. City Hall status-quo do not want a forensic audit. Councilmen MacArthur and Perry do not want a forensic audit. Councilmen Gardner and Adams appear to not want a forensic audit. Councilman Melendrez is undetermined. A forensic audit is what is needed at Riverside City Hall.  - Donald Herman Gallegos, Commenter on the PE

UPDATE: 05.05.2014: CALIFORNIA FRIENDS OF THE AFRICAN-AMERICAN CAUCUS OUTRAGED!

The Riverside African-American Community and Law Enforcement are outraged with Riverside NAACP President, Woody Rucker-Hughess over Riverside District Attorney Paul Zellerbach to receive the prestiges Drum Major Award May 14, 2014.  The California Friends of the African-American Caucus are asking Ms. Rucker-Hughes to rescind the award to Paul Zellerbach after he was caught twice removing campaign signs of his opponent Mike Hestrin last month.  President William Hutchinson of the Palm Springs Police Officer’s Association read a statement to the press which describes Zellerbach taking down signs, using a County vehicle and the assistance of a county employee, his retaliation after getting caught of the veteran law enforcement officer and his family.

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Is it because Woody and Paul sing the same tune and dance the same steps? DA Mr. “Z” obviously is enjoying himself! Maybe we have something here folks, the dance styling”s of Woody & Paul…

TMC, RATED RIVERSIDE’S MOST “SLANDEROUS” AND MEZZSPELLED, “MISSPELLED” AND “OPINIONATED” BLOG SITE!  TEMPORARILY BLOCKED BY THE CITY OF RIVERSIDE AT PUBLIC ACCESS SITES WITHIN THE CITY, THEN UNBLOCKED.  I GUESS YOU CANNOT DO THAT ACCORDING TO ACLU.  NOW TAGGED LOCAL BLOGGERS OR LOCAL MEDIA?  RATED ONE TWO ONE STAR OUT OF FIVE IN TERMS OF COMMUNITY APPROVAL RATINGS..  TMC IS NOW EXCLUSIVELY ON FILE WITH ZELLERBACH’S DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S OFFICE, AND PROSSIBLY POSSIBLY ON FILE WITH THE CITY OF RIVERSIDE’S POTENTIAL SLAPP SUIT LIST… WE WILL HAVE TO ASK GREGORY ABOUT THAT ONE ( OUR PEOPLE WILL HAVE TO CONTACT HIS PEOPLE)… AGAIN, THANK-YOU COMMUNITY OF RIVERSIDE AND THE CITY OF RIVERSIDE EMPLOYEE’S FOR YOUR SUPPORT!   COMMENTS ALWAYS WELCOMED, ESPECIALLY SPELL CHECKERS!  EMAIL ANONYMOUSLY WITH YOUR DIRT OR FOR CONTACT!   THIRTYMILESCORRUPTION@HOTMAIL.COM

 

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A Press Enterprise story broke April 25, 2014 which reported that the City of Riverside is investigating newly christened Councilman Mike Soubirous, retired California Highway Patrol Lieutenant and Acting Commander, on the issue of violating the City Charter Amendment Section 407.  Details of the violations or exactly what were the allegation were not given, but it all seems to stem from Soubirous contacts with police officials, such as Chief of Police Sergio Diaz and City Manager Scott Barber during recent discussions regarding panhandlers, vagrants, park security and a series of council emails.  This already is beginning to have a vial smell.  Did Diaz feel as if his abilities and experience levels were being questioned, challenged or even threatened?   With a murder at La Sierra Park, and recently a fatal stabbing at the new Bonaminio Park, four cold case murders on the East side, with crime rates increasing, did Diaz find that Soubirous’s questioning of panhandlers, vagrants and park security issues difficult to answer?  Was Soubirous rocking the boat of comfortness, just a little?

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City of Riverside Councilman Mike Sobirous

According to the PE, the whole thing seemed to begin with a series of emails sent out by Councilman Soubirous regarding his constituents concerns regarding vagrants and panhandlers.  The response from RPD was that “our hands are tied” or ‘there’s nothing we can do.”  Evidently, Soubirous states he didn’t send an email to Diaz, but the email was forwarded to Diaz by another councilman.  We are thinking here at TMC, could it have been Adams?  If so, would that have been a Brown Act violation?  Incidently, another unamed councilman has been accused of violating the Brown Act, and submitted to the DA, we all know where that will go.  Regardless, that never seemed to stop Adams before.  In response, Diaz wrote back to Councilman Soubirous that no good can come from labeling dedicated public servants as “lazy.”  The next statement by Diaz seems to be on the political threatening side, Diaz states that, “it would be politically unwise to declare war on you cops.”  Already we get the feeling that trouble is a brewing.  Anonymous sources are stating Diaz had made a similar threat regarding another current candidate running for office regarding the end of their political career if they continued on the road they are on.  TMC has found that it is John Brandiff, and has evidently filed a complaint against Diaz.  What kind of history does Diaz have in Los Angeles?  Information still coming through the pipeline.  So why is a Chief of Police out threatening elects and candidates?  Why is he acting as some sort of rouge underworld boss shaking down and hard balling constituents asking questions and threatening those who have aspirations of running for office?  Difficult as it seems, Riverside has serious problems in RPD, and no one is minding the store when minding the store are the residents of Riverside.

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Chief Sergio Diaz

Why does the Chief act as he does?  We are not sure but many in the community have witness his outburst.  It appears that Chief has a history of not being kind to taking suggestions and criticism well.  In one instance, he called certain commenters in the community who were questioning police tactics regarding the Officer Bonaminio murder, that they were “sitting at home eating cheetos in their underwear.”  In otherwords, the community should stay out of areas they know nothing about. If this is the case I can see conflict occurring if Council people are asking questions regarding Police affairs.

Section 407 refers specifically to the interference of individuals, such as the Mayor and Council, in city administrative services.  The section is as follows:

Neither the Mayor nor the City Council nor any of it’s members shall interfere with the execution by the City Manager of his/her powers and duties, or order, directly or indirectly, the appointment by the City Manager or by any of the department heads in the administrative service of the City, of any person to an office or employment or their removal theirfrom.  Except for purpose of inquiry, the Mayor, the City Council and its members shall deal with the administrative service under the City Manager solely through the City Manager and neither the Mayor nor the City Council nor any member there of shall give orders to any subordinates of the City Manager, either publicly or privately. (Effective 12/27/1995)

According to the PE, Mayor William “Rusty” Bailey and Councilman Steve Adams (also Mayor Pro Tem), told Soubirous that four complaints were filed for violation of section 407.  Both Bailey and Adams refrained to disclose who complainants were.  The last time similar situation occurred was when Fire Inspector Roni Forst filed a complaint against Councilman Paul Davis for harassment and discrimination.  Though not reported in the PE, I would deduce that before the complaints were filed, a proper intake interview was done without interference from outside sources, by the Human Resources Department.  From that point I would suspect that the interviewers would determine if there was enough evidence of a violation of section 407 of the City Charter for a proper complaint to be issued and filed.  When a complaint was filed against Davis, Steve Espinoza and Human Resource Director Rhonda Strout, A.K.A. Luxury Girl, did the intake interview.

The City Council then hired a Los Angeles based firm, Gumport Maslan, specifically Attorney Leonard Gumport would be handling the investigation. Gumport had been previously hired by the County of San Bernardino to investigate allegations of conflict of interest, bribery and corruption.  It doesn’t state if Soubirous was present when the Council decided to go forward with this investigation.  Regardless, Councilman Steve Adams, who was also Mayor Pro Tem, signed this contract with the law firm which interestingly has a cap of exactly $49,000.00.  Why $49,000.00?  Would it be that the City Manager’s maximum discretionary spending is capped at $50,000.00, at anything over $50,000.00 must be properly brought publicly to City Council?  Incidently, it was not uncommon to see Councilman Steve Adams having drinks and food together at local dining and waterholes with people from City Management.

Another time an issue came up with the interference with employee relations, was when Councilman Steve Adams was accused of interfering with the promotions process of RPD back in 2007, which by all appearances is a direct violation of Charter Section 407.   As a consequence, instead of a complaint filed, Lt. Darryl Hurt and Lt. Tim Bacon went straight for the jugular, filing a law suit against the City of Riverside which settled out of court to the taxpayer tune of $750,000.00, probably to prevent all the salacious details of a trial case.  When you look at the claims made by Hurt and Bacon against Adams, Adams gives the appearance of a “Godfather” like figure.  According to statements made by Hurt and Bacon, both whom were candidates for promotion to captain at the time, that they met individually at restaurant outside the city limits as to avoid the appearance of impropriety.  The issue at hand that allegedly Adams was concerned about was if the candidates actually campaigned against him.  When that issue was resolved, Adams then met with then City Manager Brad Hudson and spoke of the meeting.  Soon thereafter an official announcement ensued regarding the candidates.  Direct violation of Charter Section 407?

Another incidence, involved former Lt. Meredyth Meredith, whereby former Chief of Police Russel Leach was preparing to promote Meredith to captain, when he received a call from former Assistant City Manager Tom De Santis to put a stop to this.  According to a deposition, Leach stated, “And I found out that Steve Adams marched into a meeting…Hudson and De Santis and told them emphatically she shouldn’t be promoted”.  Leach stated in a PE story, that he was unhappy in his final two years on the job because “I didn’t like political involvement .  I hadn’t had it before.”  Leach also said that Hudson and DeSantis allowed council members – specifically City Councilman Steve Adams – to influence police promotions.

We didn’t even touch on the fact that Councilman Steve Adams had a series of citizen ethics complaints which followed him, all of them which were unfounded, of course, but one in particular which he admits witnessing corruption within the realms of the city.  I would imagine the current DA would respond by stating, “Is it illegal or just bad business.”

In another telling tale, there was story of John Carpenter, whereby Leach, Esquivel and De La Rosa had chosen him to be promoted to captain.  The went to City Hall to have a face-to-face with Hudson and DeSantis to present what the testing process revealed and who we selected.  And he said, “Let me think about it.”   So I let him think about it,  he hadn’t heard from him for a while, so Leach called Hudson.  Hudson told Leach that Carpenter and Adams had bad history together.  Adams was adamant that he didn’t want Carpenter to promote into Captain.  Section 407 violation?

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CLICK THIS LINK TO VIEW COMPLETE CHIEF RUSSELL LEACH DEPOSITION

In a Press Enterprise article back in August of 2012, former Chief of Police, Russell Leach stated in a court deposition that a complaint Riverside Councilman William “Rusty” Bailey made in 2008 may have unwittingly help block Lt. Val Graham’s promotion.  In a phone call Leach received from former Assistant City Manager Tom DeSantis, he recalled how “Val had embarrassed Bailey at this community meeting, said a couple of inappropriate things and that Bailey was furious,” and expressed his anger at city management.  The following time Leach was preparing to make promotions, DeSantis asked him who was being considered?  Before Leach had a chance to answer, DeSantis stated, “Don’t tell me it’s Val Graham?”  Leach stated that because of the resistance he sensed in this conversation he didn’t put Graham’s name forward.  Was Graham held back because the then Councilman Bailey felt slighted?  Could this be perceived as a violation of the City Charter Section 407?

The players involved seem to be Councilman Steve Adams, Mayor William “Rusty” Bailey, Chief of Police Sergio Diaz and City Manager Scott Barber.  Incidently, Diaz and Barber were remnents of former City Manager Brad Hudson.  Hudson’s background was that he had a record for credit card fraud when he was seventeen.  Not that this is important, due to the fact that he was a teen.  But the question is, did Hudson carry his bad behavior to his adulthood?  During his reign he initially purchased a revolver from RPD Sgt. Cliff Mason, who was also President of the Riverside Police Officers Union, and fraudulently used the City Hall address of 3900 Main Street as his home address to apply for a concealed weapons permit. You would think that this officer would know the law in gun sales, well of course he does.  Well, we believe he did, and did otherwise, breaking the law.  Incidentally, neither the Riverside Police Department nor the City of Riverside are licensed to sell and transfer firearms, therefore the sale of firearms to private citizens or employees of the city is illegal.  In the City of Riverside no one seems to be accountable.  Again we see a culture of two sets of rules.  Can we call it corruption?  Can we call it illegal or just bad business, in the words of District Attorney Paul Zellerbach?  Whatever it is, it happened.

Opinions of residents in the City contend that Soubirous was not whom City insiders wanted to be part of the council “get along club.”  Valerie Hill would have been a better match, but residents have stated that they are tired of what the City has done with taxpayer monies and wanted someone to ask the tough questions and defend them, without the probability of being targeted.  Soubirous was whom the community elected.  But it certainly seems to have upset the apple cart of the usual suspects within the city status quo who are not accustomed to true leadership.  In this reporters opinion, the matter is petty, elementary, a waste of taxpayer monies and seemingly a non issue brought together by a bunch of frat boys.  What is most interesting and quite remarkable is the two peas in the pod appear to be Councilman Steve Adams and Mayor William “Rusty” Bailey.  Again you have to wonder if there was interference within the realm of the complaint, it’s hard enough to teach old dogs new tricks.

COMMENTS FROM THE PRESS ENTERPRISE:

My councilman did tell me he would look into an issue of concern involving the sale of an RPD helicopter., the city’s only fire fighting helicopter (photographed here at the Pomona Fairgrounds auction site)being sold off for $200,000 on Feb..22 of this year. Are CC members even allowed to ask those kind of questions or will be they be investigated? Given that Adams was not investigated for alleged 407 w/ RPD in 2006 and 2008 what are parameters to investigate? It’s our money folks.  -Mary Shelton

Seems like Councilman Soubirous’ digging into city corruption has garnered the attention of the Municipal Mob. He will now learn firsthand how this city conducts “independent” investigations. Just like Councilman Davis had to be taught: just nod your head Mike and they’ll leave you alone.  It’s time to wash the filth out of City Hall. We can start with whomever’s behind this plot. Of course, we’ll never find out because as Soubirous is realizing: their is ZERO transparency behind the process.  -Fay Vic

Most of you know that Mike Soubirous is a man of the highest integrity and ethics. Thus we know that this is just another witch hunt prompted by the City Manager Scott Barber, Chief Sergio Diaz, and perhaps even Mayor Rusty Bailey. Politics as usual at Riverside City Hall. Especially when someone such as Mike chooses to be a leader rather a city hall hack like most who sit on the city council are. Valerie Hill lost the election guys, just accept it. This is much to do about nothing. Nevertheless, we must support Mike now as much as possible. PS. We need a homegrown police chief instead of a double-dipping transfer from the notorious LAPD.  -Donald Herman Collins Gallegos

All I can say is that Mike is holding to his promise of transparency and honesty with his constituents. Knowing him and his family personally, I understand his right heart and integrity in wanting to serve his community, taking his job seriously in asking questions that are of importance and for the greater good of those he serves. Stay strong, Mike.  -JoeDeGerolamo

Something is screwy here. The Chief’s response do not seem connected to the e-mail cited. Also, does the right to face an accuser disappear for elected officials? What are the rules for Council members who wish to contact city employees? [Why do news articles seldom cover the information I want to know?]  – Richard P. Morrall

Chief Diaz needs to learn that the Council sets policy. Soubirous is well within his authority to question current policy and work with other council members to change it. This will end up being much ado about nothing, except that the City will be out $49k.  – sadf qwrett

Diaz feelings hurt because he was running cover for the vagrants (many of them are homeless sex offenders) and someone calls him on it. Someone should be investigating the tactics “The Chief” approved of before Soubirous spoke up on behalf of his constituents. Shame the rest of the lemmings are sitting on the sidelines, watching the City Manager-lead witch hunt.  Mike, hang in there. Keep your head high. The folks that elected you are smart enough to see what’s going on.  – Dick_Gosinya

Chief sounds insecure, well they all do. Barber and Diaz are dysfunctional leftovers from the Brad Hudson legacy. A cliquish culture of narcissistic lack luster leadership. All this because it seems one councilman, Soubirious, who is truly an independent voice. Didn’t Bailey run his campaign on being an independent voice?  – Bret Hudson

This is a city manager-led witch-hunt on behalf of the police chief with his panties in a wad because a ward councilman, on behalf of his constituents, pushed to tackle a thorny problem in the city. Diaz, Bailey, Barber et al are a bunch of spineless hacks who view their jobs as nothing more than gladhanding politics-as-usual.   – remmy700p

 As we have seen before, the nail that stands up, gets smacked down. Did the full council really discuss and vote to hire an investigator? The $49 K seems to be the maximum the city manager can spend on his own authority.  – Kevin Dawson

JUST IN: CITY OF RIVERSIDE HIRES A PSYCHOLOGIST TO HELP ALL CITY COUNCIL MEMBERS TO GET ALONG.  SORRY, THIS IS NO JOKE, THE CITY SPENT $16,000.00 TAXPAYER MONEY FOR THE HEAD SHRINK.  IS THIS AN OXYMORON TO THE TENTH DEGREE FOLKS?  Is it because some in the Council don’t want to be part of the “get along to go along” club, so they therefore must be crazy? So now we can fix that problem with an taxpayer motivator/psychologist, and somehow convince the council to get back to voting 7-0 on all issues.  Anonymous sources, of which we cannot corroborate, are stating that there was a big blow out between Mayor William “Rusty” Bailey and Councilman and Congressman Candidate Steve Adams which lasted in the neigborhood of 30 minutes.  The psychologist intervened and they are now friend again…
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UPDATE: 05.02.2014: JUST IN, RPD MICHAEL BLAKELY LEAVES RPD, NO OTHER INFORMATION AVAILABLE
Incidently, is also Karen Aquino’s superior.

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TMC, RATED RIVERSIDE’S MOST “SLANDEROUS” AND MEZZSPELLED, “MISSPELLED” AND “OPINIONATED” BLOG SITE!  TEMPORARILY BLOCKED BY THE CITY OF RIVERSIDE AT PUBLIC ACCESS SITES WITHIN THE CITY, THEN UNBLOCKED.  I GUESS YOU CANNOT DO THAT ACCORDING TO ACLU.  NOW TAGGED LOCAL BLOGGERS OR LOCAL MEDIA?  RATED ONE TWO ONE STAR OUT OF FIVE IN TERMS OF COMMUNITY APPROVAL RATINGS..  TMC IS NOW EXCLUSIVELY ON FILE WITH THE COUNTY OF RIVERSIDE’S DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S OFFICE, AND PROSSIBLY POSSIBLY ON FILE WITH THE CITY OF RIVERSIDE’S POTENTIAL SLAPP SUIT LIST… WE WILL HAVE TO ASK GREGORY ABOUT THAT ONE ( OUR PEOPLE WILL HAVE TO CONTACT HIS PEOPLE)… AGAIN, THANK-YOU COMMUNITY OF RIVERSIDE AND THE CITY OF RIVERSIDE EMPLOYEE’S FOR YOUR SUPPORT!   COMMENTS ALWAYS WELCOMED, ESPECIALLY SPELL CHECKERS!  EMAIL ANONYMOUSLY WITH YOUR DIRT OR FOR CONTACT!   THIRTYMILESCORRUPTION@HOTMAIL.COM