I came across this settlement case when looking into the Lanzillo Incident few weeks ago, and it was quite enlightening. How many times has a settlement lawsuit occurred whereby a councilman such as Steve Adam’s has allegedly had a part in interfering with a process such as police promotions, in which of course, he should not be interefering with. The question is, why would he feel a need to be part of the process to begin with? At the last City Council meeting, former City of Riverside Deputy Attorney Raychele Sterling stated that City Attorney Greg Priamos expressed that Councilman Steve Adams was a “huge liability”. It certainly appears that Councilman Steve Adams in the following law suit has costed the taxpayer not $1.00, not $500,000.00, but $750,000.00 and more in incidental court cost according to the law firm of Lackie, Dammeier & McGill.
By: Russell Perry & Michael McGill
On the eve of trial, the City of Riverside settled a contentious lawsuit brought by two of its lieutenants–Darryl Hurt and Tim Bacon–brought against the City, its now retired Chief of Police, a City Manager, an Assistant City Manager, and two City Council members. The lawsuit alleged retaliation based on the lieutenants’ political activities on behalf of the Riverside Police Administrators Association [“RPAA”], the union for police management employees.
In 2006, Lieutenant Hurt became President of the RPAA and was vocal about the City violating numerous provisions of the union contract, including the City’s surreptitious attempt to convert various positions to “at will” status. Hurt was responsible for coordinating litigation against the City challenging its actions and spoke out in opposition at various City Council meetings. Of course, Lieutenant Hurt did not stand alone in his opposition to the various issues that confronted the RPAA. In 2006, Lieutenant Tim Bacon was a vocal and active member of the RPAA. He gathered a wide range of community support at City Council meetings to oppose the implementation of the “at will” employment contracts. Furthermore, Lieutenant Bacon was Chairman of the Political Action Committee [“PAC”] for the RPAA and endorsed a candidate for City Council that eventually lost an election against a current City Councilman.
In addition to their union activities, Lieutenants Hurt and Bacon also reported what they believed to be unlawful activities of Police Chief Russ Leach, City Manager Brad Hudson, and Assistant City Manager Tom Desantis to the California Attorney General related to the issuance of concealed weapons to the city managers, as well as unauthorized cold platting of city vehicles. Lieutenants Hurt and Bacon believed that their outspoken criticism of City Hall, City Council, and the reporting of the alleged illegal activity angered the city managers and city councilman. Unfortunately, these protected activities ended up coming back to haunt Lieutenant Hurt and Bacon when they later tested for Captain.
In November 2007, both lieutenants participated in the promotional process for Captain. Naturally, their combined extensive training and fifty six plus years of collective law enforcement experience led to a high ranking following the oral interview. Despite their excellent qualifications as senior lieutenants, they were passed up for promotion allegedly based on their political activities.
During the discovery phase, numerous depositions were taken and provided startling insight into the manner in which promotions occur within the City of Riverside. A former Deputy Chief testified that Chief Russ Leach was told by City Manager Brad Hudson and Assistant City Manager Tom Desantis that Lieutenants Hurt and Bacon would never be considered for promotion because of their union activities. In fact, the candidate that was ultimately selected for promotion over Hurt and Bacon by Chief Leach was specifically approved by the city managers after an unusual vetting process.
Before the official announcement of the captain promotion was released, Councilman Steve Adams met with the promotional candidate at a restaurant, intentionally selected outside the city limits to avoid the appearance of impropriety [presumably due to the timing of the gathering]. This meeting was allegedly needed to resolved personal differences between Councilman Steve Adams and the candidate. Amazingly the only apparent issue that has to be resolved is whether or not the candidate actually campaigned against Steve Adams during a prior election—like Hurt and Bacon did. Once Steve Adams accepted the candidate’s plea that he did not campaign against him, all the personal differences were resolved. City Councilman Adams told City Manager Hudson the next day that the meeting went well and coincidentally, the official announcement of the promotion of that candidate followed shortly thereafter. By the terms of the City Charter, members of the City Council are not supposed to be involved in the promotional process.
After they were passed over for promotion, Lieutenants Hurt and Bacon notified the Chief of Police of their intent to file a lawsuit. This act had immediate consequences as they were both suddenly transferred to an undesirable assignment for seasoned lieutenants, specifically the watch commander position.
The City’s assertion that the Lieutenants Hurt and Bacon were not promoted because they never made it to the top three choices for captain was going to be exposed as a sham at trial. They had compelling evidence that they were not going to be promoted because they previously engaged in protected activities. The circumstances surrounding the promotion of the other lieutenant only after the secret meeting outside the city limits, the testimony of Deputy Chief that both candidates were not going to be considered for promotion to captain, and the total lack of credibility of the former Chief of Police were going to show otherwise.
A few weeks before the case was set to go to trial in April 2010, the City came to its senses and met the plaintiffs’ settlement demand. The terms of the settlement were released to the public by the City Attorney’s Office and include the following: In exchange for dismissal of both lawsuits against all defendants, Lieutenants Hurt and Bacon agreed to be placed on administrative leave until they were eligible for retirement [July 2010 for Lieutenant Bacon and January 2011 for Lieutenant Hurt]. Both lieutenants will receive back pay at the captain rate from the date they were passed up for promotion in January 2008 until their retirement. The City will ensure that both lieutenants will receive top step captain pay for the twelve months prior to retirement. Furthermore, the City agreed to purchase additional PERS service time so that both lieutenants could retire at the maximum, thirty years of service. Finally, Lieutenant Bacon will receive payment of $300,000 and Lieutenant Bacon will receive payment of $250,000. The City further agreed to pay the Lieutenants’ legal fees and costs. In total, the Lieutenants will receive a combined cash settlement totaling approximately $750,000, not to mention retirement at top step captain—positions they would have had absent the retaliation by the Defendants. We did not even consider the cost the City spent to defend this case, which I’m sure goes well into the six digit range.
Mr. Warmth he is not, Mr. Sensitivity he is not, so why should we even give him the benefit of doubt when it comes to leadership? When in essence his leadership is not for the benefit of his constituents. What about the damage to City vehicles and cold plates? What about the story of Lt. Meredyth Meredith and the alleged interference with her promotional process to Captain? According to a deposition of former Chief of Police Russell Leach, he was preparing to promote then Lt. Meredith to captain when former Assistant Manager Tom DeSantis called him and put a stop to it. Leach then stated, “And I found out Steve Adams marched into the meeting with…Hudson and Desantis and told them emphatically she shouldn’t be promoted.” So what would be the reasoning behind Adams not wanting Lt. Meredith to be promoted? Why would it matter at all what he says to begin with, wouldn’t he be violating Section 407 of City Charter, Intereference in Administrative Service, by that behavior? So the big question we at TMC are asking, are certain people in leadership positions within the City of Riverside setting the taxpayer up for more costly liability? We know “Mr. Liability” is..
UPDATE: 09/17/2012: EXCESSIVE WATER RATES? WE TOLD YOU SO….ARE THEIR PROPOSITION 218 AN PROPOSITION 26 VIOLATIONS NOT BEING ADDRESSED? A NEW REPORT IN THE PRESS ENTERPRISE ON THE HIGH COST OF WATER DUE TO THE TIERED SCAM…WE’RE SAYING IT BUT THEY ARE NOT. OTHER TMC LINKS ON WATER: CITY OF RIVERSIDE: EXCESSIVE WATER TAXATION? AND CITY OF RIVERSIDE: UNDERWATER AND SHOCKED BY HIDDEN UTILITY TAXES? AND OF COURSE: CITY OF RIVERSIDE: THREE TIERS FOR WATER! I’LL DRINK TO….SECOND THOUGHT CAN’T AFFORD TO… AND IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN ELECTRICITY RATES: HIDDEN TAXES ON YOUR ELECTRIC UTILITY RATE$!
UPDATE: 09/18/2012: CITY COUNCIL TUESDAY! The redistricting issue was debated and voted at Tuesday’s City Council Meeting on September 24, 2012. The map that was accepted was as follows:
Councilman Chris Mac Arthur’s legislative aid Charles Condor who was canvassing the his neighborhood for signatures to remain within his Ward 4, appeared to get his request. The “deciders” cut “Chuckie Land” right down the middle, with Chuckie’s home address remaining in Councilman’s Paul Davis Ward 4, and the other half going to Councilman’s Andy Melendrez’s Ward 2. Others rumored that Condor wanted to remain in Ward 4 in order to run against Davis next election cycle. Now Condor has been quoted as saying he has no intention to run Ward 4 Council in the next election. Chuckie Land in the first image should be all pink because it is actually in Councilman’s Paul Davis’s Ward 4. It’s green in the photo because one of the redistricting map choices was that it would be redistricted to Councilman Andy Melendrez’s Ward 2, hence the second image which was accepted by council.
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Now the “Chamber Queen”, Cindy Roth, with all the controversy, did not get that piece of Ward 2, the Market Place of which TMC coined “Cindy Land”, to be moved to Councilman’s Mike Gardner’s Ward 1.
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Again, I must emphasize, that redistricting is not about ’business’ it’s about ‘population’. If there is any inference of ‘gerrymandering’ that will be left for the state to investigate. Redistricting, again, is based on a strict criteria, formulated to prevent political favoritism and gerrymandering.
Another change, was that Ward 1 was moved from Blaine to the Streets of Linden and University within the Andy Melendrez’s Ward 2. Proponents, such as Christina Duran were not happy with that change. Though, we must remember, what appeared to be of greater concern to the community of Ward 2 was the Market Place, which was of course, retained within Councilman’s Andy Melendrez’s Ward 2. Regardless, public speaker Christina Duran made it known to Council that she would file a letter of objection to this change. A letter of objection allows the decision in question to legally be brought up at a later time if deemed necessary due to inconsistencies, otherwise the decision could be considered final.
Again the act of redistricting is based on a set criteria which independently produces several redistricting map choices for council to vote on. Changing those boundaries for the benefit of a few, known as gerrymandering, would be violating this set criteria, therefore would be left for investigation by the state. The points made above were many of the ones which were seemed to be brought to the forefront of importance, otherwise movement and slight district changes overall were left unchallenged.
UPDATE: 09/20/2012: GANGNAM STYLE MEETS “RIVER CITY STYLE”? OR EVEN “THE LOVERIDGE STYLE” AS COINED BY ALICIA ROBINSON OF THE PE? WOULD THIS HELP OUR SISTER CITY? CAN IT HELP RIVERSIDE WITH NOTORIETY? NEW POSTING ON THE PE BY ALICIA ROBINSON..
UPDATE: 09/26/2012: QUESTIONS ARISE ON THE FATALITY OF ISABEL PABLO STRUCK BY AN RPD VEHICLE. Police Officer Boulerice’s initial statement was that he was looking at his computer before the collision.. but Greg Matthews, (paid by the City of Riverside to assess the actual circumstances of the fatality, in favor of the city, I would imagine), said the short amount of time Boulerice needed to stop indicated that he was not distracted… Well alrighty, I heard that one by the common people, or should I say the taxypayer.
Matthews said Pablo was not visible to Boulerice long enough for him to stop in time, even if he had not been driving 5 mph over the posted 35 mph speed limit. We all know the dangers of going 40 mph and taking a second or two not looking at the road. It only takes a second of distraction. We’ve been told this time and time again, but now, is there a double standard now involved?
Trained police officers can text, use their cell, utilize their computer and the City can effectively argue that the officer was not distracted? I know a thousand local taxpaying civilians that would like to hire that guy.. BUMP, Oppps, O’my god…what did I do?? Laws? What laws? What are they there for? According to RPD, there Press Release suggest that Isabel Pablo was jaywalking.. by walking outside the crosswalk. She was even given a toxicology test, the results have yet to be reported by the Chief. In one instance to mitigate going over the speed limit, Chief Diaz states that Boulerice would not have been able to stop even if he were driving the posted 35 mph, police said at the meeting.
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Accordingly the following image from the PE shows where Pablo was when she was hit (red tear drop). Also in the image are the lines of visual compromise to the police officer driving (red lines) which made it difficult to see Pablo. Also notice that where Pablo was hit (second image), was the area or distance between one vehicle lane. It is also important to notice the layout of the blocks in relation to the streets.
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The next series of images begins with image 1, approximately one block away from where Pablo was hit. Image 2, is approximately at half the distance, with noticeable pedestrian crossing clearly painted on the street. Image 3, is approxiamately a quarter of the distance. In all images you can judge for yourself it their was any visual impairment. Also consider the speed of the vehicle in excess of the speed limit, and driving while on the vehicle lap top. The police officer also mentions a vehicle parked to the right curb also causing visual impairment (Image four). Click images to enlarge. According to the PE a southbound motorist who saw Pablo on the curb, nodded to Pablo that she could cross, but then honked his horn when he saw the police car approach at a speed that indicated Boulerice did not see Pablo. I’m assuming that what he meant by honking the horn was that he was traveling in a speed in excess of what appeared to normal. You the citizen be the judge..
IMAGE ONE IMAGE TWO IMAGE THREE IMAGE FOUR
Three other views beginning approximately one quarter of the way to impact. Keep in mind the view especially in image three. Also consider as indicated by the PE, the landscaping, medians and planters were installed in a $1.1 million project in 1999 that was designed to slow vehicle traffic and make Madison more pedestrian friendly. Image four is of Image Two with a parked truck.
IMAGE ONE IMAGE TWO IMAGE THREE IMAGE FOUR
Could speed and distraction been a factor?
To make his point, Chief Sergio Diaz said there have been 23 fatal vehicle vs. pedestrian collisions in Riverside since 2007. In 15 cases, the pedestrian was at fault; in five cases, the driver was at fault but was not charged; in three cases, the driver was at fault — two charged with felony DUI and one charged with misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter. I’m not sure what Chief Sergio’s Diaz’s point was, but maybe it was to mitigate the collision somehow, but regardless, violations occurred. If you wanted transperancy, one would want to look at the video dash cam for the purpose of seeing the police officer’s view from the police vehicle. Chief Diaz doesn’t see it that way, he stated at a community meeting that he would attempt to prevent the police car’s dashboard video from going public, that he had no interest in satisfying anyone’s “macabre curiosity.” “Macabre Curiosity”? First Riversidian’s who asked questions regarding police procedures, were labeled as those who are “eating cheetos in their underwear”. Now the question arises again, whereby the community would like to view all the evidence, especially the dash video. Those who would like to see the dash video are now labeled as deviant, with a “macabre curiosity”. Again many in the community are questioning the decisions and remarks of the Chief, especially now that he appears to be interfering with public records and how he skews issues of importance.
TMC INVESTIGATES WITH THEIR OWN VERSION AS SEEN ABOVE, WITH NO COST TO THE TAXPAYER. WITHOUT THE COMMUNITY WORKING WITH POLICE HAND IN HAND, WE CANNOT HAVE A SAFE COMMUNITY. TRUST NEEDS TO BE BROUGHT BACK, EVEN IF IT MEANS A NEW CHIEF. WHAT! ANOTHER CHANGE ORDER FOR THE FOX PERFORMANCE PLAZA FOR $2.5 MILLION. BUT GET THIS! STAFF ALREADY SPENT IT WITHOUT CITY COUNCIL APPROVAL. OF COURSE THIS HAS CITY MANAGER SCOTT BARBER’S NAME ALL OVER THIS. AT ONE POINT DURING COUNCIL PROCEEDINGS, COUNCILMAN STEVE ADAMS ASKED IF THE MONEY HAD ALREADY BEEN SPENT AND THE CONSTRUCTION ALREADY DONE? CITY MANAGER SCOTT BARBER ANSWERED “YES’… THIS WAS ITEM #15 ON THE CITY COUNCIL AGENDA FOR TUESDAY 09.25.2012. TAXPAYERS ARE ASKING WHO’S IN CHARGE? BUT DID COUNCILMAN STEVE ADAMS, CITY MANAGER SCOTT BARBER AND THE CITY ATTORNEY GREG PRIAMOS ALREADY KNEW ABOUT THIS BEFORE HAND? THE REASON WE ASK THIS AS WELL AS OTHER IN THE COMMUNITY IS BECAUSE IT IS NOT UNCOMMON TO SEE COUNCILMAN STEVE ADAMS WITH CITY MANAGER SCOTT BARBER AT SUCH LOCAL HANGOUTS AS MAZZ. ALSO SEEN WITH ADAMS IS CITY ATTORNEY GREG PRIAMOS. THREE PEAS IN A POD? WAS THIS WHOLE EVENT POSSIBLY EVEN ORCHESTRATED? WHAT ARE THE LEGAL REPERCUSSIONS BEHIND THIS DECISION? KNOWING THE RULES OF CONDUCT, WHY WOULD CITY MANAGER SCOTT BARBER VIOLATE THEM?
SCOTT BARBER STEVE ADAMS GREG PRIAMOS
SHOULD THE CHIEF OF POLICE, CITY ATTORNEY AND CITY MANAGER POSITIONS BE ELECTED POSITIONS? WE WELCOME YOUR COMMENTS.. AND YOU KNOW BY NOW HOW MUCH TMC LOVE’S THE DIRT, EMAIL YOU DIRT! NOT LITERALLY… INCIDENTALLY, IF YOU HAVE EXTRA DIRT..MAIL IT TO CITY HALL! CITY HALL NEEDS YOUR DIRT IN ORDER TO COMPLETE TEQUESQUITE PARK..AT THE RATE OF 1,800 TRUCKLOADS… THIS WITH A COST OF $200,000.00 TO THE TAXPAYER. $200K DIVIDED BY OUR POPULATION OF 300,000.00 COMES OUT TO $0.666 PER RESIDENT. WE WILL LET YOU KNOW OF ANOTHER INCIDENT WHERE THE 666 NUMBER COMES UP REGARDING EL TEQUESQUITE PARK, OF COURSE, RESERVED ONLY FOR THOSE 666 ENTHUSIAST..
Self Appointed Citizen Auditor Vivian Moreno question the documentation for Tequesquite Park which states that the six fire stations are equal to the $4 million. “That can’t possibly be right, these six stations have to be worth over $50 million”! ”If you divide $4 million by the 6 fire stations you get $666,666.66. Your telling me that a fire station is only worth $666,666.66″?
UPDATE: 10/01/2012: ITEM # 19 ON CITY COUNCIL AGENDA FOR 10/02/2012: GINA AIREY CONSULTING TO BE CONTRACTED FOR “SEIZING OUR DESTINTY TWO”? AT A COST TO THE TAXPAYER OF $210,365.00? Yes Folks, there is a Method in the Magic in order to initiatate Seizing Our Destiny Two..
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Methods & Magic: How to Jumpstart a Focused Plan that Delivers Results… and Saves You Time! –This is a day-long workshop to prepare for self-directed strategic planning, designed for volunteers and smaller organizations. “Methods and Magic” is also available as a workbook for all those City Council who need a helping hand with vision.
The last time we had anything with the term “Magic”, was when Former City Manager Brad Hudson requested an outside investigation to the allegations of favoritism of himself, so he hired Rancho Cucamonga-based law firm Cihigoyenetche Grossberg Clouse at a cost to the taxpayer of $150,000.00 to do the investigation which ultimately took a month. Of course, in this investigative process they forgot to interview the other party which originally made the claims of impropriaties. This is the same in Councilman Paul Davis’s case, whereby former RPD Lt. Jeff Callopy also forgot to take a statement, from non other than, Councilman Paul Davis, and was still able to determine wrong doing by the councilman. Well, go figure. But it gets stranger, one of the partners of the law firm Brad Hudson retained to investigate the email claims, specifically, Scott J Grossberg Esq., is also a motivational speaker who specializes in magic, and is the author of three critically acclaimed and bestselling books, “The Vitruvian Square: A Handbook of Divination Discoveries,” “The Masks of Tarot,” and “Bauta: Betraying the Face of Illusion,” in addition to his oracle/divination cards, “The Deck of Shadows.”
This partner specializes in magic, thought-reading, and divination (Tarot, oracle cards, palmistry, astrology, and numerology). I guess my question to the City of Riverside is, why do continue to focus on “magic” for the answers to the City of Riverside’s future? What is their obsession with “magic”? In their eyes, would “magic” be what is necessary to take the City that one step beyond?
UPDATE: 10/02/2012: CITY COUNCIL VOTES TO CONTINUE REDLIGHT CAMERAS, REGARDLESS OF WHAT THE PUBLIC AT LARGE HAD TO SAY…AND WHAT THEY SAID WAS TAKE THEM OUT! THE VOTE: ADAMS-YEA, HART-YEA, GARDNER-YEA, DAVIS-NAY, MAC ARTHUR-NAY, MELENDREZ-NAY, MAYOR PRO TEMP AND MAYORAL CANDIDATE, AKA “INDEPENDENT VOICE” MADE THE DECIDING VOTE WITH AND ASTOUNDING YEA.. WHAT DOES AUSTRALIAN BASE REDLFLEX HAVE ON THESE INDIVIDUAL WHO VOTED IN FAVOR OF IT?
I heard 18 people speak against the cameras tonight and two in favor of keeping them. All agreed the fines are unreasonable, even Steve Adams. Outwardly he says he supports community opinion and supported alternative methods to improve traffic safety. An excess of 11,000 tickets at Arlington and Indiana shouts loud and clear that public works is not doing an effective job of improving traffic safety here. Warren Buffet recently invested in red light cameras as reported by some council members (Mac Arther and Davis). - Mark Porter, Commenter on the PE
The proverbial saying: put your money where your mouth is, comes to mind. If the city’s position is that the red light cameras result in safer intersections then where are the substantiating facts? if a case cannot be made that the red light cameras are producing a safer traffic environment (presumably the reason for their existence, according to the city) then we must ask: Why are they there? -dontsurfsaltcreekmiddles, Commenter on the PE
UPDATE: 10/04/2012: CITY COUNCIL WEEK SEPTEMBER 26, 2012. CITY MANAGER’S SCOTT BARBERS EXPLANATION TO THE SPENDING OF $2.5 MILLION WITHOUT CITY COUNCIL KNOWLEDGE OR APPROVAL.
First of all let me say that, if we didn’t proceed with the MOU, (Memorandum Of Understanding is a document describing a bilateral or multilateral agreement between parties), this change order would be another $500,000.00 or $600,000.00 on top of what you are seeing right now cause that would have been the cost to rebuild the building that had no purpose or no use, (The Press Bindery). Which seems to me to be would be a waste of money. So I appreciate and recognize that we would be writing a wrong, and we are going to do something really good with the money.
Second of all, there was some management decisions made during the course of construction, that should have been discussed with the council. I fully understand and appreciate the depth and weight of those decisions that were made. And you have my guarantee as your city manager …uggh, that we have a big convention center construction under way…. You have staff’s commitment that we will bring to you items as they come up, because when their’s construction, there are unforeseen things that happen, it just always happens with construction.. and there were some additional cost that were management decisions, and….that’s not the kind of thing that is going to happen again… So, I appreciate your thoughtful consideration of this, and you have my guarantee as your city manager that we will not be making management decisions to make changes on projects without discussing them with you…
City Councilman Paul Davis: Final question, has this work already been done? And it’s kind of asking permission after the fact?
Barber: Most of the work been completed…(therefore the $2.5 million has been spent without City Council approval)..
Upcoming, another alleged hired retaliatory investigative hit job by former RPD Lt. Jeff Callopy against a Public Works employee?
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. 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