A two part series of articles has been written regarding Pasadena’s Public Works Director Siobhan Foster and City Manager Michael Beck with relation to their part with the City of Riverside featuring former fired Resource Principle Analyst Jason Hunter, former City of Riverside Business Owner who was retaliated by a City of Riverside Executive and Taxpayer Advocate Vivian Moreno, former fired Riverside Contracts Administer for Public Works Sean Gill, former fired Deputy City Attorney Raychele Sterling and retired 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 Scott Simpson.
RIVERSIDER’S COMMENT ON THE PASADENA INDEPENDENT:
The people of Pasadena are lucky they have a newspaper that is covering this information. The owner of the Riverside paper, the Press Enterprise, retired, and it was sold to a Texas corporation that then gutted its staff’s ability to do this kind of investigative reporting. It has since then changed hands again.
Meanwhile, Michael Beck was hired as City Manager by the City of Riverside WITHOUT ANY SEARCH FOR, OR INTERVIEW OF OTHER CANDIDATES. I know; I was there objecting to this hire.
Why was Beck hired without any search for candidates? I think it’s because our then-Mayor, Ron Loveridge, knew Beck would participate in covering up what already had been taking place for years, under the “leadership’ of the previous City Manager, Brad Hudson, who, with Loveridge, had concocted a redevelopment scheme, the so-called “Riverside Renaissance,” that has left local citizens forced to overpay utility bills, sewer charges, and more, and stripped local services so that, for example, the annual expenditure on public libraries is only 25 cents per citizen per year. (I think Pasadena was spending at least $4 a year on library services).
Beck had worked at the University of California at Riverside, where our multi-term Mayor, Ron Loveridge, was continuing to accrue pension credits while on repeated annual leaves to serve six four-year terms as the City’s Mayor. (This means Loveridge is getting pensions from both the UC system AND from the City of Riverside; a recent salary poll showed that some unnamed associate professor at UCR is making $680,000 annually, and I bet that it’s Loveridge.)
So Loveridge knew Beck before extolling his virtues as a City Manager — an accolade Beck received despite his lack of ANY experience as a city manager.
I hope this newspaper continues to dig deep into this story! - LETITIA PEPPER, former Attorney for Best, Best & Krieger.
Beck started out without the proper credentials to be a city manager, but Mayor Loveridge brought him from UCR to pull off the Renaissance scheme. Although Beck is not smart enough to pull this scheme off himself he had help. We also fired good management so the scheme could be pulled off. Check with the purchasing manager, did they replace him/her. Did someone alert management and get fired? This is a trick Beck learned in Riverside. Fire Beck!!! Check not only your interfund/interagency loans but also your bond proceeds. City council need to call the state controller to do an audit. Do not rely on outside auditors they can be bought and sold. Beck is no good, he will only try to hide the larger problems. Someone needs to ask Beck why he was in the City of Riverside, city hall about 3 months ago, saw him in the elevator. - DVONNE PITRUZZELLO, former candidate for Riverside Mayor & Council
And why, people should ask, did Beck fire Green and Foster “without cause”? Why weren’t they fired FOR cause — for failing to institute, and then follow, procedures designed to prevent the theft of at least $6.4 million? It looks like Beck is actually TRYING to protect them. He’s probably hoping that the average person will think that by firing them without cause, at least Beck is punishing them.
Under these circumstances, describing their departure as being “without cause” is actually a reward, compared to what should be happening.
So who REALLY knew WHAT was going on with that embezzlement — and WHERE did the money go, and WHO got a share of it? Will BECK’s name figure as an answer to any of these questions? Let’s hope there is an in-depth investigation and prosecution in the works.
I can’t believe the incredible timing of this article. Toward the end of the article, Jason Hunter, a former City of Riverside employee fired for knowing too much and not keeping quiet, talks about how the City of Riverside’s top officials worked to silence public discussion.
One of the ways to do that was that the City Council voted to take away the public’s right to take things off the Consent Calendar so that they were available for public discussion, and how then a small group — the Mayor, Mayor Pro tem, City Manager, City Attorney, and City Clerk — would decide what items went on the Consent Calendar.
In fact, individual Council members were denied the right to put anything on the Discussion or Consent Calendar at all, thus depriving their constituents of any voice as to issues that needed to be discussed.
I just recently stumbled onto the fact that this method of controlling public discussion is a violation of the Ralph M Brown Act. On January 16, 2015, I sent the Riverside Mayor and City Council a letter demanding that they stop violating the Ralph M. Brown Act and return to the former — and legal — method by which members of the public may object at any City Council meeting to any item being placed on the consent calendar, which then puts in on the Discussion Calendar for a full, public discussion and debate about its merits.
I am still awaiting a response, but if the City fails to correct this glaring, and meaningfully timed violation of law, there is a group of citizens ready to retain my legal services to sue the it.
Notably, the motion to take away this public right was made by Riverside City Council Member Dom Betro and seconded by Council Member Steve Adams as the “Riverside Renaissance” shell game was about to heat up. Steve Adams has been a HUGE proponent of developing the Ag Park land (mentioned in the second article in this series)and has continued to insist that there are no toxic chemicals there. I believe that Steve Adams was a primary a proponent of using sewer funds to build the infamous “road to nowhere” — a road built with city money leading directly to land that Cox, the developer mentioned in part two of this story, was planning to develop. – LETITIA PEPPER, former Attorney for Best, Best & Krieger.
TMC, RATED RIVERSIDE’S MOST “OFFENSIVE,” “INAPPROPRIATE,” “HURTFUL,” “MEAN SPIRITED,” “DISTASTEFUL,” “EMBARRASSING,” HORIFFIC,” “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 THE ACLU. RATED ONE TWO ONE STAR OUT OF FIVE IN TERMS OF COMMUNITY APPROVAL RATINGS.. TMC IS NOW EXCLUSIVLY EXCLUSIVELY ON FILE WITH THE COUNTY OF RIVERSIDE’S DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S OFFICE (WE BELIEVE THIS WILL END SOON, SINCE THE FOCUS IS NOW ON THE IMPROPRIETIES OF MR. “Z”, WE TRIED TO TELL YOU, BUT NOBODY LISTENED), AND DON’T FORGET WE ARE PROSSIBLY POSSIBLY ON FILE WITH THE CITY OF RIVERSIDE’S POTENTIAL SLAPP SUIT LIST… A STRATEGIC LEGAL MANEUVER THAT CAN BE DONE ONLY IN RIVERSIDE WITHOUT A CONTRACT… AGAIN, THANK-YOU COMMUNITY OF RIVERSIDE AND THE CITY OF RIVERSIDE EMPLOYEE’S FOR YOUR SUPPORT! COMMENTS ALWAYS WELCOMED, ESPECIALLY SPELL CHECKERS! WE JUST CAN’T SPELL! EMAIL ANONYMOUSLY WITH YOUR DIRT BY CONTACTING US AT: THIRTYMILESCORRUPTION@HOTMAIL.COM