“Have I made wrong decisions? Sure, everyone does. We all make mistakes because we have imperfect information, we’re not always as mature as we should be or our emotions get the better of us. However, I can honestly say that I never made a wrong ethical decision.   –  ex-City Manager John Russo

da Vinci’s “Last Supper,” remastered by Riverside’s now former City Manager  

Has the great one been shown the entrance to the 91 Freeway?  Yes he was!  As far as we know, Council never fired a City Manager, this may be the first, and it must have been for a good reason.  But knowing Russo he probably preferred being fired to receive more bang for his buck through the taxpayer.  On the other hand, don’t you love it when Councilman Jim Perry wished him well!  The bustle and tussle of rumors were coming through the TMC notification center earlier today stating City Manager John Russo has been fired without cause, and was announced at Today’s April 17, 2018 City Council Meeting.  Fired without Cause?  Probably to avoid litiigation.  It was a 4 to 3 vote that came while Russo was performance review was being undertaken by Council in closed session.  Councilman Steve Adams, Chuck Conder, Mike Gardner and Jim Perry were the four who voted to fire City Manager John Russo.  Questions arise as to Councilman Steve Adams and Mike Gardner change in vote this time around.  Did they have a come to Jesus meeting with the godfather himself… John Tavaglione?

But what may have been the last straw for Council, was coming to the realization that a crime may have allegedly occurred.  The fact the Mayor can veto a resolution should be the focus. What our City Attorney and City Manager allegedly did is present a contract to Council without a resolution, as required by Municipal Code and/or City Charter.  Therefore the argument is that the Mayor cannot veto their employee contracts, because there is no resolution, which is true, but not without violating City Charter.  Further, there may be some culpability on Councilman Chris Mac Arthur’s part, who at the time was Mayor Pro Tem and signed the Russo contract, in lieu of Mayor Bailey being in town as required by Charter.  Hence, Mac Arthur violates the rules of the City Charter by overstepping his bounds.  This was a true miscalculation in judgement.

Rumor is that Mike Hestrin’s District Attorney’s office was brought in to investigate and ask questions regarding City Manager John Russo’s contract.  Hell broke loose with City Councilman Jim Perry and City Attorney Gary Geuss, who blamed Perry for bringing the District Attorney in.  Chief Financial Officer Adam Raymond was questioned by Councilman Jim Perry of why certain relevant issues such as Russo’s vacation pay out were not brought forward to him in the name of transparency.  It seems that tension continues on the City Hall Seventh Floor with City Attorney Gary Geuss and Chief Financial Officer Adam Raymond, who always seemed to be pressed anyway, when answering relevant questions.  What did he really know?  The blame game continues.

Could Former Interim City Manager Lee McDougal be the choice for interim City Manager once again for the City of Riverside?  Lee again, comes with his own set of baggage as we indicated in prior post on TMC.  TMC knows the real story of Lee McDougal of what happened in the City of Montclair.  Let’s not forget his attempt to close camera close ups because he couldn’t handle the free speech at public comment.  Yes, Lee will be nothing more than another bobble head.

Did City Manager make a miscalculation in judgement when it came to pushing the issue of remunerations?  Riverside’s Cool Conceited City Manager was finally taken down by the old guard of Riverside.  His vanity got the best of him.

The story of John Russo is nothing new, he climbed the ladder of success and became the top dog in Alameda and Riverside and I’m sure some other unsuspecting city will be glad to have him.  He only lasted three years in the small Southern California City of Riverside, and didn’t even complete his full contract.  His arrogant personality got in his way and the Council finally may have had enough.

Were these the reasons John Russo was fired tonight?  And if so, is this the beginning of John Russo’s, and not Mayor Bailey’s, legal problems.  Local resident activist Jason Hunter sums up the problems with the Russo contract.

THE CASH OUT PROBLEM: CITY MANAGER JOHN RUSSO’S STATEMENT AT CITY COUNCIL TUESDAY FEBRUARY 6, 2018: UNBEKNOWNST COUNCILMAN JIM PERRY WHO WAS BEHIND THE RUSSO CONTRACT NEGOTIATION, APPARENTLY AND EVIDENTLY MAY NOT HAVE HAD ALL PERTINENT INFORMATION NECESSARY IN ORDER TO COMPOSE A CONCLUSIVE DECISION.

According to the video City Manager John Russo told Council he would like to take more time to spend with his family and apparently not cash vacation, as opposed to using them.  But the truth of the matter he evidently cashed out the $50K vacation pay.  In addition, the mortgage loan for his home of $675K, should have been $625K, he therefore also cashed out another 50K for a total of $100K. What gives?  More culpability on Councilman Chris Mac Arthur for not doing a proper assessment on the property?  It now places City Council in a precarious position with the eyes of District Attorney Mike Hestrin’s Office clearly positioned on this activity.

According to City Manager John Russo’s statement..  “I want to be forced to take more vacation, the idea here, I work all the time, I have a kid in the bay area and a mom in a dementia ward in New York…”

“I’d like to feel that I can take that time off, and that I have to take it off, so the city saves money by my not cashing it, since I can’t cash it I can’t accrue it..so I gotta take vacation..”

Russo leaves his position with a years severance, the contract entitles Russo to receive pay and other benefits worth about $471,000 this year and a course his $675,000 low-interest home loan.  Not to shabby for a short stint, now he will travel to another unsuspecting town.  CFO Adam Raymond fumbles to find words to answer simple direct questions by Mayor of cash outs by the City Manager.  Interesting enough, Russo interrupts.  While the council fired him without cause… they are going to wish that he was.  Because if they know or find that there was behavior to knowingly defraud the Council and the taxpayer, that would be a felony, and also known as misappropriation of funds.

CRIMINAL CONSPIRACY BY CITY MANAGER AND CITY ATTORNEY? RIVERSIDE ACTIVIST JASON HUNTER GIVES THE LOW DOWN ON THE LOU DESMOND & CO RADIO SHOW TODAY: 04.18.2018

 

COMMENTS FROM THE FOURTH BRANCH OF GOVERNMENT, THE PRESS ENTERPRISE, WE ARE ASPIRING TO BE IN THAT REALM OF HONOR!

CLICK TO ENLARGE

TMC, RATED RIVERSIDE REGIONAL COUNTIES MOST, “SCANDALOUS,” “NEGATIVE,” “WARPED,” “RAUNCHY,” “LOW CLASS,” “VISIONS OF GRANDEUR,” “FULL OF B.S.,” “REPREHENSIBLE,” “IGNORANT,” “MISGUIDED,” “BULLYISH,” “INDECENT,” “REPUGNANT,””IMMORAL,” “FILTHY,” “VILE,” “SICK,” “PERVERTED,” “DEFAMATORY,” “STUPID,” “PATHETIC,” “DESPICABLE,” “DISAPPOINTING,” “BELOW THE BELT,” “A NEW LOW,” “SHOCKING,” “OFFENSIVE,” “OBNOXIOUS,” “INAPPROPRIATE,” “HURTFUL,” “MEAN SPIRITED,” “DISTASTEFUL,” “EMBARRASSING,” HORIFFIC,” “SLANDEROUS” “FIT TO BE VIEWED FROM THE REAR” AND MEZZSPELLED, “MISSPELLED” AND “OPINIONATED” BLOG SITE! YES WE ADMIT WE OUR ALL OF THAT AND MORE, WHICH IN CURRENT TERMS IS KNOWN AS “UNPOLITICALLY CORRECT.” 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 STAR OUT OF FIVE IN TERMS OF COMMUNITY APPROVAL RATINGS.. … AGAIN, THANK YOU COMMUNITY OF RIVERSIDE AND THE CITY OF RIVERSIDE EMPLOYEE’S FOR YOUR SUPPORT! CONTACT US: thirtymilescorruption@hotmail.com

Comments
  1. Karen Renfro says:

    I commend you for your excellent commentary. This article sticks tightly to the facts as known and bases conclusions on those facts. For this I am grateful. It should have been the Press Enterprise that pointed out the absence of a resolution calling for an extension of the city manager’s contract. The sign of a good journalist is one who is not afraid to ask dumb questions, like “Where is the paper trail?” That the Council approved Russo’s contract without a resolution means either they do not know the rules or they are flaunting them. Now their votes–whether yea or nay–are, to put it technically, illegal. Not one Council member asked where the resolution was. Can we rely on them to protect our lives, liberty and property? I don’t see how it matters whether Russo is gone or not. His legacy lives on in city policy regarding spending and relations between Council and city staff. It is time to bear down hard on our representatives and make them cry “Uncle!” or replace them with men and women who will abide by the Rule of Law. The Rule of Law is the principle that says there is a Higher Law that governs the Universe, all Mankind is governed by this law, no one is above this law, and to be just, Man’s laws must be consistent with this law. This is the ancient tradition which fed the ideas that inspired the American Revolution. I hope it inspires ours.

  2. Emma says:

    What Russo said about his inability to “cash out” vacation is deceptive. He was limited to cashing out a certain number of hours each year. There was NO PROVISION whatsoever that said he didn’t continue to accrue what remained after using and cashing out vacation time each year. Those hours would have been waiting for him when he retired. IF what he said was true, why was it not put in writing in the same way the “no carry over” of administrative time was?

    I have seen this question asked several times and it was never addressed by anyone, it was completely ignored, one can assume that is because it was the truth. Even obnoxiously vocal Soubirous couldn’t prove that it isn’t true. Soubirous believed that just because Russo said it was true, it was true! Right, Russo was completely transparent about everything. Russo was transparent that he was going to cash in his vacation bank IMMEDIATELY (2 days after the signing of the contract) – NOT. Russo was transparent about the fact that the requested $675k home loan was enough to cover his existing loan and to pocket $54k – NOT. Russo was completely transparent that per the Fringe Benefit and Salary Plan he was also going to receive an additional 42 days of “leave” – making his contract worth waaaaaaaaaaaay more than it appeared at first glance – NOT. Russo was so transparent that he ensured that the required Resolution was offered up in the council memo as it should have been – NOT.

    To this day Soubirous is still spreading misinformation about the realities of the Russo contract.
    In a desperate attempt to save face, Soubirous has now offered up a new angle on all of this. In a very smug, I double dog dare you way, he has now submitted a council report to study city manager salaries and put a cap on them. He’s even challenging all of those that were so bold to voice their opinions against Russo’s contract to do the same in support of his new “look at me” proposal insinuating that if they don’t they are hypocrites! Check out his facebook page Councilman Mike Soubirous to see the bs he is still putting out there. In my opinion it is rife with the stench of a desperate politician afraid for his future election.

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