Posts Tagged ‘bob stockton’

                    

Was it a “64-year-old female of Riverside,”, “on Victoria Avenue,” with a, “2014 maroon Dodge minivan”?

DOES ANYONE HAVE A CLUE?

We here at TMC consider ourselves at least C- level Clue players, piecing together various bits and pieces of information – an anonymous email here, a public record request there, an off-the-record phone call hither, a half-truthed City press release yonder – to try to provide our approximately 17.5 readers some insight into how local government works, or more precisely, doesn’t work for the betterment of the general public here in Riverside County.  And along those lines, while we may have once (or twice) called him a Panderer-At-Large for his revolving door roles in the community, we were still sad to hear of the passing this past May of long-time Riverside Hundred go-to-guy Bob Stockton while out jogging along Victoria Avenue with his wife.  Stockton purportedly dashed out into the bike lane to avoid pedestrians on the walking path and was hit from behind by a passing vehicle.  An outdoor enthusiast, Stockton died doing what he loved with whom he loved: still, a bitter pill to swallow.  Our deepest condolences to Kelli, our old Jazzercize friend from many ounces pounds and years ago.

Before the obligatory Press Enterprise nothing-burger of a story’s ink was even dry, we had been informed who was responsible for Stockton’s untimely demise, despite the PE nor the City not telling us.  That’s just how the informal network of information flows here in the ole’ River City – always has, at least for those of us playing.  Her name?  Ann Marie Melendrez – the wife of sitting Ward 2 City Councilman and Mayor wannabe Andy Melendrez.

In Case You Thought We Were Making Things Up: TMC Brings the Goods

And while the sheer indescribable-ness of the odds of two of Riverside’s power families’ fates careening together in such terrible circumstances on that fateful day, as well as the future political implications, may seem like a newsworthy story in-and-of-itself, we were struck by something else in the Riverside Police Department’s (RPD) press release from that morning: a shiny object that might have only stood out to perpetually-jaded beings like us at the time, that we thought combined with our unique institutional knowledge of the City and some public records, might shed some new light on how we the taxpayers are getting set up to take it on the chin again.  See if you can spot it!  We’ll even give you a not-so-subtle hint.

(Photo by Terry Pierson, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

That’s an awfully wide bike lane for Stockton to not be running within

FATAL INJURY TRAFFIC COLLISION Riverside, CA – On Wednesday, May 13, 2020, at approximately 10:54 a.m., the City of Riverside’s Public Safety Communications Center received calls of a traffic collision involving a vehicle and pedestrian on Victoria Avenue near Horace Street. Paramedics with the Riverside Fire Department and Riverside Police Officers responded and located the parties involved on westbound Victoria Avenue, between Lincoln Avenue and Horace Street. Lifesaving measures were performed but the pedestrian was pronounced deceased at the scene.

Preliminary investigation shows an adult male was jogging on westbound Victoria Avenue when he was struck by a 2014 maroon Dodge minivan also traveling west on Victoria Avenue, being driven by a 64-year-old female of Riverside. The driver stayed at the scene and has been cooperating with investigators. At this time, it does not appear alcohol or drugs are a factor in this collision.

The Riverside Police Department’s Major Accident Investigation Team (M.A.I.T.) responded and is currently investigating. They are being assisted by the Riverside County Sheriff – Coroner’s Office. The decedent has been identified as Robert Stockton, a 64-year-old resident of Riverside.

This investigation is still ongoing and there are no further details to release at this time. Anyone with additional information is urged to contact Riverside Police Traffic Detective F. Soria at (951) 826-8720.

 

THE REAL THIN BLUE LINE/IT’S A FAMILY AFFAIR

Hmmmmm.  RPD, which reports to new Chief Larry Gonzalez, who reports to City Manager Al Zelinka, who reports the City Council, on which happens to sit Ward 2 City Councilmember Andy Melendrez, is investigating one of its boss’ wife.  One of the seven individuals in this podunk town of 330,000+, who just happens to control RPD’s budget and will be negotiating on behalf of the public on all police union MOUs in the upcoming year.

City of Riverside new motto: There’s no conflict of interest so large we can’t completely ignore it!

The same guy handsomely supported by the local police his last campaign for City Council.

RPD can pick it’s boss, pick it’s nose, and maybe even it’s boss’ nose for $5000.

The same guy whose two brother-in-laws worked for RPD…for 30 years.

“I got eight months left, I don’t want any trouble”

SIDENOTE: Yes, that Frank Orta.  The one who was on-scene and wrote the police report on ex-Chief Russ Leach’s Super Bowl romp through Riverside on his rims back in 2010: the report that mentioned Leach’s impairment (just 11 drinks and 5 prescription drugs) and his assertions that all he had was a flat tire (despite having totaled his vehicle), but recommended no criminal action.  The traffic stop that under normal protocol, according to the City Manager at the time, police would have conducted a field sobriety test, taken blood, breath or urine samples and made an arrest?  C’mon, you remember our sex, drugs, and rock’n’roll ex-Chief Russ Leach?  Still don’t have your attention?  Did we mention STRIPPPERS?!

Now … for the good stuff.  If not for an anonymous call to former Mayor Ron Loveridge’s office, the whole shebang would’ve been most likely covered up.  Ex-City Manager, general scalawag, and self-preservationist Brad Hudson hired the California Highway Patrol within days to head up the investigation into Leach because of the obvious conflict-of-interest of RPD looking into their boss’ misadventures that evening.  Now Orta’s momma didn’t raise no family of dummies (and neither did her offspring).    Coincidentally, Frank took an early retirement just ahead of California Highway Patrol’s final report being released, and avoided any discipline.  Leach resigned almost immediately after the incident, took a medical retirement, and eventually pled to misdemeanor DUI.  Hudson proclaimed internal policies would be changed so that this kind of scandal would never rock the City again.  We suggest you read this paragraph twice, because [spoiler alert] we’ll be coming back to it throughout this story.

  

Leach’s police vehicle…”just a scratch occifer!”

Oh, and let’s not forget Councilman Melendrez’s son Aurelio, who had an illustrious career with RPD: he was the Vice President of the Riverside Police Officers Association, and participant in the Riverside’s Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre.  Aurelio, we are told, left the department under suspicious circumstances not unlike “Uncle” Frank…but we are saving that story for another day (by all means, feel free to contribute by emailing us or commenting below).

God must be paying well these days (inside joke of the day)

 

ANOTHER SUPER BOWL SHUFFLE

Three years after Leach’s sexcapades, in 2013 then-Lieutenant Larry Gonzalez, in apparent homage to the ex-Chief, had his own Super Bowl stroll through Riverside.  Unlike with Leach however, Gonzalez was given a field-sobriety test, determined to under the influence of alcohol, cited at the scene, and had his driver’s license was taken away.  He was later arrested, charged, and pled guilty to misdemeanor DUI.  If only poor Gonzalez had been Chief…(queue foreshadowing music)

Super Bowl XLVII Results: Baltimore 34, San Francisco 31, Mailbox 0.

A mere seven years later, Gonzalez would complete his road to redemption and be named Chief by City Manager Al Zelinka.  At the time of that announcement, Gonzalez would reminisce about his DUI, “It was a horrible decision and it was a decision that had major consequences.  I accept full responsibility for it. I realize that good people make bad decisions.”  We remind the Chief that the road to Hell is paved with good intentions.

 

BY THE BOOK, JUST NOT THE RIGHT BOOK

Now back to the shiny object we mentioned the day of the accident (clue: it was the sentence in bold).  Let’s take a look at the actual RPD policy regarding traffic collisions involving City officials:

Click image to enlarge

And while TMC doesn’t know who the on-duty Traffic Lieutenant nor the Watch Commander were on May 13, 2020, we do know their boss: Field Operations Division Commander Captain Eric Charrette.  And we know who his boss is: Deputy Chief Jeffrey L. Greer.  And we know who his boss is as well: Chief Larry Gonzalez.  Further, we know his boss: City Manager Al Zelinka.

Charrette, Greer, Gonzalez, Zelinka…Where does the buck stop?

Yes dear readers, despite RPD policy detailing the option available to immediately request assistance from the California Highway Patrol, specifically for the investigation of a traffic collision involving a City official where a fatality has occurred, no request from CHP to takeover the investigation was made despite the CHP Multidisciplinary Accident Investigation Team only being 20 minutes away (and similar County services in the vicinity as well). And now serious questions must be asked as to the independence of the investigation into the death of Stockton given the gross conflicts-of-interest present on behalf of RPD and the deep family ties of the Melendrez family within the Department.

RPD Response to PE Reporter Brian Rokos 9 Days After the Incident?  Hold My Beer, I Got This!

You have to love the part where RPD Spokeshole, Officer Ryan Railsback says the following to Rokos of the Press Enterprise: “We can assure your readers and our community there is no bias or favoritism being given in any direction to those involved in this investigation.”  Bwhahahahahah!  TMC would not exist if that was so.

Geez Ryan, you’re looking a little pale after that statement.

We don’t know what Rokos’ response was to RPD’s email, but we know what ours’ would have been: Give us a break!  Even, “I got run out of Riverside; I got run out of Sacramento; I got run out of Laguna Woods Village; I got run out of LAWDP,” Brad Hudson had enough common sense to bring in the CHP (and ex-DA Grover Trask to boot) for Leach’s drunk driving case within 48 hours.  Saying, “Our traffic investigators with our Major Accident Investigation Team are the very best and we are confident in their unbiased work,” would’ve made us blush.  We’re not sure we could’ve typed those words without a winking smiley at the end or at least crossing our fingers behind our back.  IT DOESN’T SOLVE THE CONFLICT-OF-INTEREST problem Chief, no matter even if you brought CHP in later for a review.  Good people do bad things I guess.  

Interagency rivalry?  Whodathunkit? Wonder what Mike Soubirous thinks?

WHAT ABOUT BOB?

So back to our headline, “Was Bob Stockton Murdered?”  No.  But he was killed, rumors are by a distracted driver…with a history of perhaps distracted driving leading to another major collision involving another person, for which she was never held accountable.  Oh, and what about the City coincidentally re-paving, re-striping (and re-constructing?) Victoria Ave within months of the accident (that might be the only way to get your street paved around here from the looks of things).  But alas, we will save those stories for another day as well, as the vice tightens on our main suspects.  TMC uses its built-in, shock-proof, shit detector to determine the integrity of RPD’s investigation as:

Conflicts-of-interest and family ties ignored; non-compliance with policy for unbelievable reasons; department history of cover-ups = PEAK Bullshit!

As we hear the CHP has conducted its review of the investigation, and the final report lies in the hands of the District Attorney’s Office, we wait to see if Mike Hestrin will offer voters an October Surprise for the Mayor’s race.  Our prediction?  Not likely.

     

We need Superman, not Clark Kent

Excerpts from Riverside Fire Department’s report on the AM Melendrez/Stockton accident can be found here for our CSI: Riverside watchers:

Going to be a little difficult to re-construct the crime scene, now that the roadway’s been re-constructed.

We believe Bob Stockton deserves justice.  We believe the City of Riverside’s citizens deserve accountability for the mishandling of this situation.  We believe all people should be treated fairly and equally, regardless of whom they’re are related to.  And we hear our local fourth estate has been muzzled, despite a story already having been written on the subject-at-hand … that has not been published for some odd reason.  But never fear sweet Polly Purebread!  UnderTMC is here to save the day!

Since Councilman Melendrez sees no need for a public apology, we’ll do it for him.

Requiescat in Pace

 

UPDATE 10/20/2020:  It seems we’ve stirred the pot enough to embarrass the Press Enterprise into finally writing a follow-up story.  Our favorite part?  “Riverside police spokesman Officer Ryan Railsback said that review took place in a meeting between police and CHP officials, and the CHP verbally agreed with the findings. Railsback said no written record of the CHP’s conclusion was produced.”  The CHP won’t even formally sign off on the findings!  RPD just broke our bullshit detector!  We might have to file a claim for damages for intentional infliction of emotional distress.

And since the Press Enterprise won’t produce the letter that offended soooo many our our neighbors, WE WILL!  Enjoy!

 

TMC, RATED RIVERSIDE REGIONAL COUNTIES MOST EVERYTHING, A.K.A “THIRTY MILES OF CR-P,” “LATINO WHITE SUPREMACIST SITE,” “SITE IS A JOKE,” “RACIST,” “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,” HORRIFFIC,” “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

scam         croth

WHO WOULDN’T TRUST THIS INNOCENT FACE?

Just a few weeks back, we warned you of the new old game in town: the Public-Private Partnership(“P“-ing on your leg and telling you it’s raining, essentially).  The masters of this taxpayer and ratepayer ripoff is, of course, our old pal, the Greater Riverside Chamber of Commerce.  The point of this game is to enhance their visibility in the community under the auspices of doing great deeds of self-less charity, quietly paid for with your money, in order to justify their political influence, which will then be used to create programs that more directly (but just as quietly) benefit their membership … once again, at your expense.

waterwise2015

CLICK ABOVE IMAGE TO ENLARGE

This week’s scam is called the Waterwise Landscape Makeover, wherein a lucky Riverside homeowner wins $10,000 in goods and services to makeover their yard courtesy of Chamber-administered Keep Riverside Clean and Beautiful (KRCB) program.  Western Municipal Water District (Bob Stockton on both boards of directors) and Riverside Public Utilities (RPU exec Girish Balachandran on Chamber’s board of directors) graciously sponsor the makeover with your money.  The Chamber also sells raffle tickets with the proceeds going to help pay, “for tools and supplies for monthly beautification projects and youth education projects.”  Apparently, the $190,000+/year the taxpayers of Riverside kick in to run KRCB does not buy many shovels, rakes, and garbage bags….must be inflation!

KRCB Report1          KRCB Report2

Did we mention that 3-year contract with KRCB was of the no-bid variety?  Or did that go without saying?

If nothing else, we at TMC love winners, and so we checked to see who the lucky folks were that have won this contest in the past.

In 2009, Officer Mike Blakely of the Riverside Police Department took home the prize.

mikeblakely

In 2010, Chamber of Commerce member Laurie Beatty was chosen.

Waterwise2010

In 2011, Administrative Assistant to the City Manager, Maureen Mitchell, won the makeover.

Waterwise2011

In 2012, it was Chamber member Bill Chamberlain.

Waterwise2012

In 2013, another Chamber member, Matt Stowe.

stowejpegChamberWinners

In 2014, Nick Ferguson, who had recently joined the Riverside’s Board of Public Utilities, was all smiles with his new landscaping.

nickfergusonboardarticle    ferguson

CLICK ABOVE IMAGES TO ENLARGE

We wait with bated breath for word on who the 2015 winner will be!

For most contests such as these, the public is accustomed to hearing/seeing something akin to the following disclaimer: employees of the company, the contest’s participating sponsors and their advertising agencies, and members of the immediate family of any such persons are not eligible to participate and win. So let’s tally this up: in 6 years, 2 city employees, 3 Chamber members, and one RPU Board member were awarded the top prize.  An award which was sponsored by the City and RPU, run through the Chamber…

If that sounds a bit questionable, don’t worry: we were assured by Chamber counsel, Dewey Cheatham, and Howe LLP, and auditor, Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLP, that we’re just being paranoid…and of course, jealous.  TMC would love to get taxpayer and ratepayer funding so that we could run our own games, sell tickets to our friends, and share your wealth with them…(on second though, that would be a scam…and we’re certain our ever vigilant Council and Board of Public Utilities wouldn’t allow it…unless we were also Board members and city executives as well…)  Hmmmmmmm.  We may have chosen the wrong careers. 😦

Of course, the more obvious explanation is that if not for the Chamber and the City, no one would, you know, actually buy tickets for this contest.  And we can’t have that, or we’d have no excuse to burn our ratepayers’ money.  So of course only Chamber members and City staff and appointeds win the darn thing!  And we’d be fine with that…if they weren’t using our hard-earned cash to sponsor it.

 And the deadbeat goes on…la dah dada dee, la dah dada dah.

SOMETIME SOON (MAYBE EVEN THIS MONTH), we’ll talk about one of the big ripoffs: the commercial turf replacement program, funded through an illegal tax on your utility bills to the tune of millions of dollars, for the benefit of Chamber members.  And the deadbeat goes on….

EDIT: RIVERSIDE PUBLIC UTILITIES BOARD EVER-SO-SLIGHTLY RAISES THE RENTAL FEE OF THE AB BROWN SOCCER FIELDS TO THE AMERICAN YOUTH SOCCER ORGANIZATION …from $1/year to $11,000!  The possibility remains to double or triple rentals fees going forward.  Questions arise as to why.  Of course, TMC knows that anytime one deals with the City, bad things will eventually happen, and there will be no transparency as to why…but that’s the big picture.  Will the youth of this soccer organization have to find another location?  Is this another attempt to make it financially difficult for the youth to use the grounds because the city has other plans that does not include them?  Some are indicating “extortion” tactics by the city.  The claim of “extortion” was also brought publicly by the newly built Hyatt Hotel in Riverside.  The Hyatt developer’s claim states that the city “extorted” money from MetroRiverside (developer of the Hyatt) by improperly changing the obligations to build public improvements, and by delaying approval of designs for the improvements. The claims says the developer lost money because of the design approval delay and the convention center closure.

TMC, however, knows the real story of what’s going on at the Ab Brown Soccer Fields: they are being used for General Fund purposes financed by our Electric Fund in violation of our City Charter!  In other words, we have another illegal tax Riverside residents pay for via our utility bills, which is hidden from the public through an elaborate shell game concocted by City staff and endorsed by our Council.  The City’s General Fund would of course like to buy these properties from the Electric Fund to fix this little problem, but it’s out of money!  So the real question is not, “why did the rent go up?” but, “why wasn’t it raised a long time ago?,” a question raised by RPU General Manager Girish Balachandran in an unguarded moment last December.  And the answer to that question is: because we misspent hundreds of millions of dollars under the previous/current regime…and now the kids must pay that price.  And if that doesn’t make you angry enough to kick Ward 1 Councilman Mike Gardner to the curb this election, we don’t know what would…

2015-section-tourney-finals-850x409

TMC, RATED RIVERSIDE’S MOST “DISAPPOINTING,” “BELOW THE BELT,” “A NEW LOW,” “SHOCKING,” “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