Posts Tagged ‘district attorney’s office mike hestrin’

                    

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

HESTRINONE

Newly christened District Attorney Mike Hestrin, A.K.A. Superman, Clark Kent (also the underground A.K.A. name of “Hestrone”, because he is the man), layed out his plan for change with reference to rebuilding the DA’s office, as he was quoted as saying, “Brick by painful brick.”  We see a new turn of events whereby Hestrin will take the bull by the horns and remold the DA’s office in what many have said is in needed change.  Change in the sense that makes sense.  He states that now only will he be tough on crime, but he plans to concentrate on crime prevention.  Now what does that mean?

Hestrin is in charge of approximately 250 lawyers and 100 investigators.  He has an new expectation for his staff to volunteer their time in order to be more closely connected to the community.  Therefore he expects his lawyers and investigators to volunteer their time and expertise to community programs.  Not as a punishment, but as I see it, extending their responsibilities as DA’s etc. to actually resolving and mitigating the crime problem once and individual is released from prison.  By this, Hestrin’s intention is to prevent recidivism.  This would be done by keeping individuals from going back to their communities and associating with criminal elements.  If they associate with positive and constructive individual, he believes this would help individuals not going back to a life of crime.  The way I see it is that if you want to truly lower crime rates you have to have a 360 degree plan.  Hestrin is making such an attempt.

Programs such as YAT, Youth Accountability Team, helps young offenders, who are at risk youths, to be steered away from crime.  Another program is the Woman’s Wonder Writers program.  Then again, there is the Real Men Read community program.

He is not only asking his staff to volunteer their time to community programs, but to make the attempt to start new community programs.  So he is asking not only to prosecute, but go a step forward to connect to the community.  One of the questions he would ask in the promotion process would be “what have you done for the community to decrease crime.”  This is takes the DA’s office to a different level and bring it full circle, a 360 degree plan.  DA’s and investigators will not only be responsible for fighting crime, but finding solutions to decrease crime, and most importantly, crime due to recidivism.

WILL FORMER BB&K INTERIM CITY ATTORNEY CHRISTINA TALLEY AFTER BEING FIRED FROM THE CITY OF RIVERSIDE BE TRANSFERRED TO ANOTHER UNSUSPECTING CITY AT INTOLERABLE WASTE OF TAXPAYER DOLLARS FOR MEDIOCRE LEGAL ADVICE??

gotmycheck copy

GOT MY CHECK…

Incidentally, Talley was the City Attorney for the City of Pasadena during the years of 1994-1996, cities do recycle their employees!  She came here to Riverside, while we sent former Public Works Director Siobhan Foster and former Assistant City Manager Michael Beck to Pasadena.

Christina-Talley_9150

Oops, looks as that didn’t sit to well..  Regarding the Jason Hunter Ethics Complaint, Talley told Councilman Paul Davis that the City Attorney’s Office had no authority to hire outside council for the Ethics hearing, this was weeks after she allowed outside hired counsel Doug Smith to represent Justin Scott-Coe, at taxpayer expense.  What goes?  What we found was that Hunter made the legal argument against the hiring of outside legal services, then Talley evidently concurred, or felt she was challenged by true legality of this aspect, which led her altered legal opinion in favor of Hunters original proceedings.

WE ARE IN THE PROCESS OF ATTAINING EMAILS TO SUPPORT THE ABOVE CLAIM.

FORMER BB&K ATTORNEY LETITIA PEPPER SENDS EMAIL JANUARY 16TH TO CITY OF RIVERSIDE DEMANDING THAT THE CITY OF RIVERSIDE COMPLY WITH THE RALPH M. BROWN ACT PROVISIONS ABOUT ASSIGNING ISSUES TO THE CONSENT CALENDER..  Pepper states that the method the City has adopted for assigning issues to the consent calender violates the Ralph M. Brown Act provisions.

Pepper therefore demands on behalf of all residents of the City of Riverside, that:
    (1) the contents of all future Consent Calendars for City Council meetings be set, as required by law, at an open, public City Council meeting,;
    (2) that such Consent Calendar be set by the City Council as a whole, rather than by the Mayor and the City Manager and Assistant City Manager;
    (3) that the public be given the appropriate opportunity to make public comments objecting to an item being placed on the Consent Calendar before the City Council votes on the make-up of such calendar.

demandconsentcalender

CLICK ON IMAGE TO VIEW FULL EMAIL

UPDATE: On January 18th, Attorney Pepper sent out an addendum letter to her first letter, regarding the demand that the City comply with the Ralp M. Brown Act provisions about assigning issues to the consent calender.  Within this letter Pepper makes the connection that she believes that their is circumstantial evidence that prior Council member Don Betro was involved in a broad based conspiracy, along with other former elects and city executives such as City Attorney Gregory Priamos, Mayor Loveridge, City Manager Brad Hudson, CFO Paul Sundeen and Assistant City Manager Michael Beck, to pillage the City’s, or taxpayers finances.

addendumletter01182014

CLICK ON IMAGE TO VIEW FULL LETTER

IS THE GREATER RIVERSIDE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE MAKING MONEY ON A PUBLIC EVENT?  It has been brought to TMC’s attention that the yearly public event known as the Annual State of the City, may be just a campaign fund raising event, which appears to tell the public to not come!  This should be advertised as a free even since it is a public event.  Why has it appeared to be taken over by a non-profit, the Greater Riverside Chamber of Commerce?  They are asking that there is a charge of $50.00 per ticket, there is nothing to state that the public can come or attain free tickets. The truth of the matter is that the Chamber has a total of 650 tickets, 50 of those are free general public tickets and 600 are being sold

It also appears that Public Utilities is paying for advertisement on this site.  There was controversy last year when $500,000.00 of taxpayer monies was to be set aside to the Chamber to coordinate the Keep Riverside Clean and Beautiful Program, without the bidding process.  TMC wants the same deal, we will gladly advertise Public Utilities for $24,999.00 right under the maximum amount Public Utilities Manager Girish Balachandran can cut a check for.

stateofthecityGRCCLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE (figure one)

It appears that the taxpayer funds the Chamber, even through Public Utilities, but the public is not even publicly invited to this event.  Is this what the Chamber has done a ruse or front for raising campaign funds for their “go along get along” candidates?  To be fair the PE did mention their would be a limited number of “free seats available.”  Really now, doesn’t that just want to make the public not want to go or even attempt to compete for these limited number of free seats?

sponsorpkg     PEfreeseats

Again questions arise if employees of the City, as former Public Utility General Manager Dave Wright, should be on the Chamber board.  Curently,  Riverside Public Utilities General Manager Girish Balachandran, is on the board of the Greater Riverside Chamber of Commerce, and Taxpayer monies are cut from this General Manager to the Chamber as seen in this advertisement (figure one).  Unbelievable…  Conflict of Interest, or Culture of Corruption?

Girish-Balachandran        RCCGirish

Incidentally, Cindy Roth is the CFO/President of the Chamber who’s husband Richard D. Roth is now Senator for the State of California, and has been a recipient of taxpayer monies for doing the City’s dirty work, as many in the community have said, though are afraid to state their opinion for fear of retaliation by the City Department Agencies or even RPD.  Sorry folks, I’m only the messenger..  But many are told when calling the Chamber that the limited number of free seat are for the “General Public” which must be seated in the back of the event.  I say, the “Elite Public” can pay for a taxpayer event, but the rest, “General Public” sit in the back of the bus..  Quite fitting as January 19th is Martin Luther Kings Birthday.

1956_South_Carolina_bus_segregation  martin

DON’T WE HAVE A STATUE OF MARTIN LUTHER KING IN FRONT OF RIVERSIDE HALL?

The question is why would anyone want to do business or even live in the City of Riverside when they don’t even feel safe by the Police Department or even that they can make a living under the duress of many rules and regulation by the City which makes it difficult to doing real business.

IS IT TIME TO RECALL RIVERSIDE COUNTY SUPERVISOR’S FOR ABUSE OF TAXPAYER’S MONIES?  ACCORDING TO A LETTER IN THE PRESS ENTERPRISE THE ANSWER IS YES..  Sounds like our former Riverside City Manager’s shoe shine machine at taxpayer expense of $600.00.  The bastard couldn’t even pay for his Starbucks coffee for two bucks without hitting the taxpayer..  you named him, former City Manager Brad Hudson.  Hopefully, Hestrin will place the likes of him in incarceration, and his cohort Assistant City Manager Belinda Graham, alleged lover.

godfatherartwork14 copy

Opps, Jeff Stone not in the picture anymore, he took his bat to the Senate.

 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