Repeated inquiries from Canadian authorities about a delay in the search of Matheson's residence here in Sierra Madre were made. The fear being that the place would be sanitized. It is only on December 5th that a move on that residence was planned. And it did not take place until last night. Why did they wait as long as they did? Certainly the officials notified by our friends from the north would be very aware of the possible consequences of their case against Matheson should they delay. This called for immediate action.
This smacks of official negligence to me. Back to today's article:
More information has been uncovered by the Pasadena Star News in their excellent ongoing coverage of the Matheson Scandal here in Sierra Madre. I was over at their offices yesterday and I can assure you that their desire to get to the bottom of this matter is as strong as ours.
Credit for today's photo of Bob Matheson with an unidentified child goes to Terry Miller.
There are a couple of revelations found in today's PSN story, which is entitled "Feds search Sierra Madre home for child pornography." The most intriguing of these revelations being, for me, the one I am going to discuss first. You can access the entire article by clicking here. This story is currently the #4 Top Rated story on the Pasadena Star News website, which is significant for a piece about a town of relatively few people. An indication that regional awareness of what has been going on here continues to grow.
Immigration and Customs Agents obtained a warrant and executed the search of Matheson's 2030 Liliano Drive home after noticing a "flurry" of activity at the residence following his guilty plea, according to the affidavit.
The most recent of this activity occurring on Thursday, the day the story of Matheson's arrest was published on this newspaper's website, according to the affidavit.
The ramifications of what is said here are interesting, to say the least. What this means is that at least one government entity in this nation was aware of Mathenson's child pornography bust in Canada last October, and had acted upon that information. This could also mean that the premises at Matheson's address have remained secure, and that nothing of importance has left the building. Of course, we have no idea what went on inside the house, or whether or not the inmates were roasting hard drives in the fireplace.
And were other people involved? Claims such as those made by Susan Henderson in the most recent issue of the Mountain Views Panhandler are that Matheson acted alone and that nobody knew anything about his activities. So who exactly was it that ICE saw flurrying at 2030 Liliano Drive? Apparently someone was aware that the kilted one had been arrested, and that they had better start destroying evidence.
It has been the City of Sierra Madre's stance that they too knew nothing of Matheson's arrest until the Pasadena Star News article broke last week. Which I am assuming means that either ICE did not fill them in on their activities here, or the City hasn't been leveling with us for some reason. I suppose it is conceivable that the Feds did not share anything with the City because, given Matheson's considerable connections here in town, they did not trust anyone there to not leak sensitive information. My understanding is that they are currently holding the SMPD and the City of Sierra Madre's officials at an arm's length.
This is dismaying:
Canadian investigators also found several instant messages in which Matheson said he wished "to find a young man who could pass as his son or grandson and his belief that it would be an honor and privilege to guide and teach young boys through puberty," the affidavit said.
This is disturbing on so many levels. The first question that needs to be asked is who exactly received these IMs? Obviously Matheson was actively engaged in attempting to find people who would turn a child over to his "care." Who exactly would enable such a thing? And were any of those IMs sent to someone in our area? And if so, who exactly is it that was approached by Matheson in this sick quest? Did any of these IMs go to a Sierra Madre resident?
The affidavit includes details of a male companion, who was traveling with Matheson at the time of his arrest.
The man, later identified as Matt Greek of California, was questioned by Canadian authorities and told about the charges leveled against Matheson. Greek told Canadian officials that he had been friends with Matheson for about 10 years and they met when greek was "approximately 18 years old," according to the affidavit.
Greek returned to California in late October a trip paid by Matheson, the affidavit said.
The article goes on to speculate on whether or not Matt Greek has since been residing at Matheson's home. I suppose that it is possible that Greek's paid return to California came with orders from Matheson to watch over his property and, of course, his video and photograph collection.
Meanwhile, Sierra Madre residents are holding a candlelight vigil outside Matheson's home at 7 p.m. tonight in recognition of the victims of his crimes.
Matheson was active in Sierra Madre civic life, hosting a campaign kickoff at his home for former Mayor Joe Mosca in 2010, and is listed as a member of the Sierra Madre Chamber of Commerce on its website.
The address for the Candlelight Vigil this evening 2030 Liliano Drive. Dress warmly, bring a candle, and be prepared to be there for around an hour or so. Despite the continuing silence of our city officials on this matter, we need to show the world that the people of Sierra Madre are not indifferent to the horrible crimes committed within the borders of this town.
Tonight's Special City Council Meeting
This will kick off around 6 p.m., and shouldn't last more than a half an hour. The purpose being to announce the following information that I am quoting from the summary of the City of Sierra Madre Agenda Report:
The City Negotiating Team has been actively negotiating with the Sierra Madre Police Officers Association since October of 2010. On December 15, 2011 the City declared impasse in these labor negotiations.
The summary then goes on to say that the City will now arbitrarily dictate terms to the SMPOA, which they are then welcome to take or bake. It appears that there will be no raise this go-around for the men and women in very dark blue, and that they will also be picking up more of the costs for their retirement benefits as well.
I cannot imagine that the Police Officers Association, a regional outfit that represents the needs of police officers in many area jurisdictions, are going to be very happy about this turn of events. They are noted for their aggressive tactics when attempting to win cash money for their local outfits, of which the SMPOA is one. Whether there will be any labor action along the lines of what we saw in 2008 remains to be seen.
The squabble is most likely over where the money raised by the Utility User Tax increase to 12% is going to go once it starts rolling in around 2013. That is, should the residents of Sierra Madre approve of such a thing at the voting booth. 12% would be by far the highest UUT rate paid in the State of California.
As of now it appears that none of this money will be used to fund a Police raise. Instead it will become part of the overall General Fund, where it could very well end up being used to augment the needs of the very City employees who were on the negotiating team mentioned in the agenda report.
Which is why this negotiation should have been conducted by elected officials. Something that has not been the style of the City Council during the unfortunate Mosca-Buchanan years.
See you this evening at 7.