Thursday, August 30, 2012

Will Lackie, Dammeier & McGill Use Intimidation Tactics In Sierra Madre?

As we discussed yesterday, labor contract negotiations with the Sierra Madre Police Officers Association have been ongoing for quite some time. The City of Sierra Madre has declared that things are at something of an impasse, and lawsuits continue to be filed by the SMPOA. In other words, it is business as usual with our Lackie, Dammeier & McGill represented police union. In the opinion of many the use of lawsuits as a negotiating tool is being vigorously employed in our town.

But there are further steps that the City could very well be forced to consider in the upcoming years. Costs coupled with revenue shortfalls have caused the City of Sierra Madre to pinch pennies, with positions and programs having been eliminated. And should the residents of Sierra Madre again turn down the City's request to extend the Utility User Tax at its current California high rate of 10% (with an additional 2% increase possible at the whim of the City Council), everything will then be on the table. Including the possibility of contracting with the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department. A Police Department that consumes 53% of the General Fund no longer being fiscally sustainable luxury.

These are questions that exist in other cities as well, and options such as the ones we've discussed here are also under consideration elsewhere. And as we saw in yesterday's article, there is a rising suspicion in certain towns that the tactics being employed as a negotiation tool by LD&M include intimidation of elected officials. This from an article that the Orange County Register updated on their website yesterday (click here).

Officials: Police union negotiator targeted city councilmen - Officials from Costa Mesa, Irvine, Fullerton and Buena Park on Tuesday accused an Upland law firm that represents police unions of employing thug-like behavior in its efforts to win favorable contracts for city police agencies.

Lackie, Dammeier and McGill, which represents more than 120 police associations in California, until recently had featured on its website a manual for tough negotiating tactics that included targeting city officials until they cave in to union demands.

Buena Park Councilman Fred Smith said he was targeted by a police officer after leaving a party in December 2010. Smith said he was pulled over, told he smelled of alcohol, and asked to take a field breath test. Smith said that he blew "all zeroes" but was ticketed for straddling a lane.

"I was told I should never disrespect officers," Smith said.

Smith said he also received threatening text messages last week from a political consultant that worked for the police union. One text asked Smith if he knew the meaning of "GJI." A later text explained: "Grand Jury Indictment." It was followed by this message: "Say good bye Freddie."

An account given by another elected official is equally chilling.

Buena Park Mayor Jim Dow also appeared at the news conference, saying he had received word a year ago that the union was gunning for him. Dow said he then moved his adult daughters to Idaho after reading a suggestion online that police unions should target the children of city officials. He said he's in the process of selling his house and plans to move after his term ends. "I couldn't take that chance with my kids," Dow said.

Here is another:

Fullerton Councilman Bruce Whitaker said intimidation by the Fullerton Police Association resulted in a 3-2 vote against pursuing cost estimates from the Orange County Sheriff's Department. The Council was looking into restructuring its police force, Whitaker said.

"We entrust (police) with the ability to take away our freedoms, to make arrests, to intimidate, to use discerning tactics. This clearly can cross the line and become an abuse of those powers," Whitaker said.

When the consideration becomes more about what can better the economic position of the Police Department and its officers, and less the law enforcement needs of the community, then a line has been crossed.

Patch raises an interesting Matheson question

Out of the big three questions of journalism, they got "the who" and "the what" down alright, but whatever happened to "the why?" This from a Patch article posted yesterday entitled "Find Sex Offenders In Your Area" (click here):

Though Robert Matheson, a Sierra Madre resident who pleaded guilty to possessing and smuggling thousands of images and videos of child pornography across the Canadian border last October, has not been required to register as a sex offender, Sierra Madre Police and Immigration and Customs Enforcement previously said he is under investigation. Evin Daly, CEO and Co-Founder of One Child International Inc. and Child Abuse Watch, also wrote a letter to the Sierra Madre Police Department urging them to pursue placing Robert Matheson on a sex offender registry.

The "under investigation" reference is the standard boilerplate response given when either of these law enforcement organizations chooses not to discuss something. The list of undiscussed items permanently under investigation here includes the EVI gas station ripoffs and just about anyone's house that has ever been robbed.

But it is quite obvious that Patch doesn't know the answer to the why question. Does anybody? Why was Robert Matheson given a pass by the City of Sierra Madre on the question of his having to register as a sex offender? The City has never explained itself on that one. Don't you think it is about time they did?

Also, isn't it rather telling that Patch went to the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department to source their article? And not the Sierra Madre Police Department? For a news site that pulls its punches as much as that one, it is quite a statement.

http://sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

45 comments:

  1. Brown Shirts come to mind!!!

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    1. I agree 7:00! I'm reading In the Garden of the Beasts about Hitler's rise to power, and these tactics are eerily similar - intimidate those who would speak out. Just think of all the slander that MaryAnn has had to endure over the last four years.

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    2. The slander MaryAnn had to endure was the worst Sierra Madre has ever seen since I've lived here 20 years.
      It was absolutely shameful, to the extent one Mosca supporting woman who is well known in the canyon actually went as far as to send MaryAnn herself a hate mail. These Joe Mosca supporters have been spreading these lies ever since MaryAnn was elected to our city council in 2008.
      It is very well known, in the circle of regular Tattler supporters who these people who did this shameful thing to MacGillivray, are. We know who you are.
      I know who you are. Most of you don't even know MaryAnn personally, or it's hard to believe you could spread such lies about her.
      What happened to your "idol" Joe Mosca? He split town in a cloud, that's what happened to him. And the "dirt" darling, convicted child pornographer, Robert Matheson, is still on the loose in Sierra Madre. It is shocking. It is disgusting.
      You Mosca supporters should be ashamed.....but of course you are not. You have no integrity, you have no shame.
      I have no respect for any of you, and that includes 3 of the current members on our city council.

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    3. I had the chilling thought when I was reading this blog about how MaryAnn was subjected to slander many times during her term of office. I always thought it was Mosca's gang that was responsible, but think about it, the mud slinging continued even after Joe left the city.

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    4. Sure, because of the election, Josh Moran took over the nasty little gang, but they used the same lies. Josh lied about knowning Matheson. Of course he knew him. The Tattler posted pictures of them together. Josh attended Matheson's big campaign party for Joe Mosca, up at that evil house on Lilliano. Perhaps even the next to flee town, Colin Braudrick, who at the time lived with Moran, also attended? Very likely.

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  2. This must be Lackie etc's desperation tactic. They see the way things are going in a lot of cities, and they're playing very dirty.

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  3. At this point in time I see no problem with going with the County Sheriffs.
    Set up a police commission as an intermediary board for evaluation, performance, and citizen's input.
    Make their contract contingent on the Commission's and City Council's review made periodically, as a check and balance system.
    Since many services our police department are unable to perform because of it's size, and gets contracted out already to Pasadena or County, the transition would be fairly painless.
    It would make it possible to work within the current city budget.

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    1. It would also make it possible to drive through town without anxiety, since patrol cars lurk everywhere just waiting to pounce on anyone who dares to drive too fast, too slowly, not wait 10 seconds at a stop sign, not wash their car, listen to their car radio too loudly, look cross-eyed at a cop, etc.

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  4. Save a million bucks a year, lose the goon lawyers. Is there a down side?

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  5. Chief Black KettleAugust 30, 2012 at 8:01 AM

    I get the erie feeling that policing organizations in general are becoming more like scenes from the final moments of clockwork orange, or as in the lyrics from the Rolling Stones' Sympathy for the Devil "when all the cops are criminals and all the sinners saints..." There are three noble truths we should keep in mind about our "peace officers": 1) they carry the power of life and death on their hip; and in that respect 2) they are the final arbitrators of constitutional law; and 3) this is most important: the average flatfoot has no sense of humor.

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    1. I would agree to a point.However,SMPD has demonstrated an remarkable lack in 1,2,and 3.These are some of the reasons concerned citizens are looking elsewhere for Police services.

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    2. I think that was the point the chief was making...

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  6. Many people have been mistreated in this town over the years. Some were council members. It would be interesting if they would come forward and tell us all what they went through I'm sure we would all be a lot more concerned. How about it council members of the past, please come forward. Tell us how your kids got stopped all the time and how come you left town, or did you leave the state? If this person doesn't come forward I may mention their name and a story as I would like to know if it's true. There are still people in town who remember that council member and the story I bet. This kind of treatment is not new to SM, it's just now being talked about in public. I for one am scared of the police and what they can get away with by law. How about seeing some numbers from the PD, like how many tickets have been given out this last 6 months and for what violation. If you would all take your tickets and concerns to the courts maybe we could get an investigation going from a higher lever, OH, Sacramento law makers would evaluate this with the best interest of the public, right?

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  7. At one time SMPD was hassling me. Pulling me over and their excuse was they were pulling everyone over to alert them of a possible prowler in the area. They would ask me for my license, insurance, registration. This happened 3 times. They officer Lance Long contacted me by phone and tried to suggest that I move out of town maybe someplace close like South Pasadena. I was thinking are you kidding me. You have the nerve to suggest that I move out of town. This isnt the wild west. Im free to live where I choose to. Another officer (the buff guy on steroids that sued the city for $25K for Diaz going into his locker) not sure if he still is on the force but he pulled me over and harassed me. I told him to kiss my ass. He threaten to arrest me. I called Abernathy and told him my story. Nothing ever happened of that. I remember the days when PD in town were a respected group who took the time to chit chat with you over a cup of coffee. Then that new chief (married to that reporter girl) came in and hired all those goons and its never been the same.
    So many changes in town in the last 10 years that have brought the quality of life down in Sierra Madre. To many interest groups.

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    1. Abernathy was one of the douche bags that put up the sign "Sierra Madre Sucks" at the Wisteria Festival a few years ago
      so glad he's gone but he's draining the city with his pension and now he's a mall cop at Santa Anita

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  8. According to the OC Register articles Member of Congress Dana Rohrbacher is on this, as is the DA. It is so good to see that these people are getting involved.

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  9. Bob Matheson is not required by the city to register as a sex offender because his crime was committed in another country and or in another state. Thats just the way it is. If people really want him out of town they need to stand in front of his house and protest until he leaves. Scare him out of town. If he registers then he is protected by law by not having people harass him. The media could be called in to film the demonstrations. Do this over and over and Matheson will end up moving.

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    1. Time and again this has been shown not to be true on this blog. Federal law recognizes convictions in Canada, along with Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand, etc. Please, stop the madness.

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    2. Well anonymous 843 if you are accurate on that information, then you need to back it up by contacting the state dept. An attorney should be contacted to file suit against the city and the SMPD for negligence. Demonstrations in front of his house is legal and would create a stir enough for the news wagon to come out. Putting heat on the right people action will take place. Bob Matheson is not that connected or protected by the Dirts. They'd throw him under the bus if they had to. So any conspiracies that Matheson has something on others in town is just false.

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    3. The fly knows....

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    4. All posted on this site, lazy daisy at 8:54. Why don't you go look?

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    5. Do we actually pay city employees like Lazy Daisy to monitor this site?

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  10. The Sierra Madre Police Officer's Association (POA) is now the Police Association (PA). The reason is the firefighters can now join.

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  11. John and Ken did a show yesterday about them. L,D,&M are suing San Gabriel big time.
    You may be able to catch a reply of their show at am 640 . com.

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  12. In answer to your question Crawford is, they already have, but with MacGillivray, Zimmerman and Watts in on the negotiations, the contract was at a standstill. Let's see what this new Council will take us, and who will cave.

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  13. You mean the "volunteer" firemen who are in the process of being brought under the umrella of paid positions with benefits, pensions, and no longer Sierra Madre residents? It won't be long until the entire general fund will necessarily be used to pay the SMPD and SMVFD.

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    1. Sierra Madre is being sucked into the Los Angeles County way of doing politics. Union money paying the way for friendly politicians who dole out pensions and pay increases like they're lollipops.

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    2. Yes, you are so correct in you comment, 10:23
      Don't you think this is happening everywhere? I think so.

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    3. LA County is the new Chicago.

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  14. Brutal video of L.A.P.D. beating up a 34 year old, 5'4" small female RN in Tujunga who was stopped for talking on her cell phone!
    We will surely hear more of this. Check out this link, it's pretty shocking.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/brutal-lapd-arrest-caught-video-department-investigating-cops-bodyslamming-nurse-cell-phone-traffic-stop-article-1.1146962

    If you don't think this could start happening in Sierra Madre, think again.

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  15. The police are armed and dangerous, anyone who gives a cop a hard time will get a hard time back.

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  16. 10:55 we already have a cop (Amos) who freaked out and shot a unarmed man in the back after improperly following basic procedure with securing a vehicle and this officer was put back on the force

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  17. Which council gave the thumbs up for the pension plans that Sierra Madre will be paying out? Forget citizen commissions for the PD and Fire; unless you have a citizen's commission to keep an eye on the citizen's commission! Some cities bring down costs with a citizen's patrol unit(s); why not look into that type of involvement?

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  18. How many years has this town been paying out on the pension plans? and where does the city now stand on this finicial drain? Who ok'ed this and why and when? Why not have a citizen's patrol like the city of Arcadia does? This would save expenses (and the city car's they drive are smaller and "greener". No, on a citizens commission, you would only have to have another commission to watch that commission!

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    1. So who do you think's driving those cruisers with Arcadia Police Department painted on the side in large letters?

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    2. I think we need a Commission to oversee all Commissions, and we should also hire an Executive Commissioner to watch over that. I hear Nick Conway may be available.

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  19. 4:49 does not understand the job of a commission, that has to be someone who is already set on not having a commission, he is for the Green Commission but not for the Police Commission. People just don't get it.

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    1. The Green Commission would add to the power of the Mayor and City Manager. It is designed to help push a certain kind of development. A Police Commission would challenge the authority of the Mayor and City Manager. They hate that.

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  20. Hey Tatts,

    Did you see the story about the suit in Monrovia by the developer of the failed transit center?

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    1. Yes, I just read it in the PSN.

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  21. Interesting news about San Berdo and the Feds and Eminent Domain.

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  22. Yes, it's desperation time.

    www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/01/eminent-domain-mortgages_n_1836710.html

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  23. It's time for the sheriffs. Why have we waited so long? Thank God we all feel the same way. The City Council will go with the sheriffs, it's their best business move. A city government is after all, a business. Anything else makes them look like they are working for police not for the people who pay their salaries. The police tactics are a well known joke. Are the police forcing the the City of Sierra Madre not to hire sheriffs?

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