Sunday, December 7, 2014

A Couple Of Things City Attorney Teresa "Red" Highsmith Forgot To Tell You About The Demise Of Sierra Madre's Sex Offender Ordinance

T-Money
Better put this one in your "Unbelievable City Hall Idiocy" file. Right next to the one you have on the Civility Party and Josh Moran's denial of having ever known Bob Matheson. We're talking advanced level dumb and dumber here, courtesy of Sierra Madre's City Attorney Teresa L. Highsmith.

Or, as Earl Richey often enjoys calling her, Red.

As I am sure you recall, the news that Sierra Madre's Sex Offender Ordinance had been effectively killed in secret was first communicated to the folks here in town by the Sierra Madre Tattler. I mean, who else here would ever do that? Certainly not Teresa. The article we posted was titled "Question: How Exactly Was Sierra Madre's Sex Offender Ordinance Put On Legal Hold?" and you can link to it here. This really was quite a story, especially for a town such as ours. One that has unfortunately become a kind of haven for these creepy little dudes, and thanks in part to the likes of our highly compensated City Attorney, one where they get to call their own shots.

So you know, Sierra Madre's Sex Offender Ordinance was pulled down in a closed session City Council meeting with Teresa in December of 2013. It was part of a settlement agreement with an organization known as California Reform Sex Offender Laws. Wonderful folks who provide free legal representation to child molesters and other similar forms of hell spawn.

Their lead attorney, Janice Belluci, had beaten the pants off Teresa in court, and part of the settlement was that Sierra Madre could no longer use its Sex Offender Ordinance. It was put into mothballs in December of 2013, and will remain there until the California Supreme Court gets around to deciding if voter approved Jessica's Law is Constitutional or not. Which is a whole other story.

This was a clandestine City Council session, and nobody said anything about it later. A triple dipple secret, one where all of the City Councilmembers must have been specifically told to clam up because not a one of them ever snitched. Neither did City Attorney Teresa L. Highsmith. Security was firmly in place.

Then again, when does City Hall ever tell us anything anyway? They're generally as transparent as mud down there, and about half as personable.

This stayed a big secret from December of 2013 to October of 2014, which is when The Tattler found out about it. Then it wasn't a secret anymore.

The reason I did find out was because I'd been digging around on the CA-RSOL website looking for some useful information about one of City Hall's most privileged child molesters. I didn't find much there about him, but I did discover the shocking news that Sierra Madre had secretly mothballed its Sex Offender Ordinance. The CA-RSOL apparently being more transparent than our own City Hall. Here is how the law firm that provides free legal services to child molesters shared that news (link).


So that is the background. Today's new revelations regarding the atrocious nature of City Hall's record on the child molester issue comes from Teresa L. Highsmith herself. It isn't anything she told us, of course. Red doesn't share anything with the townies unless she is absolutely forced to do so.

Instead she writes about how to properly manage the repeal of a Sexual Predator Ordinance in the October 2014 issue of Western City magazine, which is run by the always murky League of California Cities. The article is titled "The Better Part of Valor: Amending Local Sex Offender Ordinances," which you can link to here.

The piece itself is more about how to deal with controlling public outrage over the loss of certain legal protections against child molesters than anything dealing with the criminals themselves. After all, we do live in a politically correct age where sex offenders are afforded special civil rights protections by the Courts in California, and Teresa doesn't seem too upset about that. At least in this article.

No, her spiel is mainly about crowd control and public relations. Making sure the unwashed villagers don't get too worked up and out of line when they discover there is little to be done when someone who raped a child (as an example) decides he later wishes to live a couple of blocks from an elementary school or playground.

But to me the most unintentionally revealing passages in this article are from the section titled What Can Cities Do Now? Because it would appear that in the case of Sierra Madre at least, our City Attorney, Teresa "Red" Highsmith, did not deign to take her own advice.


Here no blows were softened, nothing was publicized. Only after this blog let Sierra Madre know that its Sex Offender Ordinance had been secretly dropped months earlier did something begin to happen. And even then it took a concerned resident, Deb Sheridan, confronting her directly during a recent City Council meeting, to get City Attorney Teresa L. Highsmith to finally fess up.

No explanatory staff reports were ever prepared that we saw, nor was the matter ever presented to the public in the kinds of special ways recommended in her article. Despite Ms. Highsmith's advice to her League of California City colleagues all we ever got was a terse and defensive one minute reply to a question at public comment almost an entire year after the fact.

All of which seems rather hypocritical of Red. Obviously the people of Sierra Madre are not getting very good legal representation from their City Attorney.

Unless, of course, you're one of our resident child sex offenders. Then your secrets are under lock and key.

http://sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

51 comments:

  1. You should thank Johnny Harabedian, Josh Moran and Nancy Walsh for Attorney Highsmith. They voted to keep her in 2012. Koerber & Capoccia voted to replace her.

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    1. I was for firing Colantuono and Levin, and hiring that law firm that specialized in water rights, but no matter who our city attorney is, they would have to have done the same thing and obey the court.
      Our problem is with the "hell spawn" and those who defend them, and it is a very serious problem. What kind of end days are we living in when we can't protect the children?

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    2. But shouldn't the residents have been told that the Sex Offender Ordinance had been pulled down? It is a pretty awful thing, and people had the right to know.

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    3. Harabedian cast the deciding vote to keep Red. Good to see his faith and sound judgement is paying off for him.

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    4. Leave them be you jackals!!!! The ordinance was flawed, as flawed as you jackals that won't let anyone be!!!! Stand down you Jackals and let the law work its magic.

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    5. Hey, it's Jackal Poster. How've you been?
      You do realize that you provide comic relief on the Tattler threads, yeah?

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    6. We need to make stronger laws. Child rapists should not be allowed to live in normal communities. So perhaps life-long imprisonment is the answer. Or exile to a community of their own.

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    7. Prison for life certainly would solve their problems about where to live.

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    8. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  2. So who was of who voted to keep "Big Red" when the City's attorney firm came up for review? I Believe it was Moran, Walsh, Harabedian and Capoccia. way to go.

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    1. Capoccia had a strong argument to vote against Highsmith. He voted with Koerber for the other law firm that was being considered.

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  3. How could something like this be kept a secret? Who do these people work for? Perverts?

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  4. What Highsmith's article should be, is a call for the League of Cities to get together and fight against these maniacs who want rights for perverts.

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    1. They won't. There's no money in it.

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  5. So many things to face. The government is supposed to protect us. What a joke. What's worse is the general apathy in our citizens. We come together about the perverts but are content to let it go when given half baked excuses. A handful of people speak out against the changes being offered to our town by city management, the rest go about their day to day business. That we have no water:is that god's fault? All these varied issues are all one in the same. They confront all of us the same. What the city thinks we should have and what the citizens would like. We allow something as simple as a crèche to be displayed with no respect for all to see. Oh, isn't the pink cow cute? What a wonderful way to portray breast awareness. Oh, the chipped magi? Guess he had a long rough journey. It goes on. But we all can chat with each other over coffee at two different places, and still not join together for a common cause. So we have attorneys who don't defend us, ex-mayors who are allowed to shame us, a city management who is told by the council to get the money for their pensions, cuz God forbid they should live in the real world. Nero fiddles while Rome is burning.

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  6. Sierra Madre has lots of secrets.

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    1. Apparently. I'm starting to believe the gossip about a child pornography ring here.

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    2. They seem to have a lot of influence. Matheson and Mosca were very tight.

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  7. We were driving by our newest sex offenders house when we saw him out in front talking with another male. As we passed we noticed a young child playing on the sidewalk across the street. Having had experience with such offenders I found the entire picture so upsetting that it gave me a stomach ache. I felt concern for the child and family, wondering if they knew the threat that lurked across the street. Where are the rights of the innocent I ask that expensive attorney, where?

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  8. Will we at least be informed when new sex offenders move into town?

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    1. If so it would be a definite change in law enforcement policy. Look at how long the last one was in town before we were told. When it became obvious the city had done or said nothing, they came up with a whole list of other agencies to blame.

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    2. This is what happens when you have a city run by lawyers. They never tell anybody anything they don't absolutely have to. I'm sure Giannone was told to keep his trap shut.

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  9. "Big Red & The Little Creepy Dudes" the woman has become her own joke. Hey Tattlers do you remember how fast Flip Flop Joe got out of town when he was revealed to be a liar who deceived a whole town?

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  10. What is in the works to resolve this impasse? If 8:31 is talking about E. Miramonte, then what prevents us from dropping off a friendly note to the neighbors that they need to take care regarding a neighbor at such and such address?

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    1. Obviously the city is failing to do its job once again.

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    2. All the city and PD do is wait for the storm to blow over, and then go back to sleep. Looks like they're sleeping now.

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  11. I need a favor. Can somebody post a link to this article on the City of Sierra Madre Facebook page? I've been blocked.

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    1. Mod, you're blocked from the city's facebook page?

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    2. The public view is wide open. You're just blocked from commenting. Is that legal?
      https://www.facebook.com/cityofsierramadre

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    3. I wanted to post a link to today's story. I was thwarted.

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  12. Another interesting piece of info to come out of this Western City article is Highsmith is now the City of So. Pasadena's attorney as well. Adding it to Barstow and Sierra Madre. Think of the money this lawyer must be making!

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  13. https://www.facebook.com/cityofsierramadre

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  14. My concern is that "Red" Highsmith demonstrates deplorably poor legal skills. She seems primarily an ultra left, anti-morals activist who betrays her client(the citizens of Sierra Madre). And this is the inept politico we have to represent us against Macdonald/Stonegate ?

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    1. She follows the orders of Colantuono and even, her bosses, and the city council, her other bosses, can tell her what they want her to do. She's the messenger, not the creator.

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    2. The client is the City of Sierra Madre. It is her job to keep the city from being sued. The citizens be damned.

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    3. It is her job to protect city hall from the citizens as well. The only real power we have is to cut taxes. Which is why I support abolishing the UUT. It is time to say "Enough!"

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  15. If you listen to Radio 1630 today you will hear the announcer say the City Council will review the General Plan on December 2nd. Which is odd since the meeting takes place on the 9th, and the 2nd was last week. It will interesting to hear what they'll say if a real emergency ever happens.

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    1. Susan Henderson must be running it.

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    2. Running, or ruining?

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    3. With Henderson, 4:37, the two are synonymous.

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    4. And she can't tell the difference.

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  16. Let's put aside for a moment your sexist "Red" nickname for Teresa Highsmith (unless, of course, you plan to apply similar juvenile nicknames for other male city officials' physical appearances), and look at the facts here:

    A sex offender sues the City of Sierra Madre alleging that he is banned from living in most of the city, and claims it's a violation of the 1st, 5th and 14th Amendments of the U.S. Constitution. The sex offender wins the case in court and the city must suspend its sex offender ordinance until it's reviewed by a higher court. The city also must pay attorney's fees court costs. While I have not read the judgment, we can assume the court approved the settlement. I see no issue so far.

    But the Tattler is hyperventilating over the perceived injustice that the city of Sierra Madre suspended the ordinance in secret and THE PUBLIC SHOULD HAVE BEEN TOLD, darn it! But the Tattler keeps ignoring the fact that the information was available to the public in court records and the RSOL website. If someone is really frightened by the boogeyman, then the court and the website among other means of providing information would be readily available for public viewing. The Tattler also sidesteps the issue that litigation matters are held in closed session, which is quite legal. So the city has no legal obligation to tell anyone anything about pending litigation unless someone with a pair of legs and a modicum of curiosity would go down to City Hall and make inquiries about the enforcement of the sex offender ordinance.

    Lastly, it never ceases to surprise me that if the public does not want convicted child molesters in their neighborhood, then they should demand that their elected representatives pass laws that put child molesters in prison for life, or given the death penalty if that's your thing. If the courts give sentences that allow molesters parole or probation then quit whining about it. Voters are to blame if convicted child molesters are walking around in their neighborhoods. If molesters served their debt to society, as outlined in our current laws, why do we as a society continue to punish them by making it impossible to live in their hometown? Why do we marginalize convicted child molesters, which only serves to push them back into criminal behavior? Demand new legislation to put molesters in prison for life, and then shut up about it.

    Seriously, Tattler, get a grip, get off your high horse, and spend a little time advocating a change in laws, rather than running around claiming some grand conspiracy, or idiocy, or some redheaded city attorney poised to tear down the very fabric of our wonderful little village.

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    1. Actually The Tattler has nicknames for quite a few folks at City Hall. The Mayor is "Johnny Process." The Mayor Pro Tem is "The Great Tax Fighter." Poor Gene Goss is either "Goose," "Tax Me Goose" or "Eugene Library." On and on it goes. To not have a nickname for Teresa would be unfair to the men. Unless, of course, you believe in special exemptions based on sex, race or the various orientations. Which, given your exaggerated level of self-righteousness, you might.

      As far as city hall not telling the people of Sierra Madre that their Sex Offender Ordinance was taken away, the reason for the complaint should have been obvious, even to you. That is what Teresa said a city must do in her article in Western City magazine. The admonition comes from her. I am surprised you missed that one.

      Maybe you haven't had your coffee yet?

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    2. 4:32 is being a little disingenuous here with her "pending litigation" claim. The Sex Offender Ordinance litigation was wrapped up in December of 2013. There was almost an entire year for the city to come clean. But, per usual, they hid it. Nice way to treat the parents and children of Sierra Madre.

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  17. The Tattler and many of the comments still seem to be missing the point. Their aim to is restrict the freedom of convicted child molesters, but the law the want in place affects all sex offenders. Not all sex offenders are child molesters.

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    1. I am afraid it is you who have missed the ooint. It is the refusal of the city to level with the residents about an extremely important that is in question here. They took the cowardly way out and got caught.

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  18. This city and every other city in California who passed this stupid, unconstitutional law got busted. It has nothing to do with local politics, it has everything to do with political grandstanding and passing overreaching laws, and they got busted. If you want to keep your kids safe, its not the governments responsibility. Watch your kids, pay attention to who they are around, monitor their internet usage. You know, its called parenting.

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    1. Great. We are now down to blaming the victims.

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    2. City government will always blame residents.

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