Five before Midnight

This site is dedicated to the continuous oversight of the Riverside(CA)Police Department, which was formerly overseen by the state attorney general. This blog will hopefully play that role being free of City Hall's micromanagement.
"The horror of that moment," the King went on, "I shall never, never forget." "You will though," the Queen said, "if you don't make a memorandum of it." --Lewis Carroll


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Location: RiverCity, Inland Empire

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Election 2009: Show us the money and 'just the facts'

Now that Election 2009 has left the starting gate in Riverside with the even-numbered city council seats up for grabs, the fund raising and spending will begin in earnest. Some of the fund raising has been going on for a while but there's still money to be raised to finance campaigns especially in the two wards which will likely be the most hotly contested.

The incumbents and newcomers haven't yet begin to submit campaign disclosure forms for any money raised after Jan. 1 but if you go to the City Clerk's office on the seventh floor of City Hall, you can access the campaign records for last year as well as previous years and even election cycles for those elected officials who competed in more than one election.

Here's some of the fund raising done in 2008. The donation amounts are fairly small but keep in mind, these are maintenance contributions. The more lucrative donors will make their presence known on the public record in later campaign contribution statements filed at City Hall. These statements are very important and very valuable records to review that are valuable to the public and they tell you, the voter a lot about your political candidate and what he or she really stands behind and for.

Councilman Andrew Melendrez (Ward Two)

Duane Roberts: $1,000

Riverside Police Officers' Association: $500

Mark Rubin: $375

Doug Jacobs: $500

Union Pacific: $250

Some of these donations show the shift that Melendrez has made from the grassroots candidate he ran as four years ago (on the heels of another originally grassroots candidate, Dom Betro) and it's mirroring in a sense the campaign donations list that Betro compiled during his reelection campaign. It will be interesting to watch how many developers donate or have donated money into his political campaign and how much money they contributed. Because of the impact of the recession (especially regional) and the collapse of the housing market (particularly newly built housing), the developers might not contribute as much money as they have previously but they should still make their presence felt.

Compare and contrast the donation that Melendrez received from the RPOA with that received by Schiavone in the same period. Don't expect it to be repeated if the RPOA shifts its support to Melendrez' rival, Ruben Rasso who has declared his intention to run again. The police union is taking steps through its political action committee to try and improve its record in backing winning candidates but one step towards doing that might be to support Melendrez over Rasso or split campaign contributions between the two. There's no harm in nonendorsement of candidates, either by sitting on the sidelines (like the Riverside Police Administrators' Association is doing) or by in a sense, picking both of them.

Is that likely to happen? Probably not.

The donation from Union Pacific Corporation is kind of funny considering that the city council contemplated suing the freight train service. But Melendrez' receiving a campaign contribution is not nearly as funny as it is for another council member listed below who also received one.

Frank Schiavone (Ward Four)

Adkans Engineering: $250

Supervisor Marion Ashley: $250

Doug Jacobs: $250

Maxi Foods: $250

RPOA: $2,500

Duane Roberts: $1,000

Riverside Fire Fighters' Association: $1,000

Water Mark Properties: $1,000

Union Pacific: $250 (!)

Never short on development money, Schiavone will probably collect a lot more as well as huge donations from both the RPOA (which was a given probably even before it conducted interviews several weeks ago) and the RFA (which typically plays it safe by endorsing incumbents). He's also been courting the SEIU very, very heavily hoping to get its endorsement as well.

And yes, the same council member who declared that he would lead the charge against Union Pacific Corporation for turning Riverside's busy intersections into its personal parking spots accepted a campaign donation from the company in 2008. With that curious dichotomy, does anyone wonder why some people think the city council chambers are a stage and the members of city council the players?

Another fan letter at Craigslist. That's two in relation so far to the Ward Four city council election and the season's still very young! Whereas some anonymous scribbler ranted that I couldn't keep my hands off of him during the county supervisor election, now I am told I have hatred towards him.


I don't have anything against him at all. Sometimes, he's articulate, well-mannered and makes good comments on issues and then there's times that he doesn't but that's true of politicians particularly seasoned ones in general. For most of them, there are times you want to applaud them for an action and then there's times you want to cringe. That's the duality of elected officials who perhaps become too entrenched in the political games that pass as business in many cities.

If you name two of the most promising politicians after they were elected on the Riverside canvas, the two that come to mind are former councilman Dom Betro and Schiavone but neither really lived up to the potential that they showed. They ran for office challenging a system that they later became interwoven in which is what often happens even in municipal politics. They become what both of them fought (in terms of wanting to make change) and the biggest sign of that is if you compare and contrast their campaign contribution disclosure forms over a period of time particularly between the first election and the second.

Another important sign to watch for is how many politicians in an legislative body endorse each other during their respective election races? In Riverside, the practice of council members on the dais endorsing each other with sometimes incumbents receiving endorsements from nearly the entire council is alas, well known. It just sends the message that it's a closed off "good old boys" club and that they can't work with the candidates they didn't endorse who win regardless.

The evolution that these campaign donations often take during this time can be disheartening but in a sense, fascinating as well.

Actually, nothing personal against politicians. I address the politics of an election and the actions of the candidates, not the personalities of those involved in the process. I'll leave the hating to other individuals, having been on the receiving end of more than my share including by individuals whose actions are protected by others.

My personal favorite comment I have received for writing about an election that Schiavone has competed in is the posting written someone who waxed about fortune telling, tea leaves and of course, runes and that this person thought they had made it clear again and again to me how he or she considered former councilman, Art Gage to be slimier than ectoplasm which created quite a mental picture of how this individual felt towards the former councilman. All I had to do was to remember what one person I had discussed Gage with more than once. The one thing that came to mind that was kind of funny was actually visualizing this person looking over a pile of runes for his or her prophesying. Still it was an interesting post in part for that reason.

None of the other related comments quite reached the pinnacle of this art form in comparison to that one.

I'm familiar with this writing style and let's just say, the hatred I have for anything wouldn't fit in a thimble compared to what has been exhibited by this individual below including towards me.

It is doubtful that FBM is objective about anything or anyone, especially Frank Schiavone.
Maybe her objective is to promote Paul Davis because of her hatred of Frank Schiavone, maybe, could be ?
Can it be more obvious.

There's a certain irony to this comment considering its author which I will explain in a future posting.

You want to see hatred and lack of objectivity? Have some anonymous person write about your breasts which has little to nothing to do with local politics or even in that case, the arrest and prosecution of a Riverside Police Department officer for sexual assault. Have someone write that you fantasize about being raped by a police officer. Whether the above person wrote that one or one of the "Starsky" trio (led by the one who picked the moniker because it was his favorite television show while growing up) still hasn't been determined. Only because they share a spelling anomaly in common and it has something to do with an apostrophe.

As far as the challenge of Davis' credentials as a police officer, this is an issue which really should be argued and debated on the campaign trail as other politicians do and not inside a courtroom. It's not that it's not a worthy issue to discuss and debate but no one has done it well yet.

Is it an issue worthy of examination and discussion? Yes, but then again, so are issues arising with Schiavone sharing a house with one of the city's department heads for a period of time if decisions were made by the city council during this period which involved that department or any of its management personnel including the department head including any votes taken to renew any employment contracts. And if and when any contract renewals of this department head came to the city council for a vote, did Schiavone vote or did he disqualify himself from taking that vote?

So both candidates have issues which might concern the voters and so far one of them has at least tried to (if under some pressure) release privileged information addressing these challenges before being accused of altering a governmental document by assorted anonymous sock puppets who keep changing their collective hypothesis on how he did it each time it's challenged. You can't make up that kind of publicity for any candidate that's opposing one supported by a pair of sock puppets like these. Especially ones who try to imply that Davis is not turning over his personnel files because he's secretly covering up a crime (including murder) where the statutory of limitations hasn't expired yet. Any ethical politician would freak if they knew that someone was writing things like that in their name.

They might be major issues or minor issues but often even minor issues became major issues when they're not addressed. Then the two sides could hash these issues out during the beginning of their campaigns leaving the rest of the time available for debates, discussions and public forums on their stands on the issues impacting both Ward Four and the city at large. Ultimately that is what will and should determine how people vote for a candidate.

And when you have allegations posted like this one below, it might be helpful if the authors explain what an evaluation from the Riverside County Sheriff's Department is supposed to look like and where their information comes from so that the average person who doesn't understand the format of the evaluation forms can have some sort of background understanding of them to better understand allegations of fraudulent altering of such forms. That would be very helpful.

I must agree with a previous poster that the evaluation that Paul Davis has put on his website and supplied to the courts looks fraudulent.

On page 1, not a single one of Davis' superior officers checked the box saying that they concur or do not concur with the evaluation. They obviously didn't want to be on the record about something.

What is that something? It appears to be missing from page 3 where two paragraphs of his evaluation have been somehow removed. Notice that Davis' initials are at the bottom of the page, not after the last paragraph, yet on page 2 they are right after the paragraph.

In law enforcement evaluations, the employees sign right below the last sentence so that someone can not come in and add either good or bad comments after the fact. Something appears to have disappeared after the fact.

It is of grave concern that Mr. Davis would float this altered evaluation around as proof that he was not forced to resign from the RSO. It is also of great concern that his attorney submitted this document to the courts as evidence.

If it is proven that the Davis RSO evaluation has been changed in any way, Davis should withdraw from the race and his attorney should be disbarred for unethical practices.

Yes, it would be interesting if anyone would step forward and *prove* this allegation but is it going to be this individual who wrote this posting? And further elaboration about the statement about "law enforcement evaluations" and where they are signed would also benefit the voters, the majority being not knowledgeable of how law enforcement evaluations are done given that for the most part in the State of California, most members of the public have and will not ever see one.

Thanks in advance.

And what is the proof that Davis was forced to resign from the Riverside County Sheriff's Department? Rumors that this is the case were posted here on Craigslist even before Schiavone's campaign did the public document request for Davis' records. Threats were also made that if Davis ran for office against Schiavone, his history as a law enforcement officer would be exposed. But what you have are people making insinuations and asking Davis to come forward and *prove* them right when if they are absolutely sure that their allegations are true, then they should just come forward and present their evidence already. Call or fold, it's called in poker.

If his campaign is so sure that Davis was forced out of both the Riverside County Sheriff's Department and the Riverside Police Department, then it seems that they would be able to provide the evidence themselves. Probably not through public records because of state law but through other evidence to support the allegations.

Then there's this comment which makes the same allegations.

(excerpt, Craigslist)

The interesting fact to note here is: This is a document that DAVIS produced. It DIDN'T come from the Riverside Sheriff's Office.

It came from DAVIS (no questions asked?). The previous poster is correct in stating that the initials are at the end of the comment to prevent alterations. WHY are Davis' initials at the end of the comment in some places and many inches below in others? Because he doctored it. He deleted it, scanned it, then posted it on his website.

Get the true, certified document from the Sheriff's Department - unaltered - please!

Get what is going on now haters?

As I said before - this IS important.

One major point that this unidentified writer omits is that the reason the document came from Davis and not the Sheriff's Department is because only one of the two parties can produce it without violating state laws. Police officer evaluations are not considered public information under current city and county interpretations of state penal code, 832.7. Should they be? That's an issue worthy of discussion for reasons including those raised during this political campaign for example. However, the only individual who can legally provide this document is Davis, by waiving his confidentiality rights.

If these individuals are such pros when it comes to determining when a police evaluation is genuine or a fraud (and the last one seems to certainly be a pro in alteration technique if what he or she describes is accurate), produced verbatim or in an altered form, then they must surely be cognizant in the state laws that as interpreted by the city and county legal counsel are deemed confidential and privileged under state laws including PC 832.7. Because if you're an "expert" on police evaluations (and the credentials of these individuals are not included in their comments) then you would know who gets to release the document and who doesn't.

But what were the sentences by the evaluating supervisor that preceded the allegedly deleted portion of page 3 of this evaluation? And the previous poster was absolutely correct that this was very important indeed. The most important words in this statement are the ones I highlighted in red below.

(excerpt, RSD evaluation, pg. 3)

"In summary, Deputy Davis is a young enthusiastic self-starter and he is progressing at a very acceptable rate."

For those who don't know, in most forms of writing, the words "in summary" are equivalent to taking the salient points raised in the body of your work and bringing them to a conclusion. The likelihood of a supervisor (who is writing an evaluation) of write a conclusion that's reasonably positive and then following it with negative comments about this individual's performance is just not very high.

In summary, who's misleading who?

But then there's this comment in response.

(excerpt, Craigslist)

You are such a fool! Ever heard of "cut and paste"?

The post doesn't necessarily mean the LAST paragraph or two was omitted. Wrap your warped brain around the fact that a paragraph or two was cut out and the final one pasted in it's place. OMG do people really do that? YES THEY DO! The initials are STILL way below the others. You even made the comment about that.

Go figure.

"Fools." "Warped brain". Now we're beginning to get serious in defending the argument that Davis has altered his evaluation that he received from the Sheriff's Department through the making of a salient argument.

Actually, this is what is called revising your argument in the face of having it challenged. If you read the two posts above which come with embedded links, you'll find the words "removed" and "deleted" and not "cut, pasted" and rearranged. The fact is, this individual is alleging that an individual altered a governmental document, a serious offense without anything but tin foil hat reasoning to back your claims. These postings are so outrageously hyperbolic that one can only hope these anonymous individuals aren't involved in Schiavone's campaign and are just overzealous fans.

But then there's comments like this one against Schiavone which are also tacky, tasteless and mean-spirited.

(excerpt, Craigslist)

I think Schiavone's wife left him because he's actually in the closet. I'm not against gay people but I think Frank should really accept himself and come out of the closet. If he and the chief of police have a thing going on they should simply come out an admit it. Frank's obviously feminine and I really think he can't hide his homosexuality.

A personal attack against a candidate and homophobic to boot because in order to use a tactic like this, you have to be homophobic. There's reasons why people who write these comments are anonymous because they would never come out from beneath their rocks and say this to someone's face. After all, they didn't in the past.

And many homophobic rants like this one, preface themselves by saying they are not against gay people or have nothing against them or are even down with them. And I can relate having read a lot of similarly ilked posts by people with this same kind of mentality. Nobody deserves that and that includes Schiavone.

My favorite comment of the day on Craigslist is this excerpt from a longer rant (the same one that implies that Davis is covering up a serious crime like murder while in law enforcement) that insists that Davis did alter his records because well...because.

(excerpt, Craigslist)

California protects the files of peace officers and keeps them confidential so that cop-haters like Mary Shelton can not go through them and recklessly persecute our society's defenders or harass their families.

Recklessly persecute a person? Like implying they committed a rape or a murder because they didn't hand over their personnel files to people like this one? Some role model this commentator is in terms of not being "reckless" and he sounds more like a walking advertisement for someone an officer, current or otherwise, might not want to turn their personnel files to either.

Yawn on being called "cop-hater" for the zillionth time. It got old after about 2002 and the first dozen or so times. And I'm used to people writing nasty things and then adding "Back the Badge" or "Go RPD" or whatever to justify calling me a bitch, a cunt, a skank, a whore or whatever.

Actually, there are many really fine police officers in this city. They are probably too busy to be ranting on Craiglist and they don't use those officers as excuses to justify bad behavior that they choose to engage in because they can't relate to women unless they harass or threaten them. If they couldn't do it for the sake of police officers or council members, they'd find someone else to pimp to justify their actions. And most police officers probably have no clue that they're being used in this way to justify cyberharassment.

Some day I'll more fully explain the irony of this statement about "harassing" and how state law shields that behavior but not today. In fact, it's going to take a couple of posts to explain it all.

But you harass people in Riverside, you get awarded. In contrast to others who don't engage in that behavior and aren't given awards for doing their jobs well.

In fact, when was the last time a Riverside Police Department officer actually received an award from the city council? Didn't it used to be a monthly tradition? That's a tradition that the city council and mayor should restore in the near future. Certainly, that's worth a future blog posting as well as to why the good officers in our city don't receive more awards and recognition and have to crowd the city council chambers just to be treated fairly in the contract negotiation process.

"Starsky" would be jealous as he has still not received his own award. Ironically, it was because the confidentiality laws protected the first individual's sustained misconduct from being disclosed that the city council was in the position on one occasion of congratulating an officer it had criticized less than a year before being none the wiser. That's one side of the peace officer confidentiality laws which doesn't enter into very many discussions because that's a part of it that the public might find more difficult to justify. And the irony is that when I was being harassed, Schiavone was one of the few elected officials who showed concern about it and now, several of my old harassers are engaging in the same behavior purportedly on his behalf.

Does he know? Probably not. He might know these individuals but probably not this side of them. They probably save that for the internet. Hopefully, that's the only place they share it.

But the comments raise interesting points about the double-edged sword that this law has become in terms of it being restricted to protect officers as one person argued and yet used to shield the behavior of officers as well as this same poster also pointed out in the same comment. And how you can't have it both ways. That's worth a post or two as soon as the technical issues are resolved.

The posting of the night goes to this "annonymous"[sic] commenter at Craigslist.


Too Funny Cuz It's Me. Although I am Not Schiavone's Lawyer, I AM annonymous and there's no mudslinging - just the facts ma'am......... Then there's Karen who isn't really annonymous 'cuz of her give away long ass posts and mention of Greyhound and mention of bicycle paths and, oh, the screw up about "Bay Area Chamber of Commerce" being next to Riverside Greyhound (I laughed my ass off on that one!) links to FBM blogger, who is no longer annonymous herself.

Nice try.

Nice try. You're not very anonymous.

I don't know, there's kind of a distinct style to it that's captivating. I've been wondering where he's been hanging out lately after the firestorm he caused over at City Hall while at his last haunt several months ago. The irony is that he would be anonymous if how he spelled the word didn't give him away because he has a thing for putting double consonants where they shouldn't be including with this particular word.

The funniest thing is that he acted like he knew me and we've crossed paths once, maybe twice but were never formally introduced. I'm not sure I even remember what he looks like. But the strange thing is that at least three of my cyber harassers that I was able to identify never even met me. One of them worked in a unit where other employees were under investigation but it's not clear whether or not he was investigated himself.

One of them, I had never even heard of.

But this post comes in a close second. I'm not sure why I'm even mentioned in relation to the controversial incident involving Schiavone's comments about former councilwoman, Joy Defanbaugh except for the fact that this person cyberstalked me from early 2006 to the autumn of 2006 using some of the same derisive language about feminism and is using someone else's comment as an excuse to try to pick up where he left off to impress anonymous posters he probably doesn't know but believes (and he may be right like before) are officers. Because there's a circle jerk going on and he wants in and his material really hasn't changed much since the last time he's harassed me. Hopefully, the others in the circle will give him the "atta boy" that he's after this time rather than ignore him.

Actually in relation to the "Defanbaugh" incident, Schiavone and I had an interesting conversation about this situation when it happened which was fairly positive. And I wonder why this particular poster since at least 2006 has been railing about how I don't appreciate a good man and want to emasculate them. That I'm a lesbian. That I'm called a laundry list of assorted derogatory terms by elected officials he claimed to know. That I'm a radical feminist who hates men! That's a little bit off the beaten path for a vengeful cyber stalker.

You know it's pretty interesting when some guy writes some misogynist garbage about you and then has the audacity to then say that you don't appreciate compliments from men. It makes you wonder if he's on the wrong section of Inland Empire Craigslist (although that can be said about a couple of individuals here who visit in pairs usually around the same time at night).

On the other hand, this particular commenter (who also posted the "SPIN" comments above and tons of other garbage that would probably short out the Craigslist server just to hold it all) hasn't left me with very fond memories of our past "conversations" given his propensity for writing comments about me having "orgasms" while writing about police officers' misconduct, had DUI convictions in my past, graphic descriptions of me going down on female commenters on my blog and other equally memorable prattle. The funny thing, is that just a month ago, he was harassing CPRC Commissioner Chani Beeman on line as he did about a year ago fairly relentlessly. His grudge against her is too old to be engaging in such vile conduct. He needs to get over it and move on.

Not a police officer but definitely wanted to be one at one time and perhaps still does. Couldn't even get hired as a crossing guard, all told.

Though in one of those truly ironic twists, his paths did cross with one of his fellow circle-jerkers (and if you knew who they were and what they were doing at the time, at least the irony's kind of funny) although in a way that was somewhat less based on the shared camaraderie who get together to harass a woman even if they might not know each other, and more based on something quite different than that. Still, it would make an interesting group picture, something that provided some degree of humor to a terrifying situation.

So when did saying " being very much a lady " become negative treatment toward women ?
Only " Riverside's biggest and most prolific blogger " Mary (radical feminist aka rad-fem) Shelton could believe this to be a fact.
Ms. 5 bi midnight, get over your belief that men are only out to denigrate women, especially when men are being complementary.
Oh that's right, you believe that a man that compliments a woman is being sexist. Aaagh!

Aaagh is right. I'm not surprised you asked that question since you know what appalling behavior towards women really is because you've engaged in it yourself. and you misused "complementary"...again.

As if this guy would know what to do with a woman or how to please her unless "she" were vinyl and blown up with a bicycle pump because most of his posts objectified women as if he were given the right to decide who was a woman and who's not which shows an inability to relate to them. If you're a harasser of women in any venue, then one defense is, "well, that person's not really a woman because I say she's not." This particular commenter regularly engaged in this type of semantics.

There's probably more to come because after all, the election season has just begun and these individuals continue to be a tribute to the candidate that they're engaging in this conduct on behalf of. But it's curious to me why this group of cyberharassing losers have now began venting their considerable energy against Davis.

Still, I feel sorry for Davis for being in the cross hairs of this bunch who three years later are still engaging in the same pathetic, pathological behavior they showed me and no doubt some of them still being protected by the same laws that they're arguing should be bent to expose some alleged misconduct on Davis' part. They were and now are a monumental pain in the ass to deal with, something I wouldn't wish on anyone and they pretty much engage in this conduct with impunity. Still they're kind of silly, reminiscent of a puppy that's not housebroken that comes up and pees on your leg.

But hey, if they get away scot free the first they did it (assuming that was the first time), why not do it again? This time, saying it's righteous because they're defending an election candidate and not a certain faction of the Riverside Police Department.

And this has been amusing to take a stroll down memory lane but next time, we'll be resuming our regularly scheduled program.

One of the candidates running for the fourth ward seat in San Bernardino has taken a huge lead. That is Fred Shorett. It's not a shock because he was favored to win the election by a large margin.

(excerpt, San Bernardino Sun)

Reached by telephone after the San Bernardino County Registrar of Voters released the first round of election results, Shorett said his victory speaks to the support he received from San Bernardino's business figures and that he's eager to to try his hand at making positive change in San Bernardino.

"I'm very, very pleased with the results and we ran a good campaign," Shorett said.

Why did the Redlands City Council schedule one of its city council meetings to take place in Washington, D.C?

(excerpt, Press Enterprise)

Redlands officials this week issued an official agenda alerting the public that their regular council meeting would be held in Washington, D.C., headlined by Sen. Barbara Boxer.

Yet at the aforementioned time and place, there was no sign of Redlands officials.

Boxer, D-Calif., was there -- because the time and place set out on the Redlands agenda coincided with a legislative briefing she was giving to the California Association of Cities inside a Senate hearing room on Capitol Hill.

As city officials from places such as Rosemead and Rancho Cordova filed in, Boxer's staff said they knew nothing of plans for an official Redlands council meeting there and noted that the use of a committee hearing room for such purpose would require plenty of advance notice and congressional approval.

The indecision continues in who will become the next assessor in San Bernardino County.

(excerpt, San Bernardino Sun)

John Hueston, the trailblazing attorney who successfully prosecuted key figures in the Enron scandal and was commissioned by the county to do his own investigation into the Assessor's Office, has yet to report his findings to the Board of Supervisors.

"It's going to happen. How it happens and when it happens is still up in air," said Mark Kirk, chief of staff for Supervisor Gary Ovitt, the board chairman.

As for naming Postmus' successor, Kirk said, Ovitt's office is currently working on a proposal for replacing Postmus that should go before the supervisors in April.

Assistant Assessor Dennis Draeger, the interim assessor, and former Assessor Donald Williamson and state Sen. Bob Dutton, R-Rancho Cucamonga have all expressed interest in taking over the Assessor's Office, said 2nd District Supervisor Paul Biane.

He said he sent a memo to Ovitt about two weeks ago suggesting it

was time to get the ball rolling.

Whomever Postmus' successor is, preference will likely go to someone with local real-estate experience and management skills who is also a credentialed real-estate appraiser, Biane said.

But former Assessor, Bill Postmus' case has been postponed.

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