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

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Riverside briefs and other news

[Riverside Police Department Det. Brian Money who works in Economic Crimes addresses the Friday Morning Club on fraud prevention]

The Friday Morning Club received a presentation from guest speaker, Riverside Police Department Det. Brian Money who works in the department's Economic Crimes investigation and has been doing that for about eight years. He came to the center on his day off to provide information on identifying and preventing different types of fraud especially those that impact the elderly to the club's members.

He works in a unit with two other people and focuses about 60% of his time on elder abuse crimes involving fraud.

"I'm always an advocate for elderly people," Money said.

He discussed scams like Ponzi schemes and ones involving house deeds or mortgages and talked about the "Care Team" that he partners with that includes representatives from the Ombudsman at hospitals, the Adult Protective Services, the District Attorney's office and other law enforcement agencies.

Money told the audience he did not plan on getting promoted (and those are kind of at a standstill anyway). He wanted to stay a detective and work these kind of cases because "no one is going to work as hard as I do."

[Riverside Police Department employees sponsor an event for collecting old medications from city residents in front of the Janet Goeske Community Center]

The Riverside County District Attorney's office conducted a search warrant of the San Jacinto Vice-Mayor's business and home.This comes in the wake of its earlier search of a councilman's office and home.

(excerpt, Press Enterprise)

"I can neither conform nor deny the existence of any investigation," district attorney's spokesman Michael Jeandron said by phone when asked about the Mansperger searches.

"We don't want to compromise the integrity of any potential investigation," Jeandron said by phone. The second reason is that "We don't want to potentially damage someone's reputation if they turn out at the end of our investigation to be innocent."

[The Riverside County Courhouse which hears civil cases whenever the Riverside County District Attorney's office allows it to do so. It was the playing field for the latest battle between the Press Enterprise attorney's and a law enforcement agency over sealed warrants.]

Meanwhile, the Press Enterprise's lawyers are awaiting a judge's decision on whether or not the warrants for the searches done on the councilman will be unsealed as they often are in corruption probes involving elected officials.


Superior Court Judge Helios J. Hernandez, who heard arguments from lawyers for the newspaper and the Riverside County district attorney's office, said both sides should "be prepared for either eventuality."

The district attorney's office has said it will neither confirm nor deny any investigation is in progress. Court records show that search warrants were issued in mid-April for Ayres' office at the county's Economic Development Agency in Indio and his home in San Jacinto. He has not commented.

In legal papers, the district attorney's office asked that the documents remained sealed at least until Nov. 19, "a good faith estimate of when the investigation will be complete."

Deputy District Attorney Jacqueline Jackson cited the state evidence code and said an investigation is in progress.

In legal papers opposing the unsealing, attorneys argued the interest in protecting the investigation outweighed the public interest in disclosing it.

"Just because we're investigating doesn't mean a criminal filing will take place," Jackson said. "We are definitely pre-indictment. We don't even know who the target is. The press presumes to know who the target is."

And in the end, the newspaper's attorneys prevailed as a judge ordered the search warrant records unsealed.

(excerpt, Press Enterprise)

San Bernardino County Superior Court Judge Duke Rouse said that, when he releases the document this afternoon he'll continue to withhold identifying information such as driver's license and Social Security numbers, as well as the identity of a single confidential informant who is still being interviewed.

Rouse ruled on the fifth request by The Press-Enterprise to unseal the warrant.

Superior Court Judge Douglas Elwell had ruled previously that he could not release the information without damaging the San Bernardino County district attorney's investigation or endangering confidential informants.

But since Elwell's last ruling, Postmus has been charged in the case. On July 23, he pleaded not guilty to nine felony counts of grand theft, misuse of public resources, perjury and possession of narcotics. His next court appearance is scheduled for Sept. 22.

"It sounds like 98 percent of the information will be unsealed," said Al Wickers, attorney for The Press Enterprise.

It's interesting how the Press Enterprise is gung ho about looking at corruption or potential corruption in San Bernardino County or even parts of Riverside County but then dragged its heels on the Bradley Estates situation involving a former councilman in Riverside and his city attorney.

Does it have anything to do with the new office building the publication bought and built within downtown, the same one that's allegedly leasing out its empty space including to a law firm to make extra cash?

A councilman charged with conflict of interest crimes in Grand Terrace won't seek another term in office.

(excerpt, Press Enterprise)

Miller declined to say in a telephone interview whether he is guilty or innocent.

"That's what I am going to be proving" in court, he said. "I won't answer that question."

He would not elaborate on why he has decided not to resign or seek re-election.

Miller is scheduled to be arraigned Sept. 30 in San Bernardino County Superior Court on a felony count that carries a prison sentence, if convicted, of 16 months to three years.

He was arrested July 15 on a charge stemming from payments the city made to the Grand Terrace City News from Oct. 26, 2006, through Aug. 12, 2008. Prosecutor John Goritz said Miller had voted to approve the council's consent calendar authorizing payments to the weekly newspaper totaling about $18,000 for legal ads.

Miller, 61, returned Wednesday to his real estate services manager job for San Bernardino County. He had been on paid administrative leave since his arrest.

County spokesman David Wert said officials "found no reason to keep Miller off the job any longer."

The probe into San Bernardino County's corruption must continue. So said the Press Enterprise Editorial Board.


Ramos dismissed the allegations as a political attack by those under investigation. Whether true or not, the accusations against Ramos do nothing to change the seriousness of the county investigation. Charges of grand theft, defrauding the public and other criminal activity by government officials are not any less offensive because the district attorney is imperfect. San Bernardino County should have a higher ethical standard for public behavior than "I'm no worse than anyone else."

And letting the allegations against Ramos hamstring an investigation into high-level corruption would be foolish for a county with a long history of scandals. The county is better off enlisting an outside agency that can keep the criminal probe going.

County residents deserve to know the extent of corruption in their county government -- and that requires that the current investigation continue unabated, regardless of who conducts it.

But it's not all bad news. The mayor of San Bernardino has been invited to the White House for a summit and San Francisco's mayor, Gavin Newsom journeyed to Riverside to talk about prisons.

Meet the man behind Mike Williams Company, the business that helps political candidates in the Inland Empire raise the big dough for their campaign chests.

(excerpt, Press Enterprise)

Williams declined to be interviewed.

"I have a policy. I don't talk to the media," Williams said when reached by telephone in June. "I am not interested. I have done this stuff for 40 years and don't want to talk to the media."

But his clients say his decades-long experience in politics makes him valuable to their campaigns.

He has an extensive contact list of residents, business leaders and other potential contributors, they say.

But the number of candidates using professionals to raise funds also illustrates how expensive local campaigns have become and how difficult it is for candidates to raise large amounts of money by themselves, said Bob Stern, president of the Los Angeles-based Center for Governmental Studies.

Not surprisingly, the comments on this article abound.


geess wizzz .the city spending we the citizen money on car dealerships and downtown theaters in the tone of 2 million dollars , you think the city could help out the precious children , the officials make there running for government that we got to protect the children and when they are voted in they cant even spend a nickel on your precious little brats..School supplies are being collected for Banning students in need.How to donate: School supplies may be dropped off at the Banning Community Center, 769 N. San Gorgonio Ave., during regular business hours. Monetary donations should be made to the San Gorgonio Education Foundation, which will use the money to buy school suppliesgeess wizzz .the city spending we the citizen money on car dealerships and downtown theaters in the tone of 2 million dollars , you think the city could help out the precious children , the officials make there running for government that we got to protect the children and when they are voted in they cant even spend a nickel on your precious little brats..

RPD123 22 hours ago wrote:


fatwally 1 day ago wrote:

The city of Banning, not without opposition, has doubled the amount of money it is investing in the Fox Theater renovation.On Tuesday, the board voted 3-2 to accept the theater owners' request to increase the amount to $1.3 million, which includes almost $1 million for unforeseen costs. Debbie Franklin and John Machisic opposed the request

An effort is under way to collect school supplies for Banning students in need.
The effort grew out of conversations among local ministers who meet every month. Banning City Councilwoman Debbie Franklin, who is involved in the donations drive, said the group decided this would be a way to work together for the community
So what do you do , give to your fundraisers ,,and ask for donations,, for your stupid kids school supplies,, the city and state gutted from your tax dollars this is an example of what they are taking about,,

whoozincharg 1 day ago wrote

Political fundraisers are typically well compensated bagmen for special interests. They are connected and keep their mouths shut.

In the IE, they are the indispensable sources of grease connecting developers/construction interests to the politicians.

As mentioned earlier, I too remember Buster's mandate for his first BOS was about responsible growth measures. That from a regular citrus farmer guy from Woodcrest and a Riverside City Councilman. Even back then, his Ward 4 constituents were getting uneasy about runaway development. Now, in his own home district, the citrus groves are virtually gone and replaced with housing on postage-stamped parcels that today are foreclosing by the hundreds. So much for those forgotten campaign promises.

The IE area is dominated by just 2 industries : Governments of all types with tens of thousands of employees and development-related businesses. That unholy alliance has brought us into the Top 5 listing of distressed communities in the Nation.

Make sure you thank your favorite politician with your vote next time around.

We_the people 1 day ago wrote:

Term and campaign contribution limits will return democracy to the people where it belongs.

GIGGSY42 1 day ago wrote:

It must be such a dismal existence to have it in for one person that when all these other people are mentioned in any type of capacity, you zero in on one. Your jelousy must just eat at you every day. So sad man. So sad.

GIGGSY42 1 day ago wrote:

Geez. Citizen14 you disapoint me... No mention of a Brady anywhere. Shocking.

Reality_Check 1 day ago wrote:

Maybe we can all go back to the days of grass roots volunteerism and get big fat pay raises like L. Stone and drive around in our County vehicle registering voters......naw!

Riverside County's decision to furlough its employees in the face of budget cuts is hurting downtown businesses in Riverside.

(excerpt, Press Enterprise)

It was not a welcome sight last Friday, the first of once-a-week furloughs for 1,855 employees working in Riverside County's downtown headquarters. The three-day weekends for those workers are expected to last into the middle of next year.

They aren't the only workers missing. Downtown merchants are tracking a complicated schedule of government-imposed work furloughs and mandatory days off. That concentration of a couple thousand city, county and state workers offers a steady stream of customers for the retailers and restaurants clustered in downtown Riverside. The closures come at a time when a sandwich or dry-cleaned shirt has lost its place on some budgets and construction work downtown has made some areas hard to reach.

The county's headquarters is now closed every Friday. Starting Sept. 16, the county court system will shut down on the third Wednesday of every month and about 200 of the court's 1,200 employees will take the day off along with jurors. About 1,550 city workers, including some at Riverside City Hall, have alternate schedules that force them to stay home once a week, and state employees have been told to choose three days a month to stay home.

Sandwiched between two bail-bonds offices, Oechsner's casual restaurant hasn't had a line out the door during lunch for about a year, she said. She's owned it for two. Construction workers finishing the Regency Towers office building next door have made a habit of bringing brown-bagged lunches to save money, she said. Friday furloughs won't help matters.

She's been sending her two employees home early and having them come in later on Friday mornings.

Hemet's interim city manager wound up serving longer than he thought.

(excerpt, Press Enterprise)

Wood said it has been tough cutting programs and reducing employees' salaries and benefits. Yet one of the biggest rewards has been seeing how employees, managers and council members pulled together, agreed to make sacrifices and do their best to provide services with fewer resources.

The city's managers made decisions based on what was best for the entire city rather than from a departmental perspective, Wood said.

"If there is one saving grace from the (budget-cutting) experience, this adverse situation has made the city more resourceful and efficient," he said.

Over the past three years, Hemet has had to cut its workforce to 332 employees from 432, a 23 percent reduction, Wood said.

"You cannot cut police and fire without reducing response times and other necessary services," he said. "You cannot continue to eliminate building department staff without delaying plan checks and inspections. Our development services have had a net reduction of over 50 percent in employees, yet they are still trying to staff the public counter at pre-budget cutting service hours."

The new police chief of San Bernardino praises his charges.

(excerpt, Press Enterprise)

Shortly after he took the job on June 1, San Bernardino police Chief Keith Kilmer began publicly distributing the "SBPD Star" memo, which highlights "exemplary work of the men and women of the San Bernardino Police Department." Up until then, the memo was distributed internally in the department.

He cited six cases last week, ranging from a graffiti arrest on Thursday to a quickly solved Aug. 11 street robbery, as well as the graduation of nine police explorers.


Tuesday, Aug. 25 at 3pmm and 6:30 pm., the Riverside City Council meets at City Hall and presides over this agenda.

Wednesday, Aug. 26 at 5:30 pm the micromanaged Community/City Hall Police Review Commission meets inside the cramped fifth floor conference room at City Hall. They will bicker over, roll their eyes and slumber through this agenda
including the items on the public report of the Joseph Darnell Hill shooting.

All the public information on the Hill case is here including the majority and minority reports.

Provided it's not midnight by the time they get done with this task, they will discuss the much belated "annual" report.

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