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


My Photo
Location: RiverCity, Inland Empire

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Why Was the CPRC Allowed by City Staff to Violate Its Own Bylaws?


Captain Mike Perea

Lt. Bruce Blomdahl

Lt. Eric Charette

Lt. Dan Hoxmeier

Sgt. Carla Hardin

Sgt. Cliff Mason

Sgt. Brian Smith

Sgt. William Crutchfield

Sgt. Don Nelson

Det. Karla Beler

Det. Kim Crutchfield

Det. Phil Fernandez

Det. Nick Kean

More to come...

Early notes:

From Blakely's mouth to Diaz' ears?

Promotions, Probation and the RPOA Leadership

Filling the vacancies from top to bottom

What does the future hold?

[The former chair of the Community Police Review Commission Peter Hubbard listens to a discussion during a past meeting. He had voted in favor of changing the commission's general meeting times to earlier in the day, an action which apparently violated the commission's own bylaws.]

A somewhat shocking event took place at the July 28 general meeting involving the Community Police Review Commission when the body was forced to reinstate its original meeting time of 5:30 p.m. after one commissioner pointed out that the prior votes to change the meeting times to earlier in the day violated the commission's own bylaws. Actually it's only shocking until you examine it outside of the context of the actions and behaviors which have been taking place at Riverside's very own City Hall this year, most of them under the tutelage of the city manager's office which micromanages the commission as heavily as it has done with the police department.

I mean this is a City Hall where violations involving the issuance of badges, cold plates and guns have taken place not to mention the alleged destruction of public documents. And it's more than likely that the problematic actions in the city include more than just what has come to public light. Because after all, the public was never supposed to know about the badges, guns and cold plates scandals so what else hasn't the public been allowed to know? How big is this iceberg anyway and how much of it remains unexposed? That's a commonly asked question these days.

And by the time some of these scandals came to light, one of the parties implicated in the cold plates incident, Councilman Steve Adams dismissed it as "old news". Also still unaddressed publicly by the city government are the contradictory accounts given by various city employees who gave sworn testimony through depositions in relation to lawsuits filed by two former police lieutenants.

But when you examine the larger picture of misbehavior and even illegal acts committed by some denizens of City Hall, the news that one of the city's commissions that is supposed to help ensure accountability is instead violating its own rulebook. In fact, unfortunately it's to be expected.

Article VII (Section 1) of the commission's bylaws clearly states when the monthly public meetings are to be held and that's on the fourth Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. in the City Council Chambers.While the Section does allow for meeting times to be changed, it's when the commission agrees ahead of time which indicates that a general consensus has to be reached by the commission to take that action which has hardly been the case here. In fact, all the votes to change the meeting times have been simple majority votes taken among less than the full commission on most occasions. And the one thing that the commission hasn't done on this contentious issue is to actually "agree" on the meeting location. A simple majority vote by its nature is the opposite of a commission "agreeing" to change the time of a meeting.

This violation shouldn't have been news to the commissioners who voted to change the meetings nor the city staff because it was actually brought up some time ago.

Hardly a consensus reached by a fractious body, especially if several members of the commission were prohibited from attending the meetings because of their jobs or could only attend if they used up sick or vacation days. Of course those commissioners who told the ones who had to do that in order to make sacrifices somehow never had to make any themselves.

Many people believe that the commission's vote to change its meetings to be held earlier in the day was a deliberate action not only to discourage city residents from attending but also to infringe on the ability of sitting commissioners who work until the evenings to be unable to attend as well. Some of the commissioners certainly didn't appear that concerned that some of their members could no longer attend regularly.

But how was this apparent violation of its own bylaws by a voting bloc of the CPRC which aligns itself with City Hall interests allowed to happen? After all, the commission's executive manager Kevin Rogan authorized the votes that were conducted change these meeting times as did City Attorney Gregory Priamos who attends meetings regularly along with one of his deputy city attorneys. Priamos was in Utah when the latest CPRC meeting took place but his standin was unable to answer basic questions asked by several commissioners who pointed out the violation in the bylaws. Why didn't Priamos, the legal advisor to the commission advise the body that it was essentially violating its own bylaws? Priamos if you recall did the opposite by telling the commission that changing its general meeting time to earlier in the day was perfectly okay through a simple majority vote. When in actuality, the process for amending or changing even the commission's written policies and procedures let alone its bylaws is much more complicated as had been explained by Priamos and Rogan when it came to discussing changes to the investigative protocol involving officer-involved deaths several years ago.

Apparently according to some discussion on this issue which allegedly took place at the July 28 meeting, the process of changing bylaws was simplified somewhat by city staff members so that a simple majority vote of changing the meeting times or even the bylaws was adequate. But the end result for now is that the commission's meetings had been moved back to their original time of 5:30 p.m. Three individuals did appear at the commission's meeting (held this month at 3 p.m.) for the first time to voice their opinions that the meetings should be moved back to noon. a

Even after the situation was resolved by pushing the commission back in compliance with its own established bylaws, questions continued to be asked.

And one person to ask questions of is clearly Priamos and why he allowed this violation of the bylaws to take place on his watch. Because not only didn't he advise commissioners about it ahead of time, he endorsed the decision by the commission to take the votes to change the meetings more than once. Once again, Priamos' own behavior shows why the commission needs its own independent counsel.

[City Attorney Gregory Priamos (r.) authorized several votes taken by members of the Community Police Review Commission to change its meeting times in violation of its own bylaws. If Priamos is the designated legal adviser for this commission why did he not bring up the conflict with the commission's bylaws?]

Not to mention Asst. City Manager Tom DeSantis who apparently authorized the movement of CPRC meetings outside of City Hall's city council chambers and more lately into the Public Utility Board Room off-site. During at least one earlier meeting held at this venue, the recording equipment failed to function property which led to no available recording of that meeting. DeSantis also apparently failed to ensure that his manager was cognizant in the commission's own bylaws and was performing his role of making sure the commission wasn't violating them.

[Asst. City Manager Tom DeSantis allegedly ordered the CPRC to move its meeting to the Public Utility Board Room even though the bylaws state that the meetings are to be held in the city council chambers unless "agreed" upon in advance by the commissioners.]

And then there are some of the commissioners themselves including those who voted to change the meetings after knowing that many city residents and even members of the commission were unable to attend the meetings at earlier times at all or without using up their sick or vacation days to attend. Commissioners Art Santore (who allegedly is thinking about running for city council in 2013), Peter Hubbard (whose employed by American Medical Response, which has a contract with the city manager's office), Robert Slawsby (who has ties to political consultant Brian Floyd) and Kenneth Rotker voted repeatedly to move the meetings away from the time set in the commission's bylaws. The commission through its chair Brian Pearcy has yet to issue any type of public statement as to why the majority of its voting body voted to change the meeting times in violation of the bylaw and the city management and city attorney's office have yet to explain why either their department heads or their designated employees have participated in the commission violating its own bylaws.

[CPRC Commissioner Kenneth Rotker (r.) cast a vote to change the meetings to earlier in the day, an action that apparently violated the commission's own bylaws.]

[CPRC Chair Brian Pearcy listens to discussion at a recent meeting held at noon inside the cramped sixth floor conference room at City Hall regarding the scheduling of the commission's general meetings.]

City Manager Brad Hudson Passes Performance Evaluation Despite Scandals

[City Manager Brad Hudson survived his first performance evaluation since the guns, badges and cold plates scandals broke. Several elected officials said they had questions but most appeared simpatico with their direct employee. ]

To Bob,
I wish you knew what I know about the City Mananger, Mayor and City Council. So here are a few tid bits.

In spite of what is presented publicly, the Mayor runs this town and the Council. Read the city charter. The mayor plans the CC meetings and determines what is put on the agenda. The City Manager is doing what the mayor wants done and has staff prepare reports for the CC on issues of importance to the mayor. The mayor can block any councilmember's suggestions from going forward. You may hear a contrary comment or suggestion at the council meeting. However, if the mayor sees fit he will block it from coming back for a vote. This power allows him to work the council(politics). "You scratch my back and I'll scratch yours."
Remember city manager Caravalos from 2005? I believe he was fired for not wanting to go forward with the mayor on unlawful funding of the "Renaissance". He put together the mayor's Renaissance Plan and had it in the adopted 2006 budget including the unlawful taxes to fund the borrowing of $1 billion in Certificates of Participation. The mayor and CC hired Hudson to push the plan forward. Hudson is smart and gets what the mayor wants completed. His problems seems to come from a lack of ethical limits. If the Mayor wants it done Hudson will get it done (legal or not).
The Mayor is in his seventies. He is a tenured UC Proffessor of Political Science. Your should read his writings and teachings. He is all about "how to run local govt." Being mayor has been his professional hobby for the last 16 yrs. The re-branding of Riverside from the Citrus heritage model to the City of Art and Innovation model is the begining of his dream to have the politically perfect model city government. He is determined to succeed in his dreams. His dream has saddled us all with $1 billion (for 30 yrs) of renaissance debt and has unlawfully taken almost $400 million from the people of Riverside in the last five yrs. The city continues to tax you at a rate of at least $75 million per yr. in hidden taxes. This is killing our local economy. Businesses are failing in the city, Families are failing too. Homes are foreclosed every day. We have to stop our city from taxing our local economy and the people to death!

----"Gray Panther" at

Riverside City Manager Brad Hudson's performance evaluation behind closed doors at City Hall came and went on July 27 during the city council's afternoon session. The legislative body listened and decided on a public hearing lasting 90 minutes before adjourning to the conference room. Some elected officials including Councilman Paul Davis had said that they had concerns to raise and questions to ask regarding Hudson and DeSantis in light of the scandals that broke recently regarding guns, badges and cold plates. However, Councilman Andrew Melendrez told the Press Enterprise that his concerns didn't weigh too heavily on his belief that they would impact the city manager's performance and Council members Steve Adams and Nancy Hart have said that they hadn't received any complaints from their ward residents on the matter. Their responses tell you pretty eloquently what's wrong with the city government's dynamic and why scandals can take place and even take root. The most popular defense is to just ignore the scandals, write them off as "mistakes" that were "corrected" and focus on Riverside Renaissance (without of course addressing the massive debt ahead).

Adams will be able to put that the assertion that frankly no one in Ward Seven gives a damn to the test next year when he's up for reelection to his ward seat. So far John Brandriff, a member of the CPRC has announced an intention to run against Adams but the election cycle hasn't really begun yet so others could come out of the woodwork as well.

Deborah Wong from the coalition of community organizations discussing these troubling issues spoke before the city council during its afternoon session. But in the end despite getting clamored by city residents to address these issues which have shaken Riverside and damaged public trust in City Hall and the police department (which is undergoing its second major reorganization in a decade) by city residents.

Upcoming Meetings on Ethics Code Review

Wednesday Sept. 1 at 4 p.m., the Governmental Affairs Committee will be conducting its annual Review of the Ethics Code and Complaint Process at City Hall in the Mayor's Ceremonial Room on the Seventh Floor.

Tuesday, Sept. 21 at approximately 7 p.m. the city council will be discussing the annual review of the Ethics Code and Complaint process including any recommendations it receives from the Governmental Affairs Committee.

With all the interesting events that have been coming out of City Hall and elsewhere in the past six months, a lot of people have raised concerns about the ethics of those residing at City Hall. This is one of the hottest tickets in town, especially considering who serves on the Governmental Affairs Committee which includes Councilman Steve Adams, implicated in the cold plates scandal.

Press Enterprise
Columnist Dan Bernstein writes about the transition taking place between the incoming and outgoing district attorneys in Riverside County. As usual, what's most interesting about when he writes about the D.A.'s office is reading the comments thread where someone stated a rumor that top prosecutors under outgoing DA Rod Pacheo including Bill Mitchell, Kelly Keenan and Sara Danville are being asked to resign or be fired.

The so-call hotel bed tax will go to the voters in Riverside this November.

The Lunar New Year's Festival is coming to Riverside beginning on Jan. 29, 2011.

Campaign Fundraising Events

John Brandriff, Ward Seven:

August 4 at 6pm at the Kountry Folks Homestyle Restaurant at 3653 La Sierra Avenue

Steve Adams, Ward Seven:

August 5 between 6-8 pm at Ciao Bella Restaurant on 1630 Spruce

Ed Adkison, Mayor:

Oct. 6 between 6-8 pm at Victoria Club on 2521 Arroyo Drive

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home

Newer›  ‹Older