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, May 11, 2011

Election Debates and "Reforming" the Police Department, Hudson style

Quote of the Week:

"She was an at-will employee sitting at the pleasure of the city attorney, and ... I determined that the termination of that agreement was in the best interests of the city."

---Riverside City Attorney Gregory Priamos to Press Enterprise after he fired one of his employees who had dared complain about allegations of favoritism in contracting involving City Hall.

This had been floating around during the past couple of days but guess what, Asst. City Attorney Raychele Sterling has been terminated from her employment in Riverside. The City Council and Mayor Ron Loveridge should call for an immediate outside investigation (outside Riverside) into the firing of her and other recently terminated employees AFTER they relayed concerns about favoritism in contracts at City Hall.

Why is City Manager Brad Hudson being allowed to hire his own investigator to investigat allegations made by city employees of favoritism including the use of Park and Recreation Department Funds to subsidize the City Hall Cafeteria? Why are those who have complained being fired in violation of the whistle blower protection act?

Coming soon:

  • In the Shadow of Bell: What city residents can do to learn more about what their city's really doing and what actions to take to ensure accountability in government and how residents can protect their money.

  • More on Brad Hudson's "reforms" of the Police Department and what it means for you. Are Public Safety layoffs and other layoffs in the future to pay off debt and loans the city might never have to repay?

  • The failure of the Ethics Complaint Process and why that matters to City Hall to keep that process weak

  • Who's really running the city using the B&B rule? Why the city council folds so quickly during confrontations with its own employees like on Tuesday night's city council meeting.

  • Why the city residents need a real city council not one that backs down to demands by its own employees as happened Tuesday night at the city council meeting

  • City Hall's over $100 million gamble and what it can mean for Riverside's future

  • The Price of Silence inside River City and its undisclosed costs to city residents and employees. Who walked away with a ton of money?

  • Killing the messenger and how much it's costing city residents when the city violates clearly displayed whistle protection laws as the list of fired employees with consciences grows.

  • Which four people on the dais has the cojones to call for an outside investigation? Three people, two people, one person? Anyone?
  • **
***That pin dropping is the city government doing nothing.***

Oh and by the way, the rumor floating around on Craigslist that began circulating after my last piece on the police department including the dynamics going on inside there and Hudson's reform plan for it, that some cop got me pregnant. Not true. I guess that's some anonymous person's way of broadcasting that they didn't like what I wrote recently. Not to mention what was written about the complaint on Councilman Steve Adams. Someone clearly pissed off about it and this is their way of venting about it, such is the nature of life in River City. But if Mr. Anonymous pissing over anything lately, he'd better be prepared to crap in his pants about what's coming up in the pipeline down the line.

"Silence is the most perfect expression of scorn."

--- George Bernard Shaw

Riverside's SEIU cuts pension deal with City Hall

[The Round Table at the Ethics Complaint Hearing involving Councilman Steve Adams]

Breaking News: Councilman Steve Adams explains why Sewer funds were used to build a road on the Jurupa Avenue extension project. He explained that they were used to build the road because the original planned use had been to cleanup another site. Only problem is, that doesn't make using that source of funding any less questionable. Sewer funds aren't meant to be spent on purposes outside of well...sewers. It just makes it look like Adams is advocating the funneling of those funds through a purpose that might or might not have been legitimate into one that's doesn't seem so on its face.

The ethics panel consisting of five chairs of different boards and commissions heard the ethics complaint that the Riverside Coalition for Police Accountability and members of the Eastside Think Tank filed against Councilman Steve Adams alleging administrative interference for interfering in the promotions of two then police lieutenants, John Carpenter and Meredyth Meredith who were going out for captains. As a member of the RCPA, the biggest frustration with the legal process pertaining to the allegations here which were raised in twin lawsuits filed by two other former police lieutenants, was that it never went to jury trial in a public forum called a courthouse in United States District Court. But it was settled behind closed doors on the eve of the April 20, 2010 trial date for more money than it would have cost to take it to trial assuming that the city prevailed of course. If the city would lose the case at trial and a federal jury issued a monetary verdict, then perhaps the city did save money by settling.

City Manager Brad Hudson explained to those at the ethics hearing his interpretation of why the city did that which was to get rid of the two lieutenants who filed the suit in the interest of reforming the police department. That comment deserves some reflection separate from the ethics hearing and there will be some examples of Hudson's reform program for the police department included in the narrative.

But it would be interesting if the city would take a single case to trial, well at least since getting its rear handed back to it on a plate in the $1.64 million payout by a jury who heard the civil trial involving Officer Roger Sutton back in late 2005. Maybe the city just has a long memory about some things.

Because the city's so convinced it's innocent of any allegations raised against it, that it naturally doesn't take the cases to trial but instead does some saber rattling before settling them behind closed doors. Some say that's why the city is now "self-insured" as it's called. What that means is that the city which used to be insured (until about 2008 when a person who settled a lawsuit against the city said that they'd been told that the city's carrier canceled out so it came out of a city fund), now has to take its losses straight out of its own coffer.

It was interesting as Adams and other witnesses including retired Deputy Chief Pete Esquivel, a close friend of his, provided statements during the hearing along with several as character witnesses for Adams. Miguel Morales who's been a regular fixture at city council meetings and allegedly on Inland Empire Craigslist lately provided an excellent presentation of sorts, unfortunately it was difficult to ascertain exactly what it was he was saying. Something woven together about a grand conspiracy, Paul Davis, the Filthy Five, a plot to bring down City Hall, Paul Davis, election strategies, his realization that one member of the "Filthy Five" has actually been deceased for two years and Paul Davis.

Then Larry Allen who was also providing information for Adams, said that he had nothing to do with the promotion because it had been some rivalry between former Captain Mark Boyer who had been promoted by Leach instead of Meredith. Hudson at the ethics hearing "testified" that he had been the one who flatly refused to approve Meredith's promotion back in late 2005. He had thought about vetoing Carpenter's as a budgetary action because they had three captains already. What was fascinating as some noted was that Hudson's recollection of the events appears to be more lucid three to six years later than it did while he testified under oath several years ago. He did remember enough to tell Allen that he was wrong about his hearsay about Boyer and why was that? Oh yes, because remember Hudson's an at-will employee of who again? The people filing the complaint? The members of the panel? His rebuke of Allen who was doing his best to defend Adams after all, was probably one of the most telling moments about what had really happened but not in the way he probably intended. It'd been nice to see all these people who testified at deposition and those who hadn't spoken yet testify in federal court because the statements at the hearing made it clear that it probably would have been the trial of the year.

Yet the panel never asked questions about why Hudson had made that statement about Allen's comments. They never asked who City Attorney Gregory Priamos was representing when he dropped a few new wrinkles in the ethics hearing procedure because who can fire Priamos again? The members of the public? The members of the panel? Remember, Priamos number one duty as city attorney is to protect the mayor and city council even if he couldn't say from what.

Hudson said that he had never spoken to Adams about any promotional processes but in the depositions it was actually former Asst. City Manager Tom DeSantis that appeared more involved in that process of at least one of the promotional processes and no, he didn't take time away from his new career as a municipal management consultant to appear at the hearing.

Former Deputy Chief Pete Esquivel told the ethics panel that he had told both Adams and Carpenter that the meeting that took place wasn't to involve promotions or facilitate any promotions.

It's interesting to see that those connected with the city who gave statements in relation to Adams' actions were either one of his direct employees who'd be Hudson or one who's retired. No currently working city employees appeared at the meeting to provide their input into the record. Not Carpenter, Meredith or even Maureen Mitchell who works for Hudson, but had been the one subjected to being the messenger of bad news to Meredith.

The city council has the power under the city's charter to grant subpoena power to its board, commissions and committees yet it didn't afford this ethics process that power which would be useful at gleaning information. It didn't offer up protection for its own employees to give statements without having to worry about retaliation. It didn't afford any information to the panelists on how to reconcile differences in statements or versions from prior statements (in this case sworn depositions) and what they're hearing. Assuming that all the panelists did indeed read the depositions, none of them addressed or even mentioned the discrepancies in those two versions of events. I don't have any problem with the final ruling of the panel because the process provided to hear this ethics complaint was playing in the city's ballpark with an attorney hired and fired by the city council (which includes Adams) playing referee with only a select roster of witnesses "allowed" to appear and not as sworn witnesses which includes all the related protections and rights.

The panel at times seemed unclear what to do, what avenues to pursue with questioning but then there's no type of training involved in the hearing process which no one knew how it would unfold until Priamos set the rules at the hearing. What was clear from the panel was its limitations and the fact that the allegations in the complaint that were raised in the original lawsuit are beyond an Ethics Code and Complaint process that has pretty much been hamstrung since it was voted in the city's charter in 2004.

Interestingly enough, the chair of the Human Resources Board who sat on the panel came up to me afterward and asked me why I wasted my time there. I guess it's not as big a waste of time of attending his board meetings and asking whether or not his body is going to investigate the allegations of favoritism raised by employees in at least three different city departments or whether they'll even be briefed on them by the Human Resources Department. It's a little bit more difficult for this kind of behavior that's been alleged on different fronts to happen if the oversight mechanisms in place are actually doing their jobs.

When the city settles lawsuits to essentially protect itself from accountability, settling to the point where it has to be self-insured, it robs the residents of the accountability and transparency that is needed when serious allegations are raised. The city always claims through Priamos or one of his syncopates that all lawsuits are trivial and that the city will litigate them vigorously then once they lose a motion of summary judgment or demurrer or just run up against civil depositions that are embarrassing to them, it settles them to avoid that very public day in court.

Candidates Debate at Election Forum Downtown

[Ward One City Council candidate forum at the First Congregational Church in the downtown, put on by the Inland Congregations United for Change]

The Inland Congregations United for Change held a debate forum for Ward One City Council candidates in downtown Riverside at the First Congregational Church. Councilman Mike Gardner, former Councilman Dom Betro and two other challengers Marisa Valdez Yeager and Dvonne Petruzzello made statements and answered questions ranging from the fates of the Fox Theater and different neighborhoods to whether or not they supported having the State Comptroller's office do a forensic audit on the city's coffers.

To the latter, both Petruzzello and Yeager said yes. Gardner said it would be okay but the city has a new independent auditor and Betro didn't really answer the question, changing the subject instead. It was interesting how Betro was all for transparency and accountability unless it's farmed outside City Hall like from some state department. But it's interesting how the female candidates or rather the ones without dais time seemed more enthusiastic about an outside audit of the city's finances.

City Council meetings have become interesting places to attend to raise issues and ask questions about how the city's been spending its money and what accounts it has been using to fund various projects. These days you can ask those questions and even in one case, council members can and the city staff including City Manager Brad Hudson will dance around the answer and never provide a meaningful response. Like the $4.9 million that arose from an unnamed (at least on the report) from the extension of Jurupa Avenue. Even when Councilwoman Nancy Hart asked for that funding source, Hudson flirted around the issue which is kind of unfortunate considering that Hudson is her direct employee. But Hart needs to step to the plate to get the answers to questions that she asks. Where did the $4.9 million come from and why wasn't there a direct answer to that question? The supplemental allocation from city's Sewer Fund (no. 550) was noted as being from that fund in the report related to the agenda item.

[Mayor Ron Loveridge off discussing trade relations with China while allegations of favoritism in the city's contracts are made at home]

With some city officials in China, the city's been awash of allegations and lawsuits
alleging favoritism among the choice of some vendors in contracting for city projects. Press Enterprise Columnist Dan Bernstein comments on the disturbing allegations that have arisen in recent weeks. Left to respond to them even the situation involving a deputy city attorney on administrative leave was Asst. City Manager of Finance/CFO/Finance Director Paul Sundeen who naturally said (without investigating) that the allegations of favoritism were false and that the deputy city attorney had placed herself on leave. Her lawyer (and the fact that she lawyered up speaks volumes) said, actually no she was placed on leave by Priamos and is ready and willing to return to work.

As of this writing, she's still not back at work even though this leave according to whoever's speaking for City Hall at the time, was voluntary on her part. Hudson farmed the investigation of the favoritism claims raised by her, public works employees and Park and Recreation employees who alleged that their budget funds subsidized the City Hall cafeteria, to a law firm out in Rancho Cucamonga.

In the meantime, the city's in the final stages of hiring Moss Adams from Oregon to serve as its new independent auditor replacing of course, Meyer Hoffman McCann which is still technically on contract. The firm's hiring will be voted on by the city council within the next 30 days. But what was interesting is if one of the city's finance employees has familial ties with one of the partners of the outgoing Mayer Hoffman McCann. If that's the case then the firm which has run into trouble of late with its less than stellar audits of both Bell and Victorville would still have ties to Riverside.

What's also fascinating is the assorted cast of characters that have shown up some with the volume raised high to lash out at any attempts to do that calling it all a grand conspiracy of the "filthy five", "dirty dozen" (more like the Salacious Sixty actually) that's conspiring to bring down the establishment meeting at a local eatery.

Welcome to Election 2011, its seamier side. The usual allegations of sign stealing in Ward Seven, as has happened in past elections. But regardless, candidates and their volunteers really need to leave each others' signs alone. It's not just the free expression by the candidates which is being violated, it's also that of the individual who has the right to choose which sign to put on his or her property during election season. It happens every election and it's just silly.

Ward One has heated up with the debates and the one that the ICUC put on was great because most of the debates either cost money or had limited seating so this was one where more people could attend them.

But the hottest race right now is apparently Ward Seven and the smartest person is the candidate who is sitting back and watching, perhaps even facilitating his or her two rivals ripping at each other in the preliminary round and their campaign volunteers filing complaints with the city clerk? Ever heard of divide and conquer? Whoever wins that race is going to have to be able to be disciplined and frankly interested in civic business enough to sit in their dais seats during entire meetings to deal with the city's financial meltdown which is inevitable because in the past five years, the city played the grasshopper in its financial planning and spending rather than the ant.

Anyway, mail in ballots have been issued so if you're in an odd numbered ward, it's time to do your civic duty and vote.

RPD Management Warns Citizens About Blogs

Hudson: Two former lieutenants retired and lawsuits settled to "reform" department

[Chief Sergio Diaz hired in July 2010 while his new boss, Hudson was busy reforming the police department]

More admonitions about blogs at meetings including a recent community class offered by the police department by members of police management. Anyone would agree that blogs shouldn't be a person's only source of new but blogs aren't the evil things that they've apparently been made out to be brainwashing the public along with other media. Chief Sergio Diaz had said in a meeting with people in the command staff and above that he was apparently being undermined by someone but when asked more specifically about it by an individual or two, he mentioned the opposition that he got to appointing Capt. Mike Blakely to the deputy chief position from City Hall but did it anyway, while Blakely was in the room at the meeting. So how was that answering the question?

Diaz and his two newer management team members apparently aren't as visible these days in roll calls or at much of the police department these days. Some friction had allegedly been exhibited between Blakely and Asst. Chief Chris Vicino over some actions that took place over some of the divisions including Internal Affairs. Diaz apparently has taken a wait and see approach over those dust ups to see how they fall out. But while he's watching the department and issuing warning about not being brainwashed or unduly influenced by blogs and television media, his boss, City Manager Brad Hudson's been busy making statements at City Hall about the police department.

His latest was at the ethics hearing when he decided even with Priamos in the room, to explain to the panelists why the city settled the lawsuits with former lieutenants, Darryl Hurt and Tim Bacon who if you'll remember through the settlement retired with top level captain's pay and it was retroactive back a couple of years earlier along with cash payouts. But Hudson said that the city had decided to settle with them rather than take them to trial to get rid of them in the interest of reforming the police department.

Say what? That's a new one, coming out of anywhere in City Hall in relation to these lawsuits and their eventual outcome. It's the first news that Hudson has apparently been an agent of reform along with the city council and mayor who employ him over the police department. And that in order to "reform" the agency which had a very difficult 2010, they had to retire out two employees. The same two employees who just happen to make allegations of misconduct involving Hudson, former Asst. City Manager Tom DeSantis and even members of the city council including Adams. Remember the allegations about some of the perks that Hudson, DeSantis and city council members had enjoyed in relation to equipment usually only provided for police officers? Those arose publicly in the lawsuits filed by Bacon and Hurt and it's just odd that the behavior which put the department and city in a bad spot was attributed to Hudson, DeSantis and others and yet getting rid of those who made allegations against them of inappropriate conduct was seen as "reform".

That in mind, let's take a look at some of Hudson's amazing accomplishments he made while "reforming" the police department. This is all past information that first became public last year but this is just the first time that Hudson's come forward with his resume of reforming the police department so that makes it worth a trip down memory lane.

Hudson got straight down to business when he first arrived in the police...City Hall in June 2005 as it turned out through his assistant city manager, Tom DeSantis. One of the first priorities was apparently to look the part of someone assigned with the mission of "reforming" the police department. Never mind that it had just undergone a five year and $26 million and counting reform process with the State Attorney General's office but even when that sunset in March 2006, the city council and mayor had voted to install an oversight mechanism for assurance that the implementation of the Strategic Plan would move forward. Only Hudson apparently decided instead during the summer that followed that he was going to change the terms of the contract offered to a police practices consultant without telling at least most of the city council. The ultimate in "reform" was when Hudson allegedly went to Asst. Attorney General Lou Verdugo to ask him to use his influence to pressure the consultant to accept a low balled offer instead of what the city council had originally approved.

Reforming a police department at its very best!

It took some effort to get that turned around and finally by autumn, that process was re initiated and the police department was put on track to continue its implementation of its Plan after the city council. But if that was a major reform track being taken by Hudson and his city council, it certainly was an interesting approach.

But perhaps what was more interesting was some mechanisms of "reform" that Hudson and DeSantis implemented before that time period and apparently after it as well. Because if you're at City Hall and you're going to "reform" the police department, you have to be decked out appropriately.

Including apparently adopting the appropriate badges. Just take the police badge below that's issued to the department's police officers and make a few changes....

[Template for a police department badge assigned to sworn officers]

And you get what's below which was created by the Community Development Department for Hudson and two of his assistant city managers allegedly so they wouldn't be hassled if they had to stop their cars and yank down illegal yard signs. If anyone asked them why they were doing it, they could just flash their badges.

How many people truly believe that excuse and that one of Hudson's departments came up with the idea on its own? Well, at least two people.

[One example of Hudson's mission to reform the Riverside Police Department. He even had a badge created for himself to do it?]

But by that time, Hudson and DeSantis had already been reforming the police department in other ways. They were assigning themselves and elected officials what are called cold plated vehicles. Now the whole car assignment policy appeared totally disorganized and its accountability mechanism even more so being stored as it turned out on post it notes but one would think that the assignment of cold (untraceable to the driver) plates would be kind of well you know, restricted to....police officers and only officers in specific circumstances.

Well they may or may not have been restricted within the police department to certain employees but when you're out reforming the police department, you really can't let a little thing like a regulation, policy, procedure or even state law get in your way can you? So the cold plating on cars was carried out during Hudson's reform plan for the police department. The vehicles on this list were traceable to those assigned to Hudson, a couple of his former assistant managers and several elected officials with another one having a car set to be cold plated after being signed off by DeSantis on the bottom but that car was actually never plated out.

[Another one of Hudson's methods of reforming the police department, did he need to equip his vehicle with special plates to do so? His vehicle on this cold plating list was allegedly the Toyota Highlander at the top]

But you can't be a true reformer of the police department without carrying firearms so the dynamic duo reformers Hudson and DeSantis went to equip themselves with Glocks, you know the brand of gun that many police officers including those in the police department carry. They went out for permits and both encountered problems. Hudson apparently substituted as his "residential" address, that for City Hall which doesn't appear to be leasing out living space...yet but did lease or give out space to a private company in the basement for a while. DeSantis actually was assigned a permit by former Chief Russ Leach even though he lived in another city. When the media came sniffing around, that permit was apparently "revoked" and handed off to the Riverside County Sheriff's Department to do instead which it did quickly enough. Quickly enough so that when DeSantis had his little incident in a parking lot in Hemet where a woman filed a useless police report against him for allegedly threatening her and going to his car to get a gun, he might have already received his firearm from the police department he and Hudson had set out to reform.

Anyway, the two of them still needed some guns so they went out to the shooting range at the department to get certified and they are assigned guns during that time with serial numbers that were recorded on those sheets of certification and then somehow wound up matching those showing up on their gun permits as being owned by them.

Uh oh.

How in goodness name did they wind up with guns that were owned by the police department that were never sold, never declared surplus or any of those formalities. But when the whole incident became reported and later investigated by the State Attorney General's office's criminal division, somehow the guns went through two different sales. One through the police department which turned out to be highly problematic mostly because the police department wasn't a licensed gun dealership.

Uh Oh.

Here's some of the paperwork assorted with the sale by the police department and the response from one law enforcement agency outside Riverside that had questions about it.

[Yet another "reform" instituted by Hudson to facilitate the police department as an unlicensed vendor to sell firearms to management employees at City Hall]

[The response in writing from an investigator with the State Attorney General's Criminal Division to former Police Chief Russ Leach regarding one of Hudson's alleged "reforms"---can you guess which one?]

Not to worry! The whole thing got fixed when the sale was either redone (after collecting the illegally sold weapons first) or "laundered" (depending how you look at it) through a private dealership in Riverside. That little blip taken care of, it left Hudson and his staff back to their mission of department reform which they did by allowing the department's staff including its supervision to be depleted through attrition.

When individuals thwarted Hudson's reform process by reporting some of his elements of reform to outside authorities, they allegedly found themselves in loads of trouble. Various leaders of police unions questioned what was going on and either alleged they were threatened with retaliation, discriminated by the promotional process or told by upper management they had "targets on their back". This is when they reported on the above as well as other reform mechanisms like trying to outfit the cold plated cars with police equipment including apparently reversal tires, radios and lights so that employees including the city attorney could "roll" to critical incidents properly decked out.

As a city resident, I had no idea while all this was going on that Hudson and DeSantis were working behind the wings implementing all of the above listed "reforms" to make our police department a better agency. Talk about shock and awe! Maybe the city council that espouses how talented Hudson is these days needs to like pay out some money, some spare change lying around, and nominate him for some policing reform that's out in Washington, D.C. or another important city.

And actually, when it comes to reform, I guess Hudson is modest because he apparently was tied to all of the accomplishments listed in this posting and never shared it with the public so he could be properly congratulated for what he's done. In fact, you know the saying about icebergs, with a man as modest about his achievements in reforming the police department, this is probably only the tip of all the outstanding contributions he's made to ensure that his latest police chief, Sergio Diaz has inherited a department reformed by his boss's efforts.

[Icebergs can be beautiful but can they also serve as valuable symbolism for the extent of credit and knowledge given or known about involving Hudson's amazing mechanisms of reform instituted involving the police department that he hinted at during the ethics complaint hearing?]

Hudson praised himself and the elected officials for making the decision behind closed doors to get rid of two lieutenants in the interest of "reforming" the agency on the eve of their trial in open court on the allegations they raised. But it's strange because most of the "reforms" listed above were illegal practices or at the very least highly questionable so how exactly is that reform, when you take a law abiding agency which is set up to protect and serve and enforce the law and compromise everything it stand for and represents for what's not reform but pure selfishness and ego. To deck yourself out on the props of a law enforcement officer without taking on any of the responsibilities.

One wonders if Hudson and DeSantis while "reforming" the police department ever bothered to survey it's over 600 (well maybe it's over 500) employees now to ever ask if they thought that engaging in the above illegal or highly questionable behavior simply to feed one's egotism was something they wanted the agency that employs them to be identified with.

I would guess that survey was never done by Hudson, that he never asked if it was okay to "reform" the department by for one thing, having it engage in an illegal or highly questionable sale involving its firearms. But then he doesn't have to do that because he's the chief's boss and the chief is his "at will" employee. The city council was more than happy to allow this to go on and when it found out much sooner than most of the public, it didn't say anything about what was going on, only dismissing it as "old news" when it finally did come out or making jokes about what was a serious issue to many people. It wasn't a joke to those employed by the department who were in ground zero when most of the scandals including that of the last police chief broke last year.

It's amazing what someone who engaged in that behavior that came to the public's attention only through two lawsuits filed by former police employees, lawsuits that were settled for a ton of money, can come forward and actually attribute his own conduct to "reform" and that he's got a city council and mayor that probably would have just smiled and nodded their heads while he said that if any of them had been present at the time. Because they're not thinking and they're not paying an iota of attention to Hudson and this was proof of that.

It's not reform, it's some of the more shameful behavior that's been seen and condoned and joked about by our elected leadership. By acting that way, the city council and mayor revealed a lot about the power dynamics at City Hall between them and one of their direct employees. Only the bad news doesn't end there, does anyone believe that to be the case?

Because if Hudson seriously believes that he or the city council are "reforming" the police department through the actions above and by getting rid of employees who report their "reforms" outside the agency, then no thanks but I don't think that's the type of "reform" that's needed by any law enforcement agency.

It's kind of funny that in the midst of all this and the City Hall folks surrounding Diaz and his currently mostly invisible if conflictual management team that he's worried about a blogger. If I were a police chief coming in the situation that faced Riverside last year having to deal with the way my new boss "reformed" the police department, I'd be pretty busy being concerned about that, about the message rather than one of a wide assortment of messengers. Will keeping his boss from instituting further "reforms" be anything less than a full-time job on its own?

When the honeymoon period ends will Diaz have the expertise and the tools to deal with that? That's a question that still awaits an answer. There's been a lot of mentioning in different venues to explain new changes as being "this is how we did it in the LAPD" but this isn't Los Angeles, this is River City, a whole different playing field. Look around at all the city employees from different departments who have filed lawsuits essentially on the same issues (okay maybe that is like Los Angeles a bit) including favoritism in contracting and retaliation for complaints made, which is similar to what happened in the police department.

You see River City is where questionable behavior perhaps even that which skirts the laws is apparently done for good reasons and getting rid of those who complain about it is part of some "reform" process. If that's the case, Hudson and the denizens at City Hall are "reforming" the entire city.

As Alice said during one of her forays to Wonderland, things are getting curiouser and curiouser and so it appears is the case with Wonderland's twin, River City.

Public Meetings

Monday, May 16 at 11 am, the city council and mayor will be interviewing these candidates including former Asst. Police Chief John DeLaRosa as detailed in this blog a while back.

Tuesday, May 17 at 11:00 am, the Riverside City Council and mayor will be interviewing and selecting people to add to the Charter Review Committee according to this report.

Tuesday, May 17 at 3:30 and 6:30 pm at City Hall. The city council will be meeting to discuss this agenda.

Blogger Apologizes for Outage

What a frustrating day. We’re very sorry that you’ve been unable to publish to Blogger for the past 20.5 hours. We’re nearly back to normal — you can publish again, and in the coming hours posts and comments that were temporarily removed should be restored. Thank you for your patience while we fix this situation. We use Blogger for our own blogs, so we’ve also felt your pain.

Here’s what happened: during scheduled maintenance work Wednesday night, we experienced some data corruption that impacted Blogger’s behavior. Since then, bloggers and readers may have experienced a variety of anomalies including intermittent outages, disappearing posts, and arriving at unintended blogs or error pages. A small subset of Blogger users (we estimate 0.16%) may have encountered additional problems specific to their accounts. Yesterday we returned Blogger to a pre-maintenance state and placed the service in read-only mode while we worked on restoring all content: that’s why you haven’t been able to publish. We rolled back to a version of Blogger as of Wednesday May 11th, so your posts since then were temporarily removed. Those are the posts that we’re in the progress of restoring.

Again, we are very sorry for the impact to our authors and readers. We try hard to ensure Blogger is always available for you to share your thoughts and opinions with the world, and we’ll do our best to prevent this from happening again.

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