A chill must have gone up failed Santa Ana Mayoral candidate Alfredo Amezcua’s spine this morning when he cracked open the newspaper and found out that “Federal and state authorities charged 99 alleged Orange County gang members with crimes including murder, drug trafficking and extortion, at least half or whom were associated with the Mexican Mafia prison gang,” according to NPR. Continue reading
For Immediate Release: June 7, 2011
For More Information Contact: Carol Chamberlain – Office: (916) 319-2069, Mobile: (916) 804-5355
State Assemblyman Jose Solorio Issues Statement Regarding Court Decision to Stop the Sale of the Orange County Fairgrounds
Unanimous decision makes ruling very clear
SACRAMENTO, CA – State Assemblyman Jose Solorio (D-Anaheim) issued this statement regarding today’s ruling in the Court of Appeal Fourth Appellete DIistrict regarding a request for an injunction to stop the current sale of the Orange County Fairgrounds. The suit was filed on behalf of State Senator Lou Correa, State Assemblyman Jose Solorio, former Costa Mesa City Council Member Katrina Foley and the Orange County Fair Preservation Society (OCFPS).
“The court’s decision today is a great victory for the residents of Orange County. I hope the Governor lets us keep our fairgrounds public and does not put the fair out to bid again.”
The court decision to stop the sale of the fairgrounds was based on the fact that the process was flawed and that there was no appraisal done to learn the fair market value of the property,
State Assemblyman Jose Solorio is the Chair of the Assembly Insurance Committee and serves on the Assembly Appropriations and Transportation committees. He represents the Sixty-Ninth Assembly District, which includes the cities of Anaheim, Garden Grove, and Santa Ana. For more information about Assemblyman Solorio, visit www.assembly.ca.gov/solorio.
State Assemblyman Jose Solorio represents the cities of Anaheim, Garden Grove and Santa Ana. To learn more about State Assemblyman Solorio and his legislative work, visit his official website. This e-mail communication was authorized and paid for by Jose Solorio Assembly Officeholder Committee, ID 1337257, P.O. Box 26063, Santa Ana, CA, 92799.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 24, 2010
Contact: Howard Sutter, 714.834.6203 office, Howard.Sutter@ocgov.com
Board of Supervisors Approves Response to Grand Jury Report on Detention Facilities
(Santa Ana, CA) — The Orange County Board of Supervisors today approved the proposed response to several findings and recommendations included in the 2010-11 Grand Jury report on Detention Facilities.
“We appreciate the Grand Jury’s review of our detention facilities and the positive conclusions they reached,” said Bill Campbell, Chairman of the Board of Supervisors. “The jails are an essential part of our public safety system and their proper operation is of great importance.”
The Grand Jury’s report found that Orange County detention facilities appeared to be clean, in good condition and in compliance with state policies and procedures. The report stated that the jails are not overcrowded and noted the Sheriff Department’s efforts to keep disruptions to a minimum.
The County’s response highlights several County initiatives to reduce recidivism including collaborative efforts involving the Sheriff’s Department, Probation Department, Social Services Agency, Health Care Agency, Collaborative Courts and the Orange County Reentry Partnership. The goal of these efforts is to provide a seamless transition for inmates leaving the County jails and integrating back into the community. The response also states that the Sheriff Department contract to house Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainees is expected to bring in approximately $21.4 million in revenue during the current fiscal year.
Grand Jury reports and responses to those reports are available on the Grand Jury’s website at http://www.ocgrandjury.org/reports.asp.
# # #
“50 Years of Keeping Taxpayers Informed: The Brown Act ”
Speaker: Nick Chrisos, Esq., County Counsel for the County of Orange – The Lawyer to “Orange County”
Please join us for our next installment in our series “Your Top Government Lawyers.” Our speaker and honorary will be Nick Chrisos, Esq. Nick was appointed County Counsel by the Orange County Board of Supervisors in 2009 and he heads the county’s team of lawyers. He is an expert on the rules of open government and transparency. You will not want to miss his presentation.
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Lunch served promptly
Where: South Coast Winery Restaurant (3608 Bristol, Santa Ana). Corner of Bristol & MacArthur.
RSVP: Online or firstname.lastname@example.org
Keith E. Rodenhuis
President, Whittier Law School Alumni Assoc.
Orange County Chapter
Nick Chrisos, Esq.
COUNTY COUNSEL, County of Orange
As the head of the County’s civil litigation team, Chrisos manages the legal advisement and representation for The County of Orange, the Orange County Board of Supervisors and all 24 Orange County departments and agencies.
June – Deborah Kwast, Esq., Orange County Public Defender
A voice for the poor, the Orange County Public Defender provides legal representation to those unable to afford a lawyer in criminal, juvenile, mental health and dependency cases. Today over 185 Orange County Deputy Public Defenders, Alternate Defenders and Associate Defenders, with the support of Investigators, Paralegals and Clerical staff, provide legal representation in approximately 65,000 cases annually.
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Noon – 1:30 (Lunch served promptly)
South Coast Winery Restaurant
(Corner of Bristol & MacArthur)
Do you know someone worthy of Legal Leader Award?
In 2009 I created the Legal Leaders Award so we could honor attorneys who have made significant contributions in the area of law and/or distinguished themselves in their area of legal practice. Over the past two years the OC Chapter of the Whittier Law School Alumni Assoc. has hosted and recognized an impressive list of judges, elected officials and prominent attorneys – as our list grows in stature, so does our ability to attract high profile speakers and honorees. If you know of someone that fits the mold of a Legal Leader and is willing to be recognized by our law school alumni please contact me so they can be considered. Working together we can ensure the continued success of our Legal Leaders lunches.
Alumni President, OC Chapter
Whittier College School of Law
Cynthia Cheryl Shirey booking photo, courtesy of the O.C. District Attorney’s Office
Orange County District Attorney Press Release
Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney
401 Civic Center Drive West
Santa Ana, CA 92701
For Immediate Release: May 20, 2011
Case # 11CF0730
Susan Kang Schroeder, Chief of Staff
Office: 714-347-8408, Cell: 714-292-2718
Farrah Emami, Spokesperson
Office: 714-347-8405, Cell: 714-323-4486
BAIL BOND AGENT CHARGED IN 8-CO-DEFENDANT SCHEME TO ILLEGALLY SOLICIT INMATE CLIENTS FROM ORANGE COUNTY JAIL
SANTA ANA – A bail bond agent was charged today in an 8-co-defendant scheme to illegally solicit inmates as bail clients from Orange County Jail. Cynthia Cheryl Shirey, 42, is charged with nine felony counts of violating bail license regulations by permitting an unlicensed person to solicit and negotiate bail bonds on her behalf, seven felony counts of violating bail license regulations by using a fictitious name to conduct bail bonds business, 10 felony counts of violating bail license regulations by failing to keep complete records of all business done under the authority of her license, and five felony counts of violating bail license regulations by transmitting to another person a fictitious communication authorizing the solicitation or negotiation of bail.
If convicted on all counts, Shirey faces a maximum sentence of 23 years in state prison. She is expected to post $20,000 bail this afternoon. Shirey was arraigned today and is scheduled for a pretrial hearing Aug. 5, 2011, at 9:00 a.m. in Department C-57, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.
“These consumer laws that regulate bail referrals protect the consumer and the public from unscrupulous secret dealings. These laws protect bail clients who are in some of the most vulnerable times of their lives, as well as legitimate, licensed bail agents who are following the law,” stated District Attorney Tony Rackauckas. “I wanted to commend Sheriff Hutchens for working with our Special Prosecutions Unit to keep integrity in her jails and enforcing the law.”
“These arrests are the result of an 18-month long investigation by Sheriff’s investigators working closely with our Department’s jail staff,” said Sheriff Sandra Hutchens. “The illegal soliciting of inmates by unscrupulous bail bond agents will not be tolerated in our facilities.”
“Bail agents who misuse and abuse their license to provide bond services will face the possibility of losing their license,” said Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones. “Let this case stand as a warning to those who would contemplate allowing any unlicensed person to unlawfully negotiate bail bonds on their behalf.”
Ernesto Perez, 36, Burbank, is charged with 49 felony counts of negotiating bail without a license and 56 felony counts of identity theft. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 72 years and four months in state prison. Perez is out of custody on $150,000 bail and is scheduled for a pre-trial hearing Aug. 5, 2011, in Department C-57.
Richard Anthony Arant, 28, Silverado Canyon, is charged with five felony counts of soliciting bail without a license and two felony counts of violation of bail license regulations. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of eight years in state prison. A $20,000 warrant has been issued for his arrest. At the time of the crime, Arant was in custody for misdemeanor driving under the influence of alcohol and driving on a suspended license (Case #11CM01467).
Jonathan Thomas Campos, 28, Long Beach, pleaded guilty April 29, 2011, to two felony counts of violation of bail license regulations and two felony counts of soliciting bail without a license. He is expected to be sentenced to four years in state prison as a combined sentence with two other criminal cases (Case # 09HF1568 and Case #10WF1614), for which he was incarcerated at the time of the bail bonds scheme. He is scheduled to be sentenced June 24, 2011, in Department C-5. At the time of the crime, Campos was in custody for multiple felonies including residential burglary, driving a stolen vehicle, and possession of a controlled substance (Case #10WF1614).
Jason Anthony Gatewood, 22, Fullerton, is charged with two felony counts of violation of bail license regulations and four felony counts of soliciting bail without a license. He faces a maximum of seven years and four months in state prison if convicted. A $20,000 warrant has been issued for his arrest. At the time of the crime, Gatewood was in custody for felony false imprisonment by violence (Case #10CF1804).
Vaughn Michael Hutchins, 26, San Clemente, is charged with four felony counts of soliciting bail without a license and two felony counts of violation of bail license regulations. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of seven years and four months in state prison. The People will be requesting $20,000 bail in this case and an arraignment date is to be determined. At the time of the crime, Hutchins was in custody for two felony counts of commercial burglary and misdemeanor providing false information to a police officer (Case #11CF0286).
Frank Matthew Tokeshi, 50, West Covina, is charged with four felony counts of soliciting bail without a license and three felony counts of violation of bail license regulations. He was charged with a sentencing enhancement for a prior strike conviction for robbery in 2004. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 14 years in state prison. The People will be requesting $20,000 bail in this case and an arraignment date is to be determined. At the time of the crime, Tokeshi was in custody for felony possession for sale of a controlled substance and misdemeanor driving under the influence of drugs (Case #10WF2031).
Mark Ward, 47, Las Vegas, is charged with one felony count of violation of bail license regulations and two felony counts of soliciting bail without a license. He faces a maximum of four years and four months in state prison if convicted. The People will be requesting $20,000 bail in this case and an arraignment date is to be determined. At the time of the crime, Ward was in custody for felony attempted murder, domestic violence with corporal injury, and residential burglary (Case #10HF1909).
Defendants Perez, Campos, Gatewood, and Ward were previously charged in this case on March 17, 2011. The new charges and co-defendants are a result of additional investigation.
Law Addressing Bail Bond Practices
California law prohibits licensed bail bond agents from soliciting bail business from any inmate or incarcerated person.
The law prohibits any person from negotiating the execution or delivery of bail unless they are a bail bonds licensee. Even for a licensed bail bondsman, California law prohibits bail bond licensees from unlawfully soliciting bail business from any inmate or incarcerated person.
California law prohibits any person without a bail bonds license from soliciting or arranging for the bail of another for compensation or receiving commission for a bail transaction.
Conduct by Defendant Perez and Six Inmate Co-defendants
Between Aug. 5, 2010, and March 15, 2011, defendants Arant, Campos, Gatewood, Hutchins, Tokeshi, and Ward were in custody in the Orange County Jail. During this time, Perez is accused of plotting with these six co-defendants for them to solicit other in-custody inmates to contact Perez to provide their bail. Perez was employed by Plotkin Bail Bonds but is not a licensed bail bondsman.
On 49 occasions, Perez is accused of acting as a bail bondsman without a license by negotiating with inmates to post their bail. Arant, Campos, Gatewood, Hutchins, Tokeshi, and Ward are accused of receiving payment from Perez in the form of money posted to their jail accounts in exchange for the illegal solicitations on behalf of Perez.
On 56 occasions during this time period, Perez is also accused of illegally using a legitimate bail bond license number belonging to a licensed bail bondsman from Bakersfield without the victim’s knowledge or consent. Perez is accused of using this stolen license number to log into an Orange County Sheriff’s Department database accessible only to licensed bail bondsmen to look up inmate bail information.
Conduct by Defendant Shirey
Shirey is a licensed bail bond agent who worked with Perez at Plotkin Bail Bonds. She is accused of permitting her unlicensed co-defendants to illegally solicit and negotiate bail bonds on her behalf with inmate in the jail.
She is accused of conducting business under the names Bail Right Bail Bonds and Bail Star Bail Bonds without receiving authorization to use those business names by the California Department of Insurance.
When visiting inmates in jail, bail bond agents are required to complete a Bail Bonds Visitation request form. This form is intended to prevent unscrupulous bail bond agents from gaining access to the jail to engage in illegal client recruitment. Shirey is accused of filling out false information on this form, claiming that her company had been initially contacted directly by the inmate or inmate’s family, in order to gain access to the jail to speak with inmates who had been illegally solicited as clients by her co-defendants.
Bail bond agents are required by law to keep complete and accurate records of all business done under the authority of their license to be available for inspection. On March 15, 2011, Orange County Sheriff’s Department (OCSD) detectives reviewed Shirey’s records. She is accused of failing to complete several of her records and failing to document how the agent or company was initially contacted by several inmates for the purpose of arranging bail.
This case was investigated by OCSD. Deputy District Attorney Brock Zimmon of the Special Prosecutions Unit is prosecuting this case.
Members of the Orange County Bail Agents Association are not too pleased about bail bondsmen who have been soliciting business outside of the Orange County Central Men’s jail.
“Newport Beach attorney Richard P. Herman filed a lawsuit on behalf of the Orange County Bail Agents Association on to stop these guerrilla marketeers and their aggressive solicitation outside jails and police stations,” according to the Bail Bonds Monitor Blog.
That lawsuit was filed last year. I don’t know yet the status of the case.
I spoke to one of the legitimate bail bondsmen, Luis Mier, about this issue this week. He said that it is illegal, according to a state law, for bail bondsmen to solicit business on the sidewalk.
Here is an excerpt from the state law in question:
Title 10 § 2079 – Soliciting of Bail; Persons
No bail licensee shall solicit bail except in accordance with Section 2079.5 and from:
(a) An arrestee;
(b) The arrestee’s attorney;
(c) An adult member of the arrestee’s immediate family; or
(d) Such other person as the arrestee shall specifically designate in writing. Such designation shall be signed by the arrestee before the solicitation, unless prohibited by the rules, regulations or ordinances governing the place of imprisonment. If so prohibited, it may be signed after release of the arrested to ratify a previous oral designation made by him.
Mier, who owns a bail bonds business located in Santa Ana, says that it is also supposedly illegal for the out of town bail bondsmen to solicit business on the sidewalk according to Santa Ana’s civic code, but he can’t get anyone at City Hall to enforce the law.
Mier visited City Hall this week. He spoke to a clerk who said anyone can buy a soliciting license for $300. Mier asked him if he would sell such a permit to a pimp. The clerk said he would! How disturbing.
Mier met this week with Assemblyman Jose Solorio to ask for his help in enforcing the state law against solicitation of bonds on city sidewalks. I also suggested to him that he meet with State Senator Lou Correa. Ultimately the State Insurance Commissioner, Dave Jones, needs to do something about these solicitors. Hopefully Solorio and Correa will put some pressure on Jones to do something about this.
It is unfair to local businessmen like Mier for out of town bail bondsmen, from as far away as Riverside and San Bernardino, to come here to Santa Ana and illegally take their business away from them.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, April 13, 2011
FOR MORE INFORMATION: George Urch (714) 464-9125 (Cell)
CALIFORNIA STATE SUPREME COURT UNANIMOUSLY TURNS DOWN COUNTY OF ORANGE APPEAL ON LAWSUIT REGARDING DEPUTY SHERIFF PENSION ISSUE
After An Extremely Short Deliberation, All 6 State Supreme Court Justices Reject The County Of Orange’s Petition For Review Of Their Legal Case That Had Already Been Unanimously Tossed Out Of Both Appellate And Superior Court
SAN FRANCISCO – After taking only 6 working days to deliberate, the California State Supreme Court today unanimously rejected the County of Orange’s appeal of their lawsuit to overturn 3% at 50 pension benefits for Orange County Deputy Sheriffs (COUNTY OF ORANGE v. ASSOCIATION OF ORANGE COUNTY DEPUTY SHERIFFS et al., Case #S191218).
The unanimous decision brings to a close an over three-year, $2.5+ million dollar legal effort by County Supervisor John Moorlach and his former Chief of Staff and “legal advisor,” Mario Mainero, to roll back the pensions of Orange County Deputy Sheriffs.
The County of Orange filed their controversial lawsuit in February 2008, despite having three different outside law firms they had hired for legal counsel, warn them they could not win such a case. They were thrown out of Superior Court twice in 2009 without even a trial and unanimously thrown out of Appellate Court on a 3 – 0 vote this last January.
All six of the State Supreme Court justices (there is presently one vacancy) were appointed by Republican governors. They had 90 days to decide whether to take the case up and formally review the Appellate Court’s decision. They came to a quick, unanimous decision in only 6 working days.
“The Board of Directors of AOCDS and I have been telling the County Board of Supervisors for almost four years now that they didn’t have a case and could not win such a lawsuit,” said Wayne Quint, President of the Association of Orange County Deputy Sheriffs (AOCDS). “We repeatedly told them at every turn of their effort that they were wrong on the facts and wrong on the law.”
“John Moorlach and Mario Mainero owe the taxpayers of Orange County a formal apology. They have spent over $2.5 million in public funds on a political vendetta that their own attorneys told them right from the beginning they could not win.”
“The Deputy Sheriffs Association now plans to file in court for complete payment of our four years worth of attorneys fees for this frivolous, mean spirited lawsuit. By the time everything is over, the vindictive political judgment of John Moorlach and Mario Mainero will have cost the County a tremendous amount of time and money. It is both sad and unfortunate — and a textbook example of abuse of our legal system.”
I had to laugh when I saw Alfredo Amezcua’s latest frantic email newsletter, which arrived in my in-box today. In it he stated that “We deserve a safer city.” I guess Amezcua forgot what he does for a living.
According to the California State Bar, Amezcua is a criminal defense lawyer. He also appears to handle family law. There is no mention of other specialties on his State Bar page.
Amezcua has made a living for over twenty years getting gang bangers, drug dealers, and sexual deviants out of jail. Now don’t get me wrong, they are entitled to a defense. However, how can he cry about public safety when he has been undermining public safety throughout his long career?
A friend of mine has heard Amezcua describe himself as a former gang member. He is said to have been the top lawyer for the head of the Mexican Mafia, Peter “Sana” Ojeda. In fact the L.A. Times identified Amezcua as an adviser for the United Gangs Council, in a 1993 article that also mentioned that Ojeda was a leader of this organization.
Ojeda was later arrested for allegedly taxing drug dealers. And then he was “sentenced to 14 years in federal prison after pleading guilty earlier this year to violating federal racketeering and narcotics laws,” according to an online news report.
Amezcua was also mentioned in another L.A. Times article in 1992, when another Urgan Gangs Council leader, Art Romo, was arrested, for alleged money laundering. In that article Amezcua was referred to as their “unofficial legal and political adviser.”
Ironically, Amezcua later served on the now-defunct Santa Ana EPIC Commission, which was essentially a gang commission. According to insiders he wanted to spend six figures to find out what gang members think of the SAPD. Any SAPD officer could tell you the answer to that query…
Amezcua’s silly campaign newsletter says we need to “eradicate violent crime, rampant graffiti, and gang violence.” That’s great, but if we do that how will Amezcua make a living?
I have a feeling Amezcua won’t be getting the Santa Ana Police Officers Association endorsment.
CALA Releases Report on Litigation Costs to Schools
Wednesday, 18 August 2010
‘Lessons in Lawsuits: The Impact of Litigation on California’s Schools’ finds nearly $100 million spent by 12 districts in three fiscal years
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Maryann Maloney Marino
California Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse (CALA) today released a report on litigation costs to 12 of California’s school districts, finding that in just three fiscal years, these schools spent $98.7 million on lawsuits.
The report examined verdicts, settlements and outside counsel costs to Capistrano Unified, Elk Grove Unified, Fresno Unified, Kern High School, Long Beach Unified, Los Angeles Unified, Merced Union High School, Modesto City, Poway Unified, San Diego Unified, San Juan Unified, and Santa Ana Unified.
“At a time when a record number of our schools are in financial trouble and further education cuts could be looming ahead, we cannot afford to allow these litigation costs to grow unchecked,” said Tom Scott, CALA Executive Director. “California continues to rank among the most litigious states in every study yet we rank at the bottom in many measures of student performance. The more dollars our schools have to pay in litigation costs, the less we have to improve our students’ performance.”
California ranks 45th in 4th grade math and second to last in 8th grade reading. At the same time, the state 46th in the Institute for Legal Reform’s Lawsuit Climate 2010 report and 41st in the 2010 U.S. Tort Liability Index.
“We hear story after story of activities schools are forced to cut, yet no one ever talks about one of the most unpredictable costs of all – litigation.” Scott said. “These numbers reflect just 12 of California’s school districts. With nearly 1,000 in the state, there’s no telling what the total number is.”
The $98.7 million spent in just three years could have been put to much better use across the state. That money could have paid the salaries of more than 1,530 teachers, purchased nearly 600 new school buses, more than 1.1 million school desks or 246,762 desktop computer packages.
In Santa Ana, litigation costs totaled $2.3 million just for fiscal year 2009. To put that number in perspective, the district could have bought 22,928 chalkboards.
“Our local school district has already had to severely slash its budget, due to state funding shortfalls,” said Art Pedroza, publisher of the New Santa Ana blog and a candidate for the SAUSD School Board. “There are times when lawsuits are necessary, but frivolous suits do nothing more than hurt our students – we need to take steps to stop abusive lawsuits and keep our funding in the classrooms, where it belongs.”
The report can be found in its entirety here.
California Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse (CALA) is a nonpartisan, grassroots organization dedicated to educating the public about the negative effects of lawsuit abuse and challenging those who abuse our legal system for personal gain.
Here is an update on the brave students, known as the “Santa Ana Eight,” who protested the Arizona racial profiling law, S.B. 1070, here in Santa Ana, at the federal building, courtesy of their Facbook page entitled “Todos Somos Arizona:”
Thanks everyone for their support. Today the Santa Ana 8 appeared in court for their arraignment hearing. First victory, we as a community were able to successfully complete this action. Second victory, the Santa Ana 8 were released without paying bail and released under OR thanks to the community support. Third victory, Orange County D.A. refused to press charges, thanks to all those who called and wrote letters. Fourth victory, all the misdemeanors were dropped and we were charged with 1 infraction by the City of Santa Ana, thanks once again to all. Total amount charged $211 each, due October (211*8=$1688).
The Santa Ana 8 will be having fundraisers in order to raise the funds needed; once again we need the community support, if anyone can contribute please contact anyone from the Santa Ana 8 Collective. I am honored to have been born and raised in Santa Ana, thank you everyone for making Santa Ana so beautiful and standing as a community.
“DE ARIZONA A COSTA MESA, LAS LEYES RACISTAS TERMINAN AQUI, PUEBLO AGUANTA, SANTA ANA SE LEVANTA!!!
Memo to Mayor Miguel Pulido and our City Council – please break out the checkbooks and help these students pay their City of Santa Ana infractions!
According to their website the Orange County Grand Jury is “mandated to investigate and report on both criminal and civil matters within the county”. My question is whose responsibility is it to investigate the Grand Jury? As the result of recent developments surrounding the investigation of the City of Santa Ana’s handling of a transportation contract awarded to Cordoba Corporation and the subsequent Grand Jury report I believe that it is time for Attorney General Jerry Brown to open an investigation of the Grand Jury.
As was exclusively reported here on the Orange Juice in a May 26th post the investigation into the actions of the city and its elected officials was tainted and perhaps corrupted by the actions of one of the jury members, Glenn Stroud. Stroud, as most of you know, was removed from his position on the Santa Ana Redevelopment/Housing Commission by the city council late last year. Stroud was angry about the removal and has been a quite vocal critic of the council majority, especially Councilman Sal Tinajero and Mayor Pro Tem Claudia Alvarez.
His involvement in the investigation, questioning and issuing of this report may very likely have been predjudiced by his anger over his removal. I believe the only way to reassure the public that this process was conducted in a fair and unbiased manner is for the Attorney General’s office to proceed with a full and thorough investigation of the Grand Jury and Mr. Stroud.
Click here to read the rest of this post.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 24, 2010
Contact: David N. Ream, City of Santa Ana, (714) 647-5200
Santa Ana, CA – The City of Santa Ana has received the Grand Jury report and is currently preparing a response. Although we respect the work and the role of the Grand Jury, we have tremendous concerns with the findings and believe their process was filled with inaccuracies and only serves to confuse the public. The reality is that this transit project is on schedule, under budget and successfully moving forward.
“The facts are that this is one of the biggest infrastructure projects our city has ever undertaken and it is currently on schedule and under budget. The public process we went through to select a team of consultants was transparent and without any wrongdoing, which is what the Grand Jury report ultimately notes. The contract with the hybrid team that the City Council selected is $2,195,470 below the original bid recommended by staff,” stated Mayor Miguel A. Pulido.
Additionally, the project is on schedule and continues to be administered effectively by the Orange County Transportation Authority. “As part of the Go Local process, OCTA has been working extremely closely with the City of Santa Ana including its staff, consultants, and elected officials. OCTA has provided oversight of the project, and we are pleased with the progress and work done to date,” stated CEO of OCTA Will Kempton. Continue reading
- Glenn Stroud: Grand Jury member and ousted Redevelopment Commissioner
The local blogosphere and some members of the community have been all abuzz in regards to a report released Monday by the Orange County Grand Jury. The report criticized the Santa Ana City Council over their handling of a transportation contract awarded to Cordoba Corp. The report, which called the contract “flawed”, has been widely reported in the Orange County Register, the Los Angeles Times, the Liberal OC, New Santa Ana and even here on the Orange Juice.
However there is one important point that all of these outlets failed to tell their readers, this report and the impartiality of the Orange County Grand Jury has been tainted by the fact that one of the members of the Grand Jury is a former Santa Ana Redevelopment/Housing Commissioner who was ousted by the same city council criticized in the report. “Usual Suspect” Glenn Stroud is a member of the Orange County Grand Jury and his disdain for many on this council is well known throughout the community.
Stroud, who was none to happy about his dismissal from the commission by the council, has long been a vocal critic of Councilmembers Claudia Alavarez, Sal Tinajero, Vince Sarmiento and Michele Martinez. With Mayor Miguel Pulido joining that group in booting Stroud from the commission it clearly could not have endeared him to Stroud. So is it possible that this report is in some way pay back for Stroud.
Click here to read the rest of this post.
Contact: Susan Kirkland 714/619-0641
Lynda Sloan 714/619-5155
CASA of Orange County to Honor Outstanding Supporters at 25th Anniversary “Celebration of Children”
Irvine 2010 – Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Orange County, a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting the rights of abused children, will honor some of its leading supporters and volunteers at its 25th Anniversary “Celebration of Children”. The gala, celebrating service to abused children in Orange County, will be held at the Irvine Marriott Hotel on Saturday, May 22, 2010.
CASA began with 15 volunteers in 1985 and now has over 700 volunteers serving abused and neglected children as mentors and advocates. CASA is a powerful model for breaking the vicious cycle of child abuse by speaking up for these children who are lost in the overburdened foster care system. It has been voted “Best Place to Volunteer” in Orange County. Continue reading
Bring your family and friends to enjoy a fun filled day of crafts and a scavenger hunt this Saturday, April 3.
At 12 noon, the OC Historical Commission is sponsoring a screening of “Catch Me If You Can”, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks, which was filmed at the Old Orange County Courthouse.
The OC Archives will be open for research and staff will be offering behind-the-scenes tours. Next door the Dr. Willella Howe-Waffle House will also be open for tours (please check-out their website for ticketing information). See you on April 3rd!
Price: Free (free parking) Continue reading