City Hall Colludes With Dishonest Cops

By: 
Stephen Downing

Campaign Mailer for Measure A Littered with Fraud

Dr. DaShanne Stokes, the respected public intellectual, sociologist, author and speaker once said, “When you’re dealing with frauds and liars, listen more to what they don’t say than what they do,” which is good advice for those who found a copy of the campaign flier [see photo on page 7] promoting Measure A in their mail box last week.

The picture of the three police officers is the same one used by Mayor Robert Garcia and his standing tax committee to promote the utility funds transfer, Measure M, passed by voters in June 2018 (and subsequently ruled by the Superior Court to be an illegal form of taxation on utilities users) using the same fear tactics to “Keep Long Beach Safe,” as fostered in this mailer.

The back side of the Measure A mailer (not shown here) promotes a message from Rich Chambers, President of the Long Beach Police Officer’s Association (LB POA), who kicked in another $230,000 along with $125,000 from LB Firefighters, to guarantee their standard quid pro quo for the next big salary, overtime, perks and pension raise behind the mayor’s continuing “I’ve never seen a tax I don’t like,” quest.

Before he urges us to “Support your Long Beach Police Officers by voting Yes on Measure A,” Chambers offers the same false promises in his letter to “increase police patrols and community policing” the mayor/council made to the public in the 2016 Measure A initiative that passed and imposed – at the time – the highest sales tax in the state.

The 2016 sales tax increase has produced $60 million per year since. The tax money has supported a big payoff to the quid pro quo compensation/perk/pension deal with the POA but did not result in an increase to police staffing other than 9 positions added to the police academy staff and a highly paid assistant chief of police position added to a chain of command that was reduced by 200 officers when the 2006 recession hit. Not a single police officer position has been added to street patrol.

The letter in Chambers’ mailer concludes by repeating City Hall’s distortion that: Measure A does NOT raise taxes. It maintains the current rate we have.”

It is true that in the end the new measure maintains the current rate we have, but it doesn’t mention – or accomplish – what was promised by Garcia and the POA over and over and over in 2016: That the Measure A sales tax increase would be cut in half by 2022 and vanish completely by 2026.

Another lie that at least one of City Hall’s local media surrogates is advertising tells us that if we don’t approve Measure A LA County and/or the Air Quality Management District (AQMD) are “ready and willing to snap it up, taking Long Beach’s total sales tax right back to 10.25%. So we’ll be paying as much as the state allows – only the money will be going somewhere else instead of paying for Long Beach cops, firefighters and more.”

The truth is the California State Revenue and Tax Code and the Public Utilities Code give counties, cities and transportation authorities the power to impose general taxes or taxes for a specific purpose in areas they have authority over.

The AQMD does not have taxing authority. They cannot impose any kind of tax on top of our sales tax. And there is no plan or initiative within LA County for a sales tax increase.

The foregoing are just some of the lies and distortions peppering the current campaign to raise our sales tax on the back of public safety fear mongering and unkept promises. There are many more that have and will come from the experts opposing this tax increase but I doubt that one of the more important issues underlying this fraudulent campaign will be exposed and discussed by others – and that is the picture of the three police officers used in the mailer.

Prior to its original use in the 2018 Measure M campaign the male officer in the photo, Larry M. Fleet, left the Long Beach Police Department and joined the Anaheim Police Department.

The female officers, Yvette Loaeza (left) and Emily Garcia (right) are – according to our sources – currently assigned to patrol duties in LBPD’s West Division. They are not Sergeants, as the 1st. Sgt. patch on their sleeve indicates. The LBPD does not have a 1st sergeant rank. The LBPD shoulder patch is also missing from their uniform shirts.

There is a reason for this. Dishonesty.

The officers are knowingly attempting to skirt the law and are doing so with the help and encouragement of Mayor Garcia, his Measure A committee, the chief of police and the acting city manager.

Government code section 3206 requires that, “No officer or employee of a local agency shall participate in political activities of any kind while in uniform.”

We filed a complaint with the LBPD during the 2014 election cycle related to the same kind of law violations involving photographic supported campaign materials by uniformed police officers promoting the election of Suzie Price. In a March 14, 2014 letter from the Internal Affairs Division we were assured of a complete investigation into the matter.

Four months later we received a disposition letter from Deborah R. Mills, director of the Department of Human Resources in which she informed us that the “city has reviewed your complaints and have addressed them internally. She then referred us to Cynthia Stafford, manager of Personnel Operations “should we have any questions.”

When we followed up with Ms. Stafford she basically stonewalled each of our questions regarding disposition using the pretext that it was a personnel matter and thus confidential, even to the extent of refusing to reveal the finding classification of the adjudication.

We subsequently learned from sources that the POA’s lawyers provided an opinion that the law was not violated so long as the Long Beach Police Uniform was altered.

Hogwash. They are LB police officers in uniform posing with the intent to represent “Long Beach Police Officers who Say Vote Yes On A”

By taking part in the dishonesty encouraged and supported by POA president Rick Chambers and Mayor Garcia, officers Yvette Loaeza (total compensation in 2018: $179,167) and Emily Garcia (total compensation in 2018: $166,551) have effectively turned themselves into “Brady Cops” and rendered their usefulness as peace officers for the people of Long Beach potentially useless.

 When this campaign law violation and the dishonesty the officers undertook to carry it out becomes known to prosecutors, they will have little choice but to place each of the officer’s names on what is called the do-not-call (subpoena) or Brady list, a reference to the Supreme Court’s 1963 Brady v. Maryland case, which requires that prosecutors must disclose evidence or information that would enable the defense to more effectively impeach the credibility of a government witness.

Imagine a scenario in which either officer is on the stand in court, has testified for the prosecution in a criminal case based exclusively upon the word of the officer.

The prosecution rests and the defense steps up for cross examination, holding up the Measure A campaign mailer:

Defense Attorney: “Officer, did you alter your uniform prior to posing for this picture contained in the Long Beach political campaign to pass Measure A and if so in what manner?”

Officer: (Reader fills in the answer)

Defense Attorney: What was your reason for doing that, Officer?

Officer: (Reader fills in the answer)

Defense Attorney: Then it’s clear that you know that participating in a political campaign of this nature is a violation of law. Is that correct, officer?

Officer: (Reader fills in the answer)

Defense Attorney: Why then, should the judge (or jury) believe you in this matter when you have clearly demonstrated that you are willing to violate the law attempt to dishonestly cheat in carrying out that violation and overtly conspire with politicians in order to mislead the entire Long Beach electorate into believing the dishonest message that bears your illegal image?

No response required. The defense rests.

Dr. DaShanne Stokes also said, “If you love your country, you must be willing to defend it from fraud, bigotry and recklessness – even from a president.”

We hold that same sentiment for the City of Long Beach – even from the mayor and the POA, his continuing and major source of campaign money.

Stephen Downing is a resident of Long Beach and a retired LAPD deputy chief of police.

Category:

Comments

Does any of this really surprise you?

using dishonest tactics to buy police favors will come in-handy when the Mayor or a city council member is accused of criminal or unethical conduct will surly get them off, as we seen in the past. its no surprise that our "elected" officials are just as corrupt as our police leadership can you say " Quid pro quo" defined as a favor or advantage granted or expected in return for something.

Quid pro quo has already been done for the despicable Jeannine Pearce, who should have been run out of town when she was fighting her chief of staff/boyfriend on the 710 freeway but NOOO - it got swept under the used rugs at 333 W Ocean.

The most recent campaign flyer for Prop A is now touting it as the answer to homelessness in Long Beach. I haven’t seen any of the positive results promised when the tax was introduced, certainly no improvements to our pothole ridden roads, unless you consider more roundabouts added, or the “road diets” on Broadway and 4th Street improvements, which I don’t. Interesting that the employee responsible for the road diets is no longer with the City. Too bad that those responsible, our City council members, haven’t suffered the same fate.

Interesting also, that we have the highest tax rate of any of our adjacent L A County neighbors (Lakewood and Signal Hill), but then, they didn’t spend $3,000,000 on a useless Breakwater study.

Hi Patricia.....not only will Measure A answer the homelessness problem, they will also provide 911 services, build fire stations (9), Community Hospital AND take care of our infrastructure needs. So misleading.......yet, something for everyone!

Another tax to answer the "homeless problem" so then why did we give these cops a large pay rise with the tax money, why didn't we answer the problem of homelessness before give these cops such a large pay rise? the homeless issue was not of importance when the "elected officials where trying to buy the police department. i have an idea!! why don't we have the police union donate over 200,000.00 to the homeless issue just as they did to secure favor with the corrupt city officials. They have more-then enough money now that they got a big rise.

Rae
According to statistics we do not have a efficient run city . Out of like cities providing services to the tax payers we are not even ranked in the top 25 of cost per tax payer per department .
Why do you want o give more money to a city Govt that cannot live within their means , balance their check book and use special interest money to scare voters into adding more taxes to what have more ribbon cuttings? The city needs more then money . They need progressive fiscal management . Why do we have black& whites blocking traffic for events or accidents when this has nothing to do with policing . Go to Anaheim and you will see those functions are done by parking enforcement which can take accident reports block traffic for an event and they are half the cost that we pay our officers who are trained to fight crime not to be a traffic cop . How can the city cont4ract out gardening services to private contractors and not have city employees do the task . I will not agree that it cost less money as that is not true . Plus every city employee I have had contact with , eater gas or public works are knowledgeable and caring for the job they do . Look at the Campaign finance contributions and you will see why our city contracts out these services .
Does any one know if any city official that has fiscal responsibility has run a business where4 they could balance there budget and keep customers happy ? I see purchasing agents get promoted to water department construction supervisors with ) knowledge or a flat shovel vs a spade . You want o know about miss management talk to the city workers that do the work

Every year, LBPD destroys all records of its Internal Affairs Division that are five years old. .So, if an officer has a history of excessive force or been disciplined or suspended, etc., it will be wiped clean.

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