Archive for the ‘California Über Alles’ Category

Ripped from the headlines!

Friday, October 3rd, 2014

In Solvang bust, a bottle of cheap vodka, counterfeit cash, and meth


Cue Major Kong.

The bills were convincing enough that at least a few clothing and jewelry businesses in the Danish-themed town near Santa Maria were fooled into accepting them, officials said. Because of the sophistication of the bills, the Sheriff’s Department has notified the Secret Service, which is conducting its own investigation.

The tweakers are turning out good quality counterfeit $100s? So we don’t have to worry about the Iranians any longer, but the meth addicts? Why does this surprise me?

Obit watch: September 30, 2014.

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

We haven’t heard much recently from the notoriously corrupt California city of Vernon.

The first council member to get elected in a competitive race since the Nixon presidency in the small city of Vernon — population about 100 — has died.

His death appears to have been the result of natural causes (and not in the “he was shot in the head six times, so naturally he died” sense).

Banana republicans watch: September 23, 2014.

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

The six members of the LA County Sheriff’s Department who were convicted of obstructing a FBI investigation were sentenced today.

Former Lt. Gregory Thompson was sentenced to 37 months; Lt. Stephen Leavins to 41 months; Sgt. Scott Craig to 33 months; Sgt. Maricela Long to 24 months; Deputy Gerard Smith to 21 months; and Deputy Mickey Manzo to 24 months.

(Previously.)

And a seventh LACSO deputy was convicted last week.

TMQ Watch: September 9, 2014.

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

Might as well jump right into the first TMQ of the regular season

(more…)

Vandalism is wrong, m’kay? Don’t do it.

Friday, August 1st, 2014

A day after former Bell Mayor Oscar Hernandez was sentenced to a year in county jail for his role in a public corruption case that nearly left the town bankrupt, the mugshot of Robert Rizzo — the man at the heart of the scandal — was tagged on the walls of his grocery store.

Seriously. Bad tagger. No biscuit.

Flames, hyena, etc. (#17 in a series)

Friday, August 1st, 2014

Last man down.

Victor Bello, former city council member for the notoriously corrupt California city of Bell, was sentenced today for his role in the corruption scandal.

One year in jail, five years probation, 500 hours of community service, and $177,000 in restitution.

The prosecution was asking for the standard four years. Bello is sort of an exception, though:

Bello’s case was unique among the former council members because he alone had approached district attorney’s investigators about financial irregularities in the small city months before The Times exposed the size of the paychecks the town’s leaders were drawing.
Bello had written a letter on May 6, 2009, to the Los Angeles County district attorney with allegations of misconduct in Bell but was not interviewed until 10 1/2 months later.

So it’s at least kind of arguable that he was the rat in the case, and may deserve a light sentence more than the other guys…

Speaking of tax-fattened hyenas…

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

Just for the record: indicted California Democratic State Senator Leland “Uncle” Yee has pled “not guilty” to “a racketeering charge and two counts of conspiracy ‘to obtain property under the color of official right.’”

Surprise, surprise, surprise.

If I understand the LAT correctly, these are additional recently filed charges against Yee. More:

The new charges include allegations Yee sought to extort campaign contributions from people in exchange for favorable votes on legislation affecting the National Football League and mixed martial arts.

The NFL and MMA? Interesting. I sense at least a possibility that some more people are going to be brought down before this is over. These new indictments are on RICO charges as well. Fun fun fun.

(And isn’t “conspiracy to obtain property under the color of official right” a great charge?)

(Also, I’m a little late on this, but I’ve decided I need a Leland Yee category. I’ll go back and tag additional posts when I have time.)

You’re going down in flames, you tax-fattened hyena! (#16 in a series)

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

The bell continues to toll.

Oscar Hernandez, former mayor of the notoriously corrupt California city of Bell, was sentenced today.

One year in jail, five years of probation, $241,000 in restitution, and 1000 hours of community service.

I don’t know what to make of these sentences. On the one hand, they strike me as being pretty light. On the other hand, a conviction is a conviction. On the gripping hand, I’m wondering if the judges in these cases are buying into the defense argument that it was all Robert “Ratso” Rizzo’s fault. And since Rizzo and his little buddy Spaccia are doing long hard time, maybe this is the best we can hope for.

Edited to add: Hey, guess what Oscar Hernandez is full of?

“I just want to say I’m sorry for not being so aggressive in my questions to the people when I was in charge in the office,” Hernandez told Kennedy before she handed down the sentence. “And I take all the blame, I put blame on myself .… I feel so sorry and I say sorry to the community of Bell and forgive me.”

I’ve seen tax-fattened hyenas on fire off the shoulder of Bell…

Friday, July 25th, 2014

Teresa Jacobo, former city council person for the notoriously corrupt California city of Bell, was sentenced today. As you may recall, Ms. Jacobo was convicted earlier this year of misappropriating public funds, and struck a plea deal on additional charges.

And what do we have behind door #3 for Ms. Jacobo?

Two years in prison and “more than $242,000″ in restitution payments.

The prosecution had requested four years; it seems like they’ve been requesting four years for all the council members.

Flames and smoke.

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

Smoke:

George Cole, the former mayor of the notoriously corrupt California city of Bell, was sentenced today. You may remember former Mayor Cole from such hits as “let’s have the city pay to send me to fat camp“, or his “no contest” plea earlier this year to corruption charges, or his conviction last year for misappropriation of funds.

So what did Cole get?

180 days of home confinement, five years of probation, and 1,000 hours of community service.
And he has to pay $77,000 in restitution. That’s all.

Prosecutors had asked that Cole be sentenced to four years in state prison.


But he’s filled with shame and remorse.
I’m going to politely suggest that’s not the only thing he’s full of, but this is a family blog…

Ah, but the flames. You’re going down in flames, you tax-fattened hyena!

Former Los Angeles City Councilman Richard Alarcon and his wife were convicted Wednesday of some but not all voter-fraud and perjury charges brought in a case that accused them of lying about where they lived so he would be qualified to run for his council seat.

I thought I had written about Alarcon and his wife previously, but a search doesn’t turn up anything.

Prosecutors said Alarcon lied when he swore that he lived in a home in Panorama City in L.A.’s 7th Council District so he could run in 2007 and 2009 to represent the district, which he did until last year. They said he actually lived in a bigger home outside the district in Sun Valley. The L.A. City Charter requires that candidates live in the districts they seek to represent.

Flames, hyena, etc. (#14 in a series)

Friday, July 11th, 2014

George Mirabal, former city council member in the notoriously corrupt city of Bell, has been sentenced to one year in prison and five years of probation. He has also been ordered to pay the city $242,000 in restitution.

Mirabal is the first of the five former Bell council members to be sentenced. The others will be sentenced over the next three weeks and could receive different sentences.

(Previously.)

Flames! Flames!

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

Six current and former members of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department were found guilty Tuesday of obstruction of justice and other charges for their part in an alleged scheme to stymie a federal grand jury investigation into civil rights abuses and corruption in the county’s jails.

The convicted:

  • Lt. Gregory Thompson
  • Gerard Smith
  • Mickey Manzo
  • Lt. Stephen Leavins
  • Sgt. Maricela Long
  • Sgt. Scott Craig

Long and Craig are particularly interesting: you may remember them as the dynamic duo who went to an FBI agent’s house and threatened her with arrest.

Also:

The second trial involved deputies with more experience in addition to two sergeants and two lieutenants. But at trial they insisted they were only complying with orders from their superiors.

Ah, yes. The good old “Nuremberg Defense“.