When public officials and their attorneys attack citizens, using legal (and
illegal) tricks to deprive those citizens of the protection of the law, they
attack the very people from whom they derive their power and authority.
Government has job of protecting rights of citizens. That's what
government is for. If the individuals in charge and their attorneys instead
violate the rights of citizens, there is a serious problem. The government
has lost its legitimacy.
Public Entity Attorneys
If we want to bring about the greatest good for the greatest number of
people, which is the stated goal of our utilitarian democracy, then public
entity attorneys must restrain themselves in their enthusiasm for attacking
he public when it questions public officials.
If problems were actually
fixed, school attorneys
would have a lot fewer
billable hours, wouldn't
Some public entities work
hard to make sure that
LOTS of tax money goes to
1) prevent legitimate
investigations of problems
in schools; and
2) make sure that tax
dollars DO NOT go to
When schools PREVENT
problems, and when they
RESOLVE problems that
have occurred, they stop
the flow of money to school
It's one thing when a private
citizen hires an unethical
When a public entity does it, it's
a much more serious matter. It's
a high-jacking of public dollars
and institutions to benefit those
in power. It's insidious, because
the secrecy involved in covering
up the wrongdoing prevents
voters from choosing honest
public officials. It pits
government against ordinary
citizens, to benefit an unethical
Public officials who want to keep
the public in the dark call on
lawyers to keep witnesses quiet
and to finesse the paperwork
WHEN PUBLIC ENTITIES
HIRE UNETHICAL LAWYERS
"These lawyers will then turn around and paint their guilty-as-sin client
in a totally different light; as an upstanding pillar of the community.
Sometimes truth and justice seem miles apart in today’s legal system.
Right and wrong and black and white have become nebulous, abstract,
pie in the sky concepts these days. Perjury and suborning perjury are
just tricks of the trade nowadays, regardless of whether we like it or not
and regardless of whether lawyers admit it or not..."
"While there may well be two sides to every story, especially when
lawyers get involved, there can only be one true story...
"The opposing lawyers can accuse you of lying when you are in reality
telling the truth. These lawyers can fabricate events and rewrite history
as they see fit. These snobbish, pompous, egotistical blowhards can rant
and rave, bully and befuddle, confuse and distort all they want while you
are expected to treat them with courtesy and civility at all times. In fact,
they demand it. Nice set of rules, huh?
From Wake Up and Smell the Lawyers by Greg Hickman
(A man who seems to have met several SDCOE lawyers):
Rave and rant, bully and befuddle, confuse
How I define "corruption"
Political corruption is the use of power for personal gain, and includes
public servants who use their power to advance themselves personally at
the expense of the public. This isn't limited to financial gain. Corruption
includes silencing public debate about one's actions, smearing others to
increase one's own power, and appointing officials for their personal
loyalty rather than their loyalty to the public.
Was Richard Nixon corrupt?
Yes, in my opinion, even though he didn't line his own pockets. It would
have been better if he'd been satisfied with simple monetary gain, rather
than damaging the American political system to protect his power.
Obstruction of justice is corruption in my book.
December 24, 2007
Conflict-of-Interest Defendant Ordered to Repay
By KENNETH OFGANG
A former Bell Gardens city manager who violated conflict-of-interest laws
by engineering her appointment while serving on the City Council must
repay her entire city manager salary, a Los Angeles Superior Court judge
Judge Drew Edwards made the ruling, which will cost Maria S. Chacon
more than $85,000, after prosecutor Juliet Schmidt said the city needed to
be “made whole.”
Chacon pled no contest in August and was placed on probation, with
conditions including restitution and 150 hours of community service. The
case was filed in 2001, but was delayed by appeals after another judge
ruled that Chacon could present an “entrapment by estoppel” defense
based on advice by the city attorney.
A unanimous California Supreme Court—affirming a 2004 ruling by this
district’s Court of Appeal—ruled earlier this year that such a defense is not
available to a public official who is supposed to know the laws, particularly
where the advice comes from an official—such as a general law city
attorney—who has no authority to enforce criminal laws and may owe a
duty of loyalty to the official seeking the advice.
The Chacon case was prosecuted by the Public Integrity Division of the
District Attorney’s Office and “was the first major public integrity case
brought by PID,” District Attorney Steve Cooley said Friday in a statement.
“The citizens of Bell Gardens have received justice,” Cooley said. “And the
long appellate trail of the case up to the California Supreme Court gives
prosecutors statewide direction in pursuing corrupt public officials.”
Chacon was convicted of a felony under Government Code Sec. 1090,
which makes it a crime for a public official to participate in the making of a
contract in which the official has or expects a financial interest.
Chacon was charged with conspiring with other council members to repeal
an ordinance barring council members from accepting the post of city
manager until they had been off the council for a year.
The ordinance was repealed in October of 2000, with Chacon joining her
colleagues in voting in favor of the repeal, and Chacon accepted the city
manager job in December of that year.
She held the job for just a few months before being charged with violating
Sec. 1090, placed on administrative leave by the council, and eventually
Before trial, her lawyers said she would present testimony that then-City
Attorney Arnoldo Beltran proposed eliminating the existing ordinance,
drafted the repeal, and drafted the contract hiring her as city manager. Her
due process rights under the U.S. Constitution would be violated if she
could be prosecuted for relying on Beltran’s advice, she contended.
Judge Michael M. Johnson ruled that, if the evidence warranted it, Chacon
would be entitled to an instruction that she could not be convicted if she
acted in reliance on advice from Beltran.
Johnson said he was bound to follow Cox v. Louisiana (1965) 379 U.S.
559. Cox held that demonstrators could not be prosecuted for picketing
“near” a courthouse after the police chief and city officials told them it
would be legal to do so across the street.
The Court of Appeal and Supreme Court, however, distinguished those
cases, noting that the demonstrators in Cox were private citizens rather
than public officials, and that the officials whose advice they relied on had
the authority to enforce criminal laws.
Allowing public officials to assert a defense to conflict of interest charges
“by claiming reliance on the advice of public attorneys charged with
counseling them and advocating on their behalf,” Justice Carol Corrigan
wrote for the Supreme Court, “is antithetical to the strong public policy of
strict enforcement of conflict of interest statutes and the attendant personal
responsibility demanded of our officials.”
Copyright 2007, Metropolitan News Company
The rule of law requires that we lose sometimes; otherwise, it's rule
of brute power.
The social contract requires that we allow others their due.
What should citizens do when attorneys forget that public entities
are supposed to be of, by and for the people?
Public entities who cause harm wrongfully must admit that the law
applies to them. Whistle-blowers should not be fired. It is a pathetic
irony that, in many cases, the officials, lawyers and school
administrators who expel students are guilty of far more wrongdoing
than the students they expel.
The California Bar Association told me that it will not take complaints
from citizens against lawyers who have opposed the citizens in court
The Bar accepts, but rarely acts on, complaints from clients about their
Since the Bar Association refuses to protect the public from unethical
(and worse) lawyers, the public has a right to protect itself from
officers of the court who violate the law.
If public entity lawyers engage in wrongdoing,
what can citizens do about it?
v. parents and
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