“You Just Better Watch Out”

One of the perks of blogging for this site are the tips that roll in. A lot of it is fluff and needs to be checked out (good thing I have a degree in journalism). About 75 percent of the stuff that passes my way is crap. And then there are gems like this.

When I got copies of the candidates’ financial filings at Irvine City Hall last week, I dropped off a request for documents at the city’s Records office. Today, I had an envelope in my mailbox from the city with two documents and I’m posting them here.

The Buzz blog of the OC Register has the story. It concerns an alleged threat made by Irvine Council member Christina Shea to the president of the Irvine City Employees Association (ICEA), Kevin Moynihan, after Team Irvine didn’t get the union’s endorsement. The link to the Register item is here. Mr. Monynihan works in fleet services for the City, so we’re talking a blue collar guy who, as progressive talker Ed Schultz might say, “showers after work.”

While one could argue this is a “he said, she said” incident, anyone in an open office environment has heard one end of a phone call and put two and two together about what the other party was generally saying. Ms. Shea’s lawyer, former Council member Chris Mears, in his letter to the city attorney, dated 10/9/2006, wants to hold the eavesdroppers accountable for “unconsented eavesdropping.” That’s right. You can be sitting at your desk and overhear a portion of a phone call, and you’ve committed a crime.

If the call was made (and it was and there were witnesses), the fact is Ms. Shea called Mr. Moynihan at his office during working hours for a discussion on a political matter. This is a violation of the city’s new ethics policy about “no politics at work.” This is regardless of what was said. I believe Mr. Moynihan here simply because he has nothing to gain by reporting this. Union endorsements are not typically given out to Republican candidates so this shouldn’t have been a surprise. The Irvine Police Association gave a mixed endorsement to Shea, Krom and Kang.

Here are the documents; the first is the memo from Mr. Moynihan to his supervisor and the second a two page letter from Mr. Mears to Phil Kohn, the city’s attorney. These were received from the City today with a letter dated October 13, 2006 with copies to the city manager’s office, the city attorney, and Ms. Shea. The only edit is I blacked out the fax number to Mr. Mears office.

(Click Here to read a PDF version)

(Click Here to read a PDF version)

(Click Here to read a PDF version)

Mr. Mears is a Democrat. He was a member of a slate of council candidates that included Beth Krom and Larry Agran. The right wingers here called him the usual lefty liberal names. He also writes for OC Metro as their “progressive” columnist from time to time. There was a falling out between Mears and Agran, and try as I may, I don’t know the details.

While Mr. Mears may be a Democrat, his political support of late is strictly to individuals on the right. I have a label for Democrats like this; it’s called “Lieberman.”

I posted earlier about the Pro-Republican flier that basically used fear to sell a slate of candidates. Add “alleged” intimidation to the list. Are these the sort of people that should hold the public trust?