The Fullerton Stories website has an interesting piece about how Fullerton School Board member and Recall Committee Chairman Chris Thompson has become Fullerton’s own version of “Batman.” The school board member reportedly took it upon himself to investigate a parking lot of a local school where during the summer months, youths gather. Several weeks ago, Thompson allegedly intruded upon a young couple who were in a romantic situation, and, after calling in the inflagrante twosome, followed the couple in an attempt to get the car’s license plate. When police arrived at the scene, the couple and evidence were gone.
Later, Thompson reports the teen saw him on July 9th and confronted him. The confrontation, according to Thompson, looked like it was about to get physical and it did when Thompson told the website he shoved the minor. And in doing so, may have placed the Fullerton School District at risk of a lawsuit.
Here’s what the Fullerton Stories website reported in a story Thompson said is riddled with inaccuracies, but, in the comments section, Thompson refuses to disclose what those inaccuracies are. Go to the Fullerton Stories link for the details on the case and take a gander at what they reported.
Now we put in a records request with the Fullerton Police Department at the end of July, and the city did not respond within the 10 day window; We received a letter this afternoon denying our request for these records.
Here’s what the letter said:
The Public Records Act request you made to the Fullerton Police Department on July 31, 2012 has been referred to this office for review and response. This office functions as the city attorney for the City of Fullerton and it is that capacity in which I write. We apologize for the lateness of our response and appreciate your understanding in that regard.
The Fullerton Police Department will not be able to provide you with any of the documents you request You have requested a copy ofFullerton Police Report 329081621. Inasmuch as the report taken by the Fullerton Police Department was in response to a call for service at Beechwood School on July 9 2012, it is exempt from public disclosure. The authority for this position may be found in Government Code 6254(f) 6255 and Haynie v. Countv of Los Angeles, 2001 26 Cal 4th 1061. We have also decided to utilize the exemption quoted above because the event involved a person under the age of 18 and the involvement of a minor in this matter is an overriding interest that further justifies the use ofthe exemption.
You also requested a copy of Fullerton Police Report 420021422 We will not be able to provide you with a copy of that report for the same reasons as stated above It is also exempt from public disclosure pursuant to the same Government Code sections and the Haynie case cited above. Moreover inasmuch as this report involves an altercation between two individuals and the identities of several uninvolved citizen witnesses further justifies the use of the exemption.
We have enclosed a copy of the information on the call log related to each event This log is available for review at the public counter of the Fullerton Police Departtnent during regular business hours This log contains information about events which have occurred in the last 30 days Only the information contained in this log about this event is apublic record Count of Los Angeles v Superior Court Kusar 1993 18 Cal App 4th 588 22 Cal Rptr 2d 409. There is usually a cost associated with the making of such a copy however that cost has been waived.
Thompson is an advocate of government transparency, so we’re a little surprised that we couldn’t get a copy of the police record. Thompson was a loud voice calling for the disclosure of records related to the Kelly Thomas case, right?
Now as bad as the young man’s behavior was, Thompson’s was worse. He’s an adult. He’s a school board member. And it appears, from his own words, he physically pushed a minor rather than just walk away. And it happened on the grounds of a school. When the police showed up, Thompson identified himself as a Fullerton School Board member to the cops. And while he wasn’t on school grounds in his capacity as a school board member, why even bring that up? But hey, maybe FSD can get Thompson some asphalt to patch up holes in the parking lot.
Now imagine for a moment that Thompson was a Fullerton School District teacher or staff member and he shoved a minor on school grounds. Schools in California operate under a zero tolerance policy for violence. Machismo aside, Thompson as an elected official can only be removed by the voters. If he were a teacher or a staffer, he very likely could have been fired for his actions.
Let’s back up a bit. Instead of Thompson personally investigating a school that has gotten troubling reports, why not call the police department to begin with and have them stake the place out? That’s what law enforcement does. The bad cops involved in the Kelly Thomas case does not taint every member of the Fullerton Police Force. At best, the investigation conducted by Thompson makes him look like the”Dark Knight” seeking vigilante justice and at worst, like a pervert interested in watching teenagers have sex.
Now hey, I know Thompson is part of the group that overthrew Fullerton’s city council but that’s no license to shove a minor regardless of how big a jerk the kid might be. What’s the old saying: two wrongs don’t make a right? As wrong as the minor was, Thompson was equally wrong for making physical contact with the kid.
Since it looks like Fullerton PD is wary of ticking off Thompson, Kiger and the Bushala gang, perhaps this incident should be investigated by the county sherriff’s department and at the very least, the Fullerton School District.
The second police report was asked about was based on a tip about a bar fight at Fullerton’s Back Alley bar that a source told us a colleague of Thompson’s was involved in and words were exchanged between the two parties and friends of the two parties. But without a full report, which is shielded, we can’t verify what Thompson’s role in the altercation could be or if he was in fact even there. The city won’t give us a copy of the police report even thought there were no minors involved in this incident.
The comments section of the Fullerton Stories story has very few people coming to Thompson’s defense. Most were critical of him. Thompson does participate in comments citing unspecified inaccuracies in the Fullerton Stories reporting. And despite calls to do so, does not point out what he perceives the errors to be.
I’m shocked, shocked, pray you, that an online news source in Fullerton, according to Chris Thompson, would have errors in a story. Would that ever happen on FFFF?