The Max Madrid lawsuit aimed at clearing a path for Mayor Pro Tem Claudia Alvarez to pull papers for a fourth term isn’t the first time a member of the Santa Ana city council attempted to find a loophole to stay in office. Back in 2000, former council member Ted Moreno told the Los Angeles…
According to pay data collected by State Controller John Chiang, in 2010 former Santa Ana City Attorney Joseph Fletcher was the second highest paid city employee behind former Bell City Manager Robert Rizzo. Fletcher retired at the end of 2010 with a golden parachutte of $142,080 in addition to his $285,000 salary.
As most of you know, we have been hammering the city council and executive staff of the City of Santa Ana pretty hard on the issue of transparency over the past few months. We have found conflicts of interest that have required the return of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions and violations of sunshine and open meetings laws. The result of our investigations has lead me to a simple conclusion. The City of Santa Ana operates with about as much transparency as a brick wall.
The City attorney (Joseph Fletcher) spread the Selective Conflict Disorder virus when he infected the city council by advising that it was okay to vote on projects benefiting developers who have given them money because, get this, the Supreme Court has ruled that campaign contributions are free speech. He also infected the council with the understanding that the only people and businesses directly effected by votes moving a development project forward such as the actual developer or applicant applies to the law.
Fletcher must be suffering from the new virus that causes Selective Conflict Disorder. It is spread in an intense ‘pay to play’ environment, usually when campaign contributions are needed around election time and projects or initiatives need to move forward. It is usually contracted through face to face contact between city attorneys and council members once improper votes are discovered.
Mayor Miguel Pulido called a Special Meeting of the Santa Ana City Council for Monday evening at 5 pm. The meeting started late, a little after 5:30 pm. While Mayor Pulido was in the building (at least five of us shook his hand at around 5 pm), he was no where in the conference room. I did look under the table just to be sure he wasn’t hiding. Also missing were Councilmembers Martinez and Mayor Pro Tem Alvarez.