Who’s Burning Down Stockton? 4th Playground Set Ablaze

Part 1 of a 2 Part Series

By Motecuzoma Sanchez 

July 20, 2017

Stockton, CA – In yet another mysterious fire to hit Stockton in the last year, the 4th playground at a public park has been burned. 


If this is the work of multiple arsonists or a serial arsonist remains to be discovered.

Photo credit Wendi Maxwell
 The city of stockton is claiming each playground costs the city $100,000 and that they are insured. How long it takes to replace the playgrounds also remains to be seen. 


Arson is up 67% in Stockton this year compared to the previous year. 

After 7 Homicides in 9 Days Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs Wants to Use Tax Payer Money to Pay Criminals to Behave. 

July 5, 2017

By Motecuzoma Sanchez

Stockton, CA- After 4 homicides in as many days, bringing a total of 7 in 9 days, (including several more shootings including one targeting police officers) Mayor Tubbs finally makes a public statement tells reporters he wants to explore using tax payer funding to pay criminals not to commit crime. 

He alludes to a controversial program in Richmond, CA which pays a stipend to criminals based on how well they behave per month. The less crime they committ, the more they are paid- up to $1,300 a month. 

Currently Stockton has the highest sales tax rate in California due to Measure A and B which takes $27 million annually from the tax base for the purpose of hiring more police officers to fight crime and pay for the historic bankruptcy. Except after 3 years the promised number of police officers has not been hired and logistically will not during the time promised to voters. 

Mayor Tubbs also alluded to Detroit’s Greenlight Project which forces small business owners to install security cameras to aid police and make them available after 10PM. What has residents scratching their heads about that plan is the fact that many of these shootings have occurred in broad daylight including today’s which was in front of a popular pizza parlor in traffic on one of the city’s main streets and days earlier at a park.  


In December of 2016 as mayor elect, Tubbs told reporters that his “new plan” to combat crime would be Ceasefire. This statement was surprising considering the fact that Ceasefure had already been in effect during his council term since 2013 and is funded by Measure A. A new Office of Violence Prevention was even created to oversee it, yet four years later they still have no strategic plan and violent crime increased every year consecutively since its implementation. 

Meanwhile, after millions of additional dollars through taxes have been paid by residents, Stockton remains the second most violent city in California with its police department being the 5th most violent in the nation over the last 4 years; all of the recent victims (92% since 2010) have been Mexican or Black; the Office of Violence Prevention has no strategic plan; in the last 4 murders in the last 4 days not a single arrest has been made; and Mayor Tubbs urges that “overall crime continues to trend downward” alluding to a 1% drop in property crimes over the last several years. 

DA Verber-Salazar’s Education Called Into Question 

By Frank Gayaldo

June 16, 2017

San Joaquin, CA

In reviewing Tori Verber Salazar’s State Bar information, it shows she graduated from the now defunct University of Northern California, Lorenzo Patiño School of Law (UNC), which was a private law school located in Sacramento, California. 

As of June 30, 2013, the State Bar of California Committee of Bar Examiners did not have UNC listed as a law school; and the University of Northern California’s website does not list the Juris Doctor as one of its academic programs. 

From 1997 through February 2011, 134 Lorenzo Patiño graduates took the California Bar Examination as first-time takers; of that number, 12 have passed the examination for a 9% pass rate. The state average is 62%. 

Tori Verber Salazar’s now defunct alma mater did not have professional accreditation from either the ABA Office of the Consultant on Legal Education or the State Bar of California Committee of Bar Examiners. Calls to the listed number for the school were met with a message that the number was no longer in service. 

Screenshot of Patiño website


It is widely rumored by detractors from within the District Attorney’s office that she took the Bar numerous times before finally passing it. 


Regardless if that is true or not, her judgment continues to suggest there are major deficits in her legal education and most importantly, her judgment.

Residents Who Lost Everything in 4 Alarm Fire Complain of Cityhall Neglect and Stonewalling; Have Proof Complaints Were Made With Code Enforcement Over a Year Ago

June 5, 2017

Stockton, CA – Residents who lost their homes, cars, and personal belongings directly across the street from a problem business in the 4 alarm fire May 25th are saying the City of Stockton officials are stonewalling their quest for answers and neglecting them only a week after the fire. 

A resident who wishes to remain unnamed for fear of retaliation from the city says multiple additional complaints have been called in complaining about the city’s lack of cleaning up the debris from the fire and are concerned of the residue left on the street and is blowing over to what’s left of the properties. 


Further adding to their frustration is the fact that they have been complaining about the property that caught fire for up to four years and the current business leading the property for over a year.

 

This revelation contradicts what city spokesperson Connie Cochran has told the media saying the property was recently cited May 9th and was being addressed with a scheduled action the week after it went ablaze. 


In a voicemail given to 209 Times it has been confirmed that Ron Martinez from Code Enforcement, part of the Stockton Police Department, returned a call about one of those complaints that the property was a fire hazard. 

Screen shot of voicemail transcript dated May 2016


Residents believe the city is dragging their feet and neglecting them out of fear residents will sue. Some of them have also confirmed that indeed that have retained legal counsel. To date the only elected official from the city who has visited them in the neighborhood is councilmember Christina Fugazi who is also organizing a spaghetti feed fundraiser dinner for the residents at the Civic Auditorium Wednesday June 7th. 

A meeting has also been had with mayor Michael Tubbs at city hall whom the residents had to set up and reach out to him last week. Mayor Tubbs had present at that meeting the assistant city attorney and told them the city has no resources to help them with and instead provided them with two 31 day bus passes. 


The city council will vote on the budget for fiscal year 2017-2018 with a record surplus this month. Funded will be Mayor Tubbs’ two personal assistants for $300,000 and the brand new “mobile city hall” RV for $100,000. 

In the meantime residents wait for relief with no more street lights at night as they retain a great view of the new $300 million dollar court house.

True Cost to Stockton For Mayor Tubbs’ Police Security Detail Much Higher Than Reported. $70,000 Not $18,000. 

May 9, 2017

Stockton, CA. – Last month it was reported that the City of Stockton under the direction of Mayor Michael Tubbs paid over $18,000 Stockton Police overtime costs to respond to residents voicing their concerns over police involved killings at city council meetings in February and March. As reported by 209 Times those meetings descended into chaos when Mayor Tubbs directed riot police to confront and physically remove residents associated with Black Lives Matter and family and friends of Colby Friday whose killing by Officer David Wells has yet to be explained after SPD changed their story three times with three different versions. 

What has not been reported was the full cost to have up to 50 officers posted up at city hall for several hours as a security detachment should Mayor Tubbs call them in again to deal with activists he is not fond of and who have been openly critical of his lack of leadership on the matter. 

The true cost, not just overtime, is much higher than reported by other media outlets and for March 7th actually $15,000 more than reported. 


209 Times has received the cost from the city after submitting a public information request: 

February 7-    $4,793.93

February 21-  $6,858.39

March 7-         $25,248.57

March 28-       $33,078.07

Total-              $69,978.96


The cost for March 28th stands out because not only is it significantly higher, but there were no activists present or protests planned. It matches the cost of the three previous meetings combined. The average cost for the police department to cover the entire city for a 10 hour shift is $26,141 according to police spokesman officer Joseph Silva. 

These costs become even more outrageous when considering that no threat had been present for any of the meetings and the sane protests and speaking out have occurred under the previous mayors Ann Johnston and Anthony Silva and riot police had never been called in or stationed for hours at city hall. Mayor Tubbs reliance on the police presence has been unprecedented. 

They have even been used to escort him to his car with claim that it was police who insisted not Tubbs himself yet that same escort is not provided for the women council members leaving the meetings. 

Michael Tubbs has objected to taking responsibility even calling a news reporter a “liar” for reporting the facts. 

While local news outlets and pundits have made it a point to question if “protestors” “disrupting” council meetings will be the new norm with Tubbs as mayor, the greater question is the using stockton police officers as what amounts to a personal security detachment at a high cost to tax payers both financially and resources. With Stockton’s sales tax being the highest in California to pay for more police in California’s 2nd most violent city, the city has limited resources. 

Stockton City Council Votes 7-0 to Buy a New RV for $100,000 for “Public Relations”

By John Moreno

April 26, 2017


Last night the Stockton city council voted 7-0 to approve the purchase of a “Mobile Command” RV for the purpose of “improved image and public relations “. 

This seems hard to take for many residents in a city that just recently emerged from bankruptcy. Many are also suspecting Mayor Tubbs and company will use it to promote themselves in their never ending campaigning under the guise of public relations. The price tags is $86,000 for the RV plus thousands more for interior customizations. In total the budget was $100,000. This is in addition to the $300,000 he’s spending a year for two personal assistants including a public information spokesperson and $10,000 on new furniture for his office even though the city has furnishings in storage. As a council member Michael Tubbs voted NO five times against re-opening Fair Oaks Library part time at $150,000 a year saying it would force the city back into bankruptcy. At this rate of spending the city may be well on its way. 

Moves Already Being Made for 2018 Local Elections

By JR Guillory 

April 26, 2017

Tired of hearing election news? Well things won’t be good for some time. The next Statewide Primary Election has been announced for June 5, 2018. 

Some local candidates have already filed candidate committees and started their ad campaigns. Here’s the list of local candidates seeking office as of today:
McNerney for Congress

Galgiani for State Board of Equalization 2018

Bestolarides for Assessor 2018

Withrow for Sheriff 2018

Kathy Miller for Supervisor in 2018

Winn for Supervisor 2018

Committee to Elect Mousalimas, Superintendent of Schools 2018

Jay Wilverding for Auditor – Controller 2018

Tori Verber Salazar for District Attorney 2018

Shockingly, no candidates have filed their intent for office, for Stockton City Council, at this time, but Stockton City Council District 1, City Council District 3, and City Council District 5, will all hold elections in 2018. It is predictable that both, District 3 Councilman Susan Loftus and District 5 Councilman Christina Fugazi will seek re-election in their respective districts. District 1 will see a new Councilman, after current City Vice-Mayor Elbert Holman will be ineligible due to term limits. Vice-Mayor Holman was first appointed to the dais in 2008, and will have served 10 years in the Chambers.

Why San Joaquin District Attorney Verber-Salazar Needs to Recuse Herself

By Frank Gayaldo

April 25, 2017

TOP SIX REASONS Tori Verber-Salazar should recuse herself from Sheriff Steve Moore’s GunGate investigation and appoint a SPECIAL PROSECUTOR: 

1. Adamson Police Supply, Hayward, California. The Sheriff’s Office (including the Sheriff personally) was accused of receiving “substantial discounts” by stripping, selling and then buying guns. This is in clear violation of the sheriff’s own written policy, 12028(C) PC, 514 PC and 1090 GC. After six years of a bizarre on and off again investigation, Ms. Verber concluded this activity occurred, but that somehow there was no violation of criminal law. A major conflict exists because the lead DA investigator’s name, Dave Derksen, appears on a 2014 Adamson Police Supply invoice ALSO receiving a “substantial discount”. 

2. Former DA Chief Investigator Kenneth Melgoza. Melgoza is a highly respected investigator both inside and outside the DA’s office. According to Ms. Verber’s March 28, 2017 letter, Melgoza unexplainably recused himself at least twice from this investigation. On 8/18/16 Melgoza files a claim with the county stating that Ms. Verber retaliated against him for his refusal to “engage in unlawful and unethical conduct.” I personally posted on Facebook Melgoza’s claim on 3/27/17. Within 24 hours of me posting Melgoza’s claim, Ms. Verber exonerates Moore in “GunGate”, and blames Melgoza for the case taking six years to conclude. 


3. Brook’s Arms and Ammo. Deputy District Attorney Grant Leonard Carey Brooks wears two hats: with one he sometimes prosecutes criminal cases where firearms are involved. With his other hat, he allegedly sometimes handles the disposition of those very same evidence firearms, utilizing his Federal Firearms License and company, Brooks Arms and Ammo. Conflict of interest? 


4. According to 18005 PC, the district attorney may sometime have DIRECT legal influence over what evidence firearms are retained or sold by the sheriff. 

5. According to Ms. Verber’s 3/28/17 letter which was written by Assistant District Ronald Freitas, neither the FBI or the US Attorney has commented on the case one way or the other. It was highly inappropriate to conclude this investigation without their input. The FBI should be investigating both the Sheriff AND the District Attorney for public corruption in regards to the mishandling of evidence firearms. 

6. After six years, the public still does not know how much of a “substantial discount” Sheriff Moore and other sheriff employees received on government property. This is property that according to 1090 GC, they should have never been able to purchase at ANY price. Moore refuses to answer even basic questions about the case because Ms. Verber still has yet to provide the public her “final report”.

BREAKING GUNGATE NEWS: DISTRICT ATTORNEY TORI VERBER-SALAZAR’S OFFICE ALSO RECEIVED “DISCOUNT” FROM ADAMSON POLICE SUPPLY 

By Frank Gayaldo

April 16,2017

San Joaquin County-Tori Verber-Salazar’s March 28th “oddly written letter” purports it is only “of concern” but not illegal that evidence guns of “unknown histories and origins” were stripped and sold to Adamson Police Supply in Hayward, California and then purchased by select deputies including Sheriff Moore at unspecified “substantial discounts”.  
Sheriff Moore flatly denies ever selling evidence guns in his April 28, 2016 KCRA 3 interview with Melinda Meza. All attempts so far to reconcile Moore’s statements with the DA’s initial findings (who still hasn’t issued a “final report” so Moore says he won’t answer questions) has proven futile. 
209 Times has now unearthed new documents from the County strongly suggesting the District Attorney’s Office was anything but a “disinterested third party” as Sheriff Moore claimed. 
Here is a sample of documents proving that the District Attorney’s Office was also conducting business with Adamson Police Supply in Hayward, and that they too were receiving unspecified “substantial discounts”, in this instance on some body armor.  


David Derksen (who replaced Chief Investigator Kenneth Melgoza who allegedly recused himself from investigating GunGate on at least two occasions) is referenced in one of Adamson’s invoices dated July 25, 2014. Almost exactly one year later on July 30, 2015, Derksen would be assigned to interview Sheriff Moore about GunGate. One of the Kevlar vests mentioned in the invoice was for “J Rocha”, who is the District Attorney’s Investigator who interviewed me on 1/27/2016 about Adamson Police Supply and the Sheriff. 



In that interview Rocha never disclosed to me the District Attorney’s own apparent practice of receiving “discounts” from Adamson Police Supply in Hayward, or that former DA Chief Investigator Kenneth Melgoza allegedly recused himself from the investigation on at least two occasions. (If he had, I would have not shared with him my documentation but instead went directly to the State Attorney General’s Office to file a complaint regarding a clear conflict of interest.) 


Not Sheriff Steve Moore nor DA Tori Verber Salazar have yet to answer if a sheriff employee recently arrested in part for having alleged ties to the Northside Gangster Crips obtained any of the evidence guns such as Uzis that Sheriff Moore once claimed he never sold. 
While questions about GunGate continues to linger and expand amongst the public, it appears that the San Joaquin County Sheriff and District Attorney could have a new friend with the ATF, which has failed to act in another case recently: 
“ATF believed education is the most effective way to stop the growing trend of law enforcement officials engaging in the business of unlicensed firearms dealings,” Harden said in the advisory. “It is our goal to educate, not investigate, to ensure law enforcement officials comply with federal law in order to avoid unnecessary public embarrassment to themselves and your Department/Agency.”

Meanwhile guns that were supposed to destroyed by law enforcement are showing up back on the street and the public is waiting for real answers. 

Was the Trial of Ashley Drain Pre-Decided? Juror #7 Says Yes After Being Removed as Only Black Juror Who Voted Not Guilty

By Motecuzoma Sanchez 

April 13, 2017

San Joaquin, CA- After the two week trial for former Manteca school board member Ashley Drain ended today jurors were sent to deliberation on charges that she purposely filed false candidate statements in the election that put her on the school board back in 2014. Juror #7 had been selected in the jury pool and sat through the trial for those two weeks. She was the only African American juror amongst an otherwis all white jury. The defendant is also African American. 


Juror #7, better known to the community as San Joaquin Delta College Trustee C. Jennet Stebbins in an exclusive interview with 209 Times says no less than five minutes after closing statements jurors were introducing themselves during the beginning of deliberation and before they were even completed, saying they were voting GUILTY. “It seemed to me they were already set on voting guilty even though we hadn’t had the chance to deliberate over the evidence yet”, she says. 


“We took a vote and it was 11-1. I voted ‘not guilty on all charges’ and they told me I had to vote ‘guilty’. When I refused to change my vote the foreman accused me of being racially biased and went to tell the judge that I was being ‘uncooperative’ and ‘biased’, but I heard things in the trial that to me didn’t seem right”, says Stebbins. 

She says some of the things during the trial that caused her concern besides being the only Black juror, were question asked to the defendant like if she voted for Trump for president by deputy district attorney Stephen Maier. Even though a decision of 11-1 was already reached she felt some jurors were in concert with the prosecutor and that anything other than a 12-0 guilty vote would not be allowed. 

This is not the first time District Attorney Tori Verber-Salazar’s office had to deal with controversy regarding racial bias. Last year pictures were leaked showing her staff mocking Black Lives Matter activists while simulating cocaine use during an office party on the clock. Verber-Salazar would apologize for that and supposedly take corrective action. 

Stebbins would be removed as juror #7 and an alternate was called in. Without having to wait for the official announcement she already knows what the verdict will be. It wasn’t allowed any other way.