Former Anaheim Mayoral Candidate Denis Fitzgerald Arrested for Assault and Battery at City Council Meeting

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Fitz Can Be Bigoted - But What About His Claims

William Denis Fitzgerald, left, was arrested Tuesday afternoon after a speech heaping scorn on outgoing Councilwoman Gail Eastman,right, on charges of committing assault and battery against a fellow member of the gallery (associated with Eastman) who was watching the City Council meeting.

According to witnesses present at Anaheim City Council early, pre-swearing-in Council meeting on Tuesday afternoon, Anaheim’s political gadfly, perennial Mayoral candidate, and sometimes successful activist William Denis Fitzgerald was arrested on misdemeanor charges of assault and battery.  He was released on his own recognizance with a ticket requiring to show up to court.  Witnesses say that he struck another person, associated with a retinue of supporters of Gail Eastman who attended her last meeting of her single Council term, who was trying to get past him in the aisle, knocking him several feet down the aisle.  Mayor Tom Tait did not become aware of the cause of the arrest until sometime after the meeting.

Fitzgerald has long been President of the group “Anaheim HOME,” on whose behalf he often spoke at Council meetings, often (although less so during his Mayoral campaign) in floridly derogatory terms (which taking care to avoid actual obscenities.)  While Fitzgerald finished last in this year’s Mayoral race, receiving 3,090 votes (6.8% of those passed overall), he also saw the successful culmination of long-term and short-term fights.  He had been a longtime supporter of the city’s move to district “by-elections,” which passed this year as “Measure L” by over 2/3 of the vote, and he led successful opposition to a narrowly defeated utility tax increase designated as “Measure N.”

It is unclear at this point whether Fitzgerald may be barred from attending future council meetings, or at least speaking at them, due to this event.  OJB has not sought out Fitzgerald for his take on events, as it does not want to solicit him to make statements that may end up being against advice of counsel.

About Greg Diamond

Somewhat verbose attorney, semi-retired due to disability, residing in northwest Brea. Occasionally runs for office against bad people who would otherwise go unopposed. Got 45% of the vote against Bob Huff for State Senate in 2012; Josh Newman then won the seat in 2016. In 2014 became the first attorney to challenge OCDA Tony Rackauckas since 2002; Todd Spitzer then won that seat in 2018. Every time he's run against some rotten incumbent, the *next* person to challenge them wins! He's OK with that. Deposed as Northern Vice Chair of DPOC in April 2014 (in violation of Roberts Rules) when his anti-corruption and pro-consumer work in Anaheim infuriated the Building Trades and Teamsters in spring 2014, who then worked with the lawless and power-mad DPOC Chair to eliminate his internal oversight. Expelled from DPOC in October 2018 (in violation of Roberts Rules) for having endorsed Spitzer over Rackauckas -- which needed to be done. None of his pre-putsch writings ever spoke for the Democratic Party at the local, county, state, national, or galactic level, nor do they now. One of his daughters co-owns a business offering campaign treasurer services to Democratic candidates and the odd independent. He is very proud of her. He doesn't directly profit from her work and it doesn't affect his coverage. (He does not always favor her clients, though she might hesitate to take one that he truly hated.) He does advise some local campaigns informally and (so far) without compensation. (If that last bit changes, he will declare the interest.)