Fitzgerald, vindicated by jury, plans to sue Gail Eastman cabal for $158 million!

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superfitzFirst off, let me not insult or bore the reader or myself by spending more than one sentence distancing myself from William Denis Fitzgerald’s more obnoxious rhetoric. There, done.

What you’re NOT going to read anywhere but here, even though the local press and blogs went wild last December when he allegedly assaulted a stranger at an Anaheim Council meeting, is that he has now been cleared of all charges of battery and assault.  Rather, the jury seemed to unanimously accept (as seven of them privately confirmed) that the whole tawdry episode was a setup – a conspiracy! – by five of Councilwoman Gail Eastman‘s closest friends.

Now sit right back and you’ll hear a tale of some real political slapstick, some real burlesque.

Gail Eastman in the classic shot by the Liberal OC's Chris Prevatt.

Gail Eastman in the classic shot by the Liberal OC’s Chris Prevatt.

The Council meeting of December 9 was to be Gail’s tearful, sentimental farewell meeting, after being rejected by Anaheim voters who preferred honest conservative James Vanderbilt.  Fitzgerald had laid into her at the previous meeting in a speech laced with nasty language but nailing her (accurately) for her career-long subservience to her funders at Disney and SOAR (Save Our Anaheim Resorts.)  At the end of the meeting he was startled by being accosted and berated by an angry wheelchair-bound gentleman who turned out to be Gail’s MS-afflicted husband. 

This episode freed Fitzgerald to deliver a speech on Dec. 9 referencing Mr. Eastman that he had written two years earlier, but had avoided delivering because Eastman was not yet a “public figure.”  For years Fitzgerald had been decrying the health effects of Disneyland’s nightly fireworks;  multiple sclerosis can be caused by the heavy metals found in fireworks;  MS is found in unusual concentrations near Disneyland;  Mr. Eastman had worked as a clerk at Disneyland for two decades; Mrs. Eastman had been in a position (on council) where she could have done something about reducing Disney’s fireworks;  so Fitzgerald gave a speech built around the refrain “Those who believe in karma…”

But he also felt compelled to give a baroque account of his last encounter with Mr. Eastman, complete with ridiculing his supposed incontinence, creating a speech that was over-the-top offensive to just about everybody.

All this is neither here nor there though, as the Eastman Cabal already had their plans laid to frame Fitzgerald for assault and try to keep him out of council chambers for good.

bill o'connellBILL O’CONNELL (right) was the burly gent who took the seat directly behind Fitzgerald, in a back aisle where every other seat was empty.  Yes, Bill O’Connell, the hotelier beneficiary of the notorious $158 million “GardenWalk Giveaway,” a close friend of Councilwoman Eastman against whom Fitzgerald had also frequently railed, although he didn’t know what he looked like.

JAY EASTMAN, another large man, is the Councilwoman’s son, and an “Elder” at Zion Lutheran Church.  When Fitzgerald finished his tirade and returned to his seat, Jay edged up next to him, stepping on his foot (he admitted in court to doing that accidentally though Fitzgerald says he put all his weight into it) and tried to take the seat right next to him, over Fitzgerald’s protestations.  The reason Jay gave to police and the court for approaching Fitzgerald so closely was that he “wanted to pray over him.”

Excuse me for five minutes now while I go outside and laugh really loudly.

Jay was quickly joined by his fellow Zion Elder LARRY TORGERSON who also tried to get up close and personal with Fitzgerald.  At this point Fitzgerald was feeling endangered, and as he stood up to leave several things happened simultaneously:  O’Connell stood up behind him and grabbed him by the shoulders (which can be seen on film) and Fitzgerald felt at the same time a hard blow to the back of his neck, as though O’Connell had three hands:  he later postulated O’Connell had given him a quick karate chop right before grabbing him.  Meanwhile Torgerson flew into the aisle in a classic theatrical pratfall, as audience and council alike gasped in horror!

Lewis, accomplished new pitbull for the kleptocracy.

Lewis, accomplished new pitbull for the kleptocracy.

And all along, LISA LEWIS was sitting a few seats to the right, filming the whole spectacle.  Lisa Lewis, name ring a bell?  That’s RIGHT, this is the woman, a campaign operative of both Kris Murray and Gail Eastman, who mysteriously ended up with, and trumpeted, long-ago expunged records of Council candidate Douglas Pettibone’s 1998 domestic dispute, successfully driving him out of the Council race.  How she acquired these sealed records has still not been explained or properly investigated, but between that and this, she has really put in yeoman work as an attack dog for the council majority.

Chmielewski Lends a Helping Hand.

See, it just keeps getting better.

chmielewskiFitzgerald had no idea that there was a video of the whole dustup.  He probably never would have known, because the video wasn’t too useful to the plaintiffs as it pretty much showed three men ganging up on one man, and the fact the video even existed helped Fitzgerald’s case that it was all a planned setup.

But malevolent faux-liberal blogger Dan Chmielewski (right), who had evidently developed a relationship with Lisa Lewis when he helped her with the Pettibone hatchet job, knew about the video, and blabbed about it to Fitzgerald.  Here’s a bit of one of Dan’s taunting e-mails:

“When I asked you for comment, it was for the record.  You never specified that the documents were off the record …  I’m told there is a video shot of you that refutes your claims.  I am trying to secure it…”

Those last two sentences are circled in Fitzgerald’s printout of the e-mail, with the notation “GET THIS.”  He attempted to acquire the video (which he knew would exonerate him) from an Officer Martinez, who denied its existence.  This was a lie;  as discovered later, the police had had it all along, but someone had apparently decided it was unhelpful to the City’s purposes.  Kudos to straight-arrow Anaheim Deputy City Attorney John Anderson who finally did track down and produce the video.

And Dan Chmielewski, even though it wasn’t your intention, Fitzgerald thanks you for letting him know about the Lisa Lewis video, and all of us who value the valuable portions of his tirades, we also salute you!

The Reason For This Whole Charade…

fitzgerald censored

… became clear enough when the City of Anaheim’s first move after charging Fitzgerald with battery was to ask for a restraining order keeping him out of Council Chambers, as a dangerously violent man.  His attorney at the time successfully argued that the City was only trying to silence his political speech.  If he was so dangerous, why not ban him from churches, restaurants, and other public places?

We might sympathize with people not wanting to hear councilwomen referred to as “whores” and the whole rest of Fitzgerald’s abusive vocabulary.  But we might also suspect that what the Council majority REALLY wanted to silence was his critique of them, regularly consisting of:

  • The control of Disney, SOAR, and allied big-moneyed interests over the Council majority, commensurate with those forces’ funding of said politicians.
  • The deleterious effects of nightly Disneyland fireworks on the health of children in nearby neighborhoods, one of Fitz’ causes celebres.
  • His smart identification of each of the council’s new ways to rip off the citizenry, as in his defeat of Lucille Kring’s “Measure N” utility tax last year.
  • And the stubborn hegemony of Anaheim’s white minority over its growing and underserved Latino majority.

Fitzgerald As Liberal.

In fact, though you wouldn’t know it from people’s caterwauling, this father of two delightful Asian-American law enforcement officers throws out charges of “racism” and “white supremacy” far more frequently than words like “whore.”  The very first Anaheim council meeting I went to, shortly before the July 2012 police murders and riots, he thundered about the council’s “racism” as shown in both their resistance to district elections (which HE had been fighting for for two decades) and their indifference to the Martin Hernandez police killing a few months earlier.

Last council meeting, right on the heels of his court victory, Fitzgerald was back there at the podium, railing against the all-white council, all-white public safety board, and now all-white districting commission, supposedly busy making things fairer for the Latino majority… and also calling the Zion Lutheran Church a “white supremacist” organization (something I won’t go out on a limb vouching for.)

But here is MORE greatness…


Again, credit where due:  Lorri Galloway, back when she was a foe of the kleptocracy, a friend and confidante of your humble blogger, and leading the charge against the GardenWalk Giveaway, very consciously created the iconic character of  “$158 MILLION DOLLARS,” instructing her (now-fired) assistant Joanne Sosa to “grind that figure into people’s heads.”  Just the other day an Anaheim friend told me, “Well, $158 million is hard to forget.”  No.  It isn’t.  Lorri and Joanne did that.

That’s why it’s so perfect that Fitzgerald is now suing his attackers for that precise amount.  Especially since the recipient of that amount of taxpayer largesse was the very guy who punched and grabbed him from behind.  In short, Fitzy is suing O’Connell, Lewis, Torgerson, Jay Eastman, and one James Kennedy (another Eastman crony who allegedly testified falsely against Fitgerald) for:

  • Conspiracy
  • Mayhem
  • False Arrest
  • False Imprisonment
  • Elder Abuse
  • Defamation of Character, and
  • Aggravated Battery Against an Elderly Person.

Gail Eastman is Not Done With Us.

Gail-Eastman-tripple-stabberThis all acquires a little more political significance when you remember that Gail Eastman – Gail “Thank God for the riots” Eastman, who crowed that she and her colleagues were saved from the pain of making a couple of unpopular votes “without a shot fired” while the cause of the riots was two actual police killings;  Gail who addresses Anaheim’s Latinos as “you people” – is not done with Anaheim, she is running for Council again in 2016 with the full weight of Disney behind her.

Isn’t this a little premature of her though?  I mean, before we know how the new districts will be drawn.  What about the high likelihood she ends up in the same Colony district as her close neighbor Golden Boy Jordan Brandman?  Will the puppetmasters have to move her or him to new digs?  We shall see how things shake out in the musical-districts dance to come.  And meanwhile…

Houston, we still have a Problem.

houston problemAnaheim continues to be the ONLY city in Orange County that prosecutes misdemeanors such as the above, squandering an estimated 2 to 5 million dollars a year rather than referring them to the DA like every other city does.

So inevitably, under the guidance of the weaselly and obsequious city attorney Michael Houston, these prosecutions are not only wasteful but often political in nature.  Recent and current examples include the above attempt to keep Fitzgerald out of Council Chambers; the stubborn, punitive, and still unsuccessful attempts to seize Tony Jalali‘s $1.5 million office building for having dared to rent out space to law-abiding dispensaries;  and now the obscene persecution of beloved community activist Yesenia Rojas for “interfering with the police” at her birthday party last year.  I’m glad to hear that Yesenia has decided to fight the charges rather than take a deal;  she’ll probably win just like Fitzgerald and Jalali did.  But WHAT A WASTE.

This has been Volume Three of “Anaheim:  The Mishegas and the Desmadre.”  Stay tuned to the Orange Juice for the latest scuttlebutt!


About Vern Nelson

Greatest pianist/composer in Orange County, and official troubador of both Anaheim and Huntington Beach (the two ends of the Santa Ana Aquifer.) Performs regularly both solo, and with his savage-jazz quintet The Vern Nelson Problem. Reach at, or 714-235-VERN.