More on Dan Chmielewski’s Payoff Scandal

This post is reviewing some of the continuing developments in the “Chmielewski Payoff Scandal”(tm), (trademark pending because it’s going to be the name of Vern and my new Punk Polka band.)

The biggest news is as yet only an unverified rumor: that Farrah Khan will not be be accepting a “Truth” Award over Zoom on Saturday night after all. (Vicente Sarmiento — I’m trying to remember to call Vince “Vicente” — will still be receiving his Truth Award, which seems cool and proper.) Why, if so? The possibilities include:

  1. Farrah actually realized that she was provoking the god of Irony and feared some hilarious untoward fate if she went ahead with it
  2. Melahat Rafiei, who presumably pushed Ada to give both Sarmiento and Farrah for these awards, has given up on Farrah
  3. Ada Briceno, who does not need this craziness in her life, has given up on Melahat
  4. DPOC members have finally aroused themselves and talked sense into their Dear Leader
  5. It’s a fake-out to keep me from writing another chapter in this saga. (Didn’t work!)
  6. Patrick Strader?

Next most significant, Mark Newgent tells more of his own story about his battles with Dan Chmielewski, with some details I didn’t publish (or even know!), on Facebook, right here, which we’ll quote in full:

Remember when “Liberal OC’s Bullying Democrat” was harassing me and my minor children? He just paid me $18,000! Justice!

Just before filing a frivolous lawsuit against me over my ballot title of “Retired Army Captain” the “Liberal OC” blogger Dan Chiemlewski attacked my minor children using their school records in a nasty political smear.

Dan Chiemlewski somehow got his hands on my minor children’s personal Irvine Unified School District (IUSD) records and published them to intimidate me.

IUSD is silent on how he got his hands on such records as private emails between myself and my son’s first grade teacher… but he got them and anything else he thought he could use to intimidate me into quitting the race. This just before candidate filing was over at 5PM, 12 August 2020. The attacks on my children and intimidation coincided perfectly with Republican party leadership calling me to get me to pull out of the race before the close of candidate filling with the city.

Presumably Dan Chiemlewski was working with someone within IUSD to gain access to my children’s records to harass me…

This makes sense when you realize in 2020 I was running against the well-known corrupt Irvine Council Member (and my guess is, possible future federal inmate) MIKE CARROLL. If you didn’t know, Mike Carroll’s wife Betty Carroll was on the IUSD school board in 2020 with full access to my kid’s school records!

I have been told Betty Carroll hates me ever since I ran against her for IUSD School Board in 2016. The first time I met Betty Carroll was in a crowded room just before a PTA IUSD Board candidates forum. Then candidate Betty Carroll aggressively and angrily confronted me about a rumor. A rumor someone passed on to her that I had said that she is a “bad person”. I was shocked at how aggressive she was. It struck me as a hot head overreaction. It felt like she wanted to literally slap me in front of everyone there. This from someone who I never met before!

In my opinion, it’s more likely than not Mrs. Carroll discussed and/or gave her husband Mr. Carroll (and his friends) my children’s personal IUSD school records to use to intimidate me for the political purpose relating to the 2020 Irvine City Council race. FYI, thankfully Mrs. Carroll is no longer on IUSD Board.

This disgusting attack against my minor children only strengthened my resolve. Like anyone I love my children more than anything in this world. The title I am most proud of is being a dad. The greatest achievement I will ever do in life is take care of my kids and I am very content with that fact.

Before this attack on my children, Mike Carroll could have simply asked me to back out of the city council race. I would have listened and maybe even backed out as I didn’t have anything against him at the time (later I was told he won’t even talk to me due to Mrs. Carroll’s feelings). Since then I have learned the truth about Mike Carroll. He has proven himself to be the lowest of the low. Just google him to see how low. He even had to delete his elected official Facebook page…

When the attack on my children didn’t work, Dan Chiemlewski promptly sued me and FAILED spectacularly…!!! I swear no one told me ahead of time to get the best anti-slapp lawyer in the state (credit to Jeff Lewis Law Firm). It was pure coincidence my lawyers that specialize in anti-slapp motions were already on retainer to win this case in less than 15 minutes in court…

***My lawyers are awesome and I highly recommend Jeff L., Chris G. (tagged) and Sean R.

After we won in court, we filed an anti-slapp motion to collect our legal fees of $18,000 defending against this frivolous lawsuit. We won that too!

Dan Chiemlewski also sued the City of Irvine over my ballot title. Causing the city to use YOUR TAX PAYER DOLLARS to defend against his behavior. I think the City of Irvine should try to get their legal fees back too. If you want to contact the Irvine City Attorney Jeff Melching his public contact information:, or (714) 641-3422, or contact the city council to request to get our tax dollars back.

After losing the anti-slapp motion Dan Chiemlewski did not want to pay his court ordered debt. Eventually we served Dan Chiemlewski at his 1.4 million-dollar Irvine home to bring him in front of a judge so he can explain why he can’t pay the court ordered debt.

At the very last-minute Dan Chiemlewski paid me $18,000 through his lawyer (Mark Rosen) to avoid appearing in court and an embarrassing “debtors’ exam”. His previous lawyer he used to sue me initially was Chad Morgan. I am told Chad Morgan is a big time Republican lawyer which makes this even more interesting.

I am told Dan Chiemlewski is now telling people he did not pay me a penny but instead well-known Five Point Lobbyist (Mike Carroll’s friend) Patrick Strader paid me. What a strange turn of events!!! I kind of thought this but never thought Dan Chiemlewski would tell on them.

I was also told Dan Chiemlewski stated he is going to go after my children again and possible more frivolous lawsuits… what else can you expect from such a disgusting bully? 🤷‍♀️🤷‍♀️🤷‍♀️

The harsh reality in life is the best way to deal with a bully is fight back. They don’t stop until you fight back!

If you ever heard the term we don’t negotiate with terrorists? You have to fight them just the same.

Under Federal Law, title 18, USC, subsection 2331, paragraph 5, b., i., ii, the term “domestic terrorism” means activities that:

B.appear to be intended—
(i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population;
(ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion;

Basically, intimidation or violence for political purposes is terrorism.

I remember this definition from the first day of US Army Anti-Terrorism training. In my professional opinion, as a former Anti-Terrorism/Military Police Officer/Captain for the US Army I would label what they did as a form [of] terrorism under Federal Law.

Although no violence was used there was intimidation and doxing of my personal information that lead and encouraged of unhinged people to harass us further. There were times I was afraid for our lives and afraid there would be violence against my family. I thank IPD for always working tirelessly to keep the peace and harmony in our city. When I called IPD last election cycle they took me seriously and made my family feel safer as a result of their hard work.

Still… I have the check and money in my account. Now and forever Dan Chiemlewski is on record for having to pay the victims of his misconduct. No matter what he does that’s a permanent record. He can accuse Patrick Strader and five Points all he wants. His name is on the record not theirs. Unless he can produce some documents this record is what it is.

Bottom line Dan Chiemlewski attempted to bully me and my children. I fought back and Dan Chiemlewski paid $18,000 for what he did to me… I am sure there are more details to follow.

Now… what do I spend $18,000 on? I think I will take my son for ice cream to help us forget what they did to our family then pay off debts incurred.

Someone just sent me the story below. Seems like local media is picking up on this story. I hope lots of people see the truth and corruption lurking just beneath the surface in Irvine.

Mark Newgent
US Army, Retired…/dan-chmielewski

When I say that it was our pleasure, Mark, you can believe us. Just a second, I need to make a note to myself. (Do … not … piss … off … Mark … Newgent.) OK, I’m back!

The story of someone obtaining messages/email (I don’t know which) between Newgent and his first-grader’s school and leaking them to Chmielewski for him to publish them as part of a drive to get Newgent to stand down from running for City Council is one of the most heinous things I’ve heard of — I had not known about this before — and Dan’s going along with it is one of the most hideously Chmielewskian things that he has done. Trying to drive me to suicide, while impertinent at best, is at least going after an adult — but a first-grader? God in heaven….

While Newgent talks about a terrorism charge, I’d personally think a bit more about Civil RICO. Hey, he should ask his attorneys about that! Dan can get his advice from Lenore!

Newgent’s post attracted a lot of commenters, including by some people well-known to readers of this blog over many years. Here are a few of them:

From Michael Fox, husband of Farrah’s longtime political antagonist Melissa Fox:

Mark Newgent and I usually disagree about politics, but he’s 100% correct in his assessment of Dan Chmielewski. And as Greg Diamond points out, Chmielewski’s failed lawsuit against Newgent would not have and likely wasn’t intended to help Democrats, but to help Republicans (above all FivePoint favorite Mike Carroll) in the 2020 Irvine City Council election.

Newgent’s report that Chmielewski bragged to him about FivePoint’s Patrick Strader paying off the court-ordered judgment for him is especially noteworthy, since Chmielewski had, in the past, been a loyal defender of and advocate for Larry Agran, who has been, and continues to be, a very sharp thorn in FivePoint’s side.

Significantly, Chmielewski is no longer a defender or advocate for Larry Agran, who has been effectively sidelined and silenced by the current pro-FivePoint, pro-developer majority. Chmielewski hasn’t said peep about the City Council’s refusal to follow its own decision on designating the ARDA site for the veterans cemetery; he hasn’t joined Agran in criticism of the Council’s lax response to the toxic fumes emitted from the local asphalt plant; he hasn’t joined Agran in his criticism of the corruption in Mike Carroll’s and Brian Probolsky’s leadership of the Orange County Power Authority, or the Council dragging its feet on district elections, or its extension of the anti-democratic “rule of two” that has been used by Farrah Khan to prevent Agran from even discussing his concerns on these and other issues.

On the other hand, Chmielewski has been quick to defend Farrah Khan, even against Agran. Clearly, Chmielewski’s loyalties are now to Khan and FivePoint, not to Agran or his agenda.

Newgent then chimed in again himself:

Someone just sent me this and it made me laugh hard! Took me a second to get it. [My explanation is in the caption.]

Say it out loud to get the joke, if you haven’t already. I’d argue that it’s actually somewhere between 5.7 and 5.9 so far, with Melahat, Dan C., and maybe Emile Haddad and Award-Giving Ada belonging here as well — so we’re still possibly auditioning for one or two last spots!

Honestly — because they are not named “Five Points,” but FivePoint — this is pretty hilarious. Compliments to the chef!

All right, back to the comments on Newgent’s Facebook post!

Michael Fox again: Truly remarkable to see so many people with very different political philosophies — including people who’ve run or campaigned against each other — come together to celebrate Mark Newgent’s victory over this justly despised creep and the corruption and cruelty he represents. We could all use less of the poison that Chmielewski specializes in in our political discourse.

Mark Newgent again: I think there is still hope for [City of Irvine Vice Chair] Tammy Kim. Sometimes it just takes time for people to rise to the occasion.I really do want to support her. Hopefully she can stand up to the bullies.

Mike Fox again:

I think Tammy Kim needs to ask herself why Chmielewski’s been given permission (or orders) to attack her so viciously — including racist accusations that she’s soft on supposed human trafficking and sex crimes in Asian message parlors — while never saying a bad word about Farrah Khan. The money behind the Irvine 5.4 — clearly invested in Khan, Carroll and Kuo — isn’t really looking out for Tammy Kim. [I’m not sure whether the screenshot below is from Dan C.]

May be an image of text that says 'You refuse to recognize Asian hate via human trafficking. IPD has no answer. Do I need to go somewhere in Irvine and ask for a happy ending or do those running these businesses support you?'
Also sponsored by Strader? Yeeeeouch, if so!

Christina Shea, the former Irvine Mayor defeated by Farrah last year, had this to say:

I know others heard this payout was from a local lobbyist

This politicking has gone too far in this community, and if this is factual, I hope someone takes a look.Isn’t there a requirement for disclosure ?

I don’t know the law in this particular situation.

I asked her about these and other issues by phone; here’s an expanded version, and I’m not using quotation marks due to my doing a lot of paraphrasing, though I’ve put some of my questions in parentheses and at times I have her speaking in first person despite it being a paraphrase. My own comments here are in brackets.

Shea told me that she was pleased that Newgent won his case, that he was a reputable retired serviceman and had every right to use his title. For Dan and others to go after Newgent was really unfair, it cost him lots of money to fight it.

(Do you think that this hurt him in the election?) [As I’ve noted in Part 1 of this series, it was quite close.] I don’t know that it was decisive, because Newgent has had lots of opposition from Republicans have seen him as a threat. (What kind of threat?) Lots of Republicans don’t want him on the City Council because they can’t control him. [Nice compliment there for Newgent!]

(Have people contacted you about these revelations?) Individuals have called me to talk about the relationship between Dan and the Republicans, and also about Melahat’s involvement. People are coming to understand that, despite his expressed hostility to FivePoint, he’s actually been in league with him. (What about Farrah?) This past year, many people who wanted to replace me with Farrah are now sad that won. Farrah says that she favors things, and then she changes her mind — as with the asphalt plant. Campaign pledges from Farrah and Tammy aren’t being honored.

(Do any of the revelations surprise you?) I would never have expected that Dan would be in league with the GOP. She said that Democrats in the community had brought this to her attention over past few weeks, telling what they had seen and heard, that he had filed the suit at the urging of people who trusted him. It strikes her as if Chicago crime bosses have taken over Irvine.

(Where do you see this going?) What I hope is that this will create a lot more transparency about what’s going on in Irvine politics — make better choices, more informed. We need a better understanding of what Patrick Strader is doing while working as a partner with City of Irvine.

(What do you mean by “a partner”?) The city’s job is to represent constituents, but also to have a relationship with our school district, with developers of city-owned land — we have to both work with them and hold them accountable. He’s lobbyist and a political consultant. If he’s paying for a lawsuit against a candidate, and then paid for his opponent’s legal fees when he lost, it’s a reflection on the developer and the city’s relationship with them. If an employee is misrepresenting you, you’d disassociate from them. If Strader was using Dan as a front to strip Newgent’s proper title, it really raises your eyebrows. We’re always worried about quid pro quos — when you see a lobbyist doing that, it looks very bad!

While I was told by someone that the lawsuit was commissioned by Pat Strader (she refused to name her source and said that she herself didn’t have direct knowledge of it), you would think Strader should now clarify whether or not this is true. He should set the record straight and explain what if anything happened and why.

[I asked her whether she thought this might be a hub-and-spoke Brown Act violations with Strader as the hub] I haven’t thought about it as a Brown Act violation, but it could be looked into. I know would be a problem if anyone from city staff did it, but I wouldn’t think a lobbyist can engineer a consensus.

Melissa Fox and I are still friends, and she agrees that we had never seen the sort of disrespectful treatment on the dais.

[What investigation can or should city do? Would it be valuable to have someone investigate these activities?] I don’t know if anyone inside the city could do it. Maybe the Attorney General, I don’t know. I’m not an attorney, but I think that we clearly need change. A company’s lobbyist being so excessively influential with the Council is really inappropriate. Lines have been crossed and we need this to stop, but I don’t know how we can resolve it.

OK, that’s all I have for tonight, folks, but there may be more tomorrow — although knowing Melahat, who is apparently advising Ada and Farrah and Strader (!), she’s probably telling people to wait it out and it will all go away — and certainly news will be made one way or the other by what does or doesn’t happen on Saturday night!

About Greg Diamond

Somewhat verbose attorney, semi-disabled and semi-retired, residing in northwest Brea. Occasionally ran for office against jerks who otherwise would have gonr 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. Corrupt party hacks hate him. He's OK with that too. He does advise some local campaigns informally and (so far) without compensation. (If that last bit changes, he will declare the interest.) His daughter is a professional campaign treasurer. He doesn't usually know whom she and her firm represent. Whether they do so never influences his endorsements or coverage. (He does have his own strong opinions.) But when he does check campaign finance forms, he is often happily surprised to learn that good candidates he respects often DO hire her firm. (Maybe bad ones are scared off by his relationship with her, but they needn't be.)