Dr. Jose Moreno, Lonesome Warrior for Honest Government.

First the timely news: We’d been looking forward to the long-delayed court hearing on the People’s Homeless Task Force’s Brown Act suit against the City of Anaheim for their secretive, corrupt near-giveaway of the Angels Stadium property to Arte Moreno. This hearing was supposed to happen Valentine’s Day, but now it’s been put off AGAIN, 16 days, till

Why? Because the City wants to disqualify the damaging court declarations of former City Manager Chris Zapata and the one honest Anaheim Councilman Dr. Jose Moreno. As usual, the City doesn’t have a leg to stand on, and is grasping at straws while trying to stand leglessly and throw lots of spaghetti at the wall … but we’ll get into that later.

There’s a good argument that Jose Moreno has the most difficult job in Orange County politics. Basically alone on the City Council, he has had to face off against not only every other member of the Council, not only much of the City’s appointed professional staff, and not only the huge corporate entities (the Angels and Disneyland) that have put and kept them in office — but he’s had to do so by walking a fine ethical line while others are happy to wallow in the surrounding ethical swamp.

Since Jose, along with fired City Manager Chris Zapata, agreed to present and sign declarations of what they saw and know when asked to by the Superior Court, the rest of the Sidhu Council, which used to treat Jose as a nuisance to be sidelined, has been attacking him relentlessly as a liar and lawbreaker, climaxing with a notorious late-January press release and social media post.

At the last Council meeting, February 1, Jose made a statement in response to the City’s attacks on him


I hope you watched that video all the way through, for a prime example of Mayor Sidhu’s lying while he KNOWS he’s lying.  (At around 9:52.)  Sidhu’s relationship to and respect for truth is about like Donald Trump’s.  Whatever he feels like saying he’ll say.  The only difference is Trump has brain diarrhea, whereas brainless Harry will just repeat whatever talking points his handlers tell him will be helpful.

Of late, our once seemingly-honest City Attorney Robert Fabela, keenly aware of what became of former City Attorney Cristina Talley (fired for giving correct but unwelcome opinions to the 2012 Council about District Elections and the Gardenwalk Giveaway) as well as Chris Zapata (fired for giving, WHEN ASKED, an unwelcome opinion to Council on the Covid-era Visit Anaheim giveaway), and undesirous of the same fate, has gradually morphed into something like an unprincipled Mafia consigliere.

In the minds of the Council majority and its consigliere, the Brown Act, which was intended to promote open government, is ironically reduced to an enjoinder against snitching about what happens in closed sessions.  In true “I’m rubber you’re glue” fashion, they try to defend themselves against manifest Brown Act violations by claiming it’s MORENO and ZAPATA who are breaking the Brown Act by tattling on their illegal scheming.  Again they are leglessly grasping at straws – the relevant language of the Act, of which Judge Hoffer is fully cognizant, is plain as day (hat-tip Ryan Cantor): 

CA Government Code 54963 (a) A person may not disclose confidential information that has been acquired by being present in closed session . . . (e) A local agency may not take action authorized by subdivision (c) against a person, NOR SHALL IT BE DEEMED A VIOLATION OF THIS SECTION, for doing any of the following: . . . (2) Expressing an opinion concerning the propriety or legality of actions taken by a legislative body of a local agency in closed session, INCLUDING DISCLOSURE OF THE NATURE AND EXTENT OF THE ILLEGAL OR POTENTIALLY ILLEGAL ACTION.

Ryan continues, addressing Jose: “Your city attorney and public information staff suck and clearly can’t read. I hope you know a great defamation lawyer and I hope you put that person to work.”  Amen, say we!

Oh, one other thing – Mayor Sidhu and his propagandist Matt Cunningham have been gleefully calling Jose a liar, because his court declaration apparently contradicts something he said on the dais 12/20/2019: “This is the first public discussion – the first discussion I should say – that the City Council has actually had on the actual deal points… Because in closed session, the city attorney was very good in making sure we focused on the price and terms of payment per the Brown Act.”  The explanation for the apparent contradiction is simple and innocent – at the time Jose didn’t realize that secretly changing from a lease to a sale in closed session IS a violation.  Or maybe I should say, at the time he trusted the knowledge and judgment of Consigliere Robert Fabela.

Mayoral candidate Ashleigh Aitken, who lost last time to Sidhu by 400-something votes PROBABLY mainly because of the “Angels are leaving” kabuki, had this to say:

“Despite his statements from the [dais], Sidhu hasn’t filed any court declaration disputing what Moreno and Zapata say they witnessed.” As all of the facts about the stadium sale continue to come to light, I call on Mayor Sidhu to either submit his claims in sworn testimony under oath and under penalty of perjury, or admit to the taxpaying citizens that this deal was illegally constructed from the start. The hard working people of Anaheim have enough to worry about and deserve better.

“Mayor Sidhu, who appointed himself chief and sole negotiator for our city in the Angels stadium land sale, has cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars – and potentially as much as $96 million more in fines.

“I’m running for Mayor to bring ethical and accountable leadership that protects taxpayers, grows good-paying jobs and preserves tax dollars for local neighborhoods, businesses, and the frontline workers that serve us.”

The rest of us poor Anaheim residents feel like Kenneth Batiste, who had his mike turned off ONCE AGAIN when he spoke at Council February 1.

(written and compiled by Greg and Vern – see you ASH WEDNESDAY!)

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"Admin" is just editors Vern Nelson, Greg Diamond, or Ryan Cantor sharing something that they mostly didn't write themselves, but think you should see. Before December 2010, "Admin" may have been former blog owner Art Pedroza.