Opinion: Time for District Attorney to take over

July 10, 2019

The question is, now that the Grand Jury report on the City Council is out and made public, will the District Attorney’s Office investigate certain charges, such as violations of the Brown Act, misfeasance in purchasing and other laws that also may have been broken.

 

The Grand Jury’s report concluded the city staff had committed malfeasance, and that the evidence compiled by the Grand Jury had identified multiple incidents of lack of transparency, code of ethics violations, lack of access for the public to public information and violations of confidentiality rules, along with failure to provide requested information to the Grand Jury during the investigation.

 

The question regarding whether District Attorney Sally Moreno will follow up the Grand Jury investigation with probes of what the Grand Jury found is an important one, because while she was running for office, she promised she would follow up the work of the Grand Jury and straighten out the City Council and city administration in instances found to be in violation of municipal codes and state law.

 

The people who were supposed to be watching the store — the city administrators — turned out to be rewarding themselves with raises they hadn’t earned. But the city administrators shrugged their shoulders and continued to endorse some of the fattest municipal paychecks in the San Joaquin Valley.

 

It took ordinary citizens to discern what was going on, to do wage comparisons with other cities, and to demand in public that something be done about it.

 

Those citizens also were helped by new city council members who ran on promise of reform. 

 

And they also were helped by a new city manager who is well trained in ethics, and intends to run his city office accordingly.

 

Does any of this small-town lack of ethics rise to the level of corruption such as sent city officials of the city of Bell to prison? Probably not. 

 

But only Moreno has the clout to bring the power of the law above the level of shoulder shrugging, and back up the efforts of the Grand Jury which already have shown that ordinary citizens were right all along about how the people who ran their city were behaving.

 

• • •

 

It’s getting so I can’t understand why General Motors decided to stop making Pontiacs. They were good cars ... or at least Pontiac owners think they are.

 

For some reason these days I am seeing more Pontiacs driving around than ever before. These aren’t new cars, but they aren’t banged-up drunkmobiles, either. 

 

GM stopped making Pontiacs in 2010, but they still must be popular, because you see a lot of Pontiacs older than 2010 still zipping around town.

 

I hear that Ford will soon stop making ordinary passenger cars, and stick with Mustangs and pickups instead. I think the company will regret that decision, if it is more than a rumor, just as GM must regret not continuing to make Pontiacs. 

 

A 1957 Pontiac Safari, in good shape, is for sale right now for $48,000 on Classic Cars.Com, about 10 times what it sold for new. A 1967 Pontiac GTO convertible is for sale for $67,000 on the same site. Read ‘em and weep.

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