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Its always the Cover Up

By   /   December 22, 2012  /   5 Comments

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price_games_CoverUp-001You have to wonder sometimes if there is some endless pile of money at city hall. Every so often I have to make a formal request for a document or two. Usually I am given every courtesy and the documents are quickly transmitted either by email or I pick them up at city hall. I have gotten smarter as I have gotten older and usually ask for all documents in electronic form (email). The law states that a agency can charge for copies and some agencies have figured out that by charging a ridiculous amount per copy will often discourage folks from asking…. But if you ask for it in electronic form they can not charge you for the research time.

Obama NixonI recently was told about a meeting between two 29 Palms officials and a Water Board Member. The water board member was shown a power point presentation that accused the water board of improprieties… The water board member felt it was an attempt at strong arming him to change his vote against his support of the local fire department.

I wanted to see this power point myself. I made a formal request for a copy of that power point presentation.

This morning I received a Three Page Letter from the Cities Legal Firm Rutan and Tucker denying me a copy of the power point.

Now if that does not raise a flag I do not know what will. What the hell could be in this power point so bad that they are trying to hide it from the public?

clinton_aWhat I am thinking is the City Manager and a councilman without Council approval attempted  strong arm tactics to influence a vote of another agency in direct violation of Criminal law and have in essence lawyered up at the expense of the city. Doing so unjustly implicating the whole council. I just don’t  know? This is just too weird.

Hey I just asked for a simple copy…. I came into this with eyes wide open and didn’t have my mind set one way or the other. But now I question what is in the presentation that they badly wish to hide.

It must have cost the city $3000.00 to research and write that worthless letter denying me information. They had to send it off to Irvine, have a couple of paralegals do hours of research and some low level lawyer write me a three page letter. The letter complete with points and authorities…. Jesus a simple plain English letter would have done the trick. But hey I am used to being pummeled with bull from these guys…. We have a long and interesting relationship. I would not have expected less. I know what they are saying is if you want to spend the money for a Whit of Mandate we will produce a power point. This is how they silence you. If you are like me and do not have a couple of grand to play with these guys… they have shut you down. That is the facts of life.

What I do think important and you should all have the hairs on the back of your neck standing up,  is the obvious lack of transparency of our local City Manager and his ability to spend what ever he feels necessary to keep you the public from seeing inside his cloistered little world of possible criminal activity. It is frightening to realize he can strong arm elected officials from other agencies, and as it would appear, get away with it, with the complete support of the City Attorney.

Tell you the truth…. I do not have to see the power point presentation now….. it was not the Blackmailing that pisses me off, I know it went nowhere, the victim refused to be a victim….. what pisses me off is the cover up… It always seems to be the cover up, doesn’t it?






warnepowerpoint Letter

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  • Published: 2 years ago on December 22, 2012
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  • Last Modified: December 23, 2012 @ 8:05 am
  • Filed Under: 29 Palms, Opinion

About the author

Dan OBrien


Cactus Thorns has been online in one form or the other since 2001. What started as a personal blog documenting the corruption and lack of Due Process of the 29 Palms Community Development Department has turned into over these many years into a hugely popular Independent Alternative News Media Outlet. We have partnered with other media including The Desert Star Weekly, Joshua Tree Star, other blogs, indie media and an incredible staff of volunteer Reporters, Commentators and Opinion Makers to create one of the most read, honest and dependable alternative to the Local traditional Media services in the country. Thanks to you the reader we are in the 5% of most read sites in the World.


  1. Good describing and your input concerning your request. What is their reason for withholding a power point presentation as “classified”? Seems to me there should be nothing about power point that is classified.

    Perhaps this is a good one to dig your heals in with a writ of mandate asking for the court to order the city to release that power point.

    Two day ago, I requested correspondence the water board is sending to the Mayor and Mayor Pro Tem (as opposed to the stealth city manager). The letter as two day ago had not yet been drafted, but the water board will release it when it is sent — as well as the response from the city council.

    As many may recall at the December water board meeting, the Board requested staff to send a letter to the city, inviting them to a conversation or a joint meeting to discuss the future of the fire department, or for the city to state its intentions.

    Time is indeed of the essence since early summer is the dead date safe the fire department — otherwise business, residents, taxpayers and their property will not be safe in 29 Palms with a largely a volunteer one engine company.

    This has nothing to do with Richard Warne, but I’ll bet he’ll stonewall on the request for a meeting just as he has stonewalled Dan’s Request for Public Records.

    What we have at city hall is a phalanx consisting of a city manager, Ratan & Tucker, RGS totally running the show for their own purpose and benefit.

    I just hope three city council member can see clearly and make some necessary changes. It’s all about egos and power and overwhelmingly powerful outside influenced ruining the show for their own benefit.

    The city really needs to clean its house.

  2. LINDAG LINDAG says:

    We all need to get together and expose RSG/City Attorney’s partnership who drag our city councils around by the nose. I went to a meeting where our council member Linda Evans was supposed to speak with the audience, but Frank S/RSG/our new City Manager, (I throw up in my mouth every time I have to say that) came with her and took over the entire meeting…not that I expected anything out of her… it was obvious who was in charge. Together we can make more progress as a group in getting the Attorney General and SCO to take a look at the activities of these Cities. Contact me at lulukazoo@yahoo.com to discuss the same issues we have here in La Quinta. Dan, you and I have talked about this a long time ago, if you recall. I know that Bob Richmond/Elise Richmond would like to talk with you and perhaps have you as a guest on their radio show.

    • @LindaG.”We all need to get together and expose…” is a good start but don’t hold your breath. You will have to put on your layer of thick skin and start out as a solo act. When the sideline critics realize you are not going away, the general public will step up to the plate to support you by contacting you in private, which has been my experience.

      You have tons of material going on in La Quinta and it may seem overwhelming at first. My husband and I have been following La Quinta for several years now and we were really surprised when “The Frankie” showed up. (Our nickname for your City Manager.)

      Some of your comments are material for a 200-300 word story and when you have a few posts, they can be connected with your author link as I do. Cactus Thorns has been around for over 11 years now and as DanO recently pointed out, has a huge following. The “web-crawlers” are pretty active on this blog and link right up there with any Google search.

      I keep a log of my Requests for Public Information and bookmark my research links for reference.

      Welcome aboard!

      • LINDAG LINDAG says:

        I look forward to more mentoring from you and Dan as I educate myself in citizen activism and the social network process. You are right about being a solo act…with a few “closet” supporters who seem afraid to speak out. Dan is so well-informed and I loovvee reading all the posts, especially yours as the people who I have “turned onto” the Cactus Thorn compare me with you…which I take as a compliment..even when it probably is not meant to be, lol.

        That is a good idea to log the Requests for Public Information and I will get more information from you on that…especially since our Mayor characterized my requests as “harassment”.

        I am certain that with Frankie at the helm, there will be a lot more to write about as we watch our sinking ship of La Quinta struggles to stay afloat with the residents “special assessments to come”.

        Happy New Year to all!

  3. LINDAG LINDAG says:

    Being new to this city government stuff, I am muddling my way through the morass, and recently reviewed a “Charter City” vs “General Law City” no-bid/competitive bidding requirement. La Quinta is a Charter City and here is how they are really putting it to the residents of this City. Thank Frank.:


    Not required to comply with bidding statutes provided the city charter or a city ordinance exempts the city from such statutes, and the subject matter of the bid constitutes a municipal affair. Pub. Cont. Code § 1100.7; see R & A Vending Services, Inc. v. City of Los Angeles, 172 Cal. App. 3d 1188 (1985); Howard Contracting, Inc. v. G.A. MacDonald Constr. Co., 71 Cal. App. 4th 38 (1998).

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