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The Wolf of Twentynne Palms

By   /   January 1, 2014  /   Comments Off

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Updated 01-02-2013 @7:19 p.m:

Twentynine Palms, CA – The Wolf of Twentynne Palms is not a major motion picture playing at your local theater. It’s localized true life drama about the manipulators, schemer and money-handlers shaking down taxpayers with absolutely zero benefit to the public or the city.  The damage: A million bucks in attorney fees; a 30 year municipal bond debt; a half million in administrative costs and consulting fees; a 30 million public debt — leaving the city in manifest debt. How long will the public continue to tolerate it?

 

Indeed, The House of Cards collapses as 29 Palms prepares for Court. A. Patrick Munoz, Outside legal advisory to the city,  is knee deep in conflicts of interest, including statutory ethical violations and just plain shoddy, self-serving bad legal advise.

During one Oversight Board public meeting, I put into the record that Munoz’s had conflicts of interest being seated as staff on the Oversight Board, and that Munoz had an ethical situation and statutory breach of professional responsibility by providing the OB with advise and direction. He is also legal counsel to the city and the Successor Agency. You just can’t do that.

Munoz denied that he was advising the Oversight Board, even though he was being paid for legal services by either the city, the Successor Agency, or the OB (one board member responded  that they have their own funds to hire legal council, but the OB chose to keep Munoz). Folks, it’s all on public record. He has and continues to direct and advise the OB. View the city videos.

Munoz breached his attorney/client professional ethics by advising advise clients with competing interests. The record reflects he was indeed advising and directing the OB. Further, Munoz has many other conflicts of interest in his wheeling and dealings feasting on the backs of taxpayers with zero results in connection with the Project Phoenix fiasco and the bond debt.

The sorry fact is that the OB is made of of cronies who are either over their heads, out of their league,  or lack a relevant spine to do their jobs and stand up to the pressures of the city as required by law. The city, the Successor Agency and the OB are of one mind in defiance of the California law.

Going-along-to-get-along  is an disease of epidemic proportion in Morongo Basin politics.

Munoz already has legal authority from council to take the case (city of 29 vs. S.B. County and the State) to appeal. Then the matter could go to CA Supreme Court, and likely being remanded back to the Appellate Court, and the Appellate Court may remand it back to the Sacto Superior Court. This council does not care. It’s not their money.

Taxpayers are looking at another huge chuck in legal fees to support this sort of frivolous litigation. And then there are the administrative costs that already are at about $500,000 that continue to skyrocket. Staff is spinning their wheels when they should be serving the city, taxpayers and residents. Good god,  the city would be better off if middle school students were seated as council members.

The council often can’t even make comprehensible motions, and staff ends up cover for their when writing up the minutes. 

Ranking city staff and this council are incapable, but more likely incompetent, of moving the city forward in a reasonable and prudent manner. All three council members up for reelection (Jay Corbin, Dan Mintz and Jim Harris) should seriously consider their better option of not running again. They have grievously harmed the city enough, and have nothing further to offer but for double speak, misinformation and outright lies (remember their lies in three press released regarding fired Richard Warne — and then gave Warne an unwarranted golden parachute when he was fired). They say one thing and do another. 

Recently Heiser and Mintz were saying one thing and did the opposite on a hot-button community issue. This council has lost their credibility.

The council, Munoz, McCleary are co-conspirators and cronies seated in deck chairs on the Titanic.

Meanwhile, the TPFD and the entire city continues to get stiff-armed when it comes to public safety as the council ferociously spends public safety funds on pet projects that all told do little for residents, property owners and taxpayers.

The solution, dump these council clowns and Munoz in 2014 and initiate a taxpayers suit against the city for wasting public funds.

Opinion and Commentary. Note that the original title was changed from Planet 29 Palms to The Wolf of Twentynine Palms

 

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About the author

Branson Hunter

Senior Corespondent At Large

"The ends do not justify the means." If you use illegal mean to accomplish a legal and even desirable result, the good result does not make the bad means you used justifiable.

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