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Gadfly Saves Citizens $35,000

An article in today's Half Moon Bay Review credits John Charles Ullom's efforts in the retro of 35,000 dollars from a vendor "The Well Connected Office". The article sights a Thank you letter written to Mr Ullom by Glen Lazof, the Interim General Manager of the Harbor District.

In the article Ullom shared the credit with David Eblovi and Harbor Commissioner Sabrina Brennan. Brennan, unfortunately, was subjected to verbal abuse by Commissioner Bernardo for this investigation. Watch and listen to his tirade. Web Link

Perhaps there should be more people, including The Review "Pestering " our government.


Congratulations John! And, a big thank you for videotaping meetings!

Thank You John, Dan, and David.

Public Corruption

The Costs of Public Corruption – And The Need for the Public to Fight Back

by Patrick Fitzgerald

Former U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois

Patrick Fitzgerald, Former U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of IllinoisVigorous prosecution of public corruption has always been vital to our country. Public corruption takes a heavy toll on our communities. Corruption gives unfair advantages to those willing to break the law: public officials, their relatives and friends, and those who willingly pay bribes to gain public contracts and other government actions. But there are many victims: both those who are shaken down for bribes and kickbacks, and the members of the general public, who pay for corruption through inflated costs and loss of faith in government.With tightening budgets throughout all levels of government, vigorous enforcement is even more important than ever.

The residents of the Northern District of Illinois in particular have suffered many consequences as a result of generations of corrupt state and local government officials. Illinois roads were made more dangerous when state employees issued drivers licenses to truck drivers in exchange for bribes, intended to finance campaign contributions to former Gov. George Ryan’s political warchest. Some of the unqualified truck drivers given licenses as a result of that corrupt scheme caused serious accidents, the most horrific resulting in the death of six children whose family van exploded when it ran over a piece of equipment that fell off a truck driven by a bribe-paying driver.

There are also financial consequences to corruption. Millions of taxpayer dollars are paid out on contracts and other government benefits steered by public officials to insiders who, in turn, shower financial benefits on those public officials and their associates. Recently, Chicago taxpayers saw hundreds of thousands of city dollars funneled to sham minority-owned trucking companies under a program that served to enrich city workers with kickbacks.

Corruption can also change the face of a community. Over and over, for several decades, some Chicago aldermen have given away public benefits, like zoning rights and city-owned land, to real estate developers who, in turn, have lined the aldermen’s pockets and campaign purses.

Undoubtedly the most harmful consequence of endemic public corruption in a community is the apathy that it engenders – the culture of acceptance. Over many years of seeing corruption in almost every facet of government, many residents of a community begin to simply accept corruption as the immutable status quo. They come to assume government is broken and ineffective and destined to function corruptly. The consequences of this culture of acceptance in a community are many. Some residents simply disengage from the political process and no longer trust their government to function well or in their interest. Other residents may come to believe they must engage in corruption in order to gain government benefits themselves. Still others will begin to look the other way when they witness corrupt transactions. And honest folks are discouraged from entering politics or suffer from the skepticism engendered by others’ misdeeds.

The culture of acceptance makes it very difficult to detect, investigate and prosecute corruption. Although there are a variety of federal statutes that we use to prosecute corruption, including fraud, bribery and extortion statutes, as well as RICO, prosecutions cannot be successful without truthful witnesses and willing cooperators. Because voluntary assistance from the public in corruption cases is often hard to come by, we use many investigative techniques that assist us in gathering evidence and requiring cooperation, such as the use of grand jury subpoenas, grants of immunity, consensual recordings, and wiretaps. Using a wide range of these tools to vigorously investigate corruption can lead to convictions of corrupt officials once thought to be above the law, which, more effectively than anything else, demonstrates that the public need not accept corruption. Successful prosecutions that show that no one is beyond the reach of corruption statutes serve to encourage, empower and mobilize members of the public to work to change the culture of acceptance. We are grateful in the Northern District of Illinois that juries time and time again have rejected the argument that corruption is acceptable because it is the “Chicago way.”

In addition to the need for effective prosecutions, federal prosecutors must engage in community outreach to ensure that all residents of a community know that they can have a voice in stopping corruption and that they need not accept corruption in any degree—at any level of government. In the Northern District of Illinois, we try to send the message as often as we can that community involvement is critical in rooting out corruption. We regularly communicate that residents must take an active role in their government so that it properly functions for them. We also emphasize that the vigorous efforts of law enforcement should not be used as a rationale for the community to stay silent. The public’s refusal to accept corruption is the first line of defense in the fight against it.

While corruption will never be eliminated from our communities, vigorous investigation and prosecution of corrupt officials can serve to reduce its harmful effects and, most importantly, greatly diminish the culture of acceptance.

Updated July 8, 2015

From the article cited by Mr. Stoner

"In the Northern District of Illinois, we try to send the message as often as we can that community involvement is critical in rooting out corruption"

Whether it be Northern Illinois, Southern California, or Half Moon Bay it is the truth.

"Politicians don't do what you expect but what you inspect."

I just noticed that I had neglected to attach a copy of the letter. Here it is

Web Link

well, this is the result of paying attention for about 1 year straight, 35k good job-

usually there is an award for savings such as these,

like new camera hardware, a free tour of the inner workings, you know... somthin'


Mayor K better remember the year it was coming-if the park is any indication,

bmthotb has him in his hip pocket...

Patrick Fitzgerald pursued a prosecution against Scooty Libby despite learning on the first or second day of the investigation that Richard Armitage, Deputy Secretary of State, was the source that "outed" Valerie Plame.

All while Colin Powell sat on his hands to let injustice prevail.

Wow, is that why "Scooty" was convicted of four felonies and disbarred? Fitzgerald must be a pretty powerful dude to convince two juries and a Bush-appointed judge to nail old Scooty even though he was innocent... and even convince the President not to pardon him. What a conspiracy that was!

And it's amazing how Gualalan conservatives cheer for lying, sleazeball criminals who betray their oath and their position... but hey, even the highest-ranking White House official to be convicted of crimes since Watergate needs a fanboy.

He was convicted of perjury and obstruction of justice related to leaking the accusation of leaking Valerie Plame's name to a reporter, which Fitzgerald knew from Day 1 that he didn't do. He know it was Richard Armitage all along.

People that support such prosecutions may as well support a Soviet bloc-style police state.

Talk about "stealing the thread"!!!!!

Why is a discussion of Scooter Libbey appropriate for this thread?

Please stay on topic. Thank you

1 Flag for our friend Mike up in Moss Beach. Too much invective.

Whether Libby was the first Plame "leaker" or not is irrelevant. Haldeman, Ehrlichman, Mitchell and Dean weren't the Watergate burglars. They went to prison for lying and conspiracy.

Libby lied to the FBI about what he knew. He lied to a grand jury about what he knew. Those are felonies.

All he had to do to obey the law was tell the truth. He deliberately chose to lie... repeatedly... knowing he was committing felonies by doing so. His guilt was proven beyond a shadow of a doubt.

He is a criminal. Period. And no namby-pamby, convict-coddling excuses can change that fact.

Me, I think Patrick Fitzgerald and Reggie Walton and Colin Powell are great Americans. (If Judge Walton was a GOP presidential candidate instead of Clueless Carson, he'd win.) But hey, if your idea of a patriot is Cheney's cowardly caddy, go for it.

OK, Boney, guilty as charged. I just couldn't resist.

BB, at the core of the topic is the disturbing problem of government official corruption; people like DAs misusing their office to various ends.

This is what the deputy is suing over and other examples of that have simply come out here. But you're right, people should try to tie their comments in directly enough for everyone to see the connection and not let the new example overwhelm the original post.

And I just realized I was thinking more about the deputy Lopez case after Mr Stogners post than the Harbor Commission.

^^^ Libby lied to the FBI about what he knew. He lied to a grand jury about what he knew. Those are felonies. ^^^

He lied to the FBI well after that they knew the real "leaker" was Richard Armitage.

It's just this type of politically-motivated prosecution that keeps qualified people from serving. It's just this type of nonsense that the "governed class" is sick and tired of from the "governing class."

Commissioner Bernardo and Commissioner David have both publicly denigrated Commissioner Brennan for daring to question the Harbor District's misuse of funds and creative accounting.

Sadly others, including Supervisor Horsley, piled on Brennan and accused her of "overreaching her authority" because she strongly opposed a motion made by Commissioner David to approve spending more money on the contractor who sold the Harbor District multiple servers and firewalls but failed to delivered the hardware.

Sadly some of our elected reps prefer to shoot the messenger over confronting fraud. Thankfully local activists stepped in to help.

Since Libby came up I wonder if we can talk about the summit in Israel between the incoming fix and the rest of the world, you remember?

When Dicky Cheney shot his friend in the face, flew an armed nuclear warhead over US airspace, and which bigwig lost his job again? Some air force generalissimo IIRC

Wolfowits and rummy weren't up to the task,

they had no need for opposition, so they all started a "you're with us or against us" mentality that went to the very core of who they were and always maintained to be...

No one lied, they clearly told us they were going to invade and invade they did.

When it didn't work out the way they were hoping,

they panicked and started acting like the recalled young one, and all at the same time maintaining if it weren't for us Iraq would be destroyed in internal strife.

Now that approx 4 million are dead we still maintain we know.

And FD is ready to reargue the case.

Hey FD

I never meant this as much as I do now;

your idea and other's like you got our world into more trouble not less.

You and the so called conservative movement have all but ruined our name in the world as acting with integrity and honor.

Scooter Libby?


who cares?

So called "conservatives" in their minions are my aim now.

Taxed enough already?

I'm so sick of hearing your ilks whining of how you'll make it different as schools and public benefits are privatized.

Put a dollar sign in front of everything.

People will sell their souls...

Just wanted to add my thank you to John, David and Sabrina. I will stay out of the Scooter Libby debate. Thanks, Terri

^^^ I will stay out of the Scooter Libby debate. ^^^

That's probably wise, butt ... it was a debate about overzealous US Attorneys pursuing charges against individuals they knew to be innocent of the crime they were investigating.

At least that's what me and my "ilks" thinks about the matter.

Here is the article from the Review "Harbor District thanks persistent critic"

Web Link

I just want to go on record and say that this one is all John. My part was about thirty minutes long and ended months ago- so just share your thanks and appreciation with John- he's the one who has earned them!!



The Ullom's frequently annoy me (they say that's why Socrates was killed), but I have to tip the hat to JCU for digging in and producing results. Thank you, John.

Thanks JCU!! Where would we be without our community activists?

I think JCU has earned passage back to Talk About. John is a great investigative reporter.

+1 to Seal's proposal for three reasons: 1) He has proven himself with reasonable front page posts; 2) The mess with the tea scalding is over; 3) We have a new start with a new format.

Next order of business-- I move that Talkabout and the Review permanently remove two words from the lexicon:

"Gadfly" and "kerfuffle."

Do I hear a second?


I second that motion :)

^^^The Ullom's frequently annoy me (they say that's why Socrates was killed) ^^^

I had no idea you were that old.

Gadfly: Definition: an annoying person, especially one who provokes others into action by criticism.

Is there any word that more accurately describes the actions of John Charles Ullom?

He even annoys his friends and supporters and he certainly provokes action.

Gadfly must remain a "Talkabout Term"

Kerfuffle must go!!!!

^^^ Kerfuffle must go!!!! ^^^

The word itself, or the incessant settling of scores?

Besides, when was the last time "kerfuffle" was used in a thread on TA?

I have never used Kerfuffle in a sentence. However, I may need it for a crossword puzzle someday.

"I have never used Kerfuffle in a sentence"

Seal, you have now used the word Kerfuffle in a sentence. Congratulations!!!

You are right, BB.

I was at Jersey Joe's this evening having the bacon cheesesteak and heard that JCU was up to his elbows in alligators over some new developments.

I'd rather be up to my elbows in that bacon cheesesteak!

To paraphrase Teddy Roosevelt's comment about Somoza, "Ullom may be a SOB, but he is our SOB"

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