Torrance Divided by Sounds of “Furey”

Torrance is divided.  Dozens of alarmed residents wrote the Council over the past weeks expressing concern about the Furey’s.  Said one of those individuals, “I am absolutely PO’ed by the conduct of the mayor and his son.  His behavior at City Council meetings in general is completely disgusting and unacceptable for Torrance.”

Furey supporters are “Fureyous” at the perceived attacks on the mayor and his family.

The Mayor made an attempt at calming the storm by “manning up” to use his words and offering an apology at the last council meeting. His comments, however, were quickly undermined by the contents of his son’s resignation letter released to the public the next day which stated in part:

These sad political attacks on the Mayor and my family are embarrassing our City.  Families have always been off limits.  But apparently in the new world – where Trump can call his opponent’s wife fat, or say disparaging things about women and minorities and the disabled – all bets are off.  And now the most extreme elements of our city – people who literally do nothing but complain, make vicious personal attacks about people they don’t even know, and write racist and homophobic blogs – call all the shots. Now they can just move one to attacking my father and leave our family out of it.

A group of Trump supporting racist homophobes have risen up in the community with the sole purpose of destroying the reputation and good works of the Furey family. These people are vicious. They are ambassadors of negativity, represent the extreme elements of our society, and do nothing but complain. The Furey’s are the victims. They are under attack.

At least that is what the Furey’s would have you believe.

And believe it some do. Patrick Furey, Jr’s resignation letter alluded to huge numbers of letters of support written on his behalf. Those letters tallied nearly 30 and echoed many of the same themes proffered by the Furey camp.

In an e-mail with the subject line “Your Loyal Supporters” Judy Brunetti, current Co-President of the Riviera HOA, wrote that:

“I am sorry to hear what is happening to you during council meetings and in the newspaper. It sounds like a witch-hunt, for sure.  I have been cautioning people not to rush to judgment and to wait until all the investigation is done and the results made public.”

 

What’s odd about that comment is that the investigation by the FPPC is already complete. The case is closed and the results are public. These facts were reported extensively in the Daily Breeze, but as Furey supporters have made abundantly clear the local paper is not a source that can be trusted.

Mayor Furey referred to Nick Green as a “mullet” and a “hate monger.”  His supporters echoed those same sentiments. Civil Service Commissioner, Kathryn Endo Roberts, for example commented:

I have been quite dismayed with the constant negative press … and I feel sad that our residents are subjected to this almost daily barrage of negativity.  I feel this constant misreporting of facts is an injustice to our Mayor and his son.

Anil Muhammed, who serves with Patrick Furey on the School Board Personnel Commission wrote:

The irregularity and unfavorable bias towards Mayor Furey and Commissioner Furey undoubtedly creates and fuels anger within the community and should be considered in your overall decision.

Traffic Commissioner Bob Habel opined:

There seems to be some major biases from our local paper and I would hope that the council would ignore what they read in this daily publication.

And Doug Hath, former President of the Torrance Police Officer’s Association (TPOA) said:

The press coverage of these events is slanted from the same direction by a reporter the TPOA has had a standard operating procedure of giving no comment to.

Perhaps the most astounding comments on the issue came from recently retired Fire Chief, William Racowschi, who penned a three page letter.  In that letter he alluded to an “undercurrent” of political discontent, which he believes is being fueled by a “misinformed and misguided local media effort.”

He then presented a lengthy defense against accusations that “senior fire department staff” colluded to award the 2014 ambulance contract to McCormick.  In that defense, he made some startling allegations including:

  • The 2011 RFP process and award was turned into a sham by Mayor Scotto and the previous Council when the Council rejected the findings/recommendation of TFD and awarded the contract to Gerber based on loose promises to “do better” made to Mayor Scotto by Mr. Gerber himself.
  • Between 2011 and 2014 dozens of documented complaints against Gerber were swept aside by the Council.
  • The Daily Breeze has someone providing “just enough” information to sound plausible. The rest is filled with opinion, speculation, and innuendo.

In the letter Racowschi also inferred he had no knowledge of the Furey PAC despite its existence being a major issue in the 2014 election by stating “that there was a PAC set up to do whatever the media alleges it did was news to me and senior fire staff.”  He then urged the Council to “ignore ALL the negativity and the bad press,” and to judge the Mayor and his son “on their records of service to the Torrance Community and not on what amounts to political pay back by former Councilmembers/candidates and their hacks.”

Who can we trust?  Who is telling the truth?

Mayor Furey says it’s him.

DB correction

DB correction

In his comments, Furey said, “I would submit to everybody here that if you have been attacked with misstatements and out and out lies and hateful statements that you get angry.”

He also referred to a retraction printed by the Daily Breeze and offered that as evidence that he’s been telling the truth.

Is that evidence convincing?  Should we trust him now?

He closed his comments by stating:

“I’m not liable for half of that [the fine], I’ve not paid a penny of it.  They [McCormick] thought they had messed up.  They hired the wrong consultant and they manned up and so I’m manning up.  I’m sorry for any of the rants…”

“I really hope that we can all just get along and move the city forward. We have so many exciting things that we are doing.”

“One of my colleagues said we stopped kicking the can down the road, we’re kicking butt.”

“Let’s all have a chance to do that.  Have some decorum here. Bring it back to a peaceful atmosphere.  I’m certainly willing to do that.”

Furey did not pay the fine. His son still serves on the School Board Personnel Commission. He wants us to forget about this whole thing and move forward.

Should we?

23 comments

  • Anonymous

    Not no but he’ll no!

  • Anonymous

    This proves that half the city and half of council can’t read and understand 8th grade english!.

  • Anonymous

    You are still going on about this? Don’t you have a job or a life? And when are you going to start actually volunteering in the city and doing something positive instead of sitting on your ass whining on a blog? Talk about couch potato activism. I await the day you, Clint Paulson, actually donate one moment of your life to make Torrance a better place to live. But people with disabilities like your generally can’t concentrate long enough to actually give back to an organization without jumping around to living in delusions of grandeur.

    • Anonymous

      While I’m sure Mr Paulson will want to defend himself, you have no idea how he or his family volunteer. And Jr go find something more ethical and better to do then to go after Clint. If I were yiy, you should thank him for keeping our city officials ethical. Look it up I doubt you know what it means.

      • Liberals love to declare themselves the judge and jury even when they don’t know any of the facts.

      • Anonymous

        All the citizens somehow have to volunteer their time to the city to be considered worthy citizens. But city employees will get time and half and double time on weekend and holidays for 1 minute over their regular work day. Volunteering doesn’t mean I’m the best person for the job, just means I have nothing better to do.

    • Anonymous

      Mr. Furey’s resignation letter is startling. He sent it at 6:42PM, 18 minutes before the start of the council meeting! Not only that, the city council was in closed secession until at least 7:00PM and probably would not have seen it. Why did the Furey’s drag the city through all of this when Jr. could have done the same thing a month ago. When will he wake up, or should I say grow up and take responsibility for his actions. I guess he takes his lead from his father.

      In the emails between the city council members and Torrance citizens, Mrs. Ashcraft made a good point to one of the email senders when she pointed out that this wasn’t Jr’s first run in with the FPPC. He was fined for a mailer representing itself as from the PTA. I’m sure that most of us have forgotten that gem featuring his dad. Remember Sr. said at the time that he had nothing to do with that as well.

      Also in one of the emails it was pointed out that Sr. had served admirably as a “child abuse prosecutor”. A deputy county counsel is not a prosecutor. That miss-statement must have just been a little oversight.

      I guess the Furey’s just like to live on the edge of truthfulness.

      Susan Hughes

    • Linda Gottshall-Sayed

      YOU are anonymous … and therefore lack credibility. You hide your face and identity so you can surf the internet to hurl insults at Clint Paulson. I was disgusted when I read this. What about this website and all the research he does to get the stories important to Torrance citizens on this blog for discussion? Isn’t that a public service? Clint Paulson IS SERVING TORRANCE by offering this discussion blog … and it’s obvious to me you are bias. I say that because Clint himself has never said anything derogatory about any public official or employee. He summarizes stories in a condensed fashion to make it easier for the reader to digest the relevant information quickly. And … what is your contribution? To call Clint Paulson a couch potato! Well … where were you sitting when you typed this? And …. where to you usually sit when you surf the internet to gather data for your “report”?

  • Anonymous

    If the mayor can’t stand a little heat, then he should get out of the kitchen. The city is getting two million, five hundred thousand from the AQMD for polluting our atmosphere in the Exxon startup. What are they spending it on? Proposed: solar panels for city hall, electric vehicles, and everything green. Now, I am in favor of green, but how about finishing the parking signs for street sweeping, and fixing some of our disgraceful streets with so many patches that they look like a patchwork quilt. Spending on non-priority items such as a fireworks display, a $20,000 raise for the city attorney who already is making one of the highest salaries of any city attorney in the state, etc. Get your priorities in order.

  • Mike Moran

    Junior, the fact that you still defend yourself and your father is astounding. Your resignation letter is so Clintonesqe, blaming some “conspiracy” that exists only in your mind.

    Guess it depends on what the definition of “illegal” is?

    We’re pissed because we demand clean local government. Your “wink, wink” emails regarding the billboard are public record. Also, let’s add the fact that you created a fake Facebook identity and tore all your snotty comments down when you were caught.

    And finally (for now), get off your damn self-built pedestal. Clint donates his time to the community, I personally have volunteered well over 30,000 hours to kids in PTA and sports.

    You don’t even have the balls to sign your name.

  • Dare tell the Truth

    Lets not forget the Torrance Personnel Commission….Of the Three Commission Seats…the Labor Union has one Appointment. Lets look at that Unions last three appointments for te Seat…..Senior First…Yes Senior…then…Gene Drevno and then Marica Cribbs…When her term was up Marcia asked in public for reappointment but the Union said No…and appointed Jr instead…why? and Jr…interesting pattern might say…interesting pattern one may say……could there be a ‘conflict’ of interest?..decide yourself…..Note that the Commissioners get the same benefit package the Elected Board Members receive…..sounds like another Torrance Truth.com investigation…headline..

  • Mike Moran

    Here’s another fine mess. Yuck.

  • Gentleman Dan

    oh my the Torrance Personnel Commission according to the web site meets once a month.
    and full executive benefits. Can I apply soon?

  • Cool Breeze

    the writer should get it straight. The Torrance Unified School District Personnel Commission is part of the school district. It is not a volunteer position based on the appointment process and benefit package
    Oh my could the same Commission that many of the Voters of Torrance tried to abolish to save money in a previous election. Wonder what the voters would say Now?

  • Mike Moran

    Ok, then it’s a grossly overpaid position by benefits alone, and since taxes are used to pay for those fantastic benefits, the taxpayers should have some say about who is on the commission.

    I love all these people who hide their actual identities.

  • Mike Moran

    Mistyped above. “3,000” hours. Sorry.

  • Linda Gottshall-Sayed

    My reply to the question of whether, at this time, we should just “drop” the significant ethical violations by the Mayor because he “apologized” …. (actually …. it didn’t sound like a heartfelt apology) for his behavior at the City Council meeting in April is a RESOUNDING NO!!! He hasn’t apologized for taking $35,000 from McCormick and then …. after he was elected decided to participate in the vote to give them the contract (a 4-3 vote). Come on …. really? Even a casual observer would question that conduct and now, the FAIR Political Practices Commission has CONCLUDED that McCormick and Mayor Furey’s campaign broke the law …. and fined our fine mayor and Mr. Roesch of McCormick $35,000.00. If Mr. Furey thinks this issue is done, he will be in for a rude awakening in 2018 if he chooses to run for re-election.

    • iratetaxpayer

      Do we have to wait for 2018? Or is it b/c our citizens will not put the needed pressure on the City Council to effect change NOW?

      • Linda Gottshall-Sayed

        Hello iratetaxpayer! are you still angry! I hope so … So let’s do something about it! Elections are coming up in 9 months! Let’s replace our Mayor with candidate Brewer and 2 council members (Weideman and Goodrich). They’re done! Let’s get 2 good replacements in there to balance the rational council members so some good can be done on this council!

    • Anonymous

      And got McCormick to pay for his part of the fine!!! Corrupt to the bone!

  • Linda Gottshall-Sayed

    And …. may I note the following observersation: Councilman Weideman had no problem in “scolding” RESIDENTS who were vocal during the first section of orals as the Mayor’s “orchestra” continued to speak. While I do not condone any of the “boos” or other sounds I heard from the back of the room …. I noticed he said NOTHING to the elected official to his left for his rants and raves at the preceding meeting. I wonder why Weideman said NOTHING ABOUT MAYOR FUREY’S temper tantrum. DOESN’T OUR MAYOR’s COUNCIL CONDUCT lay the framework for “acceptable” conduct by the residents?

  • With you 100% Linda. First, Weideman’s “invocation” was nothing of the sort; it was a verbal “cease and desist” to the residents, which takes an awful lot of hutzpa. How dare he tell us, as Furey did in his rant, to shut up. This council, with only two exceptions (and only one reliably), is full of the mayor’s lackeys. If it had not been for the residents putting heavy pressure on them, Jr. would not have stepped down.

    Furey’s “apology” was a joke and I doubt he meant any of it; he, Jr., and the majority of the council really see nothing wrong with the whole illegal debacle, as evidenced by both their behavior in general and the refusal to take bids for a new ambulance services contract.

    McCormick ADMITTED they were looking for a way around the $1000 donation limit. An ounce of common sense says that advice given to circumvent that might be skirting the intention if not the letter of the law; regardless, ignorance of the law (yeah, right) is not an excuse.

    Then Furey mentioned he didn’t pay any of the fine leveled by the FPPC; McCormick paid it because they “felt bad”. Was that before or after the RFP was rejected by the council?

    Furey’s filings show that in April (ish) 2014 he decided against spending the money on a billboard. Then abracadabra, a month later someone else paid for it, “if you know what I mean” in the words of Jr. But there was NO collusion.

    Really, how stupid do they think we are?!

    Lastly (for now- dammit I’m furious all over again), as much as Furey and his supporters try to make this into some political witch hunt, it just ain’t so. This is about ethics and illegal behavior. The ONLY ones saying this is political are Furey & Co. NOT ONE of the many people I’ve discussed this with has mentioned left/right/dem/rep/liberal/conservative.

    Dense? Naa. Typical Clintonesque diversion.

  • Anonymous

    Torrance continues to bleed cash under this corrupt Mayor Furey and ineffective City Council. Public empoyee unions, city management, and our elected officials are draining cash at an alarming pace, and the pension benefits are piling up even faster. Torrance is effectively bankrupt when you look at the long term liability that has accumulated under the current corrupt regime of Torrance “insiders”. Meanwhile the City continues to look like crap, and businesses are running away due to excessive licensing and permit fees being pushed down on the people by corrupt officials.

Leave a Reply