Friday's Headlines & Surprises: Stale Marijuana?
- Doesn't marijuana go stale? I dunno, but Jim Spray, 51, and Felix Cha (the person, not the tea), 22, want the government to return the pot police officers confiscated two years ago, according to Christine Hanley at the Times. Lawyers for both men told the Santa Ana-based Court of Appeal yesterday the narcotic was legally possessed for medicinal reasons. In separate cases, judges have previously tossed out their arrests but bureaucrats in the cities of Garden Grove and Huntington Beach refuse to return the pot. With Hanley watching, Magdalena Lona-Wiant--Garden Grove's attorney--argued that although the Compassionate Use Act allows patients to smoke the drug, it doesn't necessarily mean that lawmakers intended for patients to have “property rights” to it. Uh-huh. Just give the crap back, bitch.
- Aiding and Abetting: On the same day that the Orange County DA's office announced it had obtained a 10-year prison sentence for identity thief Michael Alexander Hartsell, the state government apologized for printing social security numbers on brochures it mailed this week to more than 445,000 retired state employees. Officials at California Public Employee's Retirement System (CalPERS) tried to downplay their boneheaded mistake by claiming “it is unlikely that someone would recognize the series of numbers as being a Social Security number except our members.” Right.
- Yes, Chriss. That's Dionne Warwick you heard: Until recently, Supervisor John Moorlach stood by his man, county Treasurer-Tax Collector Chriss Street, even as embarrassing ethical blunders mounted. Peggy Lowe, who has owned this saga, reports this morning that Moorlach finally crossed the Street by claiming his longtime pal “may have used a falsified document to cover up an improper award process on a contract to a private company.” (If you aren't aware of this guy's questionable financial activities at this point, shame on you. Suffice to say: the U.S. Justice Department is investigating.) The powerful supe--who hired Street when he was treasurer--now agrees with the rest of the civilized world that Street has no business running the county's $7 billion investment portfolio. Moorlach told Lowe at the Reg that Street refused to resign during a private meeting. The board of supes may now initiate action to suspend the treasurer's powers. It wasn't too long ago that I imagined Moorlach singing to his pal, “Keep smilin', keep shinin'. Knowin' you can always count on me, for sure. That's what friends are for. For good times and bad times, I'll be on your side forever more. That's what friends are for.”
- I'm betting Dillow's nipples are erect this morning: When I read stories about men in uniform taking stern action, I know that across town Gordon Dillow has quietly locked the door and lowered the blinds. Reporter Tony Perry of the Times reports today that a San Diego Marine drill instructor was charged yesterday with 110 incidents of assaulting recruits. The only description Perry offered was “cruelty,” and so I was forced to look elsewhere for the entire story. Hey, thanks Rick Rogers at the San Diego Union Tribune! Rogers reports that Sgt. Jerrod Glass is accused of “244 counts of abusing recruits in what could be the worst case of such maltreatment in modern Marine Corps history.” The military claims Glass struck almost every member of his 60-man platoon “during a month-long rampage early this year” and other abuses that “resemble fraternity pranks,” according to Rogers. Can someone at the Reg get Bootlicker a napkin?
- Channelling Barney Fife: City officials in Laguna Beach are hailing their successes from the past year and they include hiring a private company to process its lucrative parking meter violations business. Apparently, the two city employees who were paid to process the fines weren't collecting as much as the city wanted. Okay, so far so good. Police Chief Michael F. Sellers had whipped out his pencil, grabbed a notebook and licked his thumb. Let's see. Carry the two. Minus the six. Anyhow, Sellers calculated that a private company would process each ticket for $2.16 while it costs the city $2.46 per ticket using two city employees part-time. Still fine. City council members even bought it. The deal was signed. But Sellers made a move that qualifies him for The Government Bureaucrat Hall of Fame: He privatized and then kept both city employees on the public dole. See Mike, the cost now is $4.62 per ticket.