Steve Rocco Files Ketchup Heist Appeal But Judge Can't Decipher Rambling Document

Rocco: The "county" murdered my mother!
Former, bizarre Orange Unified School District Board member Steve Rocco, who was sentenced in 2009 to two years of probation for stealing ketchup from a college cafeteria and then unsuccessfully fleeing on a bicycle, apparently wants his conviction overturned.

I say apparently because late last month Rocco filed papers at Orange County's Ronald Reagan Federal Courthouse and it's so difficult to decipher both visually and intellectually that the massive document prompted a judge to rejected it as non-compliant with filing rules for federal lawsuits.

Rocco, who is living in Santa Ana, used a manual typewriter and then submitted barely readable fourth or fifth generation copy machine replicas of his complaints that his conviction was a "miscarriage of justice" and, because of an alleged widespread conspiracy to frame him, he is owed a new trial.

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Rocco, Rocking the Vote, Rips Up Janet Nguyen Campaign Sign?

Categories: Rocco Loco
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Steve Rocco, the perennial political candidate who previously served as a trustee of the Orange Unified School District, wants you to vote for him today in his race to unseat Janet Nguyen, the incumbent county supervisor from Orange County's first district. The beanie-and-sunglasses-wearing "retired educator," who unverifiably worked a day or two as a substitute camp counselor a few decades ago, wants you to vote for him so bad that he (or his ketchup-stealing doppelganger) ripped up a Nguyen campaign sign at about 8:30 Sunday morning at the intersection of Washington Ave. and Broadway St. in Santa Ana

At least that's what one witness---anonymous but unquestionably reliable--alleges he saw. Of course, the source could very easily be someone working on the payroll of the Partnership, the secret cabal made up of Albertsons Supermarket, Smokecraft Sausage and Kodak Film, which controls Orange County politics and has repeatedly sought to kill Rocco and frame him for shoplifting.

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Steve Rocco, Ex-Educator, Andy Kaufman Reincarnator and Ketchup Thief, Now Running For OC Supervisor!

Categories: Rocco Loco
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It'll take more than a lifetime of failed election bids (not including one wildly successful, from a comedic point of view, tenure as a school trustee), and repeated arrests for shoplifting to stop Steve Rocco.

On March 8, one day after Janet Nguyen filed her own declaration of candidacy for a second term as Orange County's first-district supervisor, so did Rocco. Describing himself as a politically unaffiliated "retired educator," Rocco is so far the only candidate other than Nguyen herself to join the race.

Let the batshit-loco insanity begin!

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[UPDATED with Denial:] NO New Trial for Steve Rocco, Ex-Orange School Trustee, in Ketchup Heist

Categories: Rocco Loco
UPDATE, AUG. 8, 8:38 A.M.: Game, set and match, The Partnership?

Steve Rocco lost his bid for retrial of his ketchup theft conviction Friday when Judge Jacki Brown refused the ex-Orange Unified School Board trustee's request for court-appointed counsel and, thus, a continuation of the nonsense.

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Positions Trimmed, Reductions Remain in 2010-2011 Orange County Budget

Categories: Rocco Loco
Joking with a county official earlier today, the notion "that's why you make the big bucks" was thrown out.

"Not so much," replied the bureaucrat, now serious. "We just found out they are extending our 5 percent pay cuts."

"They" would be the Orange County Board of Supervisors, which in adopting a $5.5 billion 2010-2011 fiscal budget extended through mid-December a resolution that keeps those 5 percent manager salary reductions in play.

It's enough to almost feel sorry for them.

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Poizner Gets Rohrabacher Nod, Prepares to Debate Whitman in Costa Mesa

Fresh off his endorsement from the hard-right California Republican Assembly meeting in Buena Park over the weekend, GOP gubernatorial nomination seeker Steve Poizner will further solidify his credential cred by announcing today that he's been endorsed by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-The Stone Age).

Guess those ads implying The Poiz is an Al Gore/Nancy Pelosi/Big Gubment lover are not working for Republican establishment candidate Meg Whitman--at least among CRA voters.

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Rocco Returns! Partnership Fails to Silence Ketchup Thief

Categories: Rocco Loco
Steve Rocco, the former Orange Unified School District trustee with a penchant for wearing dark sunglasses and black beanies to board meetings where he ranted and raved about conspiracy theories involving Kodak film, smoked sausages and supermarkets, is back in business.

What business, you ask? Making a joke out of OC politics? Giving political scientist and election expert Fred Smoller a heart attack? Stealing half-empty, unrefrigerated bottles of ketchup from the Chapman University cafeteria? No, the correct answer is he's running for Public Administrator of Orange County--the person who decides what to do with people who die and have assets that aren't claimed by family members.

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Outdoor Marijuana Eradication Called "Costly," "Futile"

Categories: Rocco Loco

A sheriff's helicopter was chugging over Cleveland National Forest, about 15 miles off Ortega Highway, three years and one month ago when the pilot spotted a vast marijuana field. Deputies on the ground later confirmed--and cut down--about 1,000 young plants that had been thriving thanks to an elaborate irrigation system. You'd imagine the men and women in  uniform hoisted a few of their favorite legal consumables that night to celebrate a job well done.

But with cannabis legalization efforts picking up steam--hell, even the old coots who still refer to it as "pot" (as does a certain gray Weekly blogger) say they want it--the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) charges today that outdoor eradication efforts are "costly" and "futile."

"Law enforcement officers point to a 2,000 percent increase in plants seized in the past decade and hold that as a sign of success," says Aaron Smith, MPP's California policy director. "But these efforts have had no effect on the widespread prevalence of marijuana in our society. Just like the days of alcohol prohibition, we have ceded control of a popular product to criminals--making them rich in the process."

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Rocco Sentenced in College Ketchup Heist

Categories: Rocco Loco
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Rocco reads.
The Partnership scored yet another victory today when Judge Jacki Brown of the Quentin Tarantino Justice Center sentenced former Orange school trustee Steve Rocco to two years of probation for his September 2008 theft of a non-refrigerated, half-empty bottle of ketchup at a Chapman University cafeteria. The spectacular arrest was Rocco's second run-in with the Partnership--the cabal made up of Albertsons, Kodak Corp. and Smokecraft Sausage that secretly controls Orange County government. The first was in 1980 when he was arrested for shoplifting several rolls of Kodak film and a sausage at a Santa Ana Albertsons supermarket.

The harsh sentence--which will prevent Rocco from picking up his favorite periodical, the campus newspaper The Panther, marks the end of Rocco's epically stupid trial for petty theft which began in April. In that trial, Rocco issued subpoenas to dozens of alleged witnesses to the event, including this writer, and submitted a rambling, typewritten brief that, among other things, asserted he was recycling the bottle, hypothesized that unrefrigerated ketchup is worthless and stipulated he has never used any condiments whatsoever.

As was revealed during the trial, Rocco was on campus that day trying to meet with Fred Smoller, a political science professor who produced a documentary critical of Rocco. Rocco subpoenaed Smoller to testify on his behalf, but he never called him to the stand. After a jury convicted Rocco of the theft, Rocco and his mysterious sidekick Evan Harris held a press conference to announce that Smoller had stashed two bottles of ketchup in his mailbox and, more ominously, Harris had overheard Smoller arranging to assassinate Rocco during a meeting with Chapman University president Jim Doti at the very cafeteria where Rocco allegedly purloined the ketchup bottle.

Earlier this month, Rocco sought to convince a judge to issue a restraining order against Smoller, who yet again had to take a break from his teaching to defend himself against his nemesis. "It was insane," Smoller recalls. "Evan Harris....took the stand and said he overheard Jim Doti and me plotting to kill Rocco while eating lunch at Argyros Forum. He also said I keep calling Rocco's  house, even though the phone number is unlisted, emailing Rocco, though he has no email, and visiting his home."

After Smoller explained that he hasn't eaten lunch with Doti in 27 years, the judge refused to grant the restraining order. However, as Smoller points out, all Rocco has to do is file another request for a restraining order and the whole process will start again, although perhaps the fact that Rocco has now been restrained from visiting Smoller on campus may diminish the likelihood of that happening. But then that would mean that logic had somehow infiltrated itself into this ridiculous saga. I, for one, am willing to bet that this particular Rocco Horror Picture Show won't be winding down anytime soon.

Rocco Convicted in Ketchup Heist: OC Condiments Declared Safe!

Photo by Christopher Victorio
Steve Rocco gets ready to face the music.
After a three-day trial, a jury today convicted former Orange School trustee Steve Rocco of stealing a half-empty bottle of Heinz ketchup from a Chapman University cafeteria last September. Their harsh verdict brought a momentous, if perhaps tragic or comical end to a gloriously stupid trial newsworthy only for its sheer craziness.

A few highlights, in no particular order:

*During voire dire, public defender Erica Gambale asked prospective jurors whether they'd be distracted by the strange, napkin-sized bandage on Rocco's head. Several jurors raised their hands. Later, during prosecutor Lynda Fernandez' cross-examination of Rocco, she repeatedly asked him if he'd "be comfortable" telling the jury why he has a bandage on his head. "No, I wouldn't," Rocco replied. Fernandez also made Rocco stammer with visible nervousness when she asked him to say when he'd been a substitute teacher. (Rocco won his 2004 election to the Orange school board by claiming to be a substitute teacher) He couldn't remember where or when he'd taught. "It was a long time ago," he finally said. More »