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FBI has its eye on Atherton

Original post made on Feb 10, 2011

The FBI is interviewing Atherton residents and others about town matters, according to a former employee who said he was interviewed recently.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, February 10, 2011, 4:21 PM

Comments (92)

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Posted by Bob
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Feb 10, 2011 at 5:16 pm

"Discretion is the better part of valor" -- if you weren't supposed to talk about it, how did the Almanac find out about it?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Close reader
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Feb 10, 2011 at 5:41 pm

Bob, I don't understand your comment. The story says Johns was NOT told he shouldn't talk about it.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Job security
a resident of Atherton: Lloyden Park
on Feb 10, 2011 at 6:04 pm

You know what, Renee, if you ever need another job, I'm sure the National Enquirer has a spot for you. When is this going to end? Pete Peterson has been called in as an outside, neutral and independent investigator to get to the bottom of any matters with people who have been aggrieved over being arrested and the police department. His studies have conclusively proven no wrongdoing on the part of three Atherton Police Officers with respect to Buckheit. Case closed.


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Posted by POGO
a resident of Woodside: other
on Feb 10, 2011 at 6:24 pm

If I were the Atherton police, I'd be very concerned. The FBI, especially the San Francisco office, has a habit of investigating local police departments, especially those who so sloppily cover up wrong doing.

Web Link


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Feb 10, 2011 at 6:51 pm

Job security:

calling Peterson "independent" is a joke. His whitewash didn't "conclusively" prove anything other than Guerra knew the right person to call for a BS non-investigation.


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Posted by Hallie
a resident of another community
on Feb 10, 2011 at 6:54 pm

To Job Security:

FYI: I wouldn't be so quick to badmouth the National Enquirer. They were nominated for a Pulitzer last year and are respected by many in the mainstream media for their tenacity in getting to the bottom of a story. They broke the story of John Edwards' love child.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Michael G. Stogner
a resident of another community
on Feb 10, 2011 at 7:05 pm

Who could possibly object to an FBI investigation of the Atherton Police Department. They already had Pete Peterson check them out, what is wrong with a second opinion?

Plus the tax payers of Atherton won't have to pay another $5,000 max. for this investigation.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Marty
a resident of Menlo Park: Felton Gables
on Feb 10, 2011 at 7:38 pm

Hmm. Are the investigating any of the uber rich in Atherton. Meg Whitman lives in Atherton, doesn't she?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Ed
a resident of Atherton: other
on Feb 10, 2011 at 7:39 pm

Dear Officer Job Security--this is the perfect tag line for you and I'm sure represents your only true interests absolutely perfectly!
The APD has proven, many times now over the last decade, the extremes they are willing to go to in order to intimidate the press over issues they are most sensitive to or propriatory about. The continued decade long persecution of the ex Daily Post editor (and life long Atherton resident) Mr. Brian Bothun is the classic example of this behavior, However, carefully discrediting the Finance director Mr. Johns before he could get around to a perfectly routine audit of the Police Department was a pretty close second.
I'm sure Renee is well aware of the risks involved in pursuing fair and honest reporting in San Mateo County, when the stakes involved to her person have been made so abundantly clear to anyone with a reasonable blood supply to their brain.
I think you're brave Rennee ---and I hope you get a big fat raise and a promotion--and no wonder your paper moved out of the county last Christmas.


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Posted by Lurker
a resident of another community
on Feb 10, 2011 at 8:29 pm

I agree with Ed: Renee Batti is just about the only reporter in San Mateo County these days who is actually eager to do investigative work.

Thank you, Renee.


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Posted by Reporting??
a resident of another community
on Feb 10, 2011 at 8:34 pm

What are you talking about Lurker? Batti is a house organ for the rantings and ravings of some people who have been proven to have NO CREDIBILITY at all.

Buckheit...totally discredited by Chief Peterson determining he made completely unfounded complaints against Police Officers.

Johns...totally discredited by his firing and criminal activities in Atherton.

Bothun...totally discredited by multiple criminal behavior.

Get it?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Woody
a resident of Menlo Park: Stanford Hills
on Feb 10, 2011 at 10:41 pm

Yo, I really think that everyone is losing sight of the real issue at hand. Atherton is notorious for slimy business. I'm sure, Renee et. al., y'all are not going to not talk about it or whatever. This article is ultimately full BS. It has NO news. 0. The only bit of useless information this article has is that some man with the unfortunate name John Johns (don't get me started on Pete Peterson, my name may as well be Woody Woodmen), talked to an FBI agent. WHOA!


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Posted by Tristan
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Feb 10, 2011 at 10:48 pm

Job Security and Reporting??
So when are your interviews scheduled with the FBI? Your rantings sound very much like cases of nerves.


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Posted by Yes newsworthy
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Feb 11, 2011 at 12:03 am

What kind of police department both gets on the front page of the paper for having the highest salaries around as well as the front page of the paper for all kinds of misbehavior? I guess the kind that prompts the subject matter of this article.

This is a real test for Mayor Dobbie to show some leadership. You're supposed to be running the show around here, Dobs and while I understand the Guerrera and Furth and Daniels are telling you they've got the power and you have none, that's kinda like the mouse saying the cat's not allowed to chase it. Doesn't usually work in any place but Atherton.


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Posted by Hallie
a resident of another community
on Feb 11, 2011 at 5:20 am

People here are just focused on the Atherton aspect of this story.

What I found interesting is this quote. Johns said "the agent didn't share information with him about the scale and scope of the investigation."

Might it be possible that they are casting a wider net than we all know?


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Feb 11, 2011 at 7:28 am

reporting:

only in bizaro world would the people you mention be considered "discredited."

Peterson's "investigation" was a white wash. It is a fact that the report on Mr. Buckheit's arrest was altered and false charges added.

Mr. Johns was reinstated and given a letter of commendation as well as a big fat payout from the town because their actions in regard to him were wrong.

Mr. Bothun has been the focus of vindictive actions by members of APD because he published the fact that one of your chiefs committed voter fraud.

Dicredited? Hardly.

Get it?


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Posted by Reporting??
a resident of another community
on Feb 11, 2011 at 12:12 pm

Menlo Voter you say "it is a fact that the report on Buckheit's arrest was altered and false charges added" but , and I know you don't like hearing this, Chief Pete Peterson determined this is not only not a fact, but completely unfounded rubbish made up by Buckheit.

[Portion removed; stick to the issue, and don't attack other posters.]


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Feb 11, 2011 at 12:20 pm

Reporting???? - please cite your exact source for your allegation that "Chief Pete Peterson determined this is not only not a fact, but completely unfounded rubbish"

The only public information on the Peterson review was a summary statement on this report by the Police Chief.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by WhoRUpeople
a resident of another community
on Feb 11, 2011 at 12:29 pm

Best advice for APD, et al--turn off the fan!


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Posted by Reporting??
a resident of another community
on Feb 11, 2011 at 12:33 pm

Carpenter I know you really want to see that whole report but the fact is it would be against the law to release it to you and you already know that. To answer your question, Chief Peterson determined that the allegations brought against the Police Officers by Buckheit were UNFOUNDED. The allegations were falsification of a police report. UNFOUNDED means that the investigation conclusively proved that the activities complained about did not occur. There are other classifications that could have been used if Chief Peterson determined this behavior did occur, or even might have occurred but could not be proven. In this case he determined the classification was UNFOUNDED.


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Posted by Ed
a resident of Atherton: other
on Feb 11, 2011 at 12:35 pm

Mr. or Ms. Retorting:
I am wondering what ANY judge ANYWHERE is going to have to say about this flippant response by law enforcement to the findings of a Court of Law.
If the FBI really is here--they should hit the print button on some of these comments and then just list them as exhibits A. B. and C. as proof that the APD has lost all perspective on what it's roll in this world is, and the difference between right and wrong attitude.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Feb 11, 2011 at 12:37 pm

Reporting?? I did NOT ask for the report, I know it is confidential.

I asked YOU for YOUR sources period.

You are obviously an insider who chooses to hide your identity when posting on this forum.

Please cite your source - date, time, location of statements etc.


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Posted by Reporting??
a resident of another community
on Feb 11, 2011 at 12:43 pm

My source on the finding being UNFOUNDED? That was reported in the Almanac Peter. You already know that. I believe they reported on it because Buckheit gave them the complaint result notification. What does UNFOUNDED mean in the context of a law enforcement internal affairs investigation? That's also public information, just do a google search. Why are you trying to turn this into a conspiracy? This is simply information that is out there publiclly, in both instances.


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Posted by Lurker
a resident of another community
on Feb 11, 2011 at 12:56 pm

I concur with Ed's comment:"I am wondering what ANY judge ANYWHERE is going to have to say about this flippant response by law enforcement to the findings of a Court of Law."


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Posted by Lurker
a resident of another community
on Feb 11, 2011 at 1:00 pm

Note that news editor Batti has just added this information to her piece:

A reliable source who also was interviewed by two FBI agents and who contacted The Almanac said the agents' interests extended to "a number of people who work for the county." The person spoke on condition of anonymity.

****
Sounds as if the scope of the investigation extends beyond Atherton.


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Posted by WhoRUpeople
a resident of another community
on Feb 11, 2011 at 1:06 pm

Reporting--ok, lets put it on the scale and see what we have. One one side, a classified report paid for by APD, done by a dried up (oops, retired) police chief and friend of the APD Chief that says the charges of tampering were unfounded. On the other side, a public ruling by a judge, in a court of law, the entire proceedings of which are public record, including all evidence presented by both sides that says Jon was factually innocent of the charges contained in the report and includes testimony by the cop who wrote the original report that it, indeed, has been tampered with. Anyone who would think the scale goes the way you do is equally as unbalanced.


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Feb 11, 2011 at 1:08 pm

Reporting:

If you go back and read the press release from Guerra it is in conflict. He says the actions did occur, but were legal and justified and on the other hand the complaint is unfounded. Uh, you can't have it both ways. Either the report was altered and it was legal to do so or it wasn't altered at all. Seems pretty clear to me given one of your own officers testified in open court, under oath that his report had been altered. That's a fact and no amount of white washing is going to make that go away.

Guerra had an opportunity to settle this thing by bringing in a truly independent investigator but he didn't. Now he and APD are paying the price. No one believes them. I'm betting a judge and jury aren't going to either and it will result in another big fat legal payout by the city.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Feb 11, 2011 at 1:13 pm

Reporting????? states:""Chief Pete Peterson determined this is not only not a fact, but completely unfounded rubbish"

Please cite your source for this precise statement which you allege Peterson made - a very simply request.


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Posted by Lurker
a resident of another community
on Feb 11, 2011 at 1:17 pm

Rene Batti also just added this:

" But the federal law enforcement agency's interest apparently goes beyond the town's borders, according to another person who was interviewed and who contacted The Almanac."


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Feb 11, 2011 at 1:20 pm

Could they be looking at the DA's office? The same office that knew a police report had been altered, a crime, and did nothing to investigate that crime? hmmmmm


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Posted by john p johns
a resident of another community
on Feb 11, 2011 at 1:25 pm

I met with Pete Peterson for two hours on Friday February 4th to provide him with information on my citizen's complaint.

Mr Peterson tape recorded the interview.

I have asked for a copy of the recording or a transcript of the interview for my records.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Menlo Observer
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Feb 11, 2011 at 1:54 pm

[Post removed; stick to the topic.]


 +   Like this comment
Posted by citizen
a resident of Atherton: West of Alameda
on Feb 11, 2011 at 4:06 pm

How come no is investigating Peter Carpenter ? He starts alot of this
unnecessary drama, look what didn't happend in Menlo with the investigation into the city council, mayoral fiasco, nothing !! He
caused an whole big up roar & dragged in Wagstaff's Office for no reason..nothing became of it except Fergie resigned as mayor, which
we all knew was going to happen without PC's involvement..


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Feb 11, 2011 at 4:13 pm

I would always cooperate with any investigation regarding my official conduct.

The Da's office was involved because there was reason to believe that a law had been broken - and since Fergusson declined to be interviewed there is still reason to believe that the law was broken.


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Posted by Yeah, keep em quiet
a resident of Atherton: West of Alameda
on Feb 11, 2011 at 4:19 pm

Citizen, you got that right. Anybody who questions anything needs to get investigated right here and right now. Carpenter, McKeithen, Buckheit, Johns, Dobbie... everything is okay here and anybody who is going to call that into question is just making trouble and some trouble needs to come their way. Forget Pete Peterson...a great new investigator is now available named Hosni Mubarek and I'm sure that given the necessary resources, he can put a stop to all of this crazy making and get Atherton back focused on what needs to be done so we can all stop dealing with these trouble makers.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Feb 11, 2011 at 4:19 pm

Citizen claims:"nothing became of it except Fergie resigned as mayor, which we all knew was going to happen without PC's involvement.."

Please explain why the City Attorney conducted an investigation of this matter (which led to Fergusson's resignation as Mayor) if not in response to my Cure and Correct demand.


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Posted by None
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Feb 11, 2011 at 4:23 pm

To Citizen:
I believe that Mr. Carpenter's actions got the ball rolling, which resulted in Fergusson's resignation.

Despite what you say, her resignation was a big deal.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Feb 11, 2011 at 4:27 pm

Citizen - FYI:

Begin forwarded message:

From: "William L. McClure"
Date: January 14, 2011 8:58:24 AM PST
To: Peter Carpenter
Subject: Brown Act -- Cure & Correct Action

Peter—

This will confirm that the City Council voted unanimously to rescind and declare null and void the elections of Mayor and Mayor Pro Tempore/Vice Mayor at its meeting of December 14, 2010, in response to your "cure and correct" demand dated December 8, 2010. The link to the City Council Minutes evidencing such action with a link to the staff report that was included in the packet for the meeting of December 7th is as follows—

Web Link

If you should have any questions or require any clarification, please feel free to contact me.

Best regards, Bill

William L. McClure, City Attorney
City of Menlo Park


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Posted by Lurker
a resident of another community
on Feb 11, 2011 at 4:58 pm

Getting back to the topic -- who are the other persons of interest beyond Atherton's borders?


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Posted by Will
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Feb 11, 2011 at 5:10 pm

Hoowee, just can't wait for the Huffington Post to pick this up. C'mon Atherton Administration, figure this out amongst yourselves and fess up the "indiscretions" that were made. This is really getting ridiculous considering there are some really serious issues to be addressed. Good luck Atherton trying to worm out of this!


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Posted by None
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Feb 11, 2011 at 5:43 pm

It's not up on Huffington Post yet, but the story is up over at the crime website, Websleuths.
Web Link


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Posted by None
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Feb 11, 2011 at 5:52 pm

For those who are interested: scroll back and look at the comments sections over at Websleuths going back six months. People from around the country - with no ties to Atherton or any other town in San Mateo County- have been highly critical of the county and some of the people who work for it.


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Posted by just a thought
a resident of another community
on Feb 11, 2011 at 8:05 pm

The FBI looking at Atherton and San Mateo County....hmmmm.

I've thought for years about what's been going on in Atherton. Everyone loves a mystery, I suppose. I have answered that question to my own satisfaction finally.

Do you think the Federal Government has a National Security interest in the Town of Atherton and San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties? Do you think they have had for decades? Would people like Charles Bechtel, Meg Whitman, Charles Schwab etc. expect and demand special consideration for protection?

Do you think that if this is so there would then have been a long standing and recently enormously enhanced relationship between Federal entities and the APD?

Do you think that enhanced relationship might necessarily have extended to the controlling entities of San Mateo County?

What is the governing entity of REACT Task Force? It is the FBI. Who sits on the REACT Steering Committee and REACT Oversight Committee? What is the relationship between these entities and BENS, Business Executives for National Security? Is the violation of individual citizen's civil rights to privacy and online citizen surveillance a red hot issue with the Federal Government right now? Is this all related to the Patriot Act and 9/11?

What do you think?

The APD doesn't look to me to be under the control or supervision of anyone. They behave with impunity, and I do not believe that to be an unfair characterization. Why and how are they so different looking than any other PD?

Menlo Voter said it: 'A private securitized police force'.

The FBI let Greg Munks go when caught in a sting in Las Vegas. Why? The investigation was shut down and the record SEALED…and not by a judge. Unavailable to the public. Is this the same Sheriff who sits on the REACT oversight committee? and is there an FBI representative on the same committee with him? Would they be on a first name basis?

I wouldn't hold your breathe about the FBI investigating things concerning which they are already fully aware.

Just a bit of a shot across the bow of those a bit too big for their britches who have caused enough noise to draw attention to the detriment of the larger programs….or, perhaps, just a reassuring show for the public.

Did you read about Ellsberg's speech in Silicon Valley a few weeks ago?

Google it.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by just a thought
a resident of another community
on Feb 11, 2011 at 8:16 pm

BTW, regarding Peter Carpenter.

For myself, I believe that respect and kindness are always the correct choice, but I realize that passion and opinions stimulate an impulsiveness in us all that can lead to lapses in judgment and self-control.

Nevertheless, I am convinces that it is best to know with whom we are dealing when we challenge others. For those of you critical of Peter, a word of caution. Who amongst you knows what he has done all his life and where his true professional liaisons lie? Perhaps, someone will ask, and he will say. Perhaps, not.

Just a thought.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Feb 11, 2011 at 8:23 pm

A partial listing but more than you may want to know:

San Francisco Opera
Board of Directors · Apr 2010 to present · San Francisco, California
*
Menlo Park Fire Protection District
Board of Directors · May 2000 to present · Menlo Park, California
*
Annual Reviews
Member, Board of Directors · Jan 1997 to present · Palo Alto, California
*
Mission and Values Institute
Founder · Jun 1990 to present
*
InSTEDD
Chairman of the Board of Directors · Sep 2007 to Aug 2010 · Palo Alto, California
*
Alza Corporation
Exective Vice President · Sep 1976 to Sep 1992 · Palo Alto, California
*
Stanford University Medical Center
Executive director · Aug 1973 to Aug 1976
*
U.S. Price Commission
Deputy Executive Director · Oct 1971 to 1973 · Washington, District of Columbia
*
Office of Management and Budget
Director, Federal Assistance Review · May 1970 to Oct 1971 · Washington, District of Columbia
*
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
Vietnam Program Manager · Sep 1965 to Aug 1968 · Washington, District of Columbia
*
U.S. Air Force
Officer · Aug 1962 to Aug 1968
Air Force Weapons Lab, USMC 5th Force Recon, 19th Air Force, ARPA, White House
*
US Forest Service
Smokejumper · Jun 1959 to Aug 1961 · Redding, California


Grad School

Stanford University
not completed · Organizational Behavior, PhD.

University of Chicago
MBA · Research and Development Management

College

Harvard University
Chemistry

High School

*
Bishop Kenny High School
Class of 1958


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Posted by just a thought
a resident of another community
on Feb 11, 2011 at 9:01 pm

Peter,

Thank you. and good of you, as well.

Worthy of respect by us all, I would think....be nice.

JAT


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Lurker
a resident of another community
on Feb 12, 2011 at 6:04 am

For those of us who don't live in San Mateo County but are alarmed by what is going on there, I have to say it's encouraging news that finally, an agency like the FBI is investigating.

From our perspective, the misconduct goes far beyond Atherton. Bear in mind that in addition to Mr. Buckheit's lawsuit, there are a number of other citizens who have filed suits in federal court against the San Mateo District Attorney's office and the county.

Noteworthy lawsuits include the one filed by the Cevasco family against the San Mateo DA and prosecutor Melissa Mckowan for lying to a judge and fraud. Their lawyer is Nina Salarno Ashford of Crime Victims United. Salarno Ashford also represents the family who has a lawsuit against your former governor for reducing the sentence of the son of the politician in a murder case.

- Also, San Carlos resident Mark Adams- whose case bears some similarities to Buckheit's - is now going for a statement of factual innocence. His case was covered in the press a week ago.

It's good to see that citizens are fighting back. The San Mateo DA's office is not used to being challenged, and now that they are, they are not conducting themselves in a manner that is unbecoming, and quite frankly, arrogant.

One citizen who wrote to the DA's office to point out egregious prosecutorial misconduct by one of its prosecutors, received a letter from the DA, advising the citizen not to publicly criticize the prosecutor, as it "would accomplish nothing."

If anyone who is reading this blog believes they are a victim of police or prosecutorial misconduct in San Mateo County, they need to speak up. Contact Renee Batti at the Almanac. Go to the FBI ,or the Attorney General's office or the Northern California Innocence Project. Write to the Justice Department in DC.

Complaining about what's going on in your county on this message board just doesn't cut it. It's time to do something. Speak out, and fight back!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Lurker
a resident of another community
on Feb 12, 2011 at 6:06 am

Correction: I meant to say that the San Mateo District Attorney's office is not conducting itself in a manner that is becoming.


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Posted by Lurker
a resident of another community
on Feb 12, 2011 at 7:44 am

Bay Daily News today:

THE PHANTOM: What FBI investigation?

By The Phantom
Daily News Columnist
Posted: 02/12/2011 12:16:55 AM PST
Updated: 02/12/2011 12:34:17 AM PST

Atherton Mayor Jim Dobbie said he's heard the rumor that the FBI has been questioning town residents, but said he hadn't been contacted and wasn't worried.
One of those reportedly called by federal investigators was the town's former finance director, John Johns, who sued for wrongful termination and reached a $225,000 settlement with the town last spring.
"I heard John Johns was interviewed, but I haven't been and no one I know has been interviewed," Dobbie said. "I'd be very surprised if the FBI is using its resources on this."


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Lurker
a resident of another community
on Feb 12, 2011 at 8:00 am

Link to "What FBI Investigation?"

Web Link


 +   Like this comment
Posted by POGO
a resident of Woodside: other
on Feb 12, 2011 at 8:14 am

As I said earlier, the FBI doesn't like corruption in local police or DA departments.

It can be very uncomfortable for a police chief or district attorney to be see the flash of an FBI badge followed by the words, "anything you say can and will be held against you..."


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Reporting??
a resident of another community
on Feb 12, 2011 at 9:17 am

Finally there is a mayor who supports his town. McKeithen just tries to tear it down and destroy it. Dobbie knows it would be foolish for the FBI to look at the ravings of [portion removed; personal attacks violate terms of use} people like Johns, Buckheit or Carpenter. I say investigate them, starting with McKeithen and Buckheit. There is a first rate police department in Atherton who can and should be eyeballing people who are trying to subvert the town.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Feb 12, 2011 at 9:43 am

Reporting states:[Portion removed; the personal attacks referred to have been removed from the previous post]. please provide factual evidence for your scurrilous claim [portion removed].

It is trash talk by anonymous cowards like you that detracts from the civil discourse on this forum - if you cannot make your point with facts and logical statements then you have no recourse except to engage in baseless and cowardly personal attacks. How sad.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Lurker
a resident of another community
on Feb 12, 2011 at 9:59 am

To Mr. Carpenter:
There's an undertow of fear and panic in "Reporting??"s statements.

And to "Reporting??":
Your attacks on citizens with no basis in fact are not just childish -- they're slanderous.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Only me
a resident of another community
on Feb 12, 2011 at 11:14 am

Why would FBI notify the mayor of the town in which the residents are being interviewed? Why would FBI contact the government officials under investigation for their illegal activities?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Michael G. Stogner
a resident of another community
on Feb 12, 2011 at 11:37 am

Only me says:

"Why would FBI notify the mayor of the town in which the residents are being interviewed?"

What is your source for this statement?

"Why would FBI contact the government officials under investigation for their illegal activities?"

The reason they would contact those officials under investigation (if they did) is because they have the right to compel an interview as long as they provide attorney representation for the interview subject.


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Feb 12, 2011 at 1:41 pm

Reporting:

your department is a joke. APD has always been a joke of a department as far as other law enforcement angencies were concerned. Glorified security guards is how they were generally referred to. They couldn't investigate their way out of a paper bag. I'd love to see the clearance rates on crime, what little there is, in Atherton. How do you get to be a good investigator Reporting, when you have little to no experience investigating anything?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Interested
a resident of another community
on Feb 12, 2011 at 2:56 pm

Peter. do not respond to the idiots that seek only to rile you. You and I have had many disagreements here, but not once have I questioned your motives. Please don't respond to the morons that do. As for Renee Batti, I have known her for almost a decade. She could never work for the National Enquirer, she is far too classy for that......the comments here remind me of the old adage about not casting your pearls before swine.....


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Feb 12, 2011 at 5:38 pm

Interested - great advice.

If Reporting??? was posting on another site that I follow here are the responses that he would have received from that site's Editor"

"Editor: That's fine Steve, but for the record each of the comments that was scrubbed was ridiculous and they are always flushed and it is nothing new. People need to not be total jerks and their words will be published, but I get sick of the personal attacks on our writer so there you go. It is counter productive.


Editor: Hey Mona, your needless comment was flushed.


Editor: No nimrod, when people write stupid things or feel like expressing keyboard bravery they get deleted. "


 +   Like this comment
Posted by The Real Deal
a resident of Atherton: other
on Feb 12, 2011 at 5:51 pm

Let's really look at what's going on here.

A very rich person was arrested for domestic violence. From his business career he is used to ordering people around and being rude to them, and having them take it and bow to him. The evidence was not strong enough to prosecute (which as we all know, doesn't mean he didn't do it) but he is furious, particularly with the police for not treating him as an employee would treat a CEO.

Again, he's very rich, so he hires a good lawyer. Not just a good lawyer, but someone who's dad was a VVVIP in San Mateo County, a judge for many years. [Portion removed; unfounded gossip violates terms of use.] This isn't good enough for Buckheit so he sues Atherton and the police officers. When he figures he can't win his case, he again has his lawyer, Robert Carey Junior use his connections as Mr. Carey is a former U.S. Attorney to get the FBI to "look at" the behavior of these police officers. What a crock of crap this is.

There are various other distractors who claim the Atherton Police Department, even though it has a 97% approval rating of all Atherton residents, is bad.

John Johns is a former employee who was fired because no one could work with him. He sued the town and got a payout. And now he's "following the money" and unraveling grand conspriacies. Riiiiight.

Brian Bothun who pled GUILTY [portion removed; stick to the facts] doesn't like it that the police lawfully perform a probation search on his house. Hey, buddy, if you don't like that, don't commit crimes that put you on probation.

[Portion removed; stick to the facts]

Michael Stogner is trying to get elected as supervisor of San Mateo County on the platform of being a watchdog of the Atherton Police. Hahahaha.

Peter Carpenter fancies himself as someone who needs to be the watchdog of all impropriety in the Menlo Park and Atherton area. If there's none, he needs to invent some to feel like he's important and running local affairs.

And all this is a conspiracy that needs a federal investigation? Are you people for real?

The real fault is the Atherton council's for not standing up to Buckheit as they should have. They should have been taking a public vote of support for the police department and Officer DeVlugt. 97% of their constituents feel that way, and they are not representing them by not showing this proper support. They still can at this month's council meeting.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Feb 12, 2011 at 5:57 pm

Real Deal (another anonymous poster who is unwilling to show his real face) states:"They should have been taking a public vote of support for the police department and Officer DeVlugt. 97% of their constituents feel that way,"

Please cite the source for this specific claim. I am unaware of any public pool on this issue.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Feb 12, 2011 at 6:10 pm

Real Deal???? states:"Peter Carpenter fancies himself as someone who needs to be the watchdog of all impropriety"

To which I am reminded of the much more profound quote:

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Feb 12, 2011 at 6:21 pm

Real Deal:

I'll say it again; your department is a joke. If it wasn't so poorly managed it wouldn't be having this problem. But hey, that's what happens when a town has security guards for police officers.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Feb 12, 2011 at 6:27 pm

I believe that the majority of the officers in the Atherton Police Department are both professional and honest. It is very unfortunate that the actions of a few have placed a cloud over all.


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Posted by just a thought
a resident of another community
on Feb 12, 2011 at 8:15 pm

Peter,

Would you be willing to cite the facts upon which you base this 'belief'?

On the other side of this debate we would have the possible purging of Officer Yee apparently due to unreasonably high ethical standards, Brennan's, ummm departure to retirement and then concurrent service as a Sheriff's deputy, Nielsen's promotion, brief stint as Chief, large retirement, and new position at Sequoia Hospital courtesy of Don Horsley also concurrent with collecting retirment, and a long list of questionable conduct by a number of others.

What's on the plus side. I agree its excellent to itemize it.

JAT

JAT


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Posted by POGO
a resident of Woodside: other
on Feb 12, 2011 at 8:29 pm

The Real Deal is anything but.

There are so many errors in their post, it's hard to know where to begin. For those who have followed Atherton's saga, you could probably sing this song with me. I'll just point out one or two for fun.

With regard to the false arrest of Mr. Buckheit, The Real Deal stated "The evidence was not strong enough to prosecute (which as we all know, doesn't mean he didn't do it)..." Actually, it DOES mean he didn't do it. A judge's finding of "factual innocence means he didn't do it. The fact that the arresting officer stated - under oath - that his official police report was modified is further proof. And, for what it's worth, I'll take the determination of a very well respected, independent judge over some ex-police chief's "investigation" of a nearby police department.

The post also states "...the real fault is the Atherton council's for not standing up to Buckheit as they should have...." In the words of The Real Deal (and Bill Cosby), "riiiight." TRD - newsflash, we'll find out soon enough (a) if there is an FBI investigation into this alleged corruption and (b) if a jury of citizens agrees that the fault lies with Atherton's Town Council and Police Department or with Mr. Buckheit.

I look forward to reading your post - probably under a new pseudonym - after those events.


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Posted by Lurker
a resident of another community
on Feb 12, 2011 at 9:31 pm

Sounds as if Real Deal didn't read Batti's story carefully.

Read this sentence:"But the federal law enforcement agency's interest apparently goes beyond the town's borders, according to another person who was interviewed and who contacted The Almanac."

Real Deal's mistake is that he or she thinks that this investigation is just about Atherton. It is not. Broaden your horizons, my friend.


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Posted by Michael G. Stogner
a resident of another community
on Feb 13, 2011 at 9:10 am

Real Deal said:

"Michael Stogner is trying to get elected as supervisor of San Mateo County on the platform of being a watchdog of the Atherton Police. Hahahaha."

Let me just point out that Reporter John Roemer of a National Legal Publication, Daily Journal 03.09.09 described me as a Local Government Watchdog, after reading several of my blogs on a community forum. The Honorable Judge Marta Diaz said I had a personal Jihad against her. This was her response to my questioning why she continued to send boys to Dr. William Ayres after she had personal knowledge of child molestation allegations dating back to 1987.

I have been doing my best as a citizen to report and correct wrong doing in San Mateo County for 12 years.

The Atherton Police Department is just one of many issues I'm interested in.


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Posted by None
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Feb 13, 2011 at 9:18 am

And might I add to Mr. Stogner's comment: As a result of Juvenile Judge Marta Diaz's most injudicious remark about Stogner ( as well as victims' advocate Victoria Balfour) and stating "It's all bull****" to reporter Roemer on the record, Diaz was sanctioned by the California Commission on Judicial Oversight Oversight. Many believe that this was part of the reason that Diaz was transferred- kicking and screaming- out of juvenile court.


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Posted by Only me
a resident of another community
on Feb 13, 2011 at 10:18 am

Real Deal = DeVlugt = [portion removed; unsubstantiated accusations of criminal behavior violate terms of use]


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Posted by Michael G. Stogner
a resident of another community
on Feb 13, 2011 at 1:45 pm

Real Deal,

Your statement about Brain Bothun is a false statement and you know it.


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Posted by Michael G. Stogner
a resident of another community
on Feb 13, 2011 at 1:53 pm

Dear Real Deal,

libel |ˈlībəl|
noun
1 Law a published false statement that is damaging to a person's reputation; a written defamation.


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Posted by Jim James
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Feb 13, 2011 at 7:43 pm

It is fascinating to read so much of the opnion, and fact and fiction (substatiantiated, and unsubstantiated) in this forum. Don't the posters (citizens, watchdogs, APD, and others?) realize that nothing is anoynymous and that with the marvels of network technology, we are assured that every post is traceable. Let think about this in our enduring battle for truth, justice and the American way.


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Posted by None
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Feb 14, 2011 at 9:41 am

According to San Mateo County court records, Dolores Callagy, mother of San Mateo Deputy Police Chief Mike Callagy, was charged with a DUI back in June, 2009. The records say there "was alcohol in her blood, but she wasn't legally drunk." She received 3 years probation and a $1500 fine.

As far as sentencing goes, is that the norm in San Mateo County?


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Posted by None
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Feb 14, 2011 at 9:43 am

PS: I am willing to bet that Steve Wagstaffe didn't let the press know that the mother of the deputy police chief of San Mateo had a DUI.


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Posted by None
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Feb 14, 2011 at 12:04 pm

What I am getting at is that if a San Mateo county employee or a relative of an employee does something bad, the public won't be hearing about it from DA Steve Wagstaffe.

Wagstaffe puts on a great big show of pretending to be transparent with the press with his daily "Cases of Interest" list that he sends out to reporters every morning. He gets in at five am to write up the cases in a cutesy style, with eye-catching headlines, such as ""Everything Seemed Fine But On New Years Day Suspect Stole $100 From Him And When He Tried To Recover Money, Suspect Tried To Kill Him By Repeated Driving Her Car At Him, Striking Him In Leg And Ran Over His Foot; Motive Remains Mysterious."

But when Cardell Brown, a counselor for a San Mateo County group home was arrested for raping young boys in the home, Wagstaffe left the case off the list. Mustn't make the County look bad!! Don't want any more lawsuits!

It was only when a civil lawyer for the victims contacted a reporter for the San Mateo County Times in 2007, asking that the press write about the case, that the Brown arrest came to light. By that time, Brown had already gone to prison in a plea deal. The County Times reporters were angry with Wagstaffe for hiding the Cardell Brown case and putting the image of his county first before the welfare of victims.

It just makes one wonder what other bad guys Wagstaffe is shielding from the public?


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Posted by Michael G. Stogner
a resident of another community
on Feb 14, 2011 at 12:16 pm

"But when Cardell Brown, a counselor for a San Mateo County group home was arrested for raping young boys in the home."

Don't forget the Sheriff's Department refused to release the booking photo of Cardell Brown
claiming there was a pending investigation going on.....That's why it's called a booking photo.


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Posted by None
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Feb 14, 2011 at 12:28 pm

San Mateo refuses to release a booking photo of a rapist and county employee to the public because it would make the county look bad.

San Mateo refuses to release police reports to members of the public because they would make the county look culpable..

I'm beginning to see a pattern here...


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Posted by Ed
a resident of Atherton: other
on Feb 14, 2011 at 1:11 pm

I will leave it to each individual reader of Jim James post to determine for themselves to whom he has directed his warning about traceable comments--was the warning meant for the police lobby or was it directed to the various concerned citizens expressing their views?
Was the warning given as an attempt to shut down discussion, or to give us all hope that some neutral authority might actually read this forum and more easily decipher the truth through public input.
I assume that everyone knows that with enough "clearance" all comments are traceable and that the participating posters have been motivated to use this forum anyway to give voice to their thoughts--After all, their is no other venue for us anywhere. A three minute public comment at a monthly council meeting with the city attorney there constantly reminding council members that they are not obligated to respond to residents, is far too restrictive for any dialog about anything.
I post anonymously because it makes me feel freed from persona and better able to speak from my heart--it is what is comfortable for me--but I know it isn't brave. Mr. Carpenter IS brave and an example to us all--but for now, I aspire only to be constant.
J.A.T. once said on another thread that "The truth stands quite happily alone, not really caring if it is ever recognized--satisfied just to exist....... that it will always be up to all of us to do the caring, if we seek to give actual substance to the truth.
After the numerous internal "investigations" ( Topliff, Bayer, Peterson...), and 2 or 3 Grand Jury Investigations, various audits, endless consulants in Atherton alone, All have only raised more questions than they ever answered--clearly there is something wrong with how this town is able to function in the context of our county--and very likely the county itself. Lets all pray that the FBI really is here and finally able to correctly diagnose where the problem lies.
I wish "Candle Lighter" would return to this forum at some point, and I notice there has not been even a peep from Mr. Buckheit--Anyway I hope the Almanac can help the FBI with what ever they need--we all should be.








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Posted by None
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Feb 14, 2011 at 1:17 pm

To Ed: I, too was puzzled by Jim James' post and warning about traceable comments. It seemed vaguely threatening to me.

I am more concerned about this comment by "Reporting??":

"I say investigate them, starting with McKeithen and Buckheit. There is a first rate police department in Atherton who can and should be eyeballing people who are trying to subvert the town."

"Eyeballing people who are trying to subvert the town?" This sounds like the Gestapo.


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Feb 14, 2011 at 3:32 pm

None:

I don't think you have anything to worry about as Reporting's statement "there is a first rate police department in atherton..." Is just flat wrong. You have a bunch of Barney Fifes running around that couldn't investigate a crime if it happened in front of them.


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Posted by Jim James
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Feb 14, 2011 at 4:42 pm

The note about posts being traceable wasn't meant to be threatening. If anything, it was meant to discourage some of the ridiculous statements that are made in the forum; especially those from the more extreme viewpoints (this is not limited to, but seems to include the pro-APD voices). Provoking good discussion and debate is great - in hope this is done in truthfulness, and not for other motives under a veil of anonymity.

If posters want to make statements using pseudonyms, they can do that, it should be with the understanding that it is likely that these posts are traceable. That said, the editor seems to do a good job, editing items that are out of line (but still, the newspaper files probably keep a good record of deleted portions, too).


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Posted by Lurker
a resident of another community
on Feb 14, 2011 at 4:56 pm

Thank you for clearing that up, Jim James. Point taken.


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Posted by None
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Feb 14, 2011 at 5:31 pm

From "Legal Pad"

NINTH DINGS WAGSTAFFE FOR CUTTING BLACK JURORS

San Mateo County prosecutor Stephen Wagstaffe, who could soon become the county's next district attorney, got dinged by a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Tuesday for discriminatory jury selection.

The panel, led by Judge Marsha Berzon, overturned a high-profile 2001 murder conviction because Wagstaffe struck the only two black people in the jury pool during voir dire.

Wagstaffe said today in an interview that he stood by his peremptory challenges. He said he has "never misrepresented anything in a courtroom" in 32 years of practicing and that he doesn't think the decision will hurt his chances of becoming district attorney.

"I don't think you can find anyone, anywhere who would ever question my integrity," he said.

(Unless you look on the Ninth Circuit, one supposes.)


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Posted by RG
a resident of Portola Valley: other
on Feb 14, 2011 at 9:17 pm

San Mateo County is not now and has not been for many decades a locale where civil liberties are effectively protected. As a 50 year resident of the area I well know that the Buckheit, Johns brou ha ha are just the latest in what has long been legal protection primarily for those favored by a pompous power elite.
I can cite numerous instances where former DA James Fox and his staff found it convenient to not prosecute criminal behavior or investigate civil rights violations in the County because, at least by appearances, such prosecutions would be an inconvenience or an embarrassment to the "select" few.
Judge Diaz? What a joke. Pretty good at stirring up the pot on some issues but when it came to actually serving the interests of the youth who came before her court - the results in far too many instances are a sorry mess of lack of good judgment driven by personal avarice. Thank goodness she's finally out of the juvenile court. Too bad no one is acting to try to resurrect the lives she has destroyed through a lack of insuring that youth had meaningful legal representation.

When I contacted James Fox on one such instance a number of years, he was absolutely livid that I had reached him on what apparently was a straight through line to his office. Never mind the issue. He wanted to know, in no uncertain language, "who gave you this number?" End of conversation, the issue never addressed.

If you want legal protection in our County, your only alternative is to be able to afford a good lawyer. The DA's office and the police chiefs, in general are a solipsistic club who have been scratching each other's backs for far too long.


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Posted by John P Johns
a resident of another community
on Feb 14, 2011 at 9:37 pm

In response to post made by "The Real Deal"

It wasn't Jon Buckheit's attorney Bob Carey who contacted the FBI. It was a longstanding member of the community who is highly respected. It is a person whom I've become acquainted with. I will not reveal the identity of the person who called the FBI out of respect for that person's privacy.

My understanding of the manner by which the FBI was contacted should scare the daylights out of "The Real Deal" and those similarly situated.

There are men and women in town who are well educated, highly successful, influential, who are gravely concerned about official corruption in Atherton. Worse yet, they have begun to act upon those concerns.

Now highly placed elected and appointed officials in Atherton, both current and former, civilians and peace officers alike will have to answer to a higher authority for their behavior.

There's a saying that comes to mind which seems apropos "the first one who talks won't go to jail"

You can bet a lecture on how to talk with your friendly federal agent will be number one on the agenda during the closed session of February 16th.

Having been the subject of a protracted criminal investigation myself I don't envy those who may be targeted. Having said that, I have no sympathy either.


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Posted by Michael G. Stogner
a resident of another community
on Feb 15, 2011 at 1:29 am

RG,

Thank You for your comments.


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Posted by None
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Feb 15, 2011 at 5:02 am

I was also interviewed by the FBI. (I am referred to as the "reliable source" in Batti's story.) Wish I could use my real name but it wouldn't be prudent at this point.

I do want to say to anyone who is reading this : the FBI is asking that people who have information about misconduct or witnessed misconduct related to the San Mateo District Attorney's office to come forward.


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Posted by None
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Feb 15, 2011 at 5:05 am

Also, the misconduct does not have to have occurred just in Atherton.


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Posted by Lurker
a resident of another community
on Feb 15, 2011 at 7:03 am

RG --

Care to cite those "numerous instances where former DA James Fox and his staff found it convenient to not prosecute criminal behavior or investigate civil rights violations in the County because, at least by appearances, such prosecutions would be an inconvenience or an embarrassment to the "select" few"?


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Posted by None
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Feb 15, 2011 at 12:35 pm

Renee Batti has just updated her story to include information that the FBI is also investigating the San Mateo District Attorney's office.

See new thread here:
Web Link


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Posted by RG
a resident of Portola Valley: other
on Feb 16, 2011 at 10:54 pm

Lurker
You asked on the 15th that I provide more detail on the transgressions by Jim Fox. I did so shortly after your post.

My post seems to have disappeared into the internet ether.
I'll take another shot at it tomorrow but the second time through is never as energizing as the first.

From the link to the comments about an expanded investigation, it appears that perhaps the FBI or some other agency finally got a whiff of the lack of ethics in our county.


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