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FBI probe of Atherton: Huh?

Original post made by JT on Oct 1, 2011

I called the FBI office in San Francisco on Friday (415 553-7400) and asked to speak to the agents who were doing the Atherton investigation. The gentleman who answered the phone said, "What investigation?"

I tried to explain that the former finance officer for Atherton had brought numerous complaints to the FBI.

"Huh?" was his response. Never heard of John Johns.

Okay, how about the San Mateo County District Attorney probe?

Again, no comprende (to throw a little Spanish lingo in there).

So I kept on asking -- isn't anybody doing any investigation into the complaints of John Johns, Michael Stogner, Peter Carpenter or John Buckheit. The man answering the phone hadn't heard of these people before. You'd think a name would jump out if there was an active investigation. Call the FBI office for yourself if you don't believe me.

In January, Renee Batti of the Almanac printed this story (Web Link) saying that, based on her sources, the FBI was investigating allegations against the Town of Atherton.

Nine months later, isn't it time to ask: What happened to that investigation? Is it still ongoing? Did it ever happen? Was John Johns making this up to raise pressure on the town council to cut him a bigger settlement check? That's a fair question given the atmosphere this article created.

The problem is that the FBI has a policy that it will neither confirm nor deny that it is conducting an investigation. That allows people to claim that the FBI is doing an investigation when it is not. Nine months later, I think we know the answer. There was no investigation. The Almanac needs to set the record straight.

Comments (29)

Posted by Michael G. Stogner, a resident of another community
on Oct 1, 2011 at 8:14 am

JT,

That is one of the funniest posts I've seen so far. You knew when you called the FBI that they would not comment, and yet you called, You knew they would never answer your questions, and yet You asked them several questions. Now you want others to do the same...wow.


Posted by Lurker, a resident of another community
on Oct 1, 2011 at 9:29 am

JT:

You said " The problem is that the FBI has a policy that it will neither confirm nor deny that it is conducting an investigation. "

If agents don't confirm an investigation, why on earth would the FBI permit an OPERATOR to make any sort of comment regarding an investigation?

And even if they did, why would an operator know specific names who and what agents were investigating? Do you know how many cases FBI agents are working on ? Hundreds and hundreds..To think that an operator would know the names of the people who have been interviewed is just nonsense.

There are several complaints currently on file with the California Attorney General's office concerning DA Steve Wagstaffe; the corruption in his office, and his covering up of egregious misconduct by at least two prosecutors in his office.

Mine is one of the complaints. The intake office yesterday wouldn't even tell me which division my complaint had been forwarded to. She most certainly didn't know the names of the players included in my complaint.

Sorry, JT, not buying your story... And by the way, why so anxious about this investigation


Posted by Menlo Voter, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Oct 1, 2011 at 9:32 am

Caller: this is Guido. I want to talk to the agents that are investigating me.

FBI: who?

Caller: Guido.

FBI: never heard of you.

Caller: ok. I guess there's no investigation then.

JT: are you honestly that dumb that you think the FBI is going to tell you anything over the phone? You must be an APD cop because only one with no experience conducting a complex investigation would think they would get anywhere calling the FBI cold. Not huh? - DUH!


Posted by Lurker, a resident of another community
on Oct 1, 2011 at 9:33 am

JT:

For the record, the probe is not limited to Atherton. Think much bigger picture - as in the San Mateo Sheriff's office.


Posted by TJ, a resident of another community
on Oct 1, 2011 at 10:05 am

This story has clearly hit a nerve with JT, so he or she must be personally affected by it.

JT is getting hung up with the word "investigation" and trying to redefine it as for an "investigation" to happen, it must result (within a time period he or she fixes) a raid, indictment, conviction, arrest, etc. And if none of those happened, it must mean that the investigation was fabricated.

An investigation can also mean taking a close look at goings on for a period of time to see what action if any is warranted.

What's pretty clear to me is that JT knows that Atherton and San Mateo County have done things that might warrant an investigation by the FBI and is sensitive and quick to try to discredit the notion of an investigation. If someone had said "the FBI is investigating Mother Theresa," I think the response would have been "For what?!?". No one has said that here.


Posted by ContraGate, a resident of another community
on Oct 1, 2011 at 10:27 am

<<If someone had said "the FBI is investigating Mother Theresa," I think the response would have been "For what?!?". No one has said that here.>>

That's a bit over-reaching. Perhaps none of the regular malcontents have asked, but I assure you both the "outsiders" and the "insiders" are all asking that very question.


Posted by TJ, a resident of another community
on Oct 1, 2011 at 10:47 am

You assure me? Based on what?

I think the ONLY thing anyone here can agree on is this:

Two people have come forward under their real names to confirm the FBI investigation. John Johns and Peter Carpenter. I think Michael Stogner, under his real name, may have also confirmed he attempted to contact them. There have been others who have not used their real names who have also said they've been interviewed, but let's discount those since they're not using their real names.

How many people have come forward under their real names to assure any of us that this is a hoax? How many people have come forward under their real names to assure any of us that the "outsiders" and the "insiders" are all asking "For what?!?.

ZERO.

Why?


Posted by POGO, a resident of Woodside: other
on Oct 1, 2011 at 6:47 pm

I have no direct information about an FBI investigation.

I do know that they frequently are silent about their investigations... right up to the time they knock on doors with warrants.

I'm sure we'll find out one way or the other soon enough.


Posted by Menlo Voter, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Oct 1, 2011 at 7:03 pm

TJ:

If you don't understand "why" then you don't understand how in depth investigations work so there's no point in trying to explain it to you.


Posted by John P Johns, a resident of another community
on Oct 2, 2011 at 9:50 am

Thank you JT for reminding us all that corruption in law enforcement in San Mateo County is a serious problem.

Every time you make a post intimating that word of the investigation was a hoax, you draw attention to the fact that there is a very real possibility that one or more highly placed officials in San Mateo County law enforcement will someday be serving time behind bars.

When one considers the series of falsified police reports in Atherton and the District Attorney's "see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil" response to these crimes, is it any wonder that a $10 million civil rights lawsuit is progressing against Atherton?

Has it ever occurred to "JT" that the discoveries made by the litigant who is prosecuting this civil rights case are available to the FBI?

Has it ever occurred to "JT" that, so long as a civil rights case is pending and so long as the plaintiff is allowed to proceed with discovery that all the FBI has to do is to sit back and enjoy the show?

Go ahead JT keep whistling past the graveyard.

Go ahed and keep putting up those posts taunting those who confirmed the existence of the FBI's investigation. By doing so, you unwittingly do us all the favor of the real criminal element that lurks within San Mateo County.


Posted by Lurker, a resident of another community
on Oct 2, 2011 at 10:15 am

I can't post my real name here because of the profession I'm in, but John Johns and Michael Stogner and others know who I am.

As I have told reporters from the Mercury News and the Chronicle, the FBI is particularly interested in felonies that were committed by deputy sheriffs in the San Mateo County's office. These are serious felonies that Wagstaffe covered up; failed to prosecute; and then hid the incidents from the media.

The FBI has also expressed an interest in speaking with former employees from the San Mateo District Attorney's office.


Posted by Lurker, a resident of another community
on Oct 2, 2011 at 10:25 am

Also:

The FBI is also interested in hearing from ANYONE office who has any information about criminal misconduct by employees of the San Mateo Sheriff's office.


Posted by Michael G. Stogner, a resident of another community
on Oct 2, 2011 at 1:11 pm

Message to Whistleblowers/San Mateo County Employees especially female sheriff deputies who do not want to risk their careers. I will make sure the FBI receives your information. Keep up the Great work.

"These are serious felonies that Wagstaffe covered up; failed to prosecute; and then hid the incidents from the media."

There could also be cases where the DA's Office knew that a deputy or two falsified the existence of evidence in a police report, and then lied about it under oath in court. The DA's prosecutor helped the lie by exaggerating the condition of the non existent evidence. The attorney paid for by SMC private defender program allowed this lie to be presented to the court, without ever asking to see it, or ask about it.

I support perjury and fraud be prosecuted equally, until we have a District Attorney who will enforce our laws and not favor police officers over citizens we can not rest.


Posted by bob, a resident of Woodside: other
on Oct 3, 2011 at 12:02 pm

It would be nice to hear some real facts about this, all we have are comments from interested parties who probably threw a call into the FBI. We have no idea if the FBI is following up on these calls. I still can't believe it would take the FBI this long to figure out what is going on in San Mateo county.


Posted by Menlo Voter, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Oct 3, 2011 at 3:11 pm

"I still can't believe it would take the FBI this long to figure out what is going on in San Mateo county."

"figuring it out" and having a prosecutable case are two different things.

There's knowing and there's proving. Two different things.


Posted by To Menlo Voter, a resident of another community
on Oct 3, 2011 at 3:26 pm

I don't mean to thread hijack, but I wanted to ask your opinion re the terrible death of the young girl in the crosswalk here in EPA. My question is:

Do you think that the police should've towed the car of the driver responsible in this incident?

People are upset and want answers. I know that many of those answers aren't available til the investigation is complete. But I was surprised that her car wasn't towed for examination. I know they can dump cell phone records to see if she was using her phone - no reason to take the phone that I can think of. But the car?

Thank you for your time & expertise.

-Hmmm

PS - One of my friends is taking private plane flying lessons again. I have managed to keep my opinions to myself (for now)!


Posted by Michael G. Stogner, a resident of another community
on Oct 3, 2011 at 4:55 pm

To MenloVoter,
If you really didn't mean to thread hijack, You would not have posted this here. It's simple start you own threads on these different subjects. Good luck


Posted by Michael G. Stogner, a resident of another community
on Oct 3, 2011 at 4:59 pm

Bob, of Woodside,

You tell us what would be the time necessary to investigate say 11 different cases involving say 30 players not to mention several different agencies.

Should be pretty simple, no?


Posted by Hmmm, a resident of another community
on Oct 3, 2011 at 5:24 pm

Sorry, Michael, I thought that might be too weird to do that - start a new thread, that is.


Posted by Menlo Voter, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Oct 3, 2011 at 7:31 pm

Hmmm:

Impounding the car would have been standard practice when I was in law enforcement, but things change. Given that there isn't much question who hit the girl, it isn't really necessary. Only evidence one is likely to get is the fact that the car hit the girl. Already established, so not necessary to impound. However, it was a fatal...

Cell phone records will indicate if the teacher was on the phone.

Good on your friend for tsking to the air again!


Posted by Michael G. Stogner, a resident of another community
on Oct 3, 2011 at 7:48 pm

Hmmm, no problem just easier to stay on topic that's all


Posted by R.Gordon, a resident of another community
on Oct 4, 2011 at 11:56 am


The story of an ongoing FBI investigation is for the ENTIRE San Mateo County and includes some prominent people according to news sources from Sacramento and it is not concentrating on any ONE person, but is available (supposedly) through our CALIFORNIA PUBLIC RECORDS ACT which has had some problems with malcreants in many departments and individuals in high places and most of all, the FBI is supposedly working the hardest with the IRS involved and includes a HUGE amount in the billions in the investigation(s).This is very AL CAPONE kind of evasion problems with our "elite" wrongdoers who made millions with the help of leaders going back 10 years.
You all know who they.
Read the LA TIMES article from Oct.2 and comments by our Attorney General.
If you pull this,give a reason. IRS scares most.


Posted by Lurker, a resident of another community
on Oct 4, 2011 at 12:16 pm

R. Gordon:

You cite a story from the LA Times on October 2 on this matter. Can you post a link?


Posted by bob, a resident of Woodside: other
on Oct 4, 2011 at 12:37 pm

Once again from R gordon no facts just a unidentified news source from Sacto and is this a tax evasion case, because that is what Capone was charged with.


Posted by R.Gordon, a resident of another community
on Oct 4, 2011 at 1:59 pm

R.Gordon is a registered user.

LISTED UNDER "LOCAL"...CALIFORNIA PUBLIC RECORDS.....YOU PEOPLE JUST LIKE TO HARP.....SO LAZY.........AND SOME, CORRUPT AS HELL.
ALL OF IT WAS THERE YESTERDAY, BUT OUR ESTEEMED EDITOR PROBABLY FOUND IT TOO HOT TO HANDLE BEING I WAS WILL TO NAME NAMES OF THOSE IN OUR COUNTY.
LEARN TO USE GOOGLE...NONE OF YOU IS ABLE TO MOVE OUT OF THIS AREA OF NON EXPERTISE WHEN IT COMES TO COUNTY FAILURES.


Posted by R.Gordon, a resident of another community
on Oct 4, 2011 at 2:15 pm


For "bob"..........Woodside definitely is of interest.

I just happen to know people who say things which perhaps I am not supposed to hear. I, frankly am suspect of quite a few COUNTY of the recent past, and I did mention in my pulled comment, that I did have proof of malfeance on the part of elected official.Some have kept a low profile for a good reason.Others, I am not investigating personally, but the likelihood of crimes and misdemeanors is surfacing. So there.


Posted by bob, a resident of Woodside: other
on Oct 5, 2011 at 12:15 pm

R Gordon Not sure what you meant, but the fact that you are investigating people doesn't mean much, unless you are employed by the FBI. Once again no facts just innuendo.


Posted by R.Gordom, a resident of another community
on Oct 6, 2011 at 8:18 am

I am not investigating people....where do you see that?

Incidentally, Woodside is supposedly most active with its "venture capitalists" and ties to the COUNTY as well as hiding large sums of money.

In that case, innuendos are falling like bricks.


Posted by bob, a resident of Woodside: other
on Oct 10, 2011 at 12:25 pm

R Gordon You said you went to talk to the FBI it sounded like they did not come to you.To me that seems like you were trying to start an investigation. Why would vc's use the county to hide large sums of money? Makes no sense at all.


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