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Sounding the Alarm

Original post made by newsmaker, Atherton: Lindenwood, on Aug 17, 2010

The following is an address to the City Council that ex Finance Director John Johns has requested be read in his absence.

It is sure to cause shockwaves.

Dear Madam Mayor and Members of the City Council

I regret not being here in person to deliver these public comments as the concerns I express in this letter to be of the utmost urgency. Regrettably I must be in Spokane Washington at the time of this reading so that I can attend a funeral.

The reason for my communicating with you directly is that I have expressed concerns about misconduct within the Atherton Police Department. I have also complained repeatedly about deficiencies in permitted construction which may very well be of a life threatening nature.

I have made my complaints known through established channels. However, so far, my complaints have fallen on deaf ears.

I have also brought my concerns to the City Manager and to the City Attorney. However, rather than take the devil by the horns if you will, these two individuals appear to be complicit in these crimes (and I do mean crimes).

Sadly and paradoxically, but perhaps not surprisingly, I see that people are being honored here tonight with promotions and accolades who I consider to be culpable, if not directly responsible for the problems that I lay at your feet this evening.

The crimes I speak of are the falsification of a police report to conceal my illegal detention on the morning of August 28, 2007 and of a willful disregard for both the California Building Code resulting in the unnecessary endangerment of human life.

I would like to call to your attention to the fact that one of the officers who witnessed my illegal detention was Clark Yee of the Atherton Police Department. Officer Yee made no secret of his contempt for the conduct of his fellow officers as I was ganged up on during the morning of August 27th.

Officer Clark Yee was subsequently arrested and charged for stolen golf clubs. As we all know Officer Yee, who was investigated by now Lieutenant Wade was not convicted of this stolen golf club rap but of falsifying a police report.

In conducting his internal affairs investigation of Officer Yee’s crime I am left to wonder whether or not Joe Wade thought it strange that Officer Yee was asked to investigate this crime when Atherton had two detectives on the payroll at the time. I wondered how it was that the purported victim (a wealthy Atherton resident) felt compelled to travel all of the way to South San Francisco to a discount store, no less buy a replacement set of clubs. After all, there are ample retail outlets much closer by. I am left to wonder how this gentleman identified his clubs amongst all of the other offerings. Why he would have been looking for used clubs at all.

In Clark Yee’s case I sense a pattern of behavior of accusing one’s enemy of the very misconduct that one is guilty of. I saw this very same script play out in my own distasteful experience with the Atherton Police Department, when I was falsely accused of fraud.

I will only ask that you, the City Council insist that my citizen’s complaint be investigated thoroughly, promptly and independently. I have waited more than six months only to hear from Chief Guerra that an administrative investigation remains in progress.

I will also ask that the City Council require a prompt and complete investigation of three properties which appear to constitute a threat to the health and safety of the occupants and guests thereof, one of which is the home of Charles Marsala.

My complaint over Marsala’s house was investigated by Mr. Cushing. By Mr. Cushing’s own admissions his investigation has been inadequate. I have not received an acknowledgement of two additional complaints, both of which are of my former colleage, a contract plan checker with the Town who assisted me on my audit of the Building Department are of even greater severity.

The addresses I have complainted about to Mr. Cushing but to no apparent avail are 266 Park Lane and 70 Barry Lane.

In all fairness to the owners of these two properties it is entirely possible that they are safe and secure. It is entirely possible that there is absolutely nothing to be concerned about. It is entirely possible that my former colleague's concerns are unwarranted.

Having said that, I do firmly believe that the Town owes it to the owners of these two properties to investigate promptly and adequately the concerns that were brought to my attention and that I have relayed to the Town.

It is for that reason I implore you Madame Mayor to tell the City Manager, “stop the stonewalling” and “get to the bottom of this matter”, before these people’s homes and their lives turn into rubble.

Thank you for your consideration

John P. Johns


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