It’s Anaheim Insider time again. Here’s what I have  for you:

DA’s Report Shows Civilian Oversight Board Unnecessary
It’s crystal clear from yesterday’s very thorough report by the Orange County District Attorney that Joel Acevedo, a gang member fleeing the police, tried to shoot Anaheim police officer Kelly Phillips, who returned fire and killed Acevedo (police officers are generally much better shots than gang members).

The OCDA’s report on the July 22 shooting comes two months after its investigators also rules the July 21 shooting of Manuel Diaz justified.

The OCDA team investigating the Acevedo shooting interviewed 64 witnesses, reviewed ballistics, DNA evidence, “APD reports,  audio recordings and dispatch and radio recordings; Orange County Crime Laboratory reports including toxicology, forensic alcohol examination, latent print, officer processing and firearms examination reports, crime scene investigation photographs; autopsy photographs, the forensic pathology report related to Acevedo; criminal history records related to Acevedo including prior criminal history records and prior incident reports; the personnel records of Officer Phillips; and other relevant reports and materials including audio recordings of the conducted neighborhood canvass.”

So what exactly would a civilian police oversight board add to this process? What missing investigative, scientific or legal expertise is missing that a civilian oversight board would provide? If its supporters have a real answer, I’d like to hear it.

“More oversight is always a good thing” is not a sufficient rationale. It’s not even true.

The truth is Mayor Tait’s proposed civilian oversight board is purely a sop to a few vocal activists who have attached themselves to the mayor (and vice-versa).

Tait Conflict-of-Interest On Stadium Resolved…or Not?
This small item ran in last week’s Anaheim Bulletin:

Tom Tait will join stadium discussions

One key player so far has stayed out of Angel Stadium negotiations – Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait.

But he’s planning to join discussions this month.

Tait had to declare a conflict of interest and skip negotiations because his company owned two industrial buildings located within 500 feet of the stadium. The buildings, which were purchased before he was elected mayor in 2010, were transferred to his adult children last year.

“In the interest of extreme caution, I waited a year before I started participating in the stadium negotiations,” Tait said.

The mayor’s initial response to this issue was to maintain that he had no conflict, and then later declared that he had a conflict. The transfer of the buildings to his adult children raises another question: who is paying the taxes on it? Those properties are valued at around $2 million. Do the mayor’s children have the money to pay the tax bill on that?

“Let The People Vote!”…On Some Things, Some of the Time

Mayor Tait’s mantra and fall-back argument throughout the battle over council districts has been “Let the people vote.” Whenever the issue comes up at council meetings, he always bring it back to “just let the people vote.”

As the Insider has previously noted, the unspoken corollary is that rule only applies to proposals the mayor supports, such as single-member council districts.

At the June 11 meeting, the mayor said since the Citizens Advisory Committee unanimously supported putting single-member districts on the ballot, then the City Council should put it on the ballot. He said over and over and over that the CAC said we should “ask the people,” whether or not we support single-member districts.

The CAC also unanimously recommended a separate initiative asking voters if they wanted to keep the at-large system (which Mayor Tait opposes). The mayor totally ignored that recommendation and made no effort to heed the CAC and “let the people vote” on it.

When his colleagues wanted to place on the ballot a hybrid system of electing councilmembers at-large from residency-based districts, “let the people vote” went out the window and Mayor Tait voted against “letting the people vote” on a measure he opposed.

This needs to be remembered next time Mayor Tait starts talking about how important it is to “ask the people” and to “let the people vote.”