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Molina goes for another round

Phil Molina's trial ended November 20, 2003.  It was covered in the newspapers and it seemed like an award was due Mr. Molina - but then something happened.  Here is what happened.

The jury unanimously agreed that Mr. Molina had been fired in violation of his first amendment rights and the jury unanimously awarded him almost $600,000 in economic damages.  Four jurors told Mr. Molina that the City's staff who testified for the City really didn't like Mr. Molina and showed this openly.  Since Molina was an "at-will" employee in California an at-will employee can be fired for no reason, any reason but not an illegal reason. This is a way that employers can clean out employees they do not like with little to no reason as long as it's not based on any
EEO basis, such as race, religion, etc.

It was interesting to note that those City staff who testified for the City were also "at-will"
Give the boss what he wants at-will and you at-will will remain at his will.

The Judge, however, was influenced by the City's attorney(s) and ruled that there was something wrong in the way the jury answered her questions.

The Judge instructed the jury that if they answered question #2 with a "yes"
they were specifically not to answer question #3. 
The jury, however, answered all the six questions.
Question #6 was where the jury awarded Molina
the economic damages.
The Judge made a separate "judgment" that since the jury violated her instruction by answering
question #3 after saying yes to #2.
She ruled that no economic damages should be awarded, even though
She did accept the jury's answers to questions #1, 2, 4, and 5(?). 

The Judge also placed in Her written
ruling that She had no doubt the jury intended to give Molina economic damages.

This ruling, as odd as it seems, does seem to show favor towards the City vice the plaintiff and an appeal will be going forward to the 9th Circuit Court. 

Appeals sometimes seem a bit much - but the blatant firing of Mr. Molina seems to ring as true as former Secretary Paul O'Niell's desire to get his word heard about things that just didn't seem right.

Whatever the case, we haven't heard the end of this.  
Phil Molina contributed to this report
 by providing facts for presentation on the Oxnard Journal.   



Politics // County Supervisor's Race


Deputy Sheriff's Endorse Zaragoza

Kapitbahay article on the Race


----Lopez -----

No Campaign Website

----Flynn -----

County Website

Negative Press

Flynn Saves County Money



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The 2004 Predictions as Read at Oxnard City Council

Keep an Eye on the
Planning Commission

Keep up on the City Council

.....what was in the . . . . .

The Mystery Letter:

At the January 6th Oxnard City Council Meeting - there was an item which caused some ire with the City Attorney, Gary Gillig and the seated Council. 

Mayor Lopez asked Gillig if it was proper to read into the record, a letter that was given to the Oxnard City Council for public reading into the public record.  Attorney Gillig's reading on the matter was that the Council normally did not read letters into the record and that the submission of this letter to the Council would suffice for administrative purposes.

What was this letter - what did it say - who wrote it?. ..... The Oxnard Journal tracked it down and found the letter, so here is the letter the City Attorney did not want you to hear read aloud.


January 6, 2004
Mr. Daniel Martinez,
Elected City Clerk

Dear Mr. Martinez:

Please submit this as public comment to item I.2. Please attach to the agenda item and read this to the City Council.

The agenda item I.2 for this City Council meeting is a revisionist attempt to change a completed operating contract between the City of Oxnard and High Tides & Green Grass, which began in 1993 and ended in
December 1998. This is concrete evidence that the City has knowingly
refused to comply with the requirements of that operating contract.

The City Staff's function is to comply and to assure compliance with the correct operating contracts as they are documented in the legal repository in the City Clerk's files. We have hired City Officials and are paying them very handsomely to do just that. We elect our officials to approve proper contracts. A qualified attorney, city manager, finance director and project manager should have made a detailed review of those
documents. In so doing they would have noticed that the language requiring an audit was diametrically opposed between the Council approved operating contract in the City Clerk's files and the operator's business plan.

When this dichotomy first came to the attention of the staff they should have taken proper procedures at the time to offer changes to the contract. They did not do that. In fact even though the 1993 HTGG contract was changed no less than seven times between 1993 and 1998,
never once were the changes made that are being proposed tonight. In fact
as Mr. Holden has stated under oath he was upset when I demanded that the
full, complete and rigorous audit of HTGG be completed as required in the contract. Why do you think that is so?  Under oath Mr. Gillig claimed that the problem of two different operating contracts was due to employee gross incompetence. Unless Mr. Martinez agrees that due to his lack of competence this problem exists, the real reason is that Mr. Gillig is just trying to revise history so that his statements under oath appear to be supported and to attempt to correct Mr. Tom Holden's statements in his deposition.

Also while under oath at trial both Mr. Mike Henderson and Mr. Ed. Sotelo
acknowledged that the difference in the words between the formal agreement and the rogue agreement that you are being asked to ratify tonight were material and thus required specific approval by the City
Council. Yet here four years after that contract ended, the City attorney
now wants to "correct staff's intentional error" by changing the contract

Now comes this agenda item prepared by the City Attorney to get the City
Council's approval to change the completed 1993 HTGG contract, but is
nothing less than an attempt to cover up the fact that staff did not do its job, in fact staff worked very hard to hide from the citizens of this community the financial facts of the operations of High Tides & Green Grass.

Was there any other staff official who was attempting to comply with the audit requirements? Look at Mr. Holden's accusations in his deposition for the answer.  Did that staff person communicate to other City officials of the need for a complete, rigorous and thorough audit of High Tides & Green Grass as is required in the existing agreement? Look at the office e-mails sent to Mr. Sotelo.

Mr. Mayor, I cannot state more clearly that any attempt to change the
language of a contract that was completed in 1998 is not right and simply
attempts to rewrite the facts.

Phillip S. Molina
-------------------------------------Other Molina Pages on the OxJo


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While Driving thru Oxnard on Saturday 10 January, the following unusual sights appeared before my windshield.

At the corner of First and Oxnard Blvd. traffic was moving off to the right-hand  lane - I thought - Oh great - someone's old car has stalled on the Boulevard
and is blocking traffic. Getting behind a large truck, I merged right and
as I passed I noticed a compact car
with the air-bags deployed - two stunned women in the front seat and a few kids
in the back.  The entire front end of the car was crumpled, but there was no second vehicle to be found. 
It appeared as if she hit the rear
of a truck or other large vehicle and the truck just pulled away unaware. 
It was an obvious hit and run
on the part of the other driver. 
Was it an unlicensed, un-documented driver...there are such things?

Afterwards - going to the Oxnard College for the Filipino portion of the Flea Market, I passed by the controversial College Park and smoke was arising. 
I thought - oh great, there goes
the Petit House where the
Rainbow Ladies have been forced to evacuate the period home, but no,
it was the ranch style house near the entrance to the Park. 
According to Martin Jones,
current Vice-Chair of the
College Park Neighborhood. 
"That house was perfectly OK." 
There was not alert to a controlled burn by the Oxnard Fire Department,
although there was a bevy of fire equipment there, enough to indicate
that this was a training exercise. 
 If it were, it was a poor demonstration since many trees near the home were damaged and injured, but considering Oxnard's track record for caring
for trees and other arbors, it would not surprise me if the City didn't care about burning and hurting perfectly healthy trees. 
If it was the purpose of the City
to demolish this ranch style house,
then it went about it in a rather
hap-hazard way.

----- Bill Winter - Editor - O x J o




Thank you for Reading the
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Darling . . .


>> Be Sure to Vote March 2, 2004.

Zaragoza - Lopez - Flynn are running for County Supervisor - Be sure you are registered to Vote and if you have moved in the past year(s) then you need to re-register to vote or you may go to your former voting poll location and vote in the March Primary.

Remember - your vote is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT and all the candidates are counting on you to be there for them - your Vote is your Voice - us it -



November - 2004 - one year from now, you will be going to the Polls to Vote in an important Election
for National, State, County, and Municipal offices. 

Oxnard will elect two council-members, one Mayor, a Treasurer, a City Cluck, and a dog-catcher.

There may be a run-off of the District 5 Supervisorial Race - if the vote comes out 33.⅓ % in March 2004.

For City Council we  currently have one candidate who announced too early, sometime back in March 2003, and she needs to come back to get current with something like name recognition.... 

We have
Dr. Tom Holden announcing his bid for the Mayor's Seat and by-far he's the front runner
against any challenger.

Persons who like win-place-show will entertain a run by Andy Herrera for the Mayors slot in 2004.
Herrera ran for the Mayor's seat in 1998 against incumbent Dr. Manuel Lopez and challenger, Bill Winter. 
Winter came in second on the absentee vote count, which placed him well in his bid for the office. 
Andy won back his seat on the Council in 2002 by narrowly defeating Saul Medina in a close and fierce race
for the Second Council Seat up for grabs in 2002 -  Dean Maulhardt came in handily first in his bid
to retain his seat on the Council.

City Council challengers will surely be John Zaragoza, (unless he's our District 5 County Supervisor)  

Bedford Pinkhard's spouse, Mrs. Dr. Pinkhard, aka Irene Pinkhard announced her bid to seat-warm after her
husband gives up his slot on the council.  She recently won the Oxnard Chamber of Commerce's "Human of the Year" award and that got blasted in all the papers.  She'll be in the mix.

The candidate who will pull ahead, for those win-place-show folks, will be Saul Medina. 
Oxnard's Saul Medina is Ready for 2004.....

He has not officially announced, but based on his close win on the 2002 ballot, he will surely be back again. 
Not because he ran and did so well, but because Saul Medina has a strong desire to see Oxnard become the Bright City
of Ventura County instead of the B*#@ard Step-Child who has to accept an LNG enema.  Oxnard has a long way to go and Saul can get us there, at the right speed and the right direction.  Saul has fresh ideas for a City that appears to have lost it's soul.

Medina still has his campaign kitty active from last election, he  has his committee status up-to-date and his people are in place so be on the lookout and look in the direction of Oxnard's horizon.  Saul is coming and he's been doing
his homework.  His ideas are new, practical, visionary, and founded on his observations of how things get
done in local government. 

Medina was endorsed by the Oxnard Journal in 2002.  He also gleaned valued endorsements
from the Oxnard Firefighters and other local support groups. 

Saul Medina will again get a favorable nod by the City of Oxnard in his next successful run for a seat on the Oxnard City Council.




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