Corrupt Moyer, Franklin and Welch Continue to Destroy Banning – Low Quality Housing Project Given Green Light
2/15/16 – Here we go again ! Whatever is left of Banning’s future, corrupt Council members Moyer, Franklin and Welch are selling it out to the highest bidder at a record pace. First the trio contaminated Banning’s downtown with their approval of a large government probation office as a direct consequence of the new criminal court house. Both facilities are designed to attract hundreds of criminals daily to the downtown area and were subsidized by the taxpayer to the tune of over 6 million dollars.
Now the trio continues to sell out the City’s future by approving a 98-lot, low quality housing project, featuring “postage stamp” size lots of just 7,000 square feet, located north of Wilson near Sunset.
The approval constitutes a radical departure from the previously mandated 10,000 square foot minimum lot size, spelled out in the zoning overlay. The high density project will have no public areas and no playground for children.
It goes without saying, that increasing the density of any project usually also increases the developer’s profit margin ; thus, a developer will likely apply for a higher density, if he can get away with it. It was up to the City to say “NO”. But this did not happen.
With the latest decision, it has now become painfully obvious that a low quality of life is what Moyer, Franklin and Welch envision for Banning’s future. In this article we will examine the background for their unconscionable decision.
CITY STAFF PRESENTS PLAGIARIZED ENVIRONMENTAL DOCUMENT IN ORDER TO JUSTIFY PROJECT APPROVAL
As part of his Staff report, Acting Community Development Director Brian Gulliot prepared and submitted an environmental document entitled “Mitigated Negative Declaration” (MND). This type of document is regularly submitted when a full Environmental Impact Report (EIR) is deemed unnecessary.
The purpose of a MND is to protect the public from a project that may negatively impact the health and safety of the community or the environment. Therefore, such a document is not just a mere formality, but is highly sensitive in nature. It goes without saying that extreme care must be taken in drafting an MND – and all issues addressed therein must be 100% project-specific and truthful. Copying work of others deprives the public of the protection the process is intended to provide.
Nevertheless, Gulliot’s document clearly appeared plagiarized. It seemed to copy the intellectual property of others, and with that it may even be looked at as a complete fraud on the public!
Specifically, its content appeared to be copied from a document created for the City of Jurupa, at one time suggesting authorship by “Habitat for Humanity” on over 100 pages, along with discussion of a citrus grove and a metal structure that never existed. There were also references to a waste disposal site in Corona, which is over 50 miles away and would never be applicable to Banning.
When confronted about these enormous discrepancies by Councilmember Peterson, Gulliot attempted to explain them away as “typos”. – Really? How can a mistake repeated on over 100 pages be a “typo”? Does Brian Gulliot really believe that Banning’s public is that stupid? Apparently so.
Gulliot’s apparent fraud on the People of Banning should have stopped the project right then and there. But it didn’t : corrupt Councilmembers Moyer, Franklin and Welch bent over backwards to approve the project anyway – with Peterson and Miller vehemently opposed.
CAUTION – FASTEN YOUR SEAT BELTS ! DOWN THE DEEP RABBIT HOLE OF CORRUPTION WE GO
In order to find answers as to why this approval occurred, we need to examine the players. As we will show below, shady dealings are everywhere and reach deep into Banning politics. What you are about to read next will likely blow your mind.
With this said, lets now look at all the red flags, one at the time
DIVERSIFIED PACIFIC’S JEFFREY S. BURUM UNDER CRIMINAL INDICTMENT FOR BRIBERY
First, there is the owner and applicant of the project, ”Diversified Pacific” . The company, based in Rancho Cucamonga, is headed by its Managing Member, Jeffrey S. Burum.
Burum is a key figure in San Bernardino County’s largest bribery scandal on record. It involved a fraudulent litigation settlement of $102 million, paid by the County of San Bernardino to one of Burum’s many companies, Colonies Partners.
In May 2011 Burum was indicted for conspiracy and charged with 9 counts of bribing a public official (PC Sec. 165) and 15 counts of aiding a legislator to receive a bribe ( PC Sec. 86 ). The full indictment can be found by clicking here. Burum is currently free on bail awaiting trial.
The fact that almost 5 years have passed since the indictment, yet the case has still not gone to trial, seems to suggest that if you have unlimited funds available for legal defense, you can effectively bring the wheels of justice to a grinding halt.
CRIMINAL CAMPAIGN MONEY LAUNDERING BENEFITING FORMER BANNING MAYOR BRENDA SALAS FREEMAN
In his presentation before the council, Diversified Pacific’s agent Peter Pitassi introduced Diversified Pacific’s assistant project manager, Nolan Leggio, as a key participant in the project:
You may ask: why is this important? Here is why: Nolan is the nephew of convicted campaign money launderer Mark Leggio. In 2009 Uncle Mark was sentenced to 180 days in jail for his crime.
Who benefited from the laundered campaign funds? The LA Times reported (view LA Times article here) that by far the largest recipient of the laundered funds was no other than former Banning Mayor Brenda Salas Freeman.
At the time, Brenda Salas Freeman received a total of $ 15,000 from campaign fraudster Mark Leggio. Her involvement in the money laundering scandal was so deep, her name (Brenda Salas) is mentioned in the indictment document a total of 9 times, more than any other recipient (to view full indictment please click here).
As one would expect, Salas Freeman maintained she had no idea that the money was “hot”. This is hard to believe, especially given the fact that Salas and Mark Leggio were said to be close friends at the time, according to sources acquainted with both.
Now rumor has it that Salas Freeman, this dangerous barracuda, is planning a political comeback, by re-entering Banning politics in this fall’s election.
BANNING VOTERS, BEWARE !
BROTHER OF CONVICTED CAMPAIGN MONEY LAUNDERER DONATES TO MOYER’S 2014 CAMPAIGN
The brother of Mark Leggio, and father of Nolan, is Chris Leggio. A few years ago, Chris Leggio was a member of the finance committee of Diversified Pacific Opportunity Fund (source).
Public filings by councilmember George Moyer show that he was paid $ 750 directly from Chris Leggio (click here to view filings).
An additional $ 750 came from a Leggio affiliated entity, “Diamond Hills Auto Group” . A manager of Leggio’s car dealership, “Mark Christopher Auto”, gave Moyer yet another $ 750, bringing the combined Leggio related total to $ 2,250.00.
It is safe to say that George Moyer got paid handsomely by Chris Leggio. Is it any wonder that Moyer now approves a project that involves Leggio’s son?
In 2014 we had warned Banning voters about these donations and their implication (see story). Many voters of Banning did not listen and voted for Moyer anyway.
Today, just as predicted, we have confirmation of Moyer’s corruption. The fact that Moyer has also been accused of making mafia-style death threats to his neighbor, just rounds off the picture of this bought-and-paid-for thug on the City council (see previous story here).
LEGGIO AFFILIATED COMPANY DONATES TO DEBBIE FRANKLIN
Diamond Hills Auto Group, at the time a Leggio affiliated company, is also on record of giving $ 750.00 to Debbie Franklin in 2014 (see Franklin filing).
Again, in 2014 we had warned Banning voters about Debbie Franklin being a corrupt, teflon-coated candidate, that does not care about this City even one iota (see story). Many voters of Banning did not listen and voted for Franklin anyway.
Today, just as predicted, we have irrefutable confirmation that our assessment of Franklin was spot on.
SHOCKING: IGNORANT DEBBIE FRANKLIN LIES ABOUT THE LOT SIZE OF HER PERSONAL RESIDENCE
The following video is rather disturbing. Franklin attempts to deceive the public, falsely stating that she lives on a 7,000 square foot property. Please listen :
The truth is Franklin’s property is almost double the size she claims.
According to Redfin (view) , Franklin’s property is not 7,000 but 13,504 square feet, almost twice the size she claims! Franklin is also clueless about the size of her home : public record shows that it is not “larger than 2000 square feet”, but only 1,894 square feet.
Franklin’s embarrassing ignorance peaks with her remark that 7,000 square feet equals “1/3 of an acre”. This remark shows that Franklin lacks even the most basic high school knowledge. She is obviously clueless about the fact that one acre equals 43,560 square feet – it always has and it always will! Therefore 7,000 square feet amounts to less than 1/6 of an acre – not 1/3!
With the level of ignorance displayed in the above video clip, Franklin has shown that she is dumber than a rock. Does anyone still believe that Banning is in good hands with a decision maker like Debbie Franklin at the helm?
By the way, this is not the first time a City councilmember uses false math as a basis for their decisions: a few month ago, Mayor Art Welch attempted to calculate an increase in Banning’s crime rate. In this context he stated that 400% of 10 equals 4. Any councilmember should know that the result is 40. For a video clip of Art Welch doing the math please click here.
While Welch appeared intoxicated when making the above calculation, Franklin gave an impression of being as sober as she was ignorant. How can Banning succeed when some councilmembers, among them a Mayor, not only fail at very basic high school math, but then use their false calculations as the basis for their decisions?
As Forrest Gump used to say : “Stupid is, as stupid does”!
COUNCILMEMBERS MILLER AND PETERSON REJECT THE LOW QUALITY HOUSING PROJECT
Counclimembers Ed Miller and Don Peterson both rejected the project. They cited plagiarism in connection with the environmental document, and both questioned if this project would benefit the City of Banning.
Watch Peterson’s passionate plea against the approval of what he refers to as “junk”:
As this article shows, Banning politics continues to be as ugly and corrupt as ever.
Councilmembers Miller and Peterson are the only ones serious about making Banning a quality City and are fighting corruption. But they cannot effect change – because they are in the minority. Banning’s City council remains hopelessly divided.
The majority trio, made up of Moyer, Franklin and Welch have hijacked the council. It appears they have conspired to sell out and destroy the City at every turn. Why are they doing this? Are they corrupt or stupid? Or both?
After the vote, Diversified Pacific’s Peter Pitassi, in typical salesman’s fashion, stated that the council’s decision reflects an understanding of “smart growth”. However, the only “smart growth” we are able to foresee will be in the bank accounts of Diversified Pacific, not in the quality of life for this community.
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