Mayor Slams City Manager Michael Rock For Inappropriate Election Interference



2/18/17 – On February 14, Banning Mayor George Moyer read a prepared statement slamming controversial City Manager Michael Rock for inappropriately interfering in the 2016 Banning City Council election.




Busted for Election Interference : City manager Michael Rock

Unethical manipulator of free elections : City manager Michael Rock

The Mayor’s statement, which was read on behalf of the entire council, referenced the findings of an independent investigation into Michael Rock’s conduct during the last election (view transcript here).

The investigation concluded that Rock, who is supposed to be politically neutral, had directed a subordinate to secure a candidate to run against incumbent councilman Don Peterson in District 2. The unnamed subordinate, who was a “City Department Head”, did not comply with Rock’s unethical demand. It is rumored that this person was a high level administrator in the Banning Police Department.


While Banning had its share of out-of-control, even corrupt City Managers, Michael Rock’s conduct undoubtedly takes the cake. His unprecedented actions constitute a severe ethics violation under Tenet 7 of the Code of Ethics of the International City Management Association (ICMA), which reads as follows :



When asked by the Mayor, Rock had no comment on the findings of the investigation.

Undoubtedly, Rock’s conduct gives reason for his immediate termination. However, no such action has been taken by the council at this time. The unnamed Department Head deserves our highest respect and gratitude for blowing the whistle on Rock, unafraid of possible retaliation by his boss.



When it comes to Rock’s misconduct, the Mayor’s public reprimand may however just point to the tip of the proverbial iceberg.

There is strong evidence suggesting that City manager Michael Rock’s election interference may not have been limited to just councilman Peterson’s election alone.



A 2016 email to Michael Rock provides evidence that he may have used City resources in an apparent attempt to also undermine the 2016 candidacy of Daniela Andrade. Andrade ran unopposed in District 1.

The following email from City Attorney John Cotti indicates that Michael Rock had inquired about Andrade’s eligibility:




NOTE : While Daniela Andrade is not mentioned in this email by name, she was the only candidate who’s spouse served on the Banning School Board


It is not within the authority of a City Manager to use his office to initiate a legal probe into the eligibility of a City council candidate. Using any City resources for such a purpose should therefore be viewed as unlawful and could potentially even constitute a criminal act under Penal Code Sec. 424 (a), 2 .

Target of City Manager Rock : Councilmember Daniela Andrade

Targeted by City Manager Rock ?  Councilmember Daniela Andrade

Within the City, determining electoral eligibility falls exclusively under the authority of Banning’s City Clerk, Marie Calderon. The Clerk is a sworn elected official, who is voted for by the people of Banning.

In this capacity, the Clerk is not a subordinate of the City manager. The email strongly suggests that it was Rock, not the City Clerk, that initiated the probe.

Given the above facts, it appears there is good reason to believe that Rock used his office in order to inappropriately attempt to undermine the election of Daniela Andrade as well.

It is rather surprising that at this time, neither the presumed target of the attempted interference, councilmember Daniela Andrade, nor anyone else, has demanded an investigation into this matter.





Shielding lawless City Manger at all cost : Councilmebers Franklin, Welch, Mayor Moyer

Protecting an unethical City manager from termination : Councilmembers Franklin, Welch, Mayor Moyer are once again showing that they are as worthless as they are corrupt

The preservation of the integrity of any election process is paramount in a democracy.

Once a free election is undermined, and an unelected government official can create a City council to his liking, government runs amok – and at that point the entire democratic process becomes merely a farce.


Unfortunately, despite clear evidence of inappropriate election interference, three councilmembers have choosen to ignore the red flags. They are actively obstructing the long overdue firing of Michael Rock, and with this are sending us a message suggesting that Michael Rock continues to deserve the public’s trust. 

The three councilmembers in question are : Debbie Franklin, Art Welch and Mayor George Moyer. Does anyone still believe that these three councilmembers have the best interest of the people of Banning at heart ?



Reminiscent of an unelected Soviet-style “Commissar”, Michael Rock has been caught operating as an underhanded manipulator of free elections. 

Rock has shown no remorse whatsoever for his actions: Despite being given ample opportunity by the Mayor, Rock failed to apologize to his victim(s), as well as to the Department Head he tried to compromise, and, most importantly, to the people of Banning, who’s trust he has betrayed.

And to top it all off, a corrupt council majority is now trying to convince all of us that the best way for Banning to move forward is to continue vesting our trust in the “leadership” of a confirmed election manipulator.

If you’re shaking your head now, you are probably not alone. Yes, Banning is out of control. It has been so for a very long time. And it will continue to be, simply because three equally worthless and corrupt councilmembers like it that way. Way to go Banning ! 


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