Moreno: Breaking The Law OK For Me, Not For Thee

As previously reported, last Thursday District 3 Councilman Jose F. Moreno and 20 union and left-wing activists illegally shut down the intersection of Katella Avenue and Harbor Boulevard. They were arrested by Anaheim police for loitering, cuffed and transported to a mobile command unit deployed for the purpose of booking Moreno and the other participants in the carefully choreographed “civil disobedience.”

This act of political theater – conducted for the benefit of the media – carried heavy price tag for the city. More than 50 police officers were on the scene, and more department personnel in support roles. Police cars, transporting Moreno and his comrades in the police department paddy wagon to the mobile command post for booking, etc.  Anaheim police Department spokesman Sgt. Jeff Mundy called it a “significant drain on police resources.”

Not to mention the havoc wreaked on conventioneers (the rally and arrest were timed to coincide with tens of thousands of NAMM Show attendees converging the area), tourists, residents and Resort workers. OCTA buses were re-routed away from these busy corridors – impacting those who depend on public transportation. As commenter David Michael Klawe summarized:

The NAMM Show did increase security due to the protest. The ART and private buses that travelled the area had to be rerouted, stranding attendees. I talk to some on Harbor at Convention Way directing them to the nearest stop. But they had no clue why the buses weren’t coming. Also the Bus Stop at the Disneyland Resort was shut down from 4 to 10 PM, impacting tourist and resort workers. Same on Katella. Closure was between Ball and Orangewood on Harbor, and between Anaheim and Walnut on Katella.

And yes, UNITE HERE SPECIFICALLY picked the opening day of The NAMM Show.

So let’s say we use the going rate Disney is charged for using Police Officers on city streets, around $100 per hour, to cover the overtime wage plus benefits, equipment and supervision. And between planning time, stage before the event and filing reports, 6 hours per officer. That is $300,000 that had to come out of the City’s General Fund to cover the expenses. And then the add the costs to OC Bus, Anaheim Resort Transit. The costs to those stuck in traffic and had no idea what was going on. Taxis, Uber and Lyft drivers, and I could keep going.

Sorry, but maybe a pre-planned event would be better. But then, the Unions would have to pick up the costs to the city…

Perhaps a member of the city council can ask for an accounting of how much it cost the city to cope with this orchestrated lawbreaking.

Moreno posted this justification on his Facebook page:

Not exactly “Letter From A Birmingham Jail.”

So, last week, Councilman Moreno willfully broke the law of his own city – and justifies it. Yet just a few days before, speaking to his Chicano Latino Immigrant Democratic Club of Orange County on January 15, Moreno accused the OC Sheriff’s Department of violating SB 54, the Sanctuary State law. Moreno cited a report by Resilience OC, a radical political group that favors open borders, the abolition of ICE and opposes deportations.

“We have to mobilize to fight to make sure these local municipalities in Orange County follow the law,” said Moreno. “They always tell us to follow the law, so follow the law.”

Unless you’re Councilman Jose F. Moreno, I which case it is apparently OK to violate the law when it is in your political interest.

Let’s note for the record that the OCSD is acting in compliance with SB 54. The Sheriff’s Department – in order protect the public – publishes the names and release dates of all inmates – including criminal illegal immigrants – being released from jail. ICE is able to use that information to pick up criminal illegal immigrants – which Moreno and Resilience OC oppose.

So, when criticizing the Sheriff’s Department’s policy, Moreno declares that we must “follow the law.”  But when it comes to his participating in an illegal action at great cost to city taxpayers, then he doesn’t have to follow the law.

Another aspect of the thinness of Moreno’s rationalization is that he needed to break the law and get arrested in order to “stand with our workers.” He’s a councilman in the 10th largest city in the state. He has plenty of public platforms available to him. There’s nothing stopping him from marching in a legal picket line with UNITE-HERE Local 11. As a councilman, he ought to have cautioned against such a rash, unnecessary and illegal action that only serves to needless consume public resources and inconvenience the public.

If Moreno is truly concerned about investments in neighborhoods, he wouldn’t join in an effort to deliberately disrupt the NAMM Show – which actually, really does generate tax revenues that pay for investments in neighborhoods.

Maybe the arrestees from last week’s protest see themselves as taking a strand for civil rights. They weren’t. This is a labor dispute, not an civil or human rights issue.

17 comments

  1. David Michael Klawe

    Let me correct one thing, I did the math wrong, and the correct estimate is $30,000 (Thirty Thousand Dollars). I want to make sure that is made. And I didn’t factor other things, so I feel that number is low.

    I agree that a councilmember should ask the city manager for a full accounting, and then ask the city attorney if the city can bill/sue UNITE HERE and other organizations that contacted the city in advance about the pre-planned event.

    But $30,000 is still a lot of money, and could have been used for housing, food, health and safety programs in the city.

    I do hope D.A. Todd Spitzer prosecutes Councilmember Moreno, and asks for a hefty fine, possibly the exact amount the city calculates the event cost the city in direct costs. No jail time or community service (that is his job), but making the city whole, which would be the best for the city.

  2. Jose Moreno’s theatrical arrest was only days after the President of NAMM came before him at City Council. He was seeking Jose’s help. The President requested Jose’s assistance with the Hotel Union protestors who were attempting to disrupt the large crowds at the President’s Anaheim Convention Center’s music/instrument show. Councilman Jose Moreno ignored him. Days later, Mr. Moreno would flash his smug grin at cameras as he was taken away by police for disrupting this very show. What should the consequences be? All eyes are now on his fellow Council Members, Mayor Sidhu, and especially the newly elected Todd Spritzer. After learning about his SB 54 stance, throw the book at him.

  3. Jose can resign and protest as a public citizen. It is his right to do so. However, not at a cost to the city he is supposed to be representing. Resign Jose and see if you still have same support.

    • West Anaheim Neighborhood Watch

      There is absolutely NO ARREST RECORD FOR JOSE MORENO, so let me make that PERFECTLY CLEAR! I have the arrest record docs for the month of January and JOSE MORENO is NOT ON IT!

  4. West Anaheim Neighborhood Watch

    There is absolutely NO ARREST RECORD FOR JOSE MORENO, so let me make that PERFECTLY CLEAR! I have the arrest record docs for the month of January and JOSE MORENO is NOT ON IT!

  5. West Anaheim Neighborhood Watch

    As well, while the rest of us PRODUCTIVE CITIZENS were out counting the homeless for the 2019 National Point In Time Count trying to get federal funding, Jose Moreno AND the “homeless advocates” were out doing this crap! Again, there is NO ARREST RECORD FOR JOSE MORENO! So now we have to wonder if our police department is corrupt too? Records are available online for FREE; look for yourself at Anaheim.net arrest logs. I have already written my complaint emails to the Mayor, entire city council AND the Anaheim Chief of Police! This better not be side-stepped at tonight’s Anaheim City Council Meeting! Moreno needs to be billed for all of these costs and Todd Spitzer needs to hold this guy accountable, and NOW!

  6. West Anaheim Neighborhood Watch

    I stand to be corrected.
    I just received clarification from APD: “Last Thursday, all 21 subjects that were arrested and removed from the intersection were released in the field (Command Post) with a citation.” APD also stated that, “Our report identifies subjects that have been booked into our jail facility. This does not include individuals who are released in the field on a citation/promise to appear.”
    This would include “Dr” “Councilman” Moreno.

    • David Michael Klawe

      Thanks for the clarification. I mailed a letter to the D.A.’s office today requesting he would consider fully prosecuting Dr. Moreno.

  7. Mr. Moreno has a personal agenda. Anaheim is a diverse city and he neglects most of it to focus on his pet projects. As a city council member, he should be more aware of the ramifications of encouraging people to break the law, disrupt a hugely profitable convention and waste valuable city resources.

  8. So the Unions and Jose Moreno do each others bidding. Shameless. The residents deserve better that. Prosecute or bill to the full extent of the law. Hold those accountable for the cost to our city funding and that includes Moreno. We need to stop these bullies. We live here and we deserve better

  9. Those that LIVE in Anaheim deserve better. We in District 3 deserve better.

  10. Jose addressed those that live in Anaheim. Yes those that live in Anaheim. He is unrepentant. RECALL JOSE MORENO

  11. Let councilman Moreno do his job, I agree with the councilman standing with the working class

  12. Jose Moreno needs to leave the council or we will demand a recall.

  13. Concerned resident

    Speak up at city council against Jose Moreno.
    Our city will be so much better off without him, and complaining on here isn’t enough.
    Get him out!

  14. Trouble is Jose Moreno is not doing the job that he took an oath to do. He is to represent District 3. Start the recall.

  15. The answer to “building a floor” as Moreno says is not to throw money at the situation. That gets no one anywhere, and we’ll be right back in this situation next year and the year after and the year after. Additional spending money in people’s pockets builds nothing beyond the immediate moment. Education builds everything, you would think Moreno, better than most, would know that. Perhaps Moreno’s “Chicano studies” isn’t such a lucrative field.

    Who’s got recall papers? I’ll be the first to sign.

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