Using the California Public Records Act, Anaheim Blog obtained this January 2019 text conversation between District 3 Councilman Jose F. Moreno and Ada Briceno, the chair of the OC Democratic Party and co-president of UNITE-HERE Local 11 (a major Moreno campaign donor and supporter) – pertaining to Moreno’s participation in the union’s illegal shutdown of the Katella/Harbor intersection.
Some background: Joe Lamond, president of the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM), drove up from San Diego to address the January 15, 2019 Anaheim City Council meeting and voice his concerns over Local 11 drawing the upcoming NAMM show into its labor dispute with the Anaheim Hilton and the Sheraton Park Hotel:
The next day, January 16, Moreno texted Lamond’s contact information to Briceno:
Two days later, on January 18, Moreno texted Briceno as to whether she had spoken to Lamond:
What was the “big ask”? Good question. It presumably was related to Local 11’s plans to distrupt the opening day of the NAMM Show – Anaheim’s biggest, most lucrative convention.
A few days later, on January 21, Briceno texted Moreno about UNITE-HERE Local 11-led plan to shut down the Katella/Harbor Blvd on January 24, telling the District 3 councilman that her team “loves the idea of you getting arrested”:
On January 23, Briceno followed up with Moreno to see if he was committed to joining the large group of union and progressive activists planning to get arrested after shutting down the busy intersection. Local 11’s planned “action” was well rehearsed and they needed to submit names to the police, give their attorneys time to prepare the necessary post-arrest paperwork ahead of time, etc.
Of course, Moreno did join Briceno and 18 others in shutting down one of the city’s busiest intersections on the opening night of Anaheim’s biggest trade show – one that generates $100 million in economic activity. In a post-arrest text exchange with Briceno, Moreno gushed about the orchestrated mass arrest:
Moreno’s “incredible display of power and compassion” not only violated the laws of the city he was elected to govern, but cost Anaheim taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars due to the necessity of a massive police mobilization -law enforcement resources therefore not available for ordinary police duty. While Moreno often talks about the necessity of following the law – just last night he opined how Anaheim police need to adhere to California’s Sanctuary State law – he’s happy to break it when it serves the interests of a key campaign supporter.
Moreno and his 19 co-defendants are being prosecuted by the Orange County District Attorney, and are being jointly represented by criminal defense attorney Fred Thiagarajah. A pre-trial hearing is scheduled for August 20 at 8:30 a.m. in courtroom N9 of the North Justice Center in Fullerton.
District Attorney Spitzer spoke to the weekly meeting of Moreno’s Los Amigos group on May 29, under the condition that Moreno not bring up or speak about the pending prosecution. According to sources, Moreno told individual attendees that agreement wasn’t binding on them, and encouraged them to speak to the DA about the case.