FAME THE LAW
Relax. It’s not what you think.
Yesterday, May 17, 2012, I spent the entire day at the Disneyland Hotel Convention Center, attending the world’s largest construction defect seminar, put on by West Coast Casualty Services (a prominent Third-Party Administrator specializing in construction defect litigation management), for whom I was the manager of their San Diego office, back in the day.
This seminar was attended by construction defect plaintiff attorneys, defense panel attorneys and experts, as well as judges from California, Nevada (including two sitting justices of the Nevada Supreme Court) and southeastern states, such as Florida and South Carolina.
After passing and greeting, in the hallway, in the hallway, Chief Justice of the Nevada Supreme Court, the Hon. Michael Cherry, I recalled the afternoon, several years ago at a previous conference, when Justice Cherry and I were conversing while having a cocktail at the end of the day.
I was telling Justice Cherry about my success with Qui Tam lawsuits (a California “whistleblower” statute for private citizens) while fighting political corruption in Lake Elsinore.
Since he appeared to be interested, I recounted pursuing Former Lake Elsinore Mayor Pam Brinley for fraudulently having her grandchildren on her city-paid health insurance, when they should have been on her son’s health insurance, who was a school district employee.
As a result of the lawsuit, $18,000 was returned by Brinley.
I also recounted the pursuit of former Lake Elsinore City Manager, Ron Molendyk, who had received a questionable “sweetheart” contract, in the amount of $24,000, for “services” from his successor, then-City Manager, Dick Watenpaugh. After some pompous posturing through his defense attorney, boasting that we would never be able to lay a legal glove on his client, the former City Manager wrote personal checks totaling $24,000 to reimburse the citizens of Lake Elsinore.
At that point, Justice Cherry reached into his pocket and handed me his business card, stating that if I would bring a version of the “False Billing Act” (Government code 12650-56) to the Nevada State Legislature for consideration, he would support it.
However, at that point in my life, I had little interest in facilitating anti-corruption legislation in the State of Nevada.
Not to mention that Mafia thing.
My interest has always been, and remains, local politics.
Nevertheless, it was personally satisfying to have a prominent jurist acknowledge the efficacy of my efforts in dealing with corruption in local politics.
I have looked at several “situations” in the City of Wildomar that appeared to have the basic elements of corruption, but none of those situations, while questionable, met my personal standard for Qui Tam “slamdunkness,” nor did they rise to the base monetary threshold required for a Qui Tam lawsuit.
But I’m always watching.
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