Sign Stakeout Letter Round-up

Letters to the editor of the Simi Valley Acorn always represent a wide range of thoughts and emotions on various topics. Themes will last for weeks at a time, or months at a time during the election season.

One of the most recent topics that seems to polarize the community is related to the issue of the Huber for Mayor sign stakeout. Detective Arabian has a solid reputation as a police officer and as a detective. Following the initial breaking of the news by the Acorn, the paper followed it up a week later with an editorial questioning whether or not the detective, an active supporter of Huber’s campaign, made an error by volunteering for the stakeout task.

There’s a heck of a lot more to this story that most of us probably don’t know. The letters to the editor this week begin to shed some light on that fact. What follows is a summary of letters on the topic. Read them all to draw your own conclusion…

Police have a duty to investigate – Writer believes police should investigate sign thefts as a top priorty to protect first amendment rights. Suggests a cost savings to the city of $2000.

Becerra got a call about his signs too – Writer shares details regarding a phone call to Councilman Glen Becerra. Also expresses concern about how this information was leaked to the press.

Huber should have done the stakeout – Writer suggests Huber should have conducted his own investigation regarding sign thefts and doesn’t believe it was effective use of law enforcement resources.

Involvement was a conflict of interest – Writer believes that the detective who is a known supporter of Huber, appearing in his campaigns, should not have conducted the stakeout as it represents a conflict of interest.

Unfortunately, there doesn’t appear to be a middle ground on this issue…

26 thoughts on “Sign Stakeout Letter Round-up

  1. Like everything else about the signs of this campaign, this too had gotten way too much attention. Bottom line is, there was a crime of vandalism being committed, which is a crime, it received the attention it should have by the police, which was to catch the criminal, they investigated and they caught the guy, well, found out it wasn’t a criminal at all but still they got the job done. Well Done SVPD! On the other concern, should they have searched the police department for an officer who was not a Huber supporter to do this mission? Would that have maybe avoided all the hub-bub about who did the actual stakeout? Really, find something else to bicker about, this was an open & closed matter of good police work, nothing else.

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  2. It was not “good police work.” The officer who did the stakeout is a high-ranking official with a public employees union that still should be ultra-sensitive to the public it serves after scaring the children of a City Council member by picketing his private residence on a Saturday morning. This police union leader was not only seen in a video for a current candidate for mayor, he proses poetically with syrup on top, and the video remains online for all to see over and over.

    The Acorn’s editorial made an astute point by outlining all the crimes reported in its police log for that very same weekend that this officer was sitting in a van staring at a campaign sign. Drunk drivers roamed free that holiday weekend, but Bob Huber’s campaign sign was safe.

    Another point the public needs to consider very carefully is Mr. Huber’s role in this. How many other candidates for any office in Simi Valley this election – Mayor, City Council, School Board or Park Board – have filed police reports for missing signs?

    Take a moment, think about this.

    Now that the Police Department has set the precedent with this “good police work,” they are obliged to provide the exact same “good police work” for every single police report on missing campaign signs. Note very closely, also, the date when Huber’s campaign filed the report and when the stakeout occurred. Days. Many people in this town have waited weeks if not months for much bigger crimes to get truly investigated (because, as officers will tell you, they “lack resources”), but Bob Huber got his signs staked out in just a few days. THAT alone warrants an investigation by an outside agency.

    We lack resources, but we can stake out one campaign sign in a coupla days. Go figure.

    Every candidate this election should submit police reports for missing campaign signs, because we all know everyone is missing signs. Landscapers, skatepunks, juveniles, wind, recycling fiends, restaurant workers, lots of things make signs disappear. But every candidate should file police reports.

    Then one of two things would happen. A) SVPD would have to order the exact same stakeout for each and every report, pretty much rendering the rest of the force useless to stop crime through Nov. 2 (however the union goons may like this; it could mean working 24-7, really racking up OT and making for a killer Christmas); or B) SVPD would do nothing and the candidates could file lawsuits for unfair treatment.

    Win-win for candidates, lose-lose for residents and taxpayers.

    Not good police work.

    (Note: NO other candidate would do that; they have too much respect for our community).

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  3. Sojka big sign on its side, LA Avenue on eastbound side, west of railroad tracks.

    Halub sign down on Tapo Street in front of Mission Burrito.

    Sojka sign down on Cochran Street, private residence, west of Ralston.

    Need investigation into this vandalism. Fair is fair.

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  4. One aspect to the reason that there was an investigation is that there was a pattern. Without the pattern, there is not much that can be done. It is not fair to expect an investigation unless ALL the aspects are the same.

    Also, you should notice that the police only have one video system, which was in use. It seems to me that additional video systems are needed to reduce the cost of other investigations. Those costs don’t get reported on, so you don’t know that you are paying for those decisions as well.

    I also have to wonder why Sedell is refusing to investigate what occurred until after the election. Is it because there was nothing done wrong and he wants to help the incumbents by allowing this to remain an issue? If something was done wrong, then we, the public, deserve to know that BEFORE the election.

    I also heard the Code Enforcement is now responsible for investigations, but I doubt that they have the resources nor are they responsible for criminal investigations. This change is questionable, although it appears quite political.

    Does all this mean that the public needs to start taking the law into their own hands? I have seen statements from the incumbents that Huber should not have reported the missing signs to the police.

    Instead of basing your views due to your support of a particular candidate, it is better to try to be objective and use some common sense, as well as being fair, even if it does not benefit your horse in the race.

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  5. Barbra, you seem to have some serious mental problems and you should seek some professional help. I am not sure of why you feel the need to constantly post such childish posts, but a mental health professional should be able to help you.

    You don’t seem to be able to address the issues or choose not to, so why don’t you go back to the school playground where you will be happier.

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  6. “Also, you should notice that the police only have one video system, which was in use.”

    Why not wait until the video camera was available? Huber filed the police report at the very end of August. The stakeout was during Labor Day weekend, early September. Would it have killed anyone to wait a day or two or three until the camera was available?

    There was some kind of hurry to do this particular stakeout. We all know why.

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  7. Oh, ok, I guess the police should not have the equipment that they need and people can wait for action. If the police wait for just over two weeks, I am sure that the problem will no longer exist.

    Well, take a look at the ads from the incumbents who claim that they don’t tolerate criminal activity, so why are they against this?

    We, the public, deserve to know whether something was done wrong or not BEFORE the election, but Mike Sedell is waiting until after the election, perhaps to help the incumbents.

    Incumbents, like Barbra, do not want the public to have the facts since it is easier to control people with lies. She refuses to discuss the issues and instead has to resort to childish comments in an attempt to derail the conversation. I can’t wait until she runs again!!!

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  8. Who says if Sedell investigated it immediately, that it wouldn’t kill Huber’s campaign?

    You are making huge assumptions, Ken.

    I wonder what would be revealed by taking the time to review all email messages and phone logs between that officer and Huber’s campaign manager, in the weeks leading up to the police report, and through the stakeout. Careful review of all content.

    And police could have investigated this particular case immediately, by simply assigning another officer. The fact that they chose an officer who was in one candidate’s campaign video is THE issue at hand, Ken, not everything else you’re dreaming up.

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  9. I don’t care what the outcome is, the public should know before the election. If it shows that Huber did something wrong, then people should know before they vote for him. If he did nothing wrong, then they should know that as well.

    Look at the statement made, it was specifically said that Sedell would wait until after the election. That is wrong.

    You are making assumptions that there was something wrong with that officer investigating, with supervisor approval. If the POA supports Huber, then do you think that none of the officers should be able to investigate anything for him?

    Talk about dreaming things up!!! Sounds like a conspiracy theory. I have no problem with having all the phone logs, email message or anything else checked, but you sound like you expect to find a smoking gun there.

    The actual issue at hand is whether there was anything done wrong, not who was in some video.

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  10. Barbra, you seemed to be trying to improve and be more creative. Don’t give up!!! Otherwise you might have to actually talk about the issues and not make false/deceptive statements.

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  11. Today: Sojka sign ripped off from hill off Kuehner. All other signs left alone. Conspiracy. Demand a stakeout. First Amendment rights violated. Hard to park a van up there, though. Detective might have to go commando.

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  12. Gotta love that some people want to see serious things as a joke. There is no reason to be fair or objective if you can help your candidate.

    Do you consider that the Brown Act violates the 1st Amendment rights? Do you want to get rid of that?

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  13. Then sue the state of California, Ken. I hear there’s a lawyer in town who has experience suing government agencies. Doesn’t have a very good success rate, but he’s definitely sued the city.

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  14. That makes no sense. Why would I want to sue the State of CA? The Brown act tries to keep the government actions in the open.

    I guess that some people like to jump to conclusions when someone asks a question.

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  15. It is SO nice to know when I am bugging Barbra!! Too bad I could not have had my title listed on the ballot as a bug to politicians or something like that.

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  16. Just a point of order….a gnat is a small somewhat annoying insect. I don’t believe nat is a valid word. Sorry… incorrect spelling ‘bugs’ me.

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  17. FYI, nat is a valid word, but it means something else typically, although there is one definition which could apply. There is another thread in which this was brought up, but Barbra does not care and won’t admit that she made a mistake. I also heard that she was at a police roll call and asked if a transient was the same as a homeless person.

    See:
    http://www.votesimivalley.com/2010/10/taskforce-requests-halt-to-landfill-expansion/comment-page-3/#comment-3772

    Perhaps she means:

    nat

    in Burmese folk religion, any of a group of spirits that are the objects of an extensive, probably pre-Buddhist cult; in Thailand a similar spirit is called phi. Most important of the nats are a group collectively called the “thirty-seven,” made up of spirits of human beings who have died violent deaths. They are capable of protecting the believer when kept properly propitiated and of causing harm when offended or ignored.

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