ACLU to Irvine City Council: Proposed Rule Is Unconstitutional
The ACLU issued a letter to the Irvine City Council regarding agenda item 5.1 which seeks to change Irvine’s policies and procedures regarding public comments.
Read the pdf version of letter here.
Katherine DaigleMarch 23, 2022 at 10:43 pm
THANK YOU, Branda, for the clever work and to all that are working tirelessly to stand tall and represent the residents of Irvine. Our freedom of speech has taken a beating recently and is never more obvious than today by this City Council.
The Irvine City Council represents the people and THEIR VOICES, REMEMBER.
A lesson in good government, we as citizens gave you a JOB to do the work of the citizens, and when we feel strongly about an issue in the community, we speak up freely. Typically, one attends a city council meeting to voice those concerns. Unfortunately, the powers have tried to prohibit the citizen from addressing a controversial topic. Have the citizen’s First Amendment rights been violated? YES
Sometimes government officials need to be silent and listen (mouth shut, ears open). Because you are required to listen during community comments. During these times you as the officials may be squelching citizen speech because certain council members want to suppress the message.
LOCAL government meetings are open to the public and SERVE the public and reserve a “public comment” time for citizens’ commentary on issues. “The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals explained in its 1990 decision White v. City of Norwalk: “Citizens have an enormous First Amendment interest in directing speech about public issues to those who govern their city. City council meetings, principally the “public comment” period, are considered a public forum during which free-speech rights receive increased protection.
Fortunately, many of us were made aware of Carroll’s indiscretions they have percolated to a boil. His reckless crimes surfaced and recent comments holding him accountable were directed to the dais and Mike Carroll the self-appointed chair of the OCPA – was made aware publicly during “public comments” of his fraudulent past activity, illegal business dealings, lawsuits, and judgments – especially after a judge in one case called Carroll out for a PONZI SCHEME – soliciting seniors, veterans, and families into mortgage fraud with FAKE companies all across the United States. Mike Carrol was elected to a City Council seat and given the endorsement from THE “Orange County Taxpayers Association Political Action Committee (OCTaxPAC) their support and endorsement of Vice Mayor Mike Carroll for Irvine City Council.
HERE is the revelation “OCTaxPAC reserves its coveted endorsement for only the most fiscally responsible and economically effective leaders in Orange County”. This endorsement is a total and complete fraud – paid for by PACS – Carroll stole taxpayer money to fund his own sleazy campaign during COVID, used his staff, used Irvine postage and taxpayers’ emails, about $74,000. Then once the work was done by his STAFF DURING COVID he let them all go, and this was done BEFORE THE ELECTION, and he still got their endorsement!!
THIS was the con artist statement:
“I am very honored to be endorsed by OCTaxPAC today,” said Carroll. “This organization is a leader in supporting candidates who are champions of taxpayers. If I am elected to continue my service on the Council, I will continue to support polices to protect our Irvine taxpayers and local economy.”
In endorsing Carroll, OCTaxPAC issued a statement saying, “OCTaxPAC is proud to support Mike Carroll’s campaign for election to the Irvine City Council. Mike shares OCTaxPAC’s mission: To Ensure that Taxes and Tax-Supported Programs are Fair, Understandable, Cost-Effective, and Good for the Economy.”
AND the same Endorsers before the election:
OCTaxPac joins the Irvine Police Association, the Orange County Firefighters, the Orange County Business Council, many Irvine residents, and a host of current and former elected officials in supporting Mike Carroll for the Irvine City Council. REALLY
Carroll was pointed out several times for these illicit frauds before the election and so much more keeps dripping out. Please keep in mind this man has a ZERO background in business and with budgets except for his private lawyer status. I imagine most residents are genuinely concerned as he contracts with multiple banks for lines of credit upwards of more than $50M DOLLARS. A hired political pollster Probolsky was given the CEO position for what appears to be a $10,000 check to the OCGOP Chairman Whitaker? Probolsky has even less than the council Carroll, ZERO EDUCATION and ZERO background in renewable energy, no knowledge of gas, wind, and storage power capacity, engineering, environmental permitting, regulatory filings, or will this trio Kahn – Mayor ZERO background appointed to Vice Chair OCPA going to rely on SCE for all of this and what will they decide to pay them. Recently, they spent millions of taxpayer dollars, hired multiple marketing consultants for 100’s thousands of dollars, why? None of this makes any sense. A pollster is what Probolsky does as a family business – conducts marketing and political survey for politicians. Why else would he give Whitaker $10,000 before he was given the CEO seat – unless he performed some polling during that year or the previous year for the OCGOP or city council’s OCPA which is tied to the developers, speculation says there is a lot more corruption and collusion afoot.
Look, citizens want and expect to be heard but were silenced by both, the mayor and this self-appointed swindler Carroll who has colluded with Democrats, RINOs, lobbyists, and developers. Builders of multi-million-dollar homes on what was supposed to be a Veterans Cemetery.
I digress, Freedom of Speech and the rights afforded by our Constitution cannot be silenced by Council or even the sitting city attorney – because of the content of their speech or because they have disagreed previously with local government officials. This raises the specter of censorship. Government officials may not silence speech because it criticizes them. They may not open a “public comment” period up to other topics and then carefully select which topics they want to hear or to hear from. They may not even silence someone because they consider him a gadfly or a troublemaker.
Finally, because the people spoke up and may have won this battle, I hear another contentious battle is in the wings – building a train maintenance depot at the marine base. Now you thought an asphalt company was a polluter. Where do you think all that diesel, oil, noise, dirt, sand, dusty rail yard, and a complex series of tracks in a rail network for storing, sorting, loading, and unloading rail vehicles and locomotives, etc… Who approved this in the planning commission – this had to be in the works for years KUO?
P.S. And you were worried about the noise of a peaceful cemetery, okay.
Dee FoxMarch 24, 2022 at 1:10 am
I submitted a complaint to the ACLU right after the previous council meeting when Melching cut me off. Today Zoe from the ACLU called me and said she couldn’t believe that the City Attorney lied to Tammy Kim when she asked if there was anything in these changes that goes against what the ACLU letter says, and Melching said no. She was also very concerned about what he did to me, again, and said she will be sending out another letter next week that will be a lot stronger and will be very specific. She stated that this letter was more of a draft because she was under a time constraint to get it to the council before yesterdays meeting. So, looks like maybe Branda has been in contact with them as well. Glad to hear! Zoe said that they are completely wrong in what they are doing and she sounded just as upset as I was. I just read a story about residents in a small community in California that sued three people on their city council for not acting in the best interest of the people and running the city on their own agenda. And they WON! The three council members got kicked off the council, fined, and barred from ever working in public office again. So there is hope and we should consider this approach…far easier than doing a recall. I will find out more information on this and see if it’s something we should do. Anyway, we will see another letter going to the council before the next meeting and I will be there giving my uninterrupted comments…(LOL) but seriously.
sayno2noodoeMarch 30, 2022 at 11:22 pm
My colleagues and I attended March 22 meeting for the very first time in our lives to protest the selection of Noodoe Inc, a foreign company that misrepresented itself as a local minority owned manufacturing company to obtain the city of Irvine’s contract of EV charging stations to be installed at the GP via Casco Construction. Noodoe Inc misrepresented itself as a manufacturer when it is not, pretended to be an Irvine company after it laid off all of its Irvine employees (it had none elsewhere) under false pretenses that it is shutting operations in CA and moving to TX, and falsified that it has a large number of support and maintenance staff in the US when it had none. It also abused its employees by ordering its office staff to modify and tamper with the EV charging hardware before they were sold to the public, and buried sexual harassment complaints and hired a two-time convicted domestic abuser as an executive in January of 2022. These and other questionable and illegal business practices were presented to the city council members and the mayor and they have yet to respond to any of the communications we submitted.
If you look back to the GP council meeting dated 12/14/2021 Agenda 2.11, the RFP process was cancelled prematurely. Other bidders and finalists were not allowed to submit additional information, and the contract was unfairly awarded to a pre-determined vendor Casco Contractors with the stipulation that Noodoe equipment be used. The other participants never had a fair chance. Multiple subsequent conversations with participating vendors have indicated that the City Council never intended anyone else to have an equal chance at the bidding. The RFP process was just for showing and posturing and nothing more.
My colleagues and I were formerly employed by Noodoe Inc in Irvine. We knew how Noodoe was selected because some of us were in the company meetings before and after council member Kim’s visit. In order to support our contention that the RFP process was not by the book, and the Brown Act was violated, a Public Records Request was submitted on February 22 to the Irvine clerk’s office only to be met with delay after delay. More than a month later, we have only received 20 items relating to the massive EV Charging project and only after multiple demands. This begs the question what are they hiding?
During the March 22 meeting, multiple colleagues were cut-off while they were speaking about these issues. It was utterly appalling that matters of public safety and concern were prematurely muted. It also appears that any information relating to the safety and the potential dangers to GP visitors using EV charging stations provided and tampered with by Noodoe are of no interest to the City Council. We want our voices heard. We will continue to attend these council meetings until we get a response.
Dee FoxMarch 31, 2022 at 12:55 pm
I am working with Zoe from the ACLU with other matters so I sent her your message to see what she can do about this issue as well. I am hoping there will be a lawsuit against Farrah Khan, Mike Carroll and Tammy Kim. I am also in touch with another legal source, so we will see. And just like you, I won’t give up. Thanks for posting this! Please feel free to email me @ [email protected].
sayno2noodoeApril 2, 2022 at 6:51 pm
Thanks, Dee, for your immense support. We are just a group of ordinary hardworking Americans who witnessed a foreign company and CEO taking advantage of our City and our country using misrepresentation and underhanded dealings to the fullest at its convenience. Noodoe calls itself a domestic corporation with no foreign control (it is 100% foreign owned) when it wanted US government funding and cash that are allocated to domestic (US owned) companies. At the same time, we see Noodoe CEO emphatically pitching how her government is helping her in the US to land deals, and seeking its Cultural Center’s or Embassy’s, if you will, help to artificially elevate its status as a major player when it is not. Opening the closet, we will find US employees being taken advantage of in the form of not being paid minimum wages, overtime, or even more brazenly, turned into 1099 contractors just to avoid paying workers comp insurance. Product safety and consumer rights compliances are secondary in the eyes of this company because there were only two main focuses when this company started in 2016 in the US:
1. Get the Green Card
2. Pump and dump – artificially elevate the value of the company in the US by any means and hoping to get acquired or IPO in its home country
Sorry to have digressed. I believe a bit of background is needed to show why Noodoe was so eager to obtain the GP contract, the largest ever in terms of numerosity, by means of unfair and questionable means.
As a long-time resident of Irvine, it is disheartening to see our city officials wanting to do business with this company, especially after being informed of Noodoe has a poor record of treating female employees, covered up sexual harassment complaints from female employees, and routinely requested its employees and/or managers to engage in unacceptable and unlawful business practices against their wills or else suffer consequences. Noodoe has yet to pay for the janitorial services rendered by a hardworking service company. Noodoe breached its lease with a landlord who generously offered rent accommodations during the pandemic only to be taken by the CEO. Noodoe hired unlicensed contractors to perform jobs that have dire safety consequences. The list goes on and on. How can our City official not take a stand against a company like this? This company needs to be stopped and investigated to the fullest.
IWD and your help are much appreciated.
VegasGal4uApril 25, 2022 at 3:39 pm
Noodoe Inc. is trying real hard to gain “good publicity” by paying to post articles. This company is unfortunately one of the “chosen” companies via an installation company / contractor that was awarded a bid for the City of Irvine, GPN charging installs. This is a grave mistake and is not worth it for the residents of Irvine, or anyone visiting our beautiful Great Park Neighborhoods! I certainly hope the city of Irvine changes out Noodoe Inc. as vendor of choice. Casco Contractors won the bid for the installation of the Level II chargers throughout the city, a total of 260 or so units to be installed in various lots.
Noodoe Inc. is a foreign company and is not even a manufacturer. Casco Contractor’s proposal to the city has Noodoe classified as a software / manufacturing company. Noodoe Inc. is merely a reseller of a product that is manufactured by a different company in Taiwan. City of Irvine, in a shocking decision in Dec 14th, cancelled the bid proposal projects and awarded it to a “Local / female owned” business. Problem is the vendor Noodoe Inc. is an overseas company, that has mistreated the US employees tremendously. There are many claims against Noodoe Inc, some pending and perhaps more in the pipeline (not surprising).
I want ACLU to look into this decision by the city of Irvine. Irvine Watchdog group needs to hold our elected city officials accountable for their deciion-making powers that can cause more harm for the city than do good. Noodoe Inc. chargers are tampered with and opened by a third-party company prior to it selling to the direct customer. Furthermore, Noodoe Inc. has performed many egregious acts against the employees.
Lastly, and more importantly, its worth noting that there is a revenue sharing and carbon credits component to Casco’s bid award contract with the City of Irvine, and the City can’t just unilaterally decide to give money to a private company. Those funds should go back to the people (site owner) and certainly not Casco and/or Noodoe Inc. This should be looked into.
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