Livingston city manager to get severance
Served two months with city
Resigned of his own accord, according to city leaders
City will begin search for replacement in coming months
Eddie Duque, 48, speaks to residents of Livingston after being named the next city manager in July. He served two months before calling it quits.
Despite spending just two months on the job in Livingston before making the decision to leave, the former city manager will be paid more than $55,000 in severance, his separation agreement shows.
The agreement signed this month by Eddie Duque and Mayor Rodrigo Espinoza states that the city will give the former city manager $52,466 on Jan. 5 to “assist him in his career transition.”
Another $2,636 – the value of two months’ worth of medical coverage – will also be paid out to Duque, the agreement states. Those payouts come on top of the regular salary he was being paid during his short time with the city.
Duque officially left the job Dec. 18, the agreed upon separation date for his employment after he decided to resign, according to city leaders. He was to make $140,000 a year plus benefits as the city’s top administrator after beginning work Sept. 30.
Amount of severance to be paid to city manager on top of salary
The payouts are set to be made in January, under the agreement, assuming Duque also waives his right to demand any further payment or rescind his resignation.
Livingston’s City Council held two closed-door meetings earlier this month related to the city manager’s performance and employment, records show.
The reasons behind the sudden departure remain unclear. Duque has not responded to requests for comment.
Livingston underwent several months of searching before picking Duque, who replaced Jose Ramirez as city manager.
Before Duque began working for the city, Sun-Star inquiries found he had a bankruptcy filing and a domestic-violence conviction in his background. Both had been cleared from his record, he said, but the council admitted to not being aware of either when he was hired.
The agreement signed this month by Eddie Duque and Mayor Rodrigo Espinoza states that the city will give the former city manager $52,466 on Jan. 5 to ‘assist him in his career transition.’
The city continues to crawl back to where it was before the Great Recession and the bursting of the housing bubble, which was particularly tough on Merced County cities.
City coffers are expected to end this fiscal year with the first budget surplus in four years. With general fund revenues of $5.18 million, the city projects a surplus of about $320,000.
Though the surplus is relatively small, city leaders have said it’s a sign of an improving economy in Livingston. The next city manager will inherit that surplus, and the residents’ calls for economic development.
More taxpayer money squandered and people are always blaming unions and retirements when these things are going on. Then cities are always asking for more in tax measures.
AT A SNAIL’S PACE 12/30/2015
By William Thomas Jensen (Tom)
Court resumed today at 9:44 AM in the Frank Carson murder trial. Judge Zuniga had been able to have a lengthy conversation with a lawyer in Stockton with the name of Jeff Hirschfield on the legal issues concerning the fact that Defense Attorney Martha Carlton Magana had represented prosecution witness Patrick Hampton back in 1993. After much discussion, Martha’s client which is one of the Athwal brothers asserted that he still wants Martha to represent him in this trial, and has waived his right to use this in his defense in the future if he were to be convicted. Hampton was his usual self today. We had the F Bombs, and wise cracks from the stand like always. Judge Zuniga has allowed him to get away with a bunch. I wonder why he has not had a couple of contempt of court citations already.
Patrick Hampton took the stand at 10:00 AM. Martha started out asking him questions. Hampton testified that he was wearing the orange and white striped jail outfit the 1st time he met Frank Carson. He was asked by Martha why he was wearing that color uniform, and he told her it was none of her business. It was brought out that he has worn this color combo for 10 to 12 years while in custody. Martha pressed Hampton for the reason why he wears this color of uniform. Martha went over the categories of inmates that wear this color, and asked Hampton which category would apply to him.
Hampton was asked to step down from the stand, and was taken out of the courtroom. A side bar was done, and Prosecuting DA Attorney Marlissa Fereirra kept saying that the question was not relevant, and would put Mr. Hampton’s life in jeopardy. Judge Zuniga got upset, and stated that Marlissa Fereirra’s arguments were offensive.
Patrick Hampton was put back on the stand and Martha again asked Hampton what category he fit into for wearing the orange and white striped uniform. Sex? No. Gang? No. Attack in jail? No. Enemies? Yes. Prison politics? Yes. Patrick Hampton made a comment to Martha that she sounded like a broken record. Marlissa Fereirra made arguments that again angered Judge Zuniga, and the judge said “Mam, you are making this much more complicated than it needs to be. The judge then said “Mam, would you let me handle this.”
Hampton was back on the stand again after having to step down. He was asked by Martha if in 2014 he was incarcerated with Michael Cooper. Hampton said he did not remember. Hampton said that he was in DVI with Michael Cooley. He denied knowing Tony Cooley, Ronald Cooley, Linda Burns, Johnny Padilla, Kevin and Keith Hobbs, Kevin Pickett. When asked if he knew Kimberly Stout, he said “I don’t think so.” He denied knowing Eula Keyes and Robert Woody. Hampton stated that he has known officer Sheldon for several years. He denied knowing Mary Bronco, Brian Woody, and Tina Carlos. He said the name Toby Anoti sounded familiar. Hampton denied knowing Dawn Poma, or anybody in the Woody family.
Public Defender Rosenstein made it to court. He was summoned to court to consult with Patrick Hampton about his rights concerning Martha’s attempt to find out exactly why he wears orange and white jail uniforms. It is brought out that the reason is because he has known enemies in the jail and prison system. Martha pressed Hampton for specifics. There were many objections by Marlissa Fereirra on this concerning relevance and Patrick Hampton’s safety. It was brought out that the reason he wore orange and white stripes was because of some prison violence that he had been involved in. Hampton denied acting as an informant. Hampton denied volunteering information to law enforcement. Hampton was asked if he was paid for his cooperation in the Carson trial, and he said no. He denied wearing a wire. Hampton admitted that he had made a threat to Paul Singh when he looked at Singh’s wife through a rifle scope and read the license number of her car to Paul Singh over a cell phone. He had called it in testimony a “Terrorist fact.”
It was brought out that Hampton had told investigators he told Singh he was going to kill Paul Singh. “I fucking threatened to kill him.” He said this to DA Investigator Steve Jacobson. Martha asked Hampton why he thought he had immunity over these things. There was an objection that was sustained. Martha went into the incident where he threw 30 lbs of marijuana into a neighbor’s yard from his pickup truck while being chased by the police. He was afraid that his truck was going to be impounded. Hampton told Martha that he did not have a scale, and was not really sure how much marijuana he actually threw into the neighbor’s yard.
It was brought out that Hampton has been a 3 striker since 1995. Martha went into the instance where Hampton had told DA Investigator Steve Jacobson that he had an AR-15 assault rifle. Hampton admitted that he had told Jacobson this, and Martha read the transcript of this meeting to Hampton when he tried to say that the gun was only a replica. Martha brought out that Hampton should have been given a Felony for that. It was brought out that Hampton had stolen marijuana from a grow at the corner of Stearns Rd and Sierra. Hampton called that harvesting, and said he did a lot of harvesting as a way of making money.
Martha asked Hampton if he had told Steve Jacobson that he took dope into jail, and he answered yes. Hampton said the dope was no good, and must have been cut. Martha told Hampton that “You know Jacobson has the power to arrest you. In this interview with Jacobson, Hampton confessed to criminal activity after criminal activity. Martha listed them: Dope in jail, Fire Arm, threat to kill Paul Singh, stealing marijuana. “You told Jake all of this” Hampton then said “Am I incriminating myself?
Public defender Rosenstein was allowed to consult with Hampton in another room. When they came back into the courtroom, Rosenstein announced that Hampton was asserting his 5th Amendment rights to protect himself from self-incrimination. Hampton was allowed to step down from the stand, and was taken out of the courtroom.
At 1:42 PM Defense Attorney Robert Forkner spoke about a motion of his that if granted would bring in facts about a homicide, home invasion robbery, and other issues that Patrick Hampton was involved in. Much time was taken after that trying to ascertain where a file from the California Department of Corrections was that was supposed to be overnight delivered by now. Judge Zuniga came into the courtroom with a thick sealed envelope that she had the court clerk unseal. Judge Zuniga took a look at the contents, and made a comment that the file contained items that she had not expected. She handed this file to Martha Carlton Magana, who was going to provide to the other defense attorneys. Prosecuting DA Attorney Marlissa Fereirra was told that she could not have a copy of this file. This should be interesting when court resumes on Monday at 9:30 AM
William Thomas Jensen (Tom)
Officials from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has advised Reeves & Dola that the agency is now requiring licensed dealers who regularly import firearms on behalf of customers to obtain a Type 08 federal firearms license (FFL) as an importer.
This is a significant change in policy that will require dealers to obtain an importer’s license and to mark the firearms they import with their name, city, and state.
Background – GCA Requirements for Persons Engaged in Business of Importing
The Gun Control Act of 1968 (GCA) requires persons “engaged in the business” of importing firearms to obtain a license as an importer. The term “engaged in the business” as applied to importers is defined in 18 U.S.C. 921(a)(21)(E) as follows:
“…as applied to an importer of firearms, a person who devotes time, attention, and labor to importing firearms as a regular course of trade or business with the principal objective of livelihood and profit through the sale or distribution of the firearms imported;…”
Persons engaged in the business of importing firearms must comply with all marking requirements specified in ATF regulations, and also register with ATF for a fee pursuant to the Arms Export Control Act.
Historically, from 1968 until the recent change in policy, licensed dealers who occasionally imported firearms on behalf of a specific customer were able to obtain ATF approval on a Form 6 permanent import permit without also becoming a licensed importer. This policy is set forth in multiple ATF publications: (1) ATF Guidebook – Importation and Verification of Firearms, Ammunition, and Implements of War in the section “Policies and Procedures,” page 3, paragraph 5 (last visited 12-29-15); (2) the Federal Firearms Regulations Reference Guide, ATF Pub. 5300.4, Question M1, pg. 208 (last visited 12-29-15); and (3) question and answer posted on ATF’s website (last visited 12-29-15).
In the past, ATF has not defined the term “occasionally” nor has it placed limitations on the quantity of firearms a dealer may import, as long as the dealer imports the firearms on behalf of a particular customer and is not engaged in the business of importing firearms for resale. Consequently, licensed dealers were able to import firearms on behalf of specific customers without obtaining the additional license, registration, and without having to mark such firearms with importer identification.
Recent ATF Guidance
ATF has confirmed that unless a licensed dealer’s importations on behalf of customers are infrequent, the dealer must obtain a Type 08 license as an importer of firearms. ATF views a dealer’s regular importations as fitting within the definition “engaged in the business,” even when importations are undertaken on behalf of specific customers, because the dealer in fact engages in regular import activities through the distribution of firearms to their customers. According to ATF, a sale of the firearms is not required for the importer’s license to be required. ATF also advised that dealers who import must mark the imported firearms in accordance with the law and regulations and must maintain records of importation as specified in the regulations.
The reason for ATF’s change in policy is its concern that significant quantities of firearms have been imported into the United States without importer markings. The lack of such markings makes it difficult or impossible to trace diverted firearms or firearms recovered as crime guns. ATF has informed our office that it will post guidance on this new policy in the near future, although a specific date has not yet been communicated.
ATF officials have advised that the Firearms and Explosives Imports Branch will not deny import applications submitted by licensed dealers when it is clear the importations are on behalf of particular customers. However, the Branch will refer information concerning dealer importations to the appropriate ATF field division. It is important to note that Field Division personnel may then take steps to advise dealers that they must obtain an importer’s license, register as an importer, and mark the firearms they import.
ATF officials also advised the agency will entertain requests for marking variances from importers who are bringing collector type firearms into the U.S. on behalf of a particular customer. ATF recognizes that applying importer markings to such firearms may affect their value and will consider alternatives to the importer markings specified in the regulations.
Marking variance requests must be submitted to the Firearms and Ammunition Technology Division at email@example.com.
About Reeves & Dola:
Reeves & Dola is a Washington, DC law firm that specializes in helping clients navigate the highly regulated and complex world of manufacturing, sales and international trade of defense and commercial products. We have a deep understanding of the Federal regulatory process, and use our expertise in working with a variety of Federal agencies to assist our clients with their transactional and regulatory needs.
For more information, visit: www.ReevesDola.com.
Gun control legislation going into effect in California next week will allow authorities to seize a person’s weapons for 21 days if a judge determines there is potential for violence.
Proposed in the wake of a deadly May 2014 shooting rampage by Elliot Rodger, the bill provides family members with a means of having an emergency “gun violence restraining order” imposed against a loved one if they can convince a judge that this person’s possession of a firearm “poses an immediate and present danger of causing personal injury to himself, herself or another by having in his or her custody or control.”
“The law gives us a vehicle to cause the person to surrender their weapons, to have a time out, if you will,” Los Angeles Police Department Assistant Chief Michael Moore told a local NPR affiliate. “It allows further examination of the person’s mental state.”
“It’s a short duration and it allows for due process,” he said. “It’s an opportunity for mental health professionals to provide an analysis of a person’s mental state.”
Rodger, 22, killed six people and injured 14 others before taking his own life during a wave of attacks across Isla Vista near the campus of the University of California, Santa Barbara, that he carried out with two knives and three handguns that he legally purchased.
The rampage was prefaced by a video uploaded to YouTube of Rodger discussing his plans, as well as a 107,000-word manifesto, both of which were circulated minutes before he began killing.
“This is almost the kind of event that’s impossible to prevent and almost impossible to predict,” Janet Napolitano, the university’s president and a former homeland security secretary, said in the aftermath of Rodger’s ambush.
Twenty months later, implementation of the bill is expected to give family members a mechanism for having loved ones briefly lose access to their own, legally acquired weapons in hopes of stopping similar rampages.
“It’s the family members, it’s the people closest to the perpetrator, who are in the best position to notice red flags,” Wendy Patrick, a San Diego State University professor and lawyer, told San Diego’s CBS affiliate this week.
Second Amendment advocates have cried foul, however, and insist that legislation is not the answer in a state already ripe with gun rules that are more restrictive than most anywhere else in America.
“We don’t need another law to solve this problem,” Sam Paredes, executive director of Gun Owners of California, told The Associated Press. “We think this just misses the mark and may create a situation where law-abiding gun owners are put in jeopardy.”