Monday, March 05, 2007

Glendor-a-ma! Clifford and Police Arrest Teen Girls! [UPDATED!]

Is this image and the page it comes from true to life or merely last minute "gadflies of Glendor-a-ma" sponsored campaign propaganda?
A little of both perhaps, but either way, when you get done with your Glendora dinner be sure to steer clear of the city council campaign signs. People are watching, and you don't want to end up in the pokey. You can't make this stuff up, folks.

Last Tuesday I noted that a short paragraph in the Around the Valley segment of the SGV Trib said two teenage girls were arrested for vandalizing campaign signs in Glendora. This was interesting in itself, but the even more interesting part was that a police officer said "one of the victims" held the girls under citizen's arrest until police arrived. I wondered out loud whether or not this "victim" was one of the candidates running for office. After all, this is Glendora, and these things happen. As an excellent LAT article by staff writer Jim Newton described a few months ago, Councilman Gary M. Clifford once went for a drive, happened to spy the husband of a political opponent illegally washing paintbrushes and had him cited accordingly.

However, I thought the better of my comments later and updated my post, as I figured "victims" must have been meant to refer simply to whoever owned the property the sign was on. My initial reactions, although consistent with Glendora politics, seemed over the top, and I didn't have time to poke around further. Heh, heh, heh. Turns out my instincts were right.

Newton, apparently, did have time to poke around and wrote another article in the LAT Saturday revealing that, in fact, it was Councilman Clifford who held the girls under citizen's arrest until four cop cars showed up to put them in handcuffs and arrest them. As Newton says, "...they were booked, searched and kept in jail four hours, and interrogated separately while their parents and lawyers were held at bay. Later, when a department spokesman released a statement to the media on the arrests, he identified both teenagers by name but omitted Clifford's identity, describing him only as 'one of the victims' of the vandalism."

The girls were "vandalizing" the signs by putting stickers on them pointing out the signs were illegally placed on public property—at least according to an ordinance that Councilman Clifford voted for. The law needs to be sorted out here, but how can you vandalize something that doesn't have legal standing to be there in the first place? Logically speaking (granted in law and politics "logic" often takes many shapes), either Clifford's ordinance is worthless or the girls did nothing wrong.

The girls weren't operating without political motives (one of their fathers was recalled along with former mayor John Harrold a few years back), and I don't think the current faction in charge of Glendora is a conspiracy of evil, but Clifford ain't doing himself any PR favors. Sure seems like the attitude behind his actions—although he technically did nothing illegal whereas the girls arguably did—needs some adjustment.

Not surprisingly, embittered election challenger John Harrold (of public access TV fame) has a nice page on his campaign website highlighting some of the growing number of press reports spurred by this story. Take a peek at the long string of comments (and the finding of the teenage girls' MySpace Accounts) here. Fox 11 video here; CBS-KCAL9 video of ensuing protests here.

Also, let it be noted that the SGV Trib [which, for whatever reason, wasn't able to get at this story the first time around—lack of resources or incompetence?] has [curiously] had nothing on this story since the LAT piece.

UPDATED: The SGV Tribune city editor responds and defends the Trib's purposeful avoidance of coverage here, here and here. More on this later in a new post.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

I put most of the blame on the Glendora Police Department for charging and arresting these two young girls on a "violation" that isn't applicable to their case. I also hole the department responsible for allowing the obvious violation of illegally sticking signs on public property by the Council man. I have lived in this city for 50 years and we need to get rid of not only this mayor, Clifford, but the Chief of Police and his cronies as well. What a joke. Oh, I could tell you stories.

Anonymous said...

It's nice to know there's a "sister" city just like ours, La Verne. Who does the hiring of these so called policeman, anyway. They're nothing more than little Hitler's running around with badges, and probably were the losers in school. Sad that the mentality of these people drives them into the place of authority, and we allow them there.

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