Police Union member Marie Fellhauer is running for El Segundo City Council
Photo copyright © 2012 by Michael D. Robbins.
Marie Fellhauer is a Police Union member, and her multitude of ethics lapses make it more likely that she will represent the Police and Fire Unions rather than the Voters and Taxpayers if elected to City Council.
Marie Fellhauer has made at least four known ethics lapses:
- Fellhauer’s 32 percent absenteeism rate for Planning Commission meetings she was obligated to attend, and her misrepresentation of her Planning Commission record in her campaign literature.
- Much of Fellhauer’s campaign assistance is coming from Mayor Eric Busch, who took $10,900 in campaign cash and other support from the Police and Fire Unions in 2008, and paid them back with millions of extra tax dollars per year in a back-room sweetheart deal, and more than 11 to 23 percent pay raises during a recession when they were already grossly overpaid.
- Fellhauer knowingly accepted a $700 contribution from a local businessman who tried to cheat the City out of $55,000, and who was bounced off the Planning Commission by the City Council before his first Planning Commission meeting because a majority of the City Council did not trust him. He tried to steer the Golf Course Construction Management contract to a friend who bid $120,000, when the lowest and more qualified bidder bid only $65,000 for the same job.
- Fellhauer got caught in a lie where she tried to cover up her Police Union campaign contribution money at the League of Women Voters Candidates Forum.
Planning Commission Ethics Lapse
Marie Fellhauer’s known ethics lapses start with her Planning Commission appointment.
Excerpt from Marie Fellhauer’s Campaign Literature.
Fellhauer claims in her campaign literature that her appointment to the El Segundo Planning Commission is an example of “Marie’s Proven Commitment to Community.”
However, Fellhauer has been absent for a third (32%) of all the Planning Commission meetings she was obligated to attend over the last two years, and absent for a fourth (25%) of all her obligated meetings over the last four years.
There are several problems here.
First, Fellhauer failed to meet her commitments for a very important city function for at least four years.
Second, once she realized she could not or would not meet her commitments, she should have resigned but failed to do so. It appears that Fellhauer retained her seat on the Planning Commission solely to use it as a stepping stone to higher office, i.e., City Council.
And third, Fellhauer misrepresented her record in writing in her own campaign literature to gain trust and confidence from voters.
I personally reviewed all of the Planning Commission meeting minutes available at the city of El Segundo official web site and calculated the attendance records for all of the Planning Commissioners. The results of that study, together with all of the source data, are available for anyone who wishes to verify them.
Fellhauer had the worst meeting attendance record of all the Planning commissioners who were responsible for attending more than seven meetings during the periods under study.
She was absent for 9 of the 28 meetings she was responsible for attending from 01/14/2010 to 10/27/2011, the first period under study. She was absent for 13 of the 53 meetings she was responsible for attending from 01/24/2008 to 10/27/2011, which included all available meeting minutes.
CLICK HERE to download the full Planning Commission Attendance Study Microsoft Excel Spreadsheet File (XLSX file format).
CLICK HERE to download the full Planning Commission Attendance Study Microsoft Excel Spreadsheet File (XLS file format).
The Planning Commission meeting minutes can be downloaded as individual PDF files from the City web site at:
Mayor Busch Support Ethics Lapse
Much of Fellhauer’s behind-the-scenes campaign assistance is coming from Mayor Eric Busch and his connections. Busch’s photo and endorsement are featured prominently in most of Fellhauer’s campaign literature.
Visit ElSegundoPOA.com for more information.
Busch paid them back with millions of extra tax dollars per year in a back-room sweetheart deal, and more than 11 to 23 percent pay raises during a recession, even though they were already grossly overpaid.
Campaign Finance Ethics Lapse
Fellhauer’s second known ethics lapse occurred when she knowingly accepted a large campaign contribution from a known dubious source. She knowingly accepted a $700 campaign contribution from a local business owner who tried to cheat the City out of $55,000, and who was bounced off the Planning Commission by the City Council before his first meeting because a majority of the City Council members did not trust him.
I and others have personal knowledge of the circumstances surrounding the attempt to cheat the City out of $55,000, and I have personal knowledge that Fellhauer was aware of those circumstances before she accepted the $700 campaign contribution.
Candidates Forum Ethics Lapse
Fellhauer claimed her campaign support came from family and friends at the League of Women Voters Candidates Forum, even though she received a large Police Union campaign contribution, and also a large campaign contribution from Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca who would probably love to build his empire and have El Segundo outsource its police department to his County Sheriff department.
Fellhauer only admitted to her special interest campaign money after Dave Burns made an interesting suggestion to the audience.
Watch the video at about elapsed time 1:17:26 through 1:18:01:
“In terms of campaign funding, who is funding your campaign, and what endorsements have you received that come with money, either direct, or in-kind money?”
“My campaign is funded by friends, neighbors, um, people that I’ve met during this campaign process. I too have not accepted any money from endorsements of um any unions, organizations, or foundations here in El Segundo. The only endorsement I have received is from the Daily Breeze. It did not come with any money. And I will not be beholden to anyone.”
Fellhauer actually did receive Police Union money – a large campaign contribution from the LAPD Command Officers Association, which is a Police Union. But she did not accurately answer the question.
It is standard operating procedure for the Police and Fire Unions from different cities and agencies to scratch each other’s backs. That is why they often endorse each other’s candidates.
Only after Dave Burns suggested that voters check all of the candidate’s campaign finance disclosure forms did Fellhauer admit that she had accepted Police Union Money.
Watch the video at about elapsed time 1:36:11 through 1:36:32:
Fellhauer made her admission in her closing statement:
“First things first. I want to make sure that I make it clear that I forgot that I did receive a donation from the Los Angeles City Command Officers Association from LAPD.”
CLICK HERE to watch the League of Women Voters El Segundo Candidates Forum, or watch it below.
April 5, 2012 El Segundo Candidate’s Forum
hosted by the League of Women Voters (01h 45m)