May 092014
 
Sheriff Campaign, County Supervisor Rocked by Conflicts of Interest
There seems to be a pattern of big cash donations in to political campaigns in San Joaquin County and a pattern of these campaigns all being tied back to N Allen Sawyer and Carlos Villapudua.
Villapudua’s own campaign has come under scrutiny for similar tactics as used by the Withrow for Sheriff campaign, with a twist. Conflict of Interest.
First, the dirty money. Carlos Villapudua received $82,500 in cash contributions – similar to the huge amounts of Cash Contributions received by Withrow for Sheriff.
In order to receive that large a sum in non-reportable contributions, it would require nearly 9,000 donors giving $99 a piece. Possible, but extremely improbable.
Second, Carlos Villapudua failed to report his interest in Wire-to-Wire, a political consulting firm jointly owned by convicted felon N Allen Sawyer and his wife Edith (Lopez) Villapudua. N Allen Sawyer was convicted along with Sheriff Baxter Dunn and Monte McFall in one of San Joaquin County’s most notorious political corruption cases.
Villapudua’s firm, Wire-to-Wire is also being paid by Paul Canepa for Supervisor, Withrow for Sheriff and Rick Grewal for City Council. Villapudua has been remiss to complete his form 700 statement of economic interest correctly reflecting his interests in those campaigns.
Worse, it appears that after Villapudua was re-elected for his last term as supervisor, payments continued to drain out of his campaign account. Who appears to have been receiving said money? Edith Lopez (now Villapudua).
It is also Ironic that Villapudua, who campaigns as a labor-union financed man of the people appears to be flaunting Worker’s Compensation and employment statutes. The Villapudua campaign lists Edith as an employee, yet there is no disclosure of withholding or Worker’s Compensation.
Where did the $82,500 in “Cash” contributions come from?
What was the $81,614.74 spent since his re-election in June of 2012 spent on?
Why hasn’t Carlos Villapudua reported his interest in Wire-to-Wire on his form 700’s for 2012 and 2013?
Where is the employment agreement, worker’s comp and witholding for Edith Villapudua?
Given that Carlos Villapudua is now profiting (along with N Allen Sawyer) from the Withrow for Sheriff Campaign, the Grewal for City Council Campaign and the Canepa for Supervisor campaign – it is reasonable to see the conflicts of interest and wonder if there is some sort of cover-up.
Carlos Villapudua is a supporter and booster of Team McNerney, N Allen Sawyer is a former official in the office of Gray Davis and is a democrat power broker. This FPPC Complaint and the criminal complaint are righteous. Add in that Sawyer is a convicted Felon and you have a juicy nexus.

#CA09 Update: A Little Money Laundering Amongst Team McNerney Friends?

 CA-09 Race, Jerry McNerney  Comments Off on #CA09 Update: A Little Money Laundering Amongst Team McNerney Friends?
May 082014
 

Your intrepid blogger took a look at the Pat Withrow for Sheriff Form 460 filings and have observed some disturbing patterns.

Withrow reports an impressive $158,657.07 Raised since 1/1/2013.

There are a couple things of interest in these reports.

  1. Wire to Wire – a firm run by convicted felon N Allan Sawyer (Withrow’s Consultant) is listed as receiving payments totaling $82,142.31. There is also an in-kind donation of $60,000 even worth of “video ads” in the reports from Wire-to-Wire to the Withrow Campaign. Wire to Wire is also co-owned by San Joaquin County Supervisor Carlos Villapudua.
  2. Villapudua gave Withrow Checks totaling $1,100 and Wire to Wire chipped in $400. Villapudua later got $600 paid to him under the Meeting and Appearance Category.
  3. The Finance reports list a staggering $66,691.20 in small contributions, meaning that 40% of Withrow’s money has come from Donors giving less than $99.

This reeks of money-laundering.

The amount of small-dollar contributions is way out of whack. A statewide candidate might receive $50,000 in small-dollar contributions, but the likelihood of a Sheriff Candidate in a medium sized county that is economically depressed is extremely unlikely.

When you couple this with the apparent lack of advertising and activity as of the 3/17 date of the last report you have to wonder what the money was spent for.

What is N Allan Sawyer Hiding? What is Withrow Hiding? What is Villapudua Hiding?

The payments to Wire-to-Wire have no description of what the payments were for. It is highly unlikely that they were for mail. There would have to be disbursements to the post office and a mail house as well on the report. It is highly unlikely the payments were for radio or TV ads, no one had heard any as of the time of the report.

Given that Allan Sawyer and his then client Sheriff Baxter Dunn were both prosecuted and later plea bargained to a single felony for money laundering, influence peddling and the like, this pattern is all too familiar.

It is time for the Withrow campaign and Wire-to-Wire to come clean about where the money came from and what was done with it.

As a side note, State Senator Cathleen Galgiani received $250 of the suspect money as did another client of Wire-to-Wire, Rick Grewal.

What’s a little laundry amongst Team McNerney friends?

 

#CA09 Update: Team McNerney Tries to Re-Write History, but their felony convictions were justified!

 CA-09 Race, Jerry McNerney  Comments Off on #CA09 Update: Team McNerney Tries to Re-Write History, but their felony convictions were justified!
May 072014
 

Problem – just because the supreme court changed the law after the fact does not mean that McFall, Sawyer and Dunn are innocent. It just means that in the mind of some judge the law they were convicted under (on in the case of Sawyer and Dunn pled guilty to) was flawed.

Monte McFall, Baxter Dunn and N Allen Sawyer lived the good life. They had a machine going on.

Through a couple of shell companies they operated – named: MSD Ventures, Inc (using the first initial of the co-conspirator’s last names) and SMTM Partners, L.P. (Show Me The Money) – the above three were alleged to have run several scams.

The circumstance that got the attention of the federal prosecutors was related to competing bids for a power plant in San Joaquin County.

On March 8, 2005, a jury returned a verdict convicting McFall of attempted extortion, conspiracy to commit extortion, honest services mail fraud, and witness tampering. The jury convicted McFall of seventeen of the twenty counts charged in the indictment and acquitted him on three counts of mail fraud.   The district court sentenced him to 121 months’ imprisonment and a $50,000 fine-the maximum sentence in the advisory Guidelines range.

Both Dunn and Sawyer pled guilty to a single felony in exchange for light sentences of 6 months each,  they agreed to testify against McFall. The government chose not to make them testify, yet McFall wanted them to testify in his defense.

Both envoked their Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.

A review of the evidence in the cases shows that all three were accused of selling influence. Dunn, the former Sheriff was accused and pled guilty to using his office to attack targets to get them to pay and Sawyer was the consultant / power broker manipulating the chess pieces.

Sawyer was uniquely qualified to do his job as his resume lists him as a former Prosecutor in San Joaquin County.

Take a look at the name of the entities that they supposedly used to launder their extortion proceeds with? Show me the Money? Really? This implies that they knew what they were doing – especially Sawyer who got himself in trouble when he went out hard and in public for a power plant project he was on retainer for… without telling anyone he stood to reap millions if his project won.

Here’s the bottom line: In 2001, Calpine Corporation (“Calpine”) and Sunlaw Energy Corporation (“Sunlaw”) were competing to secure the right to build a power plant at a site in the Port of Stockton.3 McFall and his partners (acting through their SMTM partnership) entered into a consulting contract with Sunlaw under which the partners stood to reap substantial financial rewards if Sunlaw obtained the right to build at the Port of Stockton site, and an even greater sum if the plant was actually built. According to the evidence, McFall and his partners sought to undermine Calpine’s chances of prevailing at the Port of Stockton by mounting political opposition to another pending Calpine project in neighboring Alameda County.

Neil Sawyer’s Felony Conviction was overturned on a technicality. Had prosecutors known that the Supreme Court would change the criminal statutes a few years later, they could have solicited a guilty plea to a different charge from Sawyer and Dunn. McFall was convicted on a variety of felonies and several of those convictions still stand.

The People of San Joaquin County deserve better than Neil Sawyer. Mr. Sawyer has no place in politics, he should be working for a non-profit spending the rest of his life making amends for the ill-gotten gain he has ripped off from society.

Baxter Dunn’s political career was destroyed, rightly so. He abused the public trust. But, both Dunn and Sawyer are mounting a comeback.

Monte McFall is to the best of this author’s knowledge, still in prison or on probation where he belongs.

None have ever proven their innocence. Worse, the Plea-Deals of Both Saywer and Dunn included a caveat. If the circumstances of their convictions changed, then the prosecutor reserved the right to try them on the other charges. This is now a real possibility that flies in the face of their protestations of innocence.

The Federal Prosecutors did the right thing breaking up this den of thieves. The citizens of San Joaquin County deserved the best power plant, not the power plant these three felons made the most money off of.

Not to be outdone – McNerney’s Buddies in the Stockton Record Agreed in 2011!

March 06–There is only one thing sillier than the suggestion that former San Joaquin County Sheriff Baxter Dunn be returned to office.

That’s the assertion by Dunn’s attorney, Douglas Goss, that government prosecutors have admitted they were wrong in going after Dunn.

“We can now allow the will of the people of San Joaquin County to be honored by restoring Sheriff Dunn to the office of sheriff for which he was duly elected,” Goss said.

Goss is maneuvering to have his client’s name cleared in the county’s largest public corruption scandal. Dunn, along with N. Allen Sawyer of Stockton, pleaded guilty to one count of honest services mail fraud. Federal prosecutors accused Dunn of abusing his position by using a law enforcement database to do research unrelated to his official duty.

The law in question makes it a crime to “deprive another of the intangible right of honest services.”

In 2005, Dunn was sentenced to six months in federal prison, six months of home detention and three years’ probation, and fined $40,000.

Now Goss wants Dunn’s name cleared. He bases the request on a Supreme Court ruling that tossed portions of the honest services statute.

A unanimous Supreme Court ruled in June, in a case involving former Enron executive Jeffery Skilling that honest services law was so broad and so vague that it could capture all manner of behavior, including what many reasonable people would not consider criminal.

U.S. District Judge Morrison C. England signed papers Feb. 2 clearing Sawyer’s name, a move that was not opposed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Sacramento.

Similarily, the office is not opposing Dunn’s effort.

“Not often,” Goss said, “does the government step up and admit that it was wrong.”

More properly, not often does the government have to stand aside when the Supreme Court alters application of an existing statute.

Dunn, by the way, wishes to work as a law enforcement consultant, according to Goss’ court filing.

Copyright (c) 2011, The Record, Stockton, Calif. Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

In San Joaquin County, you get your ballots today or tomorrow. Be Careful who you vote for!

#CA09 Team McNerney Update – Withrow for Sheriff Campaign Run by Felons?

 CA-09 Race, Jerry McNerney  Comments Off on #CA09 Team McNerney Update – Withrow for Sheriff Campaign Run by Felons?
May 062014
 

N Allen Sawyer is a notorious political consultant in San Joaquin County. Several years ago he pled guilty to a federal felony related to attempting to rig bids for a power plant coming in to San Joaquin County.

Deposed and disgraced Sheriff Baxter Dunn was also involved and he did hard time for a felony related to the caper. Baxter Dunn was a client of Sawyer’s. Another co-conspirator Monte McFall pled guilty to several felonies.

At the time Sawyer committed his crime(s), he worked in the Gray Davis administration. Ironically, Sawyer worked in the Criminal Justice administration when he was arrested.

Sawyer was alleged (and pled guilty related to) to having been involved in strong-arming local interests in to hiring his consulting firm to run their projects and if the target refused, Sawyer used his stable of local elected clients to kill any interests of those that did not pay.

N Allen Sawyer pled guilty to a federal felony of honest services fraud. In 2011, the US Supreme Court ruled that the law was so broad that it was unconstitutional. It was for this reason, not Sawyer’s innocence, that the conviction was vacated by an appeals court after Sawyer had served time in federal prison.

Allen Sawyer sees it differently and he will protest his innocence far and wide. The Federal Prosecutor that prosecuted him, U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner has said he’d prosecute Sawyer again.

The FBI was able to get Sawyer convicted because he testified publicly in favor of a power plant arrangement that he failed to disclose his own financial interest in. In the court documents are damning evidence suggesting influence peddling, bid-rigging, backroom deals and the like. Allen Sawyer is remiss to ever address any of the evidence offered against him.

Worse, when his co-conspirator Monty McFall had a chance to get several of his convictions overturned, Allen Sawyer envoked the fifth amendment to avoid testifying on McFall’s behalf. If Sawyer was an innocent man, why not testify as such?

If you were to speak with Sawyer today, he never acknowledges what he did, much less that he did anything wrong.

Sawyer has a huge problem – the legal documents indicate that he can now be prosecuted for the charges that were previously dropped. Why? Because the circumstances of his prior conviction were changed.

Today, Allen Sawyer is connected to and consulting for a variety of candidates including Sheriff Candidate Pat Withrow.

It also appears that Sawyer may be attempting to rebuild his political empire that was destroyed by the prosecutions.

Could Withrow’s candidacy with N Allen Sawyer behind the curtain be an attempt to bring back the “Good Old Days” when you had to call Baxter Dunn, Sawyer, McFall and others in order to do business in San Joaquin County?

This is key – because Jerry McNerney will be relying on people like Sawyer to stay in office. The stench of corruption appears to be descending on San Joaquin County once again.

#CA09 Update – Official FBI Release Circa 2005 About Team McNerney

 CA-09 Race, Jerry McNerney  Comments Off on #CA09 Update – Official FBI Release Circa 2005 About Team McNerney
May 052014
 

Just in case you doubted that N Allen Sawyer is a Convicted Felon:

INFORMATION ISSUED BY U.S. ATTORNEY’S OFFICE FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA ON JAN. 13: SHERIFF OF SAN JOAQUIN COUNTY, FORMER COUNTY SUPERVISOR PLEAD GUILTY IN CORRUPTION CASE

US Fed News

January 13, 2005 Thursday 1:50 AM EST

Copyright 2005 HT Media Ltd. All Rights Reserved

Length: 796 words

Byline: US Fed News

Dateline: SACRAMENTO, Calif.

Body

The U.S. Department of Justice’s U.S. Attorney’s office for the Eastern District of California issued the following press release:

United States Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced that T. BAXTER DUNN, 57, the elected Sheriff of San Joaquin County, and LYNN G. BEDFORD, 67, of Tracy, a former San Joaquin County Supervisor, each pleaded guilty to felony offenses in U.S. District Court in Sacramento today. DUNN pleaded guilty to one count of honest services mail fraud, and BEDFORD pleaded guilty to making false statements to federal agents. Both offenses carry a maximum sentence of five years in prison. DUNN’s plea agreement requires that he resign as Sheriff within 30 days, or sooner if required under state law, and also requires him to cooperate with the Government in its prosecution of others in the case.

Defendant N. ALLEN SAWYER, 36, of Stockton, the former Executive Director of the Governor’s Office of Criminal Justice Planning, pleaded guilty on Tuesday, January 11, 2005, to one count of honest services mail fraud, and is also cooperating with the Government. The last remaining defendants in the case are MONTE D. McFALL, 58, of Lathrop, and BEDFORD’s former legislative assistant, J. TYLER REVES, 35, formerly of Stockton. Trial in the case is scheduled to commence January 26, 2005, before U.S. District Court Judge Morrison C. England, Jr., and is expected to last several weeks.

The case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, with the assistance of investigators from the San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office.

According to Assistant United States Attorneys Benjamin B. Wagner and Patrick K. Hanly, who are prosecuting the case, defendant DUNN in his plea of guilty admitted that during the period from February to August 2001, while he was Sheriff of San Joaquin County, he participated in a scheme to deprive the residents of the county of his duty of honest services, by misusing his official position for personal financial gain, in violation of both federal and state law. Specifically, he joined with co-defendants McFALL and SAWYER to form two business entities for the purpose of engaging in profitable ventures in San Joaquin County. The two entities, called MSD Ventures, Inc. (which stood for McFall-Sawyer-Dunn), and SMTM Partners (which stood for Show-Me-The-Money), engaged in lobbying officials with the City of Stockton, the Port of Stockton, and San Joaquin County on behalf of Sunlaw Energy Corporation, which sought to build a power plant in the county. MSD Ventures signed a contract with Sunlaw under which DUNN stood to make a huge fee if it succeeded in commencing construction on a plant at the Port of Stockton. DUNN admitted that he personally spoke with a Port of Stockton member concerning his preference for Sunlaw, and misused the CLETS law enforcement data base to gather information on an individual that the defendants sought to contact in their lobbying efforts.

DUNN also admitted that in June 2001, after Sunlaw’s principal rival for the Port of Stockton site, the Calpine Corporation, rejected an invitation by McFall to withdraw from the bidding at the Port of Stockton site, DUNN appeared at a meeting of the Board of Supervisors and publicly endorsed a resolution authored by co-defendants BEDFORD and REVES condemning Calpine’s construction of a plant in neighboring Alameda County. DUNN purported to be acting on grounds of public safety, but did not disclose that he had a financial interest in the success of Calpine’s rival, Sunlaw Energy Corporation.

According to Wagner and Hanly, defendant BEDFORD in his plea of guilty admitted that he lied to FBI agents who interviewed him about the matter in July, 2002. Specifically, he was asked whether he had known at the time of the anti-Calpine resolution in 2001 that his close associate, McFALL, had a business relationship with Sunlaw. BEDFORD denied any knowledge of McFALL’s business relationship with Sunlaw, which statements BEDFORD now admits were false.

“The most sacred trust that our citizens can bestow is that of public office. This is doubly true when the position involves public safety. Sheriff Dunn, Allen Sawyer and Lynn Bedford have betrayed that trust and are now facing the consequences of their actions,” said United States Attorney Scott.

“Public corruption investigations are a top priority within the FBI. Despite his earlier protestations, we are gratified Sheriff Dunn has now acknowledged his wrongdoing and will be held accountable,” stated FBI Special Agent In Charge Keith Slotter.

The United States Attorney’s Office noted that an indictment is only an accusation, and that McFALL and REVES are all presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.