Palo Alto Police Chief Dennis Burns–Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde?

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is the mental condition often spuriously called “split personality”, referred to in psychiatry as dissociative identity disorder, in which the same person has the ability to exhibit more than one distinct personality.   In this case, there are two personalities within Dr Jekyll, one good and the other evil; completely opposite levels of morality.

The very phrase “Jekyll and Hyde” has come to mean a person who is vastly different in moral character from one situation to the next.  Perhaps the most notorious person to exhibit such a contradiction of exhibited morality is Ted Bundy.

And the most famous person to publicly exhibit psychopathy characteristics is Bill Clinton,  “It depends on what the meaning of the words ‘is’  is.” –Bill Clinton, during his 1998 grand jury testimony on the Monica Lewinsky affair

Jim Kouri, vice president of the National Assn. of Chiefs of Police, has assembled a group of traits that define psychopathic personalities — like serial killers — and has discovered that these traits also apply to many of today’s politicians.  Traits such as superficial charm, an exaggerated sense of self-worth, glibness, lying, lack of remorse, manipulation of others, and sexual obsession are the hallmark of both groups.

Kouri notes that these types of psychopaths are psychologically capable of committing their dirty deeds free of any concern for social, moral or legal consequences and with absolutely no remorse, save getting caught.

There is not much that separates the politician from the Police Chief when it comes to possessing the character traits of those who seek powerful positions of control.

To the community, to his unaware friends and even his family Mr. Burns presents the façade of a boy scout yet lurking under that veneer is a person who would violate everything he proclaims to stand for.

In 2008 long time Palo Alto resident Tony Ciampi was rousted out of his vehicle by three gung-ho police officers, (April Wagner, Manuel Temores and Kelly Burger).  The incident resulted in two of the officers using their taser guns on Ciampi.  Ciampi has maintained that Ofc.

Burger first fired his taser gun at Ciampi’s face while Ciampi was not fleeing or resisting and that the police destroyed and tampered with all of the evidence that would prove his allegation.  On the other hand, Chief Burns has asserted that nothing unethical or illegal has taken place regarding the Ciampi case despite the fact that Judge Thang Barrett ruled that the three officers violated the Constitution.

Ciampi has provided a detailed description of the city policies and laws that Chief Burns and his subordinate officers have violated.

Chief Burns and City Staff are not willing to address Ciampi’s allegations to dispute them, and thus provide credibility to them through their silence.

The psychology of the Palo Alto Police Department takes its lead from its Chief and other superiors on City Staff, so by way of extension we are not just referring to who Chief Burns is, but what the generalized psychological make-up is of the members of the police department and by their actions represent what Chief Burns’ true character is.  Vice versa the Chief is known by the conduct he either condones or condemns that his officers exhibit.

As a 30 year veteran of the Police Department Chief Burns has been around it all and just like a child taking on the attributes, good or evil, of his parents people are influenced by the culture they live in exhibiting the attributes of that culture.  Burns was a Lieutenant in 2005,  Asst. Police Chief in 2008, acting Police Chief in 2009 and appointed Police Chief in October 2009.

Traveling back in time what do we find?

1)     In 2008 Sgt. Micahel Yore conducted a well known bungled investigation of the Children’s Theater and Pat Briggs which resulted in no charges and the City Council issuing an official apology.

2)     It was Sgt. Yore who recommended murder charges be brought against Nelson Galbraith for the death of his wife.  Yet Galbraeth won a $400,000.00 settlement from Santa Clara County for malicious prosecution and bungling the investigation.  Despite this apparent act of taking responsibility by the District Attorney, Yore remained defiant during a 2005 deposition by referring to the Galbraith’s lawsuit as, “ludicrous.”

3)     When Burns was Assistant Police Chief he called Yore a “quintessential detective.”  Chief Burns followed that up with “We’d be pretty apparent if we were doing anything untoward or trampling on people’s rights,” Burns said.

That’s very interesting given that Ciampi has documented Chief Burns’ involvement in violating department policy at least half a dozen times over the course of six months by suppressing and destroying evidence which are also violations of California Law and the Constitution under Brady v. Maryland.

4)    In 2002 Jorge Hernandez was charged with a rape of a 94 year old woman due to a coerced confession induced by Sgt. Natasha Powers, the same Powers, who conspired with Chief Burns in destroying and falsifying evidence in the Ciampi case.

Powers and other officers lied to Hernandez claiming that they had finger prints, physical evidence and a video tape that placed him at the crime scene when in fact they had zero evidence.  As a result of DNA testing the charges were dropped against Hernandez and the actual perpetrator was arrested seven years later.  Had the PAPD focused on the real evidence instead of the fake evidence perhaps they could have apprehended the true criminal much sooner.  In response to the settlement Powers is quoted in the Mercury News stating that her use of falsified evidence isn’t going to change.

5)     In a retaliatory act due to Ciampi’s case being thrown out by Judge Thang Barrett, Powers filed a false report with her own agency falsely claiming that Ciampi had threatened her 4 months before she filed it.  Burns, the Acting Police Chief, did nothing to hold Powers accountable.

6)     In 2005 Palo Alto Police Officer Michael Kan and Craig Lee were prosecuted for falsely arresting and beating a homeless man, Albert Hopkins, who was reclining in his car on a residential street.  The trial resulted in a hung jury, 8 members voted to convict and 4 Asians voted to acquit.  During the trial, then Lt. Dennis Burns supplied his own investigation of the incident which cleared Kan and Lee of any wrong doing yet contradicted the initial investigation conducted by Sgt. Con Maloney as well as the District Attorney’s Office.

In fact DDA Peter Waite who prosecuted the case stated that Burns’ report was flawed.   Revealing of Burns’ character, Burns refused to allow Maloney to read Burns’ investigative report.  When asked while on the witness stand if Burns’ was lying in his report, Maloney stated “no comment” and “I have some concerns about some of the things I’ve heard.”

7)     One result of the Hopkins incident was the implementation of video cameras in the squad cars.  Then Police Chief Lynne Johnson stated to the Human Relations Commission that the cameras would record any contact between police officers and the public providing insight to the interaction.

So long as that interaction does not catch police officers violating the law.  In 2008 during a very similar situation that occurred with Hopkins, three arrogant, bully Police Officers falsely arrested, assaulted and battered Tony Ciampi.

Instead of revealing what occurred, the Palo Alto Police destroyed numerous pieces of evidence and edited and falsified the videos in order to remove the incriminating evidence of their actions and to falsely portray Ciampi.  Chief Burns would have a very integral role in the suppression, destruction and falsification of the evidence.

8)     In 2009 a Palo Alto Police Officer ran a red-light and t-boned a private vehicle.  Almost all significant auto crashes are reported in the blotter and to the media but not this one.  The Daily Post found out five months after the fact due to a claim filed with the City.  The PAPD claimed that there was no video available even though the video records all the time storing video whenever the lights are turned on such as what occurred in this case.  It appears that the PAPD and Burns did not like the video footage of this interaction either.

9)     In 2009 a Palo Alto resident, Jerold Reed Jr., was arrested on drug and weapons charges which resulted in a Judge throwing out the case because the officers violated the man’s “right to privacy and freedom from ‘unreasonable’ searches and seizures.”  Reading the Palo Alto Weekly’s story it is clear that the officers made up a neighbor’s statement of placing a suspect at the property when in fact that was not the case.  In fact the neighbor stated that the police never inquired about the person whom the police claimed they were looking for.  Lie, lie, lie.

10)     In 2009 Palo Alto Police Officer Anthony Bulatao rolled his Ford Explorer at the San Antonio off ramp.  Officer Bulatao thought he was in San Jose because his blood alcohol level was twice the legal limit .16 percent.   The Palo Alto Police refused to identify Bulatao and it took over year to find out through public records requests to several agencies.  Bulatoa was off-duty and was picked up from the Santa Clara jail by Palo Police Sgt. Zack Perron after Bulatoa submitted to blood tests.

Bulatao refused to submit to field sobriety tests telling CHP Officer Kevin Gualtieri that he was not going to allow Gulatieri to build a case against him.  That’s a good example for the community to follow.  Bulatao is back on duty working for the PAPD.

11)    On October 25, 2011 fifteen Palo Alto police officers took part in the Occupy protests in Oakland which resulted in Scott Olsen being severely injured from a police projectile.  The Palo Alto Police refused to identify the fifteen officers involved, however attorney Aram James and media mogul Mark Petersen-Perez were able to obtain the identities from the Oakland Police Department demonstrating how honest and transparent government is supposed to work.

12)     Then there was the David Carlson case of 2005 in which Carlson was falsely arrested for molesting a 4 year old girl by the Palo Alto Police, Detective Powers.  Like Hernandez, Carlson spent three weeks in jail before DNA testing exonerated him. Then Chief Pat Dwyer stated that the “system failed somebody.”

13)     Instead of admitting the loss, the City of Palo Alto passed up on the jury award to Michael Schmidlin of $24,000.00 plus attorney’s fees and appealed the case for eleven years incurring close to a million dollars in costs.

14)     In 1999 Palo Alto Police Officer Louis Verbera was sentenced to a 1 year jail sentence for sexually assaulting 5 women while on duty, some of  whom were hand-cuffed in the back of his patrol car.  One of the victims, Ronelle Meier, who filed suit against the City, claimed that numerous officers in the department covered up her complaints about Verbera’s assault against her with lies.

This seems to bear out given that Verbera was initially charged with assaulting two woman in 1999 but then three victims dating back to 1996 were added to the complaint.  Three years transpired between the first victim the last. There is a serial “fondler” on the loose in Palo Alto as we speak, do you suppose he will get a year of work release when he gets caught or will the justice system apply a much stiffer penalty demonstrating a double standard?

15)     In 2008 the Palo Alto police secretly recorded a conversation between and East Palo Alto tenant activist, Chris Lund, and a representative of Page Mill Properties Russelle Schaadt.  The recording was taken because Page Mill alleged that Mr. Lund had attempted to extort money from Page Mill Properties.  To be specific, Page Mill claimed that Chris Lund wanted $20,000 and he would go away for Mr. Lund was having a significant impact on protecting the tenants from the oppressive acts of Page Mill Properties.  After reading the transcript it is clear that it was not intention at all by  Mr. Lund to extort money.   Page Mill Properties were at their wits end and attempted to pay Mr. Lund off if he would go away, Lund refused to take their money.

Page Mill Transcript:

Russell:      “I mean you are continuing to disgrace me you know and our company you…………Know, with going around and posting these things but that seems to be what it is about at this point and would just as soon accommodate you in your request get you out of the picture and want you know to move on.”

Chris:      “Thats not. .thats not on the table and it has never been about personal settlement.”

Russell:       “they said look it may be easier just to get Chris out of the picture.   Lets just pay him you know and.”

Chris:    “I am not going to be…m not going to be bought off that is not what it is about it never has been  there is no even if took cash like that and gave it to community legal services you think am going to walk away from the 4000 people who still live in this neighborhood who are.. are.. are struggling to put food on the table.”

Chris:    “Making people aware of what the tragedy that happens in this neighborhood on daily basis.”

As a part of the harassment of Chris Lund, Page Mill’s Head of Security Tim Morgan who happened to be moonlighting as a full time Lieutenant for the Palo Alto Police went out to Lund’s house to photograph Lund.  Morgan refused to identify himself toLundwhen asked.  (Ciampi experienced strange men taking pictures of him at thePalo Alto playing fields).

If that wasn’t bad enough, the officer who secretly recorded the conversation between Lund and Schaadt sent the recording to Page Mill Properties to have Page Mill Properties transcribe it.  Since when does a public police station hand over investigative evidence to victims in a crime to have them transcribe the recording as a part of the investigation?  If the transcript were to have ever been submitted to a court it would have been tossed out due to the blatant conflict of interest.  In an attempt to embarrass Mr. Lund Page Mill Properties released the transcript to the media.

As a result the officer, who is presumed to be April Wagner for her name is at the top of the transcript for the PAPD refuses to verify the officer’s identity, was reprimanded with a slap on the wrist, (wink-wink), for violating department policy.  Ciampi established that Wagner made false statements in a declaration to federal court and destroyed evidence in violation of department policy, yet Burns did not discipline her for that.

The kicker is former Deputy District Attorney Jim Shore who is Page Mill’s general counsel.  In a nut shell, a cop and a former Deputy DA both working for a private company use the Palo Alto Police in an attempt to bribe Chris Lund with $20,000 in order to get Mr. Lund out of the picture by twisting the facts and turning their bribe into extortion.

All of the above occurred under Chief Burns watch.

16)     Since becoming Chief of Police, Dennis Burns created an advisory group composed of Police Department personnel and members of the community who are tasked with advising the Police Chief on the delivery of effective and responsive policing to all members of the diverse community, in the most fair and impartial manner possible, according to the police department’s website.

Just one major problem, the meetings are held in secret so that Mr. Burns and manipulate and mold the perception of the cherry picked participants without incurring objective or subjective criticism.

If you are not doing anything wrong or ashamed of then you have nothing to hide.

17)     Perhaps the most famous revelation of the character of the Palo Alto Police is when former Police Chief Lynne Johnson ordered her officers to contact every African-American wearing a ‘doo-rag’ to find out who they were because an African-American wearing a ‘doo-rag’ had robbed someone.

Johnson and the PAPD received much criticism for their racial profiling and recanted.  Though City Manager James Keene put on a good show for the public, Dennis Burns did say a word regarding characteristic profiling since Johnson’s resignation in January 2009.

The above are the cases that we know about.  Given the extent to which the Palo Alto Police will violate its own policies and state laws to cover conceal it’s officers’ unethical and illegal acts one has to conclude that there are numerous other incidents that have gone unreported corroborated by the three sex assault victims that were revealed only after Verbera was charged with attacking two other women.

The Dr. Jykyll and Mr. Hyde disorder is not left to natural causes, but is actually fostered and inculcated within the police department.  It is common knowledge that the police are trained in how to lie and be deceptive in order to catch violators of the law, even to the extent of violating the law themselves.  But the courts have ruled that it is okay for law enforcement to violate the law, buying illegal drugs, in order to catch a dealer.  But as we seen in the Hernandez case, there are no restraints left giving law enforcement the latitude to lie to suspects inducing false confessions from out of context and contrived interrogations.

Showing the edited and falsified videos of the Ciampi case to the media sums up the psychopathic traits of Dennis Burns and the PAPD.  First, Burns coaxes his co-workers to go along with the plan to lie to the public, (manipulation).  Two, the videos portray the exact opposite of what occurred painting Ciampi in a negative light, (lying to harm another/manipulating the public’s view with the lie).

Three, Burns refused to allow Ciampi to be present at the showing to challenge the authenticity of the videos in the presence of the media and public whom Burns was manipulating, (refusal to be challenged; total control; bullying and cowardly traits).  Four, the showing of the videos was in response to a public records request, yet the videos were a part of an ongoing investigation and case which the PAPD usually denies requests under such circumstances, (double standard, manipulating department policy for his own benefit and others harm).

The “Good cop, bad cop” routine manifests the tell-tale characteristics of the Jekyll-Hyde disorder.

The “good cop” is just a charade acted out by the officer to disarm the unsuspecting and trusting target for all the while the “good cop” has an ulterior motive of doing harm to the suspect/victim.  The “bad cop” routine is to accentuate the “good cop’s” character and false promises.  This is how the PAPD induced a false confession from an innocent young man, Hernandez.

With the support of the Palo Alto City Council, City Manager James Keene appointed Dennis Burns to become the next police chief.

City Manager James Keene praised Chief Burns as a “person of integrity, character, commitment and honesty,”

At his inauguration Burns stated, “Please do not lose sight of the fact that our job is to serve that public and that this is a tremendous privilege and responsibility.”

In order to generate hostility from the Public toward Ciampi Chief Burns used his official office within the City to make false and defamatory statements about Ciampi in official reports to the City Council and public endorsing the use of those false statements by his subordinate officer Manuel Temores while giving testimony during a court proceeding.

Chief Burn’s is quoted as saying, “We’d be pretty apparent if we were doing anything untoward or trampling on people’s rights,”

During Ciampi’s criminal case the PAPD refused to provide Ciampi’s attorney the taser gun activation data in violation of the law, the Constitution and Palo Alto Police Policy 308.99.  While knowingly violating his own policy, Chief Buns lied to the media by stating, “perhaps the data downloads are still awaiting transfer.”   

The ability to coolly and comfortably lie to the public and the media is a clear sign of a psycho-sociopath.

Burns’ actions contradict Keene’s and his own statements.   Click here to read how Chief Burns lied to a federal judge:

Chief Burns comes across as friendly and charming, not unlike former Sgt. John Costa and Lt. Sandra Brown.  Ciampi had a very friendly relationship with Costa and Brown up until they conspired with their fellow officers to wrongfully incriminate Ciampi of a crime.

Like Costa and Brown, Chief Burns’ appearance is that of a boy scout, yet that appearance belies his true nature, a nature that hates the Constitution, freedom, truth and his fellow man to such a degree that he would imprison a fellow citizen by using fabricated and falsified evidence.

You see, Burns didn’t have to fabricate the video in such a manner to falsely portray what occurred on March 15, 2008.  Just as he removed the audio dialog from Temores’ MAV recording (See Echibit 8I)

Just as the PAPD claimed they could not retrieve the MAV recording of Seghetti smashing his patrol car into a private citizen, Burns could have protected his officers from being held accountable for their false arrest and brutal beating of Ciampi by ditching Temores’ MAV video without falsely portraying what occurred.

Instead Burns chose to not only conceal the crimes of his officers but he also chose to send an innocent man to prison by utilizing his fabricated videos that falsely portray what occurred painting Ciampi in a very negative light which is the complete opposite of that which occured.  That is the definition of a bully, using one’s superior power to harm someone who has no power.

Coupled with Chief Burns’ penchant for secrecy, Burns is a man not to be trusted, for he will do whatever he has to in order to avoid accountability and any means necessary contrary to his oath and duty as an officer of the law to obtain the ends he seeks for self.


Only a person who has two distinct sets of morality can stand before hundreds of dignitaries, law enforcement personnel, co-workers, family and friends and swear an oath to uphold the laws of God and the Nation while at same time violating those laws by bearing false witness against his neighbor and destroying and falsifying evidence, several felonious acts.

One set of morality is for those who are acceptable to Burns, and the other set of morality is for those who are not acceptable to Burns, to those who are less human and have less rights than himself.

Just as many of Ted Bundy’s friends an co-workers were duped by his charm and defended his character, Chief Buns has duped many in the community.  No doubt many will still praise Burns as a man of moral and upright integrity, yet they will be praising a man who will if necessary use falsified videos to incriminate them of a crime should the right circumstances arise.

FACT:  Chief Burns destroyed Temores’ taser probes to cover up the second taser gun firing and the fact that the video footage of the second taser gun firing is missing from the videos.

FACT:  Chief Burns had conspired with his subordinate officers in editing and falsifying 4 audio/video recordings and two taser gun activation memory devices.

FACT:  Chief Burns refuses to acknowledge what he did and instead lies to his friend, family and the community falsely claiming that he did not destroy and falsify evidence.  He has manipulated numerous subordinate officers and City Staff to go along with his lies and crimes to preserve his freedom and status in the community.

FACT:  Chief Burns through his attorney Steven Sherman argued to the court in the civil case that if one of his officers is beating a suspect to death regardless if the detention is lawful or not, the suspect is required to submit to the beating without defending his/her life and seek remedy for the unlawful arrest and excessive force from the grave just like Barron Pikes has.

Contrary to upholding the Constitutions and the laws creating peace and harmony, Burns’ actions have brought anarchy upon the community.

The final piece of a psychopath is the need to have total control and dominion over their victims, to be superior over all.  According to Chief Burns, had Ronelle Meier and the other women defended themselves against the unlawful sexual assault committed by Ofc. Verbera the women would have been justly prosecuted for resisting arrest regardless of the crime committed by Ofc. Vebera.

Psychopathy is a personality disorder that has been variously described and characterized by shallow emotions (in particular reduced fear), stress tolerance, lacking empathy, coldheartedness, lacking guilt, egocentricity, superficial charm, manipulativeness, etc…..

And in fact, this is true. They, (psychopaths), DO have control when others believe their lies. Sadly, the degree of belief, the degree of “submission” to this control via false representation, generally produces so much pain when the truth is glimpsed that the victim would prefer to continue in the lie than face the fact that they have been duped. The psychopath counts on this. It is part of their “actuarial calculations.” It gives them a feeling of power.

It is all too easy to fall under the spell of the charismatic psychopath. There are many who do the psychopath’s bidding without realizing that they have been subtly and cleverly controlled. They can even be manipulated to perform criminal acts, or acts of sabotage against another – innocent – person on behalf of the psychopath. Very often, when this is realized by the victim, that they have caused suffering in innocent people at the behest of a liar, again they prefer to deny this than to face up to the truth of their own perfidy and gullibility.

Not all psychopath are uneducated low-class misfits. Some of them are  quite handsome and have good careers, and use this all the more to  their benefit. Take a look at Ted Bundy; my friend’s mother once went  on a double-date with him and claimed he was the nicest person. His  mother said he was the “best son any mother could have.” Bundy was also apparently quite good-looking, which made him even more  dangerous. So not all psychopaths are derelict, low-class, high  school drop-outs, there are many who also work in professional  occupations;

Another example  which someone on the “Victims of Psychopathy” board came up with was  Bill Clinton and his “goofy” yet loveable demeanour (so is Clinton  really a psychopath? Many believe he is).

Olmstead v. United States 277 U.S. 438 (1928)– “Decency, security and liberty alike demand that government officials shall be subjected to the same rules of conduct that are commands to the citizen.  In a government of laws, existence of the government will be imperiled if it fails to observe the law scrupulously.  Our Government is the potent, the omnipresent teacher.  For good or for ill, it teaches the whole people by its example. Crime is contagious. If the Government becomes a lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy.”

Why I Don’t Vote

Have you ever played a game with someone where they insisted on violating the rules of the game as laid down?

For instance, if you played Monopoly and one player just ignored the “Go To Jail” card or refused to pay the rent on Boardwalk, but the rest of the players followed the rules, who do you suppose would win the game if that player was allowed to violate all the rules?

Obviously, the rule breaker would be the winner at the end of that game.

Well, politics is like a big game. Only it is supposed to be a game of life that everyone is supposed to play out with certain rules.

We the people laid down some rules, back in 1788 that were followed for a few years. Those rules are called The United States Constitution and they are sworn to be upheld by everyone who is sworn in as a public official.

Well, if the game players swear to uphold it and then begin violating the rules right away, and they have all the guns at their disposal in the way of force, what can you expect the other players to do but to quit giving their support and take their pieces home from the game and quit?

As near as I can tell the major violations of the rules began with the war of Northern aggression against the peaceful Southern states who wanted out of the marriage contract due to gross violations of the agreements by the north.

The current President, Abe Lincoln, was very adept at making up his own rules as he went along with the game. Since Lincoln, every President, up and including our most recent, have violated the rules of the game.

If you read the “rule book,” which is the United States Constitution, you will find that many provisions are being totally ignored and in many cases are so blatantly obvious that anyone with an elementary school education can see it.

Here are just a few of the hundreds of violations of the rules of the game…

  1. No where does the Constitution allow the creation of a central bank so that fiat paper money can be issued.
  2. No where does the Constitution allow the use of anything other than gold and silver coin for currency.
  3. No where does the Constitution allow for the creation of a national police force, I.E. FBI, ATF, DEA, etc.
  4. No where does the Constitution allow for the President to declare war and decide who or what nation to invade.
  5. No where does the Constitution allow for the federal government to be involved in “education.”
  6. No where does the Constitution allow for any license to have or possess any certain type of firearm.
  7. No where does the Constitution allow for the government to do background checks on firearms purchases.
  8. No where does the Constitution allow for a national forest service.
  9. No where does the Constitution allow for the federal government to claim ownership of any land except as specified for forts, post offices, or naval yards.
  10. No where does the Constitution allow for the DIRECT taxation of wages. And this has been supported by numerous Supreme Court decisions.

This list can go on and on…un-Constitutional war, un-Constructional taxes, un-Constitutional drafts, un-Constitutional control over the states…

So this is how I make my protest….I REFUSE TO PLAY THE GAME AND VOTE for someone who is going to totally ignore the rules that have been laid down for the game.

Why bother?


City of Palo Alto to Explore Formal “Partnership Cities” Relationship with China

Explore Formal “Partnership Cities” Relationship with the Yangpu District of China


Staff recommends that Council authorize the Mayor to sign the attached “Intention Agreement” and direct staff to explore options for structuring a formal relationship with the Yangpu District of Shanghai, China.


Palo Alto has long been known as a center of innovation-driven business and culture, and has attracted visitors from many other cities and regions internationally. Over the last several decades, working with Neighbors Abroad, the City has established many

formal “Sister Cities” relationships. Primarily, these relationships have focused on cultural and educational exchanges. Recently, we have begun building on the foundation of our cultural and educational ties with some of our Sister Cities to explore

strategic relationships in the areas of sustainability and economic development as well. Beyond our Sister Cities, the City regularly hosts visiting delegations from many cities and regions from around the world, largely on an ad hoc basis. The City is routinely

asked to explore possibilities for additional formal relationships, especially in terms of connections to Palo Alto companies, talent, and best practices. In assessing how Palo Alto’s should consider these offers to ensure mutual benefit to any such relationship

and the establishment of the suitable policy framework for deciding to enter into a partnership, staff and various Council Members have engaged in dialogues with several key regions and cities. While we have had a series of very fruitful meetings with Heidelberg, Germany (we expect to be back to Council in the fall about Heidelberg), it seems clear that forming a relationship with a city in China at this time has the potential for mutual benefit for Palo Alto.

Over the past several years, the Bay Area Council, a business-backed public policy advocacy organization of which Palo Alto is an affiliate, has been engaged in creating a formal region-to-region partnership with the Yangpu District of Shanghai, China. As

such, they have a working knowledge of the region, especially as it relates to creating value for the San Francisco Bay Area’s cities and region. They also have staff based in the Bay Area and in Shanghai dedicated to promoting relationships of mutual interest.

The Bay Area Council staff approached Palo Alto earlier this year to propose a partnership between Palo Alto and Yangpu. Staff is interested in connecting with the resources and expertise of the Bay Area Council to help ease our entry into this area.


Staff recommends engaging with Yangpu District, through our existing mutual ties to the Bay Area Council, in a non-binding collaboration to learn about the Yangpu region and China more generally and to explore potential opportunities of mutual benefit.

Earlier this year in July, representatives from the Bay Area Council and the California State Economic Development Commissioner introduced Yangpu District to the Palo Alto City Council. This presentation highlighted Yangpu District as a region with similarities

to and potential benefits for Palo Alto, especially in terms of local higher education and business resources. Fudan University is one of the oldest universities in China and notable for its life sciences, natural sciences, engineering and technology, and arts and

humanities. Additionally, VMWare, a major employer in Palo Alto is also a business leader in Yangpu. By partnering in our process with the Bay Area Council, staff intends to leverage their knowledge and resources, to establish a baseline of cross-cultural

understanding, and explore a strategic partnership structure over for a period of no more than three years. During this time, the City staff will not explore formal relationships with other Chinese regions or cities. The product of our exploration is

intended to provide the framework for identifying specific opportunities or initiatives to collaborate on that would then be brought back to Council for consideration and approval. By executing the attached “Intention Agreement” at a special event hosted by the Bay

Area Council, the City will express its openness to cultural exchange, learning, and exploration of partnership opportunities between our respective entities. However, the City will not be bound by any contract or held to any specific outcomes.


A signing ceremony for the attached “Intention Agreement” is scheduled with the City, Bay Area Council and Officials from the Yangpu District for Thursday, September 27th. Staff will work together with the Bay Area Council, and representatives of Yangpu to complete the exploration and make any recommended Council action within a period of no more than 3 years.

Resource Impact

Some routine staff time will be absorbed, but staff will rely largely on the efforts of the Bay Area Council, which is a key factor in making this recommendation.


In the spirit of friendship and the principle of equality and mutual benefit, through friendly negotiation, City of Palo Alto, CA, USA and Yangpu District, Shanghai, China, agree to execute this Intention Agreement to support the following principles and actions:

1. The Parties agree to explore mutual economic interactions to enhance the economic health and betterment of their respective communities and enterprises.

2. The Parties facilitate technological, scientific, environmental sustainability, educational and cultural exchanges between their communities.

3. The Parties strive to keep each other informed on important economic and civic issues.

4. The Parties will seek opportunities to promote public awareness of the agreement.

5. No Party has the power of authority to legally bind any other Party and nothing herein contained shall be construed as authorizing any Party to act as an agent or representative of any other Party. Nothing in this Intention Agreement shall be construed to create or constitute a legally binding obligation of the Parties.

6. The agreement shall have a term of three years through September 30, 2015 with an option for the Parties to consider renewal of the agreement at the end of the term.

In Witness, Whereof, the Parties have duly executed this Intention Agreement on this 27th day of September, 2012.


Red Light Camera Law – Bait and Switch By Senator Joe Simitian

PAFreePress:  Mr. Simitian, Redflex, a Redlight Camera Company, helped you write your Red Light Camera Bill, SB 1303, yet you have promoted your Bill as being inspired by a victim of a Red Light Camera Company without mentioning Reflex’s input into drafting your Bill, is this a deliberate attempt on your part to deceive the public?

Mr. Simitian:   No comment.

PAFreePress:  Mr. Simitian you have promoted your Bill as protecting drivers like Vera Gil, making it easier for her and other drivers to fight wrongfully issued tickets, yet your Bill will actually make it more difficult for Gil and others to fight tickets by denying drivers to challenge their accuser in court.  Have you deceived Vera Gil into believing you have helped her when you have actually made it more difficult her to fight a ticket?

Mr. Simitian:   No comment.

On Senator Simitian’s own website and through the media he has championed his Red Light Camera Bill, SB 1303, as protecting the rights of Californian’s by making it easier to fight wrongfully ticketed drivers.

Vera Gil who won Sen. Simitian’s “there outa be a law” contest received five erroneous Red Light Cameras tickets due to a computer/camera glitch in misreading her license plate.  Gil was informed by the company who issued her the falsified tickets that, “IT WOULD BE COST PROHIBITIVE AND WE WOULD NOT MAKE ANY MONEY IF WE DID THAT.” Vera Gill

Recently obtained documents, (RLC – Red Light Camera Package (8-28-12), indicate that representatives, lobbyists from RedFlex, worked with Sen. Simitian on adding this provision which would allow hearsay evidence and actually make it more difficult for drivers to fight their tickets contrary to what Sen. Simitian is proclaiming to the public.

In a memo, Redflex states that their lobbyist met with the Senator’s staff and requested that the Senator codify the hearsay acceptance by superseding case law.  Attorney Frank Iwawa who has vigorously and successfully defended drivers issued Red Light Tickets said that the cases of Goldsmith and Borzakian are being heard by the California Supreme Court to be settled.  It appears that Redflex and Simitian are trying to circumvent the Supreme Court’s pending decision on hearsay evidence.

Not only will Senator Simitian’s Bill supersede case law, but existing codified law, Penal Codes Penal Codes 836. (a) (1) and 19.7 which state that a peace officer can only arrest a person for a misdemeanor and or cite a person for an infraction when the offense has been committed in the officer’s presence.

“Unfortunately, in order for a motorist to be cited for an infraction, it would have to be witnessed by an officer. No, I don’t mean witnessed via video or digital camera, but live,” CHP Public Information Officer Art Montiel said.  (ContraCostaTimes.Com May 28, 2012  Gary Richards)

Contrary to  Article 1 Section 7. (b) of the California Constitution  Senator Simitan’s Bill which was written with the help of and for the benefit of Redflex will allow Redflex to issue tickets and prosecute California citizens in traffic/criminal court something that no other citizen is allowed to do.

The Bill SB 1303 is on Governor Browns desk to be signed into law or vetoed.   Gov. Brown’s office or call 916-445-2841)

RLC – Red Light Camera Package (8-28-12)


iphone 5 release – Palo Alto Selectively Enforces Sit-Lie-Law

For the last several days numerous people have been sitting, lying down and even setting up tents on Kipling St. next to the Apple Store.  All of this activity is in violation of the City’s Palo Alto Municipal Code 9.48.025 states in part:

(a)  No person shall sit or lie down upon the public sidewalk, or upon a blanket, chair, stool, or any other object placed upon the public sidewalk within fifty feet of any commercial property between Lytton Avenue and Channing Avenue from Alma Street to Emerson Street and the area between Lytton Avenue and Forest Avenue from Emerson Street to Webster Street during the hours between 11:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m.

So the question is where’s the Palo Alto Police and City Attorney’s Office enforcing the law as they did with Victor Frost?

I personally do not have a problem with people sitting down on the sidewalk, the problem is the hypocrisy of the City of Palo Alto who justified the Sit-Lie Ordinance because people sitting and lying down on the sidewalk were obstructing the flow of pedestrians and was a significant safety hazard.  If the City’s justification were true, then it would be enforcing the law upon the people at Kipling St.

By not enforcing the law equally, the City of Palo Alto is acting above the law.  If the City of Palo Alto is not going to enforce the law when citizens violate the law, then it’s high time for the City of Palo Alto to rescind the law.

Palo Alto city council candidate hopeful “Citizen Gray” speaks out on bond measure

Demonstrate Discipline before Bailout with infrastructure Bond Measure

The Palo Alto political machinery is gearing up to “Sell” the community on the idea of a bond measure to fund the infrastructure deficit.

I certainly understand the need to fix our roads and sidewalks, to underground the utility lines, and to replace the Public Safety Building before a potential disaster comes our way.

The big deception headed our way is that if you don’t support a big bond measure, you are not supporting public safety.

We do have more than a $400 million infrastructure deficit, and that happened one year at a time by spending all our revenue on operations by letting repairs fall behind or not setting aside an appropriate reserve for known future needs.

That is like a family that uses their “available” cash to take an extra Hawaii vacation each year. Then, when faced with not having enough money to keep their roof from falling in, they raid their children’s piggy banks and college education funds.

Before we go to the voters and ask for a bailout, we need to show a little financial discipline to at least provide a standard and prudent “down payment” by reducing our operating expenses to fund future infrastructure needs by more than the token $2 million that was offered in the current budget.

The formula is clear – prioritize spending on services and then reduce from the bottom. It will be uncomfortable, but not nearly as painful if we don’t do something different than the past. To borrow a commonly known question, “If you keep doing the Same Old Stuff, what makes you think you are going to have a different result?”

We can do better, and it starts with finding at least another $5 million in operating expense to reduce, and use it as a “down payment” on our future. We don’t have to look too far to see what happens when we adopt a “zero down, figure out how to pay for it later” approach.

A shared community vision on spending priorities is the only cure. We cannot accept anything less. By borrowing from our future, we will surely strangle the creativity that has made this place great, because we will be in a position of paying for our historical excesses, vs. building a brighter future. Financial discipline does not strangle, but rather preserves the opportunity to create. We can do better.

Timothy Gray, Park Blvd. Palo Alto

Palo Police Chief Dennis Burns at it again but gets it wrong

Open letter to Palo Alto Police Chief Dennis Burns, city council members and beyond.

Thursday morning September 13  I got a warning on the windshield of the RV I live in telling me I was in violation of Municipal Code Section 10.44.020(a) and that I would receive a ticket for $46.00 for parking there. This is a code restricting where over-sized vehicles may park in Palo Alto.

I carefully read the law and then Friday morning September 14 I went down to the City of Palo Alto Department of Planning & Community Environment and talked with a Staff Specialist, a Rina Shah in the Planning Division. I showed her the area in question (where I am parked) and she told me it was zoned CS, i.e. commercial.

I am parked clearly in a CS (commercial zone). Code 10.44.020(a) says you may not park an over-sized vehicle in a “Residential zone” (zoned either RE, R1, R2, RMD, RM-15, RM-30, and RM-40) or a “Public facility zone” (zoned as PF) nor a CS zone that is across the street from one of the above mentioned exclusion zones.

I have attached the relevant Palo Alto zoning map in pdf format. I am parked at the corner of Lambert and Ash (south side of Lambert) close to the stop sign. The corner of Lambert and Ash is 3300 Ash where I am. The corner of Chestnut and Ash is 3350 Ash. Please look at the attached zoning map and you will see I am not in violation of code 10.44.020(a).

Municipal code 10.44.020(a) does not apply to the north half of that block of Ash that is between Lambert and Chestnut. Code 10.44.020(a) does apply to the south half of the block of Ash that is between Lambert and Chestnut because that location is across the street from a PF zone. My vehicle (the RV) is located totally in a CS zone and is not across the street from any of the exclusion zones previously mentioned above in Code 10.44.020(a).

The officer put a warning on my vehicle located at the intersection of Ash and Lambert and another large vehicle (a school bus) located near the corner of Ash and Chestnut.

Please advise your officer of his/her mistake or if my reading of the law and reading of the zoning map is wrong then please advise me and I’ll move. In the past when I stayed too long in one place you guys (community services, usually Officer Stacy Henderson who has now changed departments) would give me a 3-day tow warning notice and I’d obey the law and move.


P.S.  About me. I’m an out of work engineer, forced into early retirement (Social Security) living
on a small fixed income who has lived in Palo Alto over 30 years but lost my job and place to live and moved into an RV after living in my car a few weeks. Hoping the economy will improve soon.

Here is a copy of code 10.44.020(a). I’ve also attached a pdf file containing the relevant PA zoning map.

10.44.015     Definitions.

(a)     For the purposes of this chapter, the following words shall have the meaning ascribed to them in this section:

(1)     “Oversized vehicle” means any vehicle exceeding seven feet in height or exceeding twenty feet in overall length or exceeding seven feet in width (including any load or accessory thereon other than antennas), provided that this definition shall not apply to vehicles which exceed these dimensions solely because of modifications required to accommodate a disability and the vehicle is lawfully displaying a disabled placard or license;

(2)     “Camper shell” means a structure designed to cover and/or protect the bed area of a pickup truck but removed therefrom;

(3)     “Trailer” means a vehicle designed or utilized for being drawn by a motor vehicle.

(4)     “Residential zone” means all lands located within the following zoning districts: RE, Rl, R2, RMD, RM-15, RM-30, and RM-40; where one side of a street is located within one of these residential districts, then the portion of the opposite side of the street directly across from the residential district shall also be included in the definition of a residential zone;

(5)     “Public facility zone” means all lands located within a PF zone; where one side of a street is located within a public facility zone, then the portion of the opposite side of the street directly across from the public facility zone shall also be included in the restrictions pertaining to a public facility zone.

(Ord. 4558 § 5 (part), 1999)

10.44.020     Standing or parking, two a.m. to six a.m.

(a)     No person shall, between the hours of two a.m. and six a.m. of any day, unless authorized by a hardship permit issued pursuant to Section 10.44.021 or a construction or maintenance permit issued pursuant to Section 10.40.045, park upon streets or alleys located within a residential zone or public facility zone any of the following vehicles:

(1)     Oversized vehicles;

(2)     Trailers;

(3)     Camper shells;

(4)     Tow trucks as defined by California Vehicle Code Section 615;

(5)     Special construction equipment as defined by California Vehicle Code Section 565.

(b)     Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, no signs or markings are necessary to give effect to the restrictions and prohibitions contained in this section.

Click for Palo Alto zoning

Palo Alto Police Chief Dennis Burns Lies to Federal Judge

On October 19, 2010 Palo Alto City Manager James Keene’s police chief, Dennis Burns, informed Tony Ciampi through Burns’ attorney, (Steven Sherman), and subordinate staff Chief Dennis Burnsthat Ciampi could not have a copy of the MAV videos containing the watermark because the watermark was proprietary.

Police Chief Dennis Burns, (through his attorney) reiterated this LIE to three federal judges: Patricia Trumbull; Paul Grewal; and Lucy Koh.

For the complete evidentiary list of Chief Burns’ lies and acts of destroying and falsifying evidence, including audio/video recordings go to:

Upon being exposed as lying about the proprietary nature of the watermark, Judge Grewal ordered Chief Burns to turn over the MAV videos containing the watermark by April 29, 2011.  However Chief Burns refused claiming that only one person, Brian Furtado, in the entire police department was capable of making a copy of the MAV videos and that he would not be back from vacation until May 3, 2011.

Brian Furtado recently sent out an email detailing that Dacia Tavarez can make copies of the MAV videos on an URGENT basis during Furtado’s absence contradicting Chief Burns’ assertion to Judge Grewal again exposing Chief Burns as a liar.

It is clear and convincing that Chief Burns intentionally removed the watermark from the MAV recordings when there was absolutely no reason to and then lied about it.  It is clear that Chief Burns did not want anyone other than Brian Furtado making copies of the MAV recordings which leads one to conclude that other persons would detect problems with the MAV videos that Burns and Furtado are not being honest about.

Perhaps it could be found on the tamper proof hard drives that were secured into evidence according to Palo Alto City Policy?  Oh, that’s right; Chief Burns destroyed the videos contained on the tamper proof hard drives in violation of his own policy.

Palo Alto Police Officer Kelly Burger verified that four taser probes were discharged during during the March 15, 2008 from two separate taser gun firings.  Palo Alto Police Officer Temores’ MAV video ostensibly captures the entire incident, however there is only one taser gun firing recorded on Temores’ MAV video.  Perhaps the two taser probes fired from Officer Temores’ taser gun could shed some light as to why his firing was not recorded on his video cameras.  Oh, that’s right; Chief Burns oversaw the destruction of Temores’ Taser probes, wires, cartridge and AFIDS in violation of department policy.

City Manager James Keene appointed Dennis Burns Police Chief to in part bring necessary change to the Palo Alto Police Department.  Are the above actions the kind of change that Mr. Keene was seeking?  Should Mr. Keene be reprimanding his Chief?  After trying to worm their way out of their lie, Federal Judge Paul Grewal orders Attorney Steven Sherman and Dennis Burns to turn over the MAV recordings containing the watermark.


 Exhibit 8E


























A Judge’s Plea for Pot

Op-Ed Contributor

A Judge’s Plea for Pot


Published: May 16, 2012

THREE and a half years ago, on my 62nd birthday, doctors discovered a mass on my pancreas. It turned out to be Stage 3 pancreatic cancer. I was told I would be dead in four to six months. Today I am in that rare coterie of people who have survived this long with the disease. But I did not foresee that after having dedicated myself for 40 years to a life of the law, including more than two decades as a New York State judge, my quest for ameliorative and palliative care would lead me to marijuana.

New York Times-Kristian Hammerstad

My survival has demanded an enormous price, including months of chemotherapy, radiation hell and brutal surgery. For about a year, my cancer disappeared, only to return. About a month ago, I started a new and even more debilitating course of treatment. Every other week, after receiving an IV booster of chemotherapy drugs that takes three hours, I wear a pump that slowly injects more of the drugs over the next 48 hours.

Nausea and pain are constant companions. One struggles to eat enough to stave off the dramatic weight loss that is part of this disease. Eating, one of the great pleasures of life, has now become a daily battle, with each forkful a small victory. Every drug prescribed to treat one problem leads to one or two more drugs to offset its side effects. Pain medication leads to loss of appetite and constipation. Anti-nausea medication raises glucose levels, a serious problem for me with my pancreas so compromised. Sleep, which might bring respite from the miseries of the day, becomes increasingly elusive.

Inhaled marijuana is the only medicine that gives me some relief from nausea, stimulates my appetite, and makes it easier to fall asleep. The oral synthetic substitute, Marinol, prescribed by my doctors, was useless. Rather than watch the agony of my suffering, friends have chosen, at some personal risk, to provide the substance. I find a few puffs of marijuana before dinner gives me ammunition in the battle to eat. A few more puffs at bedtime permits desperately needed sleep.

This is not a law-and-order issue; it is a medical and a human rights issue. Being treated at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, I am receiving the absolute gold standard of medical care. But doctors cannot be expected to do what the law prohibits, even when they know it is in the best interests of their patients. When palliative care is understood as a fundamental human and medical right, marijuana for medical use should be beyond controversy.

Sixteen states already permit the legitimate clinical use of marijuana, including our neighbor New Jersey, and Connecticut is on the cusp of becoming No. 17. The New York State Legislature is now debating a bill to recognize marijuana as an effective and legitimate medicinal substance and establish a lawful framework for its use. The Assembly has passed such bills before, but they went nowhere in the State Senate. This year I hope that the outcome will be different. Cancer is a nonpartisan disease, so ubiquitous that it’s impossible to imagine that there are legislators whose families have not also been touched by this scourge. It is to help all who have been affected by cancer, and those who will come after, that I now speak.

Given my position as a sitting judge still hearing cases, well-meaning friends question the wisdom of my coming out on this issue. But I recognize that fellow cancer sufferers may be unable, for a host of reasons, to give voice to our plight. It is another heartbreaking aporia in the world of cancer that the one drug that gives relief without deleterious side effects remains classified as a narcotic with no medicinal value.

Because criminalizing an effective medical technique affects the fair administration of justice, I feel obliged to speak out as both a judge and a cancer patient suffering with a fatal disease. I implore the governor and the Legislature of New York, always considered a leader among states, to join the forward and humane thinking of 16 other states and pass the medical marijuana bill this year. Medical science has not yet found a cure, but it is barbaric to deny us access to one substance that has proved to ameliorate our suffering.

Gustin L. Reichbach is a justice of the State Supreme Court in Brooklyn.

Up-date on Local attorney stands to collect one million in attorney fees from City of Palo Alto

Events surrounding this case goes back to March 29th,1997 where three Palo Alto police officers used excessive force to beat up Michael Schmidlin for alleged public drunkenness.

A jury ultimately found the three officers, Tim Martin, David Trujillo and Burt Milliken had in fact violated Micheal Schmidlin’s constitutional rights awarding Mr. Schmidlin $24,000.00 plus attorney fees.

None of the officers remain currently employed by the Palo Alto police department and the circumstances surrounding their departure remains unclear.  However, the battle continued to rage on in an effort to collect on the attorney fee’s having gone right up to the California Supreme Court.  A battle where attorney Mark Martel thought would have ended sooner.

All attorney fees in a prior favorable decision were left awarded by the California Supreme Court having resulted in their refusal to hear the case on appeal. Prior to this ruling, and in a statement to the press back in 1997, attorney Martel had this to say, ”It would be a really bad use a taxpayers’ money to pursue it further, but we will fight this to the end”.

The attorney fees are the only remaining issues in this case.  City attorney Donald Larkin continues to argue that the court failed to use the, “required methodology” in calculating Mr. Martel’s attorney fees.

It looks like the only legal recourse left for the city of Palo Alto in paying out legal fees that will now soon topple over a million dollars, is for the city of Palo Alto to continue the legal battle, on the dime of Palo Alto taxpayers and to petition the United States Supreme Court for injunctive relief.

Palo Alto city attorney Molly Stump will confer with council members behind closed doors this coming Tuesday in a special meeting at city council chambers on February 21, 2012 at 6:00 PM on whether or not to pursue this case any further.

Schmidlin v. City of Palo Alto Sixth District Court of Appeal, Case No. H034169

Up-date to our original story:

Million dollar baby?  Not quite.  Through our California Public Records Request efforts, Palo Alto city attorney Molly Stump has revealed the actual monies paid-out to date in this matter.

Dear Requestor –

The following information is available in response to your request for public records attached below.

Payments in the matter of Schmidlin v. City of Palo Alto through September 13, 2012:

1.       Judgment and Plaintiff’s Attorneys’ Fees and Costs: $797,454.11.

2.       City Attorneys’ Fees and Costs: $154,265.54.

Your request may encompass additional records that are exempt from disclosure under Govt. Code section 6254(b) (pending litigation); Govt. Code sections 6254(k), 6276.04, and Evidence Code sections 950 et seq (attorney-client privilege); Govt. Code sections 6254(k), 6276.04, and Code Civ. Proc. 2018.030 (attorney work product); and Govt. Code 6255 (public interest balancing).


Molly Stump
Molly S. Stump City Attorney
250 Hamilton Ave
Palo Alto, Ca 94301
D: 650.329.2171

Attorney Marc Martel refused to return emails and phone calls seeking further comment.