Buckheit offers Atherton council deal to resolve lawsuit Atherton, posted by Editor, The Almanac Online, on Dec 15, 2010 at 9:27 pm
Saying he's "willing to be reasonable if you are," Atherton resident Jon Buckheit told the Atherton City Council on Dec. 15 that his $10 million lawsuit against the town could be settled with far less pain to the town if the council authorizes an investigation by a court-appointed investigator of the alteration of the police report of his 2008 arrest.
Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, December 15, 2010, 7:00 PM
Posted by Tiredofitall, a resident of the Atherton: West Atherton neighborhood, on Dec 15, 2010 at 9:27 pm
Buckheit has bitten off more than he can chew. Now he wants to back out. Is it because he knows he is going to lose. By the way, where is his girlfriend? Was she paid to disappear. She could add a lot if she could be found. Hope the council tells Buckheit no dice. He is nothing but a publicity seeking troublemaker.
Posted by Menlo Voter, a resident of the Menlo Park: other neighborhood, on Dec 15, 2010 at 9:55 pm
You two are idiots or Atherton PD officers. If you can't recognize that Mr. Buckheit has a case you are genuinely stupid. The investigation that is being conducted now cannot be considered "neutral." Buckheit has offered Atherton a chance to dig themselves out of this mess. I doubt they'll take it.
Posted by Hercule Poirot, a resident of the Menlo Park: Fair Oaks neighborhood, on Dec 16, 2010 at 1:26 am
Menlo Voter, it's quite possible they're both (in your first sentence). My guess is that Atherton decides to protect the wrongdoer/police officer resulting in much more taxpayer money being spent and wasted. If it were going to be any other way, the police wouldn't be getting the lavish salaries and benefits as it is. The unions are just too strong and the personnel involved are too entrenched in the "system".
Posted by POGO, a resident of the Woodside: other neighborhood, on Dec 16, 2010 at 10:01 am
Some posters say Buckheit shouldn't get to pick the investigator. But using that logic, then the police shouldn't get to select their own investigator either. And it smells just a bit that the selected investigator is an ex-police chief, doesn't it?
I believe these posters are actually correct... and if you read Mr. Buckheit's request, you'll notice that he is not asking to select the investigator. He is asking for a judge to select an independent prosecutor.
This person should be totally independent and free of conflict. Neither side should get to pick the investigator.
Posted by Really Chic, a resident of the Menlo Park: other neighborhood, on Dec 16, 2010 at 12:20 pm
To Exactly!, "Put up or shut up", and what does that mean?
There is no more evidence that an outside investigator is any less worthy than a judge-selected independent prosecutor. Unless you know of any judges (or independent investigators) who are untrustorthy. Do you? You could show some evidence, please.
The issue at hand seems to be that Mr. Buckheit is not comfortable, trusting, or confident in the selection approach, and has suggested an alternative, fair approach. No harm there (unless, Exactly!, you have evidence to the contrary).
It would be interesting to reveal locations & names of all the contributors to this blog (there really is no anonymity) if the Almanac blog logs were someday sopoenaed. Yes, Exactly!
Posted by POGO, a resident of the Woodside: other neighborhood, on Dec 16, 2010 at 1:02 pm
Yes, what evidence is there that Mr. Buckheit has a judge in his pocket?
My evidence is that the police department that is under suspicion for impropriety is selecting its investigator. Gee, why not have Bernie Madoff or Charlie Rangel pick their investigators?
Mr. Buckheit isn't picking his investigator. He is asking the town to ask a judge (and Mr. Buckheit isn't picking the judge, either...) to select an investigator.
Seems fair to me.
I confess that I hope the Town doesn't take Mr. Buckheit up on his offer. I'd much prefer to let this play out in court and see a jury slam the town for continuing to ignore this festering problem. Of course, I'm not underwriting the cost of this litigation, either.
Posted by Come on guys, a resident of the Atherton: West Atherton neighborhood, on Dec 16, 2010 at 1:59 pm
This is just a trick by Buckheit to try to make a jury down the road get mad and give him a ton of money. He knows that police officers are entitled to due process and it would be illegal for Atherton to break protocol to do the investigation his way.
Posted by usual suspect, a resident of the Atherton: other neighborhood, on Dec 16, 2010 at 6:09 pm
Mike Guerra broke the law when he hired Pete Peterson.
A contract wasn't drafted up until December 7th.
The timing of the contract is suspicious because it was produced the day after a December 6th public records request was submitted to the Town asking for a copy of the purchase order or contract that is required by the municipal code. The tinming is also suspicious because Guerra said to the Almanac that he had already hired the investigator on the 1st of December.
It's clear this investigation is a sham.
Here's the text of the agreement:
December 7, 2010
Mr. Pete Peterson
7172 Regional St., Suite 222
Dublin, CA 94568
Subject: Agreement for assisting the Atherton Police Department with a personnel investigation into alleged employee misconduct.
This letter acknowledges an agreement by and between the Town of Atherton and Mr. Pete Peterson for conducting a personnel investigation concerning the accuracy of police report 08-634 that was brought to the attention of the Town by a resident. The parties hereby enter into the Agreement as follows:
1. Exhibit A, Scope of Services.
Conduct a personnel investigation concerning the accuracy of police report 08-634 that was brought to the attention of the Town by a resident that complies with Town of Atherton Policy and Atherton PD’s administrative/personnel investigative practices and procedures Sections 340, 1020, and 1043. The investigation should be completed by January 15 at the latest.
2. Exhibit B, Compensation.
Compensation will be at $125 per hour, and will not exceed a combined total of $5000 without prior approval of the Atherton City Manager.
Please sign below and return to: Atherton PD, 83 Ashfield Rd., Atherton, CA 94027
Posted by POGO, a resident of the Woodside: other neighborhood, on Dec 17, 2010 at 9:50 am
I'm guessing that Chief Guerra made an oral agreement to hire Mr. Peterson on December 1. That's perfectly legal, but sloppy.
When asked to provide a copy of that agreement - and realizing there wasn't one - Chief Guerra drafted the text cited above.
While I like Chief Guerra, this is just another example of sloppy, undocumented and needlessly informal work product. This is a pretty important issue - a chief of police should know to evidence these kind of agreements in writing.
Posted by POGO, a resident of the Woodside: other neighborhood, on Dec 17, 2010 at 1:42 pm
How do you know it's wrong?
Chief Guerra could easily have come to an agreement with the investigator on December 1 (whether it was approved by the town or not) and that oral agreement was not codified it until he was asked to produce the written contract.
Posted by WhoRUpeople, a resident of another community, on Dec 17, 2010 at 3:01 pm
I think there is a more important point that is being missed here. Read the scope of work in the services contract with Peterson, and then re-read the article which describes what it is that is supposed to be investigated. The scope to peterson is to determine if the police report is accurate. It has already been determined by a court of law that it was tampered with and that it is indeed, not accurate. The investigation is supposed to be to determine who did it and whether it was done out of malice or by mistake. Jon, you should spend you time and effort getting your day in court on the civil suit. Take the money, and enjoy it. These people just don't get it.
Posted by WhoRUpeople, a resident of another community, on Dec 20, 2010 at 8:55 am
You're right, it "shouldn't". I noted in the agreement that the rate is $125/hour. Probably only would take about 30 minutes to draft up a final report, so $62.50 should cover it. But, the not to exceed amount is $5000, so I foresee the "investigation" taking, oh, about 40 hours.
Posted by New year resolution, a resident of another community, on Dec 28, 2010 at 1:37 pm
Stogner do you have enough stuff between your ears to see the difference between someone making a typo on a word processor and someone selling confidential information to a gang member?
Maybe you don't. I know Buckheit does. He's just being a pompous snob thinking that someone should have to pay for that typo with his career. Fellow zillionaires like Carpenter seem to have that same stuck up attitude. It makes me sick. For those of you with your heads screwed on straight you should know that the officers accused by Buckheit are good cops and don't deserve being the target of his witch hunt.
Posted by Menlo Voter, a resident of the Menlo Park: other neighborhood, on Dec 28, 2010 at 1:44 pm
we're not talking about a "typo" here and you damn well know it. We're talking about false charges being added to a report. That is hardly a "typo." It's falsification of evidence and in case you don't have enought between your ears to understand, IT"S A CRIME!
I'm not a zillionaire. I'm an ex-cop. My feelings tend to run in support of law enforcement. Not in this case. It is blatently clear an officer(s) committed a crime and then tried to cover it up. Honestly, if there was nothing to it, why did it a take over a year for it to be investigated? We both know the answer to that - APD is a highly disfunctional, tiny town police department with poor management.
Posted by POGO, a resident of the Woodside: other neighborhood, on Dec 28, 2010 at 6:10 pm
New year resolution -
Intentionally altering an already filed police report to state that a child who witnessed an incident was now a victim with injuries is not a typo. This outrageous conduct caused an innocent citizen who called 911 for help to be handcuffed, arrested and processed in jail.
Only in the twisted mind of a crooked cop could that be classified as a typo. And isn't it a crime to file a false police report?
Posted by local gurl, a resident of another community, on Dec 29, 2010 at 11:52 am
Maybe the City Council will do the same thing Half Moon Bay did when confronted with the opportunity to settle a big lawsuit . . . punt, and LOSE!!!! HMB now faces bankruptcy as a result of their council's arrogance and that of their attorneys. Good luck.
Posted by part of the community, a resident of the Atherton: other neighborhood, on Jan 19, 2011 at 2:52 pm
Title: A Perfect Con,
Threatening to be "reasonable if you are". No investigator will be good enough. A true con artist. He will get paid, it's just a matter of time.
I read that the differences between "middle class" and "world/upper class", and the fundamentals were this:
* Middle class focuses on saving. World class focuses on earning.
* Middle class operates from a fear based consciousness. World class operates in a consciousness of abundance and freedom.
* Middle class believes money is earned through labor. World class believes money is earned through "thought".
Posted by POGO, a resident of the Woodside: other neighborhood, on Jan 19, 2011 at 3:32 pm
part of the community -
Mr. Buckheit's "con" was so perfectly designed that he engineered, in advance, that his 911 emergency call for help would be answered by an Atherton police officer who would end up handcuffing and arresting him, the victim of the crime. The ingenious Buckheit further engineered his "con" so that a different Atherton police officer would alter the official police report to reflect an outrageous criminal act that he didn't do.
But the best part of Mr. Buckheit's "con" was that he arranged to have the original cop - the officer who arrested him in the first place - testify under oath that the police report was altered and false. That made it possible for the last piece of this complex puzzle to drop into place by having the judge make a finding of "factual innocence."
If Mr. Buckheit is truly able to design and execute such an elaborate "con" as you suggest, that is probably the best reason for the Town of Atherton to settle now. You certainly don't want to take a chance that Mr. Buckheit has other surprises up his sleeve!
Posted by part of the community, a resident of the Atherton: other neighborhood, on Jan 19, 2011 at 4:28 pm
POGO - no agitation intended, just opinions.
In response, it's all subject to interpretation...who really needed help? He dialed first. Maybe his luck turned and he was arrested instead, so he had to be fast on his feet to get his name cleared, and found a loop hole, a false allegation about the minor involved. Adults should not be hitting each other--plain and simple, in front of a minor. He may have caught a good break, now he is going to town, literally! Asking the town for a $10 million dollar settlement, for a possible domestic dispute at his residence, gone bad? He was found Factually Innocent, innocent of the report change, as stated by a judge,-- but to prove his point he needs a lawsuit against the town. There are two sides to every story.
It will take a bit much to be surprised by Buckheit at this point.
Posted by POGO, a resident of the Woodside: other neighborhood, on Jan 19, 2011 at 5:54 pm
When someone with a badge and gun - under color of law - falsely places an innocent citizen under arrest and then goes on to falsify a police report to substantiate the charge, that's a criminal act by a bad cop. And I don't agree that "a false allegation" was some sort of "loophole" for Mr. Buckheit. It's a felony and that cop should go to jail. There is no evidence he did ANYTHING wrong, much less criminal.
The Atherton Police Department and their town council have a lot to answer for and Mr. Buckheit has a legitimate claim. I agree that it's probably not worth $10 million in a rational world, but this isn't the first time the Atherton police have acted badly, is it? I think Mr. Buckheit's lawsuit is intended to send them a message... which, sadly, has yet to be received.
When the people of Atherton telephone 911 for help, I don't think they take into consideration their chances of being arrested.
Posted by Michael G. Stogner, a resident of another community, on Jan 19, 2011 at 7:25 pm
Very good points, another fact most Atherton residents either don't think about or know about is what data base is being accessed when the Police Officers admit that they have accessed the criminal computer system without proper authority. Is it R.E.A.C.T. Task force?
Why have they not been charged with a crime? Specifically Chief Robert Brennan who admitted he accessed the criminal computer to do a routine background on John Johns.
Posted by Blueper Out Takes, a resident of the Atherton: other neighborhood, on Jan 19, 2011 at 8:51 pm
No wonder every council meeting now itemizes the latest "grateful resident donation" to the Police Dept. for dogs cars and equipment--apparently over half the town budget simply isn't enough. Who is being trained-the residents-or the dogs?
The numerous Holiday Greetings mailers and police newsletters sent out last fall, all contained self addressed envelopes for residents to send back with an enclosed check, "to guarantee continued service...." not exactly a threat I know but still the implication is not lost on anyone who doesn't want to get "turned" by police resources, or caught up in one of their innocent mistakes. Think of the money as an investment--sort of like an insurance policy--sort of like a shakedown. Send money to feed this hungry dog or he might accidently bite you.
Posted by part of community, a resident of the Atherton: other neighborhood, on Jan 20, 2011 at 9:40 am
POGO, John Johns, and other Buckheit supporters, this is not trash talk, it's a concerned citizen. John Johns, you have been posting since you were fired from the town-people don't get fired for no reason.
I've been watching these things for years from outside the fishbowl. There are good and bad, cops AND people. In this case the officers involved did not make a false arrest, they arrested Buckheit, because they had reason to believe Buckheit choked his girlfriend. Buckheit hired an attorney, had the evidence/photos sealed by a judge, and the entire case dropped, because the police officer corrected his report?? Why do bad people always blame others? hmmm, go figure?
How has Buckheit been accountable for his actions? with a reward? He's lucky he was not prosecuted for his actions, had the report not been corrected, cops-hope this is a lesson learned. Buckheit is civilly suing some of the officers in this case, not that $10 million from the town isn't enough. And he's not money hungry? maybe just mad he got caught.
Atherton PD and the Town are professional, you won't hear from them on here. As always, they just have to wait. Months--even years...
Dear Moderator, you deleted an earlier comment of mine about Buckheit, that was the exact comment made about a cop, and mine was deleted. The one about the cop, remains posted? please explain?
Posted by Jon Buckheit, a resident of the Atherton: West Atherton neighborhood, on Jan 20, 2011 at 10:00 am
To Part of Community -
You have your facts wrong, and I will give you an opportunity to look at the actual facts rather than whatever innuendo or gossip you have heard (or are simply advancing because you might be a cop or friend/family of one of the accused cops).
If you would like to make an appointment with me to look at the actual court factual innocence transcripts that refute everything you've said (including what the police actually testified about), you can contact me through the Almanac to set up a meeting to do so. I did not get a "factual innocence" because the cops "corrected" their report. That particular incident raised the judge's ire, but he concluded that none of the charges in the report (including those that were not "corrected") were at all supportable.
Unlike the APD's selection of Pete Petersen, I neither selected, paid, nor controlled the actions of that judge or what transpired in that court of law.
If the reasons you won't amount to fear of being sued, killed by a friend of mine, etc. (as other ridiculous posts have hinted at when I've made similar offers), we can figure out a way for you to do so anonymously.
And if you won't, I think that simply speaks for itself.
Posted by POGO, a resident of the Woodside: other neighborhood, on Jan 20, 2011 at 10:39 am
part of the community -
As Mr. Buckheit noted in his response immediately above, you couldn't have gotten your "facts" about this incident more incorrect if you tried. You are factually incorrect on almost all counts. Mr. Buckheit has made an offer to you, which speaks volumes about his confidence in his position.
It is exactly this kind of "ostrich head in the sand" attitude that Mr. Buckheit's lawsuit is intended to reveal. Unfortunately, in addition to falling on deaf ears at the Atherton Police Department and the Atherton Town Council, apparently (and ironically) it has fallen on deaf ears with part of the community as well.