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  • suesarkis@aol.com
    Why don t these civil service employees get charged with a violation of BPC §7523(b) ???? Just the other day I told you about the City of Glendale hiring
    Message 1 of 1 , May 2 11:47 PM
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      Why don't these civil service employees get charged with a violation of BPC
      §7523(b) ???? Just the other day I told you about the City of Glendale
      hiring that Chris Gluchacki, a brick mason, to conduct a background
      investigation on me. Golly, give me a break.

      Hawthorne 'investigator' charged with 4 felonies
      By Sandy Mazza Staff Writer

      A man who impersonated a private investigator when he interviewed and spied
      on Hawthorne employees last year has been charged with four felonies.

      Edward Joseph Ortega, 40, of Ridgecrest pleaded not guilty Thursday in the
      Airport Courthouse to three counts of perjury, one count of false
      personation and one misdemeanor count of illegally working as a private
      investigator, court documents show.

      He was ordered to return to court June 3 to set a date for a preliminary
      hearing, District Attorney's Office spokeswoman Jane Robison said.

      Hawthorne City Manager Jim Mitsch said he hired Ortega on April 15, 2010 -
      the day Mitsch's predecessor, Jag Pathirana, was fired by the City Council
      - to investigate problematic activities rumored at City Hall. Ortega worked
      for Mitsch through June, and was paid about $13,000 to interview employees
      and conduct surveillance, city documents show.

      But Ortega was not a licensed private investigator during this time, and he
      reportedly did not reveal any problems with employees in City Hall. He
      used a former employer's Social Security and license numbers on city
      documents.

      Ortega used identifying information for Keith Raymond, owner of Big
      Bear-based OHI Services, on his employment forms with the city. As a result,
      Raymond said the publicity generated by this has devastated his business.

      "Because of Ed Ortega doing this, I'm actually unemployed now," Raymond
      said Thursday. "I'm struggling financially to repair my name. I'm still
      defending the fact that I had no part of that investigation." Raymond said he
      believes Ortega thought he could get away with his allegedly falsified
      information because he was backed by city officials.

      "In his mind, maybe he justified being able to do this and not getting
      caught because he was allowed to work in the City Attorney's Office by way of
      the city manager," Raymond said. That probably made him feel "protected
      somehow," he said.

      Robison said Hawthorne officials are still under investigation in the case.
      She would not name possible targets of the investigation or explain why
      they might be under suspicion.

      City officials, complaining that Ortega was conducting a rogue
      investigation of matters that he was not asked to look into, ceased working with him
      in June. The issue was kept secret until October, when pieces of Ortega's
      work were released to KTTV Fox 11 reporter Chris Blatchford and aired in a
      salacious report that implicated Pathirana, the city's former top
      administrator, for impersonating a police officer during a July 2009 visit to the Wild
      Goose strip club in Del Aire.

      A Daily Breeze review of city documents and Ortega's investigation revealed
      Ortega's fraudulent use of Raymond's Social Security and business license
      numbers. Ortega's investigative methods also appeared sloppy, the newspaper
      investigation found.

      Pathirana filed a defamation claim against the city because of the Fox 11
      news report. He was awarded about $150,000 in damages in February.

      In March, Raymond filed a claim with the city seeking $118,000 in damages
      for emotional distress, mental anguish, and loss of wages and contracts,
      among other things.

      "The hiring of Ed Orgega ... (was) abuse of power by city manager and city
      attorney allowing a fraudulent person to investigate city matters with
      fraudulent evidence," Raymond wrote in his claim. It caused "the libel/slander
      of my company and myself."

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      Hawthorne City Manager Jim Mitsch said he hired Ortega on April 15, 2010 -
      the day Mitsch's predecessor, Jag Pathirana, was fired by the City Council
      - to investigate problematic activities rumored at City Hall.


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