Filippi Gets Police & Fire Union Endorsements

(September 28)  Gino Filippi has garnered the endorsement of both the Upland Police Officers Association and the Upland Professional Firefighters in his run for Upland mayor.
Filippi, who was elected to the Upland Council in 2010, is challenging incumbent mayor Ray Musser.
Musser, who has been on the city council since 1998, emerged early on as the sole political opposition to former mayor John Pomierski. Pomierski served on the city council for slightly over ten years. He was first elected in the November 2000 election. In 2004, Musser challenged Pomierski in that year’s mayoral contest, but narrowly lost.
That electoral effort earned Musser the enmity of Pomierski and his political machine. Supported by the members of his political team – councilmen Brendan Brandt, councilman Ken Willis and then councilman Tom Thomas – Pomierski sought to politically neuter Musser and stripped him of his committee and external joint powers agency assignments. Musser again opposed Pomierski in the 2008 election, but was again unable to derail the Pomierski political juggernaut, as Pomierski retained the endorsements of an array of entities, including all of the city employee unions, including the Upland Police Officers Association and the Upland Professional Firefighters.
As early as 2004, Pomierski was using his position as mayor to shake down local businessman and others with permit applications at Upland City Hall. Using a number of intermediaries such as his appointee to the Upland Housing Appeals Board, John Hennes, or his business associates Jason Crebs and Anthony Sanchez, Pomierski would obtain money from project applicants who were told that they could secure Pomierski’s support at City Hall by hiring Hennes, Crebs or Sanchez as a consultant. In June 2010, FBI agents served search warrants at Upland City Hall and the homes and businesses of Pomierski, Hennes, Crebs and Sanchez. In January 2011, Crebs and Sanchez were indicted by a federal grand jury and in March 2011, one week after Pomierski resigned as mayor, Pomierski and Hennes were indicted by a federal grand jury. All four of the defendants were charged with conspiracy and involvement in a bribery and extortion scheme. All four have since entered guilty pleas.
Musser, who in the aftermath of Pomierski’s resignation was appointed to the mayor’s post by the same council that ostracized him when he opposed Pomierski, is now being challenged by Filippi and councilwoman Debbie Stone, who was elected to the city council in a special election last year.

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