Former Upland City Manager Quincey Pleads Guilty To Single Felony Count

(September 10) Former Upland City Manager Robb Quincey entered a no contest plea on September 9 to a single count of conflict of interest, bringing to a close the case lodged against him by the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office in 2012.
Dismissed as a consequence of the plea arrangement worked out between Quincey’s attorney, Michael Zwieback, and prosecutors were two additional charges, perjury and  embezzlement/falsification by a public officer.
The case against Quincey in some measure grew out of the circumstances surrounding former Upland Mayor John Pomierski, who was himself indicted in 2011 and in 2012 was convicted of public corruption charges. Pomierski was instrumental in hiring Quincey as city manager and maintaining him in that position for more than five years. Quincey, who had a doctorate in public administration with an emphasis in economics and organizational development from the University of La Verne, was  handpicked by Pomierski in March 2005 to succeed Upland’s previous city manager, Mike Milhiser. Over the more than five-year span Quincey worked for Upland, he was provided, primarily at Pomierski’s behest, a series of salary and benefit enhancements such that by January 2011 he was  receiving a base salary and add-ons of $368,529 with benefits of $92,096, for a total annual compensation of $460,625, making him among the high-
est paid city managers in the state.
The seeds of his fall had been sown some two-and-a-half years previously, when on July 27, 2008 Quincey and his former fiancé, Jennifer Stelzer, became embroiled in a heated argument at Quincey’s Upland home, punctuated by  Quincey’s alleged vandalism to Stelzer’s car and a series of profanity-laced text messages to her. The Upland police were summoned and detective Craig Sipple under the supervision of then-sergeant John Moore generated an eight-page police report recommending that the matter be reviewed by the district attorney’s office for possible prosecution. Quincey contacted Stelzer and persuaded her not to press charges and then sought to have then-police chief Steve Adams intervene in the matter.
Consequently, the eight-page report Sipple originally authored was reduced to six pages and Sipple and Moore’s recommendation that the matter be referred to the district attorney’s office was changed to state that the case was given “Exceptional Clearance. Stelzer does not desire prosecution.” The redrafted six-page version of the report was buried in an inactive police department file that prevented it from being open to public scrutiny. When Moore later applied for one of two open lieutenant posts with the department and was passed over, he retained the services of attorney Dieter Dammeier of the law firm Lackie Dammeier McGill & Ethir to represent him. Dammeier worked out a solution to the problem by which Quincey and Adams upped the number of captain positions with the department from two to three, promoted a lieutenant into that new spot, thereby creating another lieutenant vacancy, into which Moore was promoted. Dammeier presented the city with a $57,816 bill for his efforts on behalf of Moore. To keep the matter quiet and from coming to the attention of the city council and the public, Quincey used his maximum $25,000 annual discretionary spending authority as city manager to pay Dammeier’s firm in two $25,000 installments, one in the midst of the 2009-10 fiscal year on January 25, 2010, and another shortly after the initiation of the 2010-11 fiscal year on August 23, 2010.
According to former Upland City Attorney Bill Curley, Quincey persuaded then-assistant finance director Ruby Carrillo, with whom Quincey was intimately involved, to miscode one of those checks to make it appear that the payment had been made for another police department-related matter the city was negotiating with the police, union, specifically payment to officers for the time they spent just before their daily assignments donning their uniforms and the time after their shifts ended doffing their uniforms.
In June 2010, FBI and IRS agents served search warrants at Upland City Hall as well as at Pomierski’s home and the homes and offices of Pomierski’s associates. As FBI agents were carrying out that search inside City Hall, Quincey had an impromptu conference with Curley, relating to him  the circumstance with regard to the domestic disturbance incident involving Stelzer, the Sipple/Moore report relating to it and the action taken by Quincey and Adams to create a third captain position within the police department to open a lieutenant’s slot for Moore.  Though Quincey thought what he had told Curley would be kept in confidence,  Curley informed the FBI of what Quincey had just related to him. After details relating to the train of events involving Quincey, Stelzer, Moore and Dammeier became public, the Upland City Council in January 2011 suspended Quincey and     placed him on paid administrative leave. Four months later, two months after Pomierski’s indictment, Quincey was terminated.
Quincey sued for wrongful termination and in the course of the hearings related to that suit, Quincey made what the district attorney’s office latter said were false statements, amounting to perjury.
While the perjury charge and that of embezzlement was dismissed, a felony of conflict of interest by a public officer has been entered against him.  He agreed to make restitution of $50,000 to the city of Upland in accepting the plea bargain. He has already put up $25,000 of that sum and will provide the rest by June 30, 2015. He is scheduled to be sentenced on October 10. Under the terms of his plea, he is to serve three years of supervised probation and other penalties, one of which includes up to a year in jail.
His sentence could also carry with it his forfeiture of the $90,000 per year pension he earned as a five-year city manager of the city of Hesperia and his five year’s with Upland.  California has a law that is applicable to any person receiving a public employee pension elected or reelected to public office on or after Jan. 1, 2006, which provides for forfeiture of all rights and benefits under, and any membership in, any public retirement system in which the person is a member, effective on the date of final conviction for certain felonies, including those relating to accepting or giving, or offering to give any bribe; the embezzlement of public money; extortion or theft of public money; perjury; or conspiracy to commit any of these crimes.
Quincey was an elected member of the  Monte Vista Water District Board of Directors. He served as the president of that entity for more than 13 years.
The deputy district attorney who prosecuted Quincey, Reza Sadeghi, did not return phone calls seeking information about whether Quincey’s conviction would result in the forfeiture of his public pension.

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