By Mark Gutglueck
Upland, the City of Gracious Living, is normally a relatively staid place. Like some other communities, it has made its way into the 21st Century hand in hand with the social media of the day – Facebook, Twitter, Nextdoor.com and even a local blog, Upland Uncensored, all of which offer impromptu, user-generated content in a virtual Internet-based community that chronicles life, essentially on a day-today, event-by event and issue-by issue basis.
Under regular circumstances, the fare offered up in these forums is relatively tame, though that is not to say that an item of controversy does not manifest from time to time, and some contributors will occasionally make their passions known in stark, pronounced or even overbearing terms.
But whatever heights of expression, intensity, zeal and provocation have been achieved in the past, they absolutely pale in comparison with what has been occurring on the Upland social media scene of late, as the 2016 municipal election nears.
In these exchanges it has been alleged that Upland officials or some of them – past, current, future and prospective – are criminals, social and moral reprobates, gangsters or at least underworld associates. The foci of these postings are the ongoing political battle over medical marijuana availability in the city and the current crop of candidates for mayor, city council and treasurer in this city of 73,730 at the far west end of San Bernardino County at the border of, and nestling up against neighboring Los Angeles County, and lying below San Antonio Heights at the foot of the eastern portion of the Angeles National Forest.
If the postings are to be believed, one of the candidates for mayor is being funded by mob money generated from the illicit narcotics distribution trade and is a drug user herself, the other mayoral candidate has a propensity for involving himself in litigation, and a candidate for city treasurer has tapped into the same mob and narcotics distribution network revenue stream.
A recurrent personage involved in many of the postings, indeed at the core of them, less as a contributor than as a subject or object of comment, is Waldon Randall “Randy” Welty.
Welty is a colorful, indeed larger-than-life, figure, a Vietnam War veteran and successful entrepreneur, a First Amendment advocate and provocateur, a smut peddler and flesh monger, described by his rivals and foes alike as a genius, who has long recognized and taken advantage of the opportunities local governments present by their predictability, complacency, indolence, corrupt nature and self-centeredness. He is condemned by some as a mobster, an operator of illicit enterprises, the kingpin of an underworld organization with tentacles reaching to scores of cities throughout California.
How much of Welty’s legend is fact, or based on fact, and how much is hyperbole is difficult to discern. His holdings are in many cases not directly held, but rather under the control of shadow companies, entities or individuals in which someone other than Welty is, or appears to be, the principal or operator, or chief executive or owner or chief agent. Reliable information, nonetheless, indicates Welty is the actual principal or owner of scores of enterprises in a sizeable empire.
This inexactitude with regard to Welty is a part of his approach to life and business. Even his name, his very identity, is less than exact. Though his actual name is Waldon Randall Welty, he does not go by Waldon but rather by Randy. What is more, he has a son also called Randy. Both have had run-ins with the law. The younger Welty appears to have been involved in some of his father’s business ventures, leading to further confusion.
Welty owns, or principally owns, at least six adult live entertainment venues – that is, topless or topless/bottomless/ fully nude or partially nude theaters or bars. One report, unverified, is that he actually owns eleven such enterprises. He owns another seven adult bookstores. As of earlier this year, he also had an interest in 56 medical marijuana dispensaries.
As the owner of the adult entertainment venues, Welty has made money both directly and indirectly. One of the remarkable things about Welty is he has a legion of admirers or, to put it another way, qualified admirers. Some who admit they admire him say they don’t really like him. But they acknowledge, nonetheless, that he is a formidable entrepreneur, one with virtually unerring instincts on how to make a buck and a facile mind that allows him to come out on top, even when his business ambition is thwarted. Part of Welty’s formula, it has been alleged, is to acquire, by taking over or buying, what is a marginal or maybe even failing night spot – either a bar, pool hall, night club, comedy club or sports bar. Welty will initially, sources say, try, or at least appear to try, to have the night spot make a go of it. At some point, he will, perhaps with or perhaps without local government approval, transition the business into one with a sexual theme – usually one featuring some order of nude female dancing. He will keep the business operating at what ostensibly is a profit. When the city or county moves to shutter the business, Welty will then embroil the government in costly litigation pertaining to contractual, First Amendment and zoning issues, almost invariably prevailing and achieving a settlement which more often than not includes the city paying Welty handsomely – typically in excess of $1 million – for lost profits.
Along the way, Welty cuts an imposing and intimidating profile. While he can be impressively articulate – he has made moving, impassioned and eloquent speeches before public bodies – he has also cultivated, it seems, an image of being slightly mentally unhinged, indeed dangerous, right over the red line into being prone to violence. On one occasion, in what was apparently an argumentative mood, he came before the Upland City Council wearing a T-shirt which read “You say tomato. I say fuck you.” In 2008 at his luxurious home in Santa Barbara, when he began to lose an argument he was having with his wife on debating points, he attempted to even the score by taking a baseball bat to her. He was arrested and charged with felony assault. His lawyer was able to have the charges whittled down, and Welty pleaded guilty to misdemeanor aggravated trespassing.
Part of Welty’s genius and an intrinsic element of his success is his penchant for employing first rate lawyers. He has Roger Jon Diamond, one of California leading First Amendment attorneys, on a permanent retainer.
In 2014, Weldy, who is a board member with the California Cannabis Coalition, bankrolled an effort by that organization and officially brought forth by Upland residents Nicole DeLaRosa and James Velez to float an initiative in Upland that would permit three medical marijuana dispensaries to operate legally in the relatively confined zoning district along a limited stretch on the north side of Route 66 – Foothill Boulevard – and south of Cable Airport, east of Monte Vista Avenue and west of Airport Drive at what is the western entrance into Upland from Los Angeles County/ Claremont. It so happened that area is where Welty’s Upland strip club – The Tropical Lei – is located, immediately adjacent to which is a medical marijuana dispensary Welty has been indirectly operating through someone else for years in defiance of the city code, which bars all such establishments.
In pushing for that initiative, which called for applicants paying the city a $75,000 application processing/licensing fee and which has since has since been given the nomenclature Measure U for consideration on the upcoming November 8 ballot, Weldy has been both brazen and persistent.
On at least three occasions, Welty has come before the Upland City Council, advocating on behalf of Measure U, inveighing against “the black market” in the marijuana trade and propounding that Measure U will eradicate that black market in Upland. He conveniently omitted that he is one of the operators in that black market.
After DeLaRosa and Velez gathered what the San Bernardino County Registrar of Voters in January 2015 deemed were the valid signatures of 15 percent of the registered voters in Upland to qualify the initiative for the ballot, Welty and the California Cannabis Coalition sought to have the matter put on a special ballot within four months – that is by May 2015. But in a move widely perceived as an underhanded ploy and abuse of the city of Upland’s governmental discretion, three members of the Upland City Council resistant to the concept of permitting cannabis dispensaries in the city – Mayor Ray Musser, councilman Glen Bozar and councilwoman Carol Timm – commissioned city attorney Richard Adams to derive a strategy to postpone the election. Adams did so, propounding the somewhat dubious legal theory that the $75,000 application processing/licensing fee was tantamount to a tax and, as such, necessitated that the measure be voted upon not at a special election but during a general municipal election. The city succeeded in convincing Judge David Cohn to postpone the vote on the initiative for more than a year, until the November 2015 election. Welty, nonetheless, invested $100,000 in having Roger Jon Diamond appeal Cohn’s ruling. A year later, the Fourth District Court of Appeal overturned Cohn, ruling that he erred in granting the city the election postponement, and costing the city $100,000 in Diamond’s legal fees. With the November 2016 election approaching, as a practical matter the initiative is now scheduled to go before the voters next month.
With incumbent Mayor Ray Musser having opted out of seeking reelection, two of the sitting council members – Debbie Stone and Glenn Bozar – are vying for mayor. Running for the one position on the city council up for election this year are city treasurer Dan Morgan, planning commissioner Sid Robinson, Janice Elliott and Ricardo Felix. Two candidates have tossed their hats in the ring for city treasurer, former city manager Stephen Dunn and Larry Kinley.
Significantly, Measure U has grown into a major issue of orientation in those races, with some candidates clearly defining themselves as being in opposition to its passage, one candidate for treasurer identifying himself as in favor of Measure U and two other candidates caught in a circumstance in which they find themselves aligned with the pro-Measure U crowd, either by default, monetary linkage or a serpentine political connection, and possibly, all three.
Councilman and mayoral candidate Glenn Bozar, incumbent treasurer and council candidate Morgan, council candidate Felix and treasurer candidate Kinley have all taken stands against Measure U, with Bozar having co-authored the ballot statement against it.
Councilwoman and mayoral candidate Stone and planning commissioner and council candidate Robinson have been less than clear or downright contradictory about whether they are in favor of Measure U. But they have entered into alliances in which Welty’s money appears to have been parlayed into funding for their campaigns.
Treasurer candidate Dunn is unequivocally aligned with Welty and forces in favor of Measure U. Indeed, it is through Dunn that Stone and Robinson are linked, at least tangentially, to the pro marijuana availability contingent in Upland and elsewhere.
Social media posts pertaining to the election in Upland have drawn stark comparisons between the candidates, characterizing Welty as an underworld figure muscling in on Upland and using Dunn, Stone and Robinson to achieve his ends.
One Upland resident, Tommy Brooks, posted documents obtained from the California Secretary of State’s Office which document in part or in whole money originating with Welty that has come directly to Dunn or the entities he controls or has been filtered, at least according to Brooks’ claims, into the Stone and Robinson campaigns.
In a posting made on Monday, Brooks charged “mayor candidate Stone [and] city treasurer candidate Dunn are both connected to the pro-marijuana measure and they are connected to the political action committee connected to strip club owner Welty funding it all! As one can see Debbie Stone, Steven Dunn, yes on Measure U, more weed dispensaries in Upland, the Tropical Lei strip club, the Upland election, homeless vagrants problem [and] burglaries are all tied together.”
This prompted a response from Upland Councilman Gino L. Filippi, who was elected to the council in 2010, reelected in 2014 and is now politically allied with Stone and Dunn. “Councilwoman Debbie Stone… has stated in public and private that she does not endorse Measure U,” Filippi posted. “Councilmember Stone is not endorsing Measure U.”
Brooks retorted, pointing out that Dunn is serving as Stone’s treasurer. “Then why is Stephen Dunn her treasurer?” Books inquired. “As the old saying goes, sleep with dogs, wake up with fleas! Birds of a feather, flock together!”
Filippi responded, “Mr Brooks, I know that Stephen Dunn is most qualified to serve as treasurer and does so for many candidates and groups. He is most experienced and professional.”
Filippi said that Dunn, who was Upland’s finance director for eight years prior to becoming city manager was qualified to serve as city treasurer in a way that his opponent, Kinley, who was for 42 years a loan officer with the Bank of America, is not.
Jennifer Brown, in a posting on nextdoor.com, hinted at the corrupting and corrosive influence of money Welty is spreading around, intimating that this money has compromised Dunn, who is now openly militating on behalf of Welty and Measure U.
“I have learned so much this year about the Tropical Lei and how much money this guy pays our city government in various ways to get his way,” she said. “It astonishes me and sickens me.”
Don Lord disputed Filippi’s characterizations and comparative rankings of Dunn and Kinley in a posting on nextdoor.com. “Mr. Filippi, I’ve done much research on Mr. Kinley’s opponent, Stephen Dunn,” Lord wrote. “And I’m very concerned about Mr. Dunn’s past history with the city, and his present allegiances. I will gladly support and vote for a perceived under-qualified candidate (your words, not mine) over a perceived corrupt candidate. The political corruption in Upland is solved by voting in other candidates, which is my intent.”
Filippi bridled at Lord’s assertions. “Mr Dunn is not corrupt nor are any of the sitting members on the council,” he said.
Bob Moxley offered his view, with regard to Stone that there is “too much evidence of her alignment with Stephen Dunn and everyone knows who Dunn is linked to.”
Brooks in another post vectored at Filippi focused on Dunn’s connection to Welty. “Why is Dunn the chief officer behind the PAC [political action committee] supporting Prop U and why do you keep defending him?” Brooks asked.
“Stephen Dunn is free to serve as treasurer for campaigns and he does so for a number of candidates and groups in the valley,” Filippi wrote. “I respect Mr. Dunn because of his abilities. He is a professional and possesses significant experience in government finance. The financial recovery plan that the city is embracing was authored by Mr Dunn. This is valuable in my view. As far as his view on Measure U, he has been a proponent of “tax and regulate” on the issue of medical marijuana.”
Cindy Phillips said Filippi was prevaricating when he said Stone is not in favor of marijuana being sold in Upland. “Stone and Filippi favor Measure U,” Phillips said. “She is tied with Dunn. They want to have three pot shops next to the Tropical Lei.”
Brooks said that the money being generated by illicit marijuana sales was an intrinsic and undeniable element of the criminal underworld which was demonstrated by the consideration that the money can’t be taxed and the operations cannot be regulated because those funds cannot be reliably accounted for since federally regulated banking institutions cannot set up accounts for businesses selling marijuana. “We all know that cash can’t be regulated,” Brooks said.
Moreover, he said, Welty was attempting to manipulate the city into creating a monopoly “The unregulated language Mr. Dunn and the Tropical Lei owner have written into Measure U protects the owner of the Tropical Lei from any oversight by the police or code enforcement without prior notice.”
Filippi insisted “I do not support Measure U” and then asserted, somewhat improbably, “I do not know if the Tropical Lei owners are tied to Measure U.” He sought to downplay the suggestions that Measure U was designed to provide Welty with a monopoly. “It has yet to be determined who the principals of the dispensaries will be should Measure U pass. If the voters approve of the measure, there will be legal and controlled access for qualified patients. Please understand, there are a number of dispensaries operating illegally within the city limits at any given time. Some are located within commercial, residential and industrial areas. Enforcement and litigation both have been costly over the past several years. My position has remained the same over the past several years – Upland cannot afford to continue to spend millions of dollars chasing medical marijuana when we have need for funds in vital areas of service including streets, public safety, etc. Please note, Measure U arrived on the ballot as result of a citizens’ petition process. The petitioners’ measure qualified and the voters will decide. The city attorney has advised the city council that the council cannot take a position collectively on Measure U.”
Elsewhere on social media posts, it has been asserted that Bozar has engaged in counterproductive lawsuits against the city. As such, it is asserted by some that he has engaged in litigation that has been costly to the city and its taxpayers.
On Upland Uncensored, Alex Velto called for the city’s residents to look into the lawsuits Bozar was involved in.
Because social media offers unregulated and unchecked content, ascertaining the accuracy of the postings can be challenging.
Previously, there were indications that Dunn was not aligned with Welty. In January 2015, Dunn came before the Upland City Council, asking that the city rethink its rigid ban against the sale of medical marijuana in Upland and either adopt using the council’s authority an alternative ordinance allowing medical marijuana sales that would be more favorable to the city and not lock in for Welty a monopoly or near monopoly on the sale of marijuana in the city. The upshot in Dunn’s statement was that the Measure U, the initiative officially sponsored by Nicole DeLaRosa and James Velez but in fact bankrolled and drafted by Welty and the California Cannabis Coalition had been crafted in such a way that it was one-sidedly in favor of Welty’s proposed operation along Foothill Boulevard where he has control over or access to property near the Tropical Lei, including an existing dispensary that is acting in defiance of the city’s current zoning and land use restrictions and medical marijuana ban. At that time, Dunn asserted the city should accept the changing social reality of tolerance for marijuana use and create a regime for licensing its sale that would be beneficial to the city in terms of generating revenue without conferring on one particular operator an advantage over all others.
According to documents on file with the California Secretary of State, Dunn founded/created Californians for Responsible Government sometime in 2015. The initial submittal of paperwork relating to Californians For Responsible Government was made to the California Secretary of State’s Office on June 26, 2015.
The California Secretary of State on July 24, 2015 qualified Californians For Responsible Government as a committee, naming Jackie Dilley as treasurer and Stephen Dunn as the principal officer and located at 2058 North Mills Avenue in Claremont. The committee was further associated with the address 1748 Brentwood Avenue in Upland. Nine days prior to that, on July 15, 2015, the committee received its first infusion of funds, $4,000, from Yancy Martinson, whose address is given as Post Office Box 230333 in Encinitas, according to California Form 460 documents obtained by the Sentinel.
Over the next nine-and-a-half months, Californians For Responsible Government remained essentially dormant, with only minimal activity. But beginning in May of this year, it saw a substantial inflow of cash. On May 4, 2016, Randy Welty, identified as Waldon Welty of Upland with T & A Video, made a $2,000 contribution to the committee. In relatively rapid succession thereafter, Welty on May 13, 2016, again described as being affiliated with T & A Video and being located in Upland, provided another $15,000; followed on May 24, 2016, by a contribution of $10,000 from Jake Welty of Covina, who was identified as the manager of MLB, Inc.; followed by a contribution of $10,000 on May 31, 2016 from Lynn Ballantyne of Goleta, identified as the owner of MLB, Inc.; another donation of $10,000 from Waldon Welty of Upland/T & A Video; a $20,000 contribution on the same day from an entity known as 100 Hospitality of Claremont; and, again on June 7, 2016, $15,000 from Jackie Dilley of Rancho Cucamonga, identified as a bookkeeper at MLB, Inc. Dilley is a notary public. She has been the agent of service with regard to at least one of Welty’s real estate transfers. She formerly operated from an office located within a building on that property. That office has now been transformed into a marijuana dispensary.
MLB, Inc. appears to be a bookkeeping service utilized to handle money generated from medical marijuana dispensaries and other businesses controlled by Welty.
Meanwhile, Upland Councilwoman Debbie Stone was gearing up for a run for mayor. By late this spring, as is reflected in Stone’s campaign statements filed in July of this year, Dunn was in place as the treasurer for her mayoral campaign.
In August, shortly after he had qualified himself as a candidate for treasurer, Dunn emerged as a leading proponent of Measure U, scheduling, under the aegis of Californians For Responsible Government, a forum at Upland’s Carnegie Library, where he made a case, as best that he could, for Upland’s citizenry to get on board to support Measure U.
Within the last week, individual copies of a political mailer seemingly aimed at Republican voters in Upland touting San Bernardino County Second District Supervisor Janice Rutherford’s endorsement of both Stone and Robinson began landing in mailboxes. And while the mailer carried the disclaimer “This advertisement was not authorized or paid for by a candidate for this office or a committee controlled by a candidate for this office,” it was designated as “Paid for by Inland Empire Business Alliance,.” The address given for the Inland Empire Business Alliance is 1748 Brentwood Avenue in Upland, one of the addresses given for Californians For Responsible Government. 1748 Brentwood Avenue is Dunn’s residence.
Dunn offered his perspective. “What you are seeing on social media is conspiracy theory at is its best,” he said. “Many have taken pieces of information from various areas and have drawn a conclusion based on a correlation that is not there. Just because I am involved in a committee that supports Measure U doesn’t mean that those organizations that I am a treasurer for supports or has anything to do with Measure U. What people can’t fathom is there is independence between them all.”
Dunn elaborated. “I have been working on various political campaigns professionally in the region since 2003,” he said. “I have been directly involved with 11 campaigns – eight as treasurer, one as the principal officer (Californians for Responsible Government), and two as the candidate controlling the committee (city council and treasurer races). I’m treasurer because I know what I’m doing. Despite what the conspiracy theorists want to say, as treasurer, I have no control. I am simply the bookkeeper. Each candidate I work for has complete control of their committees.”
Dunn insisted, “The decisions related to the Inland Empire Business Alliance are made by its principal officer, Phil Cothran and his team. I set up this committee and I listed my home address as the committee’s address so that I would get any correspondence related to that committee. I have done the same thing with some of the other committees I am involved with. Phil and his team are calling the shots and choosing to support various candidates throughout San Bernardino County including Sid and Debbie. I have nothing to do with those actions. And the actions of the Inland Empire Business Alliance are completely independent of Sid and Debbie. They have to be to be legal. Since the heat came down on me from the No on U folks, I’ve done my best to stay away from Debbie and Sid. I’ve offered to resign as Debbie’s treasurer, to which she has said no.”
Dunn noted, “The Upland group has reached out to some of the candidates and groups I’m working with outside of Upland, trying to get them to end their relationship with me. It’s not only about the issue, it appears to be becoming personal.”
Dunn acknowledged a direct link between the forces behind Measure U and his political action committee.
“In regards to the Californians for Responsible Government, I was approached by the proponents of Measure U to set up that committee because they knew I know the ins-and-out of political committees,” he said. “They wanted to properly account for their campaign. Though I’m listed as principal officer, I do not make the decisions on the campaign, though I am aware of many of those decisions. I never hid from the fact I was involved with this committee. I knew it was just a matter of time that this public information would be found. Not one cent from this committee has ever been filtered to any of the other campaigns I’m working on. A review of all the [California Standard Form Campaign Finance Reporting Document] 460s will verify this. In fact, you know damn well that the No on U folks would have demonstrated funds being used for other candidates if they had the evidence. The only common denominator for these committees and candidates is me.”
Dunn addressed the seeming contradiction between his criticism of the one-sided terms of Measure U in early 2015 and his current support for the measure.
“As far as me flip-flopping: it is well documented that I spoke at city council meetings to get the city council to either put up a competing measure (aka David Wade’s proposed ordinance) like Santa Ana did (and San Bernardino) or to negotiate with the California Cannabis Coalition on an ordinance that the city could live with, should the voters approve it,” he said. “My position was, regardless of what ordinance was put together, let the citizens vote on it. At least put an ordinance out there that was better for Upland than getting stuck with what is proposed on Measure U. As you know, the majority of the city council refuses to do anything with marijuana. Instead, they are taking the laughable approach they can rid marijuana from the community. I know Measure U is not the best deal Upland can get, but if the majority of the city council is that stupid to think they can eradicate marijuana, then I love the challenge to prove them wrong.”
Dunn said he is not, precisely, a staunch advocate of Measure U. “As you know, I have been out in the community speaking about my position on what the city could have and should have done,” he said. “I spoke at Kiwanis, Rotary and I spoke at my very own town hall meeting. Not once at any of these venues did I tell voters to vote for Measure U. I spoke about my beliefs and that is it.”
With regard to those commenting on social media, Dunn said, “Many of them don’t even have the correct facts. In fact, Mr. Brooks spoke at the last city council meeting. His comments made it sound as if he didn’t realize there were already dispensaries in Upland. The next speaker said if Measure U were to pass, all three dispensaries would be located in the Cable Business Park. Wrong again. There is a lot of misinformation being put out there by the No on U folks. They think Debbie is in favor of Measure U. She’s not. She’s firmly told anyone that has asked that she is against Measure U. From the beginning she has taken a position that Measure U qualified for the ballot, so let the voters decide. The No on U folks just don’t hear her words. The No on U folks are whipped up into a frenzy and they firmly believe what they hear even if it is wrong and/or they do not have the evidence to prove their position.”
Dunn came at last to the 800 pound gorilla in the room.
“In regards to Randy Welty, he is a businessman,” Dunn said. “Many people don’t like what he does for a living, but what he does is legal. The naysayers are judging him and his profession. Some view him as an underworld figure. I do not see him in that light at all. The times I have met him he has come across as an extremely intelligent businessman that has chosen to make money on people’s vices. Is that any different to a bar owner or a liquor store owner? Does he not have the same rights as those naysayers? Yes, he does have the same rights as them.”
Dunn characterized the assertion that Measure U will create for Welty a monopoly as a “myth. The ordinance being voted on doesn’t address who gets a dispensary, should the measure pass. Who decides? The city will have to come up with that process.”
The ideological zeal of those inveighing against marijuana have blinded themselves to the actuality of the new social and political realities that are evident outside their walled-in circle, Dunn said, such that the anti-Measure U forces believe they significantly outnumber those of the opposite persuasion and hold the upper electoral hand. Dunn said he believes the upcoming election will disabuse them of that notion.
“There is a generational divide,” Dunn said. “Statistics show that the over 65 age group is still solidly against marijuana. Those same statistics show the majority of the younger age groups accept marijuana. I have a feeling the No on U folks know that, particularly when you see many of those No on U folks are older. I do admire them for the passion they have in their belief. I just think they should give me credit for the passion I have in my belief (and I know some do). In my opinion, the city could have taken a smarter approach to the issue of marijuana in our community.”
Dunn’s opponent, Larry Kinley, acknowledged that in the ongoing election campaign, Dunn has been energetic, and involved in a whirlwind of activity in creating political action committees and politicking for himself and his political allies. “Mr. Dunn is involved in all of that and he favors Measure U,” Kinley said. “I am more narrowly focused. My background is 42 years with a major bank, the last 15 years as a vice president and senior special assets officer in the problem loan division. From my experience as a credit administrator and working on problem loans, I have no problem identifying unsound financial transactions. I am running for Upland treasurer to serve as a budget watchdog and make sure there is sound stewardship of our city’s money.”
Kinley continued, “I am not interested in political kingmaking or political powerbrokering in this city or the neighboring ones, as is my opponent.”
With regard to the legal action Bozar took referenced in the social media postings, those references appear to relate to a lawsuit he filed against the City of Upland ten years before he was elected to the city council. In that suit, Bozar took issue with the city’s effort to impose on its residents a paramedic fee. Bozar, representing himself despite the consideration that he is not an attorney, contested the paramedic fee as unconstitutional double taxation. He argued that because the city’s paramedic program was part of the fire department and city residents were already contributing to the maintenance and funding of the fire department and its operations through the property taxes they were paying, the city’s paramedic fee constituted an illegal assessment. Bozar prevailed in that suit and the city was unable to proceed with the paramedic fee imposition.
Had Bozar employed an attorney to wage that legal battle, he would have been eligible to collect attorney fees as a consequence of his legal victory. Since he represented himself, however, Bozar did not claim nor was he awarded nor did the city’s taxpayers suffer legal costs as a consequence of the suit beyond defraying the city’s own legal fees.