Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Torrance City Council: Remove Pat Furey Jr. from the Traffic Commission

The Daily Breeze delivered a bomb-shell in the headlines yesterday (March 8, 2016):

Torrance Mayor Pat Furey’s successful 2014 mayoral campaign was fined $35,000 Monday by the state’s political ethics watchdog for “intentional coordination and concealment” of improper campaign contributions, something critics had long suspected.

The illegal contributions were connected to a supposedly independent political action committee funded by McCormick Ambulance and the Torrance Firefighters PAC that spent about $35,000 for a controversial Crenshaw Boulevard billboard and other campaign expenses.

So, pay for play has become the real deal in Torrance?

I gave the  mayor the benefit of the doubt at the time. Despite the cry of major voices in the community who told me not to trust the mayor, I pushed all of that noise aside.

When the FPPC falls on you, however, and has documented the frauds and errors which took place, there is no denying the unethical activities which Mayor Furey and his son engaged in.

Particularly his son:

Orchestrating the collusion between the PAC and Furey’s campaigns were the mayor’s son and campaign consultant, Patrick Furey Jr., and his business partner, Hasan Roberson, the FPPC investigation found.

and then

The mayor and his son are on the hook for half the $35,000 administrative penalty. Responsible for the other half are the PAC itself, Richard Roesch, who headed the PAC and also was president of McCormick Ambulance, and PAC treasurer Tina McKinnor.

and also

The lengthy investigation uncovered email evidence that found Furey Jr. and Roberson had illegally coordinated their campaign activities to finance the billboard using the so-called independent expenditures.

The evidence included Furey Jr’s use of an “alternate email account to remain anonymous when he coordinated with the PAC and Roberson.” The agency said Furey Jr. was “uncooperative” when questioned about the issue.

Furey needed to cooperate, and yet he refused to. Why would he? He was engaged in criminal activity.

Pat Furey Jr.

Check out this rundown on "Little Furey's" actions, too:

It’s not the first time that Furey Jr. — a member of the Traffic Commission in Torrance — has run afoul of the FPPC.

He was fined $1,750 in April 2014 for his role in creating a slate mailer called the P.T.A. Voter Guide that caused an uproar in the local education community because it made it appear as though the influential group had endorsed the current mayor and other political candidates who paid to appear in the mailer.

I remember that mailer. It caught my attention then precisely because of the PTA slogan, with dots indicating an abbreviation. Mayor Pat Furey was prominently featured on one of the pages along with two school board candidates.
Patrick Furey Jr. still serves on the City of Torrance Traffic Commission.

He also serves on the Torrance Unified School Board Personnel Commission.

I remember last year when Arthur Plourde was removed from the library commission because he was pursuing a personal agenda. He presented his case, and some residents in the city feared that these actions were an unjust encroachment on freedom of speech.

Yet Plourde was removed from the commission. He did nothing wrong. He had a set of questions which needed to be better addressed. Last time I heard about this matter, Arthur Plourde was considering legal action against the city.

Today, the city of Torrance has a commissioner who has been fined a number of times for unethical, illegal campaign practices. How is that he can remain in any position of  public trust? What Patrick Furey is far worse than anything that Arthur Plourde did!

At the end of the March 8th city council meeting, Councilwoman Ashcraft moved to bring an agenda item forward to have Patrick Furey Jr. removed from the Traffic Commission.

I commend Councilwoman Ashcraft for seeking to have Furey removed. We need more councilmembers to show courage in their convictions and demand higher standards from members of the community who wish to serve in more public roles.

It is only fitting at this point that Patrick Furey Jr. be removed from the Traffic Commission.

Contact the Torrance City Councilmembers and demand that they follow through on Councilwoman Ashcraft's motion of concurrence.

Mayor Pat Furey (the father of the son!):

Heidi Ashcraft (Thank her for her bold action):

Geoff Rizzo:

Kurt Weideman:

Gene Barnett:

Mike Griffiths

Tim Goodrich


  1. Thank you Arthur for paying attention. Other voices are as well and are beginning to speak out

  2. Have they actually paid the fine?

  3. They were fined. Did they pay it?