City manager publicly admits misusing city credit card
by Michael Langley
Feb 07, 2014 | 18282 views | 208 208 comments | 108 108 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tracy City Manager Leon Churchill reads a statement about his use of a city-issued credit card during the council meeting Feb. 18.  Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
Tracy City Manager Leon Churchill reads a statement about his use of a city-issued credit card during the council meeting Feb. 18. Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
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Tracy City Manager Leon Churchill admitted Tuesday that he had misused the credit card assigned to him by the city and made charges for personal items during a space of several years.

Churchill addressed the City Council and the community, reading a statement at the beginning of the regular meeting of the council.

“The most recent incidents were at the end of official Tracy business where I stayed an extra day and had my family with me,” Churchill said. “When we checked out of the hotel, I should have put the charges on two credit cards.”

Using city cards for personal charges is against city policy. The city manager said he reimbursed the city within days of the charge.

The issue was made public during the regular City Council meeting Jan. 7 by business owner David Helm, who had obtained some financial records about charges in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2013.

“This is a community asset. Credit is a community asset. Why is our city manager using a credit card issued by the city of Tracy?” Helm said in an interview Jan. 8.

The Tracy Press filed a public records request with the city in January seeking information about every member of the city staff with a city-issued credit card, including Churchill. The city is still compiling those records, and the Press will report later upon the results of the inquiry, including how Churchill used his card.

The city manager did admit, during an interview Jan. 8 and again Tuesday, that he used the credit card to pay a bill for a hotel stay, a dentist and a veterinarian.

“All those situations were properly reviewed and adjudicated by the City Council, who dealt with me through my evaluation at a personnel level,” Churchill said Jan. 8.

The Press on Friday obtained parts of Churchill’s personnel file relating to the credit card misuse. Mayor Brent Ives confirmed that the material was from the city manager’s personnel records.

In a letter dated Dec. 17, the council reprimanded Churchill for using his card for personal charges at an unspecified time in 2013. Churchill had also received a reprimand Aug. 22, 2012, for credit card misuse after independent auditor Moss, Levy & Hartzheim LLP found personal charges and told the city attorney.

In the December reprimand, council members directed the city manager to take a week of administrative leave, surrender his city-issued credit card for a year and forfeit a salary increase in 2014.

“It was a lapse of judgment not to clearly understand the policy,” Ives said in an interview Wednesday. “That is poor judgment, to have missed such an important part of what the public everywhere is concerned about, in any jurisdiction — the use of public money.”

Ives told Helm during the Jan. 7 council meeting that the city was made financially whole and that Churchill had paid all of the debt from his personal charges. On Wednesday, the mayor reiterated that he believed the matter was not criminal.

“If for one minute we thought there was any deliberate attempt or any truly devious attempt to try and defraud the city, then we would have certainly taken other actions,” Ives said.

In fact, the City Council judged Churchill’s performance as city manager “exceptional” on his 2013 job evaluation. The lowest score in the document was for good judgment, which the council rated “conditional,” defined by the document as requiring improvement.

Ives said the document reflected the body of Churchill’s work on the city’s behalf.

“So we rated him low on judgment. Then we went on to say, ‘Look, in other places, Leon, you are absolutely stellar,’” Ives said. “By virtue of his overall performance, we were willing to not overlook (this lapse), but deal with it with (him). The big performance of Leon, because he’s been able to make us business friendly, we are seeing our way out of this financially difficult time with a bright future ahead.”

Helm remained unconvinced after learning about the performance evaluation and believes the city is trying to sweep wrongdoing under the rug.

“If you were my employee and I gave you a company credit card to use for business and you were running up thousands of dollars’ worth of personal charges, and I found out about it, I’d fire you,” Helm said.

Ives, who said the city coffers and general fund were never put at risk by the charges, added that the level of transparency about what happened was not sinister.

“We’re not trying to hide anything, but we can’t overexpose anything, either, because we have legal boundaries on both sides,” he said.

Ives also said Churchill’s public admission should reassure the community.

“That could not have been easy for a chief executive in a city, to be able to come out and say, ‘Look, here’s what I’ve done.’ That to me speaks to his character,” the mayor said. “The council has done our best to work through and, with a very valuable individual, to fix maybe a blind spot, or lack of judgment, and to move on.”

For his part, Churchill expressed contrition Tuesday and asked the community for forgiveness.

“I hope you will allow me the opportunity to restore and build that faith in me also,” he said. “My work is always in the best interests of the city of Tracy. I try to help this community get better every day. The city of Tracy is poised for continued success, and I work every day on behalf of the people who live and work here.”

• Contact Michael Ellis Langley at mlangley@tracypress.com or 830-4231. 

 
Comments
(208)
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victor_jm
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March 10, 2014
You know, I have thought about this Ornley guy on occasion because he is what an English teacher once called a student who made the most astute observations and asked the right questions—a sharp shooter.

I have never been inclined to know the true identity or the real name of a person who made comments on this paper, who also wished to remain anonymous. I’ve heard enough arguments on both sides about electing to remain anonymous. Anonymity serves a purpose. Sometimes it protects people from harm. I don’t need to know Ornley’s real name, because it wouldn’t change the fact he does a stellar job stating his position on matters affecting our community. Also, I have to wonder about any person who is oddly zealous about finding out the identity of someone who chooses to use a name other than his own when making comments on a website. Ornley has sketched a pretty good outline of his metaphysics over the years. He consistently asks the right questions. I can’t say this for A LOT of other people, including myself, who seem to be looking from behind spectacles with one broken lens.

And for anyone who is inclined to boast about his real identity and the fact he has reproductive parts, it doesn’t change the nature, depth, scope, etc. of his comments. Some comments are just small, impotent ejaculations.

victor_jm
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March 10, 2014
You know, I have thought about this Ornley guy on occasion because he is what an English teacher once called a student who made the most astute observations and asked the right questions—a sharp shooter.

I have never been inclined to know the true identity or the real name of a person who made comments on this paper, who also wished to remain anonymous. I’ve heard enough arguments on both sides about electing to remain anonymous. Anonymity serves a purpose. Sometimes it protects people from harm. I don’t need to know Ornley’s real name, because it wouldn’t change the fact he does a stellar job stating his position on matters affecting our community. Also, I have to wonder about any person who is oddly zealous about finding out the identity of someone who chooses to use a name other than his own when making comments on a website. Ornley has sketched a pretty good outline of his metaphysics over the years. He consistently asks the right questions. I can’t say this for A LOT of other people, including myself, who seem to be looking from behind spectacles with one broken lens.

And for anyone who is inclined to boast about his real identity and the fact he has reproductive part
In.Sider
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March 10, 2014
Sorry I’m late for the party.

Yes, there is a City of Tracy employee monitoring this and other social media sites.

Her job is to Spin the Negative into a Positive, basically doing Damage Control, and that person is Vanessa Carrera.

She works in the City Manager’s office.

Now there is an outside group that also proofs all of the outgoing press releases.

Nappic, is the name and there out of Tracy

rosa62
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March 10, 2014
You're right In.Sider:

Here is the link for Nappic and the Tracy Story.

http://www.nappic.com/projectDetails.php?type=Communications&projectId=8

They are the organization that is responsible for the Triangle concept and the new city logo.

Steve Napolitan is also involved in some multi-level marketing (get rich quick) scheme. You know the ones where you give me $500 then you get three people to give you $500 and they get 3 people to give them $500 ...

Anyway, now that I think about it Mr. Gumfudgen is probably a representative from Nappic, like Steve or his sister (can't remember her name).

Your information explains alot In.Sider. Thanks for setting the record straight for us.

Now on to the Mayor and Council. Obviously they know exactly what's going on with these spin doctors. That just confirms for me that Maciel is not the right person for the position of Mayor and we need to get someone inside city hall who is willing to clean up the entire organization.

It's pretty sad when the Mayor, City Council and (former) City Manager have to resort to spin in order to cover up their own mistakes and their misdeeds.

They all need to go.
rosa62
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March 10, 2014
Maybe this entire thing should be turned over to the Grand Jury for a thorough investigation.
Ornley_Gumfudgen
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March 10, 2014
"Anyway, now that I think about it Mr. Gumfudgen is probably a representative from Nappic, like Steve or his sister (can't remember her name)."

Thank again. I thank that yer actually dhelm writin under a different account.

Are ya so obsessed with yerself that ya just can't comprehend that other people thank differently frum ya? All th boogie men out ta get ya? It's called paranoia rosa.

I ain't nobody special a cartinly not affiliated with th City, anyone that works fer th City, anyone elected ta office or any of thair family members. I also ain't affiliated in any way with th Tracy Press or any of thair employees, past an present. Do I know many of em? Yep, shore do, just as I know many who dislike th City like you do.

Ya seem ta have this problem huntin down th people ya don't like but I find it strange ya don't wanna really know which of th rest of yer elected counsel people are th flip floppers.

Seems ta me ya thrive on negativity an when ya don't have enough ya start manufacturin more.

So keep guessin. Keep wastin yer time lookin fer someone that don't make no difference ta anythang an while yer distracted someone else will take advantage of ya.

Say, ya wouldn't be somehow related ta ole Tom Benigno woujld ya? Tom an I sparred fer years an never figured out who I was. Even went ta th press ta see if they would give him my name. Since they stand on thair 1st Amendment rights ta print what they have ta say they thought it best ta protect mine, yers an everyone else who posts here.

Miss ole Tom, he was really a good soul at heart. Just had this nasty trait of gettin himself all worked up an fixated on wantin desperately ta know who disagreed with him. Sad really but I do miss him.

Oh, forgot ta add, that was long before Maciel an Bret was still a minor member of City Council long before he became mayor. But ya just know in yer heart of hearts that I am one of them or thair family members don't ya.

Ornley_Gumfudgen
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March 10, 2014
Who's gonna panel yer Grand Jury rosa? Frum th talk here, th DA ain't interested. You obviously can't do it so who?

Hope In.Sider is tellin th truth. Just th other day a judge ordered a comment section ta divulge th name of th autonomous commenter was so he could be sued fer liable. Given that precedent I thank it would be advisable ta validate yer facts before airin em. Ya just might find yerself on th loosin side of a court battle.

Don't worry, ya can liable me all ya want cus I really don't care. I graduated from that mentality after my kindergarten graduation.

So have at it, I actually find it amusin that allegedly intelligent an functional adults can thank and act like children.
rosa62
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March 10, 2014
You are amusing Mr. G. I have to laugh at your continuing to support for the "Good Old Boys".
rosa62
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March 10, 2014
Clearly you know that we're talking about the Civil Grand Jury Mr. Gumfudgen, not a criminal Grand Jury, yet. But I wouldn't count that out either.
rosa62
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March 06, 2014
Mr. Gumfudgen I have been thinking about your comments regarding that mysterious 3rd Councilman or as you refer to them;

"yer wolf in sheeps clothin"

To be perfectly honest with you, I do not want to know who that third vote was. In fact, I am happy to see that three of our elected officials stood together to make a decision and were not swayed or bullied by the two votes on the Council who profess to know better than anyone else what is best for the Citizens of Tracy.

This brings me to my point. In a Democratic Republic, it is the voters who make the decisions not the elder statesmen who profess to know best. In this case the voters have spoken; and if you ask me;

"It's about damn time that the elected officials of Tracy listened to We the People."

For too long elder statesmen, or as I like to refer to them, the Good Old Boys like Ives, Maciel, Tolbert, Tucker, Bilbrey (God Rest His Soul) and others have professed to know what was best for the citizens. And the voice of the public be damned, they were going to do what they felt was best, because they were elected by the public.

What they have failed to tell us, over the years is who... cont:
rosa62
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March 06, 2014
made their election to public office possible.

I would venture to say there were alot of special interests involved in getting them elected; via campaign contributions; fund raisers; unofficial support and persuasion; specifically arm twisting, to get the Good Old Boys favorites elected so the Good Old Boys network could get what they wanted.

You know, things like "uncontrolled growth", "inside influence at City Hall', etc...

So you see, Mr Gumfudgen, when you say things like who is that "Wolf in sheeps clothing" it makes me realize the you need to think about what you're saying before you say it. Keep in mind that it is very easy for anyone in Tracy to ask "Who is the Wolf in Sheeps Clothing that kept Churchill, and others like him, around for so long?"

Understand that any elected official, whether at the City, County, State, or Federal level all answer to the voters in the community; regardless of what voter cast a ballot for them. Once they are elected, by a majority vote, they are required to represent the best interests of "all the voters" not just those who voted for them.

This is where I believe people like yourself are missing the point. The Citizens of Tracy "We the People" continually expressed our distaste for Mr. Churchill's actions and our Mayor's (Ives) and our Mayor-Pro-Tem's (Maciel) continued support of someone who would lie to his employer by failing to tell them what he did until he was caught red handed, and steel, by using his city credit card for his own personal benefit, from the very people who pay his salary. This tells me, and from the word on the street, many others that they have been fed up with this type of behavior, which FYI, has been going on here in Tracy for many years.

So to summarize; I am glad we had at least one City Councilperson who was willing to change their vote and side with the other two who clearly had the nerve to challenge the "Mayor and Mayor-Pro-Tem" by changing their vote.

Unfortunately, I know you will not agree with my opinion, as listed above, but that's OK by me. You see, we live in a country that encourages differing opinions and also affords everyone the ability and the right to change their minds and go against the system to achieve changes.
warthog69
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February 23, 2014
Mr Gumfudgen and Mr Smith. They be the People who are working for this City in which I am referring. They be the people STEALING from the HARD WORKING tax payer.Either of you? or are you hard working tax payers? They be the people who drive there children to the ballet school off of Tracy Blvd in a City vehicle.They be the people who go to InShape in a City truck to work out on.They be the people who drive home at 7:00 am to hide out for a few hours then to be back at lunch time for another few hours. They be the people who come home at 11:00 who park the truck in there garage why? or the ones who park down the street and walk to there house so tax payers think they are actual working.Yes all made up. Just coming from a CONCERNED TAX PAYER. Oh and please buy a speak N Spell.
Citizensheep
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February 23, 2014
It appears Fudge is doing some shaking in his shoes.
Ornley_Gumfudgen
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March 10, 2014
warthog69

Then convict em. Tired of listenin th th nonsense. If all of them thangs are true, convict em an put em behind bars.
DHELM
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February 21, 2014
Ornley,

Gibberish is difficult to understand. Could you attempt to write a coherent sentence? Your last comment, "I doubt yer honorable intentions fer real justice cause ya don't use it" is rather confusing, please clarify. Are you doubting my honor, my intentions and what "it" are you asking I use?

When ya try, (as opposed to not trying?) convict an condemn someone without a COURT trial(Alright I have to ask, Should court be capitalized in this instance?) ya are committing vigilante justice no matter how ya slice th bread.(bread?, No Ornely, it was a rib joint in VA, not ya and bread.

"I stand on justice by th law, not by a bunch of politically motivated citizens simply stirin th muck rakin pot." Ok..You stand on justice by th (sic)law?, is justice a ladder, step..other device? It is good to her you don't stand by citizens, politic or not. Is simple stirring different than another form of stirring? What method do you use when stirring? Clockwise, counter-clockwise, manual, rotary, some combination or have you been imbued with some higher form of stirring? Please impart some wisdom of sage one. "Muck rakin pot"?, is that like Maui Wowi? What kind of pot is it?

DHELM
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February 19, 2014
Well, turns out Ives and Maciel did place Churchill on administrative leave for a week. What they forgot to mention was..he was sent home for a week with PAY! So as a consequence of his misuse of taxpayer monies and credit, he was reprimanded twice, he then re-offended, and was then essentially given a paid vacation on the taxpayers dime of wait at 215 K a year that would be roughly $18k a month, plus a car, retirement, medical, dental, vision, management perks and of course a line of credit from the city. Figure all in at 350k annually.

Wait, his credit privilege was suspended for a year, oh..wait, forget that part about the credit card being taken..they didn't do that, he re-offended again..when discovered that time he had to say "sorry." Alright, he didn't tell the truth, but he did say "sorry." He was evaluated as outstanding and Ives and Maciel sang his praises while the rest of the counsel says nothing because? Oh wait, privacy issues that CHURCHILL waived when he gave up parts of his personnel file...just enough to tell a good enough story to attempt to restore peoples faith in local government. The next time he screws up he might just get a month with pay. Perfect!
rosa62
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February 19, 2014
Thank you for the updated information Mr. Helm.

This makes it very clear that Morellos will be a good choice for Mayor in the upcoming election. At least he appears to be an honest man who would not tolerate this type of behavior.

It's also clear that Maciel "does not" have the citizen's best interest in mind when he and Ives gave Churchill a paid vacation for his behavior.

What can we do to help get Maciel off the Council and run Ives out of town for his lack of concern about the citizen's best interest.

bobrod
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February 17, 2014
Vigilante Justice? I don't think calling out city government on a misconduct issue is the same as hanging someone from a tree. If anyone objects to the right of the people to demand answers to a trust violation, and to demand something be done about it, then they should reevaluate their own ethics. If you feel it's not that big of a deal-great, but don't critizize others for seeking the truth. We have the RIGHT to know who, what, when, where and how this happened, and we have the RIGHT to demand changes be made. If someone does not like that, too bad. If the employee involved violated policy, he is no better than enyone else and should be held accountable. If there is a cover-up or midigation it's up to the citizens to voice their displeasure or exoneration. I don't know all the facts but it sounds like the city is just takin care of their own. Well it's not their own to take care of-it's the taxpayers, and WE DONT LIKE IT! Go back to reading your Lord of the Ring series, thats the only world you make sense in.
DHELM
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February 17, 2014
Vigilante justice? No I dont think anyone has spoken about that Ornley. Equal application of the rules and laws, accountability, concern over who is minding our money, disgust that Churchill has been reprimanded twice and placed on administrative leave and continued to abuse the public's trust, yes sir. The fact Ives and Maciel excused it, looked the other, the fact both finance directors did nothing, despite having an outside auditor "find" it at least three times. Why was this allowed to continue unabated. Where was the City Attorney in all of this. Then we have the fact that Maciel and Ives state he has poor judgement but is otherwise stellar.

What kind of double speak is that?
Ornley_Gumfudgen
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February 20, 2014
When ya try, convict an condemn someone without a COURT trial ya are committing vigilante justice no matter how ya slice th bread.

Ya talk about seekin th truth but always seem ta come up short on th trial process.

Ya drone on an on, an know ta procedure ya should be followin but ya always seem ta come up short with carryin it out.

If all of these allegations ya have mounted up are true an stand up in court fer a court conviction, then have at ole Leon.

Until that happens nothin ya say has any real meanin.

I am simply amazed at how many people will get all outraged over somethang they feel is wrong; will champion th law but are more than willin ta break th law by takin matters inta thair own hands ta exact thair own form of vigilante justice.That's what yer doin.

Ya claim ta have th evidence? Then, as ya say, do th right thang, an take it ta th courts so th matter can be settled.

But it's more fun ta play political games, which is why TP probably backed away frum th article.

I stand on justice by th law, not by a bunch of politically motivated citizens simply stirin th muck rakin pot.

I doubt yer honorable intentions fer real justice cause ya don't use it.
Ornley_Gumfudgen
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March 10, 2014


108MW

"Who thinks "Fudge" the Ornley, works for the city of Tracy? I sure do."

Who really cares? BTW, yer way off base but won't believe it. Is it really all that important?

Ornley_Gumfudgen
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March 10, 2014


bobrod

"Oh ornley, I use "bobrod" because my name is too long to keep writing over and over again. My nmae is Robert Rodrigues, and I am not real hard to look up here in town. What's your name? Grow a pair and tell us all."

Robert. You have to write your name over and over again? Where? I don't write my name over an over again when I comment here. Sounds like an excuse ta me but what ever.

Grow a pair? What, we gonna have a schoolyard fight whair ya knock my block off or somethin?

Incidentally, people like ya are exactly why I stopped usin my real name decades ago. When they started physically attackin my family an destroyin my property because they didn't like what I had ta say, fer thair safety I took on th Ornley persona. Ya honestly thank I am gonna respond ta such a sophomoric attempt ta gain my identity? An ya though I was dumb.

An ta bring it up ta date on yer allegation I was defendin Leon, nothin is further frum th truth.

If ya have been payin attention of late ya should see that I am rather pleased th Council finally took action. I am just disappointed it should have happened th first time without all th politics an threats. I am even more disappointed in that while many of ya thank ya have accomplished somethang by "nailin" Ives an Maciel that ya are just satisfied with that an don't particularly are who th other members on counsel that allowed em ta do it.

Seems yer not inta fixin our local government as ya claim ya are. Ya don't really wanna fix it so much as ya want those on counsel ya disagree with off th counsel.

Well that's fine but what ya gonna do when that "friendly" counsel-member tarns on ya an does somethang ya don't like? Brood? Yammer on how he's done everyone wrong an he's a crook?

Ya had an opportunity ta find out who th flip floppin sandbaggers are an ya don't seem ta care.

But it makes me out ta be th bad guy simply because I have th audacity ta point it out ta ya.

Ives - out, term's up. Can't run.

Maciel- after his flip flop performance, unless he an come up with a really good explanation, he's out too.

Th others? Ya don't really know do ya?

But ya can waste yer time on my true identity or may more attention ta yer local government, which all of ya should have been doin more closely since ya seem ta be so outraged.

Th government is only as good as th citizenry that empowers it. It's called We the People in our nations Constitution.

Ya might read it an read some of yer laws ya have allowed ta be created. If ya use em correctly perhaps ya will get somewhere. But if ya keep huntin down that boogie man yer never gonna make much progress in gettin yer government back on track.

Ornley_Gumfudgen
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March 10, 2014


bobrod

Sorry fer not replyin earlier. Been busy bloggin an gettin paid fer it. :) Not really but it's a novel idea.

"He's gotta be a professional blogger-he blogs at:Cnet.com,ABCNews,Reuters,Showbiz411,wowT.com, US News, NBCNews,deadline.com,Annistonstar,Militarytimes,archive.is,networkedblogs,NevadaNewsBureau,stitglimpse, and our own Tracy Press."

Wow! All them? Had no idea. Guess I should start chargin. Why I'd have a whole new career.

"Wow I wonder how much he makes per blog?"

"Whats your name ornley???"

I guess it's chump since I am doin all of this fer free. How much do ya thank I can charge an still have a business?

Actually I'm glad ole Ornley's name is bein circulated across th nation, an probably even around th globe.

Ya see th original Ornley was a real live person. Someone all th residents in th area I grew up in as a kid knew an respected. I had a special fondness fer th old guy an when I determined ta start writin usin a pseudonym fer my name, in his honor I chose his.

He had no family an after all this time most people have probably forgotten him. But if his name is still alive an used then at least he's remembered an left a mark on this world, somethang very few people ever do in thair lives.

If ya wanna know more about Ornley, me or th original, yer gonna have ta ask someone else cuse I've told his story so many times I no longer desire ta tell it.

Ornley_Gumfudgen
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March 10, 2014


newtotracy

"interesting...if you do a search for ornley_gumfudgen on Yahoo...the first hit is this:

Ornley Gumfudgen - Yahoo Profile

profile.yahoo.com/X7MXJUKBTEOG5PSM6N6IRDHL5E Cached

Ornley Gumfudgen. Northern California. NASA Goddard ... Copyright 2013 Yahoo Inc. All Rights Reserved. report abuse . Copyright/IP Policy; Yahoo Terms of ...

but when you click...access is denied. hmmmmmm"

It's a conspiracy. Thair all out ta get ya.

Tell me, do ya place a lot of stock in Wikipedia too? Yahoo historically ain't been all that reliable of a source of information but what ever floats yer boat.

Is it really that important ta ya? Am I makin too much sense ta readers that don't cower ta th verbal bludgeon ya get when ya offer a different opinion?

An what ya gonna do if ya find out my real name, hunt me down? Expose me ta th rest of th City that don't really care?

Seems yer as fixated on this as much as rosa an some others.

Tell ya what, when I am on death's door I'll let my family tell th world who Ornley really is. But that won't do fer now will it?

newtotracy
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March 10, 2014
interesting...if you do a search for ornley_gumfudgen on Yahoo...the first hit is this:

Ornley Gumfudgen - Yahoo Profile

profile.yahoo.com/X7MXJUKBTEOG5PSM6N6IRDHL5E Cached

Ornley Gumfudgen. Northern California. NASA Goddard ... Copyright 2013 Yahoo Inc. All Rights Reserved. report abuse . Copyright/IP Policy; Yahoo Terms of ...

but when you click...access is denied. hmmmmmm
bobrod
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February 20, 2014
He's gotta be a professional blogger-he blogs at:Cnet.com,ABCNews,Reuters,Showbiz411,wowT.com, US News, NBCNews,deadline.com,Annistonstar,Militarytimes,archive.is,networkedblogs,NevadaNewsBureau,stitglimpse, and our own Tracy Press. Wow I wonder how much he makes per blog? Whats your name ornley???
Hahahahahaha
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February 20, 2014
Maybe Ornley is really just some random satellite communications engineer for Lockheed Martin, or maybe a former Tracy parks and community services commissioner. Or maybe he used to be among a select group of local residents with columns in the Tracy Press.

Maybe, but maybe not. He could be anybody. I don't know.
bobrod
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February 20, 2014
I think you are correct.....I think he either works for the city or the TP as a professional blogger. He leaves the "E" out of his noun determiner's so he can fill with more words. That way he can fill up his page with even more content. Kinda funny, cuz he makes no sense anyway...Hay Orney, whats your real name???????
108MW
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February 20, 2014
Who thinks "Fudge" the Ornley, works for the city of Tracy? I sure do.
bobrod
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February 20, 2014
Waiting, and waiting........if I wanted to hear crickets I would go outside.
bobrod
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February 20, 2014
Oh ornley, I use "bobrod" because my name is too long to keep writing over and over again. My nmae is Robert Rodrigues, and I am not real hard to look up here in town. What's your name? Grow a pair and tell us all.
bobrod
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February 20, 2014
Ornley-you sure are defending Ol Leon and might think it isn't a big deal. Thats your opinion and nobody cares. As far as bringing this to court, the DA declined to prosicute so charges were not filed. Churchill was not punished, he got a nice little paid vacation. Most folks I associate with have the balls to call a rat a rat. It sounds like you are following this blog just as much as any of the others. You must have some interest in it or you would have let it go days ago. That makes me think you are some how connected to the city in some way. You are just as common as anyone else, if I could read what you wrote, I know I would discover it is as booring as the other rambling nonsence you always post. You know where Helms is, he has invited you there before. If you are the real champion of these fools, and temporary residents of City Hall, reveal your self, we are all interested in how much back-bone you really have.
Ornley_Gumfudgen
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March 10, 2014


Hahahahahaha

"Maybe Ornley is really just some random satellite communications engineer for Lockheed Martin, or maybe a former Tracy parks and community services commissioner. Or maybe he used to be among a select group of local residents with columns in the Tracy Press."

"Maybe, but maybe not. He could be anybody. I don't know."

Or he could be nobody.

Can ya see how much fun I'm havin here?

An thank how much time an effort is bein made by a whole lot of conspiracy theorists ta discover who I actually am.

Well when thair occupied with that they can't be dreamin up somethang else ta stew about.

Well that's all fer tanight, it's been sorta fun readin through all these fantasies.

Rooster123
|
February 16, 2014
I encourage anyone tired of Churchill's immoral conduct to express your displeasure at the next city council meeting Tuesday February 18th at 7.

Read more: Tracy Press - News, events, classifieds and businesses in Tracy, Calif.

guapo
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February 16, 2014
Ornley_Gumfudgen

Great story. You sound like a very diligent employee that did what was in the best interest for his company. I commend you for doing your job. Unfortunately your example is irrelevant. I have a couple questions and maybe you can insert your opinion since you are never wrong and have an answer for everything. First, what business related to Tracy California did the CM have that involved his family on the east coast? Are you telling me that there isn't a closer more cost effective seminar or lecture or whatever it was he could go to? Choosing to buy dinner or forgetting to separate credit cards is a far cry from your example. Second what is this " continue to waste money" that you speak of? I don't think it should cost too much to expose the full truth. Who exactly was the auditor that caught these "mistakes"? I understand he bounced multiple checks when paying back our tax money. How does one make $200k and bounce checks if these expenses were minor mistakes? So we should just overlook this since justice has obviously been served (he didn't get his annual 5-10k raise) and the CM has done much more for Tracy than he has to hurt Tracy? Uhhhh last I checked it's the CM's job to make Tracy a better place. So there's something you with your example and the CM have in common. Congratulations to both of you for doing your job that you get paid to do.

Illegal? Not sure. Not my expertise.

Immoral? Absolutely.

Maybe the City needs to make sure they're hiring leaders with higher moral integrity.
1resident
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February 17, 2014
Well said.
Ornley_Gumfudgen
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February 20, 2014
Illegal? Not sure. Not my expertise.

That's why we have a judicial system.

Immoral? Absolutely.

Perhaps, I don't have all of th facts, haven't investigated it with all parties involved an therefore am unable ta decide immorality or morality. Besides, fer me, that's God's authority ta judge, not me.

Ornley_Gumfudgen
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February 20, 2014
Incidentally, on th seminar bit, don't know about ya but I have attended many that were on th opposite side of th continent frum whair I lived.

An no matter what yer tired little mind believes, I don't work fer th City or any of th people involved with this.

Ornley_Gumfudgen
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February 16, 2014
Rosa

"Your explanation of how the company you worked for handled your mistake is satisfactory, the first time you made that mistake."

Ta respond ta th comment.

Over th decades I worked fer this company I made this error several times. In each case, auditors questioned me over it an apparently satisfied that what was done was done without malfeasance.

One time actually involved about $1,500. Actually more if ya consider all th funds involved. But before I relate it, when it was finally all over I saved th corporation over a thousand. Once the understood, it was no big deal.

I was out on a job site whair I was stranded an missed a flight ta my next job site. I would have had ta wait a day ta th tune of a couple of hundred dollars in livin expenses, an take a flight 24 hours later.

What I did was ta walk ta another airlines an purchased another ticket ta my destination usin, against th rules, my corporate credit card.

We were ta have th corporations travel agency deal with such thangs an not book our own travel.

I immediately departed on that airline's aircraft an actually arrived 30 minutes before the aircraft I was supposed ta be on arrived.

Cont.

Ornley_Gumfudgen
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February 16, 2014
cont fer rosa

Not only did I arrive on my next job site 30 minutes earler I did it with a ticket cost $200 less than th cost of th ticket fer th flight I missed an that don't include th $100 Change of Itinerary costs applied ta th first ticket so that my corporation wouldn't loose th entire amount of that airfare by allowin most of that money ta be spent on other travel.

Didn't have ta re-rent automobile transportation fer a car I had already returned ta th automobile rental agency so I would have reliable unscheduled transportation for that 24 hours. No I don't sleep in airports waitin fer flights. If I did I would be worthless ta my employer because I wouldn't be able ta perform my job.

About two weeks later some auditor found what had happened. By then all of th billin had funneled through my expense report, I had been reimbursed an th credit card company I charged th mess to was paid off.

But thair was that little "rule" that had been broken and had been broken before.

I was even threatened with loss of employment.

In so fer as I was workin under an Air Force Government contract I calmly informed them that if I was terminated frum employment that I would take th matter up with th appropriate authorities that deal with waste fraud an abuse, namely th Inspector General. What I wanted answered is how I could miss a flight and schedule another flight ta th same destination $300 less than th original ticket price an also save th corporation, an government, over a total of $600 because of room an board plus additional automobile rental costs.

Wisely, they let th matter drop with strong urgings not ta do it again, if at all possible.

Afterwards, I was honored by th division of th corporation I worked fer fer takin th responsibility ta see that their customers receive th attention they deserve at th lost cost possible.

Yep, th corporation didn't like what I did accordin ta th rules but they felt they had wasted enough time an money look inta an issue that was really, after investigation, a non issue so I was not punished further than a warnin not ta habitually do it.

I am not sayin what Leon did is somethang that should be ignored. I am sayin that they looked inta it an decided th matter didn't warrant any further actions than th actions they took.

You disagree. You want more. So, again an from what I larned when you provided me th information, do th right thang in yer own mind, turn all th information ya have over ta th State Attorney General and let her deal with th matter as th law prescribes.

Until then, he's innocent of any crime regardless of what ya personally think.
rosa62
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February 16, 2014


It is obvious that You Mr. Gumfudgen find Churchill's behavior to be perfectly acceptable.

I, on the other hand, find his behavior to be completely unacceptable.

What this tells me is that you are one of the "Good Old Boys" who thinks the means justify the end; i.e. theft, lying and misleading the public is acceptable.

I choose not to accept this type of behavior from my public officials. I guess my ethical standards are higher than yours.

I guess we will just have to agree to disagree and leave it at that.
Ornley_Gumfudgen
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February 20, 2014
rosa

No matter what I say, unless I totally agree with ya, it don't make no difference.

What yer comments tell me is that yer just another crackpot idiot that wants ta take matters inta thair own hands regardless of th legally an correct manner ta deal with yer problem.

End of conversation with ya. Because yer own feeble little mind won't let ya see that th way all of ya are goin about this is not only illegal but morally incorrect in our society taday, when examinin th laws on how such thangs should be dealt with.
rosa62
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February 20, 2014
As I have said before Mr. Gumfudgen;

"It is obvious that You Mr. Gumfudgen find Churchill's behavior to be perfectly acceptable.

I, on the other hand, find his behavior to be completely unacceptable.

What this tells me is that you are one of the "Good Old Boys" who thinks the means justify the end; i.e. theft, lying and misleading the public is acceptable.

I choose not to accept this type of behavior from my public officials. I guess my ethical standards are higher than yours.

I guess we will just have to agree to disagree and leave it at that."

rayderfan
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February 21, 2014
Haven't posted on here for quite some time. It's nice to know things haven't changed much in the past couple of years.

Ornley is still a fool and in the City's pocket. Maybe you should think about finding some other city to blog on Ornley, given you're a professional blogger from a PR firm hired by the City to create distractions and to make sure there someone is defending the Mayor, Councilman Maciel and Churchill from the people who pay "their" salary.
Ornley_Gumfudgen
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February 16, 2014


rosa62

"Once again, Mr. Gumfudgen, you are attempting to infer there is no problem with a public official using public funds for their own private benefit."

Never said that or inferred it. Yer thoughts not mine. Thair is a problem an I feel it's been correctly an intelligently dealt with at th most efficient level of cost ta th general public.

You apparently feel otherwise. So go ahead an take care of it but don't expect me or others ta foot th bill.

"You need to understand that public money was stolen." How can money not missin an accounted fer be considered ta be stolen? Misused perhaps, but not stolen.

"Restitution involves paying back the victim for the damage that has incurred." Ta my knowledge that has been done.

"Churchill tried to make restitution by paying the money back, but only after he got caught by the Auditors." That's th job of an auditor, ta catch errors in th books. Ya make it sound that Churchill actually intended ta steal th money. So if ya really believe that, follow th law ya pointed out ta me an take it ta th State Attorney General an let her deal with it correctly.

Otherwise, other than usin it ta make political hay yer wastin money.
Ornley_Gumfudgen
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February 16, 2014
“Stealing is a crime and restitution does not erase the crime, it simply makes the victim whole.”

Yep, stealin is a crime an restitution don’t erase that any more than committin a sin can be erased by makin restitution fer that sin. In my estimation thair are no victims, other than th unnecessary vitrol launched against Churchill fer political purposes. I don’t see, other than th waste of time an money spent on this subject whair any citizen like yerself is damaged or lost somethang. Yer public trust in an individual? So don’t fot fer th individuals ya believe have violated that trust fer ya. From my perspective they have actually handled th issue properly an it’s th folks like ya who are causin more trouble an expense than is necessary ta deal with th problem.

“So in short, Churchill did commit a crime and should be punished to the full extent of the law.”

No, Churchll haw not committed a crime. He has been accused by you an others as havin committed a crime BUT that has not been established in th only place that can establish it as fact an that is in a convenience Court of Law an only then after th verdict announced. Until then he’s innocent. You seem to desire to suspend th laws guaranteed as protection to everyone in our nations constitution and completely eliminate his right to face his accusers and be convicted by an impartial jury of his peers an jump straight into the penality phase of th law ta enact yer own warped version of Vigilante Justice.

“He stole from the citizens of Tracy and he violated the public trust.”

No, he didn’t steal. That has not been proven by a Criminal Court of Law. Violated public trust? Perhaps but regardless, he did admit to it publicly before being required to as a result of a successful criminal prosecution against him.

Sorry I just don’t convict people of wrong doing based on someone’s opinion of him. I deal with th facts.

Fact

Th card was used inappropriately

Fact

An auditor found it an questioned it.

Fact

He paid it back and was admonished heavily fer it.

Did he steal? Not a proven fact.

Did he attempt to deny it? Not ta my knowledge.

So Rosa, bein a person that exercises common sense with respect ta whair more public monies have been spent ta correct a problem that in all reasonableness seems ta be corrected, now much more public money an time do ya want ta spend ta feel personally vindicated.?

Or more succinctly, as an obviously self proclaimed protector of th public an it’s monies, just how much more do ya want ta waste over something, realistically speakin, is so un-important?

rosa62
|
February 16, 2014
It is obvious that You Mr. Gumfudgen find Churchill's behavior to be perfectly acceptable.

I, on the other hand, find his behavior to be completely unacceptable.

What this tells me is that you are one of the "Good Old Boys" who thinks the means justify the end; i.e. theft, lying and misleading the public is acceptable.

I choose not to accept this type of behavior from my public officials. I guess my ethical standards are higher than yours.

I guess we will just have to agree to disagree and leave it at that.
rosa62
|
February 17, 2014
"So Rosa, bein a person that exercises common sense with respect ta whair more public monies have been spent ta correct a problem that in all reasonableness seems ta be corrected, now much more public money an time do ya want ta spend ta feel personally vindicated?"

Mr. Gumfudgen; Clearly Churchill has a history of making poor decisions and choices, and clearly the Mayor and City Councilman Maciel have a history of covering things up. Just look at the Thiesen situation and tell me Churchill didn't make a mistake and there was no coverup by the Mayor and Council in order to save face.

So you see, Mr. Gumfudgen, I believe we need to spend the money necessary to investigate fraud, theft and coverup as it may very well be better spent than the money necessary to just sweep it under the carpet as you propose.
bobrod
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February 15, 2014
Does anybody know if the City Manager takes an oath of office when installed?
warthog69
|
February 15, 2014
In the works :)
warthog69
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February 14, 2014
Maybe I do make the time to keep a log AND photos of crooked people. you don't happen to drive a white Hybrid with a triangle on the door do you neighbor?
mdsmith17
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February 14, 2014
Take your photos to the Grand Jury or the District Attorney if you have them. Your allegations would be felonies if true so I'll look forward to reading the Grand Jury report with your evidence.
warthog69
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February 14, 2014
Keep hearing the same thing nothing knew. Like I said before NOTHING is going to happen to anyone working for the city who has and still is stealing from the Tracy tax payers.They are and always will be protecting each other. I see it EVERY day city workers taking cars home for extended lunches (2-4 hours) hiding the cars so no one knows there there and leaving just in time to make it back to clock out.
mdsmith17
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February 14, 2014
Curious, exactly how is it you see city workers doing this EVERY day? Are you telling us you somehow manage to follow multiple workers home every day and then site and time them with a stop watch to see how long they're home? And you do this every single day?
Ornley_Gumfudgen
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February 14, 2014
mdsmith17

Ya know, when I was readin warthog69's comment I was thankin th very same thang.

I also thank thair just might be a little misunderstandin as ta exactly who "They" actually are? Sounds like some clandestine conspiracy theory brew ta me. That mysterious "They" when inferrin ta governmental matters has always alluded me. Any idea who "They" might be?
mdsmith17
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February 14, 2014
I have no idea who "they" is Ornley. What I do know is it is pretty apparent Mr. Warthog exaggerated his story and it is obvious he doesn't see this everyday. So if you can't believe part of it, then you can't believe any of it.
fortheunderdog
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February 14, 2014
rosa62 makes a good point.

If Churchill is allowed to get away with misuse of his city credit card, how will he deal with any other city employee doing same? Will they get a slap on the wrist as Ives and Maciel have given Churchill?

Once you're lost your integrity there is no way to get it back. These three members of our city government have lost their integrity in my opinion.

Perhaps an audit of all city government figures should be done.
Ornley_Gumfudgen
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February 14, 2014
FTUD

If he had been caught an forced ta confess when he completely comprehended he could be prosecuted fer criminal action, I would agree with ya.

But in as much as it's apparent he has completely confessed, th employer, th City, feels that no real harm had been done an that no City fundin came up missin, I just don't see takin any further action.

As far as Churchill's integrity is cansarned, ta me it takes a mighty big man ta publicly confess what he's done an face th indignation an heat he's gettin frum those who in all estimation, statistically speakin of course, wouldn't have said a thang an would have ta be prosecuted an convicted in order ta get ta th truth an th entire story.

Not sayin what Leon did was OK by a long shot. But I do admire his integrity an havin th courage ta place himself in th eye of th public an face thair scorn. That's a trait that I admire, takin self responsibility fer yer actions without force of prosecution an takin th heat of public humiliation fer it.

Would it be that all mankind come to act with the same level of responsibility. An yet, that don't seem ta be enough fer some. Why is that?
rosa62
|
February 14, 2014
Keep in mind Mr. Gumfudgen that he didn't come forward and publicly own up to what he did until after the public found out and he had no choice. It was the pressure of knowing that the public would find out that made him come forward, not the fact that he has integrity.

Remember, he misused his credit card in 2011 and never made that public. He did the same thing again recently and only owned up to it publicly when Mr. Helm found out.

Seems to me like you're giving Churchill to much credit for being honorable. An honorable man would never have made this mistake because he would have been watching closely to ensure the public's money was never in jeopardy. Specially when Churchill makes in excess of $200K every year.

With that kind of money why would you need to take your City Credit card with you when you travel, or go to the vet or whatever you are doing.

Maybe the City should consider doing away with City Credit Cards for all employees and make city employees lay out their own money then get reimbursed for their expenses.
rosa62
|
February 14, 2014
Churchill has compromised his own credibility and his own ability to sit in judgement of his subordinates as a result of his misgivings.

If, for example, a City Employee does the same thing that Churchill did (use his/her city credit card for personal purchases) how can Churchill, who is the City's Chief Personell Officer, decide to dismiss them when he himself is guilt of committing the same infraction?

The bottom line here is, there is no way to gain your credibility back once you've crossed that line. He has committed more than just the infraction of using public money for his personal benefit; he has also compromised his professional ethics and placed the City of Tracy in danger of this infraction happening again by more than just himself.

In short; the Mayor, City Council and City Manager have lowered the bar for all City employees and they have all violated the public trust given them by the populace.

If a many will steal from you he will also lie to you and who knows what else. Churchill has crossed the line and must go.
Rooster123
|
February 14, 2014
EDITOR,

I have just read about our city manager using a city credit card for personal expenses. Being a prior business owner, I am appalled at the city’s dealing with this manner. This should have not been a slap-on-the-wrist situation and then go on as business as usual. The man was warned once before about using the city credit card for personal expenses. This matter should have never been handled by the City Council; this is a criminal matter. This is taxpayer money. This card was never to be used for personal use or even for a personal loan. The manager did not pay back the money until he was caught by the auditors. One of the excuses for not letting him go was that he was proficient in his duties. I would hope that we have elected officials who could hire a new outstanding person to do the job and don’t use city money for personal expenses. But then again, according to the article, they had a lack of judgment in dealing with this situation. When you think of this incident, it makes you wonder how this manager can manage our city. What else has he done, when dealing with city affairs?

Stephen Ridolfi, Tracy

What does Churchill know?

EDITOR,

Mayor Brent Ives and Mayor Pro T
Rooster123
|
February 14, 2014
What does Churchill know?

EDITOR,

Mayor Brent Ives and Mayor Pro Tem Michael Maciel are quite understanding, even magnanimous, about City Manager Leon Churchill’s having played fast and loose with the city’s credit card on numerous occasions over the years. That’s your money and mine, folks. And I’ve got news for everybody: Even if you return stolen goods after you’re caught, you can still be prosecuted. Of course, that’s in the real galaxy, not government. What I find astounding is that there seems to be no particular public outcry, that we accept this sort of thing as a fact of life; that that’s the way it was, the way it is, and the way it will always be. That said, am I the only person who thinks Mr. Ives and Mr. Maciel don’t remotely dare try to punish Mr. Churchill because of what Mr. Churchill knows?

Carl Dellanno, Tracy

Read more: Tracy Press - Your Voice Churchill invasion of privacy more THS parking Kimball needs to get a grip

Read more: Tracy Press - Our Voice Time to leave Churchill alone



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