Tuesday, July 2, 2013

A Cory Briggs interest group has a real person connected with it - well, sort of

Sorry to interrupt my coverage of my jury service three months ago, but I was checking my analytics and saw an uptick in people reading articles about Cory Briggs. Since the Ontario Walmart appears to be on schedule for a fall 2013 opening, I figured that perhaps Briggs was being active in some other city. I was correct; I found this article from early June:

CHINO -- A possible lawsuit has Mayor Dennis Yates concerned it will scare away potential developers from building in his city and the Inland Empire.

On Tuesday, the attorney for Inland Oversight Committee threatened to take the city to court if the council didn't reverse the Planning Commission's action approving a million-square-foot industrial development for Watson Land Co.

Attorney Cory Briggs filed an appeal with city alleging the project did not receive the proper environmental review and the city did not properly notify the public about the Planning Commission's approval a month and a half ago.

So this organization is called the "Inland Oversight Committee." We've been down this road before, with the Ontario Mountain Village Association, the Blythe Citizens for Smart Growth, the Menifee Citizens for Smart Growth, and the Murrietans for Smart Growth. So I suspected that the Inland Oversight Committee was just something that Briggs had completely dreamed up, and that the committee itself had one member, Briggs.

Well, in my typical Jim Bakker fashion, I was wrong. Not only does the Inland Oversight Committee have a website, it actually has real people associated with it. But first, let's see that the Inland Oversight Committee does that is different from the other organizations that I have named:

IOC's specific purpose is to educate members of the public about their rights to transparent, accountable, and responsible decision-making by the government, as well as their rights to the fair, equal, and lawful treatment by the government when they interact with government agencies and representatives. Pursuing this purpose, IOC's mission is (1) to identify, expose, and educate the public about non-compliance with local, state, and federal laws of every kind (including but not limited to taxpayer waste and circumvention of voter approval) by government bodies and by persons who conduct any form of business with those bodies; (2) to advocate for and pursue appropriate corrective measures for such non-compliance; and (3) to serve as a "watchdog" to ensure that unethical and illegal conduct by government bodies is exposed and appropriate remedies are pursued.

And if you scroll down to the bottom of the page, you can see the people named as part of this group, none of whom has the last name of Briggs (although he has represented the group in legal matters):

Chairman: Ian Trowbridge

Legal Advisor: Anthony Kim

Now I have not yet researched Anthony Kim - as you will see in a future post in my empo-jooryst series, it is difficult to research people who have very common names. But I figured that Ian Trowbridge would be a relatively easy name to find, so I began looking for an Ian Trowbridge in southern California - perhaps in the Inland Empire, or perhaps in the San Diego area.

Bingo. I found an article all about Trowbridge - about how he had been a "retired Salk Institute researcher who turned his attention to local politics and became a thorn in the side of many an elected official." The article included a quote from "East [San Diego] County activist Charlene Ayers, who worked with Trowbridge to hold government officials accountable to the people they serve." After he retired from the Salk Institute:

Trowbridge became a fixture at public meetings of the San Diego City Council, the county Board of Supervisors, the port commission and any other public agency that he thought might benefit from his civic interest. He advocated for clean-needle exchanges to fight the spread of AIDS. He sued to stop developments over environmental issues, or to avert generous severance packages for corrupt officials.

Oh, and there's one other thing about this article.

It's Trowbridge's obituary.

You see, Ian Trowbridge passed away in early February.

Yet his name is still on the Inland Oversight Committee website, where he is listed as Chairman.

Mayor Daley would have been proud.

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