San Leandro Police Detective Jason Fredriksson (aka “Big Dirty”) was charged today with furnishing marijuana to a confidential informant for sale. Apparently, he was having an affair with said informant. His wife, Sheryll Cofreros (aka “The Riz”) Fredriksson, is a dispatcher for the SLPD. Both are on paid administrative leave. A search of the couple’s Danville home revealed evidence of the marijuana sale. Police does not yet know where he got the pot.
Fredriksson is a detective in the vice/narcotics unit and a member of San Leandro’s SWAT team. He is 38 years old and a graduate of Las Lomas High School in Walnut Creek. According to one profile:
“After High School I enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and pursued a career as a firefighter. After the military I worked several unappealing jobs then found my way into Law Enforcement. I started my career as a Deputy Sheriff then moved to a municipal Police Dept. and started my career as a patrol officer. As of 2005 I have been a sworn officer for 6 years. I am the father of a beautiful little girl named Hailey and in my free time enjoy spending time with good friends and building nostalgia Hot Rods.”
Fredriksson receives $193,233 a year in total compensation. Fredriksson married Cofreros in 2009, in 2010 they bought their Sonora Ave. home in Danville for $1.1 Million.
The San Leandro Police Department, under Chief Spagnoli, has taken a very strong position against medical marijuana dispensaries coming to town. They’ve gone as far as to lie to City Council about the medicinal value of medical marijuana (claiming it has none). Meanwhile, they apparently have failed to police the activities of their own members. The investigation of Fredriksson’s activities apparently came as a result of a “tip” by a San Leandro resident, not any internal control mechanisms they may have
June Update: In a seemingly unrelated event, Jason Fredriksson’s father, John Fredriksson, has been arrested on charges of molesting a young female relative from 1988 to 1992. He’s recently been in therapy for his compulsion. More info on Patch.
Fuck the Factory – Fredriksson’s motorcycle blog. Note, the site has been removed and the google cached version has expired, so the link is to a PDF file of what the site looked like.
Hires premier anti-RLUIPA advocate to argue for its unconstitutionality
I was sad, if not surprised, to read that the San Leandro City Council voted 5-2 (with Mayor Cassidy & Councilwoman Cutter in the minority) to appeal the 9th circuit Faith Fellowship decision to the US Supreme Court. That’s exactly what I predictedMeyers Nave, the City’s law firm, would push the City Council to do. I was tickled, however, to read that they’ve engaged Cardozo Law Professor Marci A. Hamilton to represent them on this appeal. Hamilton is not only the country’s most prominent critic of RLUIPA, and of government accommodation of religion in general, but she’s a woman with a mission: get the Supreme Court to declare RLUIPA unconstitutional. San Leandro may just help her accomplish that goal.
The Faith Fellowship case has so far involved rather technical matters: what is the proper standard for “substantial burden” under RLUIPA. Circuits courts have come to different conclusions as to what this entails, which allows the Supreme Court to take on the case. However, the US Supreme Court has so far denied all cert petitions on RLUIPA land issues, most recently in January. This is not surprising, finding a “substantial burden” test that would make the law both meaningful without being abusive in all circumstances is quite difficult, courts have gone back and forth on definitions as new situations arise. The Supreme Court may find it prudent to wait until the dust is a bit more settled at the circuit court level before it intervenes.
But I don’t believe that Professor Hamilton has any plans to appeal this case, other than nominally, on the proper definition of “substantial burden”. Hamilton, indeed, has repeatedly said that RLUIPA allows religious institutions to do anything they want. She’s suggested the statute be subtitled “A Bill to Permit Religious Landowners to Do Whatever They Want in Residential Neighborhoods and to Subsidize Lawyers for Religious Landowners with an Attorney’s Fee Provision”. A narrow “substantial burden” definition would not fit neatly with her description of RLUIPA as a “circus“.
Hamilton, I suspect, will use this opportunity to lounge a full front attack on the constitutionality of RLUIPA, most likely on federalist grounds (i.e. that the federal government doesn’t have the right to tell municipalities how to regulate land use). She’s well suited for the task. In 1997 she represented the City of Boerne in the landmark Supreme Court case that overturned the Religious Freedom Restoration Act vis a vis state and local governments. While Congress created RLUIPA mindful of the Boerne case, and every single circuit court that has looked at the constitutionality question has upheld it, Hamilton is hopeful that the more conservative members of the court will side with her. My guess is that if the Supreme Court does take this case it will do so to tackle the constitutional question. The fact that Hamilton will be the one arguing the case, may indeed make it more likely that they’ll take it. The odds are still quite slim, however.
If the Supreme Court does take the case, Hamilton won’t just be facing the able lawyers from the Pacific Justice Institute (PJI). The US Justice Department will most likely intervene to defend the constitutionality of the law.
Even if the Supreme Court finds that the “strict scrutiny” provisions of RLUIPA are unconstitutional, the Supreme Court (or lower courts, if the Supreme Court remands the case) will still have to consider the question of whether the City of San Leandro violated Faith Fellowship’s constitutional rights to freedom expression and religious exercise and its constitutional and statutory right to equal protection of the laws. The latter claims come about because San Leandro allows “commercial entertainment” uses in the industrial area but not “assembly” uses. The 9th circuit didn’t address this issue, but left it open for future litigation.
Personally, I continue to believe that appealing this case to the Supreme Court is a costly mistake. If the Supreme Court takes the case, it’s very unlikely that it will rule for the city on all grounds without remanding any to a lower court. If it does remand the case, that would mean further litigation and much more money spent on attorneys’ fees. We are a poor city that has had to cut libraries, recreational activities and most social services – we can’t afford to be handing money to lawyers for no good reason.
The prudent thing for San Leandro to do is to work to settle this case, preferably in the next 6 months before the Supreme Court either rejects it or takes it on.
I e-mailed Prof. Hamilton and asked her why she took the case. Here is her answer:
“I took this case, because it meets the typical criteria that interest the Supreme Court: the relevant issues have been percolating for a significant period of time, the courts are split on the proper interpretation of the key terms, and the issues were directly addressed by the appellate court. It is time for the Court to take up one or more RLUIPA land use issues.
Also–the Ninth Circuit’s interpretation in this case is an extreme interpretation that unfairly favors religious land owners and, therefore, is a good case to take up to the Supreme Court.”
Marci Hamilton on the Daily Show
Marci A. Hamilton on Flaws of Religious Land Use Law
Congratulations and Thank You to Rob Richfor winning this auction! Roosevelt Elementary is several hundreds of dollars richer, and after Sue of Level 5 Salon did her magic, Mike looks younger and thinner than ever. Thank you Sue!
Come on, admit it! You aren’t entirely happy with how the San Leandro School Board is doing. In particular Mike Katz-Lacabe (aka “my husband’) should be doing a much better job! Maybe you are a teacher and angry at him because he stuffed your classroom with kids, maybe you teach PE and resent that the Board cut your hours next year, maybe you are a parent and resent his views on homosexuality, religion, race or uniforms… Perhaps you are even a former superintendent and really have a beef with him.
And there is no reason for this to end there! Are you a personal friend of former trustees that he helped defeat? Do you hate Mayor Cassidy? Mike helped elect him! Are you upset about how high your property taxes are? Mike worked to pass two bond measures for the schools. He is despicable.
Now it’s your chance to get back at him. You know that long, luscious brown hair that is his pride and joy? That soft, smooth, silky mane that gives him that sexy heavy Jesus look? Well, you can now rid him of it! Cut if off, leave him looking like a hedgehog! Roosevelt Elementary will be holding its annual Spring Auction this Saturday, May 7th, starting at 5 PM (at the Veteran’s Memorial Hall on Bancroft Ave.). Mike will be auctioning his ponytail to the highest bidder during a live auction at the end of the night. The winner gets to cut it off him or herself, in front of a live audience, and then donate the ponytail to the Locks of Love charity. If you can’t be there, maybe you can get someone else to bid and do the deed for you (Tony Santos, here is your chance at revenge!). But don’t miss this unique opportunity.
Now, here is the best part. Sunday is Mother’s Day so you know he won’t be able to get a real haircut until Monday at the earliest – so you can have the satisfaction of having him looking goofy during my special day. You hate me too, right?
I pride myself on being San Leandro’s most infamous atheist. I came into local prominence a couple of years ago when I challenged the San Leandro School District to stop teaching overtly religious songs in school. I had been appalled to find out that McKinley Elementary School‘s evangelical Christian music teacher, Kathy Maier, had made my 6-year old learn and sing the song “Silent Night” which praises Jesus as God. Not kosher in my book. So when I read a letter on last Thursday’s San Leandro Times accusing the city of establishing religion by allowing the Calvary Chapel church/religious group to hold services at the newly opened Senior Center, I had to investigate what was going on. And apparently it’s much ado about nothing.
Calvary Chapel is a small religious group started/run by the Cortez family, who relocated their ministry to San Leandro from the city of Guadalupe in late 2009. They are fundamentalist neo-Pentecostals (competition for Faith Fellowship?) but they don’t seem to make too big a deal out of speaking in tongues. They’ve been meeting at the Marina Community Center since they started, and apparently now they are moving to the Senior Center. I don’t know if that’s because the Senior Center is more centrally located or if they were able to see the signs predicting the end of the Marina center.
Meeting rooms at the Marina and Senior Centers are available for rental by any member of the community. Non-profit groups, apparently including churches, are charged reduced non-profit rates during non-peak hours and regular rates during the peak hours that Calvary Chapel mostly reserves. Any group is allowed to use these facilities, provided they pay the appropriate fees & deposit, have insurance and don’t have a history of trashing the facilities.
Personally, I don’t have a problem with that. I don’t really want the government to have to inquire as to what every group who rents a room at a public building is going to do in the room. Whether a group of people want a room to hold masturbation workshops, have a Barbie convention or pray to imaginary cosmic entities, it’s really nobody’s business but their own.
The fees that Calvary Chapel pays the city for the use of its facilities, moreover, help tremendously in keeping the Senior Center open. And who can complain about that?
Last Thursday’s San Leandro Times included a number of interesting letters from local citizens. One that particularly caught my eye was sent by Leo West and concerned the use of monitoring software on the networked computers at the library. According to the letter, “any librarian can log in and watch what any computer-user is watching – contacts, contents of materials received or sent, websites used, everything”.
I talked to the library about this issue and I was told that the software in question has been installed so the city’s IT department (the library does not have its own) can troubleshoot computer problems over the network, from their home base at city hall. Librarians themselves can only access the software for very limited purposes (like extending the time a patron can use the computer). IT staff will access the software when a patron reports a problem, so the patron will be aware of what the staff is doing.
No records are kept of patron’s computer sessions.
Personally, I’m not overly concerned about the library staff or the IT staff at city hall watching over my shoulders (in particular after 5 PM, I very much doubt anyone is left over at City Hall after working hours) – but this tool potentially could be misused. That’s just as true of a pencil, however.