Stockton City Manager and Former Police Chief Abused Authority to Discriminate Against Minority Businesses

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Secret Documents Reveal Stockton City Manager and Former Police Chief Abused Authority to Harass and Discriminate Against Stocklandia

STOCKTON- During the pandemic when businesses were struggling to survive, a small business with a big idea reached out to us to tell us an unbelievable story. Veronica Martinez, opened and operated Stockton’s first ever food truck court called Stocklandia. It hosted several food trucks including Mexican taco trucks, but also others including an Asian themed one owned by one of the survivors of the Cleveland Elementary School shooting who was targeted for being southeast Asian by a crazed gunman in 1986.

That same spirit of discrimination continues to this day in City Manager Harry Black, former police chief Eric Jones and Katherine Nance.

In 2021, we spoke to Veronica, who told us instead of being celebrated for creating business and giving the community something positive, her and her fellow business owners were being targeted and harassed by Harry to the point she felt like he was trying to shut down her business for unknown reasons. She detailed to us how police officers were constantly showing up to harass them and would park in front of the food court for hours.

209 Times has now obtained a secret document proving Veronica’s suspicions were all true. The city council was presented with a document called “Report of investigation, City of Stockton, The Matter of City Manager Harry Black” in 2021. In the secret report, the former police chief who retired shortly after, details how Harry “pressured him” use the police department to “apply pressure” to Stocklandia and “shut that shit down”.

Eric Jones, instead of doing his job as a police officer and reporting Harry Black, complied and pressured his subordinate Katherine Nance to direct officers to carry out Harry’s wishes. Nance has since left to become police chief for Reno, Nevada and Eric Jones hires himself out to cities like Sacramento as a “police consultant”. Both Jones and Nance folded to Harry and abused their positions as sworn officers. Jones admits he believed Harry was targeting the owner “because of her gender”.

Instead of firing Harry in January of 2022 when they met to discuss his fate, they put him on a “performance improvement plan” and gave him a raise to over $400,000 a year. When he was brought up for dismissal again in March of 2023, he was saved one vote- Brando Villapudua who told a Stockton Cabal publication that the ones who voted to fire Harry were Mayor Kevin Lincoln, Vice Mayor Kimberly Warmsley, and Michelle Padilla. The ones who voted to save Harry despite being aware of this outrageous and illegal behavior were Michael Blower, Dan Wright, Susan Lenz, and Brando Villapudua.

Harry is now up for termination for a third time in two years, tomorrow at the city council meeting. This time Harry was investigated for calling Shannon Ding McGovern, Regional Community Affairs Specialist for California Water Service a “fucking bitch” during a conference for newly elected officials. According to Brando, city Councilmember Michael Blower confronted Harry about his behavior. Yet he voted to save his job even after seeing how he’s repeatedly treating women in a professional capacity.

We have reached out to Veronica to ask if she will sue the City of Stockton, Police Department, Harry Black and Eric Jones, and the City Councilmembers who are continuing to enable Harry Black despite his illegal, unethical, and discriminatory conduct against women and Mexicans in a city where Mexicans are the majority of the population.

Harry was released from Cincinnati, Ohio for similar conduct before being hired by disgraced former mayor Michael Tubbs to run Stockton. This is a developing story.

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