February 18, 2018
209 Times has evidence that Michael Tubbs used public funds to buy alcohol, falsified official government documents, and conspired with his assistant to cover it up.
In his response to the proponents of the effort to recall Mayor Tubbs, Michael says in his statement, “I fully support accountability and transparency”. That statement is especially ironic in light of a recent discovery. After obtaining receipts of his spending of a discretionary fund meant “for projects that are significant to the residents of Stockton” (File # 17-3839), and travel receipts for the year of 2017, 209 Times has received evidence of Michael Tubbs committed a crime as Mayor of Stockton.
That crime is 424 PC Misuse of Public Funds. Even though it is clear that the newly passed discretionary funds is intended for projects in Stockton, Tubbs used tax payer money to fund a trip for his associates affiliated with the Fathers&Families of San Joaquin non profit, which is being investigated by the IRS for illegally campaigning for him, to go to a conference in Long Beach. Tax payers not only paid for their rental car, gas, hotel rooms, and a plane flight, but also their $50 steak dinners and alcoholic drinks.
It is illegal per state law and city policy to use public funds to pay for alcohol, yet that did not stop Tubbs from allowing it at a dinner he hosted on the Queen Mary. The dinner included $50 surf n turf plates, $38 ribeye steaks, $10 clam chowders, and a $15 glass of wine as well as beers.
Tubbs sought reimbursement for this dinner (against state law and city policy) while having his assistant Cameron Burns write up the reimbursement form. Burns most likely was also reimbursed for driving him to Long Beach as his designated driver.
Violating city policy, they turned in a non itemized receipt to hide the fact it included alcoholic beverages, claiming they “were not able to obtain an itemized receipt”.
This of course was not true as we were able to obtain one 7 months after the fact from the Chowder House Grill and Bar. In lieu of an itemized receipt they listed attendees of the dinner meant to provide “quality time” that includes Fathers&Families staff and Executive Director Sammy Nunez a convicted felon who has threatened several community members on behalf of Tubbs and who has received hundreds of thousands of dollars of city money since campaigning for Tubbs and appearing on his campaign mailers.
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Tubbs, who hosted the dinner, signed off on the reimbursement form which was then inexplicably approved by the city attorney and deputy city manager Christian Clegg.
Stockton is a working class city whose violent crime rates and homelessness have increased since Tubbs became mayor despite him campaigning on those priorities as his platform. 25% of the city lives below the poverty line and its unemployment rate is above state and national averages. Nevertheless Mayor Tubbs, who was arrested for a DUI as a Councilmember and has voted to raise taxes and water rates by 40% on Stockton residents several times, felt it was appropriate to use tax payer funds to wine and dine his friends that include multiple convicted felons and a member of a registered hate group.
In response to the recall petition he also states, “The power to remove an individual from office is reserved for the greatest betrayals of public trust, not just because you disagree with someone”. This certainly seems to meet his own criteria.
The city policy for violating said policy is clear and includes “criminal prosecution”.