WHY IS A SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER ASKING TO SEE RECORDS OF SLPD’S SWAT UNIT?
By Steven Tavares
|Mike Katz in the police hat?|
Is Mike Katz a community do-gooder or covert government hack? San Leandro’s dual school board trustee and wannabe investigative blogger filed a request last February in search of records detailing the city’s police records centering around its SWAT team.
The request made through the Freedom of Information Act was dated Feb. 1 and signed by Katz. The letter asks the police records division for specific information detailing the number of instances the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) unit was used during the past two years, including the reason for the deployment, number of arrests and whether a firearm was discharged.
Katz also asked to see records on whether a suspect was injured or killed in any case where SWAT was involved.
It is not clear why a member of the San Leandro School Board of Trustee and close political ally of Mayor Stephen Cassidy would be interested in records involving SWAT, although Katz has long used his personal blog to push his own political motives.
His lack of transparency on the site has been criticized by The Citizen many times in the past for blurring the lines between government and news reporting. During the most recent mayoral campaign, Katz, under the guise, of investigative sleuthing, wrote a blog posting detailing campaign donations for Councilwoman Joyce Starosciak, who was also a competing candidate for mayor opposed to eventual winner Stephen Cassidy.
At the time, Katz was a member of Cassidy campaign committee, creating a conflict of interest not detailed anywhere on the site. The pony-tailed school trustee also does not clearly portray himself as a member of city government even though he covers news stories detailing the very entity he is a part of.
In the past few weeks, Katz has shown particular interest in shooting video of recent public appearances by members of the San Leandro Police Department, including its police chief, Sandra Spagnoli. Video of her remarks to a homeowners group are posted on Katz’s blog along with another by a San Leandro police officer.
Evidence of Katz’s interest in the doings of the police department come after Cassidy, his former colleague on the school board, raised eyebrows last Monday when he appeared to criticized the department for touting a reduction in crime without mentioning a perception among some in the community that crime is getting worse. Cassidy has also clashed with the Police Officers Association in the past.
With budget deliberations among the city council simmering towards a slow boil come June, Cassidy peppered talk of reforming the city’s pension obligations with recent talk of trimming more employees from city staff, while questioning their efficiency in providing basic services to San Leandrans. In the past two years, nearly 40 percent of the work force has been cut through layoffs and retirements.
Waiting for you to post the URL Tavares or admit you're a liar.
Steve – I don't think you need to say, “Gay American” – it's not like Afro-American or Mexican-American. You can just be gay.
“Lastly, if I was a Gay American, I’m pretty sure I could attract someone more handsome than Stephen Cassidy. Along the lines of Tom Cruise, don’t you think?
April 4, 2011 4:37 PM”
LOL, but yes, Steven I think you would merit and attract a much more handsome man 🙂 !
You libel a pulbic official by writing something that you know not to be true about them. If Katz' article on Joyce doesn't have a disclaimer, then simply post the URL to the article. And if you think Katz will change it just to mess with you, then post a screen shot of it if it does look like you have claimed.
How do you libel a public official? It seems this is the problem with Mr. Katz. He thinks he’s a private citizen and investigative reporter when he is first and foremost a public official. Pick a side is all I’ve been saying for two years.
Show me where Katz says he is a member of the San Leandro School Board? It’s not clear. The header says “News and Views.”
Also, why don’t you take offense to Mayor Cassidy’s statements instead of your perception of a vendetta against his leadership by me. You seem to urging for me to keep you in the dark about the mayor and city hall. That’s curious since you have so many other outlets at your disposal willing to look the other way.
Lastly, if I was a Gay American, I’m pretty sure I could attract someone more handsome than Stephen Cassidy. Along the lines of Tom Cruise, don’t you think?
That's an insult to the Beast and fat guys all over…image means nothing to him.
Katz is a good looking guy in a Beauty and the Beast sort of way…
San Leandro went downhill under Tony Santos' failed leadership – selling out to unions and low-income housing advocates over the people of San Leandro.
As for Katz' bias in reporting – I don't remember Katz doing repeated hit pieces against ex-Mayor Santos; but I do remember Mr. Tavares doing multiple hit pieces – sometimes two a day. I was beginning to wonder if Steve had a gay crush on Cassidy. And everything I've ever read on Katz' site always had a disclaimer. If you're not lying Steve, then kindly post a link to the forementioned article. Otherwise it kind of appears that you are libeling a public official.
More subterfuge by the new mayor hiding behind Katz as Katz attempts to dig up dirt on our police department, hope him and his wife never have a need to call them.
This mayor is very sneaky and conniving, first an “adhoc” committee to find a city manager, small enough so records don't have to be in the public record. Now hiding behind his minions who try to find dirt on his behalf.
San Leandro is really going downhill and its not due to minorities, its due to conniving white people.
He is scary looking.
Not surprising at all.
Holy crap man, take down that picture.
Does this guy drive an ice cream truck near schools?