Wednesday, April 16, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Poor Red’s

EDITOR:

Last Wednesday morning (April 17), I was driving past Poor Red’s and observed what appeared to be a raid by people dressed in coveralls with “Police” on the front and back. I thought that, oh, oh, someone has put their foot in it again. I did wonder who the police officers were as their uniforms were not the uniform of our Sheriff’s Department, Placerville Police or Highway Patrol. I figured that it was probably the SWAT team from the Sheriff’s Department but there were no helmets or rifles, just the bulletproof vests and sidearms.

Something big must have happened. One appeared to be a woman with bushy hair, an oriental person with a jungle hat of the Viet Nam era, and a guy with a baseball cap on. Oh well, it didn’t affect me and I went on my way. I don’t patronize Poor Red’s since I went there about 30 years ago to have some ribs. I found the bar and dining room in a haze of cigarette smoke and the ribs weren’t all that good either.

Imagine my surprise when I picked up my copy of the Mountain Democrat and there were the three individuals I saw, in full color. The article identified them as law enforcement from the Franchise Tax Board and the Employment Development Department. Huh? Since when have we had police officers in these two state agencies?

A myriad of questions arise about these people. Are they sworn peace officers? Do they have the power to serve and execute warrants issued by the courts? What is their training? What is their chain of command? Who is in charge of these people? What legislation and laws established these police departments? What rules govern their activities and responsibilities? It has always been my understanding that a warrant issued by the court must be served and executed by a sworn peace officer from the jurisdiction involved. I did not see any deputy sheriffs in view.

The “raid” was carried out by the Franchise Tax Board, the Board of Equalization and the California Department of Insurance along with the District Attorney’s Office and the Sheriff’s Department. Do these state departments each have police departments and officers? What department were the pictured “Police” from? I saw no badges and the shoulder patches were unreadable. I think that we are entitled to an explanation from the District Attorney or the Sheriff, the primary law enforcement people for our county. How are we to know who anyone would be that came to our house dressed in the manner that these individuals were, who proclaim to be “Police’” from the Franchise Tax Board, for example?

Well, at least they weren’t wearing Hawaiian shirts. It is still troubling that these state departments are suddenly fielding so-called police officers dressed like they are from F Troop. I am still troubled by the sheriff’s SWAT teams dressing like soldiers. If they are law enforcement people, they should look like law enforcement people. I have written about this matter in the past and it seems to get worse instead of better. There is a legitimate reason that our cops should look like cops.

BYRON MOBUS
Cameron Park

Letters to the Editor

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Discussion | 9 comments

  • DarrinApril 22, 2013 - 11:38 am

    Mr. Mobus, you are funny! I have no doubt the Franchise Tax Board and the Employment Development Department have goons that come out and break your legs if you do not pay. The FTB thought I owed them some money a few years ago because they had made up some sales numbers for my business. Yes, they made them up, as they admitted. One of the five people who called me even threatened to come take my paperwork and computers. I said that would be fine, maybe they can organize the boxes for me. Since I didn't have any B2B sales that year I knew I was in the clear. Finally the 5th person who worked on my case showed he had a brain and dropped it. Had they come up here, I have no doubt the same gang of thugs would have shown up.

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  • James E.April 22, 2013 - 12:07 pm

    I've often wondered about the name of the Franchise Tax Board. Franchise? Anyone know?

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  • Phil VeerkampApril 22, 2013 - 12:39 pm

    The word 'franchise' is of Anglo-French derivation - from franc - meaning free, and is used both as a noun and as a (transitive) verb. . . . free? . . . . hmmmmmm . . .

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  • James E.April 22, 2013 - 4:32 pm

    Phil, the California Free Tax Board?

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  • MorrisApril 23, 2013 - 6:55 pm

    There is a reason that the cake does not pop out of the stripper. It's called 'surprise'. To that end, it seems that the only 'foot in it' is your own ignorance in mistaking for cake the very foot firmly implanted within your mouth. Specifically, as that morsel relates to the understanding, or rather, lack thereof, of both the definition of 'raid' and the definition of law enforcement professional. As well: tact and respect. You see, those professionals pretty much learned some time ago that casually sauntering up to the raid location in full uniform, knocking upon the door and replying 'Land Shark' when challenged with a polite 'who is it?' simply fails to provide the level of success found in the approach of surprisingly dated hairstyles, celestials and random krakers descending unexpectedly within an environment of controlled strategic chaos. The latter of which has the additional benefit of saving lives, preventing evidence destruction and - indeed- the element of Surprise! for the suspect(s) in question. All this effectively delivered by law enforcement professionals that meet or exceed the Police Officer Standards and Training (POST) qualification standards mandated by the State of California. In fact, many of those serving the public with their distressed locks and not from around here facial features and dates chapeau actually possess undergraduate degrees in such disciplines as accounting, chemical engineering and other assorted educational achievements crucial to the investigation of specialized cases such as tax fraud. I can assure you that these professionals with their powers to arrest are not interested in knocking upon your door simply because your tax return was postmarked 4/16. Their 'customers' - for the most part - should have long since expected their arrival; uniformed and coiffed or not. These officers do not serve within an entry level position. They serve in one that is often thankless; a fact demonstrated by your commentary. So when that cream puff of a used Pontiac you just purchased for your child's first car actually has a functional airbag and accurate odometer reading, you can in part thank the law enforcement officers who work for the Department of Motor Vehicles. When your lottery ticket wins and the proceeds distributed to you are, actually, distributed, you thank those officers of the state lottery who work to ensure we are protected from fraud and organized crime. Just as the FTB team of dedicated professionals work to ensure the rule of law is maintained as it relates to tax revenue et cetera. All are real cops. All serve the public. And they all - bad hair and offensively labeled Orientals included - deserve your respect; not your ignorance.

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  • Paddy O'furnitureMay 03, 2013 - 7:37 am

    Morris, spoken like a true statist. "All serve the public". Are you effing kidding me? All serve the state, you dolt. All serve the state at the expense of the public.

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  • EldoredMay 03, 2013 - 10:21 am

    Very well said Morris! How can anyone in this day and age be so naive? Also do we still have a healthy anti-government movement up here in El Dorado County? I do not mean anti-Obama....I truly mean anti-government? Sure sounds like it to me......

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  • Sara YatesMay 03, 2013 - 10:27 am

    I recently learned that not only does the FTB have it's own police (yes, real police), but the DMV does, too. How have I lived this long without knowing this stuff? But, about Poor Reds... I grew up in El Dorado. The last time I ate at Poor Reds, my salad was mostly iceberg lettuce and salad dressing in a pouch... I never went back. Red and Opal Sadler are probably rolling in their graves. RIP Red and Opal - Reds has never been the same since you've been gone.

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  • cMay 05, 2013 - 1:00 pm

    ABC does same type of raids on bars with people who have police shirts on which look kinda fake but the guns are clearly real. They will stop activity and not allow people to leave. Check all IDs and search the building. Witnessed twice two different locations very odd scene...

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