By Emerson Drake
While this is far from the first time the Modesto Bee has allowed one of their employees to attack people in print it should be the last. Some have questioned if this was ‘slime ball’s’ idea or if it was spawned by one of his editors, I suggest either way it needs to stop and stop NOW. Papers caught creating news can’t be trusted. Public Record Requests are a wonderful tool when attempting to seek out the smoking gun of Hypocrisy. Jardine’s story isn’t a case of the misuse of public money or the public’s trust. No he’s made it personal and vindictive in our opinion.
Former Mayor Carmen Sabatino has been trying to point out that Stanislaus County D.A. Birgit Fladager through her minions has withheld exculpatory evidence (and yes the AJ Pontillo was subsequently found innocent) and was more recently caught withholding discovery from the Carson defense team. A District Attorney withholds evidence that clears a mans name is in the minds of most people despicable and now to be caught for the second, or is it the third time, hiding evidence form the defense means Stanislaus County Court rooms can hardly be called a bastion of justice.
Jardine has use an informative sign as an excuse to attack our former Mayor at his place of business. Jeff creates the story, he writes the story, and pronounces guilt in the story. But Jeff, you’re the one that’s guilty here.
By Mayor Carmen Sabatino
Below is an official public records transcript between a Modesto Bee reporter, Jeff Jardine and a Caltrans employee, Rick Estrada. The press is supposed to REPORT the news, not act in desperate protagonist measures to CREATE news, and then innocently report on their creation.
Jeff Jardine, the National Enquirer is calling – they need a gumshoe to report on alien abductions and bat-faced vampires lurking about.
January 10, 2017 at 11:19am FROM Rick Estrada TO Jeff Jardine
Jeff, you noted you were going to be out of the office for some time, so I felt an e-mail would serve best.
Regarding the Changeable Message Sign we were discussing on McHenry Avenue/State Route 108 in
** I have spoken to maintenance unit confirmed it is not a Caltrans sign
** I have spoken to maintenance unit and confirmed the sign is in the public right of way
** I have spoken to our permits unit and confirmed there is no permit issued for this sign
As a result, one of managers from the maintenance unit will visit this location and advise the owner of the sign that it must be removed immediately from the public right of way. If the sign is not moved following our visit, the next step is we will contact CHP and ask for law enforcement to get involved in resolving this situation.
Safety is always a priority for Caltrans. Our goal is to keep the state’s highways in the best, and safest, condition for motorists.
Regarding the use of a CMS sign when it is not in the public right of way? I would ask that you please call Caltrans’ Outdoor Advertising Unit, specifically Michele Day who oversees Stanislaus and other counties. Her number is (916) 651-1254 and this is her realm of expertise. If she does not respond, her supervisor is James Arbis (oversees NorCal) and he is at (916) 654-6413.
January 10, 2017 at 12:52pm FROM Jeff Jardine TO Rick Estrada
It was not there when I drove by a few minutes ago. Maybe the rental company wanted it out of the rain.
January 10, 2017 at 12:57 FROM Rick Estrada TO Jeff Jardine
January 10, 2017 at 1:21PM FROM Jeff Jardine TO Rick Estrada
What about, as you mentioned, putting out a sign that looks like a CalTrans sign but bears a political message?
A violation of any sort?
January 10, 2017 at 1:23PM FROM Rick Estrada to Jeff Jardine
That’s where Outdoor Advertising comes in. We have a unit stationed at our HQ that deals with ‘advertising’ signs of this sort … I included a name and 2 phone numbers of potential contacts who can give you more concise information.
If they don’t get back to you, let me know and I’ll pull the chain. Hope everything’s going well Glad to see the sign is gone
January 11th, 2017 at 11:16AM FROM Jeff Jardine to Rick Estrada
OK, so Michelle said that if an unauthorized sign is reported, a maintenance crew would go out and seize it, informing whomever that they have 30 days to come pick it up at the yard. So can you tell me if that sign was seized or direct me to someone locally who can answer that question.
Mr. Sabatino claimed I was disrespecting him by even calling him.
January 11th, 2017 at 11:22AM FROM Rick Estrada to Jeff Jardine
I spoke with our Modesto Maintenance manager, who visited the location yesterday afternoon. When he got there, the
CMS sign was already gone – having been moved by someone other than Caltrans.
City might have stepped in? Or perhaps owner was told by someone else to move it … I had checked with our guys this morning
January 11th, 2017 at 11:25AM FROM Jeff Jardine to Rick Estrada
Thanks. Some folks posted pics of it on FB, and his PI buddy wrote about it on Carmen’s blog…..