FULLERTON (CBSLA.com) — The city manager of Fullerton is under fire Thursday after he was involved in an early-morning car crash.
Critics say Joe Felz got special treatment.
KCAL9’s Stacey Butler spoke to Barbara Pollinger who heard the crash 1:30 Wednesday morning in front of her Fullerton home.
“He should have stopped,” she said.
Pollinger called 911 and then ran outside.
She said she saw the driver of a white mini van jumping the curb. Pollinger said it appeared the car was trying to drive off but kept getting stuck on the curb and rain gutters.
She told the dispatcher she was worried the driver would try to take off before police arrived. Just before officers arrived, the driver she said did manage to break free.
Police stopped the driver about a short distance away.
Butler said the driver was identified as Joe Felz, the Fullerton city manager.
A local blogger Thursday posted what he said was an internal memo between the Fullerton Police Chief Dan Hughes to the City Council.
The chief reportedly said he called Felz after an officer said Felz “smelled of alcohol.”
Officers conducted a field sobriety test and determined Felz was not breaking the law and was let go. The report did not mention a field breathalyzer test.
Manny Bass aid he woke up to mysterious destruction of his front lawn and he said Felz never contacted him.
“I don’t know him personally,” Bass said, “But I would think a city official would have been far more responsible.”
Pollinger added, “You always stop at an accident to see what damage have I caused? Unfortunately, it gives the image that there’s something fishy going on.”
In California, it’s illegal to leave the scene of a crash even if the only thing damaged is property. Butler left messages for comment form the Fullerton city attorney as well as Felz, and has not heard back.