After one day in office, Councilman Roy Paul has joined two of his fellow council members, Diane P. Boggs and James Santangelo, in obtaining a restraining order on City Hall gadfly John Gonzalez.
On July 2, one day after Paul took office, John Belsher, an attorney with the city's law firm, obtained a temporary restraining order prohibiting Gonzalez from calling Paul at home or work except during business hours.
According to Paul, Gonzalez has been following him and calling him with threats to "destroy him" since Paul began campaigning for his District 2 office.
"He fills up the tape on my answering machine with an hour of accusations and threats," Paul said. "I didn't want to start out my office this way but there is a point when you have to take some action."
Gonzalez asserts that he has "black-and-white proof of Paul's corrupt practices" in the city of Bell Gardens, where Paul was once a councilman. Paul denied the accusations.
A hearing scheduled for July 15 in Norwalk Superior Court will determine if a three-year restraining order will be issued that would also prohibit Gonzalez from following Paul or coming within 100 yards of his home.
City Prosecutor Martin J. Mayer, who filed criminal charges against Gonzalez in January for various building and safety code violations at his Downey home, said he is also in the process of obtaining a restraining order on Gonzalez.
According to Mayer, Gonzalez was convicted of the charges but the city is still fighting with him to comply with the codes.
Earlier this year Council members Boggs and Santangelo, and City Manager Don Davis obtained restraining orders on Gonzalez after he repeatedly called their homes and businesses threatening to harm them and their families, according to the three city officials.
Bill Erickson, a retired Downey building inspector, is the fourth city official with a restraining order on Gonzalez.
"I don't see why he has to harass us at home when we are available to the public during business hours," Paul said. "It's not like he has something constructive to say. He just wants to cause trouble."