City Government Uses Criminal Charges to Bully Eco-conscious Homeowners

The City of Upland uses criminal charges and fines to bully homeowners.

On Friday January 9, Fernand Bogman, an Upland resident who is being prosecuted criminally for complying with Governor Jerry Brown's suggestion that people should go "Brown" on their lawns during the drought, refused to accept a plea bargain offered by the city's prosecutor which Mr. Bogman and his attorney feel would have compromised his principles.

Until today Mr. Bogman was being defended by the San Bernardino County's Public Defender but  discharged them from his case and replaced the Law Office Of Marc E. Grossman as his counsel. Michael P. Vollandt, the Managing Attorney from Mr. Grossmans law firm, will be defending Mr. Bogman when the case goes to trial..

In a last ditch effort by the City, Upland Prosecutor Mr. Danny Peelman made an offer to Mr. Bogmam to pay to the City $1,000.00 by Civil Comprise (PC 1377) or face trial.  Mr. Bogman, who maintains it is immoral to "pour buckets and buckets of water on your lawn during a drought," refused that offer, expressing confidence in his lawyer's ability to convince a jury that he is acting responsibly and in compliance with the law.

Mr. Bogman is charged with a criminal misdemeanor which could land him in jail for up to six months for not watering his lawn. It goes brown but when the rains occur the lawn is green and then goes brown  when the weather changes. Bogman, Grossman and many others do not believe aesthetics should be a subject of a criminal complaint.

"There has been a history of corruption within the City of Upland resulting in other city residents being  charged and convicted  by crimes we do not believe they were guilty of," said Vollandt. "The City continues to use Draconian methods of forcing citizens to violate the policies of the State of California, which has mandated reasonable conservation measures intended to alleviate the severity of  the three year old drought. The city wants to put his citizens in jail if they conserve water by not watering their lawn. We believe a jury of Mr. Bogaman's peers will feel differently if they are given access to the facts of this case."

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