Found Deceased CA - John Wooner, 57, city manager, Bakersfield, 14 May 2019

Discussion in 'Located Persons Discussion' started by doodles1211, May 16, 2019.

  1. doodles1211

    doodles1211 Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]
    Bakersfield Police are asking for assistance locating a missing person identified as the City Manager for the City of McFarland, John Wooner.

    Wooner was last seen on Tuesday at Hillcrest Cemetery in Bakersfield around 5:30 p.m.

    Wooner, 57, is described as 6 feet tall and 300 pounds. He has black hair, brown eyes and was last seen wearing a white dress shirt and khaki pants.

    He was last seen driving a McFarland city vehicle, a Silver Dodge Durango with CA #1390353.

    He is considered to be missing under suspicious circumstances. Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Keith Cason at (661) 326-3868 or BPD at (661) 327-7111.

    BPD: McFarland City Manager, John Wooner missing
     
    cuffem, sallye818, bluenoser and 10 others like this.
  2. doodles1211

    doodles1211 Well-Known Member

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    Is his disappearance suspicious or did he do something suspicious and then disappear?
     
  3. MimosaMornings

    MimosaMornings Well- Known Member

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  4. SuziQ

    SuziQ Well-Known Member

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    Could be he was in an accident. The cemetery is concerning. I hope the city does an audit.
     
  5. doodles1211

    doodles1211 Well-Known Member

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    He gets paid very well...

    Total pay & benefits: $244,416.95
    Salary information for John Wooner

    There are several lawsuits brought against him over the years, but I would imagine that comes with his position in the City.
    Not finding much else.
     
  6. doodles1211

    doodles1211 Well-Known Member

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    Msm by @MimosaMornings makes it sound like they think someone may have done something to him...

    Although no evidence exists that suggests anything violent happened to Wooner, the Bakersfield Police Department has opened an investigation into his disappearance as it airs on the side of “over-investigating,” said BPD Public Information Officer Nathan McCauley.

    Few answers in mysterious disappearance of McFarland city manager
     
  7. Tripod

    Tripod Well-Known Member

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    Watching this one, and hope he is safe.
     
  8. Dartagnan

    Dartagnan Member

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    It says he stopped by the cemetery to visit a relatives grave. He is a good and honest city manager who has done a lot for the city.
     
  9. MimosaMornings

    MimosaMornings Well- Known Member

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    Could it be an anniversary of a close relative’s death - the reason for him being at the cemetery?
    Perhaps he was despondent afterwards?
     
  10. azure

    azure Well-Known Member

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    It’s interesting, because to me the cemetery suggests sadness and possible self-harm, but it definitely seems like LE is going with foul play on this one.
     
  11. Tripod

    Tripod Well-Known Member

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  12. Penny4YourThoughts

    Penny4YourThoughts Well-Known Member

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    IMO - Without weapon, manpower, incapacitation or credible threat, it would seem QUITE a challenge to overcome a 6' 300lb man like our mp. What the hell happened?

    Several theories are building. Hope he's ok!
     
  13. The 13th

    The 13th Well-Known Member

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    I have a strange feeling that this is going to be linked in some way to ICE detention facilities and money. Skimming? Laundering? Trafficking? There's something stinky happening out that way.

    "According to a report last month by the California state auditor, the city of McFarland transferred $50 million (between $16 and $17 million a year) in payments from ICE to GEO Group since the facility, a former jail, reopened in January 2015 as a detention center. In return, GEO Group paid the city a yearly fee of about $35,000.

    Mesa Verde is 26 miles from McFarland. It’s not the only city to oversee detention facility operations from afar: Last year, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general found that Eloy, Ariz., was paid $438,000 a year by the private prison company CoreCivic to manage the 2,400-bed South Texas Family Residential Center — which is 930 miles away in Dilley, Texas.

    In 2016, ICE’s Office of Detention Oversight found Mesa Verde to be compliant with just four of 16 standards and found deficiencies in areas including sexual assault prevention, use of force, food service and medical care. McFarland’s city manager told the state auditor that he was unaware of that report. And when the California Department of Justice visited the facility last year, it appeared that the only programming available to detainees was an intermittent art therapy class offered by a volunteer organization.

    The city did not respond to requests for comment. But the Bakersfield Californian reported in December that the McFarland City Council had voted in closed session to pull out of the contract, and that it would take 90 days for the withdrawal to go into effect. City leaders provided no reasoning behind the decision. Mayor Manuel Cantu Jr. told the paper that “GEO is a wonderful and amicable company that continues to operate in our city and is committed to supporting our community.”

    The news website Capital & Main obtained public records showing that McFarland appeared unprepared for the scrutiny from the state attorney general and auditor. In a September 2018 closed-door City Council meeting, City Manager John Wooner said he had none of the records the state requested. Wooner then advised the council to “threaten GEO with termination of the ICE contract if it didn’t raise the city’s fee to a quarter of a million dollars,” the website reported. The council voted 3 to 2 to accept the plan, but a spokesman for GEO Group denied that the city asked for a higher fee."

    much more at Immigrant detention center in Bakersfield, thought to be set to close, will stay open
     
  14. The 13th

    The 13th Well-Known Member

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    This might turn out to be irrelevant in the end, but if anyone would like a quick and more readable summary of the issue, I also found this one while looking into Mr. Wooner.

    "ICE has been struggling to keep its facilities open across California after lawmakers passed a pair of “sanctuary” laws in 2017 that prevent cities and counties from entering into new contracts or from expanding existing agreements with ICE. The laws also gave the California Attorney General’s office, now run by AG Xavier Becerra, increased oversight over the centers.

    A report released just last week, the first under the Attorney General’s new mandate, found poor conditions, notably inadequate access to medical care and legal representation, including at Mesa Verde.

    In part because of the new regulations, the city of McFarland, outside Bakersfield, ended its contract to operate Mesa Verde in December. The city had been receiving about $35,000 a year for operating as a go-between in ICE’s agreement with GEO Group.

    McFarland was the third locality to pull out since the legislation took effect; Sacramento and Contra Costa counties ended their contracts to house detainees in the county jails last year. In those cases, the jails stopped detaining immigrants.

    ---

    Officials have not commented publicly on the city’s decision to end the contract. But a letter from the city notifying the GEO Group of the contract’s termination suggests that it was not over moral concerns but rather because the state’s more aggressive stance against ICE made continuing to work with the agency less appealing.

    “This has been a satisfactory arrangement for the City,” city manager John Wooner wrote, “until recent adoption by the State of California of legislation impacting facilities such as Mesa Verde.”

    As more cities elect to close their immigration facilities, ICE’s tactic shows a new way for the agency to effectively nullify the decisions of local governments. Mesa Verde will stay open for another year, without ICE having to go through the standard time-consuming public bidding process normally required for government contracts.

    How ICE outmaneuvered a town that tried to close a detention facility
     
  15. Rosiebones

    Rosiebones Well-Known Member

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    .kget.com/news/local-news/bpd-mcfarland-city-manager-wooner-considered-missing-under-suspicious-circumstances
    What are "suspicious circumstances"? He was last seen at 5:30 pm and reported missing a few hours later when he didn't return home. That is a short time frame for an adult. Why did it move to investigation so quickly?
    Who reported seeing him at the cemetary?
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2019
  16. azure

    azure Well-Known Member

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    <modsnip: quoted post was removed>

    With the obscene amounts of money being transferred from ICE via these cities, anyone who has access to city $ could be in danger from someone who wanted that $...regardless of whether they were doing something nefarious or just doing their jobs.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 18, 2019
  17. SuziQ

    SuziQ Well-Known Member

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    Visiting a relatives grave could be a pre cursor to self harm.

    I do hope this man is ok.
     
  18. rosesfromangels

    rosesfromangels Amateur speculations and opinion only

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    I've always heard it said that when a woman voluntarily disappears it's usually to avoid domestic violence, and when a man voluntarily disappears it's due to money issues.

    Time will tell in this case.
    Amateur opinion and speculation
     
  19. Rosiebones

    Rosiebones Well-Known Member

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    I wonder if McFarland, Ca. uses a fleet management system to keep track of their vehicles. He was driving a city car.
     
  20. The 13th

    The 13th Well-Known Member

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    exactly.
     
    LaborDayRN likes this.

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