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Los Altos Lou

If ex-San Jose police chief Joseph McNamara could do it, why can't current top cop Lou Cobarruviaz? Yes, Louisimo is apparently a budding author himself, working on a book dealing with an unknown subject, although Eye presumes it will involve crime-fighting of some sort. Eye-watchers may recall that McNamara, now a fella at Stanford's Hoover Institute, has penned a couple of successful novels that adorned supermarket checkout stands. Court documents from Lou's recent divorce say the chief has typed up some rough notes for his book's opening chapters. Stay tuned. ... Divorce court papers also show that Lou and his ex, Maria, split approximately $2.6 million worth of assets, most of it tied up in real estate and the chief's pension. (That $2.6M figure doesn't include three Oakland properties worth an estimated $415,000, which the chief co-owns with his brother Gilbert.) Not bad for a veteran 30-year flatfoot. Maria, a tech at Hewlett Packard, took the 1984 BMW 733i and their Cupertino home; Lou got the vintage sports coupe and 1,220 shares of HP stock, among other things. For those insiders who question Cobarruviaz' ability to raise cash for a mayoral bid, Eye suggest they summon the phrases "equity loan" and "stock liquidation." ... One little fact missing from all the loose talk about the chief running for mayor in San Jose: Carpetbagger Cobarruviaz resides in lovely Los Altos Hills, according to several sources. Perhaps Sunnyvale transplant Ron Gonzales, also suffering from mayoral envy, should urge Los Altos Lou to run and make everyone forget Gonzales moved to San Jose just a few years ago.

Swimming With Sharks

Ex-Santa Clara Mayor Eddie Souza sympathizes with the current legal plight of City Councilman Jim Arno. In an obvious case of overkill, police escorted the dangerous politician to the courthouse in handcuffs a few months ago. His crime: not properly disclosing nearly $14,000 in campaign contributions in 1994 from businesses owned by father-son felons Nicholas Rinauro Sr. and Nicolas Rinauro Jr. Souza, punished by the DA in 1993 for filing his campaign finance statement 25 days late, came to Arno's recent arraignment to show his support. The two Santa Clarans are reportedly the only elected officials in the county ever criminally charged with violating the Political Reform Act. Lucky them. "It just doesn't add up," Fast Eddie opines, adding a personalized twist to an old cliche: "When things start smelling like a fish, it's a fish." ... While Fast Eddie may sympathize with Arno, he shouldn't shed any tears. The money Arno took from the Rinauros and allegedly concealed helped him get elected. Arno later cast the deciding vote to keep the city's lucrative recycling contract with Mission Trail Waste Systems, owned by the Rinauros. Jimbo insists he made an honest mistake.

Milpitas Getaway

Before filing a lawsuit against the scandal-ridden city of Milpitas, attorney William Hebert asked the City Council to put his clients, ousted city manager Larry Moore and demoted rec and community services director Cathy Dressler, on paid administrative leave. That didn't materialize. But on Feb. 18, nine days before getting fired, the lame-duck city manager apparently authorized gal pal Dressler's request to cash out 200 hours of vacation time she earned at her old department head salary. An informed source tells Eye the city normally won't cash out more than 120 hours of vacation time for management in one year, and Dressler shouldn't have been eligible to get more. There are exceptions to the rule, however, but skittish city officials won't talk about whether Dressler's payment request was legitimate or not. Neither would Dressler, who was shy about talking to Eye, period. In her memo to Moore asking for the dough, Dressler basically says nothing in the city's written personnel regulations would prohibit a 200 hour cash-out. As for Moore, he's walking with nine months severance pay --worth about $90,000-- for getting axed before his contract expired.

Welcome Aboard

Shortly after being elected, new Supe Don Gage was spotted on the 10th floor of the county building, checking out his new office and chatting with board clerk Phyllis Perez. Supe Joe Simitian, himself sworn in just two months ago, welcomed the newbie, and the two talked for about an hour. Using what he said was on old Maoist expression, Simitian waxed philosophic about the new conservative presence on the board: "Let one hundred flowers blossom, let one hundred schools of thought attend." Eye will settle for two schools of thought. The former Gilroy mayor will be the only Republican on a board dominated by liberal-leaning Democrats. ... As the lone Reep, Gage won't likely alter the outcome of many votes (with the possible exception of the domestic partners registry, which he fiercely opposes). But he'll certainly make things more interesting, observers agree. "The only change he'll make is that there will be a little more entertainment at board meetings," one hopeful staffer sighs. "It can be so boring now."

Smut News

The ink on a U.S. Supreme Court ruling barely had a chance to dry before San Jose's Pat Dando and David Pandori were ready to disinfect city sidewalks of all coin-operated nudie-mag racks. The day after the high court upheld a state law making nudie racks illegal, Team Dandori urged their colleagues to enforce the law and rid the streets of smut. "The presence of pornographic materials on the streets of San Jose," the two city council members preached in a memo to members of the Rules Committee, "is offensive to the public and harmful to our children that have unrestricted access to these materials." Skeptics inside City Hall groaned at what they considered a well-timed ploy by the two ambitious pols to score easy public popularity points. Of course, those skeptics could just be jealous because they didn't seize the moment first. The Rules Committee punted the matter over to City Manager Regina Williams, a city spokesman tells Eye. Just how widespread is this sidewalk porn scourge in San Jose? The morality law's champions apparently did little homework. When asked how many porno newsracks there are in the city, Dando aide Erik Schoennauer informed us, "I do not know, since I don't frequent them regularly."

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From the March 27-April 2, 1997 issue of Metro

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