Indio Releases Docs Showing Councilman & Peter Chryss Biz
Peter Chryss and Karl Baker
INDIO, CA – The city of Indio released 14 more canceled checks with the endorsement signature of former city Desert Hot Springs councilman Karl Baker. This makes a total of 36 city checks made out to Peter Chryss are adding to the pile of evidence Baker operated the business he attempted keeping secret.
Last month it was announced the enforcement division of the state Fair Political Practices Commission was taking action aimed at Baker, now facing a maximum penalty of $15,000. The latest news from Indio only adds to Baker’s woes.
The trail apparently begins when city of Desert Hot Springs employee Arnold Iniguez “referred” Baker’s business associate, Peter Chryss, to the city of Indio. Iniguez works in the Building Department processing business licenses.
In a sworn deposition Chryss stated Iniguez frequently visited the home Chryss shares with Baker. Baker lost his council seat in the November 2011 election.
Baker’s roommate, Peter Chryss, who served on Bakers re-election campaign committee, is a convicted felon who served nearly a year in Riverside County jail for wire tapping, burglary and stalking. Chryss is represented by David Baron’s law firm and is pursuing a million dollar lawsuit against former KNEW radio talk show host Lee Rayburn and others for broadcasting news about how Chryss conducted his business with councilman Baker.
Peter Chryss with Karl Baker at Two Bunch Palms Fundraiser with John Furbee, Courtney Moe and Yvonne Parks.
Peter Chryss held alarm system contracts with the city of Desert Hot Springs and the city of Indio up until the end of last year when those contracts were canceled as a result of the exposure of the Baker and Chryss business relationship when the media also exposed councilman Baker’s signature endorsing city checks made out to Chryss.
In addition the media revealed Baker’s secret, that he opened and operated the bank account for Chryss Home Automation and paid the county clerk for the fictitious name of the business as well as openly listing himself on the business license for Chryss Home Automation – cementing Baker’s business relationship with Chryss.
Baker reported none of these business matters to the FPPC.
It was the job of Ineguez to process the Baker-Chryss business license.
Another earth shaking revelation coincidentally surprised the community just prior to that last election as Karl Baker admitted he exposed himself on multiple Internet sex solicitation websites with his personally posting photographs of his naked body clearly identifying himself as a city councilman in clothed pictures adjacent to his naked pictures.
Baker was unapologetic on the radio broadcast, openly admitted exposing himself but saying he did not think anyone would recognize him. Baker’s story went viral, circulating world wide. Voters apparently recognized Baker for the person he was as he lost the November 2011 election after he self destructed his campaign. Still Baker remains resolute, refusing to comment about his business and relationship with Chryss.
Nearly one year later to the day of these discoveries the city of Indio released 1,036 pages to this writer as a result of a request for public records. The following time line summarizes events that transpired.
Aug 3, 2010, 2:17 pm Peter Chryss emails Indio Housing Coordinator Jeremy Frey “Arnold Iniguez from the city of DHS mentioned I might be of service to you. If I can assist you in any way please do not hesitate to call me.”
Aug 3, 2010 3:00 pm Jeremy Frey contacts Peter Chryss soliciting him with this inquiry, “Hi Pete, What kind of service do you provide? Thank you”
Aug 3, 2010, 3:08 pm “Hello Mr. Frey, Arnold Iniguez and [RDA director] Rudy Acosta speak very highly of you. Arnold said you had asked for my number yesterday. We do home and business security systems, surveillance systems, all low voltage wiring, audio, visual, sound. We are the current contractor for the DHS’ RDA program and are currently providing the city with alarm monitoring. We have also secured the city’s latest phase of city wide camera’s. I am confident Arnold will tell you of my work ethic and knowledge. I hope you give me the opportunity to serve you.
Chryss never secured the city camera contract.
Aug 3, 2010 3:09 pm “I should also mention that I can save you money on any and all monitoring services you currently are paying. Also we have an Indio office and I know how important it is to the city council to keep business local to Indio.”
August 4, 2010 9:55 am “I will wait to hear from you. Please let me know if there is anything my firm can do to serve the city of Indio. We do have stellar references which include Mayor Parks, Councilman Baker, City Manager Rick Daniels, Commander Ed Smith, City of DHS, Larson Justice Center, Robert Presley Justice Center, Skyborne HOA, Terra Lago HOA, Villa Portofino HOA and Mathis Brothers. I hope to hear from you soon.”
August 4, 2010 by the end of the day various phone numbers are exchanged and Frey emails Chryss he is having the company responsible for the NSP homes contact him. Anton Barbata is Family Development.
Aug 5, 2010, 10:51 from Barbata to Frey, Carol Emory, Jesus Gomez “Attached is the contract for the alarm system installation and monitoring at the NSP homes. I know we want to get this going right away but he requires the agreement be signed (attached) and a deposit for 50% of the contract. I assume these items go beyond my signing authority, so can you please get them executed by the appropriate person. As for the deposit check ($4,121.83), how do we get that to him. He says he cannot start without the deposit, so how would you like me to proceed. Please, let me know when you get an opportunity.
Aug 5 emails between Frey and Chryss and cc to Jesus Gomes discuss city of Indio contract with Chryss to perform construction work and to install home alarm systems, confirms installation of wiring plus door, window and AC contacts valued at an installation cost of $600 per home.
My Buddy Over At DHS
Aug 9, 2010 7:40 am. Frey emails Indio Finance Director Carole Emery. “Can you take care of this? I wrote my buddy over at DHS that referred us to this alarm company. So hang tight. That is a lot of money to post up front for an alarm.”
Aug 9, 2010 7:56 Chryss to Frey “…I know my superior at American First will be inquiring about this job at our morning sales meeting.”
Aug 8 8:06 Chryss to Frey about removing two properties from the proposal “I will remove them from the proposal. Also there is some concern over a 50% deposit. Please let me assure you that our cost is above the 50% deposit. The pricing is designed to build a strong relationship with the city.
Aug 9, 2010 from Chryss to Frey references “revised agreement”
Consider it Done
Aug 9, 2010 8:15 am Chryss writes Frey “I’ve been doing this a long time. Whatever it is I need to do, you just let me know and consider it done. I’m positive Arnold, Rudy, Rick and the council will tell you good things about my service and ethic.”
Aug 9th at 9:51pm Chryss writes Antun “I wonder if I was fortunate enough to have earned your business.” “I am more than willing to take a little heat from my boss and can we agree to a 33% initial consideration and 67% upon successful completion.
Aug 9, 2010 1:29 pm Frey emails Chryss the city has received revised contract and “Yes I did receive it and am going to go over it with upper Management. Will let you know asap.”
“Giving You The Contract”
Aug 10, 5:59 am Antun emails Chryss, “I’m back in the swing of things now. Thanks for your condolences. We are absolutely pleased with the bid and plan on giving you the contract, however, there are a few government regulation hoops we need to jump through first before I pull the trigger with you. First, I need to have two more bids. I have been in this business a long time and do not feel I am going to find another company that I want to use or has better pricing than you, nevertheless we have the involvement of the County in the Program and they require that I get three bids, so I will be securing those today/tomorrow. Again, no reflection on you, just a CYA [cover your as] for everyone. Second the City Manager is the only one who can sign the contract and he has just recently taken the job, so getting him to sit down with this in front of him may take a couple of days (he won’t even sit down with it without the other bids).
So, you are still in great shape, we just can’t move as quickly as planned because of the hoops. I will keep you posted and anticipate that we will be able to engage a contract for the security systems by the end of the week. I will keep you posted.
Ts To Be Crossed
Aug 10 Chryss writes Antun “Having wonderful clients such as the city of Desert Hot Springs and the County of Riverside I know there are a lot of Ts to be crossed.”
Aug 19, 2010 10:30 am Frey informs Carol Emory he solicited three bids and Chryss was the lowest at $600 per home plus $50 for the condenser. Comtron was $650 unit but required 1 year contract. Alliance was $600 unit plus $150 for condenser. Frey writes “We can go ahead and continue with Chryss as our alarm contractor.”
Aug 19, 2010 10:44 am Frey requests Chryss provide W-9, Business License, Insurance and proof of contractors license.
Aug 19 email at 7:50 am Frey says to Chryss “As of right now we are awaiting on the last of the other proposals. Then we can move on from there. Thanks for the follow up”
Peter Chryss purchases a business license, fills out W-9 but does not provide city with proof of insurance or proof of contractors license.
Hip Hip Hurray!
Aug 19 2:31 pm After making corrections and revising the agreement Chryss emails Cynthia Hernandez “Hip Hip Hurray! We’re moving forward. I’m so grateful for your business” and “All of us at CHA [Chryss Home Automation] and the American family.
Later, in written communications with the city of Desert Hot Springs Chryss says that Chryss Home Automation and American Alarm Company are one in the same; also using the employer tax Id for America Alarm for Chryss Home Automation.
Aug 24, 2010 Antun notifies Chryss “I wanted to make sure you know the city of Indio has accepted your proposal and is in the process of signing your contract and getting your deposit check. Understand this agreement is not final until signed by City Staff and your insurance documentation has been verified so do not start any work until all paperwork is in order.”
Also Aug 24, Chryss replies to Antun, “That is wonderful to hear. I will await your call. You will find our insurance, licensing and permits are well in order. I look forward to doing a stellar job for you.” and in another email Aug 24 to Antun, “I thank you Antun for your vote of confidence in us and the award of the bid.” and “After signing the contract and the deposit check, my staff will be ready to begin installation as soon as the next day.” Confirming both installation and Chryss is not doing the work by himself but has staff and/or employees.
Aug 24 Frey to Chryss referencing “revised proposal”
Aug 25th 2010 from city of Indio employee Jeremy Frey to Cynthia Hernandez “Family Development is in charge of property maintenance and security, etc”
Aug 25th 2010 Frey to Chryss says deposit submitted.
Soliciting The Public
May 4, 2011 email and letter by Chryss targeting new homeowners purchasing NSP homes says of the home alarm systems that “his firm” “installed, maintained, serviced and monitored” the security alarms. Activation fee of $99 (if contracted prior to close of escrow) and $159 (post escrow closing) for a Chryss company technician “servicing” home alarm. Chryss identifies himself as president of the company.
May 9, 2011 email between Chryss and Anton Barbato confirming new work scheduled. Chryss to Antun “your email is good enough for me to schedule this work.”
May 9, 2011 email from Jeremy Frey “redevelopment and construction coordinator for city of Indio” to Chryss asking for help in reducing false alarms. Two had gone off says “not sure why first responders not answering” and police sent.
May 4 email from Olaniyan to Chryss questioning how long it takes to drain a battery.
Pitching For More
May 8, 2011 from Chryss to city of Indio employee Housing Coordinator Elliott Olaniyan “I am about to “pitch” Rob Rockwell [City of Indio Finance Director] on giving me the opportunity to monitor the city’s other buildings, city hall, boys and girls club, maintenance buildings, etc. I am sure that an opinion of my work ethic from you would go a long way.”
May 9, 2011 Email to Chryss from Olaniyan suggesting “upgrading system to include repairs”
May 10, Chryss to Olaniyan “I briefly met with Mr. Rockwell and Mr. Ecklund on the matter. I would certainly love the opportunity. No promises… just opportunity.” On May 19 Chryss jokes to Elliott “By the way if this running the city thing doesn’t work out… we’re hiring lol.
May 10, Barbato writes back to Chryss “Talk about someone making “an offer they can’t refuse.” Thank you. I just hope that the other side of this favor doesn’t include us running numbers for you or us “wacking somebody =)”
May 10 Andrew Berg from Re-elect Baker campaign emails invitations to select Indio employees to attend May 23 Two Bunch Palms fundraiser hosted by Ginger Hitzke and co-hosted by Assemblyman Manuel Perez, Supervisor Marion Ashley, Mayor Yvonne Parks, Councilmembers Jan Pye and Scott Matas, Public Safety Commissioner Jeff Bowman, and Mission Springs Water District Director John Furbee.
July 17th, 2011 email from Chryss to Elliott references the fact he employed technicians.
Feb 22, 2011, Carol Emery email “Please respond ASAP on American First Security invoices.”
Nov 9, 2011 City of Indio Finance Department Mariana Aguirre notifies Peter Chryss that Indio is canceling the city contract as a result of discovering Chryss was not licensed.
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