Oceanside resident Woodrow Hidgon's three minutes of public testimony at the September 2 city council meeting ended with jeers from the audience: "Sit down!" were the shouts from inside city council chambers.
"Okay, people, you really don't want to hear this do you?" replied Higdon in the microphone amid shouts from audience members.
"Have a seat, sir. We've had enough. Thank you," said Oceanside mayor Jim Wood, a retired, 31-year veteran of the city's police force.
Higdon, a middle-aged ex-cop, donning wire-rim glasses and neatly cropped hair, exited the dais as the audience applauded. As he made his way toward his seat, mayor Wood's voice boomed over the public audio system, "We've had several issues with this gentleman [that are] being addressed by our chief of police."
Higdon has grown accustomed to this treatment. For months, he has gone before the city council to report his findings of supposed corruption and criminal misconduct in the city's police department.
"I've been cut-off for many months [for] complaining about various aspects of police corruption," said Higdon during a September 3 phone interview. "They don't want to hear from me.”
For the past eight months, Higdon has been running his own investigation into Oceanside's police department. He says he has hundreds of pages of "documentation" and that he is on the edge of breaking the case.
Higdon says he's uncovered collusion between the police department and insurance companies in the wrongful denial of damage claims. He says there are illegal recordings by an Oceanside police officer, who for eight years has failed to submit audio recordings of criminal suspects into evidence, which may result in re-trials and costly civil suits -- all without any punishment from the chief of police. And then there’s the police union's role in donating funds to the recall election of councilmember Jerome Kern.
"There are a number of people who are trying to cover this up. Why haven't these guys come after me and arrested me? It's because I've given all the evidence in the world that this is true and all the documentation is solid. They can't touch me."
Higdon says he will continue to appear at city council meetings. He expects nothing more than to be cut off at precisely three minutes into his testimony. "Like I said, nobody wants to hear this, but they can't keep me quiet."