The City of Los Angeles Continues To Produce Emails As Non-Text-Searchable Super Low Quality PDFs Rather Than MBOX Or EML Files — But The California Public Records Act Requires Them To Produce In Any Format They Use To Make Copies For Their Own Use — Which Includes MBOXes — We Are Finally Litigating This Issue — Hearing On November 11, 2020 — Read The Trial Brief Here — And A Declaration From Computer Pioneer Martin Haeberli — Explaining Why The City’s Reasons For Not Producing MBOXes Aren’t Reality-Based

This is what the City of Los Angeles does to image files when it converts emails to PDFs. It’s obviously not an exact copy, the provision of which is required by law. This is a completely faithful copy of an image file the City of LA produced in response to a CPRA request.
Maybe you remember that back in December 2019 I filed yet another CPRA suit against the City of Los Angeles. Here I was after a varied bunch of emails from the City’s Information Technology Agency. As usual, the City started handing over records almost immediately, which counts as a concession that they were wrong in denying my original requests.1

Also as usual they produced emails and their attachments as huge, unwieldy, non-text-searchable PDFs with highly degraded quality even though I asked them for MBOX files and the law requires them to produce MBOX files.2 They also produced attachments this way. You can see from the image what this process does to image files3 but imagine how incredibly useless it makes a spreadsheet! The CPRA’s requirement, found at §6253.9, is clear:

6253.9. (a) Unless otherwise prohibited by law, any agency that has information that constitutes an identifiable public record not exempt from disclosure pursuant to this chapter that is in an electronic format shall make that information available in an electronic format when requested by any person and, when applicable, shall comply with the following:

(1) The agency shall make the information available in any electronic format in which it holds the information.

(2) Each agency shall provide a copy of an electronic record in the format requested if the requested format is one that has been used by the agency to create copies for its own use or for provision to other agencies. The cost of duplication shall be limited to the direct cost of producing a copy of a record in an electronic format.

They refuse to do it, though, as they have been refusing since at least 2014. They change their reasons all the time, often in response to my pointing out that they’re lying about their capabilities. These days they’re not denying that they can produce MBOX files because everyone knows by now that they can do it even they used to say explicitly that it was impossible.4 Their current argument, also a lie, is that it’s impossible to redact MBOXes, so they can only produce as PDFs, which they can redact.

But this time we’re not willing to settle with them! We’re about to litigate this file format issue! The hearing is on November 11 at 1:30 before James Chalfant. Here’s the trial brief. There’s also a declaration from Internet and Apple Computer pioneer Martin Haeberli explaining the reasons why producing emails as MBOX files is far superior to PDFs and also explaining two perfectly workable ways to redact them in this form.5 Read on for excerpts from the brief and stay tuned for news!
Continue reading The City of Los Angeles Continues To Produce Emails As Non-Text-Searchable Super Low Quality PDFs Rather Than MBOX Or EML Files — But The California Public Records Act Requires Them To Produce In Any Format They Use To Make Copies For Their Own Use — Which Includes MBOXes — We Are Finally Litigating This Issue — Hearing On November 11, 2020 — Read The Trial Brief Here — And A Declaration From Computer Pioneer Martin Haeberli — Explaining Why The City’s Reasons For Not Producing MBOXes Aren’t Reality-Based

Share

City Of Los Angeles Staff Lie All The Time About The Public Records Act — And Also Did You Know That The Chief Legislative Analyst Prepares Briefing Notes For Council Committees? — Two Sets For Each Meeting — One Is For The Chair — The Other For The Members — And CLA Staffer Karen Kalfayan Had The Nerve To Claim These Were Exempt From Production — Even Though The Brown Act States Specifically That They Are Not Exempt And Must Be Released Immediately On Request

I can’t remember where I learned that the Office of the Chief Legislative Analyst writes briefing notes for each meeting of each City Council committee, but obviously as soon as I heard I started trying to get copies via the California Public Records Act. And so on June 24, 2020 I fired off a request asking for a few years worth.

And you know how the City of LA is. I didn’t get a response at all until September 29, when CLA staffer Karen Kalfayan sent me this ill-considered bit of crapola, claiming that she would have denied my request as “overly broad” but that instead she was denying it as so-called “deliberative process,” a court-created interpretation of the CPRA at §6255(a):

With regard to your request for briefing notes for the period January 1, 2016 through June 24, 2020, please be advised that this Office has made its determination on your request as required by Government Code section 6253(c).

Please note that the request is overly broad, and normally we would request you to clarify your request in order for us to search for specific records. However, please be advised that records may be withheld under Government Code Section 6255 because they would show the officials’ deliberative process. As to these documents, Government Code Section 6255 permits nondisclosure because the public interest served by protecting the official’s decision-making process clearly outweighs the public interest served by the records’ disclosure.

But, you know, I had a thought about this. These briefing notes must be distributed to committee members, otherwise what’s the point? And the Brown Act, not the Public Records Act, contains a really important, really useful bit at §54957.5, also worth quoting:
Continue reading City Of Los Angeles Staff Lie All The Time About The Public Records Act — And Also Did You Know That The Chief Legislative Analyst Prepares Briefing Notes For Council Committees? — Two Sets For Each Meeting — One Is For The Chair — The Other For The Members — And CLA Staffer Karen Kalfayan Had The Nerve To Claim These Were Exempt From Production — Even Though The Brown Act States Specifically That They Are Not Exempt And Must Be Released Immediately On Request

Share

In June 2020 Paul Koretz Was One Of Only Three LA City Councilmembers To Vote Against Even Studying An Absurdly Minuscule LAPD Budget Reduction — He Told The Daily News That He Had Heard From People On Both Sides Of The Issue — Creating The Impression That He Was Balancing The Conflicting Wishes Of His Constituents — But I Just Got Copies Of All The June 2020 Constituent Emails To Him On Police Defunding — Can’t Count Precisely But There Are Around 270 In Favor Of Defunding — And One — Yes, One — Against — So It Looks Like Koretz Was Confused — Which Is A Politely Sarcastic Way To Describe What Koretz Really Is — About Who He Represents


On June 16, 2020 Council District 5 rep Paul Koretz was one of only three Councilmembers to vote against asking City staff to report back on ways to cut a mere $150M from the LAPD budget.1 For some background check out this excellent essay by Jacob Woocher in Knock-LA. Koretz defended his position both before and after the vote by admitting that he’d received public comments urging him to support the cuts but also, according to Elizabeth Chou of the Daily News, “Koretz said he’s heard “emphatic” calls to defund the police dept, but he said he’s also heard from others who “feel very differently, and for whom public safety is a very high priority.” Those people fear “slower response times” from police”.

Koretz wants to show the world that he’s representing his constituents, rather than voting the straight LA Police Protective League line in opposition to his constituents’ desires. But doesn’t he sound like he’s lying? So I thought I’d check it out by asking CD5 for the communications from the public, hoping to learn how many of these folks who, according to Koretz, “feel very differently, and for whom public safety is a very high priority” actually did get in touch with Koretz.
Continue reading In June 2020 Paul Koretz Was One Of Only Three LA City Councilmembers To Vote Against Even Studying An Absurdly Minuscule LAPD Budget Reduction — He Told The Daily News That He Had Heard From People On Both Sides Of The Issue — Creating The Impression That He Was Balancing The Conflicting Wishes Of His Constituents — But I Just Got Copies Of All The June 2020 Constituent Emails To Him On Police Defunding — Can’t Count Precisely But There Are Around 270 In Favor Of Defunding — And One — Yes, One — Against — So It Looks Like Koretz Was Confused — Which Is A Politely Sarcastic Way To Describe What Koretz Really Is — About Who He Represents

Share

The Los Angeles City Attorney’s Nuisance Suit Against Holiday Liquor — In Rapidly Gentrifying West Adams — Facilitates That Very Gentrification — Dumping Zillions Into The Coffers Of CIM Group Founder Shaul Kuba — Who Has At Least Six Gigantic Mixed Use Buildings Within A Few Blocks Of There — Newly Obtained Depositions Show Kuba’s Direct Involvement In The Process — For Instance He Confronted Holiday Owner Abdul Sheriff — Told Him That Nobody Wants Him Or His Store On Adams — Said He Wanted To Help Sheriff Resolve The Suit By Buying His Building — In A Fit Of Unhinged Rage Kuba Called Sheriff A Really Nasty Name Because He Wouldn’t Sell — Usually Developers And City Officials Don’t Have To Actually Conspire To Gentrify — But It Sure Looks Like They Did It Here


Nuisance abatement suit background: Nuisance abatement suits are brought by the Los Angeles City Attorney against homeowners or commercial landlords or tenants who allegedly allow their property to be used to further criminal activity. The City of Los Angeles notoriously uses such suits along with gang injunctions and the myriad of laws criminalizing homelessness to effect and defend the progress of gentrification.

I’ve been tracking a nuisance abatement case filed by the Los Angeles City Attorney against a West Adams liquor store, Holiday Liquors, on Adams a little east of La Brea. West Adams is gentrifying super fast,1 of course, and this nuisance abatement suit is clearly part of the plan. New residents in all of LA’s gentrification battlegrounds are obsessed with access to upscale retail choices2 and also are famously terrified of many of the original inhabitants.

Liquor stores like Holiday impede gentrification by scaring new residents, by not being cute succulents-n-linen shops or brunch spots, and by being useful to the original residents. One way in which the City uses nuisance abatement suits to promote gentrification is by attacking impediments like Holiday Liquor.3 Gentrification funnels money to real estate developers who turn around and show their pleasure by sending a small percentage back to elected officials. Mike Feuer needs this kind of support for his 2022 mayoral campaign, so nuisance suits like this are to be expected.

And zillionaire real estate developers CIM Group, guided by anger-management casualty and founder Shaul Kuba, is one of the major forces behind the ongoing gentrification of West Adams. In 2019 they were developing at least six sites within a couple blocks of Holiday Liquor. CIM also convinced4 Herb Wesson of CD10 to create a business improvement district on Adams between La Brea and Fairfax,5 unsurprisingly making “perceptions of safety” a huge part of their pro-BID arguments.
Continue reading The Los Angeles City Attorney’s Nuisance Suit Against Holiday Liquor — In Rapidly Gentrifying West Adams — Facilitates That Very Gentrification — Dumping Zillions Into The Coffers Of CIM Group Founder Shaul Kuba — Who Has At Least Six Gigantic Mixed Use Buildings Within A Few Blocks Of There — Newly Obtained Depositions Show Kuba’s Direct Involvement In The Process — For Instance He Confronted Holiday Owner Abdul Sheriff — Told Him That Nobody Wants Him Or His Store On Adams — Said He Wanted To Help Sheriff Resolve The Suit By Buying His Building — In A Fit Of Unhinged Rage Kuba Called Sheriff A Really Nasty Name Because He Wouldn’t Sell — Usually Developers And City Officials Don’t Have To Actually Conspire To Gentrify — But It Sure Looks Like They Did It Here

Share

Mitch O’Farrell Introduced A Motion To Put A Homeless Shelter In The Hollywood Recreation Center At Lexington And Cole — Heroic Activist Org KTown For All Rightly Wonders If This Will Lead To Intensified Enforcement Of Anti-Homeless Laws Around The Park — Which Seems Likely To Me Given CD13’s Appalling Deference To The Well-Organized Unhinged Local NIMBY Psychopaths — Who Would Have To Have Been Placated Before The Motion — This Klown Kar Krew Includes Kanye Producer Anthony Kilhoffer — Who Threatened Sean Starkey With Vigilante Action If The City Didn’t Get Rid Of The Unhoused Human Beings — “If it’s not handled in a week I’ll go through [throw] them out myself”


The Los Angeles City Council Homelessness and Poverty Committee met today, October 8, 2020 and considered, among other things, a Mitch O’Farrell motion to use the Hollywood Recreation Center as interim housing for the homeless. The incomparable Ktown for All livetweeted the meeting and raised the possibility that O’Farrell would use such housing as an excuse for enhanced enforcement of anti-homeless laws in the vicinity.

This is not a baseless fear. Councilmembers universally try to gain the approval of unhinged anti-shelter housedwellers by promising intensified criminalization of homelessness. O’Farrell did precisely that in 2018 with the Hollywood Bridge Housing project, for instance.

Also, the Hollywood Rec center is gang turf, claimed by a particularly violent crew of absolutely genocidal NIMBYs who continually threaten to attack homeless encampments near the park. This deranged mob is led by weirdo Kanye West producer Anthony Kilhoffer, who owns a rental property at 1149 Cole Avenue, directly across the street from the Rec Center.
Continue reading Mitch O’Farrell Introduced A Motion To Put A Homeless Shelter In The Hollywood Recreation Center At Lexington And Cole — Heroic Activist Org KTown For All Rightly Wonders If This Will Lead To Intensified Enforcement Of Anti-Homeless Laws Around The Park — Which Seems Likely To Me Given CD13’s Appalling Deference To The Well-Organized Unhinged Local NIMBY Psychopaths — Who Would Have To Have Been Placated Before The Motion — This Klown Kar Krew Includes Kanye Producer Anthony Kilhoffer — Who Threatened Sean Starkey With Vigilante Action If The City Didn’t Get Rid Of The Unhoused Human Beings — “If it’s not handled in a week I’ll go through [throw] them out myself”

Share

We Now Know That The LAPD Lied To A Whole Series Of Public Records Requesters About Facial Recognition — They’ve Been Lying About It For Years — And They Lied About It To Me Too — I Recently Discovered Proof That LAPD Discovery Had Records Responsive To My Request In Their Actual Possession At The Time That LAPD Discovery Boss Kris Tu Told Me There Weren’t Any — And The LAPD Department Manual CPRA Section Requires LAPD To Comply — And States Explicitly That If They Willfully Withhold Records They May Be Subject To Punishment — Which Is Why Today I Filed A Complaint Against Tu — And Masoomeh Cheraghi — A Civilian Analyst Who Had One Of The Responsive Records In Her Possession When Tu Illegally Closed My Request — And You Can Read It Here!

NOTE: This post is about a complaint I filed today against a couple of LAPD CPRA staff and that’s a link straight to it if you want to skip the post.

In August 2019 I learned that LAPD used facial recognition technology to, among other random things, identify homeless people in Chinatown on behalf of outlaw Chinatown BID Boss George Yu. In September 2019 I asked LAPD for records relating to their use of facial recognition. They stalled and stalled and stalled until June 2020 when Kris Tu, a detective in charge of LAPD’s CPRA unit, told me that there were no responsive records.

Which, as was very recently revealed, was certainly not the whole truth. Furthermore, I recently obtained this email chain involving LAPD CPRA analyst Masoomeh Cheraghi. She responded in May 2020 to a February 2020 email announcing various LAPD facial recognition policies, announced that she was working on my request,1 and was told by LAPD staff that there was in fact a Detective Bureau Notice on the subject.

However, she failed to produce either the email or the Notice, although both are clearly responsive to my request. Not only that, but in June 2020 Kris Tu told me explicitly that there were no responsive records despite the fact that Cheraghi, his subordinate, provably knew of at least two of them and had at least one of them in her possession.
Continue reading We Now Know That The LAPD Lied To A Whole Series Of Public Records Requesters About Facial Recognition — They’ve Been Lying About It For Years — And They Lied About It To Me Too — I Recently Discovered Proof That LAPD Discovery Had Records Responsive To My Request In Their Actual Possession At The Time That LAPD Discovery Boss Kris Tu Told Me There Weren’t Any — And The LAPD Department Manual CPRA Section Requires LAPD To Comply — And States Explicitly That If They Willfully Withhold Records They May Be Subject To Punishment — Which Is Why Today I Filed A Complaint Against Tu — And Masoomeh Cheraghi — A Civilian Analyst Who Had One Of The Responsive Records In Her Possession When Tu Illegally Closed My Request — And You Can Read It Here!

Share

Internal Police Commission Calendars Show Commissioners Regularly Attending Social And Ceremonial Events With LAPD Brass — And Meeting Very Regularly — Very Privately With Charlie Beck — Michel Moore — Other LAPD Command Staff — With Private Meals At The Pacific Dining Car — Langer’s — YXTA — They Were Briefed On LAPD Facial Recognition In 2018 — Even Though The Department Publicly Lied And Denied Their Use Of It Until September 2020 — They Have Scheduled Breakfasts Tuesdays At 8 AM — So Many Commissioners Have So Many Private Meetings With Michel Moore That Brown Act Violations Seem Unavoidable — And More!

NOTE: This post is about Police Commission Calendars from 2013 through 2020, and they’re here on Archive.Org.

The Los Angeles Police Commission theoretically oversees the Los Angeles Police Department via powers enumerated in the City Charter at §570 et seq. Although these powers are pretty broad, e.g. they include the power to recommend that the Chief be fired subject to approval of Council, the Commission doesn’t do much with them at all, as you surely know if you’ve ever attended one of their meetings. They act more like collegial collaborators with the police than any respectable oversight body ought to do.

You’ll have seen that the only people in the room who’ve spent any time at all thinking about police oversight are members of the public there to give comment. The Commission itself is overly friendly with the police and exceedingly hostile towards any members of the public who are not also overly friendly with the police. And it turns out that this impression of unseemly collaboration between overseers and overseen is also accurate outside public view.

The Commissioners have regular private meetings with the Chief and other members of LAPD’s command staff, sometimes over a meal. For instance on January 17, 2018 Steve Soboroff and another person had lunch with Beck at YXTA, a gentrification bar on Skid Row which apparently has good carne asada. Soboroff and Beck met regularly before Beck retired, often at YXTA but sometimes at Langer’s and elsewhere. On March 6, 2018 Soboroff had breakfast with Dominic Choi at the Pacific Dining Car.
Continue reading Internal Police Commission Calendars Show Commissioners Regularly Attending Social And Ceremonial Events With LAPD Brass — And Meeting Very Regularly — Very Privately With Charlie Beck — Michel Moore — Other LAPD Command Staff — With Private Meals At The Pacific Dining Car — Langer’s — YXTA — They Were Briefed On LAPD Facial Recognition In 2018 — Even Though The Department Publicly Lied And Denied Their Use Of It Until September 2020 — They Have Scheduled Breakfasts Tuesdays At 8 AM — So Many Commissioners Have So Many Private Meetings With Michel Moore That Brown Act Violations Seem Unavoidable — And More!

Share

Developers Aren’t The Only Ones Making Money From Gentrification In Los Angeles — There Is A Whole Gentrification Service Sector Also Cashing In — In Both Cases With The Active Support Of The City Of Los Angeles — For Instance Before The City Attorney Files A Nuisance Abatement Petition They Meet With The Property Owner — And Make Demands Of Them — Like That They Hire A Property Management Company — And/Or A Private Security Patrol — But They Have A Very Short List Of Approved Companies To Use — Which They Claim Not To Endorse — But In The Coercive Context Of Such Meetings This Means Nothing At All


It’s well known that the City of Los Angeles actively supports gentrification and thereby transfers an appalling amount of wealth to real estate developers. But it might not be as well known that a lot of people who aren’t developers, many of them not even in the real estate business, also with the active support of the City, make a lot of money from gentrification. E.g. the official police garages1 or the vast array of PR consultants who function as the set dressers of gentrification by “repositioning” so-called “up and coming neighborhoods” to make them cozy and attractive to the new residents.2

And very recently I learned about a new3 aspect of this process related to the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Citywide Nuisance Abatement Program. The City uses its municipal power to bring such suits to directly support the gentrification of specific neighborhoods. For instance see the (apparently) ongoing prosecution of a nuisance case against Nipsey Hussle’s property at Crenshaw and Slauson As with the police garages and the neighborhood branding consultants, here too there are nondevelopers, in this case property management companies and private security patrols, making good money from gentrification with the open assistance of the City of Los Angeles.
Continue reading Developers Aren’t The Only Ones Making Money From Gentrification In Los Angeles — There Is A Whole Gentrification Service Sector Also Cashing In — In Both Cases With The Active Support Of The City Of Los Angeles — For Instance Before The City Attorney Files A Nuisance Abatement Petition They Meet With The Property Owner — And Make Demands Of Them — Like That They Hire A Property Management Company — And/Or A Private Security Patrol — But They Have A Very Short List Of Approved Companies To Use — Which They Claim Not To Endorse — But In The Coercive Context Of Such Meetings This Means Nothing At All

Share

On July 13, 2020 Victor Hinderliter of LAHSA Wrote A Formal Memo To Director Heidi Marston Recommending That Kristy Lovich Be Fired — Here Is A Copy Of The Memo — Hinderliter Had Disciplined Lovich In June — And Here’s A Copy Of That Disciplinary Action Report — And Lovich’s Response To It — Which Reveals That Hinderliter Knew In Advance About Her Fateful All-Staff Email — The One She Was Fired For Sending — And Yet Did Not Advise Her Not To Send It — Hinderliter And Staff From The Mayor’s Office Monitored Lovich’s Social Media Usage — And Cited Posts In The Firing Recommendation — Including The Accusation That She Tweeted About A Post On This Blog!


But first some background! In June 2020 Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority supervisor Kristy Lovich sent an email to all LAHSA employees calling for the agency to stop working with police during homeless encampment sweeps and seeking signatures on a petition. She was screamed at by her bosses over this and they ended up firing her over it in July. I recently obtained a copy of a June disciplinary report filed against Lovich by Victor Hinderliter, her supervisor.

I also obtained a formal memo from Hinderliter to LAHSA Director Heidi Marston from July recommending that Lovich be fired. There’s also a strangely formatted email conversation from June between Lovich and Hinderliter in which she responds to the accusations he would later include in both reports, in part by listing examples of HInderliter supporting her in precisely the kinds of activities he used to advocate that she be fired.

Hinderliter apparently even knew about Lovich’s all-staff email in advance and failed to advise her not to send it, a fact which did not deter him from later listing it as a reason for firing her. One of the most surprising aspects of this fiasco is the extent to which Lovich’s superiors at LAHSA and also random staffers in the Mayor’s office monitored her social media usage, which Hinderliter quoted from extensively in his recommendation. Read on for a transcription of the July memo:
Continue reading On July 13, 2020 Victor Hinderliter of LAHSA Wrote A Formal Memo To Director Heidi Marston Recommending That Kristy Lovich Be Fired — Here Is A Copy Of The Memo — Hinderliter Had Disciplined Lovich In June — And Here’s A Copy Of That Disciplinary Action Report — And Lovich’s Response To It — Which Reveals That Hinderliter Knew In Advance About Her Fateful All-Staff Email — The One She Was Fired For Sending — And Yet Did Not Advise Her Not To Send It — Hinderliter And Staff From The Mayor’s Office Monitored Lovich’s Social Media Usage — And Cited Posts In The Firing Recommendation — Including The Accusation That She Tweeted About A Post On This Blog!

Share

Mark Smith Is LAPD Inspector General — Here Is His Appointment Calendar For January Through March 2020 — And The Harrowing Story Of How I Managed To Obtain These Records Despite Smith’s Lies — And Deliberate Misstatements Of Law — And General Obstructionism — Smith Rehearses Before Police Commission Meetings — And It Looks Like He And The Commission Met With The California DOJ Outside Of A Noticed Public Meeting — Which Of Course Is Against The Law Completely — Smith’s Job Is To Enforce Constitutional Policing — His Compliance With The Public Records Act Is A Fundamental Constitutional Right — In California — How Can He Be Trusted To Protect One Set Of Constitutionally Guaranteed Rights While So Freely Violating Another?

Here are three months of LAPD Inspector General Mark Smith‘s appointment calendars. There’s a lot of interesting information in there, including what sure looks like a Brown Act violation by the Los Angeles Police Commission. And the story of how I obtained these records is also interesting! And is revealed below! But first, here’s a selection of Smith’s calendar entries with some comments on ones that interested me!
Continue reading Mark Smith Is LAPD Inspector General — Here Is His Appointment Calendar For January Through March 2020 — And The Harrowing Story Of How I Managed To Obtain These Records Despite Smith’s Lies — And Deliberate Misstatements Of Law — And General Obstructionism — Smith Rehearses Before Police Commission Meetings — And It Looks Like He And The Commission Met With The California DOJ Outside Of A Noticed Public Meeting — Which Of Course Is Against The Law Completely — Smith’s Job Is To Enforce Constitutional Policing — His Compliance With The Public Records Act Is A Fundamental Constitutional Right — In California — How Can He Be Trusted To Protect One Set Of Constitutionally Guaranteed Rights While So Freely Violating Another?

Share