A couple weeks ago the City Council approved a settlement with LA Catholic Worker, LA Community Action Network, and individual plaintiffs in the monumental case against the City and the Downtown Industrial District BID, which itself settled in March. This afternoon, Judge Phillip Gutierrez filed an order dismissing the case. Thus it’s all done except for the four years of judicial oversight to make sure that the defendants are adhering to the terms of the settlement.
The terms of the settlement with the CCEA are fairly strict, and I hadn’t seen a copy of the terms of the settlement with the City. But it turns out that on Wednesday the parties filed a a request for the case to be dismissed, which lays out the specifics. As I expected, the City agrees not to cooperate with the Downtown Industrial District security forces in confiscating property and they make some other important but not so surprising concessions.
To my mind, though, the most interesting part of what the City agreed to is this training bulletin, to be distributed to the LAPD’s central division. Although it’s a result of a suit arising from the City’s relationship with a specific BID, and although it’s only to be distributed in the one division, the wording applies to all BIDs in the City of Los Angeles. There’s a transcription after the break, but one crucial bit is this, which someone really should explain to the Hollywood BID Patrol:
BIDs are separate and distinct from the City. BID officers, employees, and representatives are not employees or agents of the City. Importantly, BID employees have no more authority than private citizens to enforce the law.
In May 2017 Pete White of the Los Angeles Community Action Network, represented by Carol Sobel, filed suit in federal district court against the City of Los Angeles, Charlie Beck, and some cop named Officer Kenny. The basis of the complaint is that Kenny ordered Pete White’s 2016 arrest while he was lawfully filming LAPD interactions with homeless people on Skid Row. Pete White claims, and it seems right to me, that he was arrested in retaliation for his activism on behalf of homeless residents of Skid Row.
For some reason, this suit does not seem to have been reported on in the real news media, and I’m interested, so I’ll be at least collecting the pleadings here. You can find them:
Just yesterday we asked you, our loyal audience, to join with us in a sympathetic moment of silence for Blair Besten, executive directrix of the Historic Core BID, who was forced by circumstances to quit her outlaw ways and follow the law for just once in her professional life.
Well, I’m sorry to have to report that she’s back to living la vida loca on the mean streets of DTLA, unsurprisingly I suppose, as white collar crimes have such a very high recidivism rate. Blair Besten’s attempt at walking the strait and narrow path lasted about 6 minutes short of 24 hours, at which point she busted out in yet another crime spree. Here’s the background: This afternoon, a few of your loyal staff members rode the good old Red Line to Pershing Square to attend the June meeting of the Historic Core BID’s Board of Directors. We filmed the whole thing, if you’re interested.
So this has been the week of the Lunada Bay Boys parties fighting over scheduling Jalian Johnston’s deposition. On Monday the judge told them to stop taking the piss and get a depo on the calendar or else write some briefs explaining why they can’t get it together. Then yesterday the plaintiffs filed a brief explaining that they tried and tried and Jalian Johnston just wouldn’t cooperate which, if you look at every photo ever taken of the guy, seems prima facie pretty plausible.
And now today Jalian Johnston himself filed a brief (transcription after the break) stating that he tried but the plaintiffs fooled around and fooled around and then he just had to book, brah, and he’s sorry, but he can do it July 28, so no need for sanctions.
You will certainly, if you’ve been following the issue, recall the fact that the zillionaire-sponsored effort to subvert by any means necessary the Skid Row Neighborhood Council formation effort was in full bloom by early 2017. And the Downtown BIDs were deeply involved in the whole mishegoss. In January, Blair “I don’t know nothin’ ’bout no Brown Act compliance” Besten of the Historic Core BID, Estela Lopez of the Downtown Industrial District, and furtive hereditary downtown zillionaire Michael Delijani were meeting with their sorry little Councilboy, encouraging him to ignore both law and decency in his effort to stop the SRNC.
Maybe you’re familiar with §54954.1 of the Brown Act, which requires BIDs1 to notify anyone in advance of their meetings and send them agendas and other materials at the same time this material is distributed to the BID’s board.2 Another crucial bit is found at §54954.2(a)(1), which requires posting of agendas on BIDs’ websites.3
Perhaps you remember that just a couple days ago the Honorable Rozella Oliver, magistrate judge in the Lunada Bay Boys surf thuggery case, told the parties to quit their damnable antics and get defendant Jalian “Alan” Johnston’s deposition scheduled. At that time, she also told the parties that they’d better get together once more and try to figure this out on their own.5
Well, they met yesterday, and nothing got settled, so today plaintiffs’ counsel Lisa Pooley filed a letter brief with the court (transcription after the break, as always), explaining why they have been unable to schedule dude’s depo. It seems that, despite his intensely projected workshy go-with-flow SoCal surflospher image, Jalian Johnston is working too much to allow him to schedule a deposition.6
Recall that as of ten days ago the parties in the Lunada Bay Boys surf-thuggery case found themselves unable to schedule defendant Alan “Jalian” Johnston’s deposition. Well, this afternoon, Magistrate Judge Rozella Oliver filed a minute order reporting that they still have not been able to schedule the deposition (as always, there’s a transcription after the break). Furthermore, she orders them to get their damn act together and have it scheduled by Friday, June 30 or else everyone has to write five page briefs explaining what they did to try to come to terms with one another. This is, I think, the judicial equivalent of the babies getting fussy and scratching at themselves until mom makes them put their mittens on.
In July 2016, San Pedro Historic Waterfront BID executive directrix Lorena Parker contacted CD15 staffers Ryan Ferguson and Jacob Haik7 apparently in an attempt to have them fix pending citations and criminal charges against local property owners, possibly including BID board president Eric Eisenberg, stemming from sanitation violations involving dumpsters. You can read the details in this email chain (as always, there’s a transcription after the break).8 This episode quite possibly involves the dumpster next to the Cabrillo Hotel, the filthy state of which has been obsessively9 chronicled by Bruce Ecker at The Renaissance Dump website.
We here at MK.Org have discussed at length the much-violated requirement that business improvement districts only spend their money on activities that are approved by the City Council at the time the BIDs are established.10 These preapproved activities are enshrined in the so-called Management District Plan. The San Pedro BID’s MDP can be found here (Careful — huge PDF download). You can read it over and over again and you will find no mention whatsoever of paying Lorena Parker a salary so that she can try to get Joe Buscaino’s staff to try to make criminal charges go away.