Lunada Bay Boys Plaintiffs Oppose City Defendants Motion For Summary Judgement By Filing More Than 50 Documents Including A Bunch Of Deposition Excerpts And Jalian Johnston’s Freaking Text Messages!

For background take a look at this excellent article from the Times on this lawsuit. Also see here to download all pleadings in this case.

So a couple weeks ago defendants the City of PVE and its seemingly erstwhile chief of police Jeff Kepley (collectively known as “the City defendants”) filed a motion asking the court for summary judgment. This was the first of a long line of such motions filed by all the other defendants. And this afternoon the plaintiffs responded to the City defendants’ motion with over fifty documents.

There’s no way I can describe all of these individually, and I even had to write a script to generate links for all of them, which you can find after the break. The links are functional but not pretty, and you can find them with highly selected brief descriptions after the break.

The documents include tons of fascinating deposition excerpts from many of the defendants along with, finally, Jalian Johnston’s freaking text messages, which are about as stupid as one would expect. There’s also a transcript of part of the infamous Brant Blakeman video. This is essentially Aladdin’s cave, and I’m sorry I can’t provide more detail, but read, read, read, and enjoy!
Continue reading Lunada Bay Boys Plaintiffs Oppose City Defendants Motion For Summary Judgement By Filing More Than 50 Documents Including A Bunch Of Deposition Excerpts And Jalian Johnston’s Freaking Text Messages!

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Why Does Shadowy Anonymous United Downtown Have The Same Phone Number As The Central City East Association?

Background: You can read my previous stories on the Skid Row Neighborhood Council formation effort and also see Jason McGahan’s article in the Weekly and Gale Holland’s article in the Times for more mainstream perspectives.

I reported a couple days ago that Liner LLP, the lobbying firm hired by the shadowy anonymous entity known as United Downtown for the purpose of killing the Skid Row Neighborhood Council formation, had finally disclosed their client via their Q2 report. I didn’t realize then that Liner had also filed an amended 2017 registration statement showing United Downtown as a client, which they had previously failed to do.

And there’s a crucial detail in these disclosures that I missed. I was alerted to this matter by a source who spoke to me on condition of anonymity. Take a look at the disclosure statement. In particular, the phone number that Liner gives for United Downtown is (213) 228-8484. Now take a look at Central City East’s contact info (and here’s a screenshot should it become necessary). Their phone number is (213) 228-8484 as well! This would go a long way towards explaining the outsized role played by Estela Lopez in this fiasco as early as January 2017.
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Ethics Commission Releases List Of Far-Reaching, Much-Needed, Proposed Updates To Municipal Lobbying Ordinance, To Be Discussed Further At August 15 Meeting

On Friday the City Ethics Commission released a list of proposed updates to the Municipal Lobbying Ordinance. This is scheduled for discussion at the Commission’s upcoming August 15 meeting. These are extraordinarily far-reaching and much welcome proposals, and you’ll find a list with commentary after the break. Just for instance, though, they’re proposing to alter the definition of a lobbyist to make it easier to decide when they’re required to register, to require disclosure of specific City employees lobbied, to require disclosure of positions taken on lobbied issues, and so on.

First though, let me just outline the slightly unusual procedure by which government ethics laws are changed in the City of Los Angeles. Unlike most laws, which are proposed, amended, and passed or defeated by the City Council, ethics laws are proposed by the Ethics Commission. Once the Commission finalizes its proposal, it’s sent to the City Council, which has the right to adopt the proposal or reject the proposal, but they are specifically forbidden from altering the proposal.

Of course, something like this complex procedure is necessary, because it wouldn’t be safe to allow the City Council, the main agency reined in by ethics laws, to rewrite them on their own initiative. They’d very soon be meaningless. However, it seems to make the laws extraordinarily difficult to change in substantive ways. For instance, the Ethics Commission sent up a set of proposals fairly similar to the current set in 2010.

At that time Eric Garcetti was chair of the Rules and Elections committee, where the proposal went first. At the behest of Kerry Morrison, Estela Lopez, and a bunch of other BID staffers, in the midst of a stomach-turning display of flirtatious trivialization, he let the proposal die in committee without even a second hearing. You can read all about this disgraceful episode and even listen to audio of the giggly horribleness of it all. There’s every chance that something very similar will happen this time around. But maybe not, who can say.
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United Downtown LA Paid Liner LLP More Than $45,000 To Lobby Against Skid Row Neighborhood Council In Q2 2017. Payments From First Quarter Are Still Undisclosed

Background: You can read my previous stories on the Skid Row Neighborhood Council formation effort and also see Jason McGahan’s article in the Weekly and Gale Holland’s article in the Times for more mainstream perspectives.

You may recall that shady downtown municipal lobbying firm Liner LLP was hired by the even shadier anonymous Delaware incorporated United Downtown LA to lobby against the Skid Row Neighborhood Council formation effort and that I turned them in to the City Ethics Commission for failing to amend their disclosure forms to disclose United Downtown as a client as required by LAMC §48.07.

Well, yesterday was the filing deadline for Second Quarter disclosures, and Liner filed theirs on time. It’s required by law for lobbying firms like Liner to disclose their clients and also how much money they got paid by each client. This time they actually did list United DTLA1 and it turns out that they were paid a stunning total of $45,010.40 to lobby against the SRNC. And this is just for Q2.2 It’s likely, or at least possible, that when the Ethics Commission gets around to investigating my complaint they’ll find that Liner was paid even more in Q1.

Oh, and check out the address that they put on the form for United Downtown. That’s Liner’s address. Full-service anonymization going on. That this much money was spent to stop a neighborhood council suggests that the NC system is really badly broken somehow.
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Lunada Bay Boys Juvenile Defendant NF Released From Case By Order Of Judge Otero, Judge Oliver Orders Parties To Brief Discovery Disputes Involving Defendants Frankie And Charlie Ferrara

For background take a look at this excellent article from the Times on this lawsuit. Also see here to download all pleadings in this case.

A few days ago the parties to the Lunada Bay Boys zillionaire surf-thuggery case, in a rare showing of unanimity, concord, and like-mindedness, jointly asked Judge James Otero to release the anonymous minor defendant NF from the case, while leaving him responsible for some discovery obligations. Well, just this afternoon Otero issued an order doing just that. No big surprise.

But, as usual, on the discovery front everybody’s still getting fussy, and soon Mom’s gonna have to put their mittens on lest they scratch up their lil faces and so on. In particular, Magistrate Judge the honorable Rozella Oliver issued a post telephonic conference minute order requiring the parties to submit briefs on the ongoing discovery dispute between the plaintiffs and defendants Frank and Charlie Ferrara. I’m not sure what the substance of this dispute is, but I suppose we’ll find out on August 14, when the plaintiffs’ brief is due. As always, turn the page for a transcription of the order.
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In June 2017 The East Hollywood BID Board Of Directors Approved Minutes From Five Of Its 2016 Meetings. Here’s How I Think That Came About And Some Speculation On What It Might Mean

Maybe you remember that in March of this year I noticed that Nicole Shahenian, executive directrix of the East Hollywood BID, seems to have told the City of Los Angeles a lie with respect to the BID’s 2015 annual planning report.1 Briefly, the problem was that Shahenian submitted a letter to the City claiming that the Board had approved the report at its meeting of December 29, 2014, but my collection of minutes suggested that the Board had not met in December 2014.

This fact in itself seems to have some serious ramifications, my theories concerning which you can read all about in the original post. But the discovery of this ghost meeting led me to scrutinize my collection of EHBID minutes more closely. This closer look revealed that a number of meetings from 2016 seemed to have taken place but their minutes seemed never to have been approved by the Board. So in March 2017 I asked EHBID lawyer extraordinaire2 Jeffrey Charles Briggs Esq. for copies of all the ones that appeared to be missing.
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Video Of MK.Org Presentation At The LA Poverty Department, Bad BIDness In The City Of Angels, Now Available

This is just a quick note to announce that video of Tuesday’s presentation at the LAPD is now available for your viewing pleasure. Here are the options:

  • On Archive.Org — best for desktop viewing and downloading in full resolution.
  • Part 1 and also Part 2 — On YouTube, which is best for mobile.
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Judge Otero Extends All Lunada Bay Boys Case Deadlines, Moves Hearing To September 5 From August 21

For background take a look at this excellent article from the Times on this lawsuit. Also see here to download all pleadings in this case.

Remember two days ago when the plaintiffs in the Lunada Bay Boys zillionaire surf-thuggery case asked for extra time to respond to all the defense motions for summary judgment? Well today Judge Otero issued an order extending all the response deadlines, including defendants’ deadlines to reply to the responses, and continuing the hearing, formerly scheduled for August 21, until September 5, 2017 at 10 a.m. in James Otero’s courtroom 10C in the First Street Federal Courthouse. Transcription of the order after the break.
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Lunada Bay Boys Defendant Sang Lee Ordered To Produce Everything On His Damn Phone Except His Home Address, Emails From His Lawyer, And His Porn Collection, And To Do It By 2 P.M. Today

For background take a look at this excellent article from the Times on this lawsuit. Also see here to download all pleadings in this case.

You may recall that, a few days ago, the plaintiffs in the Lunada Bay Boys case filed a bunch of paperwork having to do with defendant Sang Lee’s uncooperative attitude towards his discovery obligations, leading to the Honorable Rozella Oliver, magistrate judge in the case, issuing a minute order telling Sang Lee to get moving and hand over the goods.

Well, they had another telephone conference about Sang Lee’s phone this morning, and Oliver, having inspected everything on the phone in secret, issued an order compelling Sang Lee to hand over everything on the phone except “sensitive personal photographs, Defendant Lee’s residential address, and communications between Defendant Lee and his attorneys.” (As always, there’s a transcription of the order after the break).1
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Lunada Bay Boys OMFG More Motions For Summary Judgment: Charlie And Frank Ferrara Now — Perhaps This Is The Last Of Them?

For background take a look at this excellent article from the Times on this lawsuit. Also see here to download all pleadings in this case.

The last ten days have seen defendant after defendant file motions for summary judgment saying that they themselves didn’t personally do anything to the plaintiffs so the case against them should be dropped. I wonder if this is related to the fact that the case wasn’t certified as a class action? Like maybe the defendants did stuff to other people who just don’t happen to be the plaintiffs?

In any case, yesterday night late Charlie and Frank Ferrara filed their motions and a bunch of supporting paper. It all looks really interesting but I don’t have time to do more than provide links to the documents in the Archive.Org collection of pleadings in the case. They are after the break, and here is a list of all of my posts on these motions for summary judgment so far:

Oh, one little thing more. In this Declaration of Tiffany Bacon in support of Charlie Ferrara’s motion, which has tons of excerpts from depositions, we find this stunning bit of lawyer humor when they’re asking Charlie Ferrara if he heard Jalian Johnston sexually harassing Diana Reed. Samantha Wolff is asking questions, Ms. Hurley is representing Charlie Ferrara:

Q. Do you recall whether or not Mr. Johnston was acting in a sexually suggestive manner at the time?

MS. HURLEY: Objection, calls for speculation, calls for expert opinion testimony, lacks foundation.

Calls for expert opinion testimony indeed, friends!

Also, don’t forget that the hearing for all of these defense motions for summary judgment is scheduled for August 21, 2017, at 10:00 a.m in James Otero’s courtroom 10C in the First Street Federal Courthouse.
Continue reading Lunada Bay Boys OMFG More Motions For Summary Judgment: Charlie And Frank Ferrara Now — Perhaps This Is The Last Of Them?

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