All posts by Mike

Tia Strozier Continues To Act As George Yu’s Catspaw To Further His Vendetta Against Theo Henderson — Amplifying George Yu’s Weirdo Unsupported Defamatory Insinuations — Apparently Setting Henderson Up To Be Killed By Police — Just Because Yu Hates The Guy — Oh And Also Because Gil Cedillo Wanted To Have An Event In Alpine Rec Center — And Someone At CD1 — Probably Ricardo Flores — Perceived Henderson’s Presence As An Impediment — Also LAPD Senior Lead Officer Elizabeth Ortega Expresses Her Dismay At Being Unable To Arrest Henderson Just For Existing — “Unfortunately” — Says Ortega — “unless he commits a crime he is allowed to be at the park during park hours”

Here’s the latest episode in the continuing story of the unholy obsession of psychopathic rageball George Yu, commander in chief of the Krazy Kriminal Konspiracy known as the Chinatown Business Improvement District, Los Angeles neighborhood prosecutor Tia Strozier, and LAPD senior lead officer Elizabeth Ortega, with the very existence of Chinatown resident Theo Henderson. You can read a report on this through May 2019 here.

The short version is that at Yu’s behest, Strozier and Ortega, with the cooperation of other City officials from CD1 and Rec and Parks have been trying unsuccessfully for months to arrest Henderson or at least find a way to ban him from Alpine Recreation Center. They have subjected him to police hyperscrutiny in the hope of finding actionable violations and aggressively try to impose “services” on him as a way to forcibly relocate him. Today’s post will bring the story up through July.1

One of the favored tactics George Yu and his minions at the City of Los Angeles2 use against the homeless people they’re targeting is involuntary mental health commitments. So it’s no surprise to see Ortega reassuring Yu via email on June 3, 2019 that she’s arranged for the County Department of Mental Health to “speak to Theo” What’s slightly surprising, though, is to see the putatively professional Ortega telling ostensibly private citizen Yu what seems like private medical information about Henderson. This ethical lapse certainly highlights the fact that the point of the intervention Ortega has arranged has little to do with Henderson’s well-being and lots to do with Yu’s vendetta.

Not that it needs to be highlighted. The fact that anyone with any training whatsoever, or even with any common sense, could sincerely think that Theo Henderson has any mental health problems at all, is completely implausible. It’s ridiculous. There is no legitimate reason for any competent person to call DMH about Henderson, who is among the sanest people I know. If you haven’t had the pleasure of meeting him, and want to judge for yourself3 you can watch him speaking some truth to Yu at a recent BID meeting.

On June 27, 2019 Henderson and other homeless rights activists held a press conference at City Hall to promote the Services Not Sweeps Coalition, which stoked Yu’s always-smoldering rage at Henderson into an unhinged thermonuclear frenzy. On June 28 Yu sent an email to Ortega and Strozier, the subject line of which read “Theo’s Press Conference”, accusing Henderson of being a pedophile based on the exceedingly thin evidence of some pictures Henderson had taken of children at Alpine Rec Center and posted on Instagram.
Continue reading Tia Strozier Continues To Act As George Yu’s Catspaw To Further His Vendetta Against Theo Henderson — Amplifying George Yu’s Weirdo Unsupported Defamatory Insinuations — Apparently Setting Henderson Up To Be Killed By Police — Just Because Yu Hates The Guy — Oh And Also Because Gil Cedillo Wanted To Have An Event In Alpine Rec Center — And Someone At CD1 — Probably Ricardo Flores — Perceived Henderson’s Presence As An Impediment — Also LAPD Senior Lead Officer Elizabeth Ortega Expresses Her Dismay At Being Unable To Arrest Henderson Just For Existing — “Unfortunately” — Says Ortega — “unless he commits a crime he is allowed to be at the park during park hours”

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Public Records Newly Obtained From LAHSA Shed Some Light On Homeless Encampment Cleanup Process — And LAHSA’s Role In It — Including Training Powerpoint By LAHSA Administrator Matthew Tenchavez — Organizational Chart Of LAHSA Outreach Personnel — And More Than 8K Entries From The Encampment Tracking Database — Showing Very Specific Information About Each Encampment Worked In 2019

I recently received a small but crucial set of records from the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority relating to that organization’s role in the process of homeless encampment sweeps. LAHSA outreach workers are required to contact encampment residents and offer them services before LA City Sanitation and the LAPD come in and throw away all their stuff.

These records shed some light on the practical aspects of that requirement. How they’re organized across Los Angeles County, who the outreach workers are, how LAHSA characterizes the controlling policies in its training materials, and so on. These documents provide essential but fairly technical information about local government’s response to the crisis of homelessness. There’s nothing lurid here, just a mass of crucial details. You can browse through them here on Archive.Org and here are links, descriptions, and some samples of this material:

★ Org chart for LAHSA encampment outreach workers — XLSXPDF — LAHSA is a joint powers authority rather than a department of the City of Los Angeles. It therefore operates across the entire county, which they have divided into Service Planning Areas, or SPAs. This chart gives names and funding sources for outreach workers and supervisors for each SPA. The XLSX file is the original and I also exported it as a PDF for utility.

★ 2019 encampment tracker entries — XLSX — This is a crucial document.1 It contains short descriptions of almost 9,000 encampment outreach instances, including date, location, names of LAHSA outreach workers, number of residents, and brief notes from the outreach staff. Here’s a sample of what’s in there, click to enlarge:

★ CSLA Training Powerpoint — PDF — This is a powerpoint presentation prepared by LAHSA administrator Matthew Tenchavez about the Clean Streets Los Angeles program, which is one of at least two City of LA encampment sweeping initiatives. This is essential information for understanding how LAHSA sees its role in the process, the rules they believe they are meant to follow, and so on. It also explains various software tools used in planning encampment sweeps, with some screenshots. If PDFs aren’t convenient, I have images of the 11 pages below.
Continue reading Public Records Newly Obtained From LAHSA Shed Some Light On Homeless Encampment Cleanup Process — And LAHSA’s Role In It — Including Training Powerpoint By LAHSA Administrator Matthew Tenchavez — Organizational Chart Of LAHSA Outreach Personnel — And More Than 8K Entries From The Encampment Tracking Database — Showing Very Specific Information About Each Encampment Worked In 2019

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Apocalyptic Rage Ranter George Yu’s Casually Unhinged Racist Take On Crime In Chinatown — “I Assure You None Of The Suspects Were Chinese” — And His Co-Freaking-Conspirator — Neighborhood Prosecutor Tia Strozier — Not Only Helps George Yu Attack Theo Henderson — But Also Gives Him Legal Advice On How To Bust Street Vendors — Contrary To Mike Feuers Explicit Assertion That “Neighborhood Prosecutors cannot provide legal advice to the public” — It May Be Chinatown But No One Is Forgetting It, Jake

It’s been a while since I wrote about psychopathic rageball George Yu, the criminal boss of the Klown Kar Krew Konspiracy known as the Chinatown Business Improvement District. Last we heard about the guy he was incurring significant liability for his BID by failing to show up at his damn trial, and screaming at a bunch of people at a meeting funded on his behalf by the City of Los Angeles, and conspiring with Deputy City Attorney Tia Strozier, who really ought to be ashamed of herself but is not, against Chinatown resident Theo Henderson.

But Jake, even though it is Chinatown, we aren’t about to forget it. So I thought I’d spend a little of this precious weekend covering a couple interesting items from this set of Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Prosecutor Tia Strozier’s emails about Chinatown. One is from George Yu to some guy named Peter about crime in Chinatown. The sky is falling, the apocalypse is upon us, “the City outside Los Angeles is functionally and irreversibly broken” and crime in Chinatown is, according to Yu, who is evidently living in his own worst nightmare, higher than crime across the street in El Pueblo.

But, says this casually unhinged racist, funded by the City of Los angeles to the tune of more than $1.3 million per year in BID assessments,1 “I assure you none of the suspects were Chinese or have ever lived in our community.” Great analysis, George Yu! You’re worth every damn penny of that public tax money the City hands over to you every year to run your weirdo little kingdom out there in North Central Yu-ville!
Continue reading Apocalyptic Rage Ranter George Yu’s Casually Unhinged Racist Take On Crime In Chinatown — “I Assure You None Of The Suspects Were Chinese” — And His Co-Freaking-Conspirator — Neighborhood Prosecutor Tia Strozier — Not Only Helps George Yu Attack Theo Henderson — But Also Gives Him Legal Advice On How To Bust Street Vendors — Contrary To Mike Feuers Explicit Assertion That “Neighborhood Prosecutors cannot provide legal advice to the public” — It May Be Chinatown But No One Is Forgetting It, Jake

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Here Are Copies Of Many Of The Pleadings Filed With The California Supreme Court In The Monumentally Important California Public Records Act Case National Lawyers Guild V. City Of Hayward — It’s Extraordinarily Difficult To Get Copies Of Appellate Pleadings In California But I Found A Way To Do It — Which Is Also Explained Here If You’re Interested

The California Public Records Act generally mandates that every person has a right to take a look at any public record at no cost. Agencies are explicitly not allowed to charge requesters for the time it takes to search for records, organize them for inspection, or review and redact them for exempt information. The one major exception to this has to do with records stored in computers that require programming to extract information responsive to a request.1

For instance, in Los Angeles, the City Attorney maintains an SQL database of all its prosecutions. The database itself evidently contains too much data for it to be practicable for humans to review the whole thing for exemptions and produce it in its entirety. But the contents are inarguably public records, so to get access to them it’s necessary to run a query against the database. This must be written in SQL and the law allows the agency to charge the requester for the time it takes to write and run the query.

Although I do not particularly like this section of the law I can see the need for something like it. The CPRA does not in general require agencies to create new records in response to requests but in this case it has to or the public would be denied access to information in databases that were too big to review, among other records and it’s at least possible to argue that someone needs to pay for the construction of these new records. This process, by the way, is known as “extraction” in CPRA circles.

So in 2015 the National Lawyers Guild San Francisco Chapter asked the City of Hayward for access to some cop videos and the City said not only did they have to redact the videos but that video redaction required special software and thus it constituted extraction and could therefore be billed to the requester. The cost was in the thousands of dollars, which the NLG paid under protest and then filed a petition asking for a refund on the theory that the charge was illegal under the law because redaction is not extraction.

The NLG won in Superior Court, the City appealed the ruling and won in Appellate Court, and the case is now before the California Supreme Court. The case is now fully briefed and we’re just waiting for oral arguments to be scheduled. You can sign up for notifications at this link, but unlike many courts, it seems that the California Supreme Court does not publish copies of pleadings filed with it until after the Court rules on a case.

Which has been driving me absolutely crazy because this case is so important and reporters, even good ones,2 consistently get the facts wrong when writing about legal matters. There is no substitute for reading the primary sources. I’ve been reduced to writing begging emails to various lawyers pleading for PDFs. And occasionally they give them to me and I write about them.3

But on Thursday I made a huge breakthrough! I was downtown for various reasons and stopped in at the County Law Library to read cases on Westlaw and I learned that they collect appellate pleadings on their site, including ones from the California Supreme Court. I looked and they did in fact have PDFs of everything filed in this monumental case! And I could read it at the Law Library computer.

Now, generally Westlaw is very good about giving copies things to users. Like past published decisions are no problem, just click a button and put in your email address and it will send you a PDF of any published opinion. So I selected all these and hit the button and told it to email and …. got a damn error message saying that these PDFs were restricted and could only be printed on paper.

Which isn’t acceptable for any number of reasons, not least because there are hundreds of pages involved and it costs money to print on paper. This is not to mention the fact that it destroys the OCR and redoing the OCR invariably introduces errors. It’s horrible. But I fooled around some more and it turns out that when viewing the PDF on the library computer it’s possible to save a local copy.

Then, because the library is kind enough to provide access to a full-featured browser, it’s possible to upload the saved PDFs to a cloud service or something similar, and get copies that way. Or log into an email account and mail them to oneself as attachments So I did something like that, and got 18 new files, and published them all on Archive.Org for you right here! And also here is a list of the whole collection with links and brief descriptions.
Continue reading Here Are Copies Of Many Of The Pleadings Filed With The California Supreme Court In The Monumentally Important California Public Records Act Case National Lawyers Guild V. City Of Hayward — It’s Extraordinarily Difficult To Get Copies Of Appellate Pleadings In California But I Found A Way To Do It — Which Is Also Explained Here If You’re Interested

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Some Materials From A Los Angeles Police Department Gang Enforcement Training Course (Or Maybe Courses) Are Now Available — Undated But Possibly From 2005 — I Believe These Have Never Been Published Before — Including LAPD Pedagogy On How To Write Effective Police Reports To Support Gang Sentencing Enhancements — What Kind Of Facts Must Be Collected To Support The Issuance Of Gang Injunctions — Hints And Tips For Interrogation Of Gang Members — Surveillance Of Gang Members — Some Information About Gang Databases Used By LAPD — Including The Admonition To Never Cite CALGANG In Official Reports But Instead Call It Something Else — Which Seems To Me Like Lying — Along With A Bunch Of The Usual Idiotic But Already Well Known Stereotypes Both Racial And Cultural — I Am Not An Expert But I Believe That Criminal Defense Attorneys May Find This Material Useful In Planning Cross Examinations Of LAPD Officers — Although Maybe This Is All Already Known To Those Who Need To Know It

I recently discovered that the Los Angeles Police Department runs a number of training courses for officers working gang enforcement. Obviously as soon as I heard I submitted a request under the California Public Records Act for all the course materials. And the first batch came in just recently!

There is enough material here and it seems sufficiently important that I am publishing what I have now and will hit you up with the rest if and when it comes to me. LAPD produced three RTFs and one DOC. Here are links to the originals along with PDFs that I exported myself in case they’re useful.1

outline_23161.rtfPDFInstructional Goal: Cal-Gang students will acquire fundamental training in the techniques and skills necessary to use the system.

outline_23214.rtfPDFInstructional Goal: Prepare all Gang Impact Teams (GIT) members assigned to GED/CLEAR to gather gang-related intelligence and information, identify gang crime patterns, monitor gang activity and implement crime suppression strategies — This is much longer and contains much more information than the other three items.

outline_23216.docxPDFLOS ANGELES POLICE DEPARTMENT GANG INTERVENTION AWARENESS TRAINING Expanded Course Outline

outline_26011.rtfPDFCourse Goal: To develop law enforcement personnel capable of investigating and testifying in gang related criminal trials.

Read on for more detailed descriptions of the contents of these essential records, including some transcribed selections.
Continue reading Some Materials From A Los Angeles Police Department Gang Enforcement Training Course (Or Maybe Courses) Are Now Available — Undated But Possibly From 2005 — I Believe These Have Never Been Published Before — Including LAPD Pedagogy On How To Write Effective Police Reports To Support Gang Sentencing Enhancements — What Kind Of Facts Must Be Collected To Support The Issuance Of Gang Injunctions — Hints And Tips For Interrogation Of Gang Members — Surveillance Of Gang Members — Some Information About Gang Databases Used By LAPD — Including The Admonition To Never Cite CALGANG In Official Reports But Instead Call It Something Else — Which Seems To Me Like Lying — Along With A Bunch Of The Usual Idiotic But Already Well Known Stereotypes Both Racial And Cultural — I Am Not An Expert But I Believe That Criminal Defense Attorneys May Find This Material Useful In Planning Cross Examinations Of LAPD Officers — Although Maybe This Is All Already Known To Those Who Need To Know It

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How To Use The California Public Records Act To Learn The Names Of LAPD Officers Who Responded To A Call — A Tutorial — These Techniques Are Useful For Other Purposes Also!

I recently learned how to use the California Public Records Act to learn the names of LAPD officers who respond to a call for service. This information is very useful to me, so probably it will be useful to others also. I didn’t previously know how to do it, and I wasn’t even sure it could be done. But it can! Which is important! And hence this post explaining how to do it! To get started you will need to know the date, time, and location of the call.1 That’s all that’s necessary.

In order to keep the explanation grounded I’m going to write about a concrete real-life example in parallel with the discussion of the general techniques. So imagine you were at Alpine Recreation Center in Chinatown on August 5, 2019 at about 10 p.m. and you saw a police car arrive and the officers talk to someone. We’re going to use the CPRA to learn who those officers were and various other facts about the call.

The first thing you have to do is find the reporting district that the location is in. The LAPD has the whole City divided up into these zones and most of their records are organized by them rather than by other more familiar systems. A little Googlism reveals that the address of the park is 817 Yale St., Los Angeles, CA 90012. The Los Angeles Times has a lovely map of the City organized according to LAPD stuff.2

It might be possible to search in that map, I don’t know, but you can also click down into it until you get to the location in question. Maybe it will take a visit to Google Maps to learn where the place is. And eventually you will learn that Alpine Rec Center is in Reporting District 111. Once you know the reporting district it’s time to make the CPRA request.

CPRA requests to LAPD go through the City’s NextRequest platform. This is self-explanatory and I won’t go into details about how to use it.3 Ask for all calls for service in your reporting district on or about your date/time. I don’t ever like to let slip exactly what I’m looking for, so in this case I asked for all calls for service in RD 111 for August 2019.
Continue reading How To Use The California Public Records Act To Learn The Names Of LAPD Officers Who Responded To A Call — A Tutorial — These Techniques Are Useful For Other Purposes Also!

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Newly Obtained Emails From CD13 Reveal Existence Of Hitherto-Unknown-To-Me LAPD Unit Called Coordinated Outreach Resource Enforcement — AKA CORE — Dedicated To “identifying wanted suspects of active investigations living within the homeless population of Hollywood” — And Potentially Other Divisions As Well — In 2018 There Were 8 Cops On This Job In Hollywood And A Supervising Sergeant — Shannon Geaney — They Seem To Go On Sweeps And Use Outreach As A Pretext For Warrant Searches — Thus Obviously Exacerbating And Increasing Distrust Of Their Motives — Which Legit Are Not Pure — Yet Another Reason To Remove Cops From Encampment Actions Of All Types — And Actually Institute The Demands Of The Services Not Sweeps Coalition — Not To Mention Some Idiotic Victim Blaming By Geaney — Who Proposes To Stop LAPD & LA Sanitation From Throwing Away Homeless People’s Property By Giving Them More Plastic Bags — And ” educat[ing] them on the importance of their role in safe guarding their property”

I have been spending a lot of time looking into how the City of Los Angeles organizes sweeps of homeless encampments on the most micro-level possible. The picture painted by the evidence is of an essentially complaint-driven process, with sweeps being called in mainly by Council offices, for the most part in response to constituent complaints or even to facilitate the illegal installation of hostile architecture. It’s possible, even likely, that there are other mechanisms, but I don’t yet have a clear idea of what they are.

Ideas aren’t guiding City policy, but personalities are, raw animal desire, hatred, anger, so it’s not likely that ideas, morality talk, and so on, could change the policy. It’s extremely important therefore to understand the processes at this personal level not least to learn what is motivating City policy, what kinds of pressures City officials feel that guide their choices, and so on. Whose anger counts.

And it’s surprising whose anger does count. Like see the crazed emails from Hollywood landlord and Kanye West operative Anthony Kilhoffer and the City’s reaction to them or these genocidal freaks who want to starve homeless human beings away from their properties. And yet City officials, police included, are deferential throughout their interactions. Without understanding how this happens, why it happens, it will be harder than it already is to change the way the City deals with the homeless, and it’s already impossibly hard.

The best tool I know for understanding City politics is, of course, the California Public Records Act.1 So I spend a lot of time collecting and reading rage-filled hateful screeds, written by self-righteous privileged housedwellers. And to collect these, well, the CPRA requires that a request “reasonably [describe] an identifiable record or records”.2 Which makes it a little tricky in that probably “all rage-filled hate screeds emailed by psychopathic housedwellers” is not a reasonable description of an identifiable record. It’s too subjective, not least because one person’s psychopathic housedweller is another person’s most honored campaign donor.

So to obtain emails, then, it’s best to provide search terms. These can be domain names, email addresses, words, phrases, anything. The presence or absence of a term in an email is objective, and therefore provides a reasonable description of an identifiable record. There’s still the problem, and it’s not trivial, of coming up with appropriate search terms for this particular genre of public records.

But recently I have come pretty close to what seems to be an ideal solution. At least the phrase I’ve been using turns up a lot of interesting stuff. My current best search term is “quality of life.” Indeed, this was probably3 made up by a bunch of broken windows theorists as a way to explain why their theories lead them to think it’s actually OK, actually desirable, to lock people up for an entire freaking year for pissing in an alley when sane people actually don’t know why pissing in alleys is even illegal.4

And this abhorrent circumlocution evidently serves its conscience-soothing function well, based on its popularity among that segment of psychopathic homeless-hating housedwellers who so desperately need their consciences soothed, or would if they had any. It’s freaking everywhere in precisely the emails I’m looking for. And just the other day I got a big stack of these quality of life emails from Mitch O’Farrell’s staff at CD13.5 And you can read all of them here on Archive.Org.6

And there is some good stuff in here, both interesting and important.7 I will be writing about it from time to time, and today I’m looking at this March 30, 2018 email from LAPD officer Shannon Geaney to a panoply of what passes for community leaders in Hollywood asking for their help in coordinating a distribution “one-thousand, high density, clear, zip-closure bags that will be printed “ESSENTIAL PERSONAL PROPERTY” with a box to write the owner’s name.” There’s a transcription of this entire essential email below.

The point, as you may well have guessed immediately, is that Geany has “heard the frequent complaint that important paperwork, documents, identification cards, birth certificates, citations, or medications are frequently lost during clean-ups or incident to arrest.” Note, by the way, the absolutely stunning level of deflection here as Geaney refuses to acknowledge that the property isn’t “lost” but is rather illegally confiscated by police or other City officials and illegally destroyed or thrown away.

And it gets worse. Why is Geaney concerned about police and sanitation workers confiscating and destroying people’s medicine and paperwork? Well, she says she “understand[s] how this can cause significant delay in a client’s case management and enrollment in appropriate programs.”8 Maybe it’s too much even in these latter days to expect a police to be concerned about violations of people’s constitutional rights because they’re violations of constitutional rights rather than for such absolutely demeaning reasons.9

And why is Geaney writing to these Hollywood thought leaders, providers of services, and, for some reason, the Hollywood Entertainment District BID? Well, because “It is [her] hope that each of you will want to distribute these bags to your clients and educate them on the importance of their role in safe guarding their property.” In short, because it helps her make the point that even though the LAPD and City Sanitation workers are the ones throwing away the property in question, and even though they’re doing it illegally, nevertheless the fact that it gets thrown away is the fault of the property owners. Because they don’t live in houses. Got it?

Good, because now finally we’re going to discuss the reason why this email is really important.10 It reveals an anti-homeless unit of the LAPD that I don’t know anything about yet. It’s called the Coordinated Outreach Resource Enforcement Unit, which because the City’s cute-names-for-tools-of-oppression policy seems to require it, is known as CORE. Tangentially, please read the whole email, transcribed below. There’s a lot of interesting stuff in there, very revealing of cop attitudes towards human beings forced to live on sidewalks, and I do not have time11 to discuss it all.
Continue reading Newly Obtained Emails From CD13 Reveal Existence Of Hitherto-Unknown-To-Me LAPD Unit Called Coordinated Outreach Resource Enforcement — AKA CORE — Dedicated To “identifying wanted suspects of active investigations living within the homeless population of Hollywood” — And Potentially Other Divisions As Well — In 2018 There Were 8 Cops On This Job In Hollywood And A Supervising Sergeant — Shannon Geaney — They Seem To Go On Sweeps And Use Outreach As A Pretext For Warrant Searches — Thus Obviously Exacerbating And Increasing Distrust Of Their Motives — Which Legit Are Not Pure — Yet Another Reason To Remove Cops From Encampment Actions Of All Types — And Actually Institute The Demands Of The Services Not Sweeps Coalition — Not To Mention Some Idiotic Victim Blaming By Geaney — Who Proposes To Stop LAPD & LA Sanitation From Throwing Away Homeless People’s Property By Giving Them More Plastic Bags — And ” educat[ing] them on the importance of their role in safe guarding their property”

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Greater Leimert Park Village BID Settles My CPRA Suit Against Them — Agrees To Pay $9,000 In Legal Fees And Costs — And Of Course To Produce Previously Requested Records — In Very High Quality Electronic Format Too — Which Is Wonky But Exceedingly Important — Especially For Future Requests

As you may recall, last November, due to their refusal to even so much as respond to my requests for material under the California Public Records Act, I was forced to file a writ petition against the Greater Leimert Park Village Business Improvment District.1 I haven’t written much about it since because it’s mostly been stalling and negotiation. However, I am pleased to announce that the other day we finally settled the damn thing!

They have agreed to pay my lawyer, the incomparable Anna von Herrmann, $9,000 for her time and also to produce the records. As importantly, they’ve agreed to produce the emails I asked for in EML format.2 At first the BID wanted to include a freaking nondisparagement clause and a nondisclosure clause in the agreement, but I refused and they didn’t insist. After all, disclosure and disparagement are two of the four pillars on which this blog stands!3

Get a copy of the settlement agreement here, watch for the publication of the emails when they come in, and get ready for a steady stream of information about this rapidly gentrifying area and the BID’s involvement in the processes that that entails.
Continue reading Greater Leimert Park Village BID Settles My CPRA Suit Against Them — Agrees To Pay $9,000 In Legal Fees And Costs — And Of Course To Produce Previously Requested Records — In Very High Quality Electronic Format Too — Which Is Wonky But Exceedingly Important — Especially For Future Requests

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Paul Koretz’s Office Does Not Track Constituent Opinions On Issues — Or At Least They Have Not Done So In 2019 — This Is According To David Hersch — Koretz’s Deputy Chief Of Staff — So All That Dutiful Public Comment You’ve Been Submitting To CD5 O Best Beloved? — No One Over There Even Cares — Did You Call Or Email Koretz And Beg Him To Have A Damn Heart And Not Outlaw Vehicle Dwelling? — Your Thoughts Were Not Recorded — Along With The Story Of How I Learned This Tragic Fact — Which Illuminates The Uncaring Arrogance Of The City Of Los Angeles In Responding To Requests For Public Records

I can’t write yet about the City Council’s appalling behavior on Tuesday with respect to outlawing vehicle dwelling by renewing LAMC 85.02. It’s still too raw, and it’s too soon to have related records to publish. Local hero Lexis-Olivier Ray has an essential story on it in L.A. Taco, a story he inadvertently became a participant in when the police illegally forced him, a working journalist, to leave the room.

The day before the vote a lot of folks were calling their Councilmembers, leaving messages, sending emails, and so on, urging their repsters to vote against this abhorrent nonsense, much of it coordinated via Twitter. And to encourage action, @MamaWetzel told us that these calls do matter because there are staffers whose jobs it is to track public opinion on issues via spreadsheets and so on.1 And at that word, spreadsheets, well, my eyes just rolled back in my head with joy because, as you know, a spreadsheet is a public record!

So I immediately asked a few representative council offices for 2019 records used to track constituent opinion on issues, giving spreadsheets as an example but not limiting it just to spreadsheets.2 This, as I said, was on Monday, just a few days ago. In CPRAlandia that’s nothing, no time at all, an eyeblink. So I wasn’t, and still am not, expecting results soon. But despite that, yesterday, July 31, 2019, I did actually get some very interesting news from CD5, who is pretty easy to make requests of, being on NextRequest.

Their designated CPRA responder, David Hersch, initially told me that my request was “overboard, [sic] unduly burdensome and unfocused” because, he claimed, there were too many records responsive and that therefore he wouldn’t process it until I narrowed it down. This is a standard move in the City of Los Angeles and I discuss it in great detail below. I responded, as I typically do, by asking how many records there were and explaining that the request was exceedingly focused.

Hersch responded five hours later by saying that actually there were no records at all and that CD5 didn’t keep track of constituent opinions, or at least had not done so in 2019.3 This is pretty interesting news even apart from the interesting but technical matters regarding CPRA. It’s not like Koretz doesn’t do stuff on the Council. He’s famous for his animal rights work, the importance of which I am not discounting.

For instance, just recently he’s been spending a lot of time saving Billy the Elephant, and there was that vegan food thing from December. This year alone he’s sponsored 80 motions. But all those calls and letters you folks in CD5 have spent the time to send? All that public comment? No one over there is keeping track at all. Paul Koretz has his mind made up, he’s gonna do what he’s gonna do, and ain’t all your tears wash out a word of it.4

And at this point I won’t be surprised if none of them keep track. I will certainly be working on finding out, of course. Which would be an important part of an explanation as to why Los Quince Jefes can sit up on their dais so complacently day after clueless day fiddling with their phones while their computers automatically vote yes on oppression and the City prepares to burn. That’s today’s revelation and today’s rant. Read on for the CPRA wonkery!
Continue reading Paul Koretz’s Office Does Not Track Constituent Opinions On Issues — Or At Least They Have Not Done So In 2019 — This Is According To David Hersch — Koretz’s Deputy Chief Of Staff — So All That Dutiful Public Comment You’ve Been Submitting To CD5 O Best Beloved? — No One Over There Even Cares — Did You Call Or Email Koretz And Beg Him To Have A Damn Heart And Not Outlaw Vehicle Dwelling? — Your Thoughts Were Not Recorded — Along With The Story Of How I Learned This Tragic Fact — Which Illuminates The Uncaring Arrogance Of The City Of Los Angeles In Responding To Requests For Public Records

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It Appears That Icky Sticky Nicky Melvoin Revealed Confidential Attorney Client Information From LAUSD’s Office Of The General Counsel To The California Charter School Association In A Secret Meeting In February 2018 — Having To Do With A January 2016 CCSA Lawsuit Against LAUSD Over Prop 39 Access To Facilities — In February 2018 CCSA Met With Melvoin About LAUSD Facilities Policy — At This Meeting Melvoin Told CCSA — The Adverse Parties In The Freaking Lawsuit — That LAUSD’s General Counsel Was “Confident In Lawsuit Position” — And Therefore Was Disinclined To Settle — Two Months Later CCSA Conceded And Dropped The Suit Without A Settlement — Perhaps Their Decision To Pursue This Course Was Informed By Confidential Information Obtained From Melvoin — It’s Hard To Imagine It Could Be Otherwise

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about an episode in January 2018 when the California Charter School Association actually drafted a resolution for then newly elected, then and now bought and paid for, LAUSD board member Icky Sticky Nicky Melvoin,1 to present to his colleagues on the school board. It was and is a complicated story, and I promised at the time to lay it on you in increments.2 That first post was about the CCSA-drafted resolution and how they passed it on to Nicky in January 2018.

Today we’re moving along to February 20, 2018. On that date Nick Melvoin, his senior advisor Allison Holdorff Polhill, and his policy director Danielle Tenner met with Cristina de Jesus of Green Dot Private Schools, Emilio Pack of STEM Preparatory Schools, Caprice Young of the creepiest cultiest charter chain, that is Magnolia Charter Schools, and Cassy Horton, Ebony Wheaton, and Jason Rudolph, all the last three from CCSA, all met to discuss the resolution.3

Also at that time, explained below, CCSA was suing LAUSD. And, amazingly, it seems that in this meeting Melvoin passed on a great deal of privileged information about LAUSD’s legal strategy to the charter advocates. He also agreed to intervene with LAUSD’s lawyers to further CCSA’s interests. This is on its face appalling behavior from an elected official, sworn by oath to faithfully execute the duties of his office, a violation of which oath this behavior pretty clearly is.4 As always, the details are complicated.

We know about this meeting from an email sent the next day, February 21, 2018, by the aforementioned Jason Rudolph to his co-conspirators de Jesus, Pack, Young, Horton, and Wheaton. This email is interesting in itself, and it is reproduced below in full. Much, much, muchmuchmuch more interesting, though, is the attachment to the email, consisting of Rudolph’s notes on the previous day’s meeting.5 This document is endlessly complex. I expect that the next four or five posts in this series will be on this document.6
Continue reading It Appears That Icky Sticky Nicky Melvoin Revealed Confidential Attorney Client Information From LAUSD’s Office Of The General Counsel To The California Charter School Association In A Secret Meeting In February 2018 — Having To Do With A January 2016 CCSA Lawsuit Against LAUSD Over Prop 39 Access To Facilities — In February 2018 CCSA Met With Melvoin About LAUSD Facilities Policy — At This Meeting Melvoin Told CCSA — The Adverse Parties In The Freaking Lawsuit — That LAUSD’s General Counsel Was “Confident In Lawsuit Position” — And Therefore Was Disinclined To Settle — Two Months Later CCSA Conceded And Dropped The Suit Without A Settlement — Perhaps Their Decision To Pursue This Course Was Informed By Confidential Information Obtained From Melvoin — It’s Hard To Imagine It Could Be Otherwise

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