Category Archives: Hollywood Media District BID

Eddie Guerra Update Finally! — He’s The Cop Who Took A Personal Check In 2016 For $400 From The Media District BID Ostensibly For Some Charity — And Then I Wrote About It In January 2017 — And Filed A Complaint With The Ethics Commission — Who Didn’t Do Anything As Usual — But Cory Palka Read That Blog Post! — And Told Now-Chief Michel Moore! — And Guerra Was Moderately Busted! — And I Just Found This Out Because It Took The LAPD Two Freaking Years To Fulfill My CPRA Request — And A Special Surprise! — Cory Palka Uses A Private Email Address To Conduct City Business!

In the Fall of 2016 LAPD officer Eddie Guerra asked the Hollywood Media District BID to give him $400 ostensibly for some charity. He asked by return email right after they thanked him for getting rid of some homeless people at their express request. Context matters, and this struck me as particularly shady, so I did three things. First, I turned Officer Guerra into the Ethics Commission for violating LAMC 49.5.5(a), which forbids misusing public power for private gain. Second, I wrote a blog post about the incident. And third, I made a request to the LAPD for more records.

And because the LAPD is slow as paint when it comes to filling CPRA requests they didn’t get back to me until two years later on December 31, 2018,1 when they sent me this little spool of puckey in response. And, as is often the case with released records, most of them are completely worthless or else I already had them. But, as is also often the case with released records, some of this material was really essential!

Just, for instance, take a look at this series of emails between Hollywood mega-muckety Cory Palka, friend of white supremacists and of scientologists, and his superior officers, including now-chief Michel Moore, wherein Palka sends links and gives credit to this very blog (!) for breaking the story of Guerra’s misfeasance and they end up recommending a 1.28, which is evidently some kind of LAPD complaint form. Michel Moore, the current chief of police, agreed and then said that “corrective action/training/counseling is warranted.”

Oh, snap, amirite?! Now that I know he reads this blog and sends links to future chiefs of police, well, next goal, get @CoryPalka to follow me on Twitter! And amazingly enough, Cowboy Cory Palka is revealed by these emails to use the private email address cpalka@me.com to conduct City business, which puts him in the august company of Mitch O’Farrell, David Ryu, Gil Cedillo, and (spoiler alert) Paul Koretz!2 You will definitely be hearing more about this, but not necessarily soon.

Anyway, turn the page for transcriptions of all the emails including, of course, Cory Palka’s suprisingly lucid summary of the situation and shout-out to your very own MK.Org!
Continue reading Eddie Guerra Update Finally! — He’s The Cop Who Took A Personal Check In 2016 For $400 From The Media District BID Ostensibly For Some Charity — And Then I Wrote About It In January 2017 — And Filed A Complaint With The Ethics Commission — Who Didn’t Do Anything As Usual — But Cory Palka Read That Blog Post! — And Told Now-Chief Michel Moore! — And Guerra Was Moderately Busted! — And I Just Found This Out Because It Took The LAPD Two Freaking Years To Fulfill My CPRA Request — And A Special Surprise! — Cory Palka Uses A Private Email Address To Conduct City Business!

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Hollywood Media District BID, The Hapless Client Of Hapless Hollywood Superlawyer Jeffrey Charles Briggs, Actually Hands Over Thirty Thousand Actual Dollars To My Lawyer As They Were Ordered To Do By The Judge! — Commemorative Mug Issued For This Historic Occasion! — Get Yours Today! — Maybe This’ll Learn Some Of His Other Clients That They Oughta Just Gimme The Damn Records — Talking To You Los Feliz Village BID, East Hollywood BID, Historic Core BID, And, Believe It Or Not, The Media District BID All Over Again

Of course you remember in July 2018 when Superior Court judge Mary Strobel splained in terms that were anything at all but uncertain to Hollywood Superlawyer Jeffrey Charles Briggs that his client, the freaking Hollywood Media District BID, was going to have to pay my lawyer $30,000 in fees essentially because both they and their lawyer are a bunch of loserific morons?1

Anyway, since the ruling, Jeffrey Charles Briggs and, presumably, his clients, have been stumbling about the place not paying and mumbling semicomprehensible nonsense about how they were going to appeal, about perversions of justice,2 and so on, the upshot of all of which mumbling is that, by God, they weren’t gonna pay. But a court order is a scary, scary thing. So yesterday, September 26, 2018, they paid the damn money to my lawyer, the incomparable Colleen Flynn!

And in honor of their new-found, belated and, sadly, coerced, commitment to actually following the damn law and also to making it continue to be economically feasible for lawyers to help me encourage the City of Los Angeles and its damnable business improvement districts to actually follow the laws that regulate them, I have issued this commemorative coffee mug! Get yours today! And look at all the other mugs while you’re at the store!! And stay tuned for more BID news, as always!!
Continue reading Hollywood Media District BID, The Hapless Client Of Hapless Hollywood Superlawyer Jeffrey Charles Briggs, Actually Hands Over Thirty Thousand Actual Dollars To My Lawyer As They Were Ordered To Do By The Judge! — Commemorative Mug Issued For This Historic Occasion! — Get Yours Today! — Maybe This’ll Learn Some Of His Other Clients That They Oughta Just Gimme The Damn Records — Talking To You Los Feliz Village BID, East Hollywood BID, Historic Core BID, And, Believe It Or Not, The Media District BID All Over Again

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Judge Mary Strobel Rules That The Media District BID Must Pay $30,000 In Fees To My Attorney In My CPRA Case Against Them!! — Huge Fail For Hollywood Superlawyer Jeffrey Charles Briggs And His Bizarro-World Argument That I Deserve To Lose Cause I Am So Mean To His BIDdie BFFs — Briggs’s Other BID Clients Ought To See That It Is Time To Choose Between Coughing Up The Records And Coughing Up The Benjamins!!

As I’m sure you’re aware I was forced in 2016 by the arrogant intransigence of the Hollywood Media District BID to file a writ petition against them asking that they be ordered to follow the damn law.1 The petition was granted in part on January 30, 2018 and the BIDdies had to hand over some emails to me. I wrote about those goodies here and here.

What happens then is exceedingly clear under the law. The CPRA §6259(d) states that: The court shall award court costs and reasonable attorney fees to the plaintiff should the plaintiff prevail in litigation filed pursuant to this section.

The “shall” means that a fee award is mandatory. The judge is not allowed not to award fees to the requester if the requester prevails. Of course, we have to consider what it means to prevail, but this has been settled by the courts in Belth v. Garamendi, which states: We further hold that the plaintiff has prevailed within the meaning of the statute when he or she files an action which results in defendant releasing a copy of a previously withheld document.

So the fact that the judge ordered the BID to give me those emails in February pretty much sealed their fate. Of course, they weren’t going down without a fight. My lawyer, the incomparable Colleen Flynn, asked them for $48,000 in fees. Briggs filed a response saying essentially that we shouldn’t get any fees but if we did it shouldn’t be nearly that much.

Flynn filed a simply brilliant rejoinder to that, and this very morning the judge rejected every last one of Hollywood Superlawyer Jeffrey Charles Briggs’s arguments, including his incredibly, embarrassingly whiny oral argument, and handed down a ruling awarding $30,000 in fees to Flynn. Ironically, before the ruling, Flynn offered to settle for significantly less than that and was roundly rejected by Attorney Briggs. Turn the page for a transcription of the ruling and a little more commentary.
Continue reading Judge Mary Strobel Rules That The Media District BID Must Pay $30,000 In Fees To My Attorney In My CPRA Case Against Them!! — Huge Fail For Hollywood Superlawyer Jeffrey Charles Briggs And His Bizarro-World Argument That I Deserve To Lose Cause I Am So Mean To His BIDdie BFFs — Briggs’s Other BID Clients Ought To See That It Is Time To Choose Between Coughing Up The Records And Coughing Up The Benjamins!!

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Two Interesting Protests Against BID Renewals In Hollywood — One By A Civil Engineer Attacking The Constitutional Adequacy Of Ed Henning’s Self-Plagiarized Boilerplate Engineering Report — The Other Somewhat Plausibly Accusing Kerry Morrison Of Complicity In The Payoff Of Transients To Harass Anti-BID Property Owners

You may have noticed that the Property and Business Improvement Law of 1994 makes allowance for property owners in a proposed BID to file “protests,” which must be accounted for by the City during the establishment or renewal process.1 For whatever reason, possibly the mandate that the City make a determination regarding protests received,2 these protests show up in the relevant Council File for all the world to read! And sometimes they are really interesting! Like the two recent doozies I have for your pleasant perusal today!

Setrak Kinian protest — this is against the renewing Hollywood Entertainment District BID, filed by a property owner in the old Sunset & Vine BID — the two BIDs are being unified in their current renewal — and has some essentially kooky but nevertheless fairly explanatory3 allegations against Ms. Kerry Morrison.

For instance, Kinian claims that her BID pays off homeless people to hang around the properties of BID opponents in order to encourage them to support the BID. He also makes the not-completely-implausible claim that one goal of the BID is to force smaller property owners to sell out to larger ones. The Council File for this renewal is CF 14-0855. As always, turn the page for some selected transcriptions and commentary.

Jim McQuiston protest — Against the renewing Hollywood Media District BID. McQuiston is a civil engineer and provides a really detailed4 denunciation of Ed Henning’s characteristically crapola engineer’s report. This is especially interesting to me given that one of my ongoing projects, which is to get the Board for Professional Engineers to take the preparation of engineering reports for BID formations seriously as the practice of civil engineering.5 The Council File for this renewal is CF 12-0963. Also Henning’s report is here. As always, turn the page for selected transcriptions and commentary.
Continue reading Two Interesting Protests Against BID Renewals In Hollywood — One By A Civil Engineer Attacking The Constitutional Adequacy Of Ed Henning’s Self-Plagiarized Boilerplate Engineering Report — The Other Somewhat Plausibly Accusing Kerry Morrison Of Complicity In The Payoff Of Transients To Harass Anti-BID Property Owners

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The Los Angeles Unified School District Evidently Voids All Its BID Establishment Petitions By Adding A Limiting Clause — They Seem To Add The Same Clause To Their Actual Ballots But Evidently It Does Not Void Them — It’s Not Clear What’s Going On Here But Probably Something Is

I recently received almost a thousand pages of emails between the Los Angeles City Clerk‘s office and correspondents at various BIDs. You can obtain the whole pile here on Archive.Org. Among these was this interesting little exchange between Clerk staffie Dennis Rader and notorious outlaw BID consultant Aaron Aulenta of Urban Place Consulting.

This post is dedicated to exploring the issues raised by this email. It’s unavoidably technical, so you may want to skip it. On the other hand, at least I’m not going to call anyone nasty names, which I know will please a certain perennially disgruntled audience segment. Boring or not, though, it touches on essential and little-explored issues of BIDology. The exchange began on May 7, 2018, when Aaron Aulenta emailed Dennis Rader:

I know you’re probably swamped at the moment with the ballot mail-out this week, but I had a quick lausd question. Do you know if they returned a petition for either Hollywood or Fashion without hand writing in the ‘approval conditioned upon’ phrase? In other words, did they return a petition that was officially counted?

Continue reading The Los Angeles Unified School District Evidently Voids All Its BID Establishment Petitions By Adding A Limiting Clause — They Seem To Add The Same Clause To Their Actual Ballots But Evidently It Does Not Void Them — It’s Not Clear What’s Going On Here But Probably Something Is

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You Know Those Proclamations From The City Of Los Angeles That Hyperconnected Zillionaires Like Laurie Goldman All Hang On Their Office Walls? — Well, Here’s How You Get One! — Have Your Minions Ask The Mayor’s Staff — Be Sure To Call Him MEG Cause That’s What The In-Crowd Calls Him! — And Two Days Later Go Pick Up The Proclamation! — Did I Mention Your Minions Have To Write The Damn Thing? — Don’t Have Any Minions? — No Proclamation For You!!

The proclamations! You’ve probably seen them hanging on the walls of people’s offices, they’re in famous restaurants, like e.g. Musso and Frank has one, The Pantry has one, and so on. Here’s a nice picture of one. Well, here I am, hanging around this City more or less continuously since 1963 and I never knew, never even wondered, where or they came from or why.1 Amazingly, though, in a set of records recently handed over by the Media District BID,2 all was revealed!

Here’s the process, at least as it pertains to the office of the Mayor. First, have your minion email Yolanda Flores at y.flores@lacity.org. She’s actually his staffie in charge of proclamations! Don’t forget to refer to her boss as MEG, which is evidently what the cool kids call him! After she gives you the nod, have your minion write the damn proclamation! That’s it, you can pick it up next Thursday!

Does it seem too simple? Don’t believe it’s that easy? Can’t credit that actual3 grownups call the guy MEG with a straight face? Want to read the genuine one-and-only proclamation that unreconstructed criminal Lisa Schechter of the Media District BID wrote for former president Laurie Goldman that was subsequently issued by MEG? See the emails by means of which the whole mishegoss was arranged? Well, what are you waiting for?! Turn the damn page!!
Continue reading You Know Those Proclamations From The City Of Los Angeles That Hyperconnected Zillionaires Like Laurie Goldman All Hang On Their Office Walls? — Well, Here’s How You Get One! — Have Your Minions Ask The Mayor’s Staff — Be Sure To Call Him MEG Cause That’s What The In-Crowd Calls Him! — And Two Days Later Go Pick Up The Proclamation! — Did I Mention Your Minions Have To Write The Damn Thing? — Don’t Have Any Minions? — No Proclamation For You!!

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More Hollywood Media District CPRA Exemption Claims Exposed By Court Order As Unmitigated Mendacity — E.G. Laurie Goldman’s City Hall Gossip-Mongering Chittery-Chat To Fellow Board Members Ferris Wehbe And David Freaking Bass About Michael Weinstein, Eric Garcetti, And Little Mitchie O’Farrell Could Not Be Considered Part Of A Deliberative Process Anywhere Outside Of The Feverishly Dizzying Intellect Of Self-Proclaimed Hollywood Superlawyer Jeffrey Charles Briggs

A couple weeks ago I wrote about an email that self-proclaimed Hollywood superlawyer Jeffrey Charles Briggs had released to me in response to a CPRA request but later claimed that it was exempt from release as a result of his having solemnly intoned the words “deliberative process” three times while standing on his hands naked at a crossroads at midnight on the Summer Solstice, which is about the level to which the CPRA has descended in this fair City in these latter days.

I mentioned at that point that he and his infernal client, the Hollywood Media District Property Owners Association, had been ordered by the Hon. Mary Strobel to hand over a whole passel of other emails which they’d claimed were exempt for various reasons.1 So finally I received these emails from le super-avocat de Hollywood lui-même, and now you can read them too!

For extra behind-the-scenes CPRA thrills, compare them to Jeffrey Charles Briggs’s summaries and aggressively hallucinated exemption claims in the declaration and log he filed with the court. And turn the page for a detailed analysis in a couple of cases of just how deeply, arrogantly nonsensical these exemption claims are revealed to be once we can compare them with the actual emails.
Continue reading More Hollywood Media District CPRA Exemption Claims Exposed By Court Order As Unmitigated Mendacity — E.G. Laurie Goldman’s City Hall Gossip-Mongering Chittery-Chat To Fellow Board Members Ferris Wehbe And David Freaking Bass About Michael Weinstein, Eric Garcetti, And Little Mitchie O’Farrell Could Not Be Considered Part Of A Deliberative Process Anywhere Outside Of The Feverishly Dizzying Intellect Of Self-Proclaimed Hollywood Superlawyer Jeffrey Charles Briggs

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An Unforced Error By Self-Proclaimed Hollywood Superlawyer Jeffrey Charles Briggs Provides Unique Insight Into The Thoroughly Cynical, Thoroughly Bogus Nature Of BIDs’ Use Of The Deliberative Process Exemption To The California Public Records Act — They Even Used It In One Case To Cover Up A Blatant Brown Act Violation

One of the biggest flaws in California’s Public Records Act is that the various local agencies that constitute our government are trusted to search their own records, decide without oversight what’s responsive to requests and, worst of all, decide what’s exempt from production. My general feeling about BIDs and record searches is that they purposely don’t find everything, about their exemption claims that they’re mostly lying.

Unfortunately, without a lawsuit, it’s not realistically possible to get a look at records for which they’ve claimed exemptions.1 Hence it’s not usually possible to check how closely this feeling corresponds to reality. However, due to an interesting confluence of events, I recently obtained a number of emails between various people at the Hollywood Media District BID for which their lawyer, Jeffrey Charles Briggs,2 had claimed exemptions, thus making it possible to compare his claims with the actual records. Unsurprisingly the exemption claims turned out to be 99\frac{44}{100}\% pure and unadulterated nonsense. You can find the emails and some analysis after the break, but first I’m going to ramble on a little about some tangentially related issues.

Like many policies, this default assumption of honesty on the part of local agencies no doubt works when it works, but when it comes to the BIDs of Los Angeles, who are staffed, for the most part, with the most unscrupulous bunch of pusillanimous chiselers ever to engorge their bloated reeking tummies at the public piggie trough, it doesn’t work at all.3 They lie, they confabulate, they delude themselves and others, and generally display utter and overweening contempt for the rule of law.4

And nowhere does their misbehavior reach a more fevered pitch than in the use of the so-called “deliberative process” exemption to the CPRA. In short, this is an exemption that courts have built up out of the “catch-all” exemption to CPRA, found at §6255(a), which says:
Continue reading An Unforced Error By Self-Proclaimed Hollywood Superlawyer Jeffrey Charles Briggs Provides Unique Insight Into The Thoroughly Cynical, Thoroughly Bogus Nature Of BIDs’ Use Of The Deliberative Process Exemption To The California Public Records Act — They Even Used It In One Case To Cover Up A Blatant Brown Act Violation

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New Documents! East Hollywood BID Quarterly Reports, Media District BID Emails, Media District BID Materials About Andrews International Security Switcheroo Including Emails, Draft Contracts, Price Matrices, And So On!

Yesterday I received a bunch of new records from Hollywood BIDboy attorney Jeffrey Charles Briggs, acting on behalf of the East Hollywood BID and also the Media District BID. Some of the stuff had to do with the Media District’s early renewal, which I wrote about yesterday, and today I’m mostly just announcing the balance of the material, which is available from our Archive.Org collections. In particular, we have:

  • East Hollywood BID quarterly reports 2012-2016 — BIDs are required by their contracts with the City to submit quarterly reports with updates on how they’ve been spending their money.1 These are useful to have on hand for reference. There’s nothing in these that stands out right now, but I haven’t read them carefully yet nor even looked at all of them.
  • Media District emails with the City of LA — And also a few from the Hollywood Property Owners Alliance folks, although nothing substantial. Again, it’s essential to have this material on hand for reference. There doesn’t seem to be much of special interest here, although there’s a lot more evidence of Rita Moreno’s uncharacteristically activist style as a BID analyst with the Clerk’s office, which is abstractly a good thing, although certainly she’s not going to be an activist if it upsets the BIDs too much.
  • Media District emails about Andrews International Security contract — The Media District BID is in the process of hiring infamous private security monolith Andrews International as its security provider, to begin July 1. These are some emails about the process. The most interesting things here are the attachments, which include A/I’s standard contract as well as proposed pricing matrices and so on. Andrews International famously runs the infernal Hollywood BID Patrol for the even-more-infernal Hollwood Property Owners Alliance just North of the Media District, so everything about them is interesting. There is much more material to come regarding this matter, and I will write about it in detail as it comes in, but it’s essential enough that I thought I’d better publish what I had immediately.

So that’s the new stuff, all except for one little email which didn’t exactly fit into any of those categories. It appears to constitute attorney/client communications, and perhaps it was handed over in error. But legally handed over it was, so I’m publishing it, and you can see a copy and read all about it after the break!
Continue reading New Documents! East Hollywood BID Quarterly Reports, Media District BID Emails, Media District BID Materials About Andrews International Security Switcheroo Including Emails, Draft Contracts, Price Matrices, And So On!

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