The Central City East Association Had To Fire 30% Of Its BID Security Officers After Failed Background Checks In 2016–2017! CCEA Security Überhoncho Greg Foster Confirms That Resumed Police Commission Oversight Of BID Patrol Officers Was Due To MK.Org Investigation!

On Monday morning I was honored to attend the 2017 annual meeting of the Central City East Association, run by the voodoo queen of Skid Row, Estela Lopez herself. Of course I recorded the whole thing,1 and you can watch it either on YouTube or else on Archive.Org, depending on your personal preference. I usually can’t make it to the CCEA’s meetings because of having to go to my damned job, but for whatever reason my schedule was open Monday morning, and how lucky that turned out to be!

You may recall that in 2016 I discovered that the City of Los Angeles had failed to enforce LAMC §52.34 against BID security for more than fifteen years and that due to my reporting the City resumed enforcement in 2017. But aside from one phone call from Police Commission officer Ernesto Vicencio, who was in charge of the reimplementation of the law, the City has refused to provide me with any information about the process.2 So how fascinating it was to hear Greg Foster, who’s CCEA’s chief of security,3 explicitly attribute the change to my work! As he said:

… the website, [unintelligible], MichaelKohlhaas.Org, began to generate documentation that this particular municipal code is not being adhered to by the City of Los Angeles, and it should be. For many many years this went on, in and out of regulation. A gentleman by the name of [Mike] began to get a bit of momentum and challenge the City in 2016 to have this reinstated.

You can listen to this segment here and of course there’s a transcription after the break. Now, LAMC §52.34 has two main effects. First, it establishes Police Commission oversight of BID security officers. Second, it requires all BID security officers to undergo annual background checks before they can be permitted to operate on public streets. The most stunning, and brand-new, piece of information to come from Greg Foster’s revelations, was this:

That day on June first, 2017, every public safety BID across the City had to go before the Police Commission and have every single public safety officer vetted and pass the background check. As you can imagine, that was challenging, not just to our particular BID but to every BID across the City. There was a drop of thirty percent of personnel staff for Allied’s [unintelligible].

That is to say, before the City reimplemented enforcement on June 1 of this year, 30% of CCEA’s security officers were unfit for duty according to the law. Remember THAT the next time you hear some damned BIDdies ranting and raving about how much they respect the damned law! BIDs love to go about the place crowing about how their damnable security patrols make the City’s streets safer, but it seems that before my work removed illegal, unqualified officers from our public streets, the BIDdies were actually making things more damned dangerous! OK, yay! And you’re welcome, City of Los Freaking Angeles, amirite fam?!
Continue reading The Central City East Association Had To Fire 30% Of Its BID Security Officers After Failed Background Checks In 2016–2017! CCEA Security Überhoncho Greg Foster Confirms That Resumed Police Commission Oversight Of BID Patrol Officers Was Due To MK.Org Investigation!

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Ethics Commission Veep Serena Oberstein Announces That She Is Very Excited To Have Found A Way To Evade The Public Records Act While Claiming That She’s Evading It “In The Spirit Of Transparency Which The Ethics Commission Represents.”

The Los Angeles Ethics Commission held its December meeting this morning, and I recorded the whole thing1 and you can watch it either on YouTube or else on Archive.Org. Of course the main event was the last two items to be discussed regarding proposed updates to the Municipal Lobbying Ordinance, and I’ll have something to say about that whole mishegaas later in the week I hope. And there was also an instance of silence speaking louder than words, as the Commission completely ignored my recent request that they consider adopting a disclosure rule for ex parte contacts between Commissioners and those who would influence them.

Such contacts, of course, are a serious problem with our Ethics Commissioners, not least Serena Oberstein, the lobbyists’ best friend, who was involved in a minor yet horrifying interlude at this morning’s meeting which is the subject of tonight’s rant. The issue was whether and how the Ethics Commission’s investigators should disclose to the targets of their investigations that the investigations have become inactive.

This came up at the October meeting, and you can watch the whole episode here if you’re interested. The short version is that the investigators presently do not inform investigative targets when they’ve stopped investigating due to confidentiality mandated by the City Charter. Commissioner Serena Oberstein is deeply concerned that all these targets are going to be unsettled and anxious by not knowing that they’re not being actively investigated and she wanted staff to issue closure letters.

Such letters turned out not to be legally or politically possible, but at today’s meeting Sergio Perez, Director of Investigations, presented this proposal, adopted unanimously by the Commission, which recommended that policy be changed to allow oral notice to those being investigated that their investigations had become inactive. This recommendation putatively avoids the confidentiality requirement by invoking LAAC §24.29(c)(2), which states that:
Continue reading Ethics Commission Veep Serena Oberstein Announces That She Is Very Excited To Have Found A Way To Evade The Public Records Act While Claiming That She’s Evading It “In The Spirit Of Transparency Which The Ethics Commission Represents.”

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Press Relations Master Class With Flying Copy-Pasta Monster Carol Schatz And Her Pet Editor-Slash-Fluffer Jon Regardie As Well As About A Thousand Mostly Useless Emails From Her Weirdo Fiefdom, The Downtown Center BID, With Special Bonus Showing Self-Proclaimed Downtown News Senior Reporter And World’s Most Journalistic Attack-Labradoodle Eddie Kim Pleading For Access!

First the substance. I just uploaded about a thousand emails between the Downtown Center BID and either Kindel Gagan or the Downtown News. There are a few other kinds of items in there as well. This material came to me as MSG files and I converted it into an MBOX and also exported the emails individually as PDFs. If you have trouble getting the attachments out of the MBOX file drop me a line and I’ll get you started. Now on to the mockery!!

First of all, take a look at this item from February 2017: Nicole Kuklok-Waldman and Kate Hennigan Join Kindel Gagan. A run-of-the-mill announcement that two more urbanist-capitalist-developerist plague-carrying zombies have sold what passes for their souls by becoming partners at Kindel Gagan, a lobbying firm that’s so deeply fucked up that I can’t even think of nasty names to call it because none of them are even close to nasty enough:

Kindel Gagan is pleased to announce that prominent land use attorney Nicole Kuklok-Waldman and City Hall and public affairs veteran Kate Hennigan have joined the firm. Nicole and Kate bring a combined 20 years of successful land use and public affairs consulting experience, greatly expanding the firm’s capacity to serve our clients.

Really makes you want to read on, does it not?! Turn the page for Carol Schatz’s deeply professional response to this nonsense, as well as some foofraw about Jessica Lall’s takeover of the Central City Association and also some trivial bullshit from putatively journalistic attack puppy Eddie Kim.
Continue reading Press Relations Master Class With Flying Copy-Pasta Monster Carol Schatz And Her Pet Editor-Slash-Fluffer Jon Regardie As Well As About A Thousand Mostly Useless Emails From Her Weirdo Fiefdom, The Downtown Center BID, With Special Bonus Showing Self-Proclaimed Downtown News Senior Reporter And World’s Most Journalistic Attack-Labradoodle Eddie Kim Pleading For Access!

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Lunada Bay Boys Magistrate Judge Rozella Oliver Recommends That Because Defendant Brant Blakeman Failed To Preserve Text Messages After He Became Aware Of The Lawsuit He Must Pay Attorneys’ Fees And Costs For Motion For Sanctions And Cover Costs Of Additional Deposition On Subject Of What Happened To The Damn 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. You can also read all my posts on the case.

At this point the Lunada Bay Boys discovery-related complaints, cross-complaints, bitching, cross-bitching, moaning, cross-moaning, and so on and on and on have gotten so tortuously complexicated that there’s essentially no way to summarize them any longer. However, I will remind you all that there was a hearing on December 6 before Magistrate Judge Rozella Oliver on spoliation of evidence by the City Defendants1 and most rapiest Bay Boy defendant Sr. Brant Blakeman.

At issue were some text messages that Blakeman failed to preserve. The texts were on a phone issued to him by the City of PVE, which is why they were involved. The plaintiffs asked Oliver to find that Blakeman and the City not only had a duty to preserve the texts but that they had been so adversely affected by their destruction that the court ought to make Blakeman and the City pay fines, pay fees, pay costs, their motions for summary judgment ought to be denied out of hand, and an instruction to the jury stating that they should draw an adverse implication from the destruction of the texts. Blakeman and the City argued that they didn’t do anything wrong at all because they had no duty to preserve anything. Just yesterday Magistrate Judge Oliver issued her report and recommendations on the issues raised during the hearing.

With respect to the City, Oliver found that while they did have a legal obligation to preserve evidence starting earlier than they claimed, no evidence was lost specifically due to the City’s inaction, so she declined to recommend any sanctions against the City. Blakeman, on the other hand, did a few bad things, according to the Magistrate Judge.

First of all, he did have a duty to preserve the text messages. Also he failed to take reasonable steps to preserve them. Finally, the text messages were lost because of his inaction, and this prejudices the plaintiffs’ case. However, Oliver declines to find that Blakeman did it on purpose,2 and so she declines to recommend the most harsh sanctions possible.

Basically, she’s recommending that Blakeman have to pay the plaintiffs’ attorneys for their costs and fees in bringing the motion for sanctions against him, and that he submit to an additional deposition that he pay for on the subject of what happened to the text messages. Additionally she recommends that the plaintiffs be allowed to present evidence to the jury about his failure to preserve and that if Judge Otero thinks it’s justified at trial, he consider allowing an instruction to the jury on what kind of inferences they can draw from Blakeman’s actions. Finally, she declined to recommend that Blakeman’s motion for summary judgment be dismissed a priori. Turn the page for transcribed selections.
Continue reading Lunada Bay Boys Magistrate Judge Rozella Oliver Recommends That Because Defendant Brant Blakeman Failed To Preserve Text Messages After He Became Aware Of The Lawsuit He Must Pay Attorneys’ Fees And Costs For Motion For Sanctions And Cover Costs Of Additional Deposition On Subject Of What Happened To The Damn Text Messages!

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City Of Los Angeles Poised To Spend $150,000 To Settle Street Vending Lawsuit Over Englander’s Opposition, Pending Only Garcetti’s Signature, Which It Seems Will Settle It For The Fashion District BID As Well

You can read up on the background in this 2015 LA times story and also in our multiple stories on the subject. Most of the paper filed in the case is available here.

Towards the end of September the parties to this monumental lawsuit against the City of Los Angeles and the Fashion District BID filed papers with the court announcing that a settlement was in the works and asking that the calendar be put on hold.

Today and yesterday a few things happened with respect to this process. Today the parties filed a status report with the court announcing that the settlement process was on track but they needed until December 30 to work out the details. This was closely followed by an order from Judge André Birotte extending the time as requested.

More interestingly, though, yesterday the City Council went into closed session to discuss the terms of the settlement.3 They passed this motion authorizing the expenditure of $150,000 to fund the settlement, at least some of which is going, with good cause, straight to Carol Sobel. Interestingly, and the reason’s not clear, Mitch Englander voted against the motion.

It’s also interesting that the motion was put forth by Paul Krekorian and seconded by Paul Koretz. It’s my unscientific impression that in the ordinary course of events this would have been moved by José Huizar, since the events which precipitated the case happened in his district. Who knows what’s going on? Maybe it’s because Krekorian and Koretz are on the committee which gave its preliminary approval to the motion? Anyway, the whole matter is in Garcetti’s hands now, and he has until December 18 to sign off. There’s a transcription of the motion after the break.
Continue reading City Of Los Angeles Poised To Spend $150,000 To Settle Street Vending Lawsuit Over Englander’s Opposition, Pending Only Garcetti’s Signature, Which It Seems Will Settle It For The Fashion District BID As Well

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Lunada Bay Boys Magistrate Judge Oliver Files Amended Recommendation For Sanctions Against Sang Lee And Some Ferraras, Plaintiffs Respond To Blakeman’s and City’s Oppositions To Their Motions For Sanctions In Preparation For Tomorrow’s Hearing Before Oliver

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 can also read all my posts on the case.

You probably remember that a few weeks ago Magistrate Judge Rozella Oliver set a hearing for tomorrow, Wednesday, December 6, 2017 at 1:30 p.m. in her courtroom on the ninth floor of the Spring Street Federal Courthouse. The subject of the hearing is sanctions for Brant Blakeman and the City defendants for allegedly destroying or failing to preserve relevant evidence. They filed oppositions to the plaintiffs’ motions a few days ago, and yesterday the plaintiffs filed responses to these oppositions:

They’re both interesting, but there doesn’t seem to be a lot of new material there. They’re quite plainly spoken as to the failures of defendants to preserve evidence. There’s a transcription of the response to Blakeman’s reply after the break.

Also recall that in late October, Rozella Oliver filed a report making various recommendations for sanctions against Sang Lee and Charlie and Frank Ferrara for their failure to preserve evidence. Last week she filed an amended version of this report softening some of her recommendations.
Continue reading Lunada Bay Boys Magistrate Judge Oliver Files Amended Recommendation For Sanctions Against Sang Lee And Some Ferraras, Plaintiffs Respond To Blakeman’s and City’s Oppositions To Their Motions For Sanctions In Preparation For Tomorrow’s Hearing Before Oliver

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Lunada Bay Boys Defendants Blakeman And City of PVE File Timely Oppositions To Plaintiffs’ Motion For Sanctions, Blakeman Throws His Co-Defendant Frank Ferrara Under The Bus To Some Extent

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 can also read all my posts on the case.

OK, so the Lunada Bay Boys plaintiffs filed a motion for sanctions against defendants Brant Blakeman, the City of PVE, and some others. The motion is here. And a couple weeks ago Judge James Otero ordered all relevant parties to brief Rozella Oliver, the magistrate judge in the case, on the issues. She turned around and set a briefing schedule and a hearing, which will happen in her courtroom on Spring Street on Wednesday, December 6, at 1:30 p.m.

That order required Blakeman and the City defendants to file briefs in opposition by November 27, which they did, and which are the reason for today’s post.4 The issue is, of course, whether these particular defendants destroyed evidence, mainly text messages, after they had a legal duty to preserve it. No one seems to deny that they did destroy the texts, so the argument is mostly about precisely when their duty to preserve evidence was activated.5

You might recall that at some point various Ferraras argued that their duty to preserve only attached when they were served with papers in the suit, but Rozella Oliver wasn’t buying it. She said that because Frank Ferrara had been interviews by the Daily Breeze prior to service he knew about the suit and ought to have not destroyed his texts. Well, Blakeman turns that argument to his own account by asserting that because he wasn’t interviewed by the paper, there’s no evidence that he knew about the suit prior to service.

Anyway, here are the briefs filed, and there are selected transcriptions from Blakeman’s pleading after the break:

Continue reading Lunada Bay Boys Defendants Blakeman And City of PVE File Timely Oppositions To Plaintiffs’ Motion For Sanctions, Blakeman Throws His Co-Defendant Frank Ferrara Under The Bus To Some Extent

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“Hello ■■■■■■■■■ and ■■■■■■■■■. My name is Josh Albrektson and I live in Downtown. I thought you guy smight [sic] be interested in what your colleage [sic], ■■■■■■■■■ does in his spare time.”

Recently I reported on the fact that idiosyncratically facial-haired DLANC douchebag-at-large, Joshua Albrektson, had threatened to expose my deepest darkest secrets to the world if I didn’t stop requesting documents via the California Public Records Act and writing about them on this blog. Well, the other day I obtained a few of the emails he sent in furtherance of this criminal conspiracy to repress me, and I thought I’d publish them here. For once I don’t have any snark to intersperse. The guy’s work is self-mocking. So turn the page for links and transcripts!
Continue reading “Hello ■■■■■■■■■ and ■■■■■■■■■. My name is Josh Albrektson and I live in Downtown. I thought you guy smight [sic] be interested in what your colleage [sic], ■■■■■■■■■ does in his spare time.”

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How Weirdly-Bearded Oswald-Mosely-esque Facebook Hero, DLANC Board Member, And Self-Proclaimed Radiologist Joshua Albrektson Threatened To Expose My Darkest Secrets If I Didn’t Stop Blogging And Making CPRA Requests So I Turned Him In To The FBI For Violating 18 USC §875(d)

Maybe you’ve been following the loony-tunes saga of DLANC Board member Joshua Albrektson and how he can’t follow the freaking law to save his life. Well, it gets weirder, friends. The other day, this self-proclaimed radiologist sent me this exceedingly bizarre email, threatening me with some kind of exposure if I didn’t stop blogging and making CPRA requests:

From:Josh Albrektson <joshraymd@gmail.com>
To:■■■■■■■■■
Subject:Just wanted to give you a warning
Date:Friday, November 17, 2017 7:02 AM

Just you and me on this e-mail. You actually have pissed off a TON of people. And one of them has collected every misogynist or other bad article you have ever written. That person has almost had enough of you and is thinking of going public to the LA Times and calling the president of ■■■■■■■■■. So I would think very hard about the next time you send a public request.

As for me, I don’t appreciate the accusations you have done against me and some of my friends. So this is just my personal warning to you. Every time you publish an article, any article, from this second forward someone you wouldn’t want reading your work will find out what you are writing about. It could end right now with you and ■■■■ being the only people at ■■■■■■■■ who know about your articles. Or not. Your choice.

Leave aside the surreal assumption that there are people I “wouldn’t want reading” work that I myself consciously publish on the open Internet, what do we have here but a thuggish attempt, however misguided, to intimidate me into not writing about Joshua Albrektson’s friends by threatening to, I don’t know, destroy my reputation?

I don’t know what you would do, but I turned the guy in to the FBI for violating 18 U.S.C. §875(d), which criminalizes this kind of conduct for reasons that you can read about in detail after the break!
Continue reading How Weirdly-Bearded Oswald-Mosely-esque Facebook Hero, DLANC Board Member, And Self-Proclaimed Radiologist Joshua Albrektson Threatened To Expose My Darkest Secrets If I Didn’t Stop Blogging And Making CPRA Requests So I Turned Him In To The FBI For Violating 18 USC §875(d)

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How I Reported DLANC’s Douchebaggiest Development Diva, Lover-Of-Non-White-Women, And DTLA Dustbowl Refugee Josh Albrektson To The Los Angeles County District Attorney For Violating The Brown Act With Evidence Provided By His Own Confession Against Interest Published, For Peak Derp, On Freaking Facebook

Anyone who follows this blog regularly knows that we’re raking in big bucks from George Soros and similar sources to support our merciless over-coal raking and to-the-duly-constituted-authorities reporting of the propertied classes of Los Angeles and their eager brown-tongued lap-minions like, e.g., the six members of the Board of Directors of the Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council who participated in a sub rosa, barely legal conspiracy to do in the recent Skid Row Neighborhood Council formation effort.

One of the many targets at which we direct this firehose of Sorosbux is the Facebook, where Internet amateurs and malcontents will gather to vent their collective spleens in the comfy company of their moronic six-fingered peers. In particular, we have a dedicated, Soros-funded, intern1 doing absolutely nothing all day but sifting through opposition Facebookery. And mostly it’s predictably dumb and sadly inconsequential, this material. The political equivalent, if you will, of kitten memes. Occasionally, however, a gem pops up in the feed, and when it does, well, we will write about it!

So you can well imagine our glee over here at MK.Org secret headquarters when this little slab of puckey was brought to our attention.2 The author is DLANC board member and erstwhile DTLA resident3 Joshua Albrektson, writing about his actions after receiving the grievance against DLANC board member Dan Curnow that I filed a few weeks ago:

This is his latest article. He sent a grievance to DLANC that was literally about 40 pages about Dan Curnow being on a e-mail chain of people opposing the Skid Row NC. In order to file a grievance, you have to be a stakeholder of the place. He attached a page stating he is a stakeholder because he investigates the BIDS. I told everybody that he lives in Hollywood and works in Whittier and doesn’t own property here. I don’t think anybody even read his grievance.

So what would you do if you read something like this? Well, what I did is to turn the guy in to the Public Integrity Division of the Los Angeles County District Attorney for violating the Brown Act. Turn the page for details!
Continue reading How I Reported DLANC’s Douchebaggiest Development Diva, Lover-Of-Non-White-Women, And DTLA Dustbowl Refugee Josh Albrektson To The Los Angeles County District Attorney For Violating The Brown Act With Evidence Provided By His Own Confession Against Interest Published, For Peak Derp, On Freaking Facebook

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Business Improvement Districts in Los Angeles — Satan, Your Kingdom Must Come Down!