Tag Archives: California Public Records Act

Fashion District BID Files Timely Response To My Writ Petition — Denies Everything — World’s Angriest CPRA Lawyer Carol Humiston Handling Matters For Them — Trial Setting Conference On November 16, 2018 At 9:30 AM In Department 86 — Stanley Mosk Courthouse

So you’ll remember possibly that in August I was forced by their unhinged intransigence to file a writ petition against the Fashion Freaking District BID asking a judge to boss them about until they began to comply with their statutorily mandated duties under the California Public Records Act. Well, it seems they’re not going to go quietly into that good night, so they went out and hired themselves the world’s angriest CPRA lawyer, which is to say Carol Freaking Humiston of Bradley & Freaking Gmelich, and she went and filed a timely response to my petition.

And you can read the damn thing by clicking here if you want to. But I have to say, as much as I enjoy reading legal pleadings of all varieties and subject matters, these replies leave me cold. Take a look and you’ll see. They deny everything, but they don’t even say what they’re denying. It’s all like “As to the allegations in paragraph 17, we deny the first three, state that the fourth and the ninth require no response insofar as they assert legal conclusions, and the fifth through the seventh, even if true, do not allege a violation. Insofar as we fail to deny, thus far do we admit.”
Continue reading Fashion District BID Files Timely Response To My Writ Petition — Denies Everything — World’s Angriest CPRA Lawyer Carol Humiston Handling Matters For Them — Trial Setting Conference On November 16, 2018 At 9:30 AM In Department 86 — Stanley Mosk Courthouse

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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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Chinatown BID Fails To File Answer To CPRA Writ Petition Before Deadline — Maybe George Yu Considers Himself Beyond The Reach Of The Law — Which Certainly Wouldn’t Be Uncharacteristic Of That Thuggish Little Weirdo

I mean I don’t know what it is with these thuggish little business improvement districts around Los Angeles. They won’t comply with the public records act and when I am thereby forced to file petitions against them they won’t even respond. This famously happened in May with that wonky little gang of white supremacists out in the Larchmont Village BID and now it just happened again with the Chinatown BID, due to the off-the-chain intransigence of which we were forced in August to file a petition.

Of course George Yu is well-known in these parts to be a screamer, a bully, and a freaking self-proclaimed criminal, so it’s not strange to learn that he doesn’t feel like he has to play by other rules of civil society. And for all that, the consequences of these failures may be minimal. In ordinary lawsuits if you don’t answer on time you just lose, but the California Code of Civil Procedure at §1088 rules out this result for writs of mandate, which is what we’re seeking. Also in July at the trial setting conference for the Larchmont BID petition, the judge granted the BID an extra 30 days to reply without them even having to explain their lapse.

So like I said, there may not be any consequences, or any serious consequences. But on the other hand there may be. We’ll see! Stay tuned and you can see also!
Continue reading Chinatown BID Fails To File Answer To CPRA Writ Petition Before Deadline — Maybe George Yu Considers Himself Beyond The Reach Of The Law — Which Certainly Wouldn’t Be Uncharacteristic Of That Thuggish Little Weirdo

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VICTORY!! On Advice Of Carol Humiston, The World’s Angriest CPRA Lawyer, Melrose And Westchester BIDs Both Agree To Pay My Even-Tempered Attorney, The Incomparable Anna von Herrmann, Beaucoup De Bucks To Settle CPRA Petitions Brought Due To The Weirdo Incompetence Of Donald Freaking Duckworth, Their Hatchet-Faced Goblin Of A Zeck Dreck — Perhaps They Will Be More Compliant In The Future? — Perhaps The City Of Los Angeles Will Intervene And Enforce Compliance To Stop BIDs Bleeding Public Money Out Of Arrogance And Inability? — Probably Not, But I Can Dream

Of course you recall that in June of this year, my hand forced by the bizarro-world intransigence of BIDdological freak show specimen Donald Duckworth, executive director of both the Westchester Town Center BID and the Melrose BID, I had no recourse but to file a couple of writ petitions asking a judge to splain them that it wasn’t cool to openly flout the California Public Records Act just because they happen to be a gang of zillionaires and zillionare-associated minions. Soon thereafter El Duckworth suffered a severe attack of conscience and handed over all the disputed records.1

This development was good in at least two senses. First of all and most importantly it was good for the immortal soul of Mr. Duckworth, although as he was pretty clearly motivated by his anticipation of exposure and/or punishment his contrition was imperfect. Second of all it was good for my case because if a previously noncompliant agency, such as a BID, hands over records as a result of a petition being filed, the petitioner, such as me, automatically wins and the judge is required to award attorney’s fees.

This nondiscretionary outcome gives the respondent a powerful motive to hurry up and settle once records have been produced. Since they’re going to have to pay the petitioner’s attorney their best move is to minimize the amount of work done by opposing counsel. El Duckie’s two BIDs hired Carol Humiston, the world’s angriest CPRA attorney. And those, after a lot of characteristically Humistonian bluster and bullshit, are precisely the lines along which she seems to have advised her clients, which is why they have agreed to hand over a lot of damn money in exchange for settling the case.

This of course is a great victory for the forces of good, the side of the better angels of this City of Angels, and so on. Now let’s hope that this development along with the high costs that other BIDs have already paid,2 will convince them that it’s cheaper, easier, and more responsible to just hand over the damn records when I ask for them rather than fooling about wasting other people’s money in a series of ultimately futile and expensive attempts to keep the goods away from me just because they don’t like being called mean names on the Internet.

Also we can hope that this victory along with the others, past and future, will convince the City that if the BIDs can’t act responsibly they need to be made to do so. Whatever happens, of course you’ll read about it here! And turn the page for a rare and coveted image of MK.Org secret headquarters this very night just after we got the news! And here’s the damn soundtrack!
Continue reading VICTORY!! On Advice Of Carol Humiston, The World’s Angriest CPRA Lawyer, Melrose And Westchester BIDs Both Agree To Pay My Even-Tempered Attorney, The Incomparable Anna von Herrmann, Beaucoup De Bucks To Settle CPRA Petitions Brought Due To The Weirdo Incompetence Of Donald Freaking Duckworth, Their Hatchet-Faced Goblin Of A Zeck Dreck — Perhaps They Will Be More Compliant In The Future? — Perhaps The City Of Los Angeles Will Intervene And Enforce Compliance To Stop BIDs Bleeding Public Money Out Of Arrogance And Inability? — Probably Not, But I Can Dream

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Thousands Of Pages Of 2016 LAPD Emails Shed Light On Hollywood Nightclub Racism And Creepy Cop Tricks — Including Targeted Enforcement Against Minority-Serving Establishments — Sending People “To Jail Before They Commit Crimes” — Explicit Targeting Of Putatively Chronic Offenders — Not To Mention Bizarro-World Redaction Policies Which Shed Some Light On The LAPD’s Contempt For The Public Records Act

Friends, cast your minds back to the Spring of 2015! Kerry Morrison’s various BIDs were all in a psychotic tizzy about dark-skinned people coming to Hollywood on the weekends to drink and dance and have some damn fun. Kerry Morrison and her yes-mob started a campaign against the nightclubs on Hollywood Blvd whose patrons were insufficiently lacking in melanin.1 This led, by the Fall of 2015, to Hollywood’s itchy skritchy little Council-snitchy, the one, the only, Mitch O’Freaking Farrell, starting a high-profile public campaign to shut down every nightspot that made Ms. Kerry Freaking Morrison wrinkle her freaking nose in disdain.

There was some pushback from the club owners in 2016, e.g. from the owner of the Rusty Mullet, whose lawyers played video from this blog at a Council hearing, and the organizers of the #blackhollywoodmatters campaign who, notably, convinced Marqueece Harris-Dawson to vote against the wishes of his smarmy little buddy from CD13 in a committee hearing, although naturally he reversed himself at the full Council vote. But in the usual way of things these minor victories didn’t have much of an effect,2 and by the end of August 2016 Kerry Morrison was, like Grendel’s momma, sitting around her reeking lair counting her ill-gotten victories on her poisonous and twisted little talons.

Around this time, that is, in August 2016, I filed a public records act request with the LAPD asking for emails related to these matters. And because the LAPD is basically a criminal conspiracy with respect to CPRA and just will not comply with the freaking law, which is why they get sued under the CPRA all the freaking time, it took them two whole years to hand over the goods. But they finally did produce thousands of pages3 and I recently published the whole pile on Archive.Org for your pleasure and edification.

At this late date, of course, and this was doubtless the City’s intention, the battle for the soul of Hollywood Blvd is pretty much over, with the reprehensible frightening whitening brightening of its nightlife essentially complete. However, history is interesting as well as political science, so I plan to write on these emails from time to time as there’s a lot of really disturbing and important material in there. The texts for today’s sermon come from this set here, and turn the page for the details!
Continue reading Thousands Of Pages Of 2016 LAPD Emails Shed Light On Hollywood Nightclub Racism And Creepy Cop Tricks — Including Targeted Enforcement Against Minority-Serving Establishments — Sending People “To Jail Before They Commit Crimes” — Explicit Targeting Of Putatively Chronic Offenders — Not To Mention Bizarro-World Redaction Policies Which Shed Some Light On The LAPD’s Contempt For The Public Records Act

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In 1995 The City Attorney And The Fair Political Practices Commission Both Agreed That BIDs Were Government Agencies And Their Board Members Were Public Officials Subject To The Brown Act And The CPRA — So When Aaron Epstein Sued The City And The Hollywood BID In 1999 Why Did The City Take Kerry Morrison’s Side Even Though They Already Knew Epstein Was Right? — Probably Yet Another Case Of Yielding To Her Every Damn Whim No Matter How Dire The Consequences — Ironically The Same Lawyer, Patricia Tubert, Argued Both Contradictory Sides Of The Dispute

I’ve written many times about the monumental case Epstein v. Hollywood Entertainment District BID and will, I have no doubt, write about it many more times to come. The issue in 1998 was that Hollywood property owner Aaron Epstein thought that he ought to be able to attend BID meetings whereas executive director Kerry Morrison, then at the very dawn of her BIDdological career but as characteristically secretive as ever, refused to let him in to watch his money being spent.

He sued in 1999, claiming that the BID1 was required to comply with the Brown Act by virtue of §54952(c)(1)(A), which makes an entity of the following type subject to its transparency requirements:

A board, commission, committee, or other multimember body that governs a private corporation, limited liability company, or other entity that … [i]s created by the elected legislative body in order to exercise authority that may lawfully be delegated by the elected governing body to a private corporation, limited liability company, or other entity.

The case yielded a monumental opinion from the Court of Appeal, dripping with sarcasm and barely disguised contempt for the weak arguments of the defendants. It’s worth reading in its entirety, or take a look here for selections. But for our purposes here it’s enough to know that both the BID, driven by Ms. Kerry Morrison and her absolute disgust at the possibility of public oversight of her publicly funded activities, and the City of Los Angeles in the person of then-deputy-City-Attorney Patricia Tubert, argued vehemently that the BID was not in any way subject to the Brown Act.

So what a surprise it was, the other day, to obtain a copy of this 1995 report from the Los Angeles City Attorney, authored by none other than Patricia Tubert, which explicitly stated that in the opinion of the City Attorney BIDs were in fact subject to the Brown Act, exactly as the Court of Appeal ruled in 2001 over the City’s objections. And attached to this report was a 1994 opinion issued by the Fair Political Practices Commission in response to an explicit request from none other than the Los Angeles City Attorney which reached precisely the same conclusion.

And not only that but both agencies agreed that BID board members are in fact public officials with respect to these laws and also subject to state prohibitions on conflicts of interest.2 So it’s really a mystery now why in 1998 when Aaron Epstein wanted to attend BID meetings the City of Los Angeles didn’t just tell Kerry Morrison and her infernal board of directors that they had to let him in. Why they spent three long and undoubtedly expensive years defending a position that they already knew to be wrong.

At this late date and because the attorney client privilege between the City and the City Attorney is doubtlessly implicated, we are probably never going to know for sure why they made the obviously wrong decision to defend an indefensible position. But if they were thinking about Kerry Morrison and her weirdo schemes back then like they are now, and why wouldn’t they have been, they wouldn’t have needed any more of a reason beyond Kerry Morrison’s request. Shameful. And harmful. But not a surprise. Turn the page for selected transcriptions.
Continue reading In 1995 The City Attorney And The Fair Political Practices Commission Both Agreed That BIDs Were Government Agencies And Their Board Members Were Public Officials Subject To The Brown Act And The CPRA — So When Aaron Epstein Sued The City And The Hollywood BID In 1999 Why Did The City Take Kerry Morrison’s Side Even Though They Already Knew Epstein Was Right? — Probably Yet Another Case Of Yielding To Her Every Damn Whim No Matter How Dire The Consequences — Ironically The Same Lawyer, Patricia Tubert, Argued Both Contradictory Sides Of The Dispute

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In 2013 Kerry Morrison Told The City Council That Without City Oversight Of BID Compliance With The Public Records Act “It Is Very Possible That One Of The BID Boards Would Be Sued, Which Would Also Involve The City” — This Despite Decades Of Kerry Morrison’s Refusing To Have Her BID Be Overseen In Any Way — Protesting Any Proposed Oversight Schemes — And Repeatedly Violating The Brown Act And CPRA In Flamboyantly Intentional Ways

It seems that in 2013 the City was considering transferring BID management functions away from the City Clerk to some to-be-created Office of Imaginary Money-Shuffling Practices or suchlike nonsense. Obviously it didn’t happen, but nevertheless we’re still as lucky as can be to have recently discovered a copy of a letter written by Ms. Kerry Morrison, chock-full of her characteristically narcissistic stylings, in support of keeping BIDditude with the Clerk.

Her unwritten point is that the Clerk’s BID unit is already firmly under the thumb of the BIDs,1 and any change would be detrimental to the BIDs, therefore no change should be made, whatever the needs of the City, and these she really does not deign to consider, might be. Her written points are more prosaic, and except for one of these the interest mainly lies in counting her weirdly nonconscious invocation of cliches.2

Her sole interesting point, and it’s interesting mostly for the way it highlights her absolute indifference towards the truth, has to do with one of our favorite topics on this blog, which is the intersection of BIDdology with the Brown Act and the Public Records Act:

Because of litigation that our BID was involved in at the turn of the century, the boards that manage BIDs are now subject to the Public Records Act and the Brown Act. The City Clerk’s staff helps to ensure compliance. Absent this oversight, it is very possible that one of the BID boards would be sued, which would also involve the city of LA.

Unfortunately I don’t have the time to dissect the unselfconsciously sprinkled self-satisfied hermeneutics of this lil cupcake of a prose poem, However, let’s move past the break and consider some of the inaccuracies and omissions. And, of course, there’s also a transcription of the whole damn letter.
Continue reading In 2013 Kerry Morrison Told The City Council That Without City Oversight Of BID Compliance With The Public Records Act “It Is Very Possible That One Of The BID Boards Would Be Sued, Which Would Also Involve The City” — This Despite Decades Of Kerry Morrison’s Refusing To Have Her BID Be Overseen In Any Way — Protesting Any Proposed Oversight Schemes — And Repeatedly Violating The Brown Act And CPRA In Flamboyantly Intentional Ways

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Historic Core BID Sued To Enforce Compliance With The California Public Records Act

I know some of my readers have been wondering why I haven’t written much lately about batty little fusspot Blair Besten, the nattering sociopathic zeck dreck of the Historic Core, third weirdest of the minor downtown BIDs. Well, the reason for that is simple yet appalling. After a reasonably good run in early 2017,1 in May 2017 she just up and stopped producing records in response to my requests. And being the weirdo little liar that she is, she didn’t just stop producing, she randomly cancelled existing appointments, said she’d mail records and never did, claimed bizarro and indefensible lists of exemptions and so on. But then things really took a turn for the weird.

In October 2017 La Besten and/or her shadowy puppetmasters on the BID Board hired self-proclaimed Hollywood Superlawyer Jeffrey Charles Briggs who, at that time, was seen by the BIDs as a reasonably competent obstructer of CPRA requests.2 And after that, once everything was placed in the unclean hands of El Briggs, I received essentially no records.3 And being the weirdo little liar that he is, he didn’t just continue not to produce. Instead he announced an endless series of broken promises, imaginary technical difficulties, unnecessary test transmissions, ignored deadlines, and gratuitous lies.

That, of course, all started almost a year ago, and that’s too long given that the CPRA requires public agencies like BIDs to produce records promptly and without delay.4 Hence, yesterday, we filed this verified petition against Blair Besten’s infernal BID, asking the court to order them to hand over the damn goods post-haste and stop messing around in the future. Turn the page for selected bits!
Continue reading Historic Core BID Sued To Enforce Compliance With The California Public Records Act

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How I Went To The Westchester Town Center BID Meeting Yesterday And Everyone Was So Freaking Nice — The Cops Explained How They Shoo The Wrong Kind Of People Out Of Westchester — And Everyone Smiled — The Trash Lady Explained How If Homeless People Sleep In Alleys Just Privatize Alleys — And Everyone Smiled — Bonus Question: Did You Know Criminals Rent Bird Scooters So They Can Scope Out Break-In Targets More Efficiently? — Zillionaires Think It’s True So It Must Be True!

Here’s how we got to this place. You will recall that, due to the unhinged intransigence of Donald Duckworth, zeck dreck of the Westchester Town Center BID, I was unwillingly forced to file a writ petition against his masters to get them to take their obligations under the California Public Records Act seriously just for one damn time. And I learned from the agenda for yesterday’s meeting that they were poised to hire the world’s angriest CPRA lawyer, Carol F. Humiston,1 to defend their case.2

Well, the doings of La Humiston interest me no end, as why shouldn’t they? So I hopped aboard the good old 115 east on Manchester out to Sepulveda right into the heart of occupied territory, attended the meeting, and, as per usual, filmed the whole thing and you can watch it here on YouTube or if you prefer free-as-in-freedom here on Archive.Org. And the Humiston episode turned out to be utterly anticlimactic. You can watch all very few seconds of it right here.

Basically El Duckworth just said that he and Karen Dial, hereditary president for life of the BID, had interviewed the ballistical barrister and they wanted to hire her.3 Then there was a motion and a second and the usual unanimity carried the day. Oh, snore. But the trip was by no means wasted! In fact, this BID turned out to be even more interesting than I expected it to be even accounting for the extreme level of interest that attends any situation with which Don Duckworth, the pirate king of BIDlandia, associates himself.4

As usual, the main points are summarized in the headline, and turn the page for all the details, links in to the video, and transcriptions that you could ever possibly desire!
Continue reading How I Went To The Westchester Town Center BID Meeting Yesterday And Everyone Was So Freaking Nice — The Cops Explained How They Shoo The Wrong Kind Of People Out Of Westchester — And Everyone Smiled — The Trash Lady Explained How If Homeless People Sleep In Alleys Just Privatize Alleys — And Everyone Smiled — Bonus Question: Did You Know Criminals Rent Bird Scooters So They Can Scope Out Break-In Targets More Efficiently? — Zillionaires Think It’s True So It Must Be True!

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How Andrew Thomas And Carol Humiston Conspired To Spend At Least A Thousand Dollars Of Other People’s Money All To Teach Me A Lesson About The Costs Of Exercising My Rights Under The Public Records Act — How’s It Working Out For Them? — Probably Not So Well In The Long Run

NOTE: This post is turning out to be way longer than I thought, so I figured I’d better link to the actual public records it’s based on up here at the top. New for your perusal and edification are three contracts between the Westwood Village BID and various persons, including Exec Direc Andrew Lloyd Thomas and the BID security provider. Read ’em and weep, friends.

While you all have been enjoying my recent reporting on the Westwood Village BIDdies and their conspiracy with a bunch of UCLA students who feel like the boring homeowners on the Westwood Neighborhood Council don’t approve of enough liquor licenses and happy hours in the Village and whatnot, there has actually been a whole other story seething below the surface, some aspects of which I am writing today to tell you about!

You see, this isn’t just about me, the California Public Records Act, and Andrew Thomas, but also about Andrew Thomas’s lawyer, Carol Humiston, the ballistic barrister of Burbank.1 Carol Humiston,2 who lawyers for a lot of BIDs, has this CPRA system which she evidently believes is going to learn me not to bother her clients any more.3 Well, aside from the fact that no one’s managed to learn me anything since about 1974, her fanaticism ends up needlessly costing her clients a ton of money.4
Continue reading How Andrew Thomas And Carol Humiston Conspired To Spend At Least A Thousand Dollars Of Other People’s Money All To Teach Me A Lesson About The Costs Of Exercising My Rights Under The Public Records Act — How’s It Working Out For Them? — Probably Not So Well In The Long Run

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