Tag Archives: Revolving Door Law

New Documents: Lisa Trifiletti and Omar Pulido Emails, Wilshire Center BID And East Hollywood BID Emails To/From City Of LA From February 2017

This is just a short note to announce three new sets of documents for your entertainment, your edification, and, if you’re interested, a little puzzle for you to solve.

First we have a couple of monthly sets of emails between BIDs and the City of Los Angeles. This turns out to be a useful request for keeping finger on pulse, often leading to unexpected discoveries, so I make it every month of all my favorite BIDs.1 Perhaps there are some lurking here:

And turn the page for the most interesting item of all for today!
Continue reading New Documents: Lisa Trifiletti and Omar Pulido Emails, Wilshire Center BID And East Hollywood BID Emails To/From City Of LA From February 2017

Open Letter to the Los Angeles City Ethics Commission on the proposed stipulation in Case No. 2016-13, In the Matter of Marie Rumsey

Herb Wesson being way, way, way too friendly with Marie Rumsey on November 17, 2015.
Herb Wesson being way, way, way too friendly with Marie Rumsey on November 17, 2015.
I reported on Friday that the City Ethics Commission is slated to consider the case of Marie Rumsey, formerly of CD13 but now working as a lobbyist for the Central City Association, and her repeated violations of the City’s revolving door ordinance, found at LAMC 49.5.13(C)(1). As I noted then, she admitted guilt and excused herself in a particularly implausible way, according to the CEC’s report:

Rumsey received inaccurate legal advice from CCA’s former legal counsel and mistakenly believed that she could attempt to influence any City agency except Councilmember O’Farrell’s office.

Well, I’ve been thinking and thinking about it, and it occurred to me that, since Rumsey spoke before the Council a number of times, it ought to be possible to track down evidence that she had actually attempted to influence Darth Four-Eyes1 himself. So the first piece of evidence I found was this speaker card from the City Council meeting of November 17, 2015. Marie Rumsey signed up to speak on CF 14-1656-S1.2 Next, I had to track down the item on the Council video of that meeting. Well, I did track it down, and here is a link right to her comment. Not only does she address the Council in violation of the law, not only does Mitch O’Farrell end up voting yes on the matter before the Council after she asked him to in violation of the law, but Herb Wesson, who really ought to know better, welcomes her before she violates the law by saying “Ms. Ramsey, [sic] welcome home, good to see you.”

Well, that’s too much. Not only was it against the law for Marie Rumsey to be speaking in front of the Council, not only does it make a mockery of her explanation that her lawyer told her she was only forbidden from trying to influence Mitch O’Farrell’s office,3 but it shows Herb Wesson to be an even bigger idiot than previously suspected. Thus I resolved to write to the Ethics Commission urging them to reject their staff’s proposed stipulation, carry out further investigations, charge Marie Rumsey with ALL of her violations of the revolving door ordinance, and to consider whether Wesson and/or O’Farrell were in violation of LAMC 49.5.16(A)(1)(c), which prohibits aiding and abetting violations of the rest of the Government Ethics Ordinance. So I spent this evening writing this letter to the CEC and submitting it as a public comment for Tuesday’s meeting.4 You can also read it after the break if you’re on mobile or for some other reason prefer not to deal with a PDF.
Continue reading Open Letter to the Los Angeles City Ethics Commission on the proposed stipulation in Case No. 2016-13, In the Matter of Marie Rumsey

Probably On Basis Of Our Complaint, Scofflaw Lobbyist Marie Rumsey Has Been Nailed By Ethics Commission For Violating Post-Employment Restrictions, Provides Pathetically Implausible Excuse, Enforcement Staff Recommends She Be Let Off With Wrist Slap

Marie Rumsey in happier days at CD13 before she got hired on at the Central City Association and turned to a life of crime, infamy, and outlawry.
Marie Rumsey in happier days at CD13 before she got hired on at the Central City Association and turned to a life of crime, infamy, and outlawry.
My colleagues and I reported in January 2016 that former Mitch O’Farrell aide Marie Rumsey appeared to be in violation of Los Angeles Municipal Code §49.5.13.C.1. A few weeks later I submitted a report on the matter to the City Ethics Commission. Well, last night the CEC published its agenda for the December 6 meeting and, lo! A stipulation in the matter of Marie Rumsey is Item 5!

I submitted evidence of three violations, although there were clearly many others. They tagged her for two of them. She admitted that she’d broken the law, but gave as an exceedingly lame excuse that… well, let the CEC tell it:

Rumsey received inaccurate legal advice from CCA’s former legal counsel and mistakenly believed that she could attempt to influence any City agency except Councilmember O’Farrell’s office.

Because of this and because of her cooperation, CEC staff is recommending leniency:

The maximum administrative penalty for a violation of the City’s post-employment laws is the greater of $5,000 or three times the amount of compensation that was improperly received. Los Angeles City Charter § 706(c)(3). In this case, the two counts against Rumsey result in a maximum penalty of $14,250. We recommend a penalty of $7,125, which is equal to 50 percent of the maximum in this case. We believe the recommended penalty is appropriate, because it takes into consideration the serious nature of the violations while also encouraging cooperation with Ethics Commission investigations and the early resolution of violations.

These offers of 50% of the fine seem to be standard for people who cooperate with the CEC. And the $7,125 isn’t pocket change, even if the CCA ends up paying it for her.1 In this case, though, I think such a low offer is a mistake, not least because on analysis her excuse turns out to be unsupportable. For details on this, and some other interesting matters regarding this case, read on!
Continue reading Probably On Basis Of Our Complaint, Scofflaw Lobbyist Marie Rumsey Has Been Nailed By Ethics Commission For Violating Post-Employment Restrictions, Provides Pathetically Implausible Excuse, Enforcement Staff Recommends She Be Let Off With Wrist Slap

Crime Does Pay At City Hall: Anti-RV Resolution Introduced In Council This Morning At Behest of Media District BID Director Lisa Schechter, Acting in Apparent Violation of Her Post-Employment Lobbying Ban

RVs on Lillian Way between Santa Monica Blvd and Melrose Avenue
RVs on Lillian Way between Santa Monica Blvd and Melrose Avenue
This morning, CD13 Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell introduced a resolution seeking to impose restrictions on parking oversized vehicles in a semi-industrialized sliver of the Hollywood Media District BID located roughly between Cole Avenue and Vine Street west to east and Santa Monica Boulevard and Melrose Avenue north to south. There is a never-ending flow of these seemingly innocuous items in the agendas of our esteemed Council, but I just happen to know an awful lot about the backstory to this one, which is anything but innocuous, actually, and is the subject of today’s post.

The Media District BID is particularly attractive to people living in RVs because it’s industrialized, so no night-time neighbors to annoy, and it’s close to the center of Hollywood. Especially on Lillian Way and its cross streets, Romaine, Willoughby, and Waring, there has been a thriving but quiet community of RV-dwellers for years on end. But the Media District BID hates it. They just can’t deal with it. For instance, see this email chain from March 2015 where Hollywood cop Julie Nony discusses how to get rid of them with erstwhile Media District BID director Steven Whiddon and a bunch of overprivileged proprietors who don’t understand the concept of public space. But, probably not surprisingly, Steven Whiddon was unable to orchestrate any lasting action.

RVs on Lillian Way between Santa Monica Blvd and Melrose Avenue
RVs on Lillian Way between Santa Monica Blvd and Melrose Avenue

So enter Lisa Schechter, employed by erstwhile CD4 rep Tom LaBonge until June 30, 2015. Sometime between then and October 2015 she was hired by the Media District to replace the departed but unlamented Whiddon. Very soon after that, in fact on November 5, 2015, Schechter and current Media District Board President Laurie Goldman met with O’Farrell’s Hollywood Field Deputy, Daniel Halden. Dan was kind enough to supply me with a copy of his notes from that meeting, wherein (on the second page) one can read the portentous words: “Oversized vehicles Resolution — MAP.” There’s no question that this meeting between Halden, Goldman, and Schechter, is the genesis of the resolution introduced this morning by Mitch O’Farrell.
Continue reading Crime Does Pay At City Hall: Anti-RV Resolution Introduced In Council This Morning At Behest of Media District BID Director Lisa Schechter, Acting in Apparent Violation of Her Post-Employment Lobbying Ban

Fashion District BID Executive Director Kent Smith’s Complete July 2015 Emails Now Available. FDBID Managing Director Rena Leddy Wins MK.org Excellence in BID Transparency Award!

Rena Leddy headshot
Rena Leddy, Managing Director of the Fashion District BID and MK.org CPRA Hero of the Fricking Year!!
Just this morning I received, via Dropbox, every one of Kent Smith’s emails for the month of July 2015. You can see all 1098 of them on the archive. Most of it’s dismal mass-blasted junk, of course, but even a lot of that is interesting. E.g. search in there for CCA (Central City Association) to see bunches of their bulletins, like this one, advertising special guests Jessica Borek and Matt Rodriguez. Unfortunately there’s probably no way to find out what was said there, but at least we know it happened.
Yet another smoking gun, as if it weren't clear enough that Marie Rumsey is a big-time lawbreaker.
Yet another smoking gun, as if it weren’t clear enough that Marie Rumsey is a big-time lawbreaker.

The most amazing thing about this document dump is the formatting. They’re PDFs, which often is a bad sign for emails, although these are text-based1 so they can be searched reasonably effectively. Too many agencies think somehow that a scanned PDF of a printed email satisfies CPRA’s requirement that electronic documents be produced in native formats. These PDFs are on a level I’ve never seen before, though. First of all, the links are live, including the links to remote images. Also the links to attachments are live and the attachments are embedded in the PDFs. For instance, look at this email about anti-street-vending strategies from Marie Rumsey to various people. It has an actual schedule of actual meetings with Councilmembers that CCA set up for street vending opponents attached, and you can click on it and read it! Or here it is if you’re lazy. This is the real deal! Look at the properties in that last item and see that Marie Rumsey spent 2015 breaking the revolving door ordinance to an even greater extent than anyone here imagined. Also take a look at this email from Jessica Borek to the gang which comes with a copy of a Power Point thing by Jessica Borek about the Coalition to Save Small Business strategy as well as a marked-up copy of ELACC’s proposed framework. This is the real deal, friends! It’s what CPRA was actually meant to yield.
Continue reading Fashion District BID Executive Director Kent Smith’s Complete July 2015 Emails Now Available. FDBID Managing Director Rena Leddy Wins MK.org Excellence in BID Transparency Award!

City of Los Angeles Revolving Door Law Contest! Prizes!!

First-Place-TrophyThe City of Los Angeles has a revolving door law, which prohibits certain high-level officials from being paid to lobby the city government for various lengths of time after leaving their city jobs. This law was passed by the City Council in its current form at the end of 2013 and it became effective on February 10, 2014. It states that:

For one year after leaving City service, a City official shall not receive compensation to attempt to influence, either personally or through an agent, City action on any matter pending before any agency on behalf of a person other than an agency if, during the 24 months preceding the official’s departure from City service, the official held any of the following positions: elected City officer; Board of Public Works Commissioner; General Manager; Chief Administrative Officer; Mayor’s Chief of Staff; Deputy Mayor; Mayoral Aide VII; Mayoral Aide VIII; Executive Assistant City Attorney; Chief Assistant City Attorney; Senior Assistant City Attorney; City Attorney Exempt Employee; Chief Deputy Controller; Administrative Deputy Controller; Principal Deputy Controller; Council Aide VI; or Council Aide VII.

Now, it turns out that it’s not so easy to find out who falls into those categories.1 The problem is that, e.g., a Council Aide VII may have any number of job titles. They might be a chief of staff, a director of planning, and so on. A later section of the law says:

By July 31 of every year, the City Controller shall submit to the Ethics Commission the names of each individual who held a position identified in Subsection C.1. during the preceding 24 months. By July 31 of every year, the City Clerk shall submit to the Ethics Commission the names of each individual who held a City Attorney Exempt position as provided in City Charter Section 1050(d) during the preceding 24 months.

So after we noticed the whole Marie Rumsey situation it occurred to me that a copy of this list would be an interesting document to have. It turned out not to be so incredibly simple to get2 but, finally, get it I did. And here it is for you!3 Note that checking this list against the Ethics Commission’s list of registered lobbyists for 2015 would have revealed Marie Rumsey’s perfidy. There don’t seem to be any other fruits quite so low-hanging on here, but there’s still juice to be squeezed! And that fact practically begs for a contest, so read on for the rules.
Continue reading City of Los Angeles Revolving Door Law Contest! Prizes!!

Law-and-Order-Touting Anti-Street-Vending Central City Association Flack Marie Rumsey is a Hypocritical Defier of the Revolving Door Ordinance of the City of Los Angeles

Marie Rumsey in happier days back at CD13.
Marie Rumsey in happier days back at CD13.
When last we wrote of Marie Rumsey, late of CD13 but now moved on to greener pastures with the revoltingly Schatzian nightmare horror-show the Central City Association, she was introducing thuggish opposite-of-Alinsky Jessica Borek of the not-so-very-law-abiding-their-own-selves Rodriguez Strategies to the Board of Directors of the racketeer influenced criminal conspiracy known as the Hollywood Property Owners Alliance.

Since that time we’ve learned a little bit about the government ethics laws of the City of Los Angeles, such as they are, and, amazingly, it turns out that Marie Rumsey is, was, and, for all we know, shall be violating them big-time. This, you will remember, is the woman who, in March 2015, went on and on and on and on about how there would be no way to enforce health codes and laws if street vending were to be legalized and how desperately bad that would be for everyone. Well, let us now enlighten you about the law Marie Rumsey was breaking even as she spoke those fateful words.
Continue reading Law-and-Order-Touting Anti-Street-Vending Central City Association Flack Marie Rumsey is a Hypocritical Defier of the Revolving Door Ordinance of the City of Los Angeles