John Lee Had To Return A Number Of Illegal 2019 Campaign Contributions — From Former CD7 Rep Felipe Fuentes — Now Some Kind Of Creepy Sacramento Lobbyist — From Brenton Tesler — Now Lee’s Chief Of Staff — Tesler Only Gives Money To Lee By The Way — $3200 Since January 2019 — (Including The $800 Returned By Lee) — And Mega-Contributor Attorney Patricia Glaser — Who Makes A Good Living Defending Rapists Like Harvey Weinstein And Has Given More Than $85K To Local Candidates Over The Years

The Los Angeles City Ethics Commission does routine audits of candidate campaign committees. This duty stems from the Los Angeles City Charter at §702(d).1 The results of these audits are presented by the Executive Director at the Commission’s bimonthly meetings, the next one of which is scheduled for Wednesday, August 18, at 9:30 AM. Here’s a copy of the agenda if you want to participate.

And here’s a copy of Executive Director David Tristan’s report (the two audit reports are at the end). On page 17 find the audit of John Lee For City Council 2019, which ran Lee’s campaign in the 2019 special election to fill Mitchell Englander’s seat, vacated so Englander could take a job as a lobbyist.2 On page 22 find the audit results from Lee’s Runoff election committee.

City law limits each contributor to an aggregate total of $800 in contributions per Councilmember per election3 and the auditors look for violations of this. They often find a few, but they’re not locking anyone up for them. According to the Ethics Commission’s Excess Contribution Policy if the candidate “cures” the violation by returning the contribution and any associated matching funds within a specified time after being caught by the audit they don’t get in trouble for it but the illegal contributions are still reported in the audits.

Lee had a few excess contributions to cure, and they’re pretty interesting. First of all, for the first special election we see former CD7 repster Felipe Fuentes, who resigned from City Council in 2016 to take a job as a lobbyist.4 Fuentes gave $800 on February 7, 2019 and then another $350 on May 30, 2019. Obviously he knew he gave the max in February so it’s hard to see this as anything but an attempt to sneak excess money past the regulators, since there are no consequences for getting caught.
Continue reading John Lee Had To Return A Number Of Illegal 2019 Campaign Contributions — From Former CD7 Rep Felipe Fuentes — Now Some Kind Of Creepy Sacramento Lobbyist — From Brenton Tesler — Now Lee’s Chief Of Staff — Tesler Only Gives Money To Lee By The Way — $3200 Since January 2019 — (Including The $800 Returned By Lee) — And Mega-Contributor Attorney Patricia Glaser — Who Makes A Good Living Defending Rapists Like Harvey Weinstein And Has Given More Than $85K To Local Candidates Over The Years

Share

The Los Angeles Sunshine Coalition Just Filed Another CPRA Petition Against The City Of Los Angeles — This Time Over CD9’s Refusal To Produce Records Timely And Their Insistence On Printing Emails To Paper And Then Scanning Them Badly To Non-Searchable PDFs And Other Such Reprehensible Antics — Executed By Curren Price Hatchetman Angelina Valencia Dumarot — But No Doubt Planned By Price Himself

This post is about a CPRA suit filed last week by the Los Angeles Sunshine Coalition. If you want to skip the nonsense and read the petition click on this link, friend!

Los Angeles City Council District 9, presently repped by Curren Price, who at this point is essentially three sealed federal indictments in a trench coat, is notoriously bad about complying with the California Public Records Act. I haven’t written about it here, but have tweeted about it regularly. See here and here, e.g., for stories about his staffie Angelina Dumarot’s1 absolutely shameless obstruction of my access to records.

Her usual method is to print out requested emails on paper immediately on receipt of the request, wait out the 10 days before sending an unusual circumstances extension notice, and then ignore the request for between 2 months and 2 years. When her calendar reminds her to do so2 she’ll either require requesters to inspect her paper copies of emails in person3 or else scan the printed pages to non-searchable PDFs,4 spool them up into fixed-page-length PDFs in random order with individual emails broken across different files.

The fact that she insists on turning emails into printed paper rather than producing native email files as the law requires is in itself a different and still huge problem. And then at some point in early 2020 she stopped responding to my requests entirely. Many of them are more than two years old at this point. Dumarot’s antics, without doubt entirely at the behest of her inexplicably as-yet-unindicted boss Curren Price, have obstructed access not only to emails, but to usable versions of Price’s appointment calendars and other essential information.

Which is why, if you’re curious, our friends at the Los Angeles Sunshine Coalition, represented by the absolutely essential Tasha Hill and Maya Hylton Garza, filed a writ petition the other day seeking to compel CD9’s compliance with the CPRA both with respect to file formats and to nonproduction. Get your conformed copy here and stay tuned for news!
Continue reading The Los Angeles Sunshine Coalition Just Filed Another CPRA Petition Against The City Of Los Angeles — This Time Over CD9’s Refusal To Produce Records Timely And Their Insistence On Printing Emails To Paper And Then Scanning Them Badly To Non-Searchable PDFs And Other Such Reprehensible Antics — Executed By Curren Price Hatchetman Angelina Valencia Dumarot — But No Doubt Planned By Price Himself

Share

LAPD Chief Michel Moore’s Financial Disclosures Show That In 2021 To Date He Likely Earned Between $35,600 And $339,370 From Stocks And Dividends Alone — Which Works Out To Between $164.06 And $1,563.92 Per Day — Per Freaking Day! — Annualized It Is Between $59,881 And $579,830 — Which Is Entirely On Top Of His Annual Compensation Of More Than $450K Per Year

Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore apparently earned between $164.06 and $1,563.92 per day in 2021 from his investments in the stock market alone. This is a total of something between $35,600 and $339,370 from January 4, 2021 to August 5, 2021. Annualized it comes to between $59,881 and $570,830, which is a lot of damn money!1 That’s the news, and the rest of the post consists of me showing my work. I put all salient information into a spreadsheet if you want to check my method.

We start with Moore’s 2020 Form 700.2 These require disclosure of some information about the employees’s investments including names of the stocks and which of four ranges includes their fair market value. The ranges are as follows, with links to their Yahoo Finance pages showing the historical data I used in the calculations:

  • $2,000—10,000
  • $10,001—$100,000
  • $100,001—$1,000,000
  • Over $1,000,000

Moore discloses ownership of fourteen different stocks, all of them but one with aggregate values in one of the two lower ranges. Here they are along with links to their Yahoo Finance pages, which is where I obtained historical price data:

Moore's Stock Holdings (click to expand)
Stock name Value range
Altria Group $2000—$10,000
Emerson Electric $2000—$10,000
Home Depot $10,001—$100,000
Cisco Systems $10,001—$100,000
Discover Financial Services $2000—$10,000
Intel $100,001—$1,000,000
Pfizer $2000—$10,000
Kraft $2000—$10,000
Philip Morris $10,001—$100,000
Mondelez $2000—$10,000
Royal Dutch Shell3 $10,001—$100,000
Western Digital $10,001—$100,000
Texas Instruments $10,001—$100,000
Linde PLC $10,001—$100,000

And here are the prices on January 4, 2021, on August 5, 2021, and the percent change in value:

Moore's Stock Prices (click to expand)
Stock 1/4/21 price 8/5/21 price Absolute change Relative change
Altria 40.84 47.36 6.52 15.96%
Emerson Electric 78.01 101.06 23.05 29.55%
Home Depot 263.92 333.111 69.191 26.22%
Cisco 43.96 55.76 11.8 26.84%
Discover Fin Serv 89.61 127.1 37.49 41.84%
Intel 49.67 53.89 4.22 8.5%
Pfizer 36.81 45.06 8.25 22.41%
Kraft 34.23 36.94 2.71 7.92%
Phillip Morris 81.5 99.59 18.09 2.22%
Mondelez 57.92 61.86 3.94 6.8%
Shell 36.03 41.2 5.17 14.35%
Western Digital 53.06 67.07 14.01 26.4%
Texas Instruments 162.22 193.16 30.94 19.07%
Linde PLC 258.81 304.83 46.02 17.78%

All but one of Moore’s stocks pay dividends, which can be a significant part of investment income. Here are the dividend rates as of August 5, 2021:4

Moore's dividend rates (click to expand)
Stock Dividend
Altria 7.26%
Emerson Electric 2%
Home Depot 2%
Cisco 2.65%
Discover Fin Serv 1.59%
Intel 2.58%
Pfizer 3.46%
Kraft 4.33%
Phillip Morris 4.82%
Mondelez 2.27%
Shell 3.67%
Western Digital N/A
Texas Instruments 2.11%
Linde PLC 1.39%

And applying the percent change to the minimum and maximum values of each range of Moore’s holdings and adding twice the dividend yield shows his minimum and maximum investment gains, both total and daily, for 2021 through August 5:5

Moore's min/max 2021 gains (click to expand)
Stock Min 2021 gain Max 2021 gain
Altria $609.60 $3,048.00
Emerson Electric $671.00 $3,355.00
Home Depot $3,022.00 $30,220.00
Cisco $3,214.00 $32,140.00
Discover Fin Serv $900.40 $4,502.00
Intel $13,660.00 $136,600.00
Pfizer $586.60 $2,933.00
Kraft $331.60 $1,658.00
Phillip Morris $3,184.00 $31,840.00
Mondelez $226.80 $1,134.00
Shell $2,169.00 $21,690.00
Western Digital $2,640.00 $26,400.00
Texas Instruments $2,329.00 $23,290.00
Linde PLC $2,056.00 $20,560.00



Total $35,600.14 $339,370.00




Min daily gain: Max daily gain:

$164.06 $1,563.92

As stated in the opening paragraph, these calculations show that Moore’s estimated 2021 investment gains through August 5, 2021 were between $35,600 and $339,370. August 5, 2021 was the 217th day of the year, so simple division shows that from investments alone in 2021 Moore earned between $164.06 and $1,563.92 per day in 2021 from investments alone.

This isn’t insignificant, by the way. According to Transparent California Moore earned $462,648.52 in salary and benefits in 2019,6 which is $1267.53 per day. At the top end of my estimate, then, Moore’s investment income adds more than 73% to his annual compensation. At the very least he’s increasing it by 13%.

Does this mean something? Certainly. Am I going to speculate? Certainly not. Like I said above I put all the figures into a spreadsheet so you can check my work if you want to. And that’s it. That’s the blog post!

Share

Last Week The Los Angeles Sunshine Coalition And Friends Filed Four CPRA Petitions — Three Against The City Of Los Angeles And One Against LAHSA — The LA City Suits Are Versus CD4 — And CD15 — And The Information Tech Agency — The CD15 One Includes A Taxpayer Suit Based On California Code of Civil Procedure 526a — Which Lets Us Allege That Buscaino Is Wasting Public Money By Using It To Violate The CPRA — And May Lead To Lasting Policy Changes Rather Than A Mere Production Of Records

This post is about four CPRA suits filed last week. If you want to skip the nonsense and read the petitions here are the links:

Los Angeles Sunshine Coalition v. City of Los Angeles (CD4) — Council District 4 ignores requests and refuses to produce native format.

Los Angeles Sunshine Coalition v. City of Los Angeles (ITA) — The Information Technology Agency of the City of Los Angeles refuses to produce native formats and refuses to produce complete records.

Los Angeles Sunshine Coalition v. LAHSA — The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority refuses to produce records in a timely manner and also ignores requests for years on end.

Riskin v. City of Los Angeles (CD15) — CD15 refuses to produce records in a timely manner and won’t produce native format. This one is also a taxpayer suit under the California Code of Civil Procedure at §526a, which is huge!

It’s been a big few days around here! The Los Angeles Sunshine Coalition filed two CPRA suits against the City of Los Angeles and one against LAHSA and I personally filed one against the City of Los Angeles. Both LASC and I are repped by the formidable Gina Hong of the Los Angeles Center for Community Law and Action.

The case against CD15 is based on a request I made in June 2019, for which, two years later, I’ve only received minimal responsives with no unexpired deadline for production forthcoming. Buscaino staffer Amy Gebert’s shameless violations of the CPRA led me to file two distinct complaints against her with the LA Ethics Commission, one in August 2020 and the other in February 2021.

This is an extremely exciting petition. It’s the first time I’ve used a cause of action based on California Code of Civil Procedure §526a, which allows taxpayers to file suit against government agencies for wasting tax money.1 The idea is that by insisting on producing emails by printing them in color on paper and then scanning the paper to PDFs CD15 is wasting staff time on unnecessary processes and public money on completely unnecessary color printing.
Continue reading Last Week The Los Angeles Sunshine Coalition And Friends Filed Four CPRA Petitions — Three Against The City Of Los Angeles And One Against LAHSA — The LA City Suits Are Versus CD4 — And CD15 — And The Information Tech Agency — The CD15 One Includes A Taxpayer Suit Based On California Code of Civil Procedure 526a — Which Lets Us Allege That Buscaino Is Wasting Public Money By Using It To Violate The CPRA — And May Lead To Lasting Policy Changes Rather Than A Mere Production Of Records

Share

LA City Sanitation Blatantly Lied In A Response To A CPRA Request For Information About Ride-Alongs With CARE/CARE+ Encampment Sweep Teams — They Said They Didn’t Do Ride-Alongs — But I Already Knew — And Could Prove — Using Evidence Produced By LA San In Response To Another Request — That They Did Before I Made The Request — This Kind Of Dishonest Nonsense Completely Derails Requests From People Who Don’t Know That They Lie About CPRA Requests All The Time — And Is The Zillionth Reason We So Badly Need A Municipal Sunshine Law In The City Charter

The City of Los Angeles famously and frequently violates the California Public Records Act. One of the most difficult-to-counter ways in which they do this is to deny that they have responsive records at all. It’s pernicious because the only recourse for violations is to file a petition in Los Angeles County Superior Court but the statute only authorizes petitions when:

it is made to appear by verified petition … that certain public records are being improperly withheld from a member of the public.1

That is, if the City says there are no records and there’s no evidence to the contrary it’s likely a judge will believe the City’s claim and deny the petition.2 Which means it’s often useful to have evidence that responsive records exist even before requesting them. It’s also really important to duplicate requests to as many City departments as may have copies, since they all have different search methods.3

Fairly regularly one City department will say that there are no responsive records while another one will produce proof that the first was lying. For a recent and spectacular example of this phenomenon take a look at this stunningly good Twitter thread from @LANCWatch.

Sometimes even the same department will produce proof that they themselves are lying, an example of which is the subject of today’s post! On June 19, 2021 I asked LA Sanitation for some information about ride-alongs on their CARE/CARE+ homeless encampment sweeps:
Continue reading LA City Sanitation Blatantly Lied In A Response To A CPRA Request For Information About Ride-Alongs With CARE/CARE+ Encampment Sweep Teams — They Said They Didn’t Do Ride-Alongs — But I Already Knew — And Could Prove — Using Evidence Produced By LA San In Response To Another Request — That They Did Before I Made The Request — This Kind Of Dishonest Nonsense Completely Derails Requests From People Who Don’t Know That They Lie About CPRA Requests All The Time — And Is The Zillionth Reason We So Badly Need A Municipal Sunshine Law In The City Charter

Share

Gerald Chaleff — Who Wrote A Report Exonerating LAPD Of Moral Responsibility For Their Appalling Violence Against Protesters During The 2020 Civil Unrest — Applied In February 2020 To Be An LAPD Civilian Hearing Examiner — Which Casts Even More Doubt On His Ethical Independence From LAPD — Hearing Examiner Applicants Have Their Fingerprints Run Against DOJ And FBI Databases — Even Chaleff Had To Do This Although He Was Formerly President Of The Police Commission — No Surprise That He Came Back Clean But What Is Surprising Is That I Have Copies Of The Confidential Reports! — And So Do You If You Want Them!!

This post is based on three public records pertaining to attorney and long-time police booster Gerald Chaleff, hired by LAPD to report on their misbehavior during the 2020 civil unrest. If you don’t want to read through the nonsense to get to the goods, here they are:

February 4, 2020 email from Cindy So — Establishes that Chaleff applied to be an LAPD hearing officer in early 2020.

DOJ report on Gerald Chaleff

FBI report on Gerald Chaleff

In 2020 LAPD was in full-on attack mode against the protesters who filled the streets of Los Angeles supporting the Black Lives Matter movement and other progressive causes. They shot, beat, and falsely arrested protesters by the hundreds. As part of their carefully planned media response strategy LAPD engaged former Police Commission president Gerald Chaleff to write a report on their misbehavior.

Given the psychopathically lenient approach the Commission takes with respect to LAPD oversight no one sensible expected Chaleff’s report to tell much truth, and we the sensible certainly were neither disappointed in this expectation nor surprised that Chaleff’s recommendations boiled down to the usual training, training, and more training.

Chaleff’s connections with LAPD, from his time on the Commission to his stint as William Bratton’s Special Assistant for Constitutional Policing, whatever that may be, have been widely reported. But I haven’t seen any reporting on the fact that in February 2020, before COVID shut down the City and before he was engaged to write his report, Chaleff applied to LAPD to be a civilian hearing officer.
Continue reading Gerald Chaleff — Who Wrote A Report Exonerating LAPD Of Moral Responsibility For Their Appalling Violence Against Protesters During The 2020 Civil Unrest — Applied In February 2020 To Be An LAPD Civilian Hearing Examiner — Which Casts Even More Doubt On His Ethical Independence From LAPD — Hearing Examiner Applicants Have Their Fingerprints Run Against DOJ And FBI Databases — Even Chaleff Had To Do This Although He Was Formerly President Of The Police Commission — No Surprise That He Came Back Clean But What Is Surprising Is That I Have Copies Of The Confidential Reports! — And So Do You If You Want Them!!

Share

Los Angeles Has Paid Almost $1.5M Settling Recent Public Records Suits Against LAPD — But LAPD Continues To Violate The Law With Impunity — Newly Obtained Reports Show That They’ve Radically Decreased Staff In The CPRA Unit — Even As They Deny Requests Which They Claim Would Use Too Much Staff Time To Fill — They Pad Their Request Completion Stats By Prioritizing Innocuous Automated Reports Rather Than Substantial Material — And They Handle Requests From Mainstream Media Outlets More Promptly Than Others

The Los Angeles Police Department routinely violates the civil rights of Angelenos. They kill, beat, and maim, of course, but also conduct countless racist pretextual stops of drivers and bicyclists. They’re allowed to do this by the LA City Council, and without good information about what they’re up to it’s not easy for Angelenos to control them.

But they also routinely violate the California Public Records Act. The details range from egregiously obvious to subtly technical but in every case the goal, and for the most part the actual result, is to keep public records out of the hands of the public. They have been sued repeatedly and successfully for this over the last five years.1 To my knowledge they’ve never prevailed in a public records case.

LAPD’s violations are expensive.2 Since 2016 the City of Los Angeles has paid out at least $1,377,224 to settle CPRA suits against the police department only.3 Given the number of pending cases this figure is likely to top $1.5M by the end of 2021. The fact that settlement payments come from the City’s general fund clearly facilitates LAPD’s strategy of denying access to records until a suit is filed.

One of the most common reasons LAPD gives for denying the public access to records is that to produce them would be “burdensome.” There’s no such exemption in the CPRA, but courts have found, in some cases, that a public agency’s use of its resources, including employee salaries, to fill a request serves the public interest less than the production of the records would do.4 Continue reading Los Angeles Has Paid Almost $1.5M Settling Recent Public Records Suits Against LAPD — But LAPD Continues To Violate The Law With Impunity — Newly Obtained Reports Show That They’ve Radically Decreased Staff In The CPRA Unit — Even As They Deny Requests Which They Claim Would Use Too Much Staff Time To Fill — They Pad Their Request Completion Stats By Prioritizing Innocuous Automated Reports Rather Than Substantial Material — And They Handle Requests From Mainstream Media Outlets More Promptly Than Others

Share

According To LAPD Senior Lead Officer Adrian Lopez “providing services to the homeless is useless. The homeless need to be removed … and the area cleaned and restored back to its original state.” — The City Of LA Cedes Municipal Services To Private Actors Like BIDs — Who Are Incapable And Unwilling To Provide Them — And To Police — Who Are Incapable Of Delivering Anything Other Than Violence — Here’s An Example From Little Tokyo

In January 2021 Lorena Ochoa of the Los Angeles Conservation Corps emailed Ellen Endo of the Little Tokyo Business Improvement District to tell her that one of their Big Belly trash cans often had hypodermic needles in it and that therefore they wouldn’t service it any more:

Just want to bring to your attention the high volume of syringes being tossed inside this bigbelly. I cannot have the corpsmember driver service anymore bigbelly’s under these conditions. It’s a safety hazardous matter taking syringes to the City of LA sanitation site. I’m going to attach a list of Call Active Clean up companies that can come out and service these types of matters.

Endo wrote to Adriana Velasquez, a staffer in CD14 rep Kevin De Leon’s office, explaining Ochoa’s position and suggesting that they replace the Big Bellies with normal wire trash cans as soon as possible:
Continue reading According To LAPD Senior Lead Officer Adrian Lopez “providing services to the homeless is useless. The homeless need to be removed … and the area cleaned and restored back to its original state.” — The City Of LA Cedes Municipal Services To Private Actors Like BIDs — Who Are Incapable And Unwilling To Provide Them — And To Police — Who Are Incapable Of Delivering Anything Other Than Violence — Here’s An Example From Little Tokyo

Share

Last Week The Los Angeles Sunshine Coalition Filed Yet Another Public Records Suit Vs The City Of Los Angeles — This One Relating To Emails About Gentrification And Real Estate In CD1 — But Gil Sadill Is Not Worse Than His Fourteen Unindicted Co-Conspirators — Who Also Won’t Follow The Freaking Law — So While These Lawsuits Are Effective In A Limited Scope The Overall Problem — That The City Of Los Angeles Repeatedly And Intentionally Violates The Public Records Act — Can’t Be Solved This Way — Because Neither The City Nor Its Staffers Suffer Consequences For Their Violations

The City of Los Angeles is generally very, very, very bad at complying with the California Public Records Act. There are no consequences that matter to them for violating it so they violate it wantonly. Only lawsuits will get them to comply, and only in that specific instance. So we were glad to hear that our friends at the Los Angeles Sunshine Coalition filed yet another petition against the City of Los Angeles to enforce compliance.

The issue is a bunch of requests for emails from CD1. For a couple years Gil Cedillo’s office, mostly in the person of long-time crony Mel Ilomin, was incredibly compliant with the CPRA, just super-helpful. But then, on a number distinct occasions, we here at the blog exposed Cedillo’s machinations to the light of public scrutiny, which may have contributed to Ilomin’s sudden refusal, beginning in 2019, to comply with the law.

In any case, for whatever reason, he stopped complying, and of course a suit is our only recourse. This, by the way, is the second time that Cedillo’s office has induced a CPRA suit via idiotic noncompliance. So take a look at the petition, stay tuned for details, and read on for a short list of dirt we’ve gotten on Cedillo via the CPRA!
Continue reading Last Week The Los Angeles Sunshine Coalition Filed Yet Another Public Records Suit Vs The City Of Los Angeles — This One Relating To Emails About Gentrification And Real Estate In CD1 — But Gil Sadill Is Not Worse Than His Fourteen Unindicted Co-Conspirators — Who Also Won’t Follow The Freaking Law — So While These Lawsuits Are Effective In A Limited Scope The Overall Problem — That The City Of Los Angeles Repeatedly And Intentionally Violates The Public Records Act — Can’t Be Solved This Way — Because Neither The City Nor Its Staffers Suffer Consequences For Their Violations

Share

Our City Council Could Easily Build Public Housing In Los Angeles — Instead Of Giving Away Public Property To Private Developers For Putatively Affordable Housing — But Instead They Say Public Housing Is Illegal — They Say They Can’t Do It — This Is A Lie — Here Are Concrete Steps We Can Take To Force Them To At Least Try To Build Some

The Los Angeles City Council is very fond of giving away publicly owned property to real estate developers to build what passes for affordable housing.1 Judging by the fact that they never do it, they’re decidedly unfond of building public housing.2 At least some Councilmembers, though, are also fond of lying about their ability to build public housing at all — ask one about it and maybe they’ll tell you that new public housing projects are illegal in California.3

This is a lie, by the way. An utterly shameless lie. In fact they could easily use City land for City-owned housing. Here are some steps we might take to force them to do it. But first let’s talk about the origin of this illegal public housing lie. It’s based on Article 34 of the California Constitution.4 The key part says:
Continue reading Our City Council Could Easily Build Public Housing In Los Angeles — Instead Of Giving Away Public Property To Private Developers For Putatively Affordable Housing — But Instead They Say Public Housing Is Illegal — They Say They Can’t Do It — This Is A Lie — Here Are Concrete Steps We Can Take To Force Them To At Least Try To Build Some

Share