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.
Here’s the background. According to current CD13 Hollywood Field Deputy Dan Halden1 Marie Rumsey left the Council District’s employ in December 2014 with a rank of Council Aide VII.2 She then went to work for Carol Schatz’s lobbying death star the Central City Association, as shown in their 2015 filing with the City Ethics Commission. This move also required Marie to file a personal lobbyist registration form with the Ethics Commission. Marie’s form states that she’s authorized to lobby any city agency.
Well, check out Los Angeles Municipal Code §49.5.13.C.1, known as the Revolving Door Law, which 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.
Note that Marie was a Council Aide VII in December 2014 and registered as a lobbyist in 2015. It doesn’t seem compatible, does it? But, you might rightly object, just because she was registered as a lobbyist doesn’t mean that she actually “attempt[ed] 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,” right? Maybe she just signed up but didn’t play ball. We prosecute neither crimethink nor thoughtcrime (mostly) in this country. You generally have to do something concrete before you’re busted. We don’t know if that’s the case with this law or not, but it doesn’t matter much. We have a smoking gun, friends, and here it is.
On June 16, 2015, the Los Angeles City Council met to consider a then-pending ordinance on homeless people’s property. As you may know, it’s required that people fill out speaker cards if they want to talk about these things, and the speaker cards eventually end up on the web. The cards from that issue at that meeting are here3 On page 10 of that PDF you will find a card (pictured above) stating that Marie Rumsey, former Council Aide VII, on behalf of the Central City Association, planned to speak in favor of the ordinance. Count on fingers, count on toes, but June 2015 is maybe 6, maybe 7 months after December 2014, not in any way is it 12 months. Bang! Violation!
Now, how is it that, according to Marie, this city is going to be overrun by lawless unregulated criminals if street vending is legalized, but somehow it’s OK that lawless unregulated lobbyists, including herself, are overrunning us? Above our pay grade, we suppose.4
Image of Marie Rumsey is a public record, having been produced by her at-that-time employer, the City of Los Angeles.
- In an email to our faithful correspondent.
- We don’t know what that means either, but it’s important.
- Or look here for a local copy if that’s preferable for any reason.
- Reading statutes is hard. We’re not professionals. It’s our opinion, based on the facts disclosed in this article, that Marie Rumsey is a shameless violator of the City’s government ethics laws. If we’re wrong, let us know and tell us why and we will retract, retract, retract.