What Else Are They Hiding? Hollywood Property Owners Alliance Completely Rewrites BID Patrol Contract to Thwart Public Records Act Requests

Selma Park was the scene of the BID Patrol's greatest crimes, or at least the greatest which have come to light.  What else is there that they're trying so very hard to keep secret?
Selma Park was the scene of the BID Patrol’s greatest crimes, or at least the greatest which have come to light. What else is there that they’re trying so very hard to keep secret?
You can watch here as the Hollywood Property Owners Alliance at its June 16, 2016 Board meeting, approves a completely rewritten contract with Andrews International, its security subcontractor, which runs the BID Patrol in Hollywood. I’m not going to bother to transcribe it, but you should take a look. It features John Tronson talking for approximately 90 seconds about changes in the HPOA’s contract with A/I. He mentions logos on cars, logos on uniforms, and if you blinked, you’d miss the ten seconds where he talks about ownership of work product, but that’s the key thing.

The new contract gives A/I ownership of ALL of its BID Patrol work product. The old contract, superseded by this one, gave the HPOA ownership of every record that A/I produced. The point, clearly, is to keep the material away from public scrutiny. If you’ve been following this blog for a while you’ll know that we have used BID Patrol arrest reports, daily logs, and photographs to expose serial civil rights violations, to analyze BID Patrol arrest rates, to mock the moronic Steve Seyler, and for many other things as well. If the whole Selma Park thing is already out, I can’t help but wonder what else they’re trying to hide by trying to make all their future records unavailable.

And the fact that this drastic revision of the contract was approved by the Board with no discussion, no questioning, no dissent, hints at some kind of prearrangement, which would certainly be a violation of the Brown Act. This is the same meeting, after all, where the Board more than 35 freaking minutes debating every trivial facet of their contract with their street-cleaning contractor.1

Not least of the accomplishments allowed by access to these records, although hardest to link to, is the fact that public access to all this material, e.g. via our Archive.org collections, has given the people of Los Angeles a rare and invaluable glimpse into privatized law enforcement on the streets of our city and a unique understanding of how the City’s power-elite has arranged for the LAPD’s role as anti-homeless strongarm agency to be shifted onto the until-now unaccountable BID Patrol.

The old contract must have reserved ownership of all the records generated by the BID Patrol to the HPOA for some reason, and that reason, whatever it was, is evidently less important to the BID than covering up the high crimes and misdemeanors of their security force. They’ve already hobbled their operational efficiency by deciding to destroy most of their emails after 90 days just so I can’t get them.2 Kerry Morrison has revealed herself as a liar in order to keep records out of my hands. And now they’re actually cutting off their own access to BID Patrol operational information just so I can’t get it. That’s not an exaggeration. The new contract actually says explicitly that the HPOA doesn’t have access to A/I’s records.

Of course, some metaphorical version of the efficient market hypothesis makes it incredibly unlikely that this will work. If public agencies could evade CPRA just by writing it into a contract that they didn’t own some public records, the practice would be widespread. That alone suggests it can’t work. Furthermore, the new contract requires A/I to pass on the secret records to any successor agency. If the records weren’t essential for the BID to carry out its operations, why would the next security provider need them? And being essential for the BID’s operations actually makes them public records under CPRA.

Anyway, the rest of the reasons this move will almost certainly turn out to be ineffective I’m going to have to keep shtum about for now because wheels are turning, but you’ll hear about them eventually. Stay tuned, and if, like 82% of our readers, you’re with the HPOA or an HPOA lawyer, here’s some free advice: The coverup is usually worse than the crime.

Image of Selma Park is ©2015 MichaelKohlhaas.org.

  1. Someone here is probably going to write on that at some point soon, but watch it in case we don’t get around to it. They’re trying to break the contract, actually, and by the end they were so slavery-drooly over the prospect that they broke attorney/client confidentiality and spewed forth a number of items from the collected wit and wisdom of Hollywood lawyer Jeff Briggs. It’s fascinating in a weird nerdy sort of way, and I’m sure that if their contract-breaking shenanigans end up with them hauled into court by the street cleaners, these recordings will end up played for the jury.
  2. Although the evidence suggests that they’re actually just flat-out lying about this. More news soon when I have it, but for now it’s a little secret. Hi Kerry!

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