Council District 8 Rep Marqueece Harris-Dawson Has A Private Gmail Account That He Uses To Conduct City Business — And His Chief Of Staff Solomon Rivera Uses City Resources To Arrange For Harris-Dawson To Purchase Rams Tickets — Straight From Joe Furin — The General Manager Of The Coliseum — And A Bunch Of Other Interesting Emails From CD8!

Council District 8 representative Marqueece Harris-Dawson has a private Gmail account at mharrisdawson@gmail.com that he uses to conduct official business. In this practice he is, sadly, not at all alone. Earlier investigations have revealed that at least four other City Councilmembers and one high-ranking LAPD officer use private email addresses in this way:

Mitch O’Farrell
David Ryu
Gil Cedillo
Greig Smith
Cory Palka

I learned about this from this June 2016 email conversation between Harris-Dawson’s chief of staff Solomon Rivera, his senior field deputy for Baldwin Hills and surrounding areas Dina Andrews,1 and Harris-Dawson himself at the Gmail address. This email, by the way, is part of a small but juicy set I got today from Rivera. You can browse the whole thing here on Archive.Org.

The subject matter of this particular email isn’t that interesting.2 It has to do with former actor Bennett Liss trying to get Harris-Dawson to be interviewed for a documentary directed by Liss’s son about how to cure homelessness by selling the backs of freeway signs for advertising.3 But what is of the utmost interest, of course, is that Andrews doesn’t use an lacity.org email address to communicate with Harris-Dawson. Instead she uses his Gmail address.

The use of private email addresses by public officials is a shameful and secretive practice, and ought to be, if it isn’t already, illegal. Fortunately the 2017 California Supreme Court opinion in City of San Jose v. Superior Court held that such emails were public records, no matter what kind of account they’re in or device they’re on,4 but in order to apply that holding it’s necessary to find the accounts in the first place. I have found a bunch of them, but it’s painful and time-consuming work.

Bunches of creepy Trumpian fascists are rightly and regularly criticized in the national press for exactly the same practice, and yet, at least so far, this is a complete nonstory in Los Angeles.5 And this is far from the only interesting item in this set. Just for instance, there’s a conversation between Rivera and Joe Furin, general manager of the Coliseum, and Sherry Caldwell, the Coliseum’s director of ticketing, trying to arrange for a pair of Rams tickets for Harris-Dawson to purchase at $255 each. Oh, and after all the talk, Harris-Dawson doesn’t even end up wanting the tickets!

And it’s good at least that no one was trying to get the tickets to Harris-Dawson without money changing hands, but in these matters, even at $255 each, the tickets themselves are not the most valuable part of the transaction. What’s rare, what people pay high prices for, is the opportunity to purchase the tickets. That’s the part that Furin is offering Harris-Dawson for free. Here are transcriptions and links for the whole conversation, and that’s what we’re closing with tonight. I have more to say about this Rams episode, though, so stay tuned!


Solomon Rivera to Joe Furin

Date: Thu, 10 Jan 2019 16:07:36 -0800
Subject: Referred by Al Naipo
From: Solomon Rivera <solomon.rivera@lacity.org>
To: furin@usc.edu

Hi Joe,
I work for LA City Council District 8, and I’m also on the Coliseum Commission. I have a couple of quick questions for you. Would you be available for a quick call today? Let me know, or you can just call me on my cel, (323) 710-5469.
Thanks,
Solomon


Solomon Rivera
Chief of Staff
(213) 473-7008


Joe Furin to Solomon Rivera

From: Joseph James Furin <furin@usc.edu>
To: Solomon Rivera <solomon.rivera@lacity.org>
Subject: RE: Referred by Al Naipo
Date: Fri, 11 Jan 2019 01:06:56 +0000

Hi Solomon:

As mentioned on the phone, we are happy to help Councilman Harris-Dawson purchase 2 tickets if we can; we only have access to what the Rams release on the ticketing system.

Copied here is Sherry Caldwell, our Director of Ticketing…Sherry can you let Mr. Rivera know if you can assist?

Thanks

JOE FURIN

General Manager
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
3911 South Figueroa Street • Los Angeles, CA 90037
Direct: (213) 765-6342 • Cell: (909) 992-8368 • Email: furin@usc.edu
Website: www.lacoliseum.com


Rivera to Furin

From: Solomon Rivera <solomon.rivera@lacity.org>
To: Joseph James Furin <furin@usc.edu>
Subject: Re: Referred by Al Naipo
Date: Thu, 10 Jan 2019 17:30:54 -0800
Cc: Sherry Caldwell <sacaldwe@usc.edu>

Thanks Joe, and Hi Sherry. Looking forward to hearing more info, or let me know what other info you need.
Solomon


Sherry Caldwell to Rivera

From: Sherry Caldwell <sacaldwe@usc.edu>
To: Solomon Rivera <solomon.rivera@lacity.org>
Subject: Re: Referred by Al Naipo
Date: Fri, 11 Jan 2019 07:36:23 +0000

Solomon,

I have 2 tickets left at $255 each if you would like to purchase them.

Sherry

Sent from my iPhone


Rivera to Caldwell

From: Solomon Rivera <solomon.rivera@lacity.org>
To: Sherry Caldwell <sacaldwe@usc.edu>
Subject: Re: Referred by Al Naipo
Date: Fri, 11 Jan 2019 09:47:14 -0500

Great. Can you tell me section/row? And details too purchase?

Sent from my iPhone, with patented tpyo guard!


Caldwell to Rivera

From: Sherry Caldwell <sacaldwe@usc.edu>
To: Solomon Rivera <solomon.rivera@lacity.org>
Subject: Re: Referred by Al Naipo
Date: Fri, 11 Jan 2019 16:43:44 +0000

Section 4H, row 40.

This is my last 2 tickets so please let me know by 11:00 AM.

Thank you!

Sent from my iPhone


Rivera to Caldwell

From: Solomon Rivera <solomon.rivera@lacity.org>
To: Sherry Caldwell <sacaldwe@usc.edu>
Subject: Re: Referred by Al Naipo
Date: Fri, 11 Jan 2019 11:11:01 -0800

Thanks, he was sick this week and not getting better as of today, so he’ll have to pass after all. (He thought the game was Sunday!)
SR


Caldwell to Rivera

From: Sherry Caldwell <sacaldwe@usc.edu>
To: Solomon Rivera <solomon.rivera@lacity.org>
Subject: Re: Referred by Al Naipo
Date: Fri, 11 Jan 2019 19:22:09 +0000

Ok.

Sent from my iPhone



Image of Marqueece Harris-Dawson is ©2019 MichaelKohlhaas.Org. If your inquiring mind wants to know, it can probably find out here.

  1. Andrews was Harris-Dawson’s scheduler in 2016, which is the role she’s playing in the conversation.
  2. Whenever I say something like this I actually mean that given the current state of my ignorance I don’t yet have the background and deep knowledge to comprehend the interest inherent in the subject matter. Everything about this City is interesting. But no one has the time to explain all that jive every single time. Hence the shorthand.
  3. I am not making this up. This is what the movie purports to be about. Liss’s email came with this propaganda sheet, which is about as weird as anyone might expect.
  4. Important in the case of text messages.
  5. Except of course for my reporting, but that hardly counts.
Share

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.