November 2020 — LAPD Constitutional Policing Boss Lizabeth Rhodes Wrote A Top Secret Memo To Police Commission Boss Richard Tefank About Public Records Requests From Stop LAPD Spying — I Have A Copy Of The Top Secret Memo For You! — And Also It’s So Full Of Bullshit And Lies That It Amounts To A Violation Of LAMC 49.5.5 — Which Is Why This Morning I Reported Rhodes And Her Co-Conspirators Marla Ciuffetelli And Bryan Lium To The Ethics Commission — And Here Is A Copy Of The 118 Page Report For You Also!

This post is about a confidential memorandum from LAPD Constitutional Policing director Lizabeth Rhodes to Police Commission ED Richard Tefank about a request made by Hamid Khan of Stop LAPD Spying under the California Public Records Act. It’s also about a series of violations of LAMC 49.5.5 by Rhodes and LAPD officers Marla Ciuffetelli and Bryan Lium based on their biased handling of various requests for records and a complaint against all three of them that I filed this morning with the Los Angeles Ethics Commission. If you don’t want to read the whole thing here are the two main documents involved:

🙨 Lizabeth Rhodes’s confidential memorandum

🙨 Complaint against Rhodes, Ciuffetelli, and Lium

The Los Angeles Police Department has something called the Office of Constitutional Policing and Policy. It sounds like pernicious crapola and pernicious crapola is precisely what it is. Forced upon LAPD by the 2000 consent decree, over the years the cops have used their cop superpowers to thoroughly weaponize OCPP against the people of Los Angeles. Just for instance, let’s talk about about Hamid Khan of Stop LAPD Spying, about the California Public Records Act, about a letter Khan sent to the Police Commission in August 2020 about LAPD’s refusal to comply with the law, and about Lizabeth Rhodes, the hard-nosed criminal lawyer in charge of OCPP.1

In September 2019 Khan filed a CPRA request with LAPD. LAPD, of course, will not comply with the CPRA2 at all, and they especially won’t comply for the likes of Khan. Khan wrote to the Police Commission about it on August 31, 2020 and then complained in person during public comment on October 6, 2020. Khan’s remarks apparently prompted Commissioner Dale Bonner to wonder if maybe, just maybe, there might be some substance to his complaint. Consequently criminal lawyer Rhodes wrote a top-secret highly confidential memorandum, which I just happen to have an actual copy of, to Commission Executive Director Richard Tefank.

This remarkable document is packed with lies and bullshit to a degree hitherto unseen even from the LAPD, an organization which has been growing fat on lies and bullshit for well over a century. It is worth discussing in great detail. Before I do that, though, don’t forget about LAPD officer Marla Ciuffetelli, who runs the CPRA unit, and who violates LAMC 49.5.5 by prioritizing CPRA requests from some reporters and absolutely obstructing requests from other reporters. Also don’t forget about Bryan Lium, Ciuffetelli’s boss, who violates LAMC 49.5.5 in exactly the same way.

Rhodes’s memorandum also violates LAMC 49.5.5, so this morning I filed a complaint against all three of these thuggish scofflaws with the City Ethics Commission, and if anything comes of it I will certainly let you know! Meanwhile, read on for a detailed discussion of Rhodes’s dishonest nonsense! Presented as a dramatic dialogue no less!!

RHODES: Since approximately 2018, Hamid Kahn has made 18 requests, but due to their complexity, if each part of his requests were treated as separate CPRA requests, they would amount to over 230 requests. In the same period of time the CPRA Unit has received approximately 9000 requests. Thus, if his multi-part requests were considered individually this one requester would account for approximately 2.5 percent of all requests received. The technical complexity of his requests, however, necessitates a much higher expenditure of manpower hours than would normally be involved in such a percentage of requests.

SANE PEOPLE: If it’s possible to determine that 18 requests are the equivalent of 230 requests then there must be an objective measurement of a single request. Most of the 9,000 requests that Rhodes cites were denied immediately by LAPD because they were submitted to the wrong department or else they’re requests for calls for service, which LAPD prioritizes because they take no work at all to complete and thus improves their statistics. These CFS requests count as 0.05 ordinary requests,3 and eliminating the prima facie denials and the 20-fold overcount, it turns out that LAPD has actually only received 1,000 CPRA requests since 2018, 230 of which belong to Stop LAPD Spying, 230 of which belong to me, and the remaining 540 are really 8,000 CFS requests and some LA Times nonsense. Of course, nothing I just said is based in reality, and I didn’t really do any calculations. Both Rhodes and I just made up a bunch of nonsense and spewed it into a computer. The big difference is that I’m not paid a zillion dollars a year to make up implausible self-serving nonsense.

RHODES: An Analyst can review approximately 1500 pages of documents in a 10-hour work shift.

SANE PEOPLE: Fascinating!

RHODES: The unit has closed ten of Mr. Khan’s requests and are actively working the eight open requests. The CPRA staff has downloaded [sic] approximately 629 total document files, for an approximate total of 12,732 pages of responsive documents and anticipate several additional document downloads in the upcoming weeks.4

SANE PEOPLE: Let’s do some math! Rhodes claims that Khan’s CPRA requests amount to 2.5% of LAPD Discovery’s workload. Also that from 2018 through October 2020 LAPD had produced 12,732 pages. And that LAPD Discovery can process 150 pages per hour. Thus, according to Rhodes, it took LAPD about

12732 \textrm{ }pages \textrm{ } \div \textrm{ } 150 \textrm{ } \frac{pages}{hr} \textrm{ } = 85 \textrm{ } hours

to process these pages. That, according to Rhodes, is 2.5% of LAPD Discovery’s workload since 2018. So LAPD Discovery’s total workload over that span amounts to

\frac{85}{0.025} = 3400

Therefore if Rhodes’s stories are consistent, which they are not, LAPD Discovery worked a total of 3400 hours over the 34 months from 2018 through October 2020. this is

\frac{3400}{34} = 100 \textrm{ } \frac{hrs}{month}

There are about 20 workdays in a month, so about 5 hours per workday for the entire CPRA unit, according to Rhodes. They have a bunch of analysts over there, at least 5 of them, so Rhodes is committed to the completely bogus position that Khan’s CPRA requests are overwhelming LAPD Discovery while its staff is apparently working only one hour per day each on all their requests total. This is what happens when people lie, by the way. They contradict themselves because it’s ultimately not possible to avoid doing so.

And remember those putative 9000 other requests made up by Rhodes? Well, if Stop LAPD Spying have 230 of them,5 that’s 8770 requests from other requesters. LAPD spent 85 hours on Khan’s requests, and of course the 3400 hours total since 2018 is not real. If they have 5 analysts working 30 hours per week per analyst, that’s 150 hours of processing time per week. At 4 weeks per 34 months this amounts to:

4 \textrm{ } wks \textrm{ } \times \textrm{ } 34 \textrm{ } \frac{wks}{mnth} \textrm{ } \times \textrm{ } 150 \textrm{ } \frac{hrs}{wk}=  \textrm{ 20,400 } hrs

They spent 20,400 hours on requests not from Stop LAPD Spying, and there were 8,770 of them. This is

\frac{20400}{8770} = \textrm{ } 2.33 \textrm{ } \frac{hrs}{request}

But for Stop LAPD Spying they spend only

\frac{85}{230} = \textrm{ } 0.37 \textrm{ } \frac{hrs}{request}

That is, they’re spending

\frac{2.33}{0.37} =  6.3

times longer on other random requests than they do on Stop LAPD Spying’s requests. Don’t forget that most of those other requests are nonsense CFSs that they can knock out in mere minutes. Thus, if Rhodes is telling the truth, which she is not, they’re spending many tens of hours PER REQUEST for people other than Hamid Khan, while spending only about 24 minutes per request on Khan. If she’s telling the truth, then, Khan’s requests aren’t any kind of burden at all on LAPD. They’re even easier than CFS requests.

So the amount of time involved is NOT what makes LAPD fuck up Khan’s requests so badly. It’s not what makes them have Rhodes spend hours making up nonsensical and dishonest reasons for fucking up the requests. The fact that LAPD is willing to mobilize this complex and expensive effort to justify their failure to comply with the law when their critics as opposed to their fawning bootlickers are involved shows that the only plausible explanation is that they have an awful damn lot of secrets to keep. But we knew that, didn’t we?

And that, of course, is how Lizabeth Rhodes, along with Marla Ciuffetelli and Bryan Lium, all misused their positions to create private advantages and disadvantages, which is a violation of LAMC 49.5.5. And that, of course, is why this morning I reported the whole scurvy crew to the Los Angeles Ethics Commission, which enforces that particular code section. Stay tuned for results!

  1. Which sense of criminal lawyer do I mean here? Both.
  2. Unless you’re a reporter from the LA Times or you’re asking for something completely innocuous, like calls for service to every McDonald’s in Los Angeles.
  3. According to my secret request equivalency algorithm, which works much better than Rhodes’s!
  4. Besides being a liar, Rhodes is the kind of idiot who doesn’t know enough to know that she doesn’t know something. Which is why she misuses the word “download” so egregiously, with obviously no clue that she has no freaking idea what it means. Only arrogant killers and cops … but I repeat myself.
  5. Really 18 but who’s counting?
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