Remember last January? Before all this pandemic insurrection nonsense? Anyway, that’s when I filed a suit against both the Highland Park Business Improvement District and the Lincoln Heights BID1 over their failures to comply with the California Public Records Act. I haven’t written much on it because at first it looked like it was going to settle quickly. The BIDs agreed to produce the records and everything was fine.
Then they fired their lawyers and hired Carol “World’s angriest CPRA lawyer” Humiston’s firm, Bradley & Gmelich, to fight the petition instead. Humiston, of course, has it in for me and is even willing to break the law and the rules of the California State Bar to further her obsessive campaign. She apparently actually believes that the only reason I request records from BIDs is to fuck with them and run up their lawyer bills, and she’s determined to prove this in court.
So these new lawyers, apparently more determined to get at me than to help their clients, aggressively tried to depose me, I guess to get me to admit to my evil anti-BID plans. There’s nothing that my evidence can add to a CPRA case, though. The law specifically states that the requester’s purpose is irrelevant.2 and my lawyer, the incomparable Colleen Flynn, filed a motion for a protective order to stave them off.
The BIDs filed an overlong and entirely unhinged brief in opposition, accompanied by this entirely implausible declaration from Highland Park BID President Tom Wilson’s tech support dude Alexander Sharrigan. They also tried to get the judge to impose sanctions on Flynn for opposing my deposition and then lost everything substantial at the hearing on November 10, 2020.3
So we noticed a deposition for Sharrigan on December 17, 2020. On the advice of the BID’s lawyers, though, Sharrigan didn’t show up. This is very bad, of course. We had to pay both a court reporter and a videographer and these dumbasses just wasted our money. But it must have been because they knew their lies would come out, because just four days later, on December 21, 2020, the BID’s old lawyer, not Humiston and her henchies, called Flynn and offered to settle the case for $25K in fees and all costs.
We argued them up to $30K and got a binding agreement out of them covering the timing of future records productions and the settlement was signed and filed with the court yesterday! So what I’m saying, friends, is that if you’ve been hungering and thirsting for more records-based news about these two wicked gentrification-enabling BIDs in Northeast Los Angeles, well, you should start seeing a steady flow right here very, very soon!
- Not the Industrial Zone Lincoln Heights BID, but the other one.
- This is at Humiston’s wrong about my purpose, even though it doesn’t matter. If she wants to know my purpose well, she can just ask me like a human being instead of trying to force me to testify under oath for reasons very, very distant from the case she’s defending. If you’re not Carol Humiston and you want to know my purpose, well, I guess you can ask me too if it’s not obvious what it is.
- I don’t want to get into the technical weeds here, but Sharrigan’s declaration is pure and unadulterated nonsense. He claims to have made an MBOX file with 700 emails in it but with the property that only 38 of them were readable by Thunderbird and all of them would only be readable by Microsoft Outlook. This is not only impossible, it’s idiotic. One of the causes of action in the case hinged on this MBOX file that the BID sent me in 2019. It was corrupted and unreadable except for 38 emails out of 700 meant to be in there. They were in there, though, and I was able to repair the corrupted file in June 2020 using some special software I hadn’t known about before.