December 31, 2018 was now-convicted felon Mitchell Englander’s last day on the Los Angeles City Council. He was all like “I am stepping down for a once in a lifetime career blah blah blah” but of course he was getting out ahead of his arrest, exposure, conviction, and sentencing for corruption. The impending disgrace, however, didn’t stop his zillionaire cronies from cushioning his landing with job offers and fancy lunches.
Most famously, of course, on January 1, 2019 he started his new career with the Oak View Group, which is a Los Angeles based “global advisory, development and investment company for the sports and live entertainment industries.” In other words, a perfect landing spot for an as-yet-unindicted former politician. Nothing hurts these politicos more than being forced out of the inner circles of power, though, and making a zillion dollars a year as a lobbyist doesn’t quite fill the kind of ego void created by public disgrace.1
And unhinged typewriter fetishist and perpetual inner power circle dweller Steve Soboroff, at that time president of the Los Angeles Police Commission, apparently understood this quite well. Which is probably why, on January 31, 2019, Soboroff fired off an email to Hollywood power lawyer Warren Dern, also a member of the Board of Directors of the Los Angeles Police Foundation:
Sent: Thursday, January 31, 2019 10:05 AM
To: Warren Dern <Warren@SOWDLLP.COM>
Chief likes idea of Mitch Englander on your Board
He also wants to get together with you for lunch
It took Dern only 24 minutes to respond to Soboroff:
I just texted Mitch. He responded “love it.”
Steve – lets do one of your breakfasts (the 3 of us – you, me and mitch) at Nates and close that up. Please give me dates and I will have my office coordinate.
And for sure on lunch with the Chief! Please let me know times that work for you guys.
All the best
Soboroff is completely on board with this:
I’ll set up our Chief lunch for feb or early March
So wherever you want on westside next Thursday feb 7 at 11 am
Re our lunch- whatever works for you guys – ill make myself available.
And after that? Who knows what happened. I can’t find any evidence that Englander was ever actually on the Police Foundation board of directors, but nevertheless it’s a good example of how the power elite takes good care of their friends and former members, high crimes and misdemeanors notwithstanding. Obviously the Police Foundation isn’t LA City Council, but intimate lunches with the Chief and a few highly select zillionaires at ultra-fancy restaurants aren’t without their charm for the formerly powerful.
Or the currently powerful either, for that matter. Soboroff, for instance, is at this point little more than three power lunches in a trench coat. His whole personality at this point is facilitating deals and connections. He’d be lost without his favor-swapping soirees and the fancy restaurants that host them. Maybe he’s laying up his treasures against the day he’s ousted and has no more juice to pour for his lunch guests?
- I have no evidence that Soboroff knew at the time that Englander had quit because of impending exposure, but he might well have known. Even if he didn’t know the details Soboroff surely understood that Englander had his reasons for quitting and that they weren’t likely to be as anodyne as the public version would have us believe.