Category Archives: Brown Act Pragmatics

The Latest Episode In My Sporadic Brown Act Demand Letter Project! — The White Savior Charter Conspiracy Known As The Accelerated Schools — Hired A Self-Proclaimed Lawyer — Name Of Wayne Strumpfer — Who Apparently Never Learned In Law School That You Gotta Read The Damn Statute Before You Go Advising Your Clients On A Course Of Action — But Fortunately For All — Even Though I Never Went To Law School — I Do In Fact Know How And When To Read — So When Strumpfer Says Something Super-Crazy Like That The Brown Act Doesn’t Apply To Committees — Here I Am To Save The Doggone Day — With Yet Another Brown Act Demand Letter — Read It Here!

The Brown Act, California’s open meetings law, imposes a long list of requirements on local government agencies and among these are a duty to send copies of meeting agendas to members of the public who request this service.1 Both I and heroic public education activist Hilda Rodriguez-Guzman have asked this of that local white savior charter conspiracy known as The Accelerated Schools (“TAS”).

And on June 16, 2020 the TAS Board’s Finance Committee held a meeting2 but notified neither Hilda nor me in advance. A couple days later I sent an inquiry via email to Wayne Strumpfer, one of TAS’s many lawyers,3 this one in particular of counsel4 to California charter school law powerhouse Young Minney Corr, basically asking “hey friends, what the freaking heck?!”

And five days later, certainly long enough so that we can discount impulsivity as an explanation, Strumpfer sent me his response. In this remarkably idiotic document Strumpfer argues that while the Brown Act may indeed require agencies to send copies of Board agendas to members of the public it imposes no such requirement with respect to committee meetings. In particular, thus spake Strumpfer: “This code section relates to any meeting of a legislative body — i.e., The Accelerated Schools Board. There is nothing in the code section that mentions committee meetings.”

Which is an interesting statement. Strumpfer is correct in the sense that the word “committee” does not appear in the Brown Act at §54954.1. But he’s about as wrong as can be when he equates “legislative bodies” with “The Accelerated Schools Board.” The term “legislative body” is a term of art in the Brown Act. Whatever it may mean in a naive sense is overridden by the law’s extensive definition, found at §54952(b), which states in part that:

“legislative body” means
[among other things]:

A commission, committee, board, or other body of a local agency, whether permanent or temporary, decisionmaking or advisory, created by charter, ordinance, resolution, or formal action of a legislative body. … standing committees of a legislative body, irrespective of their composition, which have a continuing subject matter jurisdiction, or a meeting schedule fixed by charter, ordinance, resolution, or formal action of a legislative body are legislative bodies for purposes of this chapter.

In other words, committees are legislative bodies. Therefore the Brown Act requires TAS to send copies of committee agendas to members of the public who so request. Also TAS violated the Brown Act by not sending agendas for the June 16, 2020 meeting of the Finance Committee. And Wayne Strumpfer, despite the big bucks he’s paid, apparently didn’t bother to read the law before advising his clients on a course of action.5

One of the tragic aspects of the Brown Act, though, is that essentially the only way its enforced is via litigation. And while county district attorneys have standing to file such suits, at least here in Los Angeles County they rarely if ever do. But private citizens also have standing to challenge violations. According to §54960.2 such a suit must be preceded by a demand letter giving the local agency a chance to “unconditionally commit” not to violate the law in the specified manner ever again.6

I send these letters out from time to time when an agency violates the law egregiously enough. The last one I sent was in December 2019, also to TAS, which did at that time7 capitulate to my demand and unconditionally agree not to violate the law in the specified manner ever again. But that violation was very different from the current one. These shenanigans with the Finance Committee don’t violate their earlier unconditional commitment.

And thus another demand letter is in order, which is why I sent one this morning via email to Strumpfer and TAS Supreme Commander Dr. Grace Lee Chang.8 A transcription follows and now we wait to see whether they capitulate!
Continue reading The Latest Episode In My Sporadic Brown Act Demand Letter Project! — The White Savior Charter Conspiracy Known As The Accelerated Schools — Hired A Self-Proclaimed Lawyer — Name Of Wayne Strumpfer — Who Apparently Never Learned In Law School That You Gotta Read The Damn Statute Before You Go Advising Your Clients On A Course Of Action — But Fortunately For All — Even Though I Never Went To Law School — I Do In Fact Know How And When To Read — So When Strumpfer Says Something Super-Crazy Like That The Brown Act Doesn’t Apply To Committees — Here I Am To Save The Doggone Day — With Yet Another Brown Act Demand Letter — Read It Here!

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The Brown Act Already Requires Local Agencies To Mail Agendas To Members Of The Public On Request — Senator Bob Wieckowski’s SB931 Would Amend The Law To Require Them To Send Via Email If Asked — Which You’d Think They Would Want To Do Anyway Because It’s Cheaper — And Easier — And More Efficient — But They’d Rather Obstruct — And Delay — And Create Friction — So This Law Is — Sadly — Necessary — And The Los Angeles Sunshine Coalition Is Supporting It!

It’s so darn bandied-about that it’s become easy to forget that Abraham Lincoln’s perfect description of the American form of government,1 or at least its to-be-constantly-striven-for ideal form, as “of the people, by the people, for the people” has a great deal of meaning packed into it. In particular, if government is to be of and for the people then the people have to have access to the spaces in which its work is done and advance notice of when it’s happening.

And governments being what they are2 they would often prefer to keep people out of the process entirely by making their decisions and doing their work in secret. To prevent this, to preserve Lincoln’s ideal, we need laws to protect our access. In California such access is protected by the Brown Act.

One of the rights protected by the Brown Act is the right to have notice of the time, place, and subject matter of upcoming meetings. This protection comes in two forms. First, §54594.2 requires agendas to be posted in public and on the web 72 hours before a meeting.3 But of course, this is only sufficient if you remember to check the posting location or the website. If you don’t or can’t do that you’re out of luck.
Continue reading The Brown Act Already Requires Local Agencies To Mail Agendas To Members Of The Public On Request — Senator Bob Wieckowski’s SB931 Would Amend The Law To Require Them To Send Via Email If Asked — Which You’d Think They Would Want To Do Anyway Because It’s Cheaper — And Easier — And More Efficient — But They’d Rather Obstruct — And Delay — And Create Friction — So This Law Is — Sadly — Necessary — And The Los Angeles Sunshine Coalition Is Supporting It!

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The Accelerated Schools Issue A Complete — Utter — Abject Capitulation To My Demand That They Stop Violating The Damn Brown Act By Illegally Requiring People To Sign In As A Condition Of Attendance — They Unconditionally Commit Never To Do It Any More Ever Again — And Wayne K. Strumpfer — Their Lying Ideologue Of A Lawyer — Asserts That They Were Only Ever Making People Sign In Because It Prevents School Shootings — Which Sounds Not Only Implausible To Me But Actually Moronic — But Probably That’s Only Because I’m Not A Galaxy Brain Privatizing Charter Genius Like Strumpfer And His Clients

In October 2019, as you may recall, the infamous white savior rogue charter conspiracy known as The Accelerated Schools held a board meeting at which they committed three distinct and shocking violations of California’s quintessential government transparency law, the Brown Act. One of the most appalling of this series of thoroughly appalling transgressions was their requirement that members of the public sign their names to a sheet in order to enter the public meeting.

This, of course, is explicitly forbidden by the Brown Act at §54953.3.1 TAS attempted to excuse this outlawry by claiming that they weren’t requiring a signature to attend the meeting, but just to enter the school grounds on which the meeting was being held. This is nonsense, of course, but nevertheless typical of the kind of empty technical loopholes that arrogant privileged zillionaires and their minions seem to believe are all it takes for them to evade their legal obligations.2

And so on December 18, 2019, in accordance with the procedures mandated by the Brown Act,3 I sent them a letter demanding that they unconditionally commit never to ever require people to sign in to attend their meetings and informing them that if they didn’t completely obey me within 30 days I was going to file a petition asking a judge to (metaphorically) slap some damn sense into them.

And lo! Just yesterday, TAS’s metaphorically mobbed up lawyer Wayne K. Strumpfer of privatizing powerhouse law firm Young Minney & Corr, who’s basically a liar and enabler of outlawry but evidently knows a losing position when his clients manage to back themselves into one, sent me a letter utterly and abjectly capitulating to my demand!

But before he got around to the utter abjection Dr. Strumpfer went on and on and on explaining to me that The Accelerated Schools actually did nothing wrong, that I pretty much made everything up, that his clients only acted according to the very highest motivations, and that requiring people to sign in to attend meetings is how TAS prevents school shootings! And I guess that that’s working because as far as I know they haven’t had any.

On that subject, it’s interesting that Strumpfer doesn’t say a word about the fact that TAS chooses to have its meetings on school grounds during school hours when schoolchildren are present even after parents have been pleading with the board literally for years to have meetings in the evening so that working people have a chance to attend. One might think that having meetings at times when no kids were around would be a more effective way to protect the kids than having people sign a piece of paper, but admittedly I know nothing whatsoever about whatever kind of eleven dimensional galaxy brain hypercrapola in which these TAS people and their shyster lawyer have earned an average of 2.7 Ph.Ds each.4

In any case Dr. Wayne finally gets around to the actual point, which is that they don’t want to get sued by me so dammit, they concede everything! The only actual concrete effect of this concession5 is that if they ever require people to sign in to their meetings I can sue them without giving them notice or even asking them to stop. Which I totally will do, by the way! So that’s a little victory over the satanic minions of privatization. Read on for a complete transcription of Wayne K. Strumpfer’s jittery little surrender letter!
Continue reading The Accelerated Schools Issue A Complete — Utter — Abject Capitulation To My Demand That They Stop Violating The Damn Brown Act By Illegally Requiring People To Sign In As A Condition Of Attendance — They Unconditionally Commit Never To Do It Any More Ever Again — And Wayne K. Strumpfer — Their Lying Ideologue Of A Lawyer — Asserts That They Were Only Ever Making People Sign In Because It Prevents School Shootings — Which Sounds Not Only Implausible To Me But Actually Moronic — But Probably That’s Only Because I’m Not A Galaxy Brain Privatizing Charter Genius Like Strumpfer And His Clients

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Another Day – Another Demand – Again To The Accelerated Schools – Again Over A Brown Act Violation – But This Is More Serious Because I Am Insisting That They Go Back And Have A Do-Over – But Do It Legally This Time – Or – As Always With Such Matters – Face The Seething Wrath Of The Los Angeles County Superior Court!

Of course you remember The Accelerated Schools! That white savior charter conspiracy out in the 90037? And how a couple days ago we served them with a lawsuit seeking to compel their compliance with the California Public Records Act? And yesterday I sent them a letter demanding that they unconditionally commit to never any more requiring members of the public sign in to their damn meetings, that practice being totally and utterly illegal under the Brown Act?

And maybe you recall also how that whole sign-in thing was not the only Brown Act violating practice that these privatizers habitually indulge in? In fact, on October 24, 2019 they violated the law by holding two distinct secret meetings, neither of which was agendized and for neither of which they allowed public comment. So since evidently this is what we’re doing around here this week, today I sent them yet another demand letter regarding these grave violations of the law.

As with yesterday’s letter, today’s includes a demand that they unconditionally cease, desist, never do no more again, and so on, these violations. But also there’s a demand that they rescind these illegal decisions, reconvene the meetings, and do them over again legally. This would require them to announce whatever it is they’re going to consider, allow public comment, and then vote in public. This is an aspect of the Brown Act that I have not used before, so it will be interesting to see what happens! And, as always, read on for a transcription of the letter.
Continue reading Another Day – Another Demand – Again To The Accelerated Schools – Again Over A Brown Act Violation – But This Is More Serious Because I Am Insisting That They Go Back And Have A Do-Over – But Do It Legally This Time – Or – As Always With Such Matters – Face The Seething Wrath Of The Los Angeles County Superior Court!

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The Latest Episode In My Newly Revived Brown Act Enforcement Project – A Demand Letter To The Accelerated Schools Insisting That They Unconditionally Commit To Cease – And Desist – And Give A Hard Pass To – And Cut It The Heck Out With – Their Completely Illegal Practice Of Requiring Members Of The Public To Sign A Damn List Before Attending Their Board Meetings – Now They Have 30 Days To Surrender Unconditionally Or Else Face A Heaping Dollop Of Judicial Wrath! – To Be Served Up – If Necessary Of Course – By My Crack Team Of Litigation Specialists!

You might remember that in October that that white savior charter conspiracy, incidentally just yesterday served with a lawsuit seeking to enforce the California Public Records Act, known as The Accelerated Schools went and violated the Brown Act by requiring members of the public to sign in as a condition of attending their abortive board meeting, which was cut short by then-president Juli Quinn, acting impulsively in a fit of petulant rage at the insubordination1 of the audience.

Requiring people to sign in is forbidden by the Brown Act at § 54953.3 And you might also remember that one of the remedies for violations provided by the act2 is that a member of the public write to the violators requesting an unconditional commitment never in the future to violate the law in that particular manner.3 If they capitulate in the specified manner then there are extra consequences if they break their promise later. And if they don’t capitulate I get to sue them.

And finally, maybe you remember that last year I was sending a lot of these demand letters to business improvement districts. Priorities and lack of capacity forced me to lay that project aside for a while4 but it turns out, fortunately, that I have the resources to hold the tender toesies of some of these egregiously violating charter schools to the proverbial-ish flames, and thus, if you’re wondering, is the subject of this evening’s post this very letter right here, sent this very day to The Accelerated Schools, demanding that they stop with their nonsensical sign-in requirements. Now they have 30 days to give in or else!

The letter is transcribed below, but before we go there I just want to point out one important thing that was too qualitative to make it into the demand but is nevertheless really crucial. Here you can watch video of the incident which precipitated my demand. This is an employee of The Accelerated Schools telling me that I wasn’t required to sign my name to attend the meeting but rather was required to sign my name to enter the campus on which the meeting was held.
Continue reading The Latest Episode In My Newly Revived Brown Act Enforcement Project – A Demand Letter To The Accelerated Schools Insisting That They Unconditionally Commit To Cease – And Desist – And Give A Hard Pass To – And Cut It The Heck Out With – Their Completely Illegal Practice Of Requiring Members Of The Public To Sign A Damn List Before Attending Their Board Meetings – Now They Have 30 Days To Surrender Unconditionally Or Else Face A Heaping Dollop Of Judicial Wrath! – To Be Served Up – If Necessary Of Course – By My Crack Team Of Litigation Specialists!

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South Park BID Brown Act Demand Letter Leads To Complete, Total, Abject, Sniveling, Obsequious Concession To Every Last One Of My Demands! — Will They Be Able To Pull It Off? — I Doubt It — But Benefit Of The Doubt Is The Order Of Today — Not Of Every Day, Though

Today’s episode in our ongoing Brown Act Enforcement Project, which you can read all about right here on this page entitled Our Work is the abject and total capitulation of the South Park BID to every last one of the demands made in the letter I sent them on December 14, 2018. This is a not-unexpected move, since doing so obviates the chance of an expensive lawsuit which they’d be sure to lose and possibly would have to pay my litigation costs as well as their own.

Like so many of our local BIDdies they were advised in the process by the world’s angriest BID attorney, Carol Freaking Humiston of Bradley & Freaking Gmelich. And really, more than advised as she clearly wrote the letter of capitulation that Board Chair Robin Freaking Bieker sent out to me over his own signature yesterday. It’s got every known Humistonian trope on parade, e.g. “You don’t know what you’re talking about and whatever it is you’re totally wrong but nevertheless we’ll do what you demand but not for any reason.”1

And unlike the previous Brown Act transgressions I’ve spotted and skooshed out with these demand letters, there is a really complex violation here. The SPBID has maintained a secret committee, the Executive Committee, that meets in private and votes by email. The BID has agreed not to do this any more, but my impression from their emails is that it’s really essential to the way they function. It’ll be interesting to see how they get along with out it.

Although it’s as if not more likely that they’ll keep breaking that particular bit of the law and try to cover it up by claiming that all relevant emails are exempt from production, quite likely due to the nebulous and mostly made up deliberative process privilege. Well, we’ll certainly see what happens. Meanwhile, turn the page for a transcription of the articles of surrender.
Continue reading South Park BID Brown Act Demand Letter Leads To Complete, Total, Abject, Sniveling, Obsequious Concession To Every Last One Of My Demands! — Will They Be Able To Pull It Off? — I Doubt It — But Benefit Of The Doubt Is The Order Of Today — Not Of Every Day, Though

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Latest And Most Ambitious Episode In Our Brown Act Enforcement Project Targets South Park BID For Three Violations — Requiring Sign-In To Attend Meeting — Voting By Email — And Most Egregious Of All — Maintaining A Standing Committee Which Meets Only In Secret — Never Posts Agendas — Never Announces Meetings To Public — Votes By Email Regularly — This Is About The Worst Ongoing Brown Act Violation I Have Ever Seen Among BIDs!

For a few months now I’ve been running a project aimed at getting the BIDs of Los Angeles to comply with the Brown Act. This certainly ought to be the job of the City of Los Angeles, but they have completely abdicated all responsibility, so it seems to be more or less just up to me. The system relies on §54960.2 of the Brown Act, which allows any interested party, such as me, to allege that a BID1 violated the Brown Act and demand that they cease and desist from violating it in the future.

The BID then has the choice of issuing an unconditional commitment not to repeat the alleged violations2 within 30 days of the letter or else face a lawsuit. I’ve done four of these since August, the first three resulting in complete and utter capitulation by the BIDs involved, and the fourth I just sent out yesterday morning to the South Park BID. Here’s a list of the old ones:

Now, the South Park BID has had its problems in the past complying with the Brown Act, but on the other hand, Ellen Salome Riotto has been relatively willing to learn from her mistakes. Usually I just drop her a line and she fixes the problem.3 However, I recently learned of two new violations which are far, far too serious to be left to the kind of informal mole whackery in which I’ve so far been willing to engage. These are the subject of this demand letter which I sent yesterday morning to the BID.

The letter alleges violations of three sections of the Brown Act. The first is that they required me to sign in to a meeting in April. I’ve written about this incident before and they seem to have stopped doing it, but it’s worth including here to get them to formally commit not to doing it any more. The second violation is that in November the BID Board actually voted on an item via email at the instigation of Ellen Salome Riotto. This is so freaking illegal, so freaking contrary to the very essence of the Brown Act, that I’m utterly astonished that it happened. And yet it does seem to be a genuine error rather than malfeasance.

The sad irony is that Ellen Salome Riotto explicitly arranged this illegal vote in order to avoid violating the Brown Act’s mandates about teleconferencing. And that she seemed to think that it would be OK because it was justified by the BID’s bylaws, as if state law could be nullified by some two-bit corporation unilaterally announcing that they weren’t subject to it. The whole situation would be tragic if these careless, ignorant people weren’t granted so much public trust.

And the final violation is just stunning in its scope and its audacity. The Brown Act clearly states that committees must also follow open meeting requirements.4 The South Park BID, however, has an executive committee which doesn’t post agendas, meets in secret, and discusses, deliberates, and takes action via email, by phone, and at their secret meetings. It’d be easier to list the parts of the Brown Act that this doesn’t violate!

Secret actions by a public agency like the BID are untenable. This is how democracy dies, so I can’t allow it to continue. And in this case Ellen Salome Riotto has ignored my questions about the violations. Hence the necessity of the demand letter. Turn the page for transcriptions, links to the evidence and code sections, and maybe even some more of my moralistic ranting!
Continue reading Latest And Most Ambitious Episode In Our Brown Act Enforcement Project Targets South Park BID For Three Violations — Requiring Sign-In To Attend Meeting — Voting By Email — And Most Egregious Of All — Maintaining A Standing Committee Which Meets Only In Secret — Never Posts Agendas — Never Announces Meetings To Public — Votes By Email Regularly — This Is About The Worst Ongoing Brown Act Violation I Have Ever Seen Among BIDs!

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Palisades BID Brown Act Demand Letter Leads To Complete And Total Victory! — Elliot “Cabeza De Calabaza” Zorensky And His Merry Gang Of Freaks Out In Northwest Zillionaireville Issue An Unconditional Commitment To Stop Breaking The Damn Law!

Of course you remember my ongoing Brown Act enforcement project, whereby I use threats of imminent lawsuits to try to get our City’s various business improvement districts to just follow the damn law for once. And a few weeks ago I sent the Pacific Palisades BID a sternly-worded demand letter outlining an egregious violation of the Brown Act involving illegal meetings via email and insisting, per statute, that they unconditionally commit to never breaking that particular requirement of the law again.

Well, they got the letter, and then they had two closed sessions and an open session to figure out what to do about it. You can read the agendas here. No doubt they had to have so many discussions because Elliot Zorensky is the second ragiest rageball in all of BIDlandia1 and probably had to have his oversized head wrapped in pressure bandages to keep it from exploding during the discussions and a mummy-style noggin and an impending privilege-violation-induced aneurysm are not elements highly congenial to rational, reasoned, efficient discussion.

But whatever the circumstances, it seems that reason did in fact ultimately prevail, and, them not having any other reasonable option, they decided to send me the required letter. And thus it was that, after many a twixt-lip-slip involving USPS protocols for receiving certified mail, I did finally lay my hands on a copy of said letter. And it says all the stuff it’s supposed to say. In other words, it’s another great victory for the rule of law and a great defeat for those parochial weirdo zillionaires out in the Palisades.

There is nothing like a little cheerful gravedancing on a Friday afternoon, friends! I can recommend it highly! And not only that, but there’s a transcription of their letter of capitulation after the break so you can read it too. And if you want to do a little gravedancing of your own I can highly recommend this little number right here as the soundtrack!
Continue reading Palisades BID Brown Act Demand Letter Leads To Complete And Total Victory! — Elliot “Cabeza De Calabaza” Zorensky And His Merry Gang Of Freaks Out In Northwest Zillionaireville Issue An Unconditional Commitment To Stop Breaking The Damn Law!

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Latest Episode In The Brown Act Enforcement Project Targets Pacific Palisades BID For Secret Email Meeting Violation — They Do This Kind Of Thing All The Time But They’re So Incredibly Slow To Respond To CPRA Requests That I’ve Never Caught Them Within The Nine Month Enforcement Window — Until Now! — Smarmy Caruso Puppet And Self-Proclaimed Board Member Rick Lemmo Channels Donald Trump Even As He Aids And Abets Brown Act Violations — Typical! — Sad!

Yesterday morning the Pacific Palisades BID became the third lucky winner in our ongoing Brown Act enforcement project, following in the hallowed footsteps of the Byzantine Latino Quarter BID and the Studio City BID after them. I sent the BIDdies this demand letter, based as usual on the Brown Act at §54960.2, which gives civic outlaws like the Palisades BIDdies the chance to avoid getting sued back to the Stone Age by issuing an unconditional commitment never to break the same law again no more.

The Byzantinios caved and issued such a letter, and the Studio Citizens did too, at least with respect to three out of the four violations of which I accused them.1 And there’s a reasonable chance that the Palisadesean BIDdies will cave as well, in the fierce face of my ferociously convincing rhetoric. But maybe they won’t, cause BID boss Elliot Zorensky is a stone cold psychopath whose anger, it seems, has so far overmastered his prudence that he will cheerfully drown his own metaphorical babies merely in the hope of splashing some metaphorical bathwater on the metaphorical silken neckties of his quite literal enemies. Hard core, yes. Sustainable? Certainly not.

And of course, to faithful readers of this blog the fact that the Palisadeseans have violated the Brown Act won’t even seem like news. They are locally famous for scoffing in the face of the Brown Act. There was that time in January 2016 when they went and held a vote by email, and that other time in April 2016 when they went and held a vote over the telephone, and that other other time in April 2016 when Sue Pascoe of the Palisades News had the damn nerve to tell Laurie Sale that the Brown Act required them to post their damn agendas where people could see them and Laurie Sale flipped out and cried on Rick Scott’s shoulder all night long.

But the problem with all those episodes in relation to the enforcement project is that good old §54960.2 requires one to start the legal process with a demand letter sent within nine months of the violation. I made my first CPRA request of the PPBID in January 2017 but because they’re a bunch of law-flouting privilege monkeys, they didn’t hand over many if any records until July 2018,2 so that the Brown Act enforcement deadlines for all those 2016 violations were past before I even learned of them.

However, in that steaming heap of records that Elliot Zorensky handed over to me in July3 there was a crucial exchange of emails between Board members that adds up to a big fat violation of the Brown Act at §54952.2(b)(1), which says:

A majority of the members of a legislative body shall not, outside a meeting authorized by this chapter, use a series of communications of any kind, directly or through intermediaries, to discuss, deliberate, or take action on any item of business that is within the subject matter jurisdiction of the legislative body.

And not only that, but the conversation took place in May 2018, so we are well within the nine month deadline. And it’s that conversation, the details of which are interesting in themselves and are to be found after the break, that forms the basis of today’s demand letter. The BID now has thirty days to respond or else we’re going to court, and you will read all about it here if you want to!
Continue reading Latest Episode In The Brown Act Enforcement Project Targets Pacific Palisades BID For Secret Email Meeting Violation — They Do This Kind Of Thing All The Time But They’re So Incredibly Slow To Respond To CPRA Requests That I’ve Never Caught Them Within The Nine Month Enforcement Window — Until Now! — Smarmy Caruso Puppet And Self-Proclaimed Board Member Rick Lemmo Channels Donald Trump Even As He Aids And Abets Brown Act Violations — Typical! — Sad!

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Studio City BID Issues Dishonest And Combative But Mostly (Although Not Entirely) Submissive Response To My Brown Act Demand Letter — BID President Tony Richman Signs His Name To A Bunch Of Ill-Tempered Truculent Lies Probably Written By Ill-Tempered Truculent BID Lawyer Carol Humiston — Does That Make Tony Richman An Ill-Tempered Truculent Liar Also? — Maybe — But Also Maybe Just A Patsy

A few weeks ago I sent the Studio City BID a Brown Act demand letter insisting that they stop breaking the law in four specific ways. According to the Brown Act at §54960.2 the BID can avoid litigation by responding to such a demand with an unconditional commitment to refrain from violating the specific statutory sections in the future. And on Monday, October 15, the SCBID Board met and decided to do just that.

And amazingly enough, the next day, this letter showed up in my inbox! So they weren’t just blowing smoke, it seems. The BID hired Bradley & Gmelich to represent them, which definitely means Carol Freaking Humiston, the world’s angriest Brown Act attorney, almost certainly wrote the letter. And it is written in her inimitable style,1 which essentially consists of variations on the following narrative in six acts:

  1. You’re wrong about what the law says.
  2. Because you’re stupid.
  3. Nothing in the law requires us to do what you demand.
  4. You thought it did because you’re wrong and stupid.
  5. So shut up.
  6. We’re complying with your demand.

The four issues I raised in the letter were first that IDs were required to attend the Board meeting, second that the Board didn’t adequately describe the subject of its closed session, third that the Board didn’t reconvene in open session after the closed session, and fourth that a majority of the Board members had at one time discussed a matter via email instead of in public.

The BID’s response letter was overflowing with a lot of sound and fury2 and belligerent bluster but essentially contained adequate unconditional commitments never ever to do three out of the four. The third item, though, on reconvening in open session, for some reason they declined to commit not to violate. With respect to that, well, I’m studying my options and stay tuned for updates.

For more details about the contents of the letter, the usual amateur analysis, and a modicum of mockery, turn the damn page!
Continue reading Studio City BID Issues Dishonest And Combative But Mostly (Although Not Entirely) Submissive Response To My Brown Act Demand Letter — BID President Tony Richman Signs His Name To A Bunch Of Ill-Tempered Truculent Lies Probably Written By Ill-Tempered Truculent BID Lawyer Carol Humiston — Does That Make Tony Richman An Ill-Tempered Truculent Liar Also? — Maybe — But Also Maybe Just A Patsy

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