Category Archives: Business Improvement Districts

My Public Records Act Case Against The Historic Core BID Went To Trial Today — And The BIDdies Lost Big-Time! — Judge Orders Them To Do A New Search! — And Basically Scoffs At Their Argument That MailChimp Doesn’t Send Emails! — BID Lawyer Jeff Briggs Actually Argued In Open Court That They Shouldn’t Have To Hand Over Records Because Of The Upcoming Fee Motion! — Total Loser Move! — If They Were Mops The Floor Would Be Cleanest!

Quick summary! In August 2018 I was forced by the unhinged intransigence of Blair Besten, half-pint Norma Desmond of the Historic Core BID, to file a petition seeking to enforce my rights under the California Public Records Act. So the usual on-and-freaking-on process of CPRA litigation happened and after a few archetypally zany moments, like La Besten denying under oath that those things her BID sends out via MailChimp are, you know, emails, everybody filed their briefs in July and then today, Tuesday, November 5, we finally had the damn trial.

And the judge, James Chalfant, did as judges will do, and issued a tentative ruling the day before, and you can read it right here.1 And then this afternoon at the trial, after some characteristically futile yammering by counsel for respondent, the notoriously feckless Jeffrey Charles Briggs, the judge adopted his tentative ruling, handing us, that is me and my lawyer, the incomparable Colleen Flynn, a major victory. In particular, said the judge, those things that MailChimp sends are indeed emails and the BID is ordered to search for them and hand them over.
Continue reading My Public Records Act Case Against The Historic Core BID Went To Trial Today — And The BIDdies Lost Big-Time! — Judge Orders Them To Do A New Search! — And Basically Scoffs At Their Argument That MailChimp Doesn’t Send Emails! — BID Lawyer Jeff Briggs Actually Argued In Open Court That They Shouldn’t Have To Hand Over Records Because Of The Upcoming Fee Motion! — Total Loser Move! — If They Were Mops The Floor Would Be Cleanest!

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LAPD Transit Services Division Monitored Extinction Rebellion’s Social Media In April 2019 And Sent Out Reports To Allied Universal Security — A Private Security Firm Employed By Many Business Improvement Districts In Los Angeles — Subsequently AUS Distributed LAPD Intelligence Reports To Its Clients

As you may well know there is a group of activists here in Los Angeles, known as Stop LAPD Spying, which is dedicated to the goal of stopping LAPD from spying. Such a group is, sadly, really necessary because LAPD just will not stop spying. From the famous red squad to the present, they just will not cut it out. And one of the forms LAPD spying takes in the present day is the monitoring of social media accounts and the dissemination of so-called intelligence gathered there. For instance, in 2017 dedicated LAPD social media stalkers learned of an unpermitted demonstration planned by a group called Code Pink, and they emailed a bunch of security people and BIDs Downtown about it and possibly even sent cops to the event.

And just today I learned of another such incident, this time involving LAPD’s Transit Services Division. It seems that Extinction Rebellion Los Angeles was planning a protest for April 22, 2019 to take place on the Red Line train, although the location was not at first revealed. As folks will do these days they coordinated it via social media, and the TSD was watching. And screenshotting. And disseminating their work to various private security companies, who sent it along to their clients, which include business improvement districts.

I learned of this from an April 21, 2019 email sent by Brian Raboin of Allied Universal Security to his clients, including the Downtown Center Business Improvement District. Raboin quotes extensively from an LAPD email that I don’t yet have a copy of, in which it’s revealed that not only was TSD monitoring Extinction Rebellion’s social media, but that the Media Relations Division was as well. There is a transcription of this email below. And Raboin also sent an attachment consisting of thirteen pages of screenshots from various Extinction Rebellion social media pages. Selected images from this document appear below as well.

On April 22, 2019 Extinction Rebellion announced via Facebook that the protest would take place, or at least start out, at Universal City Station. And, even more ominously in the jaundiced view of these cops and their henchies in private security, recommended that participants wear “clothes that can get stained.” The police sent out an update immediately and Raboin forwarded it along to his clients. That’s the story. I’ll leave the moral for you to formulate.

But it’s essential to continue to piece together evidence about what LAPD can monitor, what they do monitor, and with whom they share the fruits of their monitoring. Just yesterday it seems like the whole human population of New York City rose up against violent overpolicing on their subways. And the whole human population of Los Angeles can see that we have the same problem and that it might well lead to the same kind of reaction. So it’s worth remembering while we’re organizing, friends and fellow humans, that the cops are reading our Twitters.
Continue reading LAPD Transit Services Division Monitored Extinction Rebellion’s Social Media In April 2019 And Sent Out Reports To Allied Universal Security — A Private Security Firm Employed By Many Business Improvement Districts In Los Angeles — Subsequently AUS Distributed LAPD Intelligence Reports To Its Clients

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Fee Motion Filed In Public Records Act Suit Against The Chinatown Business Improvement District — Asks For More Than $51K In Costs And Fees — George Yu And The Rest Of The BIDdies Have Hitherto Failed To Participate At All — And Now It Is Time For Them To Pay For Their Crimes

In August 2018 Katherine McNenny, with the able assistance of Abenicio Cisneros and Anna von Herrmann, filed a lawsuit against the Chinatown Business Improvement District because they had ignored our various requests for public records concerning such clearly weighty matters as their involvement in the appalling zillionaire conspiracy against the Skid Row Neighborhood Council. They continued to ignore the requests, and in fact they ignored the lawsuit altogether.

And in July 2019 we prevailed over them and the judge, Mitchell Beckloff, subsequently issued an order requiring that they produce the damn records, which they have also ignored. It is well known that the California Public Records Act requires government agencies to pay legal fees to prevailing requesters, which requires a motion to be filed with the court asking to be paid.

Our attorneys filed just such a motion last week, asking for more than $51,000 from George Yu’s BID.1 I don’t know if the BID is going to ignore this or not, but I can’t imagine we’re not going to get it or something close to it. The hearing is scheduled for February 5, 2020 at 9:30 a.m. in Beckloff’s courtroom, Department 86 in the Stanley Mosk Courthouse. Get a copy of the motion here and stay tuned for details!
Continue reading Fee Motion Filed In Public Records Act Suit Against The Chinatown Business Improvement District — Asks For More Than $51K In Costs And Fees — George Yu And The Rest Of The BIDdies Have Hitherto Failed To Participate At All — And Now It Is Time For Them To Pay For Their Crimes

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My Public Records Act Suit Against The Venice Beach BID Is Finally Over — They Handed Over The Records And Paid My Lawyer $21,000 — A Purely Avoidable Waste Of Money — But What Do They Care? — Not Their Damn Money

Well, in case you missed it, in February 2017 I sent a request to the Venice Beach BID for various public records, and they ignored me and ignored me and ignored me, and finally I hired a lawyer, the incomparable Abenicio Cisneros, and in April 2018 he filed a suit against them seeking to enforce compliance with the damn law.

And now, finally, the case is done with the signing of this settlement agreement. Notably, the BID handed over the records and paid Cisneros $21,435 for his work on the case. This payoff is one hundred percent wasted money that the BID could have saved had they only complied with the law in the first place. But they did not. And I have another request in to them, so we’ll see if they learned their lesson. Meanwhile, behold a partial transcription of the agreement:
Continue reading My Public Records Act Suit Against The Venice Beach BID Is Finally Over — They Handed Over The Records And Paid My Lawyer $21,000 — A Purely Avoidable Waste Of Money — But What Do They Care? — Not Their Damn Money

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Court Summarily Denies Fashion District’s Idiotic Petition Appealing The Fact That They Lost My Damn Public Records Suit Against Them — It’s True That The City Of Los Angeles Unconditionally Bows Down Before These BIDdies But The Rest Of The World Clearly Isn’t So Impressed With Their Nonsense — There’s A Lesson In That For Them But Evidently They Aren’t Learning It

This is just the quickest of quick little posts with no purpose beyond reminding you that (a) I am suing the Fashion District BID over public records and (b) they lost the damn suit in July 2019 and (c) they had an embarrassingly toys-from-pram moment and filed a stupidly intemperate appeal less than two weeks ago. Well, today, this very day, September 30, their appeal was summarily denied by the court in a terse two sentence order which could be translated from the legalese as something like “stop wasting our damn time and get out of my office you civically illiterate six-fingered morons.”

So that’s another fifty grand or so in public tax money, burned at the altar of their narcissistic self-regard by Rena Leddy, Mark Chatoff, and the rest of the Fashionista BIDdies.1 If only their lawyer, the weirdly angry Carol L. Humiston, would advise them in their own best interest to stop fooling about wasting other people’s money and hand over the damn records, which they’re ultimately going to be forced to do anyway, well, the world would be better off, but then I guess we wouldn’t have all these interesting blog posts! Stay tuned for round infinity, friends, cause you know it’s on the agenda!
Continue reading Court Summarily Denies Fashion District’s Idiotic Petition Appealing The Fact That They Lost My Damn Public Records Suit Against Them — It’s True That The City Of Los Angeles Unconditionally Bows Down Before These BIDdies But The Rest Of The World Clearly Isn’t So Impressed With Their Nonsense — There’s A Lesson In That For Them But Evidently They Aren’t Learning It

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World’s Angriest CPRA Lawyer — Carol Humiston — Counseled Her Clients — The South Park BID — To Violate The Law — Not That They Needed Counseling To Do This — But It Is Against The State Bar’s Rules Of Professional Conduct For Lawyers To Do This — So — As You May Recall — I Turned Her In To The Bar Investigators — But The Other Day They Rejected My Complaint — For Reasons That Would Make That Particular Bar Rule Completely Unenforceable — Which Can’t Actually Be Correct Because Why Would The Bar — Or Anyone — Have Intrinsically Unenforceable Rules? — So I Filed An Appeal Of The Closure — And You Can Get Your Copy Here!

Oh boy, friends, a small setback in my ongoing project aimed at getting Carol Humiston, the world’s angriest CPRA lawyer, disgraced, disgruntled,1 and, of course, disbarred. As you may recall, she counseled her ne’er-do-well clients, the South Park BIDdies, to absolutely flout the law by violating the public records act in any number of really weirdly flamboyant ways. And I discovered this because the BIDdies were kind enough to waive any possible exemption claims, if there ever were any, to some emails in which Humiston discussed her advice with them and with others.2

And the California State Bar Association has a rule against this kind of thing, Rule 1.2.1, which states “A lawyer shall not counsel a client to engage, or assist a client in conduct that the lawyer knows is criminal, fraudulent, or a violation of any law, rule, or ruling of a tribunal.”. So, naturally, I reported Humiston to the Bar Association in April. Well, they finally got around to responding, and, sadly, they rejected my complaint with this spiritually bankrupt letter, basically claiming that (a) the evidence was all privileged so they couldn’t consider it and (b) they weren’t able to determine if the BIDdies had broken the law.

Of course, these reasons miss the point entirely, which is that (a) the BIDdies waived any privilege by releasing the emails freely and (b) whether or not the BIDdies broke the law is beside the point since the complaint was about whether Humiston told them to break the law. This can’t rely on them actually breaking the law, otherwise you’re going to have to allow lawyers counseling their clients to, e.g., lie in wait to kill and eat their enemies, and as long as the clients don’t actually do it the lawyers haven’t violated the Bar rule.

That can’t be right, so obviously my complaint was closed in error. So I wrote a lengthy and comprehensive appeal and sent it off to the head office up north in the City and County of3 and you can read transcribed selections below, and stay tuned for the latest news!
Continue reading World’s Angriest CPRA Lawyer — Carol Humiston — Counseled Her Clients — The South Park BID — To Violate The Law — Not That They Needed Counseling To Do This — But It Is Against The State Bar’s Rules Of Professional Conduct For Lawyers To Do This — So — As You May Recall — I Turned Her In To The Bar Investigators — But The Other Day They Rejected My Complaint — For Reasons That Would Make That Particular Bar Rule Completely Unenforceable — Which Can’t Actually Be Correct Because Why Would The Bar — Or Anyone — Have Intrinsically Unenforceable Rules? — So I Filed An Appeal Of The Closure — And You Can Get Your Copy Here!

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Fashion District BID Refuses To Accept The Fact That Judge Mitchell Beckloff Ruled Against Them In My Current Public Records Suit — So On Monday They Appealed The Ruling — Here’s A Copy Of Their Appeal Brief — But No Commentary Because At This Point The Details Are Beyond Me

This is just the briefest of brief little notes to announce that the Fashion District BID, which I was forced to sue because of their surreally intransigent refusal to comply with the damn law, and which got ruled against in July by Judge Mitchell Beckloff, is doubling down on their nonsense by appealing Beckloff’s decision! Here’s a copy of their brief and, as evidently even Bradley & Gmelich can see that unhinged BID attorney Carol Humiston is not to be trusted, they’ve brought in a ringer, Dawn Cushman, to write the damn thing.

At this point the issues are chasing one another’s tails in some high-altitude lawyerly empyrean hypersphere where normal folks like me can’t even breathe, let alone provide color commentary. I can’t even transcribe selections because who knows what to select?! Although even despite my ignorance I’m perfectly able to mock Cushman’s turgid and repetitive prose!1 So here’s a link to the brief they filed, and I’ll let you know if anything comprehensible happens!
Continue reading Fashion District BID Refuses To Accept The Fact That Judge Mitchell Beckloff Ruled Against Them In My Current Public Records Suit — So On Monday They Appealed The Ruling — Here’s A Copy Of Their Appeal Brief — But No Commentary Because At This Point The Details Are Beyond Me

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Judge Beckloff Signs Judgment Granting Writ Of Mandate In Our California Public Records Act Petition Against The Chinatown BID — This Puts His Earlier Order Into Force And Gives The BID 30 Days-Ish To Produce The Damn Records — But I’m Guessing They Will Ignore This Too — So We Will See What Happens!

The latest development in the ongoing saga of Katherine McNenny’s and my California Public Records Act suit against the Chinatown Business Improvement District is that the judge signed a judgment granting our petition for a writ of mandate.1 You can get a copy here on Archive.Org.2 This gives the BID 30 days to comply, and we shall certainly see what happens.

Note that the signing of this judgment is not unexpected news, as we prevailed in court last month, but without this step, putting last month’s order into force, there’s no way to compel the BID to comply, which it seems pretty clearly is going to be necessary since they have shown no signs of being willing to comply in the absence of compulsion.

Without the excellent and relentless work of our lawyers, Abenicio Cisneros and Anna von Herrmann, by the way, none of this would have happened. Cisneros has also blogged about the victory from the lawyerly point of view, absolutely worth reading. Stay tuned for further developments.
Continue reading Judge Beckloff Signs Judgment Granting Writ Of Mandate In Our California Public Records Act Petition Against The Chinatown BID — This Puts His Earlier Order Into Force And Gives The BID 30 Days-Ish To Produce The Damn Records — But I’m Guessing They Will Ignore This Too — So We Will See What Happens!

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Tia Strozier Continues To Act As George Yu’s Catspaw To Further His Vendetta Against Theo Henderson — Amplifying George Yu’s Weirdo Unsupported Defamatory Insinuations — Apparently Setting Henderson Up To Be Killed By Police — Just Because Yu Hates The Guy — Oh And Also Because Gil Cedillo Wanted To Have An Event In Alpine Rec Center — And Someone At CD1 — Probably Ricardo Flores — Perceived Henderson’s Presence As An Impediment — Also LAPD Senior Lead Officer Elizabeth Ortega Expresses Her Dismay At Being Unable To Arrest Henderson Just For Existing — “Unfortunately” — Says Ortega — “unless he commits a crime he is allowed to be at the park during park hours”

Here’s the latest episode in the continuing story of the unholy obsession of psychopathic rageball George Yu, commander in chief of the Krazy Kriminal Konspiracy known as the Chinatown Business Improvement District, Los Angeles neighborhood prosecutor Tia Strozier, and LAPD senior lead officer Elizabeth Ortega, with the very existence of Chinatown resident Theo Henderson. You can read a report on this through May 2019 here.

The short version is that at Yu’s behest, Strozier and Ortega, with the cooperation of other City officials from CD1 and Rec and Parks have been trying unsuccessfully for months to arrest Henderson or at least find a way to ban him from Alpine Recreation Center. They have subjected him to police hyperscrutiny in the hope of finding actionable violations and aggressively try to impose “services” on him as a way to forcibly relocate him. Today’s post will bring the story up through July.1

One of the favored tactics George Yu and his minions at the City of Los Angeles2 use against the homeless people they’re targeting is involuntary mental health commitments. So it’s no surprise to see Ortega reassuring Yu via email on June 3, 2019 that she’s arranged for the County Department of Mental Health to “speak to Theo” What’s slightly surprising, though, is to see the putatively professional Ortega telling ostensibly private citizen Yu what seems like private medical information about Henderson. This ethical lapse certainly highlights the fact that the point of the intervention Ortega has arranged has little to do with Henderson’s well-being and lots to do with Yu’s vendetta.

Not that it needs to be highlighted. The fact that anyone with any training whatsoever, or even with any common sense, could sincerely think that Theo Henderson has any mental health problems at all, is completely implausible. It’s ridiculous. There is no legitimate reason for any competent person to call DMH about Henderson, who is among the sanest people I know. If you haven’t had the pleasure of meeting him, and want to judge for yourself3 you can watch him speaking some truth to Yu at a recent BID meeting.

On June 27, 2019 Henderson and other homeless rights activists held a press conference at City Hall to promote the Services Not Sweeps Coalition, which stoked Yu’s always-smoldering rage at Henderson into an unhinged thermonuclear frenzy. On June 28 Yu sent an email to Ortega and Strozier, the subject line of which read “Theo’s Press Conference”, accusing Henderson of being a pedophile based on the exceedingly thin evidence of some pictures Henderson had taken of children at Alpine Rec Center and posted on Instagram.
Continue reading Tia Strozier Continues To Act As George Yu’s Catspaw To Further His Vendetta Against Theo Henderson — Amplifying George Yu’s Weirdo Unsupported Defamatory Insinuations — Apparently Setting Henderson Up To Be Killed By Police — Just Because Yu Hates The Guy — Oh And Also Because Gil Cedillo Wanted To Have An Event In Alpine Rec Center — And Someone At CD1 — Probably Ricardo Flores — Perceived Henderson’s Presence As An Impediment — Also LAPD Senior Lead Officer Elizabeth Ortega Expresses Her Dismay At Being Unable To Arrest Henderson Just For Existing — “Unfortunately” — Says Ortega — “unless he commits a crime he is allowed to be at the park during park hours”

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Apocalyptic Rage Ranter George Yu’s Casually Unhinged Racist Take On Crime In Chinatown — “I Assure You None Of The Suspects Were Chinese” — And His Co-Freaking-Conspirator — Neighborhood Prosecutor Tia Strozier — Not Only Helps George Yu Attack Theo Henderson — But Also Gives Him Legal Advice On How To Bust Street Vendors — Contrary To Mike Feuers Explicit Assertion That “Neighborhood Prosecutors cannot provide legal advice to the public” — It May Be Chinatown But No One Is Forgetting It, Jake

It’s been a while since I wrote about psychopathic rageball George Yu, the criminal boss of the Klown Kar Krew Konspiracy known as the Chinatown Business Improvement District. Last we heard about the guy he was incurring significant liability for his BID by failing to show up at his damn trial, and screaming at a bunch of people at a meeting funded on his behalf by the City of Los Angeles, and conspiring with Deputy City Attorney Tia Strozier, who really ought to be ashamed of herself but is not, against Chinatown resident Theo Henderson.

But Jake, even though it is Chinatown, we aren’t about to forget it. So I thought I’d spend a little of this precious weekend covering a couple interesting items from this set of Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Prosecutor Tia Strozier’s emails about Chinatown. One is from George Yu to some guy named Peter about crime in Chinatown. The sky is falling, the apocalypse is upon us, “the City outside Los Angeles is functionally and irreversibly broken” and crime in Chinatown is, according to Yu, who is evidently living in his own worst nightmare, higher than crime across the street in El Pueblo.

But, says this casually unhinged racist, funded by the City of Los angeles to the tune of more than $1.3 million per year in BID assessments,1 “I assure you none of the suspects were Chinese or have ever lived in our community.” Great analysis, George Yu! You’re worth every damn penny of that public tax money the City hands over to you every year to run your weirdo little kingdom out there in North Central Yu-ville!
Continue reading Apocalyptic Rage Ranter George Yu’s Casually Unhinged Racist Take On Crime In Chinatown — “I Assure You None Of The Suspects Were Chinese” — And His Co-Freaking-Conspirator — Neighborhood Prosecutor Tia Strozier — Not Only Helps George Yu Attack Theo Henderson — But Also Gives Him Legal Advice On How To Bust Street Vendors — Contrary To Mike Feuers Explicit Assertion That “Neighborhood Prosecutors cannot provide legal advice to the public” — It May Be Chinatown But No One Is Forgetting It, Jake

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