Category Archives: Municipal Ethics

City Of Los Angeles Sued Yet Again To Enforce Compliance With The Public Records Act — This Time It’s Over CD14’s Obstinate Refusal To Produce Emails Between Staffer Joella Hopkins And Various City Officials — Mostly Having To Do With Homeless Issues — CD14 Commo Deputy Isaiah Calvin Risibly Claimed That Dozens If Not Hundreds Of Emails Were Exempt As Attorney Client Privileged — But I Obtained Some Of These From Other Sources And — He’s Lying — Or Confused — Or Both — But That Doesn’t Matter Under The Law — Hence This Petition

This is just a very quick note to announce that due to CD14’s well-known and weirdly intransigent refusal to comply with even the most minimal mandates of the California Public Records Act I have been forced to file a writ petition against these outlaw City officials seeking to enforce my constitutional right to read their damn emails.

On December 30, 2018 I asked Paul Habib and some other Huizar staffies for “emails between joella.hopkins@lacity.org or ari.simon@lacity.org and at least one of 34490@lapd.online or 32511@lapd.online or gita.oneill@lacity.org or kurt.knecht@lacity.org.” Note that the two police there are Marc Reina and Deon Joseph respectively. They hummed, hemmed, hawed, and noped and eventually produced 62 pages of ludicrously incomplete emails. For instance, they produced the first page of a 14 page thread about Night on Broadway but not the other 13 pages. And crazy stuff like that.

And they claimed, possibly due to the inclusion of Deputy City Attorneys Gita O’Neill and Kurt Knecht in my request, that they had withheld some material under the attorney/client privilege. But you know, and this is good CPRA practice, when possible I like to hit up as many agencies as possible for the same or overlapping material. It’s the best way not only to get complete sets of stuff but also to check whether responses are honest. And, sadly, often they are not.
Continue reading City Of Los Angeles Sued Yet Again To Enforce Compliance With The Public Records Act — This Time It’s Over CD14’s Obstinate Refusal To Produce Emails Between Staffer Joella Hopkins And Various City Officials — Mostly Having To Do With Homeless Issues — CD14 Commo Deputy Isaiah Calvin Risibly Claimed That Dozens If Not Hundreds Of Emails Were Exempt As Attorney Client Privileged — But I Obtained Some Of These From Other Sources And — He’s Lying — Or Confused — Or Both — But That Doesn’t Matter Under The Law — Hence This Petition

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Remember How CD11 Staffie Taylor Bazley Helped Mark Ryavec And The Rest Of His Psychopathic Housedwelling Venice Klown Kar Krew Install Illegal Planters By Asking Brian Buchner To Call In A Sweep? — Well He Did — And This Morning I Turned Him In To The Ethics Commission For Doing It — Get A Copy Of The Complaint Right Here!

Quick update time! Psychopathic homeless-hating housedwellers in Venice have been illegally dropping anti-encampment planters all over the damn place. I obtained some emails via the California Public Records Act that proved that Mark Ryavec, Carlos Torres and assorted other members of their fashy little beerhall fight clubs, the Venice Stakeholders Association and Venice United, were behind the planters with the avid assistance of a bunch of LAPD cops and Taylor Bazley, who is Mike Bonin‘s field deputy for Venice.

Then I turned all the cops in to LAPD Internal Affairs since cops are supposed to enforce the law rather than help a bunch of zillionaires violate the law. But that move, as satisfying as it was, left smarmy little creepy little avid little licker of the dung-encrusted boots of zillionaires Taylor Bazley unreported anywhere for anything to do with his part in the ongoing civic tragedy that is the connivance of our City officials with these illegal planter-placers. Which is a gap in the cosmic order that could not allowed to remain!

And thus, this very morning, I filed a complaint against Bazley with the Los Angeles Ethics Commission. The facts are the same as in the above-mentioned complaint against the cops, but the violations alleged are different because Bazley, at least as far as we know, is not a cop, so he has fewer restrictions on his relations with lawbreaking.
Continue reading Remember How CD11 Staffie Taylor Bazley Helped Mark Ryavec And The Rest Of His Psychopathic Housedwelling Venice Klown Kar Krew Install Illegal Planters By Asking Brian Buchner To Call In A Sweep? — Well He Did — And This Morning I Turned Him In To The Ethics Commission For Doing It — Get A Copy Of The Complaint Right Here!

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Gil Cedillo, Morrie Goldman, George Yu — CD1’s Unholy Trinity — Cedillo Met With Corrupt Huizar-Linked Lobbyist Goldman 25 Times Since Taking Office In July 2013 — George Yu Of The Chinatown BID Is A Client Of Goldman’s — They Eat Lunch With Cedillo And Hate On Street Vendors — Same Old Story At 200 N Spring Street — And Bonus Sleaze! — Morrie Goldman Brings Lightstone To Meet With Cedillo About A Giant Hotel Project Not Even In His District! — Cause Why Should Huizar Get All The Dirty Money?! — But There Are Things Too Sleazy Even For Cedillo! — Read On To Find Out What!

Morrie Goldman is a former Council staffer who now runs a lobbying firm called Urban Solutions. Of course lately he’s much-discussed because of his person-of-interest flavored links to José Huizar. And it turns out that Goldman hasn’t just been spending quality time with Huizar, but that he’s a regular dining companion of Gil Cedillo as well.

I recently obtained a whole slew of calendars from some of Cedillo’s staffies and, importantly, Cedillo himself. Take a look at what I have so far and especially see Cedillo’s appointment calendar from 2013 through 2018. The PDF is searchable, and just for kicks, search it for “Morrie.” You’ll see 25 hits, all for meetings with Morrie Goldman, at the finest restaurants, with clients, for drinks, and so on. This, of course, is evidence. It’ s just not yet clear what it’s evidence of.

Some of the clients are listed, e.g. Clear Channel is in there a lot, probably because everyone who’s not a politician hates them. United American Properties, which was, maybe still is, developing property in Westlake, also makes an appearance. But many of the listings don’t identify the issues to be discussed, some don’t even identify the clients whose issues Goldman is to lobby Cedillo on. Which is why calendars are always just a starting point. Emails are what’s needed!1

And not only did I manage to obtain these calendars, but I also got this fabulous spool of emails, mostly between Debbie Kim and Morrie Goldman, with special guest appearances by Goldman’s fellow Huizar-scandal-person-of-interest Art Gastelum!2 And there’s all kind of action in those emails, believe me! And some of the action involves an old friend of this blog, everybody’s favorite psychopathic rageball, Mr. George Yu of the Chinatown BID! Apparently the BID, or to be precise the property owners association, is Goldman’s client.3

And Goldman goes with Yu to meet Cedillo and eat lunch and talk about things like street vending, which all BIDdies hate, but which Yu hates more than the average BIDdie, cause, in addition to rage, Yu is just that much more than average filled with hate. From the evidence I have Goldman and Yu met with Cedillo three times since 2015 over street vending (one, two, and three). And what did Cedillo have to say about it to the BIDdies, especially given that he’s on the record as supporting legal street vending in Los Angeles? Well, I don’t know.4

And the emails also show that on January 29, 2016 Goldman sought a meeting for representatives from Lightstone with Cedillo. Lightstone is, of course, famous for its Fig + Pico project, right smack in the middle of Huizar’s CD14. This is the project for which the City agreed to more than $100 million in tax rebates. And why was Goldman so eager to introduce his clients to Cedillo when they were building in CD14?

Well, Goldman says in the emails that it’s because “they are actively looking at other sites” but I’m willing to bet some money that it had more to do with the fact that at that time Cedillo was on the Economic Development Committee, which voted to move the project forward on February 9, 2016, less than two weeks after Goldman started arranging the meeting.5

And finally there’s this snazzy little number from 2017, wherein Morrie Goldman invites Gil Cedillo to take part in a press conference that his client Clear Channel, the most criminally inclined billboard company in the history of billboard companies, is putting together to celebrate National Missing Children’s Day.6 But Cedillo staffers Fredy Ceja and Arturo Chavez, even though they agree that missing children are a good cause and so on, don’t think “the perception” is good for their boss. Turn the page to read a transcription of that one!
Continue reading Gil Cedillo, Morrie Goldman, George Yu — CD1’s Unholy Trinity — Cedillo Met With Corrupt Huizar-Linked Lobbyist Goldman 25 Times Since Taking Office In July 2013 — George Yu Of The Chinatown BID Is A Client Of Goldman’s — They Eat Lunch With Cedillo And Hate On Street Vendors — Same Old Story At 200 N Spring Street — And Bonus Sleaze! — Morrie Goldman Brings Lightstone To Meet With Cedillo About A Giant Hotel Project Not Even In His District! — Cause Why Should Huizar Get All The Dirty Money?! — But There Are Things Too Sleazy Even For Cedillo! — Read On To Find Out What!

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Ingrid Lee Was Fined $16,455 In December 2017 By The Ethics Commission For Making Excess Campaign Contributions Through Front Corporations — Including Injae LLC And Coastland Project LLC — $1,700 Of That Money Went To Gil Cedillo — So Why Was Dean Matsubayashi Of The Little Tokyo Service Center Carrying Messages Between Injae And Gerald Gubatan — Cedillo’s Senior Planning Director — In 2016? — And Why Were They So Vague In Their Emails — Repeatedly Insisting On Talking Via Phone?

You’ll recall that this incredibly useful trove of emails between Cedillo staffer Gerald Gubatan and various Little Tokyo folks has contributed significantly to the story of José Huizar’s famously cooked-up community buy-in Parker Center demolition thing, not just in the main story but also, e.g., in this little tidbit about op-ed placement. And, it turns out, there is one more story to be squeezed out of this seething mass of information.

Take a look at this email conversation from 2016 between our friend, Gerald Gubatan, and his behind-scenes buddy Dean Matsubayashi of the Little Tokyo Service Center. And I mean, you can read it, and of course there is a transcription after the break, but the apparent content is a rounding error away from nothing. Gubatan and Matsubayashi go on and on about some entity called Injae LLC and how they need to discuss something on the phone.

That, of course, is a veritable without-which-not1 for political shadiness. There’s nothing in the genre of political communications which portends corruption and impending exposure, contempt, mockery, and disgrace quite like a series of emails each of which says essentially nothing more than “call me.” And we’re never gonna know what they talked about on the phone, but let’s take a look at this Injae LLC thing, yes?

This California LLC, which is still active, is a front for real estate developer In Soo Lee, aka Ingrid Lee through which she funneled contributations over the legally allowed amount to Gil Cedillo and Monica Rodriguez. This was reported in the L.A. Times in December 2017 when the Ethics Commission fined Lee $16,455 for her willful evasion of municipal election laws. The article also reveals the fact that Coastland Project LLC was another of Lee’s contribution fronts.

And Cedillo accepted contributions from both Injae and Coastland. Take a look at the Ethics Commission’s reports on Injae and on Coastland Project to see that Injae gave him $500 in 2014 and $700 in 2015 and that Coastland gave him $500 in 2014. And after taking all this money, evidently Gerald Gubatan had some top secret business with Injae and Dean Matsubayashi, so sensitive that neither of them would commit details to writing.

After all, shady criminal developers like Ingrid Lee ultimately want something from their vendidos in exchange for their illegal money, don’t they? Too bad we’re really unlikely ever to learn what it was. Turn the page to read the emails!
Continue reading Ingrid Lee Was Fined $16,455 In December 2017 By The Ethics Commission For Making Excess Campaign Contributions Through Front Corporations — Including Injae LLC And Coastland Project LLC — $1,700 Of That Money Went To Gil Cedillo — So Why Was Dean Matsubayashi Of The Little Tokyo Service Center Carrying Messages Between Injae And Gerald Gubatan — Cedillo’s Senior Planning Director — In 2016? — And Why Were They So Vague In Their Emails — Repeatedly Insisting On Talking Via Phone?

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Eddie Guerra Update Finally! — He’s The Cop Who Took A Personal Check In 2016 For $400 From The Media District BID Ostensibly For Some Charity — And Then I Wrote About It In January 2017 — And Filed A Complaint With The Ethics Commission — Who Didn’t Do Anything As Usual — But Cory Palka Read That Blog Post! — And Told Now-Chief Michel Moore! — And Guerra Was Moderately Busted! — And I Just Found This Out Because It Took The LAPD Two Freaking Years To Fulfill My CPRA Request — And A Special Surprise! — Cory Palka Uses A Private Email Address To Conduct City Business!

In the Fall of 2016 LAPD officer Eddie Guerra asked the Hollywood Media District BID to give him $400 ostensibly for some charity. He asked by return email right after they thanked him for getting rid of some homeless people at their express request. Context matters, and this struck me as particularly shady, so I did three things. First, I turned Officer Guerra into the Ethics Commission for violating LAMC 49.5.5(a), which forbids misusing public power for private gain. Second, I wrote a blog post about the incident. And third, I made a request to the LAPD for more records.

And because the LAPD is slow as paint when it comes to filling CPRA requests they didn’t get back to me until two years later on December 31, 2018,1 when they sent me this little spool of puckey in response. And, as is often the case with released records, most of them are completely worthless or else I already had them. But, as is also often the case with released records, some of this material was really essential!

Just, for instance, take a look at this series of emails between Hollywood mega-muckety Cory Palka, friend of white supremacists and of scientologists, and his superior officers, including now-chief Michel Moore, wherein Palka sends links and gives credit to this very blog (!) for breaking the story of Guerra’s misfeasance and they end up recommending a 1.28, which is evidently some kind of LAPD complaint form. Michel Moore, the current chief of police, agreed and then said that “corrective action/training/counseling is warranted.”

Oh, snap, amirite?! Now that I know he reads this blog and sends links to future chiefs of police, well, next goal, get @CoryPalka to follow me on Twitter! And amazingly enough, Cowboy Cory Palka is revealed by these emails to use the private email address cpalka@me.com to conduct City business, which puts him in the august company of Mitch O’Farrell, David Ryu, Gil Cedillo, and (spoiler alert) Paul Koretz!2 You will definitely be hearing more about this, but not necessarily soon.

Anyway, turn the page for transcriptions of all the emails including, of course, Cory Palka’s suprisingly lucid summary of the situation and shout-out to your very own MK.Org!
Continue reading Eddie Guerra Update Finally! — He’s The Cop Who Took A Personal Check In 2016 For $400 From The Media District BID Ostensibly For Some Charity — And Then I Wrote About It In January 2017 — And Filed A Complaint With The Ethics Commission — Who Didn’t Do Anything As Usual — But Cory Palka Read That Blog Post! — And Told Now-Chief Michel Moore! — And Guerra Was Moderately Busted! — And I Just Found This Out Because It Took The LAPD Two Freaking Years To Fulfill My CPRA Request — And A Special Surprise! — Cory Palka Uses A Private Email Address To Conduct City Business!

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On Monday Serena Oberstein Quit Her Position As Ethics Commission President — Evidently To Run For Mitch Englander’s Council Seat — She Was A Corrupt And Horrible Commissioner And Would Doubtless Be A Corrupt And Horrible Councilmember — But At Least Some Supporters Of Her Likely Opponent Brad Smith Are A Zillion Times Worse — Repellent Misogynist Neanderthal Piggies Who Think She Shouldn’t Run Because She Has A Young Child — And Other Attack Vectors Too Gross To Put In A Headline — As Bad As She Is There Are Worse Things Out There

According to the incomparable Emily Alpert Reyes, worst-of-the-bunch Los Angeles City Ethics commissioner Serena Oberstein resigned her position on Monday, apparently to prepare a run for Mitch Englander’s to-be-vacated seat as Council District 12 repster. As an Ethics Commissioner Oberstein was so horrible, so corrupt, so willing to betray the interests of the City in favor of her own interests, the interests of her employer, and the interests of her weirdo buddies in the non-profit community, that I have no doubt she’ll fit right in on the Council, at least until the inevitable FBI raid.

And it looks like Brad Smith, who ran unsuccessfully against Mitch Englander in 2011 is going to run against her for the seat.1 And yesterday, evidently because of my incisive, revelatory, and critical reporting2 on Serena Oberstein’s corrupt and destructive habits, I was contacted by some guy calling himself Howard P. Cohen and claiming to be involved with Brad Smith’s campaign and asking for my help to defeat Serena Oberstein.

So I agreed to help cause Brad Smith was endorsed by Democrats last time he ran so that’s good, and she’s so bad. But then later in the day I was CCed on this email from Howard P. Cohen explaining exactly why he thinks Serena Oberstein should be defeated, which seems to boil down to the facts that first, she’s “a YOUNG JEWISH FEMALE,”3 and second, that she, as a woman, shouldn’t run for office, shouldn’t “prioritize POWER,” because she has a young child. In his estimation this makes her a bad mother and therefore unfit to serve on City Council. This is wrong on so many levels it’s really hard to express.

First, it doesn’t make her a bad mother to run for office or to seek power no matter what the age of her child. Second, what about her husband, who has the same kid she has and also has a high power high visibilty political job. Where’s the attack on him for being a bad father? Third, even if she were a bad mother who freaking cares? The only relevant question is whether she’s a good politician. I’m sure there have been plenty of bad mothers who were good politicians. God knows there’ve been plenty of bad fathers.

And there’s worse, which I don’t even want to soil my keyboard by discussing. The email is transcribed after the break, though. And now I can’t have anything to do with either of these people. Howard P. Cohen and anyone who associates with the guy politically are at least a zillion times worse than Serena Oberstein. She will be bad for the City of Los Angeles in the kind of mainstream sell-out way that our City’s mainstream politicians have been bad for us since Harry Chandler invented Los Angeles.

The office of Councilmember in Los Angeles was purposely designed by Chandler and his criminal cronies to encourage selling out to developers, so it’s not a surprise that the job attracts sell-outs. We can survive her like we’ve been surviving people like her for well over a century. But anyone who associates with people who think like Howard P. Cohen thinks will be bad for the City in deep, cosmic, existential ways.

A campaign opposing Serena Oberstein’s candidacy because she’s Jewish and a woman and a mother seeking power rather than because she’s a corrupt politician is intrinsically damaging and is unsupportable by sane people. That’s surely no reason to vote for Serena Oberstein, but it’s certainly a reason not to vote for Brad Smith. And as I said, turn the page for a transcription of the email.
Continue reading On Monday Serena Oberstein Quit Her Position As Ethics Commission President — Evidently To Run For Mitch Englander’s Council Seat — She Was A Corrupt And Horrible Commissioner And Would Doubtless Be A Corrupt And Horrible Councilmember — But At Least Some Supporters Of Her Likely Opponent Brad Smith Are A Zillion Times Worse — Repellent Misogynist Neanderthal Piggies Who Think She Shouldn’t Run Because She Has A Young Child — And Other Attack Vectors Too Gross To Put In A Headline — As Bad As She Is There Are Worse Things Out There

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Worst-Of-The-Bunch Ethics Commission Veep Serena Oberstein, Who’s Paid $87,500 Annually By Her 501(c)(3) Employer Vision To Learn, Both Of Whom Were Poised To Reap Benefit From Version Of Municipal Lobbying Ordinance Revision Pushed Hard By Serena Oberstein, Suspiciously Neglected To Mention This Fact In Any Of The Literally Zillions Of Public Forums Held On The Matter

It hasn’t even been two weeks since the Los Angeles Ethics Commission put our City’s Municipal Lobbying Ordinance in danger of being made meaningless, primarily at the instigation of worst-of-the-bunch Commission Veep Serena Oberstein, with respect to 501(c)(3) nonprofits, so it’s not surprising that all the ramifications of their misfeasance have not yet been completely understood. Along those lines, therefore, here’s another episode from the ethical Twilight Zone in which at least some members of the Commission seem to dwell in these latter days.

You see, Serena Oberstein is not just the City’s most corrupt Ethics Commissioner, what with her sub rosa agenda-pushing for her nonprofit buddies Shyaam Subramanian1 and Nancy Berlin, amongst others, not to mention her refusal to agendize a perfectly reasonable request that her Commission disclose their ex parte communications,2 she’s also the Chief Operating Officer of some Westside do-gooder outfit called Vision to Learn.

And while I had some inchoate notion that her involvement with 501(c)(3) nonprofits might explain at least some of her motivations in the recent fiasco, whereby mostly at Serena Oberstein’s instigation, the Commission ended up recommending to the Council that all 501(c)(3)s with gross annual revenues under $2 million be exempt from registration as lobbyists, I hadn’t taken the time to investigate. But recently it occurred to me to look at Vision to Learn’s3 Form 990s to see how the modifications pushed by Serena Oberstein would affect her employer.4 I published the last few years here on Archive.Org, or you can go directly to the PDFs here:

So take a look at the evidence yourself, or turn the page to see what I found!
Continue reading Worst-Of-The-Bunch Ethics Commission Veep Serena Oberstein, Who’s Paid $87,500 Annually By Her 501(c)(3) Employer Vision To Learn, Both Of Whom Were Poised To Reap Benefit From Version Of Municipal Lobbying Ordinance Revision Pushed Hard By Serena Oberstein, Suspiciously Neglected To Mention This Fact In Any Of The Literally Zillions Of Public Forums Held On The Matter

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Los Angeles Ethics Commissioners Fail To Understand Their Powers And Duties Under The City Charter And Thereby Inadvertently (??) Set The Stage For Exempting Nearly All 501(c)(3) Tax Exempt Organizations In Los Angeles From The Municipal Lobbying Ordinance

It seems like forever now, although it’s only been two years, that the Los Angeles Ethics Commission has been discussing proposed changes to the Municipal Lobbying Ordinance (MLO). At this point I just don’t have it in me to summarize the discussion any more, although you can find links to most of my posts on the subject in this post on the penultimate phase of the matter.

At the Commission’s meeting on Tuesday, which you can watch in its entirety right here (or here on Archive.Org if you prefer), there were only two matters left to settle. One was the issue of detailed reporting of contacts between lobbyists and City Officials. I hope to write on what happened with that later on. The other, and the subject of today’s post, had to do with exemptions from the MLO for 501(c)(3) nonprofits. You can watch the whole discussion beginning here. These organizations enjoy some exemptions now by virtue of LAMC §48.03(E,F). You can read the statute for yourself, but essentially it exempts 501(c)(3)s1 which have “… the purpose of representing the interests of indigent persons and whose primary purpose is to provide direct services to those persons…”

As they are wont to do, the staff, in the persons of Director of Policy Arman Tarzi and Mark Low, head of the lobbying program, provided the Commission with a detailed set of recommendations. There were four different options given that had to do with nonprofits, which you can read in the proposal. Of these, three were developed by staff and the fourth2 was provided by nonprofits and proposed to exempt all nonprofits, no matter what they do, which have gross annual receipts of under $2.5 Million.

Never content to leave well enough alone, these hyperorganized nonprofits presented the Commission with a so-called “Option 5,” which they circulated at the meeting. This option proposed to modify LAMC §48.03(E) to exempt from the MLO:

E. Any organization exempt from federal taxation pursuant to Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code that:
1. Provides assistance, such as food, clothing, shelter, child care, health, legal, vocational, relief, educational, and other similar assistance to disadvantaged people for free or at a significantly below-market rate; OR
2. Has gross receipts of less than $2.5 million.
This exemption also applies to the organization’s employees and board members while engaged in official duties. This exemption does not apply when an organization is seeking funding, property, or a permit from the City on its own behalf.

Continue reading Los Angeles Ethics Commissioners Fail To Understand Their Powers And Duties Under The City Charter And Thereby Inadvertently (??) Set The Stage For Exempting Nearly All 501(c)(3) Tax Exempt Organizations In Los Angeles From The Municipal Lobbying Ordinance

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Ethics Commission Veep Serena Oberstein Announces That She Is Very Excited To Have Found A Way To Evade The Public Records Act While Claiming That She’s Evading It “In The Spirit Of Transparency Which The Ethics Commission Represents.”

The Los Angeles Ethics Commission held its December meeting this morning, and I recorded the whole thing1 and you can watch it either on YouTube or else on Archive.Org. Of course the main event was the last two items to be discussed regarding proposed updates to the Municipal Lobbying Ordinance, and I’ll have something to say about that whole mishegaas later in the week I hope. And there was also an instance of silence speaking louder than words, as the Commission completely ignored my recent request that they consider adopting a disclosure rule for ex parte contacts between Commissioners and those who would influence them.

Such contacts, of course, are a serious problem with our Ethics Commissioners, not least Serena Oberstein, the lobbyists’ best friend, who was involved in a minor yet horrifying interlude at this morning’s meeting which is the subject of tonight’s rant. The issue was whether and how the Ethics Commission’s investigators should disclose to the targets of their investigations that the investigations have become inactive.

This came up at the October meeting, and you can watch the whole episode here if you’re interested. The short version is that the investigators presently do not inform investigative targets when they’ve stopped investigating due to confidentiality mandated by the City Charter. Commissioner Serena Oberstein is deeply concerned that all these targets are going to be unsettled and anxious by not knowing that they’re not being actively investigated and she wanted staff to issue closure letters.

Such letters turned out not to be legally or politically possible, but at today’s meeting Sergio Perez, Director of Investigations, presented this proposal, adopted unanimously by the Commission, which recommended that policy be changed to allow oral notice to those being investigated that their investigations had become inactive. This recommendation putatively avoids the confidentiality requirement by invoking LAAC §24.29(c)(2), which states that:
Continue reading Ethics Commission Veep Serena Oberstein Announces That She Is Very Excited To Have Found A Way To Evade The Public Records Act While Claiming That She’s Evading It “In The Spirit Of Transparency Which The Ethics Commission Represents.”

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Open Letter To The Los Angeles Ethics Commission Asking Them To Consider Adopting A Policy On Disclosure Of Ex Parte Communications

I reported last week that Serena Oberstein, Vice President of the Los Angeles City Ethics Commission, had engaged in undisclosed ex parte communications with a couple of (unregistered) lobbyists regarding a proposal to revise the Municipal Lobbying Ordinance. Of course, at present, there’s no requirement for any City commissioners, except Harbor Commissioners, to disclose such communication.

However, the example of the Board of Harbor Commissioners shows that it is possible for City commissions to adopt more stringent requirements than the rest of City government is subject to. Given the role of the Ethics Commission in defending the public interest in transparency and disclosure, it seems like a natural candidate for such a policy.

Hence, as promised, I’ve written a letter to the Commission asking them to put an item on the agenda for December 19 asking the staff to draft a policy proposal for such a requirement. Here’s a copy of the letter, and you can read a transcription after the break. If you’re moved to write about this yourself, you can, as far as I know, send communications to the Commission at ethics.commission@lacity.org.
Continue reading Open Letter To The Los Angeles Ethics Commission Asking Them To Consider Adopting A Policy On Disclosure Of Ex Parte Communications

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