LAPD Announces Resumption Of Racist Random Car Stop/Searches In South Central Los Angeles — Touts Effectiveness As Measured By 50 Arrests And 38 Gun Confiscations In One Week — Meanwhile I Have A Copy Of A Confidential LAPD Major Crimes Briefing Report On Archie Duenas — Now-Arrested Former Manager Of The LAPD Revolver And Shooting Club In Elysian Park — Who Stole More Than 40 Pistols And Illegally Sold Them To Various Cops — None Of Whom Were Even Arrested At All — And The Report Shows That ATF And The LA County DA Agreed With LAPD About Not Arresting The Buyers — So Why Is The Number Of People They Arrest In South Central Relevant? — Does Arresting Illegal Gun Possessors Enhance Safety Or Not?

This post is ultimately about this confidential Major Case Briefing report from LAPD detectives about LAPD Revolver and Athletic Club manager Archie Duenas stealing 40 guns and illegally selling them to various cops. If you don’t feel like reading my nonsense, just take a look at the damn report! It’s confidential! And has some info that’s not in the newspapers! And the fact that LAPD doesn’t want you to see it is enough of a reason to read it! Now!

In 2019 the Los Angeles Police Department severely curtailed its putatively proactive policing practice of stopping and searching random cars driven by black people in South Central Los Angeles after the Los Angeles Times published a story revealing, to no one’s surprise, that the whole program was deeply, irredeemably racist. And even the cops understand that the practice didn’t stop crime:

LAPD Chief Michel Moore told The Times that Metro’s vehicle stops have not proven effective, netting about one arrest for every 100 cars stopped, while coming at a tremendous cost to innocent drivers who felt they were being racially profiled.

Obviously Moore’s implication, that the effectiveness of the program is measured by the number of arrests, is a deliberate lie. Terrorism rather than arrests was and is the point, and by that measure the program was, is, and will continue to be extremely effective.1 And despite Moore’s statement at the time, well, just yesterday he reversed course and ordered the famously crime-doing2 Metro Division to resume random vehicle stops in South Central. And this time Moore seems to be pushing gun confiscation rates as an effectiveness metric:
Continue reading LAPD Announces Resumption Of Racist Random Car Stop/Searches In South Central Los Angeles — Touts Effectiveness As Measured By 50 Arrests And 38 Gun Confiscations In One Week — Meanwhile I Have A Copy Of A Confidential LAPD Major Crimes Briefing Report On Archie Duenas — Now-Arrested Former Manager Of The LAPD Revolver And Shooting Club In Elysian Park — Who Stole More Than 40 Pistols And Illegally Sold Them To Various Cops — None Of Whom Were Even Arrested At All — And The Report Shows That ATF And The LA County DA Agreed With LAPD About Not Arresting The Buyers — So Why Is The Number Of People They Arrest In South Central Relevant? — Does Arresting Illegal Gun Possessors Enhance Safety Or Not?

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Raquel Beltran Of The Department Of Neighborhood Empowerment Told The Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council That “We” Know Of “A Couple People” Who “Do [Public Records Requests] As A Racket — And Then They Collect The Fines” — Beltran Is A Liar — And She Lies Like A Child — With Nothing To Gain — No Chance Of Not Getting Caught — Stupid Pointless Lies — I Suppose She’s An Improvement Though — So Far She Seems Slightly Less Psychopathic Than Grayce Liu — But So Are 999,999,999 Out Of A Billion People — So We Could Probably Do Better — But I Doubt That We Will

On January 12, 2021 Raquel Beltran, newish boss of the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment, paid a visit to a meeting of the Board of Directors of the Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council. She spoke for a long, long time, about a wide range of topics, one of which was the California Public Records Act. Beltran doesn’t like this law at all, by the way. It’s overwhelming to her.1

Her rambling slo-mo rant starts here, but I’m much more interested in this little bit over here. Some random DLANC director asks Beltran why DONE can’t do CPRAs for NCs because they’re overwhelmed and ignorant.2 Beltran goes on and on about how she wanted to do this but there’s just no money for it.3 Then we get to the key bit. The director has a followup question!

…in many cases the requester knows more about the process than the neighborhood council does and this could, this could really ensue [sic] a liability issue.

And oh, boy, does Beltran ever bite at this morsel! She’s off and running, folks!
Continue reading Raquel Beltran Of The Department Of Neighborhood Empowerment Told The Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council That “We” Know Of “A Couple People” Who “Do [Public Records Requests] As A Racket — And Then They Collect The Fines” — Beltran Is A Liar — And She Lies Like A Child — With Nothing To Gain — No Chance Of Not Getting Caught — Stupid Pointless Lies — I Suppose She’s An Improvement Though — So Far She Seems Slightly Less Psychopathic Than Grayce Liu — But So Are 999,999,999 Out Of A Billion People — So We Could Probably Do Better — But I Doubt That We Will

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Some Raw Data Behind The LA Times Story About Amy Wakeland Vengefully Stalling Payments To Jackie Goldberg As Payback For Goldberg’s 2019 Criticisms Of Wakeland’s Ties To The Charter School Industry — Copies Of The City’s Contracts With Goldberg — Copies Of Goldberg’s Invoices To The City Of LA — Which Include Various Signatures Approving Payments — I Can’t See A Smoking Gun Here But I Can’t See The Absence Of One Either — But I’m Bad At This — And Maybe You’re Better?!

A perspicacious reader analyzed the data presented here and summarized it in this chart, which shows quite clearly that there was a significant delay in paying Goldberg in early 2019, which is precisely the time we’d expect if Amy Wakeland did withhold money from Goldberg in revenge.

The other day the LA Times ran a huge story on Mayoral Consort Amy Wakeland and her various putatively charming quirks and Borgialities.1 And there, among the parade of horribles,2 was this story about Wakeland, Heather Repenning, and Jackie Goldberg:

One L.A. politician learned there could be a cost, quite literally, to getting on Wakeland’s bad side.

The conflict grew out of the 2019 school board race in which Garcetti and Wakeland backed his longtime aide, Heather Repenning, against Jackie Goldberg. A Los Angeles political mainstay, Goldberg told one campaign forum that she believed Wakeland, and therefore Repenning, had ties to charter schools, which she blamed for siphoning money from traditional public campuses.

Not long after Goldberg offered that critique, her pay — as the head of a Garcetti-backed program to hire more disadvantaged residents into city jobs — stopped for several weeks.

Goldberg was told by a member of the mayor’s staff that if she wanted to receive a $10,000 payment due to her, she should apologize to Wakeland for her campaign comments, according to a source familiar with the situation. Goldberg made the apology to Wakeland and, not long afterward, the city issued Goldberg her $10,000, said the source, who declined to be named out of fear of angering Wakeland and Garcetti.

Goldberg confirmed the source’s account but declined to provide additional details.

This is totally believable, of course. But very light on those details that Goldberg declined to provide. So I set out to find some! First of all, here’s the contract that Goldberg was paid under, along with some amendments:
Continue reading Some Raw Data Behind The LA Times Story About Amy Wakeland Vengefully Stalling Payments To Jackie Goldberg As Payback For Goldberg’s 2019 Criticisms Of Wakeland’s Ties To The Charter School Industry — Copies Of The City’s Contracts With Goldberg — Copies Of Goldberg’s Invoices To The City Of LA — Which Include Various Signatures Approving Payments — I Can’t See A Smoking Gun Here But I Can’t See The Absence Of One Either — But I’m Bad At This — And Maybe You’re Better?!

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November 2020 — LAPD Constitutional Policing Boss Lizabeth Rhodes Wrote A Top Secret Memo To Police Commission Boss Richard Tefank About Public Records Requests From Stop LAPD Spying — I Have A Copy Of The Top Secret Memo For You! — And Also It’s So Full Of Bullshit And Lies That It Amounts To A Violation Of LAMC 49.5.5 — Which Is Why This Morning I Reported Rhodes And Her Co-Conspirators Marla Ciuffetelli And Bryan Lium To The Ethics Commission — And Here Is A Copy Of The 118 Page Report For You Also!

This post is about a confidential memorandum from LAPD Constitutional Policing director Lizabeth Rhodes to Police Commission ED Richard Tefank about a request made by Hamid Khan of Stop LAPD Spying under the California Public Records Act. It’s also about a series of violations of LAMC 49.5.5 by Rhodes and LAPD officers Marla Ciuffetelli and Bryan Lium based on their biased handling of various requests for records and a complaint against all three of them that I filed this morning with the Los Angeles Ethics Commission. If you don’t want to read the whole thing here are the two main documents involved:

🙨 Lizabeth Rhodes’s confidential memorandum

🙨 Complaint against Rhodes, Ciuffetelli, and Lium

The Los Angeles Police Department has something called the Office of Constitutional Policing and Policy. It sounds like pernicious crapola and pernicious crapola is precisely what it is. Forced upon LAPD by the 2000 consent decree, over the years the cops have used their cop superpowers to thoroughly weaponize OCPP against the people of Los Angeles. Just for instance, let’s talk about about Hamid Khan of Stop LAPD Spying, about the California Public Records Act, about a letter Khan sent to the Police Commission in August 2020 about LAPD’s refusal to comply with the law, and about Lizabeth Rhodes, the hard-nosed criminal lawyer in charge of OCPP.1

In September 2019 Khan filed a CPRA request with LAPD. LAPD, of course, will not comply with the CPRA2 at all, and they especially won’t comply for the likes of Khan. Khan wrote to the Police Commission about it on August 31, 2020 and then complained in person during public comment on October 6, 2020. Khan’s remarks apparently prompted Commissioner Dale Bonner to wonder if maybe, just maybe, there might be some substance to his complaint. Consequently criminal lawyer Rhodes wrote a top-secret highly confidential memorandum, which I just happen to have an actual copy of, to Commission Executive Director Richard Tefank.

This remarkable document is packed with lies and bullshit to a degree hitherto unseen even from the LAPD, an organization which has been growing fat on lies and bullshit for well over a century. It is worth discussing in great detail. Before I do that, though, don’t forget about LAPD officer Marla Ciuffetelli, who runs the CPRA unit, and who violates LAMC 49.5.5 by prioritizing CPRA requests from some reporters and absolutely obstructing requests from other reporters. Also don’t forget about Bryan Lium, Ciuffetelli’s boss, who violates LAMC 49.5.5 in exactly the same way.

Rhodes’s memorandum also violates LAMC 49.5.5, so this morning I filed a complaint against all three of these thuggish scofflaws with the City Ethics Commission, and if anything comes of it I will certainly let you know! Meanwhile, read on for a detailed discussion of Rhodes’s dishonest nonsense! Presented as a dramatic dialogue no less!!
Continue reading November 2020 — LAPD Constitutional Policing Boss Lizabeth Rhodes Wrote A Top Secret Memo To Police Commission Boss Richard Tefank About Public Records Requests From Stop LAPD Spying — I Have A Copy Of The Top Secret Memo For You! — And Also It’s So Full Of Bullshit And Lies That It Amounts To A Violation Of LAMC 49.5.5 — Which Is Why This Morning I Reported Rhodes And Her Co-Conspirators Marla Ciuffetelli And Bryan Lium To The Ethics Commission — And Here Is A Copy Of The 118 Page Report For You Also!

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In October 2020 The Accelerated Schools Produced Five GB of Records In Response To My 2019 Requests — And In Response To The Lawsuit I Filed In December Over Their Refusal To Comply With The Law — The Production Was Huge But Seriously Deficient In A Number Of Ways — And Their Exemption Claims Were The Usual Implausible Nonsense — Through My Lawyer — The Incomparable Robert Skeels — I Begged Them To Be Sensible And Discuss — Pleaded Even — But They Unaccountably Refused — So We’re Going To Trial On March 23 2021 — Unless They Come To Their Damn Senses Before Then — Get A Copy Of The Trial Brief Here!

Today’s post is an update on my December 2019 lawsuit against The Accelerated Schools. As of now all settlements are off the table and we’re going to trial! Attorney Skeels filed the trial brief last week, and here’s some background from an earlier post:

… Which brings us to that shady criminal conspiracy known as I’ve written a lot about these folks and their cartoonishly wicked white supremacy but, you may have noted, none of it has been based on public records apart from this very first thing I did in April 2019.

So I sent them a few [CPRA] requests … and they made a few desultory stabs at answering me in compliance with the law and then stopped responding at all. But as you’re probably aware, the situation with this Klown Kar Krew has grown ever more urgent, more of public interest than ever before.

What, that is, with their retaliatory firing of long-time employee Hilda Guzman and subsequent unfair labor practices complaint by her union, with repeated community protests at their infernal board meetings, and the unexpected1 recent petulant rage quit by now thankfully former board chair Juli Quinn. We need to be able to understand what these folks are up to! Which is why their special variety of unhinged intransigence can’t go unanswered, not if we expect government of, by, and for the people to not perish from this earth.

Remember all the way back in December 2019 when I was forced to file yet another lawsuit seeking to enforce the California Public Records Act against yet another white supremacist gentrifying charter, this one known as The Accelerated Schools? Well, it happened. And after fooling around for almost a year, TAS2 produced a bunch records in October 2020.3 Exciting, of course, but they were up to their usual no-good nonsense and the production was deficient in a number of essential ways.
Continue reading In October 2020 The Accelerated Schools Produced Five GB of Records In Response To My 2019 Requests — And In Response To The Lawsuit I Filed In December Over Their Refusal To Comply With The Law — The Production Was Huge But Seriously Deficient In A Number Of Ways — And Their Exemption Claims Were The Usual Implausible Nonsense — Through My Lawyer — The Incomparable Robert Skeels — I Begged Them To Be Sensible And Discuss — Pleaded Even — But They Unaccountably Refused — So We’re Going To Trial On March 23 2021 — Unless They Come To Their Damn Senses Before Then — Get A Copy Of The Trial Brief Here!

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In 2016 An LAPD Police Dog Attacked Heller Castillo — When He Opened His Front Door Because He Thought The Police Wanted Him To — Although He Was Not A Suspect In Any Way — The Law Imposes Strict Liability For Non-Suspect Police Dog Attacks — A Top Secret Confidential Report Obtained By MK.Org Reveals That In January 2020 Deputy City Attorney Lisa Lee Recommended A $75K Settlement Offer Because “a jury would almost certainly find in favor of the Plaintiff” — Which Is A Good Reason To Settle — But Lee Thought The Plaintiff Would Refuse — He Was Asking For $800K And His Lawyers Surely Know About Los Angeles Juries — However Ending The Case Was Not Lee’s Purpose — Which Is Apparent Since She Recommended A So-Called 998 Offer — Which Is An Aggressive Litigation Tactic — That Is Absolutely Not Reasonable For Cities To Use Against Citizens — Cities Ought To Seek Justice — Not Petty Revenge — The Case Is Ongoing By The Way — Trial Setting Conference In April 2021

In April 2016 LAPD was out hunting suspects with police dogs. One of the dogs scratched on the door of Heller Castillo’s house. He thought the police wanted him to open the door and did so, at which time he was attacked by one of their dogs. Castillo filed a suit. In January 2020 he City Attorney’s office recommended in January 2020 that City Council authorize an aggressive settlement offer of $75K that Lisa Lee, the Deputy handling the case, thought wouldn’t be accepted but wanted to make anyway for strategic reasons, even though she knew the City was at fault and was convinced they’d lose badly if the case went to a jury. Here’s a copy of the confidential report that Lee sent to City Council in January 2020 in advance of the closed session called to discuss the issue.

According to the Los Angeles City Charter the City Attorney represents the City of Los Angeles in lawsuits.1 Which means that from time to time the City Attorney has to consult with the City Council to ask for direction from their client, the City of Los Angeles.2 On such occasions the Brown Act allows3 such meetings to take place in secret, which they always do.

But prior to such meetings the City Attorney’s office sends a confidential report to the City Council so that they can be ready to discuss. These reports are generally exempt from release4 under the California Public Records Act, but from time to time I manage to lay my hands on a copy of one. This last happened with the employment practices case brought by LAPD officer Ray Garvin against the City of Los Angeles.

And today I have another such confidential report for you. This is from January 2020 and has to do with the case Castillo v. City of LA,5 in which a police dog bit plaintiff Heller Castillo during an LAPD operation in which he was in no way a suspect. Lisa W. Lee, the Deputy City Attorney handling the case, recommends in this report to City Council that she be allowed to make a 998 offer of $75K to settle, even though, as Lee says:

it is anticipated that Plaintiff will not accept an offer of $75,000, [but] we believe that we should make the offer as a tool to encourage settlement.

Lee doesn’t think Castillo would accept $75K because he is asking for $800K, because the state of California imposes strict liability for police dogs biting non-suspects, and the facts are horrific, so that a jury is unlikely to find in the City’s favor:
Continue reading In 2016 An LAPD Police Dog Attacked Heller Castillo — When He Opened His Front Door Because He Thought The Police Wanted Him To — Although He Was Not A Suspect In Any Way — The Law Imposes Strict Liability For Non-Suspect Police Dog Attacks — A Top Secret Confidential Report Obtained By MK.Org Reveals That In January 2020 Deputy City Attorney Lisa Lee Recommended A $75K Settlement Offer Because “a jury would almost certainly find in favor of the Plaintiff” — Which Is A Good Reason To Settle — But Lee Thought The Plaintiff Would Refuse — He Was Asking For $800K And His Lawyers Surely Know About Los Angeles Juries — However Ending The Case Was Not Lee’s Purpose — Which Is Apparent Since She Recommended A So-Called 998 Offer — Which Is An Aggressive Litigation Tactic — That Is Absolutely Not Reasonable For Cities To Use Against Citizens — Cities Ought To Seek Justice — Not Petty Revenge — The Case Is Ongoing By The Way — Trial Setting Conference In April 2021

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Marla Ciuffetelli of LAPD’s California Public Records Act Unit Specially Facilitated A Request From Denise Chan Of KCET — Ciuffetelli Had It Labeled With A Distinct Label Not Used For Less Favored Media Representatives — And Repeatedly Emailed Richard Tefank Of The Police Commission Encouraging Him To Hurry Up And Finish Chan’s Request — Which He Did — It Was Completed In Less Than Two Months — She Also Went Out Of Her Way To Hinder Tefank’s Processing Of My Requests — She Has A Special Label For Me Too! — Which Apparently Discourages Anyone From Working On My Requests — She Is Going Down For Violating LAMC 49.5.5 By Creating A Private Advantage For Chan — And Probably For Violating The First Amendment — Which Specifically Forbids Government Agents From Granting More Access To Their Pet Reporters — And From Deciding Which Media Outlets Are More Legitimate

I wrote recently about how LAPD Legal Affairs Boss Bryan Lium violated LAMC 49.5.5 by expediting a CPRA request for journalist Aura Bogado while at the same time hindering a request from Stop LAPD Spying. Today’s story, about how LAPD CPRA Unit Boss Marla Ciuffetelli did precisely the same thing for KCET journalist Denise Chan, shows that Lium’s antics with respect to Bogado’s request were not an anomaly.

Ciuffetelli has her subordinates tag requests from her favored media outlets, presumably to distinguish them for expedited handling. And, like Lium, she was willing to send Police Commission Executive Richard Tefank innumerable emails encouraging him to hurry along Chan’s request while repeatedly mentioning the fact that she works for KCET. And, like Lium’s beneficiary Aura Bogado, Denise Chan’s request got filled comparatively very quickly, in less than two months. As we’ve seen, other requests, from less favored requesters, can linger for years with no action at all.

Chan filed Request 20-3691 on June 11, 2020. That link leads to the actual NextRequest page as seen by a user not logged in as Chan or an administrator. But NextRequest request pages have a lot of material not visible to the general public. For instance, take a look at this PDF printout of the same request, but as seen by a logged-in user with staff privileges. In particular, make note of the tags added by the LAPD CPRA Analyst: LAPD: CAT-2, LAPD: CPRA (non-SB1421), LAPD: Media, LAPD: Other

Unfortunately I don’t yet have any way of figuring out what those tags actually mean. But there is still some useful information to be gained. For instance, I’m willing to guess that the LAPD: Media tag means that the requester is from a media organization that LAPD favors for as-yet-undertermined reasons. This may seem obvious, but it’s not for a number of reasons.

In particular, take a look at this request that I submitted to LAPD on July 9, 2020. The linked-to PDF is again the logged-in administrator view, showing the tags: LAPD: CPRA (non-SB1421), LAPD: High Priority , LAPD: High Profile, LAPD: Other Note that although I explicitly and truthfully identified myself as a member of the media the analyst did not add that LAPD: Media tag.

However, they did add at least one tag not applied to Chan’s request, which is the LAPD: High Profile tag. I know for a fact that this tag refers to me personally. To see this, take a look at Marla Ciuffetelli’s weekly CPRA report for the week of August 15, 2020. You can see up at the top a headnote:
Continue reading Marla Ciuffetelli of LAPD’s California Public Records Act Unit Specially Facilitated A Request From Denise Chan Of KCET — Ciuffetelli Had It Labeled With A Distinct Label Not Used For Less Favored Media Representatives — And Repeatedly Emailed Richard Tefank Of The Police Commission Encouraging Him To Hurry Up And Finish Chan’s Request — Which He Did — It Was Completed In Less Than Two Months — She Also Went Out Of Her Way To Hinder Tefank’s Processing Of My Requests — She Has A Special Label For Me Too! — Which Apparently Discourages Anyone From Working On My Requests — She Is Going Down For Violating LAMC 49.5.5 By Creating A Private Advantage For Chan — And Probably For Violating The First Amendment — Which Specifically Forbids Government Agents From Granting More Access To Their Pet Reporters — And From Deciding Which Media Outlets Are More Legitimate

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The Greater Leimert Park Village BID Renewed For Five Years Starting In 2020 — Despite LA City Clerk Holly Wolcott’s Declared Policy Of Not Using City Owned Properties To Tip A BID Over The Formation Threshold She Voted All The City Property Yes — Without These Votes The BID Would Have Overwhelmingly Failed To Be Created At Both The Petition Stage And At The Balloting Stage — The BID Was Thus Forced On Property Owners By The City Of Los Angeles — Which Is Not How Things Are Supposed To Work —This Smells Of Council Office Interference But As Usual It’s Going To Take Forever To Learn What’s Going On

General background: This post is about the Greater Leimert Park Village Business Improvement District. I sued them over CPRA compliance in 2018 and they produced records and settled up with my lawyer, Anna von Herrmann, in 2019.
Technical background: There are two phases in the establishment of a business improvement district. The first is the petition stage. In order for the establishment process to move forward petitions in favor representing more than 50% of the total assessed value in the BID must be submitted. If this happens the process moves to the balloting stage. In order for the BID to be established ballots representing more than 50% of the total assessed value represented by the ballots received must vote in favor of formation.

Key point: To create a BID more than 50% of the total value must vote yes on petitions but only more than 50% of the value of received ballots must vote yes.1

Warning: The figures I use in this post come from this spreadsheet I made from the actual petitions and this other one I made from the actual ballots. I was forced to make my own spreadsheets because the City of LA would only provide the figures formatted as a PDF.2 None of the differences are enough to change any of the conclusions I draw from the numbers.

When the City of Los Angeles started up the modern version of its business improvement district program in 1994 the City Council required the City Clerk to vote yes on both BID petitions and ballots for City-owned property. In 2018, though, in apparent violation of this requirement, Clerk Holly Wolcott seems to have unilaterally decided not to vote her petitions yes until private owners of property had already brought support over the 50.1% threshold.

She stuck to this policy in 2020 with the Chinatown BID renewal fiasco to the point where Gil Cedillo introduced a motion requiring her to vote the petitions yes even though she was already required to do so by Council’s 1996 action. So isn’t it interesting that the Greater Leimert Park Village BID, which renewed in 2019 for five years beginning in 2020, would have failed to be established at both the petition stage and at the ballot stage if Wolcott hadn’t voted the City’s outrageously high 12.8% of the assessed property values in favor of formation?
Continue reading The Greater Leimert Park Village BID Renewed For Five Years Starting In 2020 — Despite LA City Clerk Holly Wolcott’s Declared Policy Of Not Using City Owned Properties To Tip A BID Over The Formation Threshold She Voted All The City Property Yes — Without These Votes The BID Would Have Overwhelmingly Failed To Be Created At Both The Petition Stage And At The Balloting Stage — The BID Was Thus Forced On Property Owners By The City Of Los Angeles — Which Is Not How Things Are Supposed To Work —This Smells Of Council Office Interference But As Usual It’s Going To Take Forever To Learn What’s Going On

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Remember How I Sued The Highland Park BID And The Lincoln Heights BID In January 2020 Over Their Failures To Produce Public Records? — They Were About To Settle The Case But Then They Flipped Out — Fired Their Sane Lawyers — And Hired Carol Humiston And Her Weirdo Henchie Julie Bachert To Fight The Case! — And My Lawyer — Colleen Flynn — Fought Off Their Aggressively Unhinged Tactics — And Taught Them A Lesson They Shouldn’t Forget But They Probably Will — And They Came Crawling Back Begging To Settle! — Which We Did Yesterday And They’re Paying Flynn And Matthew Strugar — Who Also Helped — Thirty Thousand Dollars In Fees — And Assorted Costs — And They Agreed To Produce Emails On A Schedule — So More News About These Infernal BIDs Quite Soon!

Background: This post follows up on a post from last year, and here’s some useful background from there:

It’s been a while since I’ve written about our old friends at the Highland Park BID but that’s certainly not because I lost interest in them! You’ll recall that in early 2018 they released a really rich set of emails in response to some requests made under the California Public Records Act. These records revealed, among other things, the BID’s complicity in the ongoing hurricane-force gentrification of Highland Park, using tactics like mural erasure and harassment of street vendors. The emails also showed the BID’s creepy Facebook stalking of local antigentrification activists, coordinated with weirdo CD1 staffer Bill Cody.

The post is about my lawsuit against these BIDs. You can read most of the pleadings filed here on Archive.Org as well.

Remember last January? Before all this pandemic insurrection nonsense? Anyway, that’s when I filed a suit against both the Highland Park Business Improvement District and the Lincoln Heights BID1 over their failures to comply with the California Public Records Act. I haven’t written much on it because at first it looked like it was going to settle quickly. The BIDs agreed to produce the records and everything was fine.

Then they fired their lawyers and hired Carol “World’s angriest CPRA lawyer” Humiston’s firm, Bradley & Gmelich, to fight the petition instead. Humiston, of course, has it in for me and is even willing to break the law and the rules of the California State Bar to further her obsessive campaign. She apparently actually believes that the only reason I request records from BIDs is to fuck with them and run up their lawyer bills, and she’s determined to prove this in court.

So these new lawyers, apparently more determined to get at me than to help their clients, aggressively tried to depose me, I guess to get me to admit to my evil anti-BID plans. There’s nothing that my evidence can add to a CPRA case, though. The law specifically states that the requester’s purpose is irrelevant.2 and my lawyer, the incomparable Colleen Flynn, filed a motion for a protective order to stave them off.
Continue reading Remember How I Sued The Highland Park BID And The Lincoln Heights BID In January 2020 Over Their Failures To Produce Public Records? — They Were About To Settle The Case But Then They Flipped Out — Fired Their Sane Lawyers — And Hired Carol Humiston And Her Weirdo Henchie Julie Bachert To Fight The Case! — And My Lawyer — Colleen Flynn — Fought Off Their Aggressively Unhinged Tactics — And Taught Them A Lesson They Shouldn’t Forget But They Probably Will — And They Came Crawling Back Begging To Settle! — Which We Did Yesterday And They’re Paying Flynn And Matthew Strugar — Who Also Helped — Thirty Thousand Dollars In Fees — And Assorted Costs — And They Agreed To Produce Emails On A Schedule — So More News About These Infernal BIDs Quite Soon!

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My Public Records Requests Have Apparently Caused Both LAPD And Deputy City Attorney Bethelwel Wilson To Embrace A Kind Of Self-Destructive Paranoid Madness — They Are Randomly Accusing Various Not-Me Requesters Of Being Me — LAPD Has Evidently Put Random People Other Than Me On My “Work Plan” — The Plan Amounts To Not Filling My Requests At All — So Basically LAPD Is Denying Requests From Random People In Order To Take Revenge On Me — Which Is Not Only Illegal — It’s Also Idiotic — And Unsustainable — Did I Ever Mention “The Caine Mutiny”? — It’s A Really Good Movie! — Very Timely! — Very Relevant!


Have you ever seen The Caine Mutiny?1 Humphrey Bogart plays Captain Queeg, who at one point calls in all his ship’s officers at 1 am to interrogate them about some putatively missing strawberries. He forces them to investigate all night and give him a report at 8 am. They can’t find the culprit and tell him so, but he regales them with a long story of how, as a young ensign in 1937, he nabbed a cheese thief on his ship who’d made a duplicate pantry key. He told them that he was sure the same thing had happened with the strawberries on the Caine:2

Now, I’ve worked out a very simple plan. First, we collect every key on this ship and tag it with the name of the owner. Second, we strip all hands to make sure we got all the keys. Third, we test each key on the icebox padlock, and the one that fits will give us the name of the owner.

Humphrey Bogart won an Oscar for his role, and as far as I’m concerned he deserved it just for the way he’s fooling with his damn toast in this scene. Anyway, as you probably know, the Los Angeles Police Department is very, very upset with my use of the California Public Records Act. Their displeasure goes to the very top, as shown by this personal letter I received last Summer from supreme LAPD chieftain Michel Moore.

Despite his blah blah blah about a work plan and handling requests sequentially, what they’ve really done is to stop producing records at all. But they’re somewhat hindered in this project by the fact that Gmail is free and the law doesn’t allow them to inquire too deeply into the identities of requesters.

However, they try, they try, and one of the ways they try, it turns out, is by randomly and wrongly accusing various requesters of being me. Their raving paranoia matches and perhaps exceeds Queeg’s. Think I’m exaggerating? Take a look at this blog comment from the other day:
Continue reading My Public Records Requests Have Apparently Caused Both LAPD And Deputy City Attorney Bethelwel Wilson To Embrace A Kind Of Self-Destructive Paranoid Madness — They Are Randomly Accusing Various Not-Me Requesters Of Being Me — LAPD Has Evidently Put Random People Other Than Me On My “Work Plan” — The Plan Amounts To Not Filling My Requests At All — So Basically LAPD Is Denying Requests From Random People In Order To Take Revenge On Me — Which Is Not Only Illegal — It’s Also Idiotic — And Unsustainable — Did I Ever Mention “The Caine Mutiny”? — It’s A Really Good Movie! — Very Timely! — Very Relevant!

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