Tag Archives: Rena Leddy

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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Fashion District BID CPRA Lawsuit News! — Judge Mitchell Beckloff Files Order Denying My Petition In Part And Granting In Part — Invalidates Some Of BID’s Exemption Claims — Which Is A Win — Also Orders New Search In Response To One Of My Requests — Denies Some Other Stuff — Including My Request For Declaratory Relief — Does Not Rule On The Question Of Whether BID Board Members Using Private Email Accounts Are Subject To The CPRA

After a bunch of incredibly vigorous argument at the hearing last month, for which Judge Mitchell Beckloff did not prepare a written tentative ruling, he has issued his final ruling. Get a copy of it here, and other pleadings in the case here. Read on for transcribed selections, which I am not commenting on at all until every part of the case is resolved, because I’m not really competent to do so, but I wanted to publish this because it’s important, at least to me.
Continue reading Fashion District BID CPRA Lawsuit News! — Judge Mitchell Beckloff Files Order Denying My Petition In Part And Granting In Part — Invalidates Some Of BID’s Exemption Claims — Which Is A Win — Also Orders New Search In Response To One Of My Requests — Denies Some Other Stuff — Including My Request For Declaratory Relief — Does Not Rule On The Question Of Whether BID Board Members Using Private Email Accounts Are Subject To The CPRA

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Exceedingly Strong Trial Brief Filed In My CPRA Suit Against The Fashion District BID — The BID’s Reply Is Due In 30 Days — Trial Set For June 26, 2019 At 9:30 AM — Department 86 — Stanley Mosk Courthouse

It’s been a while since I wrote about the lawsuit that I was forced to file in August 2018 by the unhinged intransigence of the Fashion District BID, pursued by them in line with the unhinged intransigence of their soon-to-be-disbarred attorney, the world’s angriest CPRA lawyer, Ms. Carol Ann Humiston, in order to enforce my rights to read their damn emails. But time rolls on and the trial, scheduled for June 26, 2019 at 9:30 a.m. in Department 86 of the Stanley Mosk Courthouse, is rapidly approaching.

Thus did my attorneys, Abenicio Cisneros and Karl Olson, file the trial brief with the court on Friday. The arguments are overwhelmingly powerful, and you can read substantial excerpts after the break. If I were the Fashion District after reading this I’d be ready to settle up and settle up quick. But they’re clearly on some kind of a mission with an axe to grind and a point to prove and I certainly don’t expect them to start acting sensible at this point. After all, it’s not their own money they’re squandering on Ms. Humiston’s exorbitant fees.1

As I said, you can read the specifics in the excerpts below, but there are two main general issues at stake. First is the fact that the BID relies heavily on the so-called catch-all exemption to the CPRA, found at section 6255(a), which allows agencies to withhold records when they can show “that on the facts of the particular case the public interest served by not disclosing the record clearly outweighs the public interest served by disclosure of the record.” The key thing here is that they have to make a showing of public interest in withholding the record.

This is hard enough to do in general, and the BID hasn’t even made an attempt, but our argument is that in the City of Los Angeles such a showing is even more difficult to pull off because (a) the BID is deeply involved in attempts to influence municipal legislation and (b) the Municipal Lobbying Ordinance at LAMC §48.01 establishes an extraordinarily high public interest in disclosure of information about attempts to influence:

The citizens of the City of Los Angeles have a right to know the identity of interests which attempt to influence decisions of City government, as well as the means employed by those interests.

Complete public disclosure of the full range of activities by and financing of lobbyists and those who employ their services is essential to the maintenance of citizen confidence in the integrity of local government.

The argument is essentially that the BID can’t even show that there’s any significant public interest in withholding the records they withheld, but given that the subject of these records concerns the means they employ to attempt to influence municipal decisions, they really especially can’t meet this extra-high local bar.

The other main argument is against some nonsense that the BID just made up in their reply to my petition. Many of the emails they refused to turn over are in the possession of their board members Linda Becker and Mark Chatoff. They wouldn’t even search for these because it’s Carol Humiston’s opinion that board members aren’t subject to the CPRA.

You can read the technical details below, but basically our argument is that the law that makes BIDs subject to the CPRA, which is Streets and Highways Code §36612, explicitly makes the owners’ associations subject. It makes no sense as a matter of law and as of a matter of common sense that a corporation could be subject to the CPRA while its board members were not subject. A corporation only does anything through the actions of the people who run it. And that’s the quick and dirty summary. As I keep saying, read on for the excerpts!
Continue reading Exceedingly Strong Trial Brief Filed In My CPRA Suit Against The Fashion District BID — The BID’s Reply Is Due In 30 Days — Trial Set For June 26, 2019 At 9:30 AM — Department 86 — Stanley Mosk Courthouse

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Fashion District BID Lawsuit — Motion Filed To Compel BID To Explain Just What The Heck They Were Talking About When They Claimed All Those Exemptions — Carol Humiston Says “No Way — You Can’t Make Us Tell You” — Hearing Scheduled For November 16 At 9:30 AM

In August I had to file suit against the Fashion District BID to compel them to comply with the California Public Records Act. One of the main issues in the suit is a bunch of various really implausible exemption claims by FDBID executive director Rena Leddy. Now, it’s well understood that the burden of proving that an exemption claim allows a record to be withheld lies entirely on the withholding agency. The CPRA says explicitly at §6255(a) that:

The agency shall justify withholding any record by demonstrating that the record in question is exempt under express provisions of this chapter or that on the facts of the particular case the public interest served by not disclosing the record clearly outweighs the public interest served by disclosure of the record.

At the time that Leddy denied my requests I asked her to justify her decisions to withhold but she refused to do so even though the law clearly requires it.1 But it sure is hard to dispute the BID’s exemption claims if no one knows what the heck they’re basing them on and they won’t explain. My lawyer asked Carol Humiston, the world’s angriest CPRA lawyer, if she’d mind listing all the withheld records and explaining why the BID withheld them.2 You can read his email here.

But Humiston, who’s not only the angriest but also pretty much tied for first place as the most obstructionist,3 wasn’t having it. Here’s what she had to say for herself in this email here:

I have considered your request for a “Vaughn Index,” which of course in
[sic] a Federal procedure, and I do not believe it is either necessary or appropriate at this time. I know of nothing that requires the BID to produce such an index. Once you have filed your brief in support of the Writ, the Court and I will have a better understanding of the issues you are raising and the appropriate course to take.

So we filed a motion asking the judge to compel the BID to produce a list of all withheld emails. This motion will be heard on November 16, 2018 at the trial setting conference at the Stanley Mosk Courthouse in Department 86 before the Honorable Amy Hogue. There’s a transcription of the motion after the break.
Continue reading Fashion District BID Lawsuit — Motion Filed To Compel BID To Explain Just What The Heck They Were Talking About When They Claimed All Those Exemptions — Carol Humiston Says “No Way — You Can’t Make Us Tell You” — Hearing Scheduled For November 16 At 9:30 AM

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Fashion District BID Files Timely Response To My Writ Petition — Denies Everything — World’s Angriest CPRA Lawyer Carol Humiston Handling Matters For Them — Trial Setting Conference On November 16, 2018 At 9:30 AM In Department 86 — Stanley Mosk Courthouse

So you’ll remember possibly that in August I was forced by their unhinged intransigence to file a writ petition against the Fashion Freaking District BID asking a judge to boss them about until they began to comply with their statutorily mandated duties under the California Public Records Act. Well, it seems they’re not going to go quietly into that good night, so they went out and hired themselves the world’s angriest CPRA lawyer, which is to say Carol Freaking Humiston of Bradley & Freaking Gmelich, and she went and filed a timely response to my petition.

And you can read the damn thing by clicking here if you want to. But I have to say, as much as I enjoy reading legal pleadings of all varieties and subject matters, these replies leave me cold. Take a look and you’ll see. They deny everything, but they don’t even say what they’re denying. It’s all like “As to the allegations in paragraph 17, we deny the first three, state that the fourth and the ninth require no response insofar as they assert legal conclusions, and the fifth through the seventh, even if true, do not allege a violation. Insofar as we fail to deny, thus far do we admit.”
Continue reading Fashion District BID Files Timely Response To My Writ Petition — Denies Everything — World’s Angriest CPRA Lawyer Carol Humiston Handling Matters For Them — Trial Setting Conference On November 16, 2018 At 9:30 AM In Department 86 — Stanley Mosk Courthouse

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Fashion District BID Sued In Order To Enforce Compliance With The Public Records Act — Noted CPRA Attorney Karl Olsen Co-Counsels With Abenicio Cisneros To See That Justice Is Done In This Egregious Attempt To Withhold Information About, Among Other Crucial Matters, The BID’s Role In Torpedoing The Skid Row Neighborhood Council — Novel Legal Issues Raised Regarding The Effect Of The Municipal Lobbying Ordinance On CPRA Exemptions In Los Angeles

On August 15, 2018, faced with Rena Leddy’s unhinged intransigence and chronic disregard of the law, I was forced to file a petition asking a judge to require the Fashion District BID to comply with the California Public Records Act. Most of the petitions I’ve filed recently have had only to do with BIDs ignoring my requests altogether1 but this one raises interesting and possibly novel issues of how exemptions to the CPRA are to be interpreted in general and in Los Angeles in particular. I’m represented by Abenicio Cisneros and Karl Olson.2

There are four classes of records at issue in this petition. Those are:3

  • Emails between the FDBID and either the South Park BID or DLANC
  • Emails in the possession of BID Board president Mark Chatoff
  • Emails between the BID and Urban Place Consulting
  • Emails in the possession of BID renewal committee chair Linda Becker

Rena Leddy claimed either that such records didn’t exist or that, if they did, the BID could withhold them on the basis of the so-called deliberative process exemption.4 In each of the four cases either there’s independent evidence that responsive records exist or else it defies belief that no records exist. For instance it is not plausible at all that Linda Becker, chair of the BID’s renewal committee, does not possess a single email relevant to the conduct of the BID’s business.5

Thus the petition focuses on debunking the exemption claims as it’s going to be hard for the BID to argue that no records exist. Turn the page for some details and some transcribed excerpts!
Continue reading Fashion District BID Sued In Order To Enforce Compliance With The Public Records Act — Noted CPRA Attorney Karl Olsen Co-Counsels With Abenicio Cisneros To See That Justice Is Done In This Egregious Attempt To Withhold Information About, Among Other Crucial Matters, The BID’s Role In Torpedoing The Skid Row Neighborhood Council — Novel Legal Issues Raised Regarding The Effect Of The Municipal Lobbying Ordinance On CPRA Exemptions In Los Angeles

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Video Of Fashion District BID May 24, 2018 Annual Meeting Now Available Featuring Special Guest Stars Miguel Santiago, José Huizar, And Bryan Eck — Introduced By Chunk-Headed Yobbo Zillionaire And Em Freaking Cee Mark Chatoff — The Crap These People Say When They Think They’re Surrounded By Friends Is — Well, Just Watch It If You Have The Stomach

Look, kids, I know you appreciate what I do to provide you all with the freshest possible news about our fair City’s business improvement districts, but I don’t think anyone who doesn’t go to meetings with me really truly understands the pain involved.1 Or at least that’s how I felt after sixty freaking five minutes2 of the Fashion District BID‘s annual stakeholder extravaganza this morning. But I made it out alive and now you can watch the whole thing on YouTube or here on Archive.Org if you prefer.

José Huizar was the headliner, but there was a surprise appearance by Assemblymember Miguel Santiago which was very revealing, and a long spiel from City planner Bryan Eck, which was too technical for me to follow, but I am sure is of great interest to those who’re interested in that stuff. Huizar’s talk was loaded with his usual weirdo revelations, and I’m going to have to wait till Saturday to write about it because I surely don’t have time right now.

Miguel Santiago had a lot to say about the legislature’s current BID-endorsed effort to gut protections against the abuse of conservatorship, which BIDdies all over the state are salivating over as it will make it so everybody with a uniform, up to and including parking enforcement officers, will be able to take homeless people into custody and lock them up somewhere far, far away from here, for e.g. smelling funny or scaring the nice shiny customers or whatever. Of course, the City Council is all over this issue as well.

He had the nerve to thank the freaking Fashion District BID for their “advocacy around the issue of homelessness..”3 He also mentioned offhandedly that, as part of last year’s BID-induced gutting of AB-1479, which would have amended the California Public Records Act in a number of excellent ways, the Fashion District BID had phoned his office for help and he had helped them. Which is despicable in any number of ways, although not surprising.

As I said, I don’t have time to do justice to most of this material tonight, but if you turn the page, you’ll find links to the various speakers and a transcription of Miguel Santiago’s reprehensible little spiel.
Continue reading Video Of Fashion District BID May 24, 2018 Annual Meeting Now Available Featuring Special Guest Stars Miguel Santiago, José Huizar, And Bryan Eck — Introduced By Chunk-Headed Yobbo Zillionaire And Em Freaking Cee Mark Chatoff — The Crap These People Say When They Think They’re Surrounded By Friends Is — Well, Just Watch It If You Have The Stomach

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Central City Association Announces That Hearings On Sidewalk Vending Will Begin Again Soon — Habitual Criminal Marie Rumsey Pens CCALA-Approved Talking Points For Zillionaire Flunkies — Mean-As-A-Damn-Snake BID-Mistress Rena Leddy Distributes These To The BID Consortium — This All Happened On March 29, 2018 And Already I Have The Goods For You!

This is just a quick note to publish a quite important item that I obtained this afternoon. Here’s the background: for three years now, the Central City Association, in conspiracy with most of the BIDs in the City, has been fighting against sane sidewalk vending regulations in Los Angeles.

When Donald Trump was elected in 2016 and his hysterical delusionary rants about deporting everyone he could get his bloody hands on became suddenly a lot less delusionary, our usually stupidly inactive City Council rose momentarily to the occasion and voted to decriminalize street vending immediately because no one1 gets deported for administrative violations.

Soon after that, zillionaires and their BID flunkies pretty much gutted the whole thing by prevailing on their Councilpets to grant themselves the power to opt any given neighborhood out of the whole legal vending system, whatever it might turn out to be.

The resulting proposal, for it’s not anywhere near becoming a law quite yet, is so embarrassingly ad hoc and transparently zillionaire-serving that State Senator Ricardo Lara boldly took it upon himself to cut the knot by proposing a sweeping law, SB 946, that would severely limit Cities’ regulatory power over sidewalk vending. Predictably, this has driven the BIDdies and the CCALA into a frenzy of potentially thwarted white privilege, hating as they do any public policy that might give poor people, especially nonwhite poor people, any measure of self-determination, self-expression, and human dignity.

The breaking news is that, according to the CCALA, City Council is going to resume discussions of this issue very soon. Here is a March 29, 2018 email from Fashion District BID Executive Directrix Rena Leddy to the BID Consortium announcing this development and also distributing as an attachment an item entitled Sidewalk Vending Speaking Points March 2018, penned by noted scofflaw Marie Rumsey.

The CCALA’s proposals are brutal, as expected. They call for vendors to have their goods confiscated if they’re operating without a permit, to obtain permission from the property or business owners adjacent to them,2 and to not only have to pay fees to the City but also to BIDs themselves, which is ultra-weird.

It’s an all-too-rare occasion for us to get hold of this kind of stuff in such a timely manner, however, so that alone makes it exciting. There are transcriptions of everything after the break. Start thinking of counterarguments, because if CCALA is correct3 and the hearings start up again, every sane truth-telling voice will be needed.
Continue reading Central City Association Announces That Hearings On Sidewalk Vending Will Begin Again Soon — Habitual Criminal Marie Rumsey Pens CCALA-Approved Talking Points For Zillionaire Flunkies — Mean-As-A-Damn-Snake BID-Mistress Rena Leddy Distributes These To The BID Consortium — This All Happened On March 29, 2018 And Already I Have The Goods For You!

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How Kerry Freaking Morrison Found Out About Senator Ricardo Lara’s Street Vending Bill In January 2018 And Told No-Epithet-Yet Suzanne Holley, Chardonnay-Swilling Scarf Monster Rena Leddy, And Batty Little Fusspot Blair Besten All About It And Suzanne Freaking Holley Went And Told Carol Freaking Schatz, The Zillion Dollar Woman, Who Subsequently Swore A Solemn Oath To Destroy SB 946

Just another quick note from all them DCBID emails I’ve been dining out on for weeks now. It’s inconsequential in one sense, but on the other hand, it illuminates how information spreads among the zillionaire flunkies who run this City’s BIDs. Here is the original email chain, and I’m just going to lay it on you without commentary. Or without much, anyway.

On January 31, 2018, the incomparable Emily Alpert Reyes emailed Kerry Freaking Morrison thusly:

From: Alpert, Emily mailto:Emily.Alpert@latimes.com
Sent: Wednesday, January 31, 2018 9:23 AM
To: Kerry Morrison <Kerry@hollvwoodbid.org>

Subject: State bill on street vending

Hi Kerry — I hope all is well! I was curious for your thoughts on this state bill that would override local regulations on vending:

http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=201720180SB946&search_keywords=vendor

I’m at ■■■-■■■-■■■■. Thanks!

Emily

Did Kerry Morrison answer her? Well, I don’t know, but I will say that Emily Alpert Reyes published a fine article on Lara’s bill on February 2, and Kerry Morrison is not quoted in it. In any case, we do know that Kerry Morrison read the email because …. turn the page if you want to find out!
Continue reading How Kerry Freaking Morrison Found Out About Senator Ricardo Lara’s Street Vending Bill In January 2018 And Told No-Epithet-Yet Suzanne Holley, Chardonnay-Swilling Scarf Monster Rena Leddy, And Batty Little Fusspot Blair Besten All About It And Suzanne Freaking Holley Went And Told Carol Freaking Schatz, The Zillion Dollar Woman, Who Subsequently Swore A Solemn Oath To Destroy SB 946

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