Tag Archives: Verified Petitions

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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My California Public Records Act Lawsuit Against The Fashion District BID Is Now Fully Briefed In Anticipation Of The Trial — Which Will Take Place On Wednesday June 26, 2019 At 9:30 AM At The Stanley Mosk Courthouse Department 86 — Get Copies Of Everything Here — And Maybe I’ll See You There!

Recall that last August I was forced by the unhinged intransigence of the Fashion District BID to file a petition asking a judge to force them to comply with the California Public Records Act. Things are moving towards the end, and the trial will take place on Wednesday, June 26, 2019 at 9:30 AM at the Stanley Mosk Courthouse in Department 86 before Judge Mitchell Beckloff. It looks to be a barn burner, friends, because these BIDdies are really, really angry.

And the way these trials work is that sixty days before trial my lawyer, the incomparable Abenicio Cisneros, files a so-called opening brief, which lays out the case, only outlined in the initial petition, in full detail with all the evidence, argument, and citations to relevant cases. Then thirty days before the opposition files their reply brief, in full detail with all the obstructionist bullshit for which they’re famous. Finally, fifteen days before, we file a reply to the reply and that’s that.

All that briefing is done now, and below find links to everything. There’s a lot of it, and I’m not going to comment on any of it to avoid jinxes, but I will note that the Fashion District’s reply, written by one or both of Bradley & Gmelich galaxy-brains Barry Bradley and Carol Humiston, is an extraordinarily careless piece of work. They consistently misspell the names of cases they’re citing and in one especially egregious case they not only get the name of the case completely wrong, but they get the year wrong too.1

This would be inconsequential if the case weren’t central to everyone’s arguments in this trial and if it weren’t a key component of their argument that the case was decided after I made the requests at issue here. In fact the case was decided before the requests. It’s really unbelievable that seasoned putative professionals made this kind of error, but it seems that they did. Anyway, I hope to see you at the trial, and I’ll be happy to buy you lunch when it’s over if you want to hang out!
Continue reading My California Public Records Act Lawsuit Against The Fashion District BID Is Now Fully Briefed In Anticipation Of The Trial — Which Will Take Place On Wednesday June 26, 2019 At 9:30 AM At The Stanley Mosk Courthouse Department 86 — Get Copies Of Everything Here — And Maybe I’ll See You There!

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City Of Los Angeles Sued To Enforce Compliance With The California Public Records Act — In Particular CD11 Has Ignored My Requests For Months On End — Has Blown Through Their Self-Imposed Deadlines — And Are Likely Doing So To Hide Their Complicity In Planter-Placing In Venice — I Am Seeking Emails Between CD11 Staff And Angry Housedwellers — Twitter Blocks And Mutes — And Constituent Communications Done Via The “Romulus” Platform — Read The Masterful Petition Here! — And Confusion To Our Enemies!

Everybody knows about those damn planters in Venice, but we’re just beginning to learn the depth of the City’s complicity with the angry housedwelling planter-placers. And fairly recently I obtained some emails that proved that Mike Bonin’s staff, if not Bonin himself, have been very complicit indeed, which led me to file a complaint with the City Ethics Commission against one of them, Taylor Bazley.1

I obtained those emails by accident, in response to a request to the LAPD that I made for a fairly different reason, but I have actually been trying to get planter-related stuff from CD11 at least since December 2018 and have been completely, utterly, thoroughly, and even literally ignored by Mike Bonin’s staff since then. They have not produced a single record in response to my requests.

And, as you surely know by now, the legislature has left the people of California only one remedy to enforce their rights under this law, and that is to file a petition asking a judge to order the neglectful ones to get it together and comply. So that, this very day, is what I did with our friends at CD11. You can get a copy here, powerfully written by the incomparable Anna von Herrman, and there’s a transcription below.

Basically there are three classes of requests. First I asked for emails between CD11 staff and various suspects in the planter-placing and other anti-homeless psychopathy with some names culled from especially angry NextDoor comments. These included both Mark Ryavec and George Francisco.

Next, as part of a series I was working on at the time, I asked for a list of all official CD11 Twitter accounts and also lists of users blocked or muted by those accounts. And finally, I asked for data from CD11’s use of the so-called Romulus Constituent Services software, which someone had told me Bonin used to talk to people outside of more predictable channels like email.

This last request Krista Kline, Mike Bonin’s deputy chief of staff in charge of something shady, refused to fulfill, claiming that it was “overly voluminous,” and the others she initially promised to produce records in response to but then did not.2 All of this material is of great, practically incalculable, public interest with respect to not only the planters but also for understanding how the City decides which encampments to sweep, and many other things besides. So stay tuned for updates on events, and read some lengthy selections from the petition below.
Continue reading City Of Los Angeles Sued To Enforce Compliance With The California Public Records Act — In Particular CD11 Has Ignored My Requests For Months On End — Has Blown Through Their Self-Imposed Deadlines — And Are Likely Doing So To Hide Their Complicity In Planter-Placing In Venice — I Am Seeking Emails Between CD11 Staff And Angry Housedwellers — Twitter Blocks And Mutes — And Constituent Communications Done Via The “Romulus” Platform — Read The Masterful Petition Here! — And Confusion To Our Enemies!

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Opening Brief Filed In Chinatown BID Public Records Act Lawsuit — A Powerful Statement Of The Intense Public Interest In Understanding This Shadowy Criminal Conspiracy — And What It Is Doing With The Public Money That Funds It — Neither George Yu Nor Anyone From The BID Has Responded To Anything — Or Participated In Any Way At All In The Petition Against Them — Trial Is Set For July 24 2019 At 9:30 AM — Stanley Mosk Courthouse Department 86

Last August Katherine McNenny and I filed a suit against the Chinatown Business Improvement District because not only did they refuse to provide us with the public records we’d asked for repeatedly but they refused to respond at all. Their bossboy, George Yu, was, you may recall, deeply implicated in the 2017 zillionaire conspiracy against the Skid Row Neighborhood Council formation effort, so they clearly had and, we hope, still have, a lot of really essential information.

But George Yu and his criminal cronies at the BID, I guess true to the pattern they’d established with respect to the requests themselves, refused to respond in any way to the lawsuit. They didn’t reply to the petition, they ignored the discovery, they didn’t show up for the hearing on the motion to expedite hearing of the motion to compel them to answer the damn discovery,1 and so on. But the case rolls on, and on Friday, May 24, our lawyers filed an absolutely stunning opening brief.2

You can read transcribed selections below and here’s a super-short summary. The Chinatown BID is a major player in municipal politics. This includes George’s Yu’s participation in the conspiracy against the Skid Row Neighborhood Council. Through our CPRA requests we sought to understand the BID’s role in this and their relationship with the City in general.

The BID failed to respond at all to these requests and that violates the California Public Records Act. Therefore the court should require the BID to produce the records. We’re also asking the court to declare that the BID’s actions violated the CPRA3 and to issue an injunction against the BID violating the law in this manner in the future. Finally, we’re asking the court to order the BID to pay our attorneys for their work on our case.
Continue reading Opening Brief Filed In Chinatown BID Public Records Act Lawsuit — A Powerful Statement Of The Intense Public Interest In Understanding This Shadowy Criminal Conspiracy — And What It Is Doing With The Public Money That Funds It — Neither George Yu Nor Anyone From The BID Has Responded To Anything — Or Participated In Any Way At All In The Petition Against Them — Trial Is Set For July 24 2019 At 9:30 AM — Stanley Mosk Courthouse Department 86

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Greater Leimert Park Village BID Sued In Order To Enforce Compliance With The Public Records Act — It’s Another One That Just Won’t Even Respond — How Freaking Hard Can It Be?

Take a look at this CPRA petition against the Greater Leimert Park Village BID. It is the latest in a fairly long series of complaints I’ve been forced to file not because the BID is illegally withholding records, not because they’re putting me off and putting me off, not because they’re implementing a lot of chuckleheaded Humistonian delay tactics, but just because they simply do not respond at all. You can read a transcription of selections from the petition after the break.

In short, though, this BID is of interest for two overarching reasons.1 First, and least, because it’s in the process of renewing, a process which is both fascinating and important. BID renewal has interesting intersections with the Municipal Lobbying Ordinance and other core political issues. Everything about it is important. By ignoring my CPRA requests the Leimert Park Village BID is obstructing our increased understanding of this essential process in the lives of our BIDs.

Second, and more importantly, as everyone knows, Leimert Park is presently undergoing lightspeed and brutal gentrification. This, in turn, is related to City Attorney Mike Feuer’s putative gang crackdown at Baldwin Village Apartments. It’s well known that the City uses these actions as a way to make neighborhoods feel safer for white residents and thereby encourages and supports gentrification.

Business improvement districts have been active agents for gentrification in Hollywood, Downtown, in Venice, and probably elsewhere. Thus the question of whether the Leimert Park Village BID is involved at all in this process is inherently interesting. Even the fact that they’re not involved, if true, would be of great public interest.

And yet, by refusing to respond at all to my queries, the BID is thwarting the public’s ability to understand these weighty matters. But of course, there’s nothing surprising here. This, it seems, is just one of the things that BIDdies in LA do. Stay tuned for further info and turn the page for transcribed selections from the petition.
Continue reading Greater Leimert Park Village BID Sued In Order To Enforce Compliance With The Public Records Act — It’s Another One That Just Won’t Even Respond — How Freaking Hard Can It Be?

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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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Chinatown BID Fails To File Answer To CPRA Writ Petition Before Deadline — Maybe George Yu Considers Himself Beyond The Reach Of The Law — Which Certainly Wouldn’t Be Uncharacteristic Of That Thuggish Little Weirdo

I mean I don’t know what it is with these thuggish little business improvement districts around Los Angeles. They won’t comply with the public records act and when I am thereby forced to file petitions against them they won’t even respond. This famously happened in May with that wonky little gang of white supremacists out in the Larchmont Village BID and now it just happened again with the Chinatown BID, due to the off-the-chain intransigence of which we were forced in August to file a petition.

Of course George Yu is well-known in these parts to be a screamer, a bully, and a freaking self-proclaimed criminal, so it’s not strange to learn that he doesn’t feel like he has to play by other rules of civil society. And for all that, the consequences of these failures may be minimal. In ordinary lawsuits if you don’t answer on time you just lose, but the California Code of Civil Procedure at §1088 rules out this result for writs of mandate, which is what we’re seeking. Also in July at the trial setting conference for the Larchmont BID petition, the judge granted the BID an extra 30 days to reply without them even having to explain their lapse.

So like I said, there may not be any consequences, or any serious consequences. But on the other hand there may be. We’ll see! Stay tuned and you can see also!
Continue reading Chinatown BID Fails To File Answer To CPRA Writ Petition Before Deadline — Maybe George Yu Considers Himself Beyond The Reach Of The Law — Which Certainly Wouldn’t Be Uncharacteristic Of That Thuggish Little Weirdo

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VICTORY!! On Advice Of Carol Humiston, The World’s Angriest CPRA Lawyer, Melrose And Westchester BIDs Both Agree To Pay My Even-Tempered Attorney, The Incomparable Anna von Herrmann, Beaucoup De Bucks To Settle CPRA Petitions Brought Due To The Weirdo Incompetence Of Donald Freaking Duckworth, Their Hatchet-Faced Goblin Of A Zeck Dreck — Perhaps They Will Be More Compliant In The Future? — Perhaps The City Of Los Angeles Will Intervene And Enforce Compliance To Stop BIDs Bleeding Public Money Out Of Arrogance And Inability? — Probably Not, But I Can Dream

Of course you recall that in June of this year, my hand forced by the bizarro-world intransigence of BIDdological freak show specimen Donald Duckworth, executive director of both the Westchester Town Center BID and the Melrose BID, I had no recourse but to file a couple of writ petitions asking a judge to splain them that it wasn’t cool to openly flout the California Public Records Act just because they happen to be a gang of zillionaires and zillionare-associated minions. Soon thereafter El Duckworth suffered a severe attack of conscience and handed over all the disputed records.1

This development was good in at least two senses. First of all and most importantly it was good for the immortal soul of Mr. Duckworth, although as he was pretty clearly motivated by his anticipation of exposure and/or punishment his contrition was imperfect. Second of all it was good for my case because if a previously noncompliant agency, such as a BID, hands over records as a result of a petition being filed, the petitioner, such as me, automatically wins and the judge is required to award attorney’s fees.

This nondiscretionary outcome gives the respondent a powerful motive to hurry up and settle once records have been produced. Since they’re going to have to pay the petitioner’s attorney their best move is to minimize the amount of work done by opposing counsel. El Duckie’s two BIDs hired Carol Humiston, the world’s angriest CPRA attorney. And those, after a lot of characteristically Humistonian bluster and bullshit, are precisely the lines along which she seems to have advised her clients, which is why they have agreed to hand over a lot of damn money in exchange for settling the case.

This of course is a great victory for the forces of good, the side of the better angels of this City of Angels, and so on. Now let’s hope that this development along with the high costs that other BIDs have already paid,2 will convince them that it’s cheaper, easier, and more responsible to just hand over the damn records when I ask for them rather than fooling about wasting other people’s money in a series of ultimately futile and expensive attempts to keep the goods away from me just because they don’t like being called mean names on the Internet.

Also we can hope that this victory along with the others, past and future, will convince the City that if the BIDs can’t act responsibly they need to be made to do so. Whatever happens, of course you’ll read about it here! And turn the page for a rare and coveted image of MK.Org secret headquarters this very night just after we got the news! And here’s the damn soundtrack!
Continue reading VICTORY!! On Advice Of Carol Humiston, The World’s Angriest CPRA Lawyer, Melrose And Westchester BIDs Both Agree To Pay My Even-Tempered Attorney, The Incomparable Anna von Herrmann, Beaucoup De Bucks To Settle CPRA Petitions Brought Due To The Weirdo Incompetence Of Donald Freaking Duckworth, Their Hatchet-Faced Goblin Of A Zeck Dreck — Perhaps They Will Be More Compliant In The Future? — Perhaps The City Of Los Angeles Will Intervene And Enforce Compliance To Stop BIDs Bleeding Public Money Out Of Arrogance And Inability? — Probably Not, But I Can Dream

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Chinatown Business Improvement District Sued To Enforce Compliance With California Public Records Act — The Brick-By-Brick Dismantling Of Pyschopathic Rageball George Yu’s Backwater Cult-Like Totalitarian Empire Has Begun!

On Friday a petition was filed in LA County Superior Court against George Yu’s corrupt little empire, the Chinatown Business Improvement District. You’ll recall George Yu, of course,as the caudillo of Chinatown, the man who screams at people for legally filming his meetings without approval, the man who had me ejected from his glorified strip mall for daring to defy his unlawful orders, the man who smugly admits to serious legal violations on camera because history has taught him that there will be no consequences.

Well, it turns out that he’s also the man who thinks that he can ignore people’s requests for public records for more than a year without even answering. We’re hoping this petition, which is a little different from most of the ones I report on here in that Katherine McNenny and I filed it jointly, will teach him the error of his ways, at least with respect to the CPRA.

The whole thing started in May 2017 when, after it became clear that George Yu had played a central role in the Downtown BIDs’ underhanded conspiracy to torpedo the Skid Row Neighborhood Council subdivision effort, Katherine McNenny requested a bunch of records on this topic from the Chinatown BID.1 He did not even respond, and has not responded yet, which is a clear violation of the law.2

Independently of Katherine McNenny’s requests but for the same purpose, in March 2018 I sent George Yu three requests also, slightly broader than hers but still focused on the SRNC formation effort and George Yu’s role in sinking it. He also ignored these requests. To date he has not even made the initial response required by §6253(c). For reasons I will never understand George Yu3 thinks its better to break the law repeatedly and then pay potentially tens of thousands of dollars as a consequence than to just comply in the first damn place.

And that’s what’s going on with the Chinatown BID. Turn the page for some transcribed excerpts!
Continue reading Chinatown Business Improvement District Sued To Enforce Compliance With California Public Records Act — The Brick-By-Brick Dismantling Of Pyschopathic Rageball George Yu’s Backwater Cult-Like Totalitarian Empire Has Begun!

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Historic Core BID Sued To Enforce Compliance With The California Public Records Act

I know some of my readers have been wondering why I haven’t written much lately about batty little fusspot Blair Besten, the nattering sociopathic zeck dreck of the Historic Core, third weirdest of the minor downtown BIDs. Well, the reason for that is simple yet appalling. After a reasonably good run in early 2017,1 in May 2017 she just up and stopped producing records in response to my requests. And being the weirdo little liar that she is, she didn’t just stop producing, she randomly cancelled existing appointments, said she’d mail records and never did, claimed bizarro and indefensible lists of exemptions and so on. But then things really took a turn for the weird.

In October 2017 La Besten and/or her shadowy puppetmasters on the BID Board hired self-proclaimed Hollywood Superlawyer Jeffrey Charles Briggs who, at that time, was seen by the BIDs as a reasonably competent obstructer of CPRA requests.2 And after that, once everything was placed in the unclean hands of El Briggs, I received essentially no records.3 And being the weirdo little liar that he is, he didn’t just continue not to produce. Instead he announced an endless series of broken promises, imaginary technical difficulties, unnecessary test transmissions, ignored deadlines, and gratuitous lies.

That, of course, all started almost a year ago, and that’s too long given that the CPRA requires public agencies like BIDs to produce records promptly and without delay.4 Hence, yesterday, we filed this verified petition against Blair Besten’s infernal BID, asking the court to order them to hand over the damn goods post-haste and stop messing around in the future. Turn the page for selected bits!
Continue reading Historic Core BID Sued To Enforce Compliance With The California Public Records Act

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