THE PREVEN REPORT--On December 15 of last year, Mayor Garcetti approved by signature an expenditure of $50,000 for specialized legal services to assist in responding to a Department of Justice investigation.
Provided by Arent Fox LLP, the specialized legal services are described as a “new” two-year contract. New two-year contract? There’s more than one? Have there been others, with different law firms perhaps?
The people of Los Angeles need to know what is going on. We won’t tolerate another “Independent Living Ctr. vs. the City of Los Angeles” … a case that should have been settled years ago but instead was litigated endlessly by Mayor Garcetti and the rest of the Council. The losses, already $225 million, continue to rise. A similar case, Willits vs. City of LA, soared all the way to $1.37 billion.
The people of Los Angeles have a right—indeed, an obligation—to see all invoices to date that specify the amounts that the City of Los Angeles has been billed by Arent Fox LLP, or any other law firm, in connection with this Department of Justice investigation.
On December 29, 2016, the California Supreme Court, ruling in favor of petitioners Eric Preven (co-author of this article) and the ACLU of Southern California, affirmed, in effect, the right of the public, in the face of secretive government malfeasance, to pull back the curtains and have a look around, to confront our elected representatives and assess the damage (and so start the process of repair).
It's time for us to exercise that right.
(Eric Preven and Joshua Preven are public advocates for better transparency in local government. Eric is a Studio City based writer-producer and a candidate for Los Angeles mayor. Joshua is a teacher.)