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No-show. Herb Wesson Was Missing.

ERIC PREVEN'S NOTEBOOK - Had I known the discussion of Herb Wesson filling back in for Mark Ridley-Thomas would be conducted in a closed session, I would have objected. 

The Council President, who is under great pressure said, "We're having some issues on our end letting people into our meeting." 

After a carefully choreographed rollout of CD10 Wessonists, "That concludes public comment." 

The regular crew of miscreant critics would have to return another day.  

Amazing Money-Walker, Robert Anderson and Tracy Mitchell x3 made the case.

Tracy is the boss-lady at Mothers in Action, Danny Bakewell's not for profit, so the Mother's stayed neutral, but Tracy hugged Wesson tight.  "We need him now!" 

Bonin's motion to delay the vote 1 week passed the first time (8-6) but Buscaino flipped and when it came back after some clarification, it failed 7-7 (needed 8 votes). 

Yes: Bonin, Blumenfield, Krekorian, Raman, Rodriguez, Koretz, MHD  No: Cedillo, de Leon, Lee, Martinez, O’Farrell, Buscaino, Price.   

Very surprising to see Price not support it. 

The Clerk explained, "Only the report backs are due in a week. The Council voted to appoint Herb Wesson today." 

What happened to "before considering or voting."  

The Clerk responded, "There is nothing in the moving clause that states that." 

The "Before considering or voting" is in the first paragraph of Bonin's original motion:  

 

Sneaky.

Wesson was a no-show on Wednesday. 

 

Debate: 

Local autocrat-wannabe, Rick Caruso, was a no-show at the first televised mayoral debate. If you consider Spectrum 1 television. Evidently, there were several complaints about no live streaming, as cable is out of fashion.  One meaner resident, who does not have cable and refuses to pay for an LA Times subscription, said, "can't we have debates on a real network?" 

I asked Stuart Waldman if he was afraid to say who the obvious winner was?______🔦  

It seemed like @RickCarusoLA lost badly by not showing up, I suggested, "He comes across as aloof."  

Former mayor Antonio Villaraigosa popped up on Spectrum following Jessica Levinson to promote himself and said, “I thought all the candidates handled themselves well."  

Stuart Waldman can parallel park into any sized space, "The obvious winner was all of Los Angeles. We have 6 great candidates who would lead LA well." 

@JoeBuscaino    

@Mike_Feuer    

@KarenBassLA    

@MelvinWilson   

@kdeleon    

@RickCarusoLA  (no show)

No further comments. 

 

Authorized Personnel Only: 

Now that Herb Wesson is back, the crackdown on public access that began several years ago, can resume.  If you have never seen the plexiglass in CD10 ask Alvinette Strong to tell you the whole story.  It's fascinating and egregious.  

There was an item on the agenda relative to the security measures that the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) currently has in place to control access to City Hall. The context was following the January 6th, incident at the United States Capitol. 

The motion from Joe Buscaino cited numerous incidents of vandalism over recent months and calls for preparations for large-scale demonstrations in the Civic Center area. It made me think of Stuart Waldman's tweet.

"How much fear must a person live in that they are afraid to have an opposing view heard by others?" 

I tweeted back at Stu, "Are you talking about the shameful closed session after cherry-picking Wesson supporters over opposing views?  I think @CD6Nury is understandably afraid of more @FBILosAngeles @USAO_LosAngeles    

Stu replied, "No. I'm talking about the shameful actions of a handful of people who want to disrupt everything like the debate last night."

Right!  

I am not a disruptor like that, but one person said, "Was sort of the highlight."

 

About comment: 

The Clerk helped us narrow the focus on who is carefully selecting public speakers. Curating public comment, if you will.  

  1. Once again, you know I am a member of the public and I have been in the cue, but you are cherry-picking speakers to align with your preference to hear fans of re-installing Wesson... illegally.  Please take a comment from 818-762-7719.  It's the only appropriate thing to do.   
  1. Ms. Tso, Since the City Clerk is both irregular and clueless,  please provide an analysis of 'how the city is selecting speakers" and also as to the requirements per the Charter.  Herb Wesson is termed out.  
  1. Hello Mr. Preven, For speaker queues, that is a question for the Clerk. I’m sorry I can’t answer your question.  Regarding Mr. Wesson, the City Attorney has been asked to report pursuant to today’s Council action. This will be a public document and will be available on the Council File System.   Hope all is well.  Best, Sharon 
  1. Madame Clerk, The CLA is referring back to you. Pls advise. 
  1. The Council President's Office handles with the assistance of ITA🔦  Best, Holly

 

Public Health: It's a big challenge but we're on it!

O'farrell, is a reformer. like the old preachers from days of yore in Hollywood he gets out on the stump and preaches his version of the Gospel.  He's a real zealot.   

On Tuesday, he rolled out his mounting pitch to take over the serious burden of providing city residents with public health services.  "Since 1964 we have not had our own health department... the county has been contractually obligated to provide services, including mental health..." 

O'Farrel has been dreaming of a clean and clear and safe....public right of way.  He wants to bring people indoors, provide wellness, that is so desperately needed.    

Yes, there are 66,436 people unhoused on our county streets last year, and yes, most are in the city of Los Angeles...  "but still, the county provides the services." 

"At least that is what we thought... " he said.  

That's a diss. 

He then cited a Schrader facility in his district that only had 27 clients despite a capacity or 72.  He bitched about LAHSA ... like a hotel guest would complain about bad service in a hotel.  "We have not provided those services or 58 years." 

This bellyaching was a bit reminiscent of Jonathan Sherin, the Director of County Mental Health himself revealing to Steve Lopez that "The administrative burden is outrageous and makes it impossible to focus on the mission.”  

In the words of wily old coot,  Skip Miller, who told Judge Carter as the County's attorney, “That's why we have county governance and a Board of Supervisors. It’s an imperfect system but that's the nature of government. It's a big challenge but we're on it.🔦 

 

*Dishy Tidbit*

The City collected over $6M to resolve pending litigation concerning the City’s California False Claims Act claims for overcharges in connection with the provision of wireless services.  Sprint was in there, who MItchell Englander dealt a super-deal related to the 4400 unwanted Tasers he jammed through during our first major Axon bodycam deal.  ($87M tk.) 

The city banks $6,000,000 while paying out around $3M on contingency. 

 

Get Shorty (and unlawfully arrest him!)

"Sir, Shorty works for the church." 

I said, "Get him."

"Yessir." 

The City Council had the option to recess to Closed Session, pursuant to Government Code Section 54956.9(d)(1), to confer with its legal counsel relative to the case entitled Mac Shorty v. City of Los Angeles, et al.  

But it chose to announce the $298,000 settlement with Mr. Shorty out in front of everyone, then vote real quick, so no comments before the city council could be provided.  Nice and clean.  

A very bad, and wrong interpretation, but still, Marqueece Harris-Dawson of CD8 had to circle back and ask Council President Nury Martinez to reconsider the vote on Tuesday.  Why?  Because, CM Harris-Dawson, said "we didn't get the report before the vote."   

Both he and Mike Bonin, ultimately voted no on the settlement. 

I had reviewed the original complaint, which is a public document, at the committee level.  One has to make a special request of the City Attorney to get a copy, or get to a free computer at the court house. 

The city should provide a link to such docs routinely, but that would provide transparency and access, two features loathed by city insiders.   

Settlements are to be brokered in the backroom. Next Item.  

10.) On October 31, 2017, Shorty was detailed to provide security at a church event Halloween party organized by his employer. 

11.) While working in that capacity, some unknown persons who were not part of the church event, picked a fight with each other across the street from the church. One of the persons involved ran into the church and was followed by her assailant. Shortly thereafter, three to four cars pulled with suspected gang members who ran into the church. Following the trespass by the uninvited persons, a fight started in the foyer of the church between the suspected gang members and the people who ran into the church earlier. Shorty and another member of the congregation went to break up the fight, the intruders hit them on the head with folding chairs. The members of the church called the police. 

12.)  Shorty as the security officer for the event asked the uninvited persons to leave the premises. Shorty and other members of the church managed to get the intruders to leave the church. While outside they started attacking Shorty again and tried to run him over with one of their cars. Shorty then went to his car and retrieved an unloaded weapon and told the intruders not to leave because the police were on their way. 

13.) Shortly, thereafter, the police arrived. Shorty identified himself as a security officer for the church. Other members of the congregation who were present also identified Shorty as the church's security officer.  

14.) The Police Officers ordered Shorty to put his weapon on the roof of his car, which 5 he complied with. They asked him to raise his shirt to show he did not have any other weapons, which he complied with. They further asked him to turn around and walk backwards towards them, to which he complied.  

15.) While in full compliance with all the Police Officers' commands, the Officers without any warning started tasing Shorty.  

16.) They deployed their taser a minimum of three to four times. The impact of the taser threw Shorty to the ground, causing him to hit his head and shoulder on the street curb, all to his injuries.  

17.) The paramedics from Fire Station 65, were summoned who took Shorty to Martin  Luther King Hospital for evaluation and treatment for his injuries. 

18.) Thereafter, the Police Officers arrested Shorty and subsequently released him without any charges.  

19.) Following his release. Shorty filed a complaint with the Internal Affairs of the  Police Department.  

20.) When Shorty requested the outcome of the Internal Affairs investigation, the Police Department refused to give him any documents.

Mo' Money:

I never understood why Paul Krekorian strikes a pose that would give the impression that the city's harassment numbers are not too shabby. 

This week an ITA related FEHA harassment matter, involving the employment of a contractor with the Information Technology Agency that ended in 2019.  

I reached out to Ted Ross, but have not heard back. It settled for $1,750,000 

On November 29, 2016, Plaintiff  Tu Ly was involved in an industrial accident while at work.  

Plaintiff was in the City parking lot, walking to his vehicle when he was struck by a vehicle that was driven by an employee of the City of Los Angeles. Plaintiff sustained injuries to his neck, back, arms and other body parts as a result of the accident.  

Plaintiff was taken off work for three days following the incident and has continuously received treatment for his injures since the incident.  

Following the incident, Plaintiff filed a worker’s compensation claim that is still pending. Plaintiff also filed a personal injury lawsuit against City of Los Angeles and the driver of the vehicle that struck him. The personal injury lawsuit was subsequently dismissed by Plaintiff.  

During his employment, Plaintiff asked to attend medical appointments for treatment. Plaintiff did his best to schedule appointments during his lunch hour so he would not miss any work. However, over the course of the 2 ½ years following the incident, Plaintiff missed some time from work to treat for his injuries. The Defendant City of Los Angeles generally accommodated his request. However, Mr. McKee took issue with Plaintiff taking time off and told a co-worker the reason he fired Plaintiff was because he took too much time off to attend medical appointments.  

In addition to the allegations asserted above, Plaintiff was denied employment opportunities with the Defendant City of Los Angeles on several occasions. Over the course of the last 10 years, Plaintiff has applied for the same position as a direct employee of the Defendant City of Los Angeles. 

 

(Eric Preven is a longtime community activist and is a contributor to CityWatch. The opinions expressed by Eric Preven are solely his and not the opinions of CityWatch)