@THE GUSS REPORT-The New York Times’ list of candidates for President-elect Joe Biden’s Cabinet excludes LA Mayor Eric Garcetti from the shortlist for Secretary of Housing and Urban Development given his worst in the nation homelessness with people living under and along freeways and their exit ramps, in vehicles, on sidewalks and in gutters from Boyle Heights to Venice Beach.
But it does list Garcetti as a candidate for Transportation Secretary despite LA’s hideous traffic resurging as the nation’s worst and LA City Council President Nury Martinez describing our public transportation as “terrifying” in terms of danger and filth.
Let’s spread those failures from coast to coast!
If Garcetti does jump his fetid, sinking ship, Martinez and Councilmember Joe Buscaino will be LA’s interim Mayor and City Council President, respectively. That’s why Martinez has yet another lengthy recess this week to reshuffle City Hall’s deck chairs and find never-ending, nepotistic government employment for relatives of defeated or termed-out incumbents at salaries they don’t have a prayer of getting in the private sector.
In elected office in LA since before 9/11, Garcetti planted, watered and grew the seeds of LA’s ongoing FBI corruption troubles with his cronies, and their pals, described in recent federal indictments with names like Councilmember A, Staffer B and Lobbyist C.
Garcetti’s City Hall crew knows things. That is how the infamous Varsity Blues college admissions scandal started; a shyster nabbed by the feds in Boston cut himself a deal by giving the FBI a tip.
Think what indicted former Councilmember Jose Huizar must know (or might say) to spend fewer decades in prison. Think what convicted former Councilmember Mitch Englander might tell the FBI in advance of his twice-delayed sentencing. What notes might the others who took plea deals share with the feds about casino chips, hookers, and real estate development in their cooperating agreement discussions?
A new White House administration with a deeply divided electorate needs Garcetti like it needs a migraine but might opt for one anyway.
A few days ago, this column received a letter mailed from the LAPD’s Internal Affairs Group, which is odd given that its prior successful efforts to reach me for the same subject were via phone and text message.
Since when do communications become less familiar and less convenient over time? It’s when an agency tries to run out the clock before a new presidential administration starts and its Mayor wants to be part of it.
Also odd is that the letter is dated two weeks prior while it takes but a few days for mail to go from DTLA to the Valley, let alone to a P.O. Box.
The LAPD’s letter is about an alleged domestic incident at Garcetti’s home. Those in the agency’s loftiest perches and LA City Attorney Mike Feuer refuse to release Computer Assisted Dispatch records and other documents that the public has a legal right to see. That makes this sentence in the LAPD’s letter to this column extremely ironic: “Your cooperation in this matter is essential in order to conduct a thorough and complete investigation.”
What else is odd about the letter is that it is introductory when this column has been speaking with IAG for the better part of a year.
IAG may have backdated its letter so it could close the file and misleadingly claim that it asked for my assistance but got no response. Given that this column responds immediately whenever IAG reaches out, and that I have written about this subject on multiple occasions, my cooperation is not in question, but the LAPD’s motivation is.
The agency which was proven to have doctored O.J. Simpson’s bloody sock, disavows content photographed on its patrol car computer screens and falsifies dates under penalty of perjury continues denying the undeniable.
By the by, I immediately called the Internal Affairs Group but have yet to hear back from its detectives.
Ron Klain, the likely next White House Chief of Staff, should keep Garcetti at arms-length from Biden, just as the campaign did in its late stages when it ordered Garcetti to stay away from several high-profile events.
It did that for a reason, coinciding with the sexual harassment lawsuit from an LAPD officer assigned to Garcetti’s security detail. Others have echoed the officer’s complaint that the harassment was allegedly inflicted on them by Garcetti’s right-hand man, Rick Jacobs, in Garcetti’s giggling, enabling presence.
Let’s see how much taxpayer moolah is paid to the officer to keep Garcetti out of a deposition where he might be asked under oath about the above-mentioned domestic incident at his home. Are you taking notes, Ron Klain?
If Garcetti isn’t selected, or is chosen but suddenly leaves the Biden Administration, look for him to employ excuses like:
- I love LA and my work here isn’t finished.
- I am a big fan of ____ (whoever Biden chooses instead or as his replacement).
- C. is a swamp and LA has better weather.
- LA needs me to oversee the 2028 Olympics.
- I want to be president of the Academy.
- I can’t leave the Lakers, Dodgers, Rams, or Philippe's.
- I have offers from USC and UCLA and my heart is in teaching.
- My family wants to stay in LA / My parents are seniors and I want to be nearby.
We will return to this list whenever the Mayor explains “his decision” to stay in, or return to, LA.
Meanwhile, the LAPD’s Internal Affairs Group should reach out to Mr. Garcetti to ask him questions about things already provided to it by this column at its request and see if he objects to the LAPD releasing the long-withheld public records sought by this column.
Because why would anyone object to transparency like that?
(Daniel Guss, MBA, was runner-up for the 2020 Los Angeles Press Club journalism award for Best Online Political Commentary and has contributed to CityWatch, KFI AM-640, iHeartMedia, 790-KABC, Cumulus Media, Huffington Post, Los Angeles Daily News, Los Angeles Magazine, Movieline Magazine, Emmy Magazine, Los Angeles Business Journal, Pasadena Star News, Los Angeles Downtown News, and the Los Angeles Times in its Sports, Opinion and Entertainment sections and Sunday Magazine, among other publishers. Follow him on Twitter @TheGussReport. His opinions are his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of CityWatch.) Photos: REUTERS/Kyle Grillot. Prepped for CityWatch by Linda Abrams.