Segregating the Subject Matter Experts

LOS ANGELES-At Tuesday's meeting public speakers were turned away, and the item 13 to jack up non-applicant appeal fees was finally approved, over major objection. Even the planning dweeb had to admit, it was robust.  

For my part, I previously warned the City Attorney and popped over to LA Superior Court once and am certainly committed to returning to court if necessary, to enforce that they have to take public comment on items noticed on a special meeting agenda. Period. Paul Krekorian needs better legal advice, but you should see the Conflict Panel these days. . . Sheesh, it's a real who's who! 

At the same meeting, MRT announced he's in a new business: selling wall space at the LA Public Library so artists and/or donors, please see the Supervisor about a very robust new program. 

Here's how it works, a big player like Netflix, who want something from the Council Member, initiates an investment on a lovely piece of Civil Rights Leader art, and for that. . . all inclusive, you get Mr. Ridley-Thomas's deeply moving oration during the meeting as well as his vote on the. . . branded proscenium!  

A theatre in Koretz's district, will be appropriately saved and branded by Netflix.  

One and done. Next customer! 

Gil Cedillo could use the One and done moniker, too. This man will approve any market rate project and he'll do it with a bible, a beer, a Buddhist, or a Brahmin. He's a modern-day zealot. . . a disciple in Garcetti's big fraud. That we will build our way, out of immoral inequality, by further enriching developers,  

Cedillo is very important, which is why he gets the most donations of anyone.  


The New York Times had a fascinating two page spread on a Mayoral Candidate and prodigious fundraiser and how he found myriad ways to help donors.  

"If somebody is using their public position in order to sway donations, that would certainly be, if not officially barred, clearly unethical," according to a Columbia Law School Ethics professor Richard Briffault.  

But proving criminal intent without solid proof of a personal benefit is harder than it sounds. 

So when a council member comes out in favor of zoning changes and it rains donations from attorneys, developers, property managers, architects, contractors and others -- donations are not a personal benefit.  

Yes, there is a reciprocity but it's more innocent, "We want to be nice to people who have been nice to us."  

Critical to remember that most of the weak or ineffective ethics laws were written by the naughty lawmakers who need lots of. . .rain. They're like farmers.  


Here in City of Los Angeles we have an FBI investigation into a criminal pay to play enterprise at city hall that is  unfolding on a very slow timeline. Makes the stunning John Noguez property-tax-giveaway, halt-grind and eventual evaporation seem timely.  

And the man who took helm of the Planning and Land Use Committee that Jose Huizar ran with an iron fist and briefcase full of money, is a Chip off the old Herb Wesson.   

Marqueece Harris-Dawson has reattached his power hose to the House of Ridley-Thomas. He's also  known to unleash some stylin' Gil Cedillo interruptions up in Land Use Committee some afternoons.    

When Marqueece Harris-Dawson [MHD] and David Ryu arrived on the scene there was a real feeling, "Whoa, we've got some possible progressives up in here, things are going to change."   

I had a little run in with MHD when I discovered that the Goldbergers of Atlas Capital, a sponsor of the Central City Association decided to return their Richelle Huizar contributions 14 days before the FBI investigation.  

Was Goldberger in cahoots with the FBI?   

Whenever I have fun questions relating to contributions and possible favors I contact the Ethics Commission first. They're very accessible.  

In this case they didn't respond for 14 days.  

And though this could be explained by the impressive statistic that Paul Krekorian proudly released last week at this year's illegal Special Meetings on the budget sans public comment: every Ethics Commission budget request, over the last decade, or at least as long as he chaired Budget and Finance, has been approved. . . by Krekorian!  

How is a developer being squeezed for a 'term' like providing a $500,000 community benefit (as conveyed by DL Piper for Atlas) as one of the conditions to moving forward that must be VOTED on by Planning and City Council kosher?     


October 11, $800 contribution to RICHELLE HUIZAR from Jeffrey Goldberger of Atlas 

+ $800 from Laurie Goldberger. 

October 24,  REFUND $800 contribution to RICHELLE HUIZAR from Jeffrey Goldberger of Atlas 

+ $800 from Laurie Goldberger. 

November 7FBI raids the councilman's fourth floor City Hall office and the HUIZAR's home,

as well as a Boyle Heights field office.  

November 15HUIZAR stripped of committee assignments including PLUM. 

December 26, $800 contribution to Marqueece Harris-Dawson from Jeffrey Goldberger of Atlas 

+ $800 from  Laurie Goldberger 

March 19  Marqueece Harris-Dawson votes on project. 

Since Ethics was in a meeting, I asked Marqueece Harris-Dawson as he was leaving the meeting, I may have given a public comment calling out the Atlas shuffle.  

"Why did you take contributions from Goldberger if you didn't know?"  He shrugged, "Look, I get a lot of contributions, I don't always know."   

Right, like Seabreeze. 

Plunking down contributions on council members is a very good way to get a Council member's attention.  

Maybe not MHD. Remember the connection to George Chiang. Turns out back in 2017 Harris-Dawson got $800 from Synergy Alliance Advisors, which listed Chiang as its CEO.  

As for tie-ins with the Crossroads project, Harris-Dawson also received $1,500 in campaign cash from Harridge CEO David Schwartzman, with $800 of that arriving on December 27,2018, just weeks before the PLUM hearing on Crossroads.   

It's worth noting $2,400 of the total $22,000 smeared around on the project went to Council member Mitch O'Farrell.  

No interrupting 

MHD has a trigger finger something like Herb Wesson. MRT has a different approach and it's being widely adopted. . . When in doubt, interrupt a speaker, and set the record straight. If they object, cut 'em off. 

I will be providing personal testimony as to the terrible treatment of members of the public who come before the PLUM committee under the newly tyrannical rule of MHD. 

One group has been targeted but our Civil Rights Leaders are busy doing the targeting:  

Cedillo and Ridley-Thomas up to no good.  

And here's a shout-out to Kevin DeLeon for assisting with the support for Sebastian's five-surgery step-back from AD 54 duties, costing $2.5 million for a few days of service from the replacement, Kamlager.   

Special Elections are almost as much fun as Special Meetings. 

The group that has been targeted are the:  Subject Matter Experts. 

The Feds should be able to show that the Council is in engaged in a scheme to legitimate the suppression of public scrutiny in furtherance of their alleged criminal activity. 

We already know the city council has been engaged in various activities. . . “The city has been engaged in a pattern of abuse on the Brown Act.” 

On September 30, 2016, the city council-initiated amendments to the public comment rules at city hearings. The City Council's new speaking rules create a two-class system of public participation. 

I personally approached the Silverstein Law Firm, whose client, George Abraham, had also sued over amendments to the City Council's rule changes under the Brown Act. During that case, Mr. Abraham, and I were in contact.  

Then Mr. Abraham was hit by a FedEx truck and became incapacitated.  

The attorneys from the Silverstein firm, approached me to step in for George, and I agreed. The Silverstein firm then asked me to provide detailed information about my work, for a declaration. 

In retrospect, this was all part of the City Attorney's scheme to contain and suppress critics. 

But my “good faith” participation may have been used as leverage by Silverstein to drive up the money on the “proposed stipulated judgment.” 

I don't believe George Abraham would EVER agree to dismiss with prejudice the dangerous and illegal rule changes, that he so loathed.  

That's why I'm inviting by public request for Mr. Silverstein to help me challenge the multiple comment segregation.  

It makes no sense to me that Marqueece Harris-Dawson would be a fan of segregation.   

(Eric Preven is a longtime community activist and is a contributor to CityWatch.) Illustration by Getty Imges/Observer Design.)