Mon, May

Code: Get the Sheriff. An Investigation into Deputy Gangs


ERIC PREVEN’S WORLD - The "Get the Sheriff" effort, expected to continue over the next 5-6 months, will be led by Bert H. Deixler, a well-respected attorney who was a lead attorney in the Citizens’ Commission on Jail Violence investigation. 

I don't remember his input. I remember Richard Drooyan and Miriam Krinsky.  

Mr. Deixler will be supported by lawyers experienced in conducting internal investigations for major corporations and other entities for some of Los Angeles’ most prominent law firms, including Bart Williams and Susan L. Gutierrez of Proskauer; Anthony Pacheco of Vedder Price and former member of the LA Police Commission; Naeun Rim of Manatt, Phelps & Phillips and Carolyn Kubota of Covington.   

Wait, that last one sounds familiar.  

Ms. Kubota works as a white-collar defense gal with Dan Shallman and the firm that houses among others, the great Eric Holder.  That firm is familiar because it's the same firm investigating contracting fraud at the county following the Mark Ridley-Thomas fiasco, wherein he's facing federal charges for squeezing USC to hook his son Sebastian up with a lucrative professorship in exchange for wink 

See, each of the County Supervisors is like a big mob boss.  

Each supervisorial district is like a local regional gang.  There are little capos they fund, like Alan Hostrup of the YMCA of Greater Metropolitan Los Angeles.  He knows what to do.  

Mark Ridley-Thomas was the big boss for many years and so understandably became a little mad with power.  He became so dedicated to doing whatever it was that he wanted to do, that he lost sight of the parallel wisdom that Denzel Washington reminded Will Smith of before his disturbing Oscar blunder, "At your highest moment, be careful, that's also when the feds might come for you."  

When the feds came for Deron Williams of CD10, this column explored how Herbert J. Wesson and Holly Wolcott jumped into gear with the rats -in-the-ceiling-oh-my initiative.  

City Hallers sensed the rat story was fake news, but we didn't exactly know why at the time. How, Angelenos wondered could anyone be taking Elizabeth Greenwood's story at face value? The LACERS rep was bit by a flea, that got away without a trace?   

Nobody ever found a single flea... hmmm. Fishy.  

Public comment was brief and the council were not paying attention on Wednesday, even as speakers pleaded for the council to meet in front of the public:  "The Pandemic Should Not be Used as a Pretext to muffle the Voices of the ‘Inconvenient Public’  

The local critic who was hoping to remind the public and encourage Herb Wesson to recuse himself on the flavored tobacco ordinance, since he took money from Juul, and also he might want to recuse himself on the Deputy City Attorney Anthony Koutris harassment lawsuit settlement of $1M vote, I wrote about the case here.  

Mr. Koutris wrote that he was personally aware that Deputy City Attorney Elizabeth Greenwood, who may have "contracted Typhus"  in Herb Wesson's office during the period when Deron Wiliams was worried about rats in the ceiling (and elsewhere.) 

Koutris mentioned in his moving papers that Greenwood's "doctor prohibited her from driving," and offered her a transfer. He got bupkis.  

Maybe Herb Wesson might feel too close to Greenwood, the speaker who was not heard wondered.

This was the woman with whom Wesson splashed onto KCAL, causing a major redirect...during the Huizar/Englander...oh my! 

I was never called to speak.  

I did send a note to the big lawyers at the county and the supervisors about the County's Oversight Panel Launching into a Full-Scale Investigation into Deputy Gangs. Code: "Get the Sheriff" 

Dear Jennifer, 
Hope all is well.  Hello, Brian!

"Round up the usual customers"

Can you please provide the letter of agreement with Covington & Burling that I'm sure you reviewed before bringing in Mr. Ridley-Thomas's county fraud crackdown team?  

On a Motion by Solis/Hahh, the board sought to hire a law firm to poke around the contracting fraud, and Covington & Burling got the nod.

Carolyn Kubota, who hangs her hat there,  is already under contract with LA county, and Dawyn Harrison of county counsel has already located documents responsive to my request to understand the scope of work (that along with Dan Shallman) is to be performed.  However, the County made an erroneous and high-handed determination that those records are exempt from disclosure and are protected by numerous privileges/doctrines. 

The Board of Supervisors should waive any privilege... 

Since the COC is an independent organization proud of delivering transparency and accountability, how is it that Kubota is in there getting paid an invisible sum to do something...while also pro bono to track down some gangs? 

The public is entitled to see and understand the game plan: how many hours and at what rate to do what?

You do realize that Kubota is a white-collar defense attorney.  Deixler, who is leading Huntsman's dream team,  is an entertainment lawyer. 

Kindly confirm receipt, and provide the agreement(s) for Kubota and Shallman and all of the pro bono attorneys Deixler has enlisted, including Deixler's agreement.

Eric Preven


This side down: 

It's fun to watch City Council meetings backwards. Kevin Deleon's moving birthday tribute and fundraiser for Leah Hertzberg, a woman who has given so much to the Valley democratic clubs and party.  

Stuart Waldman must have been shvitzing because DeLeon was giving the impression that Hertzberg was more of a "Jim Clyburn of the Valley" than Waldman, who heads the Valley Industry Commerce Association, and has been fashioning himself as the valley's most influential mayor picker.   

DeLeon was relentless as if the stage manager was giving him a thumbs up to keep talking. Callers seemed to be responding, was this a telethon, I thought?   

Blumenfield practically did a round-off back handspring over Koretz to praise this 100-year-old democratic party icon, who was born when Warren Harding was President, and practically nursed a young Eric Bauman into the prodigious fundraiser and harasser he became.  

DeLeon is famous for saying, "we don't need any more studies..." but maybe we do need one more.  

Why are these presentations never agendized? And if we had a list of names mentioned, we could see who is naughty and who is nice and who gives the maximum, and on what date. 

By the way, Bauman has his own podcast or radio show which he finds quite entertaining, so check it out.  

Before I move on, one of the Elected At-Large Executive Board Members of DP/SFV is Karo Torossian, so to retroactively celebrate Purim which was March 16 this year, I am going to recite the story of Areen Ibranossian and Paul Krekorian to the children of CD2.  These two braves Angelenos refused to debate their very appealing CD2 challenger at all one year -- while evading capture for taking public matching fund money.  

The young lad from CD2ville thought he had cornered them with the Ethics rule requiring that they debate. The failsafe backup plan: no politician can say no to the YMCA Youth in government.   

Except, Adrin Nazarian and Paul Krekorian.   

There would be no Youth in Government debate... even though, at the time I was a longtime member of the Y and community.  

Instead of discussing our local issues at the YMCA, when invited by me, the YMCA booked them to serve as keynote speakers, the day after Krekorian defeated me without ever facing me other than in a public comment.  

It all started at the giant state building out on Van Nuys boulevard not far from Valley City Hall.  Nury Martinez town.... dissolve: 


Production Values: 

I found the lengthy DWP video about the crews of DWP workers who went to help the Navajo nation get power, very effective. 

And my only complaint about the lengthy LAPD Chief Bea Girmala video, which was very good -- was there was too much masking.  

Anyone who thinks the public wants to see a speech from beneath a mask is wrong.  

On Wednesday, O'Farrell's presentation had more visibility.  And the masks came off...  revealing a half-mustache,  for which even he deserves a pass.  

O'Farrell outed John Szabo, the twentieth City Librarian of Los Angeles, and played a video in honor of Trans visibility day.  Paul Koretz, who had said he felt like he'd known Leah Hertzberg for the full 100 years, also said he was doing cool "Trans" stuff before it was cool, like 16 or 17 years ago.  No disrespect was intended to latecomers to the party, just a firm recognition of his greatness... and age.   

Buscaino busted a move to commemorate, Betty Day, but not with a day named after her, as that would be terribly confusing, but rather, a pocket park opposite her residence.  Nice.  

Ms. Day was a dedicated supporter of Watts Towers and had 8 children, served on the Watts gang task force. Buscaino said she was a woman who "embraced, a tough yet loving and joyful" way of life. Tough love is code for something...  

Gilbert Cedillo, who has a very cool CD1 challenger, Eunisses Hernandez, is a major name-dropper and on Wednesday he seemed a little off of his game.  

The day before Mr. DeLeon had practically made a sloppy pass at Cedillo, calling out his youthful appearance at (68), "I don't know what you're doing man..."  but wow.  Cedillo blushed.  Martinez blushed.  Rodriguez blushed. Koretz blushed.  

On Wednesday the names were falling out of Cedillo's mouth, like particulate matter from the Oil well adjacent to his street. 

Cedillo described meetings, gatherings, and protests that Jorge "gorgeous" Gonzalez would attend together back in the day, "now we are not activists, but the sage adults."    

Point of order!  "Sir, you're disrupting the meeting." 

"Carol Sobel... Jose Calderon..." Cedillo repeated Father Boyle of Homeboy Industries' name several times.   

There are other people named Jorge, Cedillo said, but only one "the gorgeous" who he called the "consummate chicano lawyer."  

He named many other "people's lawyers" who were "constantly suing us, when we don't do our jobs."   

At one point, some folks thought Strefan Fauble, the deputy city attorney who, like a fussy proctor, guides people back to their agenda item, might interrupt Cedillo and guide him back to the adjournment. 

 "Gorgeous" had a gigantic smile and a personality.  

"Even Black lives matter," he said, was their lawyer.  It was not Cedillo's best work.  Still, RIP "Gorgeous" 

There was no corrective action plan on the Juan Gomez matter that settled without discussion for $265,000. 

A sworn member of LAPD, Officer Juan Gomez was subjected to a pattern of discrimination and harassment based on his Hispanic Heritage and Mexican national origin.  On his first day of work at Topanga division, the lawsuit alleges, as he was walking in, an Officer Graybill drove his vehicle, blocked Gomez's pathway, and asked, "Are you lost?" "Do you work here?"   "Do you have an ID?" "What are you doing here?"    

Graybill's discriminatory comments were aimed at questioning Plaintiff Gomez's legal status on his Mexican origin and appearance.  Other times Graybill would ask if anyone could translate. Again, discriminating against Gomez on the basis of his Spanish accent.  Eventually, Gomez left with acute stress disorder.   

(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)