Tue, May

Deficient Staffing


ERIC PREVEN’S NOTEBOOK - Public Comment:  I am from Children's Defense Fund California. Board of Supervisors, your constituents have stood in front of you for months saying over and over, that your current funding of probation and incarceration is going to lead to tragedy. And sadly that day has come. And I can't imagine how you sleep at night. Knowing you have funded the department responsible. You have refused to fund anything else.  

Your CEO is proposing funding for an unspecified amount for the walls and the physical structures of jails and halls. On top of the 50 million, you allocated 6 last year. The walls of these halls did not sexually assault 300 young people. The room layouts in these halls did not create $3 billion of liability for you and this county. The structural layouts of these halls did not lead to the community losing a beloved son yesterday. Individual probation officers did that. Cut their vacant positions. Cut their salaries. Cut their positions altogether. That's what the community has demanded. It is the least you can do. 

Disappointing that Sheriff Luna announced that he was shocked that there was not a data system in the jail that would allow deputies to track the whereabouts of both deputies and inmates in real-time.  Shocked? This was an awkward transition to his next big ask, which is for a bulk buy to replenish the county’s stock of Tasers. Tasers are not the secret to the homeless crisis… 

Sheriff Luna: Department currently has insufficient Tasers. The majority of which are outdated and out of warranty. The lack of less lethal options requires additional liability and we are requesting a multiyear rollout of Tasers in patrol. 

Sup. Lindsay Horvath: I hear you making a request for Tasers. You intend them to be a less lethal tool but I have a lot of reservations given what happened in my district earlier this year and the use of Tasers that ultimately resulted in the killing of someone in my district. Does the sheriff's department intend to have a Taser policy and what is going to guide the use of Tasers if that is something that the department intends? 


 Sheriff Luna: Yes. We will absolutely -- we have currently a Taser policy like many of our other policies, I'm looking at it to make sure it's adequate. I'm making sure that it again not only meets but exceeds national standards. I want to make sure that not only is there a well-defined policy but there is training attached to it and then accountability. How are we holding people accountable? Some of the options that we’re working on not only deal with the equipment and the best equipment to fill our needs but the policy, training, and accountability that goes with it.  

Smart Speaker:  I wanted to talk about these unfilled positions, it's outrageous, and thanks to Supervisor Horvath for drawing attention to the fact that the public is not excited to be moving forward with Tasers. Are you kidding me? Google Reuters Taser Death. This has been brought up and, Sheriff Luna, one thing you could remove from the policy manual is arcing a Taser in a threatening manner. That’s where the deputy sparks it and… I had to debate this with command staff some years ago and I thought we’d agreed to remove it on the grounds that it was barbaric and inhumane. Naturally, they did nothing. So let me simply say no more Tasers in LA County.  We have a different approach, here. Okay?  Thank you.


LA County by Lyle Lovett 

She left Dallas for California

With an old friend by her side

Well he did not say much

But one year later

He'd ask her to be his wife


And the lights of L.A. County

Look like diamonds in the sky

When you're driving through the hours

With an old friend at your side


One year later I left Houston

With an old friend by my side

Well it did not say much

But it was a beauty

Of a coal black .45


And the lights of L.A. County

Look like diamonds in the sky

When you're driving through the hours

With an old friend at your side


So I drove on all the day long

And I drove on through the night

And I thought of her a'waiting

For to be his blushing bride


And the lights of L.A. County

They looked like diamonds in the sky

As I drove into the valley

With my old friend at my side


And as she stood there at the altar

All dressed in her gown of white

Her face was bright as stars a'shining

Like I'd dreamed of all my life


And they kissed each other

And they turned around

And they saw me standing in the aisle

Well I did not say much

I just stood there watching

As that .45 told them goodbye


And the lights of L.A. County

Look like diamonds in the sky

When you're kneeling at the altar

With an old friend at your side


And the lights of L.A. County

Are a mighty pretty sight

When you're kneeling at the altar

With an old friend at your side


Sup. Janice Hahn, Chair: thank you.


Stabilize This: 

Dear, Fauble 

Re: RSO Price and Krekorian recusals: 

Cc: [email protected][email protected], David Michaelson, Mayor Karen Bass  Wed, May 10 at 12:00 PM

Item 25 on Wednesday's City Council agenda caused the council to recess to Closed Session, to discuss the case entitled David Kagan v. City of Los Angeles, Supreme Court of the United States Case No. 22-739. This matter involves the discussion of ongoing litigation against the City's private landlords who were prohibited from evicting a “protected status” tenant from one half of a Los Angeles duplex to regain the unit for family use. 

Please provide the list of property addresses or parcels that have allegedly caused Curren D. Price and Paul Krekorian, to recuse themselves from the vote on item 25.   

Without the applicable address or parcel number we are unable to check Zimas to confirm RSO status. Rent Stabilization Ordinance (“ RSO ”)   

Search Address Here.  

Eric Preven


County Vacancies: 

Jeffrey Prang was up In Sacramento advocating to preserve old records. Janice Hahn remarked during the budget hearing that it was old records that led to the return of the Bruce’s Beach property which was hailed as a step toward righting the wrongs inflicted by systemic racism. Never mind that the family sold the property back to LA County for $20 million, a fire sale price.

Some of the intangible costs associated with job vacancies include loss of experience and knowledge of former employees.  Lower morale in the workplace. It also increases overtime costs for the employers.  Additional stress on the remaining workers who are required to take on different roles and responsibilities. 

I’d requested a special study on the total number of the ordinance, budgeted, and filled positions and the county produced this chart. It’s a slight pain so I’ve extracted what you want to know.  

The Sheriff is looking to fill 2225 vacancies, about half sworn officers, and half civilian personnel. The Department of Public Social Services, known as DPSS needs 543 folks to step into vacancies. The Aging department has 163 empty seats while Weights and Measures need about half as many positions filled, with 88 budgeted but still vacant positions.

I’ve always said, Beaches and Harbors is a money machine, so get the 34 vacancies while they’re still hot.  These are waterfront gigs, and they are the department that help manage the astronomical, but not high enough, county $RENT$ for land in the Marina.  You can still see wildlife down by Ballona and there are impeccable ethics from Supervisors and Mr. Prang, the assessor, and before that the Supervisors and Mr.Noguez. 

County Counsel is also at sea, with the alleged $1.6B - $3B liability.  That’s a lot to process when you have 75 vacant slots for angling lawyers. Nobody likes bad legal advice, except, apparently, the Supervisors. 

I say if you don’t like the first opinion you get, get a second opinion. 

DCFS, needs eleven-hundred ninety-one 1191 people to come aboard the deeply worrisome Department of Children and Family Services. 

Consumer Affairs has to fill 30 vacancies and both Animal Care and... (Neglect) and the CEO herself, are looking for 60 employees, each.  Them CEOs can make bank, FYI!

The Auditor-Controller needs a smoove 99 vacancies filled.  And Jeffrey Prang, the elected county assessor, who is very very very clean, could re-assess and find room for 102  vacancies. Even the Treasurer tax collector, is down 111 little collectors. 

If we weren’t trying so hard to defund the probation department it would not be surprising to hear that they could use 1,075 people. 1,075 budgeted, but vacant positions. Daily News: “Staffing remains at deficient levels and there is no indication that the remaining aspects of the plan could be timely implemented so that the facilities would come into compliance by June 12, 2023.”

Dean Logan of the Registrar-Recorder County Clerk would be very happy to fill  28 positions, but we’ve come to question his math as his department claimed a special election in LA City, CD10 would cost 8 million dollars which seems +30% of what we'd thought based on prior estimates. 

Regional planning is looking to sit, another 23. And if public works is your favorite department, as it is Janice Hahn's, they could use 633 guys, gals or what have yous, in boots and on the ground.

The Library is where Skye Patrick reigns supreme, but who knew she did everything she does, with a deficit of 217 library workers?  Why?

With Parks and Recs it’s always tricky because they hire a lot of seasonal people, but 695 vacancies is a lot no matter how you cut the grass.   

It’s not twelve hundred thirty-seven 1237 Public Health workers, but still quite robust.  

If it’s true that the public defender needs 155 positions and the alternate public defender needs 60, could this be contributing to the case overload?  

You know what’s really crazy, the Mental Health Department needs to find 1,778 people.  

No, boo’ing please, " raise the roof.” 

Karen Foshay made a short film that is under five minutes, as part of the Hear Me Out series about, Nicholas Melillo, who spent more than two years trying to get a homeless friend into housing. The process made him wonder how anyone can get help.   

Important Five Minute "Hear Me Out" 

Everybody Hurts:

Congrats to our friends at @latimes on winning the @PulitzerPrizes  

Among the journalists honored:  @boreskes  @sherlyholmes  @DavidZahniser   @GustavoArellano  @Erika_D_Smith  @steveclowLA 

Among the great journalists NOT honored, @JonnyPeltz  who posted the audio  @KnockDotLA  that led to the temporary implosion at the Temple of Hypocrisy  @LACityCouncil


A reader who frequently attacks the LA Times writes:  "Peltz should get a Pulitzer, too.  He and his colleagues @knock had a lengthy article with all the clips linked and a huge presentation. 

That is what Angelenos were doing, KNX was reading him.  His audio... He did more than the five LA Times reporters. His first article was driving the LA Times to come forward...they were trying to catch up to Peltz, who finally gave them legal cover to release the audio...  The release of the audio clips is what rocked the world. 


Serious questions have resurfaced about mental health at super high achievement academies like Harvard Westlake.   

Disclosure: Julia Wick may have attended HW so should step away from coverage. 

One area that is worth probing, if not by Wick, perhaps by another of the brave Pulitzer Prize winners is the speed by which Harvard Westlake dropped their DEIR to destroy Studio City’s iconic publicly accessible golf amenity. 

A Notice of Public Hearing & Availability of Final Environmental Impact Report with a call-in option, has been selected.

The timing was pushed a week from May 31 to June 7, but locals are furious that Edgar Khalatian, Mayer Brown, LLP who knows that many in the community are legitimately opposed to this appalling project, need and are entitled to, more time to analyze the DEIR.  

What a dick, as we used to say, out on the links!  

“You are receiving this notice because you live or own property that is on-site within 500 feet of where a project application has benefited with the Department of City Planning or you signed up. “    

500 feet? 

That needs to change, Mr. Bertoni, and you know it.  Once you finish celebrating the Hollywood and South LA Plan.  

The FINAL Harvard Westlake EIR will be released on Wednesday, May 24th. The Planning Department had the nerve to call a hearing ONE WEEK LATER and then have it decided by the City Planning Commission on Thursday, June 22.  Pffft.  

Hopefully, Nithya Raman, a council member from CD4, who has the right to assert jurisdiction in this space or just request nicely, will advocate for at least six weeks instead of ONE week between the EIR release and the initial hearing.  

And at least ten weeks between the EIR release and the City Planning Commission Hearing.   

Hopefully, the Pulitzer Prize-winning geniuses are watching Khalatian like a hawk. 


(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)