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Tue, Jul

Wanted: Culture Repair Team

ERIC PREVEN'S NOTEBOOK

ERIC PREVEN’S NOTEBOOK - The board of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California voted to place General Manager Adel Hagekhalil on leave last week while the agency investigates accusations of harassment against him by the agency’s chief financial officer.   

Chief Financial Officer Katano Kasaine made the allegations in a confidential letter to the board, which was leaked and published by Politico. She accused Hagekhalil of harassing and retaliating against her for speaking out about concerns over the budget process and creating a hostile and dysfunctional work environment.  She said there is a “shadow leadership team with highly paid consultants and aides.” Hagekhalil told Politico that he treats everyone in his office with respect and no one is mistreated.  

Hagekhalil previously worked for the city of Los Angeles leading programs focusing on sewers and streets. He was appointed MWD's general manager in 2021 after a bitter power struggle among board members. 

In one five-hour meeting in November of 2021, at which Paul Krekorian was self-identifying as a windbag seeking leave from iron-fisted President Nury Martinez to cross-examine Hagelkalil, an Alarm went off. 

Eency Weency:

The County has a tiny agenda so found the time to add one item to the green sheet on Friday: The presentation of scroll to Los Angeles County Democratic Party Chair Emeritus Mark Gonzalez, for his dedicated service and support for the LGBTQ+ community during “Pride Month.” 

Smart Speaker:  Interesting, I wonder if his status as major party boss -- forget it! Looks good!   

Over at the City on Tuesday's agenda, there is an item authorizing the Council President (Paul Krekorian CD2), in instances where the Council President's signature is required, to delegate to the relevant Council Committee Chair the ability to sign documents on behalf of the Council President.  Lovely.  I have lots of questions about that. I assume it is about Krekorian flying around at taxpayer expense, pretending to be working for the Olympics, as he runs out the clock on his term.  The point is he will be AWOL but doesn't want the work to bog down.  lol 

On June 23, the city will be applying an anti-graffiti coating to the registered Tongva mural on the side of Fire Station #60 on Tujunga, near the YMCA in North Hollywood.  Mr. Krekorian and Heather Hutt (CD10) are moving what they allege is LADOT "requesting a motion to suspend parking fees and enforcement."   There will be no issue with the City's special even subsidy policy for allowing temporary parking in this lot.  

Smart Speaker:  Obviously! Thanks. 

 

No word on a proposed ban banning candidates from getting scroll from other electeds during campaigns.

 

The concept of banning and the use of prohibitions have evolved over centuries, rooted in the Old English term "ban," which originally meant "to summon" or "proclaim," and later transformed to mean "curse" and "prohibit." In modern usage, banning is synonymous with boycotting, prohibiting, and censoring, often implemented to protect public safety or morality. However, the efficacy and fairness of these bans are frequently debated.   

Recent political discourse showcases various proposed bans, such as banning cellphones in LAUSD classrooms and prohibiting masks on the New York subway to help police identify perpetrators of hate crimes. These measures reflect the ongoing struggle to balance public safety with individual freedoms.   

A notable development in the realm of bans is the recent Supreme Court decision overturning Congress's attempt to ban bump stocks. This ruling underscores the complexities and challenges of implementing prohibitions, particularly when they impinge on constitutional rights.   

The rise in bans at all government levels parallels the reported increase in hate crimes, illustrating the reactive nature of policymakers. However, bans often lead to unintended consequences, as evidenced by the persistence of behaviors they aim to curtail, like the illegal use of fireworks despite strict regulations.   

Politicians frequently leverage bans to consolidate their voter base, but these measures can backfire, leading to more entrenched resistance among the public. The introduction of exemptions, such as the motion related to the subsidy policy for the Tongva mural, allowing City funds for temporary or validated parking, reveals the inherent contradictions and the sneaky flexibility within the city's banning culture.  

Ultimately, while bans and prohibitions serve as tools for politicians to address perceived societal issues, their effectiveness is questionable. Human nature’s resistance to losing freedoms often undermines these efforts, leading to a continuous cycle of banning and evasion, rather than genuine behavioral change. 

Be sure to enjoy Independence Day without Fireworks.  Monica Rodriguez recommends a drone show!  

Ban On Culture Creators:

Democratic insider, Jay Carson disillusioned with politics turned to Hollywood, where he became a producer on “House of Cards” and the creator of “The Morning Show.”  During the pandemic, he became friends with Robert F. Kennedy Jr. — whose campaign he is now helping to steer.   

He told the New York Times, “The system in Washington is broken, and Americans know it,” he went on. “It’s not Joe Biden’s fault, but it’s not fixable in four years. And I don’t think you can fix it if you’re a creature of the culture that created it.” 

Smart Speaker:  That’s a diss.  

His candidate, RFK, Jr. is not likely to make the cut to participate in the June 27th presidential debate. It’s not about fundraising, it’s about how many potential electoral votes he could get. Candidates need to potentially get 270 to qualify, and people say RFK Jr. can’t get there. 

Nevertheless, the 90-minute debate will be televised on CNN. There will be no opening statements.  President Biden and former President Donald J. Trump will each have two minutes to answer questions — followed by one-minute rebuttals and responses to the rebuttals. Red lights visible to the candidates will flash when they have five seconds left and turn solid red when time has expired. And each man’s microphone will be muted when it is not his turn to speak. 

The candidates will get a breather during two commercial breaks, according to debate rules provided by CNN to the campaigns and reviewed by The New York Times, but they will be barred from huddling with advisers while off the air. 

Smart Speaker:  Council members should be barred from cavorting with lobbyists during public meetings. 

LA City Recess Schedule: 


Wednesday is Juneteenth, but no recess, so Paul Krekorian canceled the meeting, just the same. Thx.

 

Hostile Friday:

Smart Speaker:  Yeah it's Eric Preven from Studio City California. I’d like to speak on the available items and a general public comment.  

Paul Krekorian, Council District 2, chair:  Its general public comment right now Mr. Preven. One minute.  

Smart Speaker:  Right but I was in the queue for ten and eleven 

Paul Krekorian, Council District 2, chair:  Start his time.  

Smart Speaker:  Thank you, I’ll go on. I was in the queue for ten and eleven, a vacation of city property, which is one of the ways that they circled in on Jose Huizar, cuz they saw that he was twisting people’s arms who needed street vacations to get them to donate to Richelle’s campaign and now Paul Krekorian won’t let me speak on that because you will take care of any governance reform all by his big self. 

By the way, we witnessed you pushing everyone - almost all the speakers — off the items. Rather appalling. Mr Krekorian, we know you’re basically termed out and heading for the door, but putting the entire city council under great pressure and disgrace is not cool… the more you persist, the harder it will be to forget … what you’ve done.  We all witnessed what you did to all of the speakers on items 10 and 11 today.  Very very very bad.    So, I would just encourage you to remember why the State legislature created ye olde Brown Act.

Incidentally, your early bird eight-thirty in the morning governance meeting was a real doozy.  All of the council members in attendance slicing and dicing the council rules as part of a massive self-review.  Frankly, the people prefer independent reviews.  

On a brighter note, Los Angeles is certainly among the leading American cities, when it comes to municipal corruption. There is no big city in American like it.  Chicago used to be a market leader with robust corruption bonafides, but when it comes to shutting down public speakers and misleading the public. You, sir, are the new market leader.  

Spring Dodger Haiku  

Paul dazzles Shohei

Because he does not know how

Corrupt City Hall is. 

Smart Speaker:  Seriously, sort of an evil genius, sir.  Introducing Shohei Otani while pretending all is honorable and upright at City Hall is inspiring.  Where the hell are Yaroslavsky and Hernandez and Mr. Soto-Martinez? 

Paul Krekorian, Council District 2, chair: Thanks very much. 

 

To Whom It May Confirm: 

From: [email protected] Theintercept.com 

To: [email protected] Cc: [email protected] , Paul Krekorian , Karo Torossian , David Michaelson , Strefan Fauble , [email protected] , George Gascón 

Fri, Jun 14 at 11:40 AM  

Subject: Clear as Day - Blocked despite being in Cue - Cure and Correct 

I raised my hand diligently and timely and despite that Mr. Krekorian gave the impression that there were no speakers. I have evidence.  Please take comments as is required on items 10 and 11.  Also, nearly $20M of settlements on the agenda is a motive for blocking me as I have been writing about the city's policies re: settlement and handling of legal suits. Cure and correct this egregious violation.   

Eric Preven 

#mobile

 

Smart Speaker: As for the legal settlements, Holy crap!  

Open, Not Closed, No Comments, 18 million in Settlements:

Claims Board Attendees REDACTED 

I have to admit I am creeped out about how it is possible that an agendized meeting of the City Claims Board that took place on June 3rd, was a "no names" meeting.  We in the public expect murky low-lit meetings with sneaky attorneys avoiding the light of day but when a diligent member of the public asks, "Please identify yourselves before voting on items that are heading for a council vote" the only appropriate response is to identify by name who attended the meeting under whose delegated authority.  In this case, delegated by the Mayor [Karen Bass], the City Attorney [Hydee Feldstein-Soto, and the President of the City Council [Paul Krekorian].  

From: [email protected]

Date: Wed, Jun 5, 2024 at 12:26 PM 

Subject: Fw: 06/03/2024 02:00 PM - Claims Board Agenda 

To: [email protected] <[email protected]>   

Hi, Margarit: 

Please provide the names that served on the claims board on June 3, 2024, an who appointed who.  And any reportable actions. Thank you.  \ 

Eric Preven 

#mobile

 

----- Forwarded Message ----- 

From: Frank Mateljan <[email protected]

To: ERIC PREVEN <[email protected]

Sent: Thursday, June 13, 2024 at 09:11:30 AM PDT 

Subject: Fwd: Fw: 06/03/2024 02:00 PM - Claims Board Agenda   

Mr Preven,  Please see the Claims Board agenda from 6/3 attached as responsive to your request dated June 5, 2024. The document should reflect the appointing authorities.   

We do not have any responsive records that reflect who was serving as CB members at that meeting.   

There were no reportable actions from that day.    

best regards,

Frank Mateljan  

 

The Council was all set to recess to Closed Session, pursuant to Government Code Section No. 54956.9(d)(1), to confer with its legal counsel relative to the case entitled Argelia Alvarado, et al. v. City of Los Angeles, Los Angeles Superior Court Case No. 21STCV27837. The matter arose from a September 26, 2020, incident involving injuries caused by a dog bite. 

Instead of any discussion of the case, or corrective actions, the clerk simply read the settlement terms into the record.  Presumably the terms were discussed in the claims board by ... [we don't know!] 

Argelia Alvarado, 74, will receive up to $7,500,000 in a settlement approved by the Los Angeles City Council after her severe mauling by a pit bull named O’Gee, adopted from the city’s East Valley Animal Shelter by her son in 2020. The dog, previously involved in a biting incident, was placed for adoption without proper disclosure of its history, as alleged in Alvarado’s lawsuit citing negligence. The attack left her with one arm amputated and the other severely injured, leading to permanent disability. The lawsuit highlighted failures by shelter staff to notify the adopter of O’Gee’s aggressive behavior as required by law. O’Gee was euthanized post-incident. This settlement follows concerns over shelter safety, exacerbated by a recent severe dog attack on an Animal Services employee. The city’s Animal Services Department acknowledged overcrowding issues endangering both staff and animals, prompting calls for reform amid ongoing legal and safety challenges within Los Angeles shelters.

NOTE: The OTHER attack on the Animal Services employee will result in ANOTHER large payout.  

The Council was also set to recess to Closed Session to confer with its legal counsel relative to the case entitled Alex Aguilar, Jr., et al. v. City of Los Angeles, et al., United States District Court Case No: 2:17-CV-0438 2 CBM (MRWx) and United States Court of Appeal for the 9th Circuit Case Nos: 23-55328; 23-55386.  The matter arose from an incident involving members of the Los Angeles Police Department on June 9, 2016.   

The incident involved Medina, an LAPD officer, deploying a Taser five times in repetition on Aguilar, resulting in Aguilar's death. The LAPD conducted an investigation, concluding that Medina's use of force violated department policy.  However, during the trial, expert defense testimony from James Katopodis suggested Medina's actions aligned with LAPD policy, creating confusion over whether the force used was objectively reasonable under § 1983 standards. 

The district court erroneously excluded LAPD Findings under Rules 407 and 403, which were retrospective and relevant to officer conduct under LAPD policy.  The Ninth Circuit found this exclusion an abuse of discretion, as it prevented jurors from understanding LAPD's stance. This likely tainted the jury's verdict on whether officers' actions were reasonable under § 1983. The case was remanded for a new trial, highlighting the need for balanced evidence presentation regarding police conduct and policy compliance. 

The parties agreed to settle at $5,780,000.     

And finally, a complaint alleging dangerous condition of public property and inverse condemnation in connection with a sewer backup incident at 140 Homewood Road, Los Angeles California in CD1 was resolved. The parties agreed to settle at $200,000.\ 

The three cases above, were heard by the Claims Board but Frank said, there was reportable action.  

Several other matters were pushed out the door in settlement on Friday without discussion.  

A matter arising from an incident involving members of the Los Angeles Police Department on March 19, 2021, in Los Angeles, California. In Nathan Rocky Glover v. City of Los Angeles, filed in the US District Court for the Central District of California, Glover sued the city, Alejandro Higareda, Juan Aguila, and others. The lawsuit involves sensitive materials like personnel files and investigative records sought by Glover, which the defendants argue should be confidential under California and federal law to prevent public disclosure and misuse outside the litigation.   

The parties, represented by their attorneys, jointly requested a Protective Order from the court. This order aims to regulate the handling of confidential information during discovery, outlining restrictions on its disclosure to third parties and procedures for challenging confidentiality designations. The defendants contend that unrestricted disclosure could compromise ongoing disciplinary processes and prejudice the rights of the parties involved.   

Overall, the Protective Order sought to balance the need for efficient information exchange with the safeguarding of sensitive materials to ensure a fair and lawful litigation process.  The case settled without discussion $2,250,000. 

(13) 24-0253 The Council may recess to Closed Session, pursuant to Government Code Section No. 54956.9(d)(1), to confer with its legal counsel relative to the case entitled Christian Pineda v. City of Los Angeles, et al., United States District Court Case No. CV21-06470-CBM-ASx. (This matter arises from an incident involving members of the Los Angeles Police Department that occurred on May 29, 2020.)  $1,206,712 

(19) 24-0439 The Council may recess to Closed Session, pursuant to Government Code Section No. 54956.9(d)(1), to confer with its legal counsel relative to the case entitled Becca Standt v. City of Los Angeles, et al., United States District Court Case No. 2:21-CV-09381-FLA-JPRx. (This matter arises from an incident involving members of the Los Angeles Police Department on March 25, 2021.) $1,000,000 

(17) 24-0525 The Council may recess to Closed Session, pursuant to Government Code Section No. 54956.9(d)(1), to confer with its legal counsel relative to the case entitled Fahren James v. City of Los Angeles, et al., United States District Court Case No. 2:21-CV-04525-CBM-AS. (This matter arises from an incident involving members of the Los Angeles Police Department that occurred on May 30, 2020.  $500,000 

(18) 23-1448 The Council may recess to Closed Session, pursuant to Government Code Section No. 54956.9(d)(1), to confer with its legal counsel relative to the case entitled Zeeshan H. Khan, et al. v. City of Los Angeles, et al., United States District Court Case: CV21-03289 CAS. (This matter arises from an incident involving members of the Los Angeles Police Department that occurred on August 21, 2020.)  $250,000

 

(Eric Preven is a longtime community activist and is a contributor to CityWatch. )