Tue, Apr

Ed Boks is Out of a Job … Again


THE GUSS REPORT-Government officials, including Mayors of Los Angeles, hate firing executives who they hired because it shows they exercised poor judgement and that their staffers were unable to run interference, try as they might, to protect the insular City Hall culture. 

That was especially true when it came to Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and his 2005 hiring of Ed Boks to run LA Animal Services. Three and a half years later, Boks “resigned” with a superficial glowing letter of appreciation from Villaraigosa signed just prior to the city settling a $130,000 sexual harassment lawsuit leveled against the city and Boks, which was the real final straw of Boks’ tumultuous tenure here. True to form, the LA Times’ glossed over that in its 2009 Boks autopsy. 

Boks has resigned “effective immediately” from his most recent gig running the tiny Yavapai Humane Society in Prescott, Arizona, which was an enormous fall in prestige, visibility and income from his days in LA and, prior to that, New York City. 

Boks lost his brief pre-Los Angeles job running New York City Animal Care and Control due in large part to a racial discrimination suit and a tenure described by New York Magazine in truthful and less than glowing terms. “So what happened? Animal workers unanimously point to former Animal Care and Control director Ed Boks, who served from 2003 to 2005: One alliance member sniped, “Boks’s programs had catchy names, but they had no substance and weren’t sustainable.” 

That is how Laura Beth Heisen, a former LAAS Commissioner, Chair of the City’s Spay/Neuter Committee, MBA and prosecutor remembers Boks’ time in LA. “At his first Commission meeting after just two weeks as General Manager he announced that euthanasia was down by 25%. After two weeks when nothing of any substance had changed? I knew at that moment that it would be all about hype.” 

Just as Villaraigosa kicked Boks to the curb, voluntarily or otherwise, in 2009, his media flack and prospective City Councilmember Matt Szabo falsely told the public, "Under (Boks’) leadership, this City has revamped the way we treat and care for our pets and animals. The ‘no kill’ policy has become a central component of our animal services strategy. Pet adoptions are up and shelters have expanded at a rapid rate. And ‘spay and neuter’ has become more than just a call to action; it is the law in Los Angeles.” 

As I showed in my recent CityWatch article, seven years later, despite claims by Mayor Eric Garcetti, “No Kill is a joke in LA,” as is the porous spay/neuter law and the false claim that “adoptions are up.” 

In an upcoming CityWatch article, I will show, with Heisen’s help, how Garcetti’s minions knowingly falsified 8,807 pet adoptions when those animals were merely moved from cages in one city-owned building to another -- with the deceptive help of City Controller Ron Galperin, City Council President Herb Wesson and current LAAS management and commissioners.

To date, Garcetti and company do not know where those animals are, whether they are alive and have yet to give a public explanation about their false adoption claims.


(Daniel Guss, MBA, is a contributor to CityWatchLA, KFI AM-640, Huffington Post, Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Daily News, Los Angeles Business Journal, Los Angeles Magazine and others. He blogs on humane issues at http://ericgarcetti.blogspot.com/.) Edited for CityWatch by Linda Abrams.

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