Tue, Apr

Garcetti’s Office Rats, LA Times Snoozing and Newsom’s Nightmare


@THE GUSS REPORT-Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti on Saturday finally scrubbed down fetid conditions surrounding LA City Hall that led to a rat and flea infestation believed to have sparked a recent typhus outbreak. 

Two catalysts may have forced the smugly grinning alcalde into action. 

One is a February 7 work order from his office manager acknowledging that the rats set up camp in Garcetti’s City Hall office suite. Countdown to the LA Times not crediting this column for that nugget in 3…2…1… 

Perhaps the rats have a travelogue which promoted Garcetti’s office as conveniently located near the footbridge connecting LA City Hall and City Hall East. A road-weary rodent and the fleas riding shotgun on them can grab a bite to eat in his office, relieve themselves and catch some Zzzz’s after taking in the sights where developers with satchels of cash study Gentrification and Other Political Lies 101. 

The other catalyst may be Garcetti’s need to show California Governor Gavin Newsom that he isn’t as incompetent a potential interim replacement for Senator Dianne Feinstein as a medieval disease outbreak in 2019 suggests. 

With Garcetti’s predictable lack of transparency, his staff attorneys indicate that other documents are being withheld. My records request pertaining to Garcetti’s office rats yielded just a single page. 

Still, the rat problem isn’t going away since homeless camps re-emerged late Saturday night. 

When is a Settled Lawsuit Unsettled? 

The LA Times’ Dakota Smith reported last week that the whistleblower lawsuit filed by civic hero and retired LAFD good guy John Vidovich was settled for $800,000. 


As of Monday morning, a full seven days later, the case remains unsettled. This is what happens from Smith once again failing to reach out to Vidovich. 

Make no mistake, City Council voted to approve the settlement. But Smith reported it as a done deal, skipping over a current, major disconnect between the City Attorney’s office and the plaintiff. This happens when elected officials rubber stamp agenda items without knowing WT-blank is going on.

If the City doesn’t get this deal done toot-sweet, it could cost taxpayers millions at trial. Whenever it is brought to fruition, the insider corruption story will be told in this column, not the LA Times. Garcetti will be proven as retaliatory, dishonest and turning a blind-eye to documented LAFD corruption. 

Paging Gavin Newsom and the FBI… 

By the by, LAFD’s Peter Sanders and Cheryl Getuiza are withholding public records. Must I really publish the specifics, including disappearing evidence of deliberate fire inspector fraud? 

No Evidence (Yet) of Official’s Alleged Domestic Skirmish 

Whispered in local circles and some news rooms is whether a well-known Los Angeles political figure was involved in a domestic skirmish on or about February 15 involving LAPD’s Metro Division, the unit which oversees special security issues. 

February 15 in this instance might mean the first few hours after a boozy Valentine’s Day. And the other person may (or may not) be the official’s known significant other. 

LAPD higher ups deny knowledge of any such incident, which may involve a citation (as opposed to an arrest) of which the LAPD’s carbon copy was “lost.” 

And we always believe what the LAPD says. 

Don’t we? 

These smack of the case where LA City Councilmember Jose Huizar caused a rear-end crash that in 2014 was settled with the plaintiff getting $185,000 after his attorney, Humberto Guizar, publicly asserted that the LAPD waited 2.5 hours before administering a Breathalyzer on Huizar. Might the same police ‘courtesy’ be at-play in the supposed V-Day incident? 

And Lastly, a Nightmare Scenario for LA 

Is Senator Dianne Feinstein resigning at the end of 2019? Imagine a frightening scenario in which Governor Gavin Newsom appoints Garcetti to serve in DiFi’s seat until he can run as an incumbent.  Time is running out for Garcetti in LA, he isn’t running for POTUS, which I predicted was an attention-seeking ruse from the get-go, plus he needs a gig. 

Bad enough, right? 

That would mean Herb Wesson becomes acting Mayor until he can run as incumbent if he ditches his bid for LA County Supervisor. Wesson is capable of serving as Mayor. But any politician who suppresses free speech; puts the majority of his family in government jobs raking in a collective $800,000 per year plus benefits; and with an FBI investigation that is a pebble’s toss from hitting Wesson, Newsom shouldn’t tap the dominoes resulting in Wesson being forced on all of LA, when he has failed to fix our problems, and many made others worse during his tenure. 

But there’s worse. 

After Wesson, City Council’s other 14 seats are occupied by disdainful Councilmembers who never show independence or large-scale problem-solving results. Should Wesson exit to become Mayor or Supervisor, the city’s policy making responsibility would likely fall to one Nury Martinez, of trash-strewn Van Nuys, as the historic first female City Council president. But history or not, Martinez is weak on policy and is still under FBI scrutiny for alleged campaign finance shenanigans. 

You can bank on Martinez, if she were to ascend to Council president, appointing Wesson’s controversial son Justin to fill his father’s seat until even he runs as incumbent. But as this column exclusively showed, the younger Wesson misused his parents’ home address as his own for a decade, presumably to establish a false “residency” for a possible future campaign. He also voted illegally in dozens of elections. That is, unless you believe that this 36-year old married man lived with his parents while his pregnant wife and their now newborn son live 15 miles away in South Pasadena. 

Those circumstances as well as the deeply documented case of bigamy, fraud and perjury by Councilmember Curren Price are both presently being investigated by the LA District Attorney’s office Public Integrity Division. 

That said, imagine Garcetti, Wesson, Martinez and the younger Wesson all gaining power without an election. 

Now that’s a nightmare. 

Yep. LA’s in good hands, alright.


(Daniel Guss, MBA, is a member of the Los Angeles Press Club, and has contributed to CityWatch, KFI AM-640, Huffington Post, Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Daily News, Los Angeles Magazine, Movieline Magazine, Emmy Magazine, Los Angeles Business Journal and elsewhere. Follow him on Twitter @TheGussReport. Join his mailing list or offer verifiable tips and story ideas at [email protected]. His opinions are his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of CityWatch.) Prepped for CityWatch by Linda Abrams.


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