Thursday, October 1, 2009

City of L.A. LEGAL SHOWDOWN: Dowd & Venice Performers vs Carmen Trutanich's City Attorney Office (Smart Money is on Dowd & Street Performers!)

To: L.A. City Attorney Carmen "Nuch" Trutanich
Fr: Zuma Dogg, Concerned Citizen and City Treasury Protector
Re: Venice Beach Lawsuit(s) and Rocky Delgadillo's sloppy mess (Ordinance 42.15)
Dt: October 1, 2009 (The "I tried to tell you so" Day)

Dear Nuch,

First of all, the stuff mentioned below has to do with a bunch of sloppy legislation left over from Rocky Delgadilldo, and we all know what type of legislator that chump turned out to be. (See "inept Jackass" in Webster's)

And the first time I called to grill you, I mean say, "Hello" and ask you a few questions, early on in your initial campaign, to see what type of candidate you would be, the first thing you told me (and the first thing you mentioned in our YouTube video interview together) is that the City Attorney's office under Rocky Delgadildo had a reputation across town as a defendant who rolls over and settles, way too easily, and basically handed over a good portion of the city's treasury almost by design and on purpose. A real problem we are dealing with now, in budget talks.

HOWEVER, Zuma Dogg also knows that Nuch is also out to protect the city's treasury, and doesn't want to waste money and resources on a "no brainer" (for the plaintiff). In other words, YEAH, you gotta fight on the stuff you know you are right on, and take your chances because you can't be seen as an easy target. But at the same time, Sun-Tzu "Art of War" principals are followed at the same time and you don't want it to backfire when you are in the vulnerable position and can see a losing outcome. (Cut your losses.)

AND AS A CITY HALL WATCH DOGG -- Zuma Dogg is here to warn the City (and City Attorney) as I have every step of the way on everything else that is now playing out in real time (I'll save you the long re-cap list from pension money, to old, outdated DWP infrastructure vs Smart Growth Density, to City headed for bankruptcy if they don't address it, to...oops, wasn't going to list) HERE'S THE NEXT ONE...A BIGGIE! MILLIONS OF DOLLARS BIG!:

The City of L.A. (City Attorney's Office) is going to walk right into a legal buzz saw and end up costing the City of Los Angeles a whole lot more money in the long-run (not so long, actually) and once again, Dowd and Dogg will prove to City Hall that they are either too dumb, or too stubborn and combative for the city's treasury's own good. AND I URGE CITY ATTORNEY CARMEN "NUCH" TRUTANICH TO INVITE DOWD & DOGG OVER TO HIS OFFICE FOR ONE OF THOSE "OPEN DOOR POLICY" MEETINGS SO WE CAN LET HIM KNOW WHAT IS REALLY GOING ON
, since I do not think he is getting good advice from his city attorney handling the matter who doesn't really know enough about the situation, in my opinion. (I was at a meeting today with the City Attorney, over this matter, which is prompting me to post this thread for many reason stated below.)

Well, three and a half years ago (April 4, 2006, but who's counting?), the legendary "Zuma Dogg" appeared in Los Angeles City Council chambers, for the City Council meeting, for the first time, along with Matt Dowd and Michael Hunt (who had already appeared for the previous month, before dragging me into all of this).


It was over "Ordinance" 42.15 at Venice Beach along the Ocean Front Walk ("Board Walk") and new laws that prevented many of the vendors and performers from being able to do, as protected under Federal Law and the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. (Something I have found City Hall is not too familiar with.)

Hunt and Dowd filed a lawsuit regarding some of the issues at the board walk and the way the city was handling the matter. A Federal Judge (Pregerson) ruled IN FAVOR of Hunt/Dowd and the city had to cough up $470,000, last month -- admits this budget crisis, into a FEDERAL ESCROW ACCOUNT, as the city appeals the decision that is almost certain to lose.

Zuma Dogg predicts that a settlement will be reached by BOTH PARTIES (Hunt/Dowd and the City Attorney's Office) by a 9th Circuit Court Mediator. (The Judge wants the parties to settle and does not want to rule.)

If he rules, it will most likely be in favor of Hunt/Dowd, and it will make it worse for the city, and the Judges are bending over backwards to prevent this, but the city is too stubborn and the judges are becoming more impatient and frustrated with the "doesn't have their act together" city. THESE JUDGES DO NOT LIKE LETTING HUNT/DOWD WIN! But they EVENTUALLY END UP RULING IN FAVOR OF THE PLAINTIFFS (the city lost to Carol Soble's ACLU lawsuit a long time ago, but they just wrote the check because it wasn't Hunt/Dowd). But they've lost TWICE, now. And they are going to lose in the 9th, so that's why they are going to settle with Hunt/Dowd for the FULL amount that the jury awarded and is already in escrow ($470,000, plus some more, to make the whole thing go away, including Hunt/Dowd, because if it goes to the Judge again, it's going to be expensive for the city). They just continue to under-estimate Hunt/Dowd, and their tenacity, not realizing they are not going to stop until the city "FIXES": the board walk.


AND TODAY, Zuma Dogg feels the City is about to walk right into another legal buzzsaw and hand it right over to Dowd (Hunt is not on this lawsuit) and the rest of the PERFORMERS on the lawsuit. And this time, it's going to go even WORSE for the city, because the LAST lawsuit that they lost to Hunt/Dowd was over "commercial vending" and although many complain that it IS commercial, Hunt/Dowd were able to argue in court -- AND CONVINCE A JUDGE AND JURY, that the city was wrong and they were right and that it is not commercial.

THIS LAWSUIT BY DOWD & VENICE PERFORMERS is a fundamental, basic FIRST AMENDMENT lawsuit, and is a much clearer "no brainer" to coin an overused phrase from the Council horse shoe.

ZUMA DOGG attended a meeting with Dowd, the other performers on the lawsuit and someone from the City Attorney's office, along with someone from Parks and Rec and an "Investigator" from Nuch's office who was there to keep track of the tone, vibe and overall eye on the people.

Matt Dowd was spokesperson for the 12 performers on the lawsuit and noted that although the city was claiming that the City made the correct amendments to the ordinance and that a judge would rule IN FAVOR of the ordinance...DOWD & DOGG are here to tell you, you should believe US when we tell you that they are wrong and either mis-informed or purposefully being stubborn: EITHER WAY...it is going to cost the city a lot more money. A LOT MORE! (Keep reading to find out why.)

Again, the City Attorney seems to think that the judge will rule IN FAVOR of the new ordinance, which would mean BAD NEWS for the Venice Performers. HOWEVER, Dowd kept referring to the previous lawsuit, where the judge said, "unless you define 'inextricably intertwined," (don't even come back to see me), to paraphrase. Federal Judge Pregerson feels the City's definition of "Inextricably intertwined" is vague.

In the meeting today where the City Attorney announce the City was going to ask the judge to dismiss the lawsuit, facially, Matt Dowd repeatedly asked the City Attorney, "Show us where the ordinance defines "inextricably intertwined." The C.A. kept trying to change the topic, but you would THINK if the city had done that, and the entire case was based on that (defining the overly-vague definition)...he would have held up the document he was referring to that was before everyone in the room and pointed it out and read it a loud.

AND, the City Attorney was only focused on that ONE little element from the overall case that also included other First Amendment violations, like all of Zuma Dogg's public comment violations by City Council, that the attorney did not even mention, or refer to.

I think the city is just running through their mechanical processes that Hunt/Dowd KNOW always ends up backfiring on the city. Because here is a problem for the city, right off the bat, perhaps, and this is just my opinion, and it's one of MANY things I want to bring to Nuch's attention before the City files for a facial dismissal:

YOU CAN NOT FILE FOR A FACIAL DISMISSAL JUST BECAUSE YOU DON'T LIKE A PREVIOUS DECISION AND THINK YOU CAN CHALLENGE IT IN COURT: A FACIAL DISMISSAL IS FOR A TOTAL SCREW UP IN THE LAWSUIT IN THE FIRST PLACE MAKING IT INVALID, OR WHATEVER.

So the judge is going to be mad, right off the bat, and he could just choose to rule (in favor of the plaintiffs) right then and there. (I could be wrong, and this is not the stuff I want to talk to Nuch about, before a decision is made, but it shows how they may be bungling everything, from top to bottom.)

Because the other thing is, the reason the City Attorney met with Dowd and the Venice Performers is because the judge REQUIRES both parties to get together to try and work it out first. BUT, the city attorney told Matt the meeting was to let us know they would be asking for a facial dismissal, he showed up -- not for a discussion toward a goal of remedy, and it wouldn't have mattered WHAT we said, the city attorney's decision had already been made and the city revealed itself as not at all interested in "fixing" the situation for the people of Los Angeles, but to simply use the court system as a bureaucratic hurdle machine to drag things out as long as possible, but it's going to end up costing the city millions and millions more.

IT'S GETTING WORSE AS WE SPEAK: First of all, Matt is talking about simply filing an injunction and then THE ENTIRE ORDINANCE IS OFF AND IT'S BACK TO EVERYTHING AND ANYTHNIG GOES UNTIL A JUDGE RULES. (And Zuma Dogg predicts a ruling AGAINST the city's general fund.)

Racketeering Amendment: Since the city attorney was so hard-headed and stubborn and his ears weren't working, only his mouth, and since he lied and said the private investigator was his "assistant," instead of being truthful when asked about the position of a city employee attending a city meeting:

Zuma Dogg was not happy to hear that the Judge Pregerson told the city to fix the performer's space situation, and Rocky's office felt that meant REDUCING the amount of performers spaces from 12 to 7 spaces. Remember Zuma Dogg and Matt warned the city during the council meeting on the record that this was creating a hostile environment for performers and someone DID eventually get stabbed over it all?

WELL, when that was brought up in the meeting, that sounded like "RACKETEERING" to Zuma Dogg (and others in the room agreed), because the city just went and sold an unlimited (non-fixed amount) of licenses to performers to perform in the spaces at the same time they restricted things...AND reduced the number of spaces. So all agree the lawsuit needs to be amended to include "racketeering" since the city KNOWINGLY continued to sell permits to people, knowing people were getting stabbed and it was overly crowded since they reduced the number of spaces.

I DON'T THINK NUCH HAS HAD TIME TO UNDERSTAND THE PAST THREE YEARS OF HISTORY AND THE PEOPLE INVOLVED DON'T EVEN SEEM TO KNOW WHAT THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT BASED ON WHAT I HEARD TODAY BASED ON WHAT I HAVE LEARNED OVER THE PAST THREE AND A HALF YEARS, SPECIALIZING IN THIS TOPIC WITH MATT (WHO HAS SPECIALIZED IN IT MORE THAN ANYONE ELSE IN THE CITY AND HAS ALREADY BEATEN THE CITY IN A MUCH TOUGHER CASE THAT MERELY PAVED THE WAY FOR THIS CASE).

So save a few million and have ZD and Dowd let you know what WE are seeing happen here and THEN make your decision.

I've said all along, the city would rather declare bankruptcy than have to write a check to Hunt/Dowd or Dowd/Venice Performers (even though they had no problem paying ACLU's Carol Sobel.) Hope they don't go bankrupt trying to prove that point.

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