Thursday, December 25, 2008

The High Cost of Doing Nothing Part II

More Law Breaking and Wasting of Your Tax Dollars or "Dollars and Nonsense"

Recently, the L.A. Daily News began a series of articles on City salaries increasing, while our Mayor increases fees and other tid-bits for City Services and cries, "The City is broke!" Armed with the results of their Public Records request to Laura Chick, City Controller, the Daily News has given the People of Los Angeles a Christmas present in a year of tough financial times for all of us: a searchable database of City employees salaries. That's right! You can now see how much you're paying these folks to run your City. Try it. One can pull up salaries by name, department or salary range. I believe the info is current as of April 2008.

What did we learn from this database?+/-

That 25 Los Angeles Animal Services employees are paid, from your tax dollars and your sanitation fees, etc., over $70, 000 per year! I know, you wish you would have dedicated your life to civil service! 14 of these folks are making over $90,000 and 6 are making over $100,000, yet we see miserable results in the improvement of care for the animals and a dismal success rate in the "No Kill" goal which Ed Boks has stated we've already achieved. These high priced civil servants are not the hard working folks you meet at the shelters who are actually doing the daily work of caring for our abandoned and sick animal friends--they are the Management. Let's remember that the Commissioners are paid nothing but are charged , by the Administrative Code with running this band of overpaid failures.

So, with all these well-compensated managers sucking in millions of dollars they can't seem to do what the law says the must do. This series focuses on two issues: Violations of the California Public Records Act and the neglect of an dog held in impound for 3 years while his owner battles the goons in Court.(See item #3).

Stu, the dog in question was impounded on September 16, 2005. Here's a time line and summary of the ordeal of an innocent dog:

August 2005: Jeff de la Rosa flies home to Ohio to his dying mother's bedside. Due to his urgent departure, he leaves his dogs in the care of his employee, Tatiana Edwards, at his rented building until he can make arrangements for boarding. Something Edwards does or doesn't do instigates a fight between two of the dogs that don't fight normally.
Stu's ear is torn in the fight. Edwards gets instructions from Jeff on what to do and she ignores them. Instead, she locks Stu in a small office and corners him. She attempts to slide a harness over Stu's injured ear and he bites her arm. Twice. She does not report the bite and makes an agreement with Jeff to cover her medical expenses.

September 15, 2005: Jeff comes home and finds that Stu has been stolen from his locked kennel.

September 16, 2005: North Central Shelter calls Jeff and tells him that Stu has been "turned-in" by a private citizen. He is told upon his arrival at NC that LAAS has just received a bite report from Edwards (a month later and the day after Stu was stolen. Coincidence?) and Stu will be impounded pending an administrative hearing to determine whether he is dangerous and should be killed.

November 2005: Hearing Examiner Mossman finds that Stu is not dangerous but was provoked.

December 2005: Former GM Stuckey rejects Mossman's findings and declares Stu to be dangerous.

March 2005: Yes, 4 months later. Jeff appeals Stuckey's decision to the Board of Commissioners. On the panel, two lawyers (Tariq Khero and Debbie Knaan) and a Commissioner with a law degree who does not practice law, Glenn Brown. Jeff claims Mossman violated due process and refused to summon department witnesses. LAAS also denied Jeff's request to have Dr. Richard Polksy evaluate Stu so Jeff could use his report as evidence that Stu is not dangerous. These 3 legal geniuses fail to see that due process has been violated (prodded on by Dov Lesel, Assistant City Attorney-salary $173,136.96) and refuse to grant Jeff's appeal. Jeff's legal costs to date: $5,000.

August 2006: Jeff takes the case to Superior Court charging due process violations and abuse of discretion by the Board and Stuckey. He also takes his other dog's (Maeve-license revoked) to Superior Court charding the same due process violations. He is opposed by Deputy City Attorney Todd Leung (annual salary

Septmber 2006: Jeff visits Stu who is locked up in the "Annex" at the South L.A. "Shelter." He finds Stu filthy, tick ridden and with bleeding gums and a cracked tooth. He complains to Boks (annual salary $152,064.86) and the Board. They do nothing about Stu's health. Dr. Polksy examines Stu at Villalobos Pitbull Rescue and determines that he is not dangerous. Jeff complains and begs for medical care for Stu for the next two years. Cost to have Stu's teeth cleaned at this point-maybe $100.

June 2007: Stu now in jail 21 months. Judge David P. Yaffe (renowned wacko)
denies Jeff's appeal to overturn the Board's decision. Tatiana Edwards is paid a $300,000 settlement by Jeff's homeowner insurance company or two bites on the arm Boks posts defamatory statements on the LAAS website which are 90% false and grounds for a lawsuit (case pending and award paid from your tax dollars). He also published Jeff's home address. Jeff is harassed by anonymous visitors to his home. Jeff continues to complain to the Board and they do nothing about Stu's health care. His teeth continue to rot in his mouth.

December 2006: Boks orders a night time raid on Jeff's home. Two Animal Control trucks position themselves SWAT-style in the street and light up Jeff's house like Dodger Stadium. Charges? None. Boks denies it ever happened (on the phone to Lindy Greene). Your tax dollars spent harassing a private citizen because Uncle Ed Boks is waging a personal vendetta against an outspoken citizen.

August 2007: Jeff appeals Stu's case to the Court of Appeals. Filing fee $625. Fee is waived due to Jeff's depressed financial condition brought on by the above events. If not waived, you would have had to pay this to Jeff if he wins.)
The Board of Commissioners votes unanimously to move Stu to sanctuary pending his appeal. If he loses, he will die.
Still no medical care for Stu. Jeff also learns that Debbie Knaan has violated ethical practices and due process by contacting him prior to ruling on his appeal, forming a bias and failng to recuse herself from the appeal hearings. She tells two other Commissioners about this and lets them know that she is biased against Jeff-- again prior to her hearing his appeal.

September 2007: Stu now in jail 24 months or 14 years in human terms. City enters a contract with Bobby Dorafshar's K9s Only luxury pet hotel and spa (many thanks to Bobby and the Board). Still no care for Stu's rotting teeth. Over the next year, Stu's gums bleed all over the tennis balls he plays with. More pleas for vet care. More ignoring of those pleas.

January 2008: Stu has lost a molar tooth due to advances periodontal disease. Gums still bleeding. More letters from Jeff to Boks and the Board. They do nothing.

August 2008: Bobby emails Jeff and says LAAS wants to take Stu to the Shelter and put him under general anesthesia to clean his teeth. Everyone agrees that Stu would never return alive from LAAS and that an outside doctor should do this. No response from Boks. Jeff's legal costs to date $14,000 +.

October 2008: Jeff wins the case for his other dog, Maeve, without an attorney. City is ordered to set aside their decision because Judge Chalfant says LAAS violated due process (XV Amendment), LA Municipal Code and their own hearing rules. Ed Boks is noticeably pissed that arch nemesis, Jeff de la Rosa, has had a win in Court when Ed has stated on the City's website that Jeff's claim that Stu did not have a fair hearing is a false rumor.

November 2008: Ed Boks is served with the Court Order and Judgment re: Jeff's dog , Maeve. City must pay Jeff $736 for his costs in the winning case. That's your money and the animals' money.

December 5 2008: Out of the Blue, Boks emails Jeff (through "Hoss Fool") and and says Stu , "your little dog" needs a "teeth cleaning." He says Jeff has to pay. Jeff says Boks is responsible and LAAS has to pay.

December 6, 2008: Boks agrees, in writing, that Jeff's written consent is required to treat Stu or put him under general anesthesia. Jeff wants Stu to be seen by a veterinary dentist because his condition is so far advanced and because Stu is losing teeth. Jeff agrees for Stu to be seen by his local vet so that Stu can get some meds and a preliminary exam to see how bad it is-provided that Jeff be present and that Jeff sign consent forms. Jeff's letters here
and here.

December 13, 2005: Jeff finds out that they secretly took Stu to the wrong doctor and put him under general anesthesia with Jeff's permission. No blood test prior to surgery and no x-rays to determine the damage of 2 1/2 years of neglect by Animal Services (Ed Boks). Details in Part III.

In Part III, we'll deal with the legal remedies Jeff is seeking and see how Ed Boks and the Board have created a liability (lawsuit) where your money will be wasted.

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