Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Board Considers Lawsuit(s) and the Fate of Geriatric Dogs

For updates on Stu's Case in the Court of Appeals,
go to the Court's web site here.

RECAP: On February 9, 2009 I appeared before the Animal Services Board of Commissioners at an "off-campus" and essentially "off-the-record" (see footnote #1) evening meeting of Board at the East Valley Animal Care and Control Center. Exactly 5 members of the public attended:
  1. Laura Beth Heisen (chair of Spay Neuter Committee, so she really doesn't count),
  2. A Golden Retriever rescuer
  3. Kim Carnochan(at my request) and
  4. myself.
  5. Phyllis Daugherty (love her or hate her , she is always there, to her credit).
It would seem that either the public and the animal community has given up on the Board of Commissioners having any chance or desire of effecting any meaningful positive changes in the Department of Animal Services or the whole town was just too busy.

At that meeting, I spoke during Public Comment regarding the Order of the Court to set aside Stuckey's 4 year-old decision (which was upheld by the Board) to revoke my dog license for Maeve, now 13 or 14 years old. License revocation means that a dog must be immediately and permanently removed from the City and the dog's owner/guardian may not own other dogs for 3 years. I have lived under those conditions for 3 years at the cost of over $4000 in boarding fees, not to mention many times that in legal fees and costs.

Following my comments, Commissioners Khero, Quincey and VP Riordan expressed their opinion that "has gone on long enough." Commissioner Ponce had no comment, either because she is unfamiliar with the issues or because Boks has told her to have no comment. The Board then asked for an agenda item (they have to ask?) which would discuss:

1. Whether the Dept. (Boks) should continue to persecute me and hold yet another hearing to revoke Granny Maeve's license (death sentence unless you know of people that want to adopt an old dog who sleeps most of the day, is no longer housebroken after 3 years in boarding and has medical issues directly related to her 3 years of out-of-home boarding.)

2. (Closed Session) Whether the Board wants to direct the City Attorney to settle Stu's case (now in the Court of Appeals--with a decision about 4 months away-- at the current cost of about $11,000 plus lost wages) in light of impending litigation re: Denial of Due Process Under Color of Law (Federal Court), Libel suit against Ed Boks, Abuse of Process, Abuse of Power, Civil Harassment, Civil Conspiracty, etc.

On February 19, I sent a letter to VP Riordan and Barth asking whether or if the Board was going to address these issues. I asked for a call. Also on February 19, Barth replied by email:

from Linda Barth
to Jeff de la Rosa
cc Kathy Riordan
date Thu, Feb 19, 2009 at 5:28 PM
subject Re: Correspondence

hide details Feb 19 (5 days ago)

ReplyWe will have a discussion item on the Board's agenda for Monday, February 23, 2009, regarding the case with "Maeve," and should the Board wish to convene into Closed Session, about the status of the case with "Stu." Item 4.A. We will likely take it out of order in the meeting before the Licensing discussion (Item 3.A.)

I did not open this email until Friday 2/20 due to a massive virus attack on my computer. My response:

February 20, 2009 VIA EMAIL

Commissioner Kathleen Riordan

Linda Barth

City of Los Angeles

Dept. of Animal Services

221 N. Figueroa St 5th fl.

Los Angeles CA 90012

Re: 2/23/09 Agenda and Closed Session

Dear Vice President Riordan and Ms. Barth,

Due to a very serious computer crash this week, I am only now in receipt of Ms. Barth's 2/19 email reply to my letter of February 19, 2009 concerning Board discussion of the cases involving my dogs, Stu and Maeve. Please understand that while I am certainly grateful for such fast action by the Board in response to my request made at the public meeting held February 9, 2009, your extremely short notice (only 1 business day) of 2 agenda items, one of which being a “closed session”, is not sufficient notice for me to attend the “open” portion of the meeting or prepare materials to be considered by the Board.

I would have appreciated a telephone call from you, Ms. Barth, regarding a matter of this importance which has apparently been so hastily planned.

I have spent a good portion of the last 4 years undoing the damage done by “staff” that are no longer with the department. Mr. Stuckey’s resignation was requested a few days before he signed Stu’s death warrant and he was fired in the same week; and Captain Karen Stepp, the initiator of these actions in 2005, “resigned” due to “poor employee morale.” Please ask yourselves how much notice you would expect for a meeting of government officials which might affect the rest of your lives.

Even more perplexing is Ms. Barth’s declaration that “We will likely take it [discussion of Maeve and Stu] out of order in the meeting before the Licensing discussion…” I am unaware that “staff” sets the agenda or the order of the agenda for the Board, although it is rumored to be so. It is my understanding that the Board sets the agenda and that the Board decides the order of a meeting. Please clarify and/or correct me if I am mistaken. And really, at what time should I plan to be there if I were available? Are there appeals? How many? Although it may seem that my full time occupation is battling your department, I do have other obligations, just like anyone else.

At this time I must object to the closed session scheduled for Monday February 23, 2009 if I am not included in that session or permitted to address the Board in open session. Am I asking for postponement? No. I imagine that were I to ask for a rescheduling, the matter would never again see the light of day.

While I fully understand that the Board may consult privately with counsel, I may be present for that portion of the meeting which is not privileged, and which should be “open;” and I therefore request to address the Board in closed or open session-- for more than the 60 seconds allotted in a public comment-- and prior to any closed session and certainly prior to any vote or resolution by the Board.

It is my understanding from your fist version of the agenda, that Deputy City Attorney Todd Leung, who has defended against my actions in Superior Court and the Court of Appeals, intends to address the Board during closed session. Because this meeting may result in a decision by the Board which would affect my personal life, my finances and my dogs (a.k.a “property”), I am entitled, by law, to a meaningful opportunity to be heard and to rebut any statements made or cherry-picked “exhibits” shown by Mr. Leung.

I must ask that Commissioner Riordan or Mr. Lesel contact me immediately and prior to the meeting to discuss the parameters of a closed session or any other session involving my dogs as well as to discuss my request to address the Board. I am available by telephone all weekend.


Jeffrey de la Rosa

Cc: Ross Pool

Councilmembers Eric Garcetti; Dennis Zine; Tony Cardenas; Bernard Parks

Their reply: None.

So, I must assume that they went ahead and had their meeting about me without me. Since, no doubt, Phyllis Daugherty and Jim Bickhart were likely the only people in the peanut gallery, and since neither are likely to tell me what happened, I have no idea what happened, if anything.

Today's letter:

February 24, 2009 VIA EMAIL

Commissioner Kathleen Riordan, Vice President

Linda Barth

City of Los Angeles

Dept. of Animal Services

221 N. Figueroa St 5th fl.

Los Angeles CA 90012

Re: 2/23/09 Agenda and Closed Session/LASC Case nos. BS104875, BS104836, Court of Appeal Case no. B202071

Dear Vice President Riordan and Ms. Barth,

Because I was unable to attend the Board’s meeting yesterday, as I have previously explained, I do not know what transpired in yesterday’s meeting regarding your agenda item 3A which dealt with my dogs and my cases. I would appreciate a call today or email summarizing the content of discussions and whether the Board took any action or whether either matter was continued to another date.

In lieu of a response, please prepare today a copy of the tape of the meeting and I will arrange for its pick-up. This is a public record and need not be delayed for approval of minutes. Approval of minutes will not change the content of the tape. You may charge my VISA XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX exp. 2/10 for not more than $15 to cover the cost of the cassette copy and postage. Of course, a note saying that you are sending the tape would be appreciated. If you are unable to prepare a copy today, please advise as to a time today, that I may listen to the tape in your offices as is provided by the California Public Records Act.

Additionally, and pursuant to the California Public Records Act, please send:

1. A cost estimate for copies (or just the copies) of all resolutions, passed motions, rulings and/or decisions (including appeals) made by the Board for years 2004 to present. While I understand that this may take some time, I assume that you can fulfill my request for documents from 11/1/2008 to year 2009 without much delay.

2. Copies of minutes of all 2004 Board meeting minutes (or you may email the PDF files) which have been removed from your website.

3. Any past or current rules, by-laws or policies governing meetings of the Board of Commissioners from 1998 to present. As in (1), the most current (2008-2009) should not be delayed.


Jeffrey de la Rosa

Cc: Todd Leung;Councilmembers Eric Garcetti; Dennis Zine; Tony Cardenas; Bernard Parks

Stay tuned, I guess.

FN1 Somebody (Ross Pool) forgot to make sure the Public Address system got to the meeting, as a result, there is no tape recording. There is also no tape recording of the 2 Appeals they heard which means they are both INVALID.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please make up a name other than "Anonymous" so we can keep track of who says what.No, we don't need your real name. How to do this? Below, select "Name/Url" and type in a name. That's it. You will still be "anonymous" but we'll know which "anonymous" you are. Thanks.

Share this blog...

Share |