Monday, March 23, 2009

Fate of 2 Dogs in the Hands of Animals Services Board of Commissioners

The Story of Queen Maeve and Her Oppressors

By Jeff de la Rosa
March 23, 2009
revised 3.24.09

In 1996 I took a job as a Rigging Gaffer on a bad Valerie Bertinelli TV Movie in Park City, Utah. One weekend I drove home to L.A. to be in a friend's wedding party in Malibu. At lunch with my girlfriend on that Sunday a young kid was trying to sell a puppy from a backyard litter as a" Rottweiler", I gave him $20 and took the tiny pup. I named her Maeve after the legendary Celtic Queen Maeve whose beauty was said to be so great that she enchanted and seduced every man who laid eyes on her and under her command, they drove her armies to conquer all oppressors and invaders.

Maeve was also the color of Guinness Stout and I , at the time, had an Irish friend visiting me who was vacation from Dublin. I put Maeve in a small bed on the front seat in the care and drove back to Utah where she spent the first 3 weeks of her life peeing on the carpet in my company provided ski condo and sleeping in a little wash basin lined with a fluffy towel. I raised Maeve to be a good dog and my Cocker, Annie mothered her like Maeve was her own puppy.

Before long, Maeve grew to be 4 times the height of Annie and 3 times the weight. I've never seen a more beautiful mutt.

Annie. Alpha mom.

She has great "eyeliner" markings around her eyes and a very regal stance and gait. We returned to L.A. and I immediately began work as the Chief Rigging Electrician on the Coen Brothers'
The Big

My crew and I completely gutted the existing 1050s lighting at the Hollywood Star Lanes and retrofitted the bowling alley with state of the art, color correct high output fluorescent which made the scene pictured above possible . Maeve slept on the truck in teh parking lot. She was the rigging crew mascot and she came to work with me every day and enchanted everyone she encountered. Maeve and I went on to work on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and many other projects. She is my dear and loyal friend.

In June 2005, Marjorie Kaye, a fellow alumnus of mine of NYU Tisch School of the Arts, Class of 1989, and who is now my disgruntled and crabby neighbor, reported to Animal Services that my dog , Maeve allegedly attacked her Jack Russell terrier on May 27, 2005 and that Kaye incurred $800 in vet bills. Five years prior, back in 2000 when Maeve and I were new to the neighborhood, Maeve got away from me as I was letting her out of my car on the block where Kaye and I live. Kaye was walking her dog, Blanche, who is epileptic, past the front of my property. Alarmed at a strange dog suddenly appearing from around a high brick wall, Maeve ran to the dog and bit Blanche on the rear. The injury was not serious and I paid Kaye's $150 vet bill without her asking me to do so.

On the day of the alleged May 27, 2005 attack I had taken Maeve, a then 80 lbs., 5-year-old Shepherd/Hound mix ;Stu, a then 2 year-old Lab/Staffie mix: and Annie, a then 6-year old adorable and leader of the pack 30 lbs.American Cocker Spaniel to the beach at County Line in Ventura County. County Line is not a sunbather's beach as there are no lifeguards and other than surfers who frequent the break there and fishermen, not many people go to that beach; therefore it is the perfect and legal beach to play with your dogs.

All of my dogs were licensed and spayed or neutered and up to date on all vaccinations. Because I am congiscent of the 'dog laws' in my city and county, I knew that dogs had been banned from all L.A. County Beaches so I never took them to those beaches. It was the Friday of the 2005 Memorial Day weekend and I wanted to beat the crowds and traffic of Saturday, Sunday and Monday. It didn't work. I left around 2PM and due to traffic heading north and west, I didn't make it to County Line

County Line Beach, Ventura County

until nearly 4PM. I remember that Maeve threw up in the car because she sometimes gets carsick on twisty roads. I had gathered all the usual supplies including a full tank of gas, water, snacks, treats, toys, a blanket , paper towels for car-sick dogs; and cotton towels and a brush to get the sand off of them after their romp. The dogs and I played at the beach and in the waves until after 6PM at which time I drove home exhausted. I think I took some pictures but have not been able to find them. It took me another 2 hours, at least, to get home and it was dark outside when I arrived. There was nobody on the street in my neighborhood and most of the usual cars were not around.

On June 6, 2005 I received a letter from Kaye stating, "As you know, on May 27 your dog attacked my dog, Blanche." The Department of Animal Services was copied on the letter. More letters were exchanged and I explained to the Department and to Kaye that we were not at home. Kaye came to my home once and demanded $800. I was angry-- because she had falsely reported that Maeve bit her dog-- and ordered her off my property (later at the November hearing, she said I "shook" my "fist" at her. This is not true. I pointed to the street. I was angry becuase she had made a false report which detailed circumstances IDENTICAL to the 2000 incident to the last detail. Same corner, same me and same car--same time of day. Kaye walks her dog past my home every weekday at about 6:30PM. We avoid her. She did add for this version, however, that " he picked his dog up and carried it to his car." Maeve weighs normally 85 lbs. I have 1 herniated disc and two bulging discs in my cervical and lumbar spine areas from too many years as a Hollywood lighting technician. I do not pick up anything that weighs more than 40 pounds without someone's assistance. This is documented in my medical records and with the California Worker Compensation Appeals Board and has been so documented since 1994. My neiggborhood is full of stray dogs-with homes and without. I am adjacent to Elysian Park which a favorite dumping ground for unwanted pets--cats and dogs. Kaye is mistaken. It was not my dog. She got so deep in the lie that she could not change her story and all for $800 which she never got. She sued me in small claims court but didn't show up for trial. Case dismissed. If you needed that money and were convinced the other party was resp0nsible, you'd show up for court--Wouldn't you?

I had no receipts or other "alibis" showing that my dogs and I were not at home at the time of the alleged 6:30 PM "attack" on Kaye's dog. I don't normally think that I need to document my recreation. When the investigating officer, Perea, came to my home in late June 2006 (they're in no rush to investigate these things) to "inspect" my dogs for culprits, he said to me and wrote in his report, "None of the dogs matches the description of the attacking dog." However, the Department (Stepp and Moreno) "filed charges" and requested a dangerous dog hearing anyway. In her statement to North Central Animal cops , Kaye had described the dog who attacked her dog as "Red/White, " in subsequent papers and testimony the dog's color changed to black and brown, then beige and brown and finally orange and tan. Maybe it was orange and black. Whatever color Officer Clarke told her Maeve was, that was the color of the attacking dog.

On her Potentially Dangerous Animal Complaint form she did not ID me as the dog's owner (even though she knew me, knew where I lived and my address), list my address or name my dog, Maeve. In fact, she listed the house across the street from me as the home of the offending animal.

I knew Officer Perea and others at the North Central Shelter because when I first rescued Stu, he was an escape artist. He would climb fences and trees in my yard and leap 6 or 8 feet to the ground to stroll around the neighborhood. He never harmed anyone or anything. As soon as I discovered him gone I would retreive him. A couple of times, I got calls from a neigbor near Elysian Park who said Stu had come again to play with her female dog and it was time for her dog's feeding, so I should come and pick-up Stu. I rebuilt my fence and cut down the tree he used to scale like monkey. Animal Services had been to my home and declared my fencing quite suitable. Officer Llerenas even said I should come and build her a fence. Stu never escaped again until a drugged out neighbor living in the only apartment building near my home, started coming into my yard to steal fruit from my trees. Jerk-boy used to leave the gate open or purposedly release the dogs into because I had, several times before, told him to stay off my property. After releasing the dogs, he wold call animal control and say they were attacking people. This went on for several months, until one night he crept into my yard and entered my back door, with me sitting there at my desk--wearing only a shirt. He was taken off the property by LAPD.

Prior to the first hearing on Maeve in November 2005, and according to the Department's hearing guide I wrote a letter to Captain Stepp and the hearing examiner requesting that several ACOs and ACTs be summoned to appear as witnesses at the adminitrative hearing. The hearing examiner, Geroge Mossman, denied my requesst (but not until the morning of the hearing when I showed up and found NO witnesses ) and stated ,on the record, that he was "not required to summons [sic] witnesses that the District does not request me to summons." It was a kanagaroo court. Kaye could not or would not ID the offending dog from 5 photos of dogs which included one of Maeve. She refused to answer my questiong about how often she sees stray dogs in the neighborhood which may have attacked her dog. She had no witnesses. She only had a vet bill and blurry Xerox pictures of injuries on an animal whose species one could not make out from the photos. Then , the pretend D.A., Officer Clarke showed Kaye the impound picture of Maeve which had "MAEVE" written on it and asked Kaye if this was the attacking dog. She said, "I think that's the dog."

Maeve's fate was sealed because I had no beach alibi. No gas receipts or anything else which would prove I wasn't at home. Kaye had no witnesses to the "attack" but because I admitted that a previous and curiously identical incident (except for the part where Kaye says Maeve was "shaking my dog around in the air") The hearing examiner referred to my dog as the "attacking animal" and to Kaye's dog as "your little doggie."

The first week in December 2005 was when my "file" landed on Guerdon Stuckey's desk. He had just been asked to resign by the Mayor. Stuckey refused to resign. Stuckey signed a revoca tion order for Maeve and declared Stu to be dangerous on December 8th and 9th --rejecting the hearing examiners findings that he Stu WAS NOT DANGEROUS.

Four days later, Villagraigosa fired him.

I appealed to the Board of Commissioners and paid a lawyer $2500 to defend both dogs. Prior to my appeal I received a call from Debbie Knaan, a former Commissioner and Deputy D.A. She interrogated me on the phone abou the events surrounding the two dogs. She warned me, "Now you have to tell the truth"--as if she was expecting me to lie? She then told Marie Atake and Kathy Riordan that I was "a liar and a creep." She then sat in a quasi-judicial capacity on my appeal board and dominated the hearing acting like a D.A. in a murder case (transcript available on request). She constantly interupted my attorney and , several times, he had to admonish her for stating facts not in evidence and for appearing to be biased. The Board denied my appeal and upheld the Stuckey decisions to ban Maeve from the City and kill Stu. On my way out of the meeting, crying in front of a hundred people waiting for the real meeting at the Van Nuys Library on March 28, 2006, Debbie called after me, "We'll help you find a new home for Maeve." Did I ever hear from her again? No. I did call her once, when she was AGM, but told her I would not speak about the cases with her.

My homeowner insurance company assigned a law firm to appeal the ruling for Stu in Superior Court. I represented myself in a parallel appeal for Maeve. The lawyer lost Stu's case on the same grounds which I won before a different judge. My judge ruled that the hearing examiner was "flatly wrong." to refuse to summon my requested witneses and that that the City had denied me a fair hearing, violated Due Process, their own rules and the L.A. Municipal Code. The other judge denied my petition to overturn the decision on Due Process violations, due to a bad record prepared and submitted by the Department.

Now, in defeat after 4 years, Mr. Boks, City Attorney Lesel and Debbie Knaan --long gone from the Department but still pulling strings--- are demanding a new hearing for Maeve on 4-year old charges. Stuckey is gone. Captain Stepp is gone, Commisioner Brown is gone. Knaan is gone. All have moved on with their lives, but I'm stuck in 2005 with a 14 year old sweetie dog who may be banned from her home again.

Knaan: "Soft on Animals." Right.

Even though I have already been well punished for a "crime" which neither Maeve nor I committed; and have been deprived of the right to own any dogs for 3 years to say nothing of Maeve and I having been torn apart for 3 1/2 years, they (the "Bs" : Boks, Barth and Brakemeir; and Ross Pool (what is his job again?) , Dov Lesel (and pal, Debbie Knaan) still want to have a "new" hearing on 4 year old charges. They want to slap another 3 years onto my "inability" to own dogs if I am found to be "guility."


Because I don't back down and I have verbally and in my writings exposed Ed Boks, Linda Barth, Ross Pool and Debbie Knaan for what they are: Inept, corrupt, mean and vindictive. I have berated City attorney Todd Leung for lying in Court and in court documents both in Maeve's case and in Stu's case. Last week he stood before Judge James Chalfant and lied through his teeth (more about that in the next installment of Maeve's story). I have boarded Maeve in private kennels since March 2006 at the cost of nearly $15,000. She's been evaluated by two respected trainers and they can't seem to find an ounce of aggression in her. The Board has seen these reports and heard the statements of the trainers. This is not about Maeve and its not about Stu. It is not about dogs or the law.

It's about me; and it's about Ed Boks's shattered ego and insecurity; and it's about Debbie Knaan's ambition to do whatever the hell she wants to do, run for Mayor or City Attorney? Maybe D.A.?


This has nothing to do with animals or protecting the public. The public needs no protection from me or my dogs. We all know what the public and the animals need protections from and they're debating that down the hall at the Public Safety Committee meeting ( Great tape, see next post).

The dogs are merely pawns in a sick vendetta and sadistic power play. I will not let Maeve spend the rest of her short life anywhere but home. Ever.

Guerdon Stuckey left our City with $150, 000 in hush money.

Guerdon Stuckey left our City with $150, 000 in hush money. He is now prospering in North Carolina as a bureaucrat shilling for developers on a Community Redevelopment panel. Debbie Knaan stepped on heads to be the AGM and quit for a better offer and less work back with the D.A. Karen Stepp, as I have written, is gone and "Steppin' on Animals" for the County. Moreno, who doctored the record is lounging around with the "Anti-Cruelty Task Force" which nobody seems to know the existence of or whether it's been disbanded or is a working unit. Hearing Examiner George Mossman is now the ONLY hearing examiner (God help us, there used to be 3 and you went to your nearest shelter for a hearing on a barking dog case, etc.) and has been ordered to hold all hearings downtown under Boks' s and Barth's nosey noses. Yep, you are now paying for parking for all hearing participants, their families, witnesses , etc. How many spay/neuter coupons is that?!

This whole thing is a vile charade and must end today. The Board of Commissioners has the power and the duty to dismiss all charges against Maeve and to inform the Courts that my written witness request from 2005 , although material evidence in the cases for both dogs- and proof that Due Process was violated IN BOTH HEARINGS, was left out of Stu's administrative record. That is why the Board is not , today, also setting aside the decision to kill Stu. The faulty record has stalled Stu's case in the Courts and I have had to take the case to the Court of Appeals who may rule sometime this summer. Stu has a 50/50 chance of ending up in the crematory (no I would not let them "render" him). I have no lawyer to argue in front of a panel of 4 judges sitting high up in the air. I

have no money left for such things.

December 2006- Fat Stu at 75 lbs. Stuck at Villalobos Rescue

withoutmy knowledge or consent. Tia later dumped him back into the pound after

4 months of letting him become obese in an outdoor cage, in the winter of the high desert.

Stu's solitary cell at North Centra--just dumped by Tia Marie Torres of Villalobos. Tia, "Stu's going to be the poster child for my Pitbull Academy!" Promises...promises.

The Board must remedy this error and in the interest of justice and compassion save Stu's life by admitting to the Court that Due Process was also violated in Stu's case; and that they produced a inaccurate record for the Superior Court. The Board must admit that a derelict General Manager abused his discretion (didn't do his job) by allowing a subordinate, Captain Helen Brakemeir (what is her job again?) to condemn Stu---REJECTING the hearing examiner's finding that Stu IS NOT DANGEROUS-- instead of doing his job of reviewing the cases personally which the Municipal Code mandates in Section 53.18.5. Will they do this? See next post for the results of the March 23, 2009 agenda item on the Court Order for Maeve. Stu's fate is in the hands of the Animal Services Board of Commisioners: Kathy Riordan, Tariq Khero, Archie Quincey, Irene Ponce and Ruthanne Secunda. Will they save him? Only time will tell. Maybe Ed Boks's head will roll in the next few weeks. I can dream, can't I?

Stu with Marie Atake (huge supporter)

at K9's Only- a more luxurious Death Row.

Jeff de la Rosa

Stu.911 @

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