Wednesday, June 24, 2009
When an issue is presented to Council for action, Council President refers the issue to the appropriate Committee for review and recommendation. The Public Safety Committee oversees the Department of Animals Services. I started there.
Click here for City Council Website Directory
Click here for Council Officers/Committee Assignments
Click here for the Council Calendar
June 23, 2009
Public Safety Committee
City of Los Angeles
c/o City Clerk, Room 395
City Hall, 200 North Spring Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012-4801
Dear Councilmembers Weiss, Zine, Parks, Smith and Reyes,
Below is a link to Kate Woodviolet's Examiner.com follow-up story on my dog, Stu, his 4-year-old case and the evidence of malfeasance and obstruction on the part of certain employees within the Department of Animal Services. Please be aware, that only 10 days prior to the oral arguments in the Court of Appeals, the City Attorney's office sent me the attached draft settlement offer (and opposed my request for a continuance in the Court so that I might discuss the offer further) with full knowledge that no consummation of this proposed settlement could be expected in time for the City Council to approve it, before the Court ruled.
These are not coincidences and let me assure you, there have been no coincidences in this case. Ever. This case is one of the last vestiges of the inept and embarrassing tenure of Ed Boks. The only thing left to clean-up (that I know of ) of the mess Mr. Boks made of this Department will be the lawsuit I must file against him and others for these despicable acts. We are about to welcome back to our City legal system what is promised to be a new era of integrity, so says Mr. Trutanich. I hereby give you an opportunity to usher that era in with my dog, Stu in tow.
I beseech you to consider compassionately what I hope will be a forthcoming recommendation from the Board of Animal Services Commissioners to your Public Safety Committee or to the full Council, which will , as I understand the intent of the Board, attempt to preserve the integrity of the Administrative Hearing process, the Department, the Board and the City of Los Angeles by setting aside the previous ill-founded decision to declare Stu to be dangerous and order his destruction. The Board, which you have entrusted to make these decisions is unified on this issue as are thousands of people from our City and around the world: the consensus is to send Stu, a non-dangerous animal home to live out his remaining last couple of years. He was 6 years old when he was first impounded. He is now at least 10 (or 70 in human years).
The Court of Appeals could not remedy this injustice as there was a defective record before them and only myself, a non-lawyer, presenting it to them. However, although the Court has failed to right this horrible injustice , because it was confined to the incomplete record of the case, your Committee and your Council are not so constrained. Please find the time and the attention which this most deserving matter requires.
Jeff de la Rosa
Council District 13
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Somebody forgot to tighten the choke collar which has plagued the Los Angeles Board of Animals Services Commissioners since...forever? At their meeting on June 22, 2009, the Board seemed to go rogue and would not take "no" for an answer. Nor would they take "no answer" for an answer.
For a full week, since Kate Woodviolet's piece on Stu's story appeared at Examiner.com, the Board,City Attorney's office and Linda Barth have been barraged with emails, calls and messages from countless Stu supporters demanding and pleading for mercy and justice.
Item 4A on the agenda, the case of Stu, the evidence dog, which has been impounded for 4 years while his owner/guardian has battled to save him from Death Row and certain execution, was the impetus for the Board shaking off their restraints, but this very admirable show of blazing courage from a Board which has, for years, been accused of being a rubber stamp for the General Manager(s) and the Mayor quickly spread to all business within the Board's control. The last time the Board took bold action in the case of Stu, on August 27, 2007, when they voted unanimously to release Stu from the pound after 2 years and move him to the luxury digs at K9s Only in Tarzana, the Mayor's office clamped down hard. Former Commissioner Marie Atake resigned in protest and disgust and Commissioner Riordan is rumored to have been threatened with removal from the Board after 9 dedicated years of service.
From the 6/22/09 Agenda:
4. DISCUSSION ITEMS
A. Oral Report from the City Attorney on status of Case: Jeffrey Peter De La Rosa v. Animal
Control Board of the City of Los Angeles, et al.; Los Angeles Superior Court Case #
BS104836; Court of Appeal, Case # B202071.
CLOSED SESSION: The Board of Animal Services Commissioners may meet in closed
session with the City Attorney as its legal counsel pursuant to Government Code section
First, the was no oral report from the City Attorney. Dov Lesel claimed that Todd Leung, the "litigation attorney" was "not available" to come to the meeting (his office is next door in City Hall East), but sources tell BoardWatch that Mr. Leung was not otherwise engaged in court appearances but was, instead, sitting in his office when the agenda item was called.
+/- Read more...
Monday, June 22, 2009
As this saga come to what I hope will be a positive resolution for Stu and me, many people are still asking of me what the things were that the City did or did not do which resulted in Stu and me being deprived of Due Process and a fair hearing in this life and death decision process.
First let me explain what Due Process is. The Constitution of the United States and our California Constitution guarantee us certain inalienable rights.
1. We may not be deprived of life, liberty or property without Due Process of Law. That means that :
2. We must be properly notified of the accusations we face and notified of the time and place of a hearing or trial of the issues ;and
3. We must be given an opportunity to present evidence, witnesses in our defense and confront witnesses and cross-examine that witness who may offer testimony against us.
4. The matter must be heard by a neutral, disinterested and impartial trier of fact (judge). In this case, an Animal Control Officer acting as hearing examiner. For the appeal, a panel of Commissioners. We asked for all 5 but were given only 3—the most conservative three-3 lawyers.
Additionally, the Los Angeles Municipal Code is quite specific on how hearings for license revocation (for dogs) and dangerous animals shall be conducted.
The Initial Hearing and General Manager’s Decision:
So, in Stu’s case, what did they do right?
+/- Read more...
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Will Carmen Trutanich put an end to misery for a man and his dog which Delgadillo's attorneys have perpetuated for 4 years?
If you would like to urge City Attorney Elect Carmen Trutanich to take immediate action to stop this madness as soon as he takes office on July 1, write, call and fax him at:
| Trutanich Mitchell, LLP |
180 East Ocean Boulevard
| Long Beach CA 90802-4079 |
Tel: 562) 216-4444
Fax: (562) 216-4445
Kinship Circle organizes and facilitates public support for animal welfare causes. KC's most recent
Action Alert regarding Stu's case can be viewed at Change.org or at KC's own blog.
Examiner.com has published a terrific article by Kate Woodviolet on the "Stu, the Dog" case. At our publishing time, 48 comments have been registered AGAINST actions of the City of Los Angeles--the most comments ever lodged in any of Woodviolet's articles on pet issues in Los Angeles. The recently updated piece appears in its entirety:
Playing political games with a dog's lifehttp://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-1779-LA-Pet-Rescue-Examiner~y2009m6d17-Playing-political-games-with-a-dogs-life
UPDATED After sitting in what amounts to dog jail for almost four years, a dog named Stu could be put to death soon; or he could finally go home to an owner who's been fighting for his life since 2005.
Rescued from the streets in 2000 by Jeff de la Rosa, for five years Stu lived peacefully with de la Rosa and his two other dogs. In August of 2005 de la Rosa was called out of town by a family emergency. He left the dogs in the care of an assistant who knew them. Following an uncharacteristic scuffle between Stu and one of the other dogs during which Stu's ear was torn, the assistant, in an attempt to take Stu to the vet, approached the wounded dog and tried to put a harness on him, over his injured ear (pet care experts always recommend using extreme caution, even a muzzle, when dealing with injured pets, because often even a normally friendly pet can lash out when fearful and in pain). During her attempt to harness him, a frightened Stu bit the assistant twice on the arm.
De la Rosa offered to pay the assistant's medical bills and says she initially told him she "didn't want to get Stu in trouble." He says when she went to the hospital she told emergency room staff that she didn't know the dog who had bitten her. She didn't call the police or L.A. Animal Services.+/- Read more...