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Zine Slip-Slides Away with Double-Dipping Pensions as Council Readies to Nuke Hollywood with Millennium Project

The 80 percent who don’t vote and the 90 percent who don’t even pay attention are right – nothing can be done about the political pestilence that is eating at the soul of the city.

A century ago, the great muckraker Lincoln Steffens wrote the “Shame of the Cities” about how a little corruption helped cities to work better for the common good but pervasive corruption destroyed the quality of life and economic opportunity.

It’s why I became a journalist. It’s why I believed that information could set people free or at least create a balance of interest, values and needs.

I was wrong. It can’t be done when a system is so impacted as the politics of Los Angeles.

For two hours Wednesday, the City Council and a cadre of his constituents who personally benefited in one way or another from Dennis Zine’s years of public self-service celebrated him as a tireless worker for the public benefit – a sentiment that was clearly half true since Dennis is the epitome of opportunism, a man finally rejected at the polls as he should have been so long ago when he wept on street corners to save the disgraced Police Chief Daryl Gates or himself with a female officer on a police union junket.

It was an orgy of self-congratulations as every Council member with the notable absence of his onetime boss, the former Police Chief, Councilman Bernard Parks, offered personal tribute to the greatness of the man – all of which amounted as much to praise of themselves as Zine’s tireless efforts to aggrandize himself with anyone who would listen and take a gift of the city’s money.

In truth, Dennis is no more a villain than any of the rest of them, just more shameless which ought to be the title of he sequel to Lincoln Steffens book: “Los Angeles: City Without Shame.”

Exhausted by their self-indulgence, the Council soon retired to a close session for lunch and drinks with Zine in the back room supposedly to consider the AIDS Healthcare Foundation’s idiotic proposal to create an unbelievably costly and wasteful city health department, offering no more argument than that sexual practices among some are still so reckless syphilis is almost as rampant as it is in Russia.

And without public fanfare to agree to pay $4.1 million to the the two newspaper delivery women wounded in a barrage of pre-dawn gunfire from half a dozen LAPD officers on a stakeout to protect a commander from retaliation by Christopher Dorner.

What was left on the table, tabled in fact for another day, was the plum of city business that actually has the few who still care and believe reform is possible aroused to action despite the irrelevance of their concerns to Zine and his imperious colleagues.

It is the Millennium Project in Hollywood – a massive development that will be the centerpiece of transforming Hollywood into an imitation Times Square in New York or Ginza in Tokyo, driving up property values that will force long-time businesses and residents to flee to West Covina or beyond.

Here is the concluding passage of a 56-page challenge to what the ethically challenged Planning Commission and morally-challenged PLUM Committee (Reyes, Huizar and Englander) have approved in the face of numerous legal problems. It was submitted by land use and public interest attorney Robert Silverstein and his associate Daniel Wright and will undoubtedly form the basis of a lawsuit. (READ FULL LETTER MILLENIUM–6-18-13 FINAL Objection Letter for PLUM)

 THE CONDUCT OF CITY PLANNING OFFICIALS AND THE CITY ATTORNEY VIOLATE THE GOOD FAITH OBLIGATIONS OF THOSE WHO HOLD PUBLIC OFFICE.

The way in which the Millennium Hollywood Project entitlements are being processed by City officials marks an alarming departure from their mandatory duty to carry out the responsibilities of their offices with “disinterested skill, zeal, and diligence, and primarily for the benefit of the public.” Noble v. City of Palo Alto (1928) 89 Cal.App.2d 47, 51; Clark v. City of Hermosa Beach (1996) 48 Cal.App.4th 1152, 1170.

It is a fundamental principle of law that public officers must obey the law, Wirin v. Parker (1957) 48 Cal.2d 890, 894, and they have absolutely no authority to decide to ignore laws they are duty bound by their office to carry out, whether or not they disagree with them. Lockyer v. City and County of San Francisco (2004) 33 Cal. 4th 1055, 1079-1082.7

Our Supreme Court long ago confirmed that acceptance of election or appointment to a public office carries with it the duty to exercise good faith and diligence, even if the law does not expressly state it. San Diego County v. Utt (1908) 173 Cal. 554, 559-560. The Court of Appeal confirmed this principle in holding that a public officer is, as a result of holding his office, duty-bound to discharge those responsibilities with integrity and fidelity to the public that he or she serves. Terry v. Bender (1956) 143 Cal.App.2d 198, 206.

These fundamental precepts of public service have been discarded by the way the City Planning Department, the CPC, and City Councilman and soon-to-be-Mayor Eric Garcetti have overseen preparation of a scheme to break the “social contract” with the stakeholders living and working broadly in the City of Los Angeles, and specifically in the vicinity of the proposed Millennium Hollywood Project.

Since when does CEQA allow a developer not to commit to particular project before analyzing it for potential impacts and required mitigation?

Since when can the City Planning Director require a nearby property owner at Hollywood & Gower to seek and obtain a variance from the Advisory Agency’s regulation requiring 2.5 parking spaces per condominium unit, but the Millennium Developer is allowed to proceed as if the Advisory Agency’s regulation does not even exist?

Since when did the City of Los Angeles determine, in direct violation of CEQA mandates, that it could override the specific study directions given by Caltrans, a responsible agency under CEQA with specific rights and duties?

Since when does the City participate in the obfuscation of life and safety issues related to the proximity of an active earthquake fault within the Project site? The total lack of substantial evidence to support the false conclusion that the Hollywood Fault is far away from the Project site, the failure to address the data from Dr. Dolan of USC, and the suppression of the California Geological Survey’s 2010 Fault Map which shows active faults across the Millennium Site, shock the conscience. It most certainly does not comply with the requirements of CEQA or State law regarding building in, near or on an earthquake rupture zone.

Since when can a developer who has business before the City’s Planning Commission think he can “facilitate” his Project entitlements through the City by hiring the President of the City Planning Commission to work on the very Project Mr. Roschen and his Commission colleagues were asked to consider and approve?

Since when does the City Planning Department staff think that it can grant itself in a Q condition the power to approve secret variances from Project conditions imposed by the CPC, and unilaterally interpret the “intent” of those project conditions – in direct violation of law, including Terminal Plaza Corp. v. City and County of San Francisco (1986) 186 Cal.App.3d 814, 830-835?

Since when did the City of Los Angeles and the City Attorney conclude that they could allow a developer to write special development regulations that explicitly state that when adopted by the City (in a development agreement, and now a Q condition contract) the developer’s regulations would “prevail” over the City’s own Charter and Municipal Code?

And finally, since when did it become a policy and practice of the City to ignore applicable state and local laws en masse to approve completely inappropriate real estate projects while ignoring all duties of public trust, fidelity and good faith, and thus requiring communities to sue the City to compel its compliance with laws which our California and United States Supreme Courts say they must obey as public officials?

The City has committed a gross violation of the public trust in allowing the Millennium Hollywood Project to get this far. The law requires that City officials carry out their mandatory duty to protect the health, safety and welfare of the community by denying this Project and the subject EIR.

X. CONCLUSION.

On behalf of Appellant, its constituent groups, dozens of supporting neighborhood associations, and hundreds of thousands of Hollywood and City of Los Angeles residents, we urge you to reject the Project and its EIR entirely.

This entry was posted in City Hall, Community Activists, Los Angeles and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

31 Responses to Zine Slip-Slides Away with Double-Dipping Pensions as Council Readies to Nuke Hollywood with Millennium Project

  1. Anonymous says:

    Good luck to Mr. Silverstein. He says it all. A corrupt Planning Department with an even more corrupt City Planning Commission President, Bill Roschen who has made a killing in designing Hollywood projects that come before his commission all abetted or ignored by the City Attorney. What a sad commentary of the state of affairs in LA. I remember a time when such conduct would earn the obrium of the citizenry and the leading Papers. Under Villariagosa, the ethics are so non-existent that this is the way business is conducted. This thug even had the guts to state that he wants to run for Governor. Good luck again to Mr. Silverstein for trying to uphold the laws ignored by our electeds.

  2. Disgusted says:

    I look at the thousands of people marching in the streets of Rio, Sao Paulo and Brazilia, protesting their government’s reckless giveaways to wealthy promoters of the World Cup and Olympics while neglecting basic services, infrastructure, and the ability to have a decent life and I ask myself if our situation in Los Angeles is much different?

    A deaf and dumb City Council that listens to the developers and ignores the people. A real estate development and other privileged class to whom more and more it seems the laws and moral principles no longer apply. They do what they want because the Courts, the District Attorney, the FBI and the U.S. Attorney passively allow the corruption to flourish. And not to bash the Democrats for just being Democrats (I hate the Republicans), but I am sick and tire of Democratic law enforcement leaders committing malfeasance in failing to investigate and prosecute some of our elected officials.

    Can the next Los Angeles riots be far away under the rule of the idiots that pass for our leaders in this City?

    • ex valley says:

      Let me correct this for you:
      “t I am sick and tire of Democratic law enforcement leaders committing malfeasance in failing to investigate and prosecute MOST of our elected DEMoCRatic officials.”

      Sounds right.

  3. anonymous says:

    Due to the conflict of interest the City Attorney has when it comes to addressing City Hall corruption, there should be private attorneys “deputized” so that they can file charges against city officials.

  4. Morrison says:

    I see they also held a “celebration” of Jan Perry at City Council. Lord. They really have no shame, but did anyone notice the irony that Council named a swampland in South Los Angeles in Perry’s honor?

    • anonymous says:

      What’s incredible about these daily “celebrations” of exiting Councilpersons is the length of time taken.

      I wonder how much staff time is used to prepare these “celebrations.”

      • ex valley says:

        Are they planning a grand send off for garcetti as a departing council member ? Or a recent stabbing of a woman at Hollywood and vine was an appropriate comment on his district? Sure a nice area you’ve got there.

  5. Hollywood got the shaft and CD 3 got the fiscally irresponsible 2JobBob. But not to worry: no more plastic bags, 140,000 LED street lights thanks to $50 million from DWP, and CleanTech, again thanks to CWP.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Even CALTRANS is disgusted with the dishonest city officials.

    “Caltrans, not usually known to be in league with NIMBYish forces, is “accusing city officials of using bogus statistics and trampling over state law in an effort to push the project through to approval by the City Council.” Caltrans doesn’t buy the assertion that the the twin-towered complex, which will include 492 residences in addition to hotel rooms and commercial space, will only result in 150 extra car trips during peak hours; they say the estimate “is not based on any credible analysis that could be found anywhere,” and doesn’t look at the on- and off-ramps closest to the project.”

  7. KS says:

    Is the top-down corruption in the Planning Dept. = RICO?

  8. Disgusted says:

    I doubt that RICO has any applicability to City Hall. However, I wonder about a civil rights action in federal court against the City Council/Mayor, the District Attorney, and the California Attorney General contending that the massive and unchecked failure of City officials to conform their actions to the law amounts to some kind of denial of the civil rights of the people to live in a community free from denial of their constitutional right to life, liberty, pursuit of happiness, due process of law, or equal protection?

    Look at the long list of violations of law, blatant violations of law by City officials in connection with the Millennium Project and tell me that something is not very very wrong with our Democratic Party supported District Attorney and Attorney General. They have powers to prosecute. They just don’t do it.

  9. scott zwartz says:

    Th reason Gacetti feels comfortable with the corruption laden Hollywood Community Plan and The Millennium is simple. “You cannot have a corrupt city hall without a corrupt judiciary.”

    The law means nothing, ZIP, nada, zilch. Ask Yaffe, Janvas, Alacron, Chalfant, Goodman, Connor, and a host of other creeps. Read the case of Moncharsh v. Heily & Blase (1992) 3 Cal. 4th 1 [10 Cal. Rptr. 2d 183, 832 P.2d 899] where the California Supreme Court orders lower courts to enforce arbitration awards which are wrong on their face and work a substantial injustice on the victims. Yes, that is the judicial spirit that governs the Los Angeles Superior Courts — court endorsed corruption.

    So what does Garcetti have to fear when he bases his Hollywood Community Plan on outright lies? Nothing!

    So what does Garcetti have to fear when the Millennium is based on lies about the earthquake zone? Nothing! Any judge foolish enough to rule against corruption and stand up for Due Process can find herself off the bench.

    If the media wants to do some investigating, they should look at the courts and investigate the judges and the financial benefits they receive for destroying the law in order to favor the millionaires and billionaires.

    Nothing is going to change as long as the courts are corrupt, except one possible thing — some cadre of ego-maniacal billionaires realize that they cannot bribe the laws of economics so they better avert the development train wreck by stopping all the lies. Ha! I should live so long.

    • anonymous says:

      Scott–Sadly, you are right.

    • Sierra says:

      You are right on the money! Ron Kaye has reported and covered Leslie Dutton’s coverage of the Judge Jaffe’s unjust treatment of Attorney Richard Fine. There is no hope if cleaning up corruption in the legislative branch of local government if the Court is corrupted.

  10. Teddy says:

    I think it odd that taxpayers get no relief while all the “officials”
    get raises constantly. We find it hard to shop for food and pay our bills.

    they are congratulating each other. Hey, here’s my DWP bill, please pay it.
    Thank you.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Ken Alpern in his latest article in Citywatch writes– “FIRE City Commissioner Roschen (who helped design the Hollywood Millennium Project, and who stepped on Bill Rosendahl, Paul Koretz, the City Attorney’s office and the entire Westside by ramming the Casden Sepulveda Project through the CPC process) and anyone else in Planning who is so driven by a fetish to build tall, tall, TALL towers that they’re willing to destroy neighborhoods and create environmental nightmares.”

    WE AGREE.

    • Scott Zwartz says:

      We elected Villaraigosa twice and now we have elected Garcetti. We should allow the mayors to have whomever they desire on their Commissions.

      If you did not want mega-towers in Hollywood, too bad. You lost the election. Obviously most the people in Hollywood and especially the Hills want the mega towers as they voted for Garcetti. If the traffic were bad in Hollywood, then the people who live there would not have voted for Garcetti. It’s not as if they did not know Garcetti. He had been Hollywood Councilman for 12 years. CityWatch supported Garcetti for mayor as well as the Los Angeles Times and Kevin James.

      Elections have consequences and the losers should get over it. The election was basically a referendum on the Millennium Towers in Hollywood and Hollywoodians voted for Garcetti and the Towers. The Manhattanization of Hollywood is marching forward.

      • anonymous says:

        You know… the “Mahattanization” of Hollywood
        almost seems trivial if you compare it with the
        ever-present-over-whelming manifestations of Social Rot…
        the gutter-trash, graffiti (is not art), vandalism, transients,
        commercial/residential slumlords, professional low-lifes,
        blight, decay, crime and gangs….yes, Organized Crime…!
        Finally, LA would be lucky to be on a par with Manhattan…
        currently, LA is only compared with third-world cities….

  12. On July 1rst I take the oath of office: (The Council issued a new oath requirement.)
    “I solemly swear to rip apart, defeat, and destroy the Constitution of the United States of America and the State of California. I swear to be corrupt, incompetent, and never push my button at Council votes so that my vote automatically is always “Yes.”
    I also affirm that I’m owned, bought off, and paid off by anyone or anything with a checkbook or a gift for me or my friends. I swear to never serve the homeowners of my district and screw them out of as much $$$$ as I can, so help me the Developers and Campaign donors.”

  13. Rita-of-Sunland says:

    I hope everyone caught Alarcon’s slip-of-the-tongue during Jan Perry’s gratuitous tribute at Tuesday’s City Council meeting when he mentioned that he “helped” mitigate Jan’s HUGE Downtown Skid-Row homeless population thru his “efforts” in the East Valley. No WONDER our homeless numbers have SKY-ROCKETED here in Sunland— Alarcon’s been DUMPING these BUMS in our backyard. What does HE care? He’s ALSO termed out. What’s one more felonious indictment??

    • anonymous says:

      Alarcon, an imbecile…
      an example of “the scum rises to the top”…
      like many other unctuous bureaucrats, was able to ascend to power
      without intelligence or abilities…he was Mayor Bradley’s Valley liaison..
      quickly evolved into pompous politician-low-life…career con-artist…
      no shame, no honor…organized crime loves him…
      and now the suffering will continue in CD7 with Felipe Fuentes…

      • ex valley says:

        CD7 – what is that? Pacoima, North hills, Sylmar? Geez, the pits. No wonder your clowncil man is alarcon. Or Fuentes. Wasn’t he named as a worst ca legislator? Yes he was –
        http://www.laweekly.com/2010-11-11/news/the-worst-legislator-in-california/
        Welcome to TJ north.

        • Rita-of-Sunland says:

          I agree, ex-valley. Sunland-Tujunga (formally of CD2) is now included in CD7, “thanks” to redistricting. The M.O. of the redistricting committee was to extricate a predominantly Caucasian area of L.A. and THRUST it into a 90% LATINO district—CD7— and therefore, GUT any power and/or influence the largely-white neighborhood would have in the SFV. “TJ North?” I say, “TJ MAX!”

          • anonymous says:

            Rita,
            during “redistricting” we warned you:
            your “leaders” misled you to think being
            in CD#6…heaven-forbid with Van Nuys…
            would be sooooo offensive to your
            horse-community-sensibilities.
            The boundaries for CD #6 and CD #7
            were drawn by Valley’s CD 2-3-4-5-6-7-12
            corrupt Redistricting Commissioners;
            “community input” was meaningless BS…
            the Realignment of Power Commissioners
            made us sacrificial lambs for the monster.
            Prepare to suffer with Felipe Fuentes.

  14. Anonymous says:

    “unctuous bureaucrats,”—too high class for the butt kisser bureaucrats.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Hey–anyone read the LA Times article on Maria Elena Durazo (who tried to buy the Mayor’s office for Wendy Gruel) where she claims that $100,000 is barely middle class. Based on this, the woman will not stop till she has every janitor and construction worker make that much. Get ready for more construction and density to satisfy her union members with an obliging Mayor and City Council. She owns them and her propaganda machine LAANE will be there to publish articles in Citywatch to justify every idiotic move. If that is not enough, we have the idiot professor Peter Drier who will use his professorial position to justify it. There will be Millennium Towers in every community whether filled or empty. That is not Durazo’s problem.

  16. Anonymous says:

    F–k Durazo and her uneducated but entitled clientele.

    • anonymous says:

      …but Durazo’s partners and supporters($$$),
      like LAANE and other social-justice non-profits,
      endowments, foundations, public-policy advocacy groups…
      are primarily well-educated-wealthy-white-liberals…
      this demographic believes it will be in control (power) and
      not suffer from the “new economy for all” policies…only others
      will be compelled to celebrate and embrace their new world order…

  17. bill miller says:

    Is it too soon to RECALL GARCETTI? FIRE the WHOLE PLANNING DEPT!!! The CORRUPT LAW BREAKERS..All the Villaraigosa inept appointees…the INEPT and SHAMEFUL planning commission, Roschen, LoGrande who all did his bidding..Like HE would know from ‘Elegant Density’..HE HAS NO FUTURE!! Your lost your souls and he cant repay you!
    Garcetti..learn from this playbook..You too will BE NOWHERE.You screwed your communities over and over..NYC developer boss/funder will be back in NYC laughing at you foolish silly nothing, a faded memory and you will HAVE NO FUTURE.
    What goes around comes around..Tony can tell you all about it!
    FIRE/RECALL the PLUM Committee..Huizar and Englander and send REYES OUT TO PASTURE!
    Mitch O’Farrell, inheriting Garcetti seat..RECALL HIM TOO.. supported by the evil Hollywod Chamber and funded by Millennium too.
    ALL the politicians that Millennium bought, AND THE CHAMBER… for the privilege of taking over Hollywod and RUINING IT.
    They can all go to hell. Their souls are already there.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Bill Miller, a cry in vain. Garcetti is cut from the same cloth as the evil Villar and as beholden to corrupt developers and labor unions. His corruption is more refined but deadly, nevertheless.

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