• 2015
  • (Page 5)

Yearly Archives: 2015

Baldwin Park and Downey Shelter Pets Urgently Need Your Help!

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This week’s news that the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors are considering refurbishing the aging Baldwin Park and Downey Shelters was met with general skepticism by employees and veteran watchers of the DACC. Everyone knows the Downey Shelter, originally built in the late 1940’s and the Baldwin Park facility, built in the 1950’s are woefully inadequate and hanging together by bubble gum and super glue. However, few people who either work for, or with, the DACC believe that the County of Los Angeles will do anything more than waste money commissioning a study recommending that they move or fix these two facilities, and then let the plans rot on the backburner until they are eventually forgotten altogether.

The reason they won’t fix these antiquated shelters is that the Downey Shelter is lying on condemned land that for over ten years has been designated to be used to construct a new highway. Los Angeles County is not going to spend twelve million dollars and then have it destroyed a few years later, if and when this road is ever built. Likewise the Baldwin Park Shelter is also on a parcel of land that is reportedly to be included in a redevelopment project which would force the poorly run facility to relocate.

Perhaps it is due to the intense mistrust for the bureaucrats running the DACC  permeating its workforce, but more than a few employees and a few people committed to bettering the shelters, including myself, feel that the timing of this announcement was nothing but a smokescreen to try to divert media attention from the recently filed lawsuit against Los Angeles County and DACC head Marcia Mayeda for negligence, fraud and their covering up their own culpability in the death of jogger Pamela DeVitt. It has been amazing how many shelter employees, including several DACC executives, have expressed their disgust and outright hostility towards Mayeda’s conduct, and the amount of evidence being leaked showing Mayeda’s misdeeds is growing on a daily basis. One well-placed DACC insider went so far as to instruct employees to stop complaining about Mayeda to the Board of Supervisors, because the Board never investigates complaints about the DACC and merely  forwards any complaints to none other than Marcia Mayeda for investigation!   To no one’s surprise, asking Mayeda to investigate herself has not been working that well!  Instead the DACC executive suggested complaints about the DACC be made to the Los Angeles County Auditor, whose investigations cannot be perverted by Mayeda’s dirty hands.

New shelter facilities are desperately needed.  New shelter management is even more desperately needed.  We aren’t holding our breath for the former, but on the latter it may finally be that the light at the end of the tunnel is not an oncoming train.

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Downey and Baldwin Park Shelter Pets Urgently Need Your Help!

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If I were a more charitable person I might actually feel sorry for Marcia Mayeda, the head of the Los Angeles County Department of Animal Control. Holiday cheer must have dimmed for the overpaid bureaucrat when she found that Santa had evidently checked his naughty list carefully this year and left a big chunk of coal in her stocking in the form of a lawsuit naming both the DACC and her personally as defendants.   The suit was brought by Benjamin DeVitt, the widower of jogger Pamela DeVitt who was killed by a pack of unlicensed and unaltered dogs.   The D.A.C.C. had received multiple complaints about these dogs but failed to act. As the prosecution in the murder case against the dogs’ owner Alex Jackson said in opening arguments, “Animal Control dropped the ball on the case.”

This lawsuit is not a referendum on Pit Bulls. It is about outright lies to the Board of Supervisors, falsified evidence and an attempt to cover up negligence which resulted in an entirely preventable death. The evidence shows a conspiracy at the highest level of the DACC to hide the true facts and tell outright lies – which has been the trademark of the agency under Marcia Mayeda.

A DACC employee backdated notes in Chameleon, the County’s tracking software – apparently unaware that these entries are time-stamped.  The DACC has a written policy that all notes are to be entered promptly and failure to do so can cause suspension or termination, yet these notes were backdated several months.  The emplyee in question is still working as an officer at the Lancaster shelter.

Los Angeles County self-insures. Somewhere this week in a Los Angeles County Government office an attorney is going to assess the County’s risk from this lawsuit. He will try to calculate the financial value of Ms. DeVitt’s unlived life and her family’s suffering. He will look at the incriminating evidentiary trail.   At that point he will probably conclude that this is not a winnable case for the County and that a trial would expose many things that the County would not want known, and he will probably recommend settling the case.   The question is what that will take, and whether it can be accomplished without a guarantee of changes at the highest levels of the DACC.

But I guess I’m not that charitable a person after all and I hope you share my optimism that 2015 will be an awesome year!

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