On January 14th, the Los Angeles Times ran an excellent story by Abby Sewell documenting how the County of Los Angeles has seen a dramatic increase in legal costs in defending itself against lawsuits brought by the public. In the fiscal year 2014-2015, Los Angeles County paid over $59.9 million in judgments and settlements and almost an equal amount, $59 million in attorney fees. According to Sewell, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors are going to discuss how to combat these rising drains to its budget this week.
Being the highly civic minded person that I am, I would like to offer a few easily implemented suggestions which could save a shitload of money that could be diverted to positive alternatives than wasting our tax dollars defending the misdeeds of the inept, corrupt and complicit directors, managers and employees of the County of Los Angeles.
My first suggestion is to cut the rotting limbs to save the body: Fire the corrupt and inept directors, managers and employees. Exhibit A1: Los Angeles County Animal Control ” Director ” Marcia Mayeda who routinely violates California law, and the same policies and procedures which she instituted and mandated her employees follow.
Under Mayeda’s failed leadership, because she concerns herself only with appearances while neglecting all duty to the public and the animals she is supposed to serve, the department has continually been dragged into court for its untenable violations of the Hayden Act, (see the infamous ‘JoJo’ case, Santa Paula Animal Rescue Center, Travis Bosquez, Rebecca Merrill and Denise Wheeler vs. County of Los Angeles Department of Animal Care and Control Case no BS144497 in Superior Court and Nguyen et al vs Los Angeles County et al and for their negligence and after the fact cover – up in the negligent and wrongful death oPamela DeVitt after she was fatally mauled by a pack of unlicensed, unaltered stay Pit Bulls (Benjamin DeVitt, Tad Devitt and April DeVitt against County of Los Angeles Department of Animal Care and Control and Marcia Mayeda. Case No: BC 568584) to name but a few.
In the ongoing DeVitt case, Los Angeles County hired Carpenter, Rothans & Dumont a firm enriching itself by defending the county’s flagrant and unapologetic wrong-doers (talk about selling your soul to the devil) to defend the grotesque caricature that is Marcia Mayeda and the DACC.
At the time of DeVitt’s fatal mauling Los Angeles County Ordinance Title 10, Division 1, Section 10.12.090 stated that (the director of animal control) shall take into custody:
a.) All unlicensed dogs
d.) dogs and other animals running at large
f.) sick, injured, stray, unwanted or abandoned animals
Carpenter, Rothans & Dumont’s attorneys argued (with straight faces) that the word ‘shall’ does not require mandatory duty on the part of the DACC – and that it was merely a coincidence when two weeks after Ms. DeVitt was killed that the Board of Supervisors modified the law changing the word “shall” to “is authorized to”. Really? Really.
These same attorneys are also spending your tax dollars to make the specious argument that copies of Plaintiff Tad DeVitt’s discharge papers from the Army showing that he retired from the Army in April of 2015 do not prove that he was discharged from the army in April of 2015.
We do not know exactly what Carpenter, Rothans & Dumont are charging Los Angeles County to sell their souls to make such arguments but the blood money is being paid by LA County taxpayers ! Yes! Our tax dollars at work to defend the negligent, reckless and grotesquely overpaid “Director” of the DACC – Marcia Mayeda for not protecting the public – the very job she is being paid to perform!
There is evidence that Los Angeles County Supervisor Mike Antonovich not only knows how corrupt his Director of Animal Control is, but conspired with her to institute the DeVitt coverup – and therefore will spend the County into oblivion defending his morally undefendable employee, Marrcia Mayeda. So if the Board of Supervisors decides as Ms. Sewell says to figure out why their legal costs are so high – we can suggest they save time by insisting that Mr. Antonovich bring a mirror with him.