Los Angeles County Animal Care and Control head Marcia Mayeda shows the same level of contempt for human beings as she shows for the pets entrusted into her care. This was clearly demonstrated this past week by her department’s initial Discovery request for documents in their attempted defense of a lawsuit filed by the widower of Pamela DeVitt. Ms Devitt was attacked and killed while jogging in Littlerock in May 2013 by a pack of marauding dogs who the DACC had failed to impound despite several prior complaints by local residents. In a level of unprecedented tastelessness Mayeda and her legal team, who are being paid with our tax dollars, demanded that the plaintiff disclose the names of the mourners at Ms. DeVitt’s funeral.
The most striking takeaway from their Discovery requests was the County’s obsession with trying to find out who leaked the secret DACC documents which showed how easily this tragedy could have been prevented had the agency acted. Because Los Angeles County’s taxpayers are being forced to pay for the legal costs to fight this losing fight, we have decided to save them some time and give them a hint. The documents were secured from embarrassed DACC employees by a blogger who is covered by First Amendment Freedom of the Press laws. Instead of focusing on trying to find out which appalled DACC employee(s) leaked the DACC’s dirty secrets, we suggest that petty bureaucrat Mayeda focus her attention on why there were any nefarious doings on their part to begin with. Mayeda appears to think the sin was in getting caught, rather than being culpable in the death of Pamela DeVitt.
However with Mayeda and her inner circle it’s all about revenge and reprisals – sometimes against her employees who she sentences to ‘freeway therapy’ making them drive two hours to the farthest DACC facility from their homes, other times against her volunteers who she fires for telling the truth about how badly run her shelter system is, and all too often against the public as demonstrated in the DACC’s actions this past week. Frequent and public Lancaster shelter critic, Antje Stobbe, a dog trainer who lives in Acton was paid a surprise visit by a DACC officer who drove 67 kilometers from Norwalk to try and force his way onto her property where she has a total of two dogs. Disgruntled DACC employees have already confirmed that the official was there solely to harass Stobbe for her continual criticism of the DACC and its Lancaster shelter manager, Sherri Koenig. Stobbe was not intimidated and responded by sending the following to Mayeda, thereby laying the groundwork for another potential lawsuit against the DACC if they should foolishly try to retaliate:
“Recently Sergeant Montez-Kemp of the Lancaster shelter was quoted as saying that your agency does not have enough manpower to go after major hoarders and other offenders. In fact you procrastinated raiding the property at 19021 East Avenue Q in Lake Los Angeles – a property where you found many chained and abused dogs as well as a sheep who had been mauled and had to be euthanized. Allegedly you still have not shown up to answer other hoarding complaints, for example the property located at 13242 Avenue R in Littlerock. This case has been sitting on your desk for several months, “no timed” rather than investigated.
However, somehow you were able to find DACC manpower [wasting tax dollars] to send an officer in a DACC vehicle 67 miles from Norwalk to my home, a property that you have never received one complaint about…
If you continue to harass me you are not only going to lose in a court of law, but you are going to bring me an even larger audience for my criticism of your poorly run agency.”
It’s time for Mayeda to address the root problems that bedevil her scandal plagued agency. Ms. Mayeda needs to understand that it’s the perpetrators of the misdeeds, and not the people who discover them, that need to be retaliated against.
Anyone who reads the DACC’s entries into their Chameleon software comes to the same conclusion, had the DACC done its job properly Pamela DeVitt would be alive today. Alex Jackson, the owner of the dogs who killed Mrs. DeVitt was sentenced to 15 years to life for second degree murder for Ms. DeVitt’s death. Deputy District Attorney Ryan Williams stated in Jackson’s sentencing memo, “(Jackson’s) actions in this case shows that he has a nearly psychopathic disregard for the lives and well-being of others”.
The same could be said for Marcia Mayeda.