Whistleblower hotline: (213) 785-6098

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Press Events for Wednesday

7:30 AM -- Board member Jose Huizar greets students at opening of Harvard Elementary School, 330 N. Harvard Blvd.

8:00 AM -- UCLA Anderson Forecast Conference, UCLA Andersen School of Management

8:30 AM --
LA City Council Housing, Community, and Economic Development Committee hearing, City Hall, 200 N. Spring St., Room 1010

9:00 AM --
LA County Regional Planning Commission meets, Hall of Records, 320 W. Temple, Room 150

10:00 AM -- LA City Council meeting, City Hall, 200 N. Spring St., Council Chambers

12:00 PM -- SEIU Local 660 rally outside King Drew, 12021 S. Wilmington Ave., hospital front lawn

3:00 PM -- LA City Council Transportation Committee hearing, City Hall, 200 N. Spring St., Room 1050

4:10 PM -- LA City Council Commerce, Energy, and Natural Resources Committee hearing, City Hall, 200 N. Spring St., Room 1010

6:30 PM -- Women's Dialogue Series "Women in Media" Panel discussion, City Hall, 200 N. Spring St., Public Works Board Room, Third Floor.

From the Daily News -- Neighborhood Meetings (Updated 9/26):

Reseda Neighborhood Council will hold a board meeting at 7 p.m. Oct. 3 at Magnolia Science Academy, 18238 Sherman Way, Reseda. Call (818) 756-7330 or see www.resedacouncil.org.

Chatsworth Neighborhood Council, 7 p.m. Oct. 5 at Lawrence Middle School, 10100 Variel Ave., Chatsworth. Call (818) 464-3511.

West Hills Neighborhood Council, 7 p.m. Oct. 5 at the 911 Communications Center, 23001 Roscoe Blvd., West Hills. Call (818) 719-8656 or see www.westhillsnc.org.

Sherman Oaks Neighborhood Council, 6:30 p.m. Oct. 10 in the auditorium at Sherman Oaks Elementary School, 14755 Greenleaf St., Sherman Oaks. Call (818) 503-2399.

North Hills East Neighborhood Council, 7 p.m. Oct. 10 in the library at Sepulveda Middle School, 15330 Plummer St., North Hills. Call (818) 891-0060.



Anonymous Jim Hahn said:


Mayor Wraps Up Stint as Prospective Juror
After questioning by lawyers in a murder trial, Villaraigosa is excused from duty.
By Richard Fausset
Times Staff Writer

September 28, 2005

After three days of cameos in Los Angeles' criminal court building, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa was finally excused from jury duty Tuesday, avoiding service on a murder trial that could have tied up city business for weeks.

The mayor spent about 12 working hours as a prospective juror. For two days, he had been assigned to the courtroom of Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael E. Pastor, where a jury was being selected for the trial of two men charged with murdering a Willowbrook merchant during a 2002 robbery.

Villaraigosa was obviously impatient to get back to the city's business, but he also said he hoped that his service showed people how important jury service is.

"What I heard a lot today from people was, 'You know, if you could do it, I could do it,' " he said.

The mayor's only interaction with the judge and attorneys in the case came during voir dire, the process of questioning prospective jurors to ensure that the jury selected is fair and impartial.

Like dozens of others, the mayor was called upon to disclose some basic personal information, as well as detailed opinions and facts about his past involvement with the justice system.

Seated between a UPS driver and an airline baggage handler, Villaraigosa — officially known as Juror No. V-7304 for the day — described himself to the judge as an "elected official" and a married father of four who had previously served on three juries.

He mentioned his well-known 1977 arrest and eventual acquittal on an assault charge, saying that he was "defending" his mother. (Villaraigosa fought with a man who yelled racial slurs and slugged Villaraigosa's mother outside a restaurant.)

The potential jurors were asked to list personal contacts with police, and some mentioned officers they had known or dated. Villaraigosa said, "I actually have responsibility for the Los Angeles Police Department."

He was required to disclose groups he belonged to that dealt with gun issues. Villaraigosa stated that he was a former head of the local American Civil Liberties Union chapter, which lobbies for stricter gun control laws.

Villaraigosa also said he had "issues" with a controversial legal concept prosecutors had applied in the case under consideration known as "felony murder."

Under California's felony murder rule, a person can be charged with murder without having intended to kill someone if they caused a death during commission of a serious felony such as robbery. Murder charges can also result for accomplices in such felonies — even if the accomplices do nothing to directly cause the death. The mayor said it was this latter aspect of the felony murder law that especially concerned him. But he promised to apply the concept in the case if chosen as a juror.

When his turn came for questioning, defense attorney Richard Everett brought up the issue:

"You're not to determine what the felony murder rule is, but your job is to apply it to the facts of this case if it applies, is that your understanding?"

"Yes," Villaraigosa said.

Deputy Dist. Atty. Danette Meyers asked a number of potential jurors if they would be less likely to apply the felony murder rule now that they'd heard that the mayor had problems with it.

All of the people she asked said they would apply the law as it was explained to them.

After conferring with the attorneys, the judge announced that the mayor was not chosen as a juror or as an alternate. Villaraigosa then hustled off to the elevators.

Somebody asked him if he was going to the 11th floor to pick up his certificate commemorating his service.

"I think I'll just pick up the certificate later," he said, smiling.

September 28, 2005 8:20 AM  

Anonymous Jim Hahn said:

What the hell is Antonio doing in Burbank on our tax dollars?
BURBANK, Calif. -- Now that Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has been dismissed from jury duty, he is helping volunteers in Burbank build Habitat for Humanity homes. The homes will be sent to the Gulf Coast to help hurricane victims.

September 28, 2005 10:48 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

This running feature on the BLOG (Press Event for. . .) should just be renamed, "AV Photo Ops for. . ." whichever day of the week it is.

Call it what it is!

September 28, 2005 12:46 PM  

Blogger Parque Esqueleto said:

Could you at least put out the press events list a week ahead of time, instead of that same day? I'm running out of easy excuses to get Antonio on camera.

Anyone know of any under-reported natural disasters we can piggyback on? Has there been an ice-flow shift in Alaska, or a dust storm in Kansas we just haven't heard about yet?

I'd have him rolling bandages for soldiers, but that's so "militaristic" - yuck!

(P.S. Looking forward to "Dia de los Muertos" - it matches my NAME).

September 28, 2005 12:52 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I really thought LA Times was turning the corner and beginning to report good factual pieces on Antonio like Patrick Mcgreevy who has done some great stories. I like Richard Fausset but these jury duty stories are sickening. Someone should find out how Antonio got to do a press conf. on Monday when he was suppose to be on jury duty.

September 28, 2005 2:19 PM  

Anonymous Jim Hahn said:

Hey Parque,

Supervisor Burke's and Jesse Jackson's birthday are coming up. This would be a good opportunity to connect and photo-op with the African American voters.
You know, 'street cred'

Also I hear the Kings will begin the Hockey season and the LA Angels of Anaheim will have playoff games so he should get his pearly whites ready so he can show-up and get a jump start on campaigning Orange County and Conservative voters for when he runs for Governor.

September 28, 2005 2:52 PM  

Blogger Parque Esqueleto said:

Scribble, scribble, scribble, scribble. . .

Okay, got all that!

That much is good for about one day of mayoral "work" - keep 'em coming!

September 28, 2005 5:46 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Any community events in Los Angeles this weekend?

September 28, 2005 7:00 PM  

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