Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa swears in LAPD Chief Charlie Beck
Photo from LA Times Al Seib
The Los Angeles City Council today appointed Charlie Beck as the city's new police chief.
The council unanimously approved Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's nomination at a hearing this morning. There was no organized opposition to the nomination of Beck, currently an LAPD deputy chief, but the stakes are high.
The choice comes at a time of uncertainty for the department as Beck will be given the task of sustaining former Police Chief William J. Bratton’s hard-won gains amid dwindling city budgets. Beck, 56, has risen quickly through the department’s command ranks in recent years and was viewed widely as the favorite to be selected by the mayor.
From his success in rehabilitating the Rampart Division, which had been at the center of a corruption scandal, and later as head of the LAPD’s forces in South Los Angeles, he has earned praise from police and civic leaders for blending a tough stance on crime with a progressive approach to improving the police department’s relationship with the public.
Villaraigosa chose Beck nearly three months after Bratton announced he would step down at the end of October. During his seven years as chief, Bratton oversaw dramatic declines in crime and improved long-strained relations between police and minority communities.
Meanwhile, District Attorney Steve Cooley Disregards City Council Vote and Vows to Prosecute Medical Marijuana Dispensaries
Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley said today he will prosecute dispensaries that sell medical marijuana even if the Los Angeles City Council adopts an ordinance that does not ban such sales.
On Monday, two council committees rejected the city attorney’s advice and changed a provision in the proposed ordinance, allowing cash transactions as long as they comply with state law.
“Undermining those laws via their ordinance powers is counterproductive, and, quite frankly, we’re ignoring them. They are absolutely so irrelevant it’s not funny,” Cooley said.
Cooley said state law and state court decisions have made it clear that collectives cannot sell marijuana at dispensaries.
He reiterated his view that most, if not all, dispensaries in the county are in violation of the law. “We don’t know of one that’s not engaging in just over-the-counter sales,” he said.
Then this quote from Councilman Ed Reyes, soon after Cooley's announcement.
Councilman Ed Reyes, who has overseen the development of the city’s ordinance, said that he did not think Cooley’s comments would cause the council to rethink whether to allow sales. “This is not about Cooley vs. Reyes, or Cooley vs. the council. This is about the quality of life. We all have better things to do than to do this legal jousting,” he said.
Thus, for those who plan on navigating the choppy waters of Los Angeles politics, the next couple of years should be full of verbal and legal broadsides between the "S.S. Clowncil" with Captain Villar at the helm and the "S.S. Cooley Nuch" acting as the legal enforcer of local political navigation.
BTW, nice to see that Councilman Reyes is consistent in his sanctuary tendencies for all illegal law breakers, regardless of age, sex, or creed.
Labels: City Attorney carmen trutanich, Councilman Ed Reyes, District Attorney Steve Cooley, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck, Los Angeles City Council, medical marijuana