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Wednesday, February 09, 2011

City Council punts again on CRA while waste continues under Chris Essel

Would CRA/LA file legal challenge to pervent this type of Billboard blight?

CRA/LA Executive Director Chris Essel (in center)

Blogger note: The City Council punted again today the issue of protecting nearly $1 Billion dollars of Community Redevelopement Agency/ Los Angeles's local property tax money from California Governor Jerry Brown. Brown, who is seeking to close the state's dire budget deficit by reclaiming jurisdiction over property tax money set aside for CRA-like projects statewide, would benefit from reading the following on a forlorn twelve year legal battle by the CRA against Regency Outdoor Advertising.

More after the bloggin leap.
The principles that form the foundation for the formations of CRA agencies state-wide are worthy ones. Communities grow old and over time are in need of investment to upgrade and improve the quality of life for those who choose to reside or do business within the given neighborhoods.

But sadly in the case of CRA/LA, the lead agency for redeveloping the blighted eye sores within the City of Los Angeles, the "current mission", has become one of governmental thuggery, that knows no fiscal restraints when engaging in nefarious and pointless legal proceedings.

In 1998, Regency Outdoor Advertising was given city approval for two billboards (small compared to the news-catching super-graphics of today) located at 6778 Hollywood Blvd and 3720 South Flower respectively. City approval was contingent on the final go-ahead by CRA/LA, and thirteen years later? We have a legal standoff that is compounded by CRA/LA's inability to accept reality, but then someone has to profit from this latest debacle.

Those profiteers are the outside, politically-connected law firms that CRA/LA put on retainer to litigate this case. The likes of Kay Reimann ($377,700), Fox & Sohagi ($224,500), Meyers, Nave, Riback, Silver ($76,881) for a grand total of $679,081 and one can see that fighting supposed billboard blight pays.

But one catch, in the same time period CRA/LA has approved 14 much larger signs and 50 of the uber-obnoxious super graphics signs that added more than 50,000 square feet of new signage to that neighborhood (refer to map on page two of pdf of amended Hollywood Signage District).

Thus, the question here for CRA/LA Executive Director Chris Essel and the board is why continue this legal battle when even the presiding U.S. District Judge George H. King, pleads with the outside counsel representing CRA/LA "to stop wasting time and a lot of money on something which may not turn out as you had hope for?"

But as this legal fiasco continues on with the approval of CRA/LA's Chris Essel and the CRA board, the cost in punitive damages continue to mount, but hey, when your billing statements continue to return with checks drawn against CRA/LA's ledger, then what is the hurry to settle?

Your thoughts..............

Scott Johnson in CD 14

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Anonymous Anonymous said:

Chris Essel: Damn I am happy she is not on the city council.

February 09, 2011 6:35 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Another good reason to shut these guys down. Do it Jerry do it.

February 09, 2011 6:37 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Rudy Rich put you back in the kennell, Huh "Spot". Told you not to bark without his permission.

GOOD "spot".

February 09, 2011 6:40 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Who's the tub-o-guts in the front?

February 09, 2011 6:55 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

What do you expect? Jobs are given as rewards or favors in Los Angeles. We're doomed! Is there anybody who can turn this city around?

February 09, 2011 7:15 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

What a disgrace, and why was Essel appointed to this position? Was it her payoff for carrying the mayors water in the CD race?

February 09, 2011 8:17 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I guess now we know why the city is bankrupt.

February 09, 2011 8:19 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Which side is Carmen on this issue? he was bought and paid for by the sign people during his election.

February 09, 2011 8:21 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Can you imagine if Essel had won her city council election. She would have been bought and paid for by AEG three times over already.

Thank God she lost.

February 09, 2011 8:24 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Finally a non CD14 story.

Great expose, good work Red Spot.

February 09, 2011 8:26 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

And again, why should we keep the CRA?

February 09, 2011 9:14 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I recognize that lawfirm...

Meyers, Nave, Riback, Silver

One of their attorneys is James M Casso.

Esteban Torres' son-inlaw

Horacio Vignali's associate involved in the $200,000 payment to get his son pardoned by Bill Clinton.

Current City attorney for the City of Bell

small world.

February 09, 2011 9:37 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Essel: The empty vessel

February 09, 2011 9:52 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Ahhh, this brings back the good old days of the CD2 race from last year. Seemed almost old fashioned compared to the general lunacy in CD14 this year.

Lets bash Essel for old time sake.

February 09, 2011 9:58 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

How many cops and firefighters can you hire for $600,000? what a waste of money.

February 09, 2011 10:12 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Take the signs and take the money. Hollywood looks like shit any way, who gives a fuck if there are two more signs there. People are losing their jobs and they are wasting my money on shit like this.

February 09, 2011 10:16 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

CRA board is filled with nothing but idiots, they will screw up any thing in front of them, even the good projects. They have filled Hollywood with Apartment complexe's that look like Men's Jail Central.

February 09, 2011 10:44 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

What a disaster she would have been on the City Council. Thank you Council District 2 voters.

February 09, 2011 11:56 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I think Red Spot is going legit!

Great digging man.

February 10, 2011 12:03 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Some thing's never change, like Essel screwing the tax payers and alwasy being on the wrong side of every issue.

February 10, 2011 12:41 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Best example of CRA waste & fraud? The ill-fated Las Villas restaurant in Lincoln Heights (aka Alice's Hole). Free money to two morons who wanted to be pizza restauranteurs... Kiss those million$ good-bye!

February 10, 2011 8:23 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

8:23 Can I talk about it in public comment?

February 10, 2011 8:32 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Well Essel has always been as dumb as rocks.

February 10, 2011 9:39 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Chris Essel back on Mayor Sam, she must be thrilled about that.

February 10, 2011 9:40 AM  

Anonymous Alternative Investment Hater said:

Has anyone tried "Google Voice?" It's GREAT. You can make FREE local calls ANYWHERE in the U.S.! Made my FIRST FREE CALL to (202) area code!

February 10, 2011 9:41 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Another great reason to shut down the CRA. Why do you need 12 years to settle any case? three presidential terms to settle a bull shit sign case.

The whole thing is about lining the pockets of lawyers giving the political class contributions.

February 10, 2011 9:50 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Love the shot of Monica's giant head.

February 10, 2011 9:52 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:



February 10, 2011 9:53 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Has any one checked to see if these law firms gave the Essel campaign any money?

Looks like payback time for little Chrissy.

February 10, 2011 9:57 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I know about this case, it has more with Garcetti having hard on for this set of sign guys than Chris Essel.

With Eric if your not part of the CMI crew you wont get shit approved in Hollywood.

February 10, 2011 10:01 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

CRA makes the LAUSD look like it is being run by brain surgeons.

February 10, 2011 10:10 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:


You mean CIM right?

February 10, 2011 10:11 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Carmen probably takes a lot of money from these same attorney's, maybe he is the one keeping this gravy train going and not Chris.

February 10, 2011 10:19 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:


Yes, my mistake.

February 10, 2011 10:20 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I think you can a CRA story like this once a day for the next 10 years and you still wont run out of stupid things they have done.

February 10, 2011 10:28 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:


Carmen is not the bad guy in this, it is that troll Jane Usher who drags him into all kinds of stupid things.

February 10, 2011 10:39 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Garcetti will allow CIM to do public exucations on Hollywood Blvd. if it would help there bottom line.

February 10, 2011 10:40 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Carmen is a good guy my ass.

February 10, 2011 10:44 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:


Jane Usher=Troll

Best thing i have heard in a long time.

February 10, 2011 10:53 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Outside attorney contracts are alwsys scams to pay off contributors. These firms must have given Essel money.

February 10, 2011 11:13 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:


She was running the campaign on our dime. This town is as crooked as hell.

February 10, 2011 11:31 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Good shit Red Spot.This should be in the Times.

February 10, 2011 11:38 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Was this job for Chris Essel a pay off by AV for running in CD2?

February 10, 2011 4:31 PM  

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