Whistleblower hotline: (213) 785-6098

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Two Elected Officials urged Home Depot to Sue City, Home Depot claims

Drill down into this Home Depot v. City of Los Angeles Homeowners (well, those are the people who feel the effects of a lawsuit against the City most) article and you find something so enormously awful about the City that it demands attention:

Nichols [Jeff Nichols, Home Depot's Western Division director of real estate] said two city elected officials urged him and Home Depot to file the lawsuit and overturn the decision. Nichols declined to identify the officials.

If you were working the aisles for Home Depot and advised a customer who slipped and fell to sue Home Depot, guess how long you'd last as an employee there. The City of Los Angeles owes it to itself to do what any corporation would do in these circumstances: conduct an investigation into who gave Home Depot such advice.

The safest recourse of the people of the City of Los Angeles is to commence a recall against any elected official who won't assure the public that they advised a multinational corporation to sue the City. The people of the City need to protect themselves against such egregious and wanton fiscal neglect.

Labels: ,


Anonymous Anonymous said:

Of course LA Slimes has nothing on this story but thanks to Daily News we can read what happened yesterday in council.

...Council blinks in face of mayor's demand to use trash fees to hire LAPD officers
Green light for more cops

November 10, 2007 8:06 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Looks like the morons Dowd and Hunt who are so lame they can't get real jobs are in papers this morning. Funny twist when Blacks showed up to go after Bitter Bernie on this one. Why isn't Bitter Bernie going after the black music industry for the name calling to their own people like callling women whores, friends the N word, and horrible names in music videos and the violence?

...Voting 11 to 0 on a resolution by Councilman Bernard C. Parks, the council ceremoniously banned the use of the word "nigger" after hearing testimony from lawyer Gloria Allred, a group of civil rights leaders and the owner of the nightclub where "Seinfeld" star Michael Richards used the word repeatedly during a stand-up routine last year.

The testimony quickly veered into other territory as several African American audience members addressed the council to argue that the city had not worked hard enough to protect its black residents from gang members of Mexican descent.

"This is a false attempt by Councilman Parks to cover up the fact that they have not done anything with the illegal alien gangs who are killing black Americans in South Los Angeles," said the Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson, founder of Brotherhood Organization of a New Destiny

Someone tell council there is something called FREEDOM OF SPEECH. Even though you don't like what someone says they have every right to say it as long as it is not a threat to you.

November 10, 2007 8:14 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Never mind an investigation, Joseph. If Rocky "Chicken Little" Delgadillo proceeds to earn his salary and allow this case to go to trial, the city officials' names who advised HD to sue will come to light.

The taxpayers will then be able to figure out the ones who are in the woodpile, so to speak.

November 10, 2007 10:46 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Will Rocky fight hard? Peter Gutierrez was one of Rocky's top attorneys who gave advice about Home Depot and Lincoln Place and is now working at Latham & Watkins, the law firm that was against the city in both.

November 10, 2007 11:00 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Where's Mirthala?

November 10, 2007 11:01 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

What about Parks, Wesson and Perry along with Maxine Waters supporting Gloria Jeffs in going after the city for money over her being fired for cause -- because she was ineffective and abrasive.

Why do all the blacks who encourage race-baiting lawsuits against the city get a pass? Then Bernie comes out slugging pretending to be fiscally responsble, when everyone can see it's a gripe against LAPD and Bratton.

Not to mention the video he showed in Council on the first day the May 1st Mellee was discussed, to "prove" the claims his community allegedly makes, that the LAPD still has a culture of institutional racism.

Parks condemned the cops before even giving them a hearing, creating a negative image of them. Of course that is giving fodder to those hundreds of lawsuits being put together against LAPD over that miserable day. They're talking hundreds of millions of dollars.

November 10, 2007 11:54 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Like Home Depot needs advice from anyone in the city to sure. This suit was a done deal from the getgo, soon as Wendy got the Council to go against the City's Planning people.

Anyone who thinks they were ever going to quietly eat the 90& completed remodel costs, plus the tens of millions for the EIR plus years of delays, was delusional.

It still isn't clear what Wendy was thinking. HD are sleazy, like trying to pin the blame on some electeds when they were planning this suit all along, lobbying the City Council right in chambers, the phone bused-in supporters.

But the city had a lot more at stake than S=T -- the Chamber of Commerce, Mayor and all sorts of business interests are now groveling hat in hand, trying to get big box stores to come to L A after that debacle.

Shows what happens when one elected like Wendy panders to her community against the big picture. If it's up to homeowner groups, they're now being called CAVES: Citizens Against Virtually Everything.

November 10, 2007 11:59 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Today's New York Daily News reports that a crime ring busted in Bell and connected to the L A downtown Fashion district, was actually a sophisticated money-laundering ring for the Lebanese (Iran funded) terror group Hezbollah.

Called Operation Bell Bottoms, a joint op between cops and FBI.

so much for those who think we don't hve any local terrorism threats. But this had to be reported in a NY paper, don't want to panic us here in LA I guess.

November 10, 2007 12:41 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Wendy made this decision, she has to back it up. She claims that HD was deviating from the permit they got, and it was her call to say that amount was enough to pull the permit.

She never explained or showed those details or alleged violations, except to say that she'd told them she'd ask the permit pulled if they varied their plan "one tiniest bit."

They told her they'd sue then, so this is hardly news.

This whole thing is clear as mud.

November 10, 2007 12:56 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

12:56, you are an idiot, and know not of what you speak. Go study the case and the stacks of evidence against Home Depot.Then try again.

November 10, 2007 4:38 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

11:59. Perhaps you are unaware of our form of government. It is called REPRESENTATIVE DEMOCRACY.

This means that listening to your "community" is what you are SUPPOSED TO DO.

Just because representing special interests who are NOT your constituents has become the norm does NOT mean that elected officials who actually listen are wrong. It just means they UNDERSTAND THEIR JOB.

They were elected BY their community FOR their community. Sound familiar?

Latham has lost a few rounds recently and served their clients poorly. They have gotten so used to running the city that when an elected official actually stands up to them they get their panties in a twist.

November 10, 2007 5:52 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Pandering to a community of bohemians who had nothing better to do but get all hepped up about the one big store in their whole town, and wouldn't drive a few miles to Burbank to shop, so had to close down a remodel that was 90% complete and had the permits and approval of the city planning dept., is just plain irresponsible.

The rest of us don't want to pay for your NIMBYism, and the fact that Greuel was campaigning on our tax dollars by how she handled this. If you don't like the laws, campaign to change them, until then, exposing the rest of us to these lawsuits which were obviously going to happen is irresponsible.

Wendy and Home Depot trying to blame the suit on some city people is shameful on both sides.

Now Alarcon is looking to this debacle and Wendy's opposing a would-be developer because he doesn't like their lobbying tactics -- Mission Hills Hospital -- had added another lawsuit against our city that he/they were advised against by city planners.

Plus their local NC and Councilman Greig Smith opposed Alarcon's position on that -- as did Greuel, I think. At least that project hadn't started construction yet; problem with Home Depot S-T is they had incurred millions already.

If every Councilperson went against the laws and Building Dept., we'd have been broke long ago. Plus Latham and Watkins is right, no one wants to do business with L A, and its reputation as lefties who shake down business. First there was the LAX-area hotel living wage battle, now this, then what?

It's you clowns in S-T who should form your own city, with Wendy as its Mayor, and fight all you want against your one big box store.

People suggested you boycott other H-D stores to make your point and then boycott H D when it opens. That is representative democracy.

DESPITE thinking you all and Greuel were wrong and stubborn on this, I don't want to see our city lose on this because it's out of our pockets so why don't you get your groups together, and prove phony "supporters" being paid to be bused in, how HD virtually boasted they could buy our City Council, etc.

Put the elbow grease you used in fighting them to help the city's case. Lawyer and finding fees will be in the millions no matter what.

November 10, 2007 6:49 PM  

Blogger Unknown said:

6:49 said
"If you don't like the laws, campaign to change them, until then, exposing the rest of us to these lawsuits which were obviously going to happen is irresponsible."

I got news for you my friend, the laws that exist are what HD is mad
about, CM Greuel is only trying to enforce them. If HD wants to change the laws, then let them campaign for that, in the meantime, they have to play by the rules just like everyone else. They can throw a temper tantrum and sue the City, because they have the money to do so, but the law is the law, and HD will lose this lawsuit.

November 10, 2007 7:13 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I heard the midget mayor told Home Depot to sue the city.

You heard it here first, you won't get this news at the L.A. Slimes, fishwrap.

November 10, 2007 8:39 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Which one of the voices in your head told you that??

November 10, 2007 9:04 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Someone from Rocky's office told HD to sue the city so he can keep his job.

He was worried there weren't enough lawsuits being filed against the city, what with firefighters and protesting illegals and matt dowd and hunt and all, and that they'd have to lay off some of the hundreds of lawyers on Rocky's staff.

So the secret fact is, Rocky has his lawyers canvassing ambulance chasers to corporations to get them to sue the city so his staff can keep their jobs.

Not that they prosecute anything anyway, they contract everything out to other law firms, since if they did prosecute a case themselves, they know they'd lose.

You heard it here first so you know it must be true.

November 10, 2007 10:04 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

9:04, re: which one of the voices in 8:39's head?

The wrong one, obviously.

November 10, 2007 11:14 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Nate HOlden had many lawsuits filed against him when he was councilman by women and many were settled quitely. Reyes had an ex employee sue and won for $125,000. Why doesn't the lazy LA reporters report just how many lawsuits have been quitely settled against city council members or the ones pending? Let's see if David Z can get his reputation back and do some real investigative work like he use to and find out who exactly was involved in having Home Depot sue the city. What's going to happen now is any developer who doesn't get its way will end us suing the city cause of the idiots we have on council.

November 11, 2007 7:34 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

And at the same time Latham & Watkins is trying to stick it to the city they also continur to cozy up to the mayor: big $$$for his pet projects and efforts through their developer clients (more than $250,000 in Century City alone....).

November 11, 2007 7:43 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

7:34: You're naive as a baby. Do you think the HD was ever for one second going to eat the costs it had spent on remodel when Wendy got the city to pull the permit -- they were 90% done, had spent millions. And much more on preparing for the opening and other expenses.

This is very different from a case where the developer is prevented from building -- HD was almost done, and there's a dispute over whether or not they deviated from the plan. Wendy says yes, but very minimally. Doesn't help that she admits caving in to the community's insistence it's not the "right" kind of development they want. That makes it sound like they're coming up with excuses to prevent it.

HD is a scuzzy operation, the way it tried to buy Council votes and shot itself in the foot. Also the phony paid supporters. But Wendy's about as sharp as a bread knife.

NEITHER of them needed anyone from the city to advise HD to sue, which was a done deal and threat from the beginning. Wendy is trying to pass the blame for being stupid, and HD trying to intimidate the city into settling to prevent mud slinging.
(Which it sounds like you're anxious for, now that the Mayor and Mirthala have gone underground.)

Meanwhile, the Mayor is groveling hat in hand to other big box stores like MegaWalmart and Target, who won't come to L A. These retailers spin off upto 3-5 times taxes/per sq foot as do upscale retailers.

November 11, 2007 10:54 AM  

Blogger Unknown said:

10:54 am. Me thinks you may be the naive one or at the least very uninformed. After HD was granted their permits, an Appeal was filed by the No Home Depot Campaign. HD was warned not to begin work until the appeal had been resolved. If they chose to proceed, then they were assuming all risk. They went ahead, ignoring the warning, and raced to complete and open the store before the appeal could be heard. It is common knowledge that once a store opens for business it is very difficult to force it to close.
I would also ask that you read the mountain of evidence against Home Depot. Wendy Greuel did not make any rash decisions nor did she offer minimal evidence. She did not cave to her constituents either. She even told us that without overwhelming proof that HD was in violation of code, she would be unable to do anything.

November 11, 2007 12:24 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Joe b, fact is that the way this was handled has hurt the city as a whole, it's the left hand not knowing what the right is doing and undermining it in terms of recruiting big box stores. It was handled very poorly, as there are issues way beyond that one neighborhood. That's where a CM with a broader perspective would have looked at the big picture and handled things differently. Even at the City Council meeting on this, Wendy was way too emotional, visibly so, it became too personal.

As it is for you, and I hope you all prevail. But it sounds like HD will force a settlement or drag Wendy and the rest of the city into the mud. And she IS trying to pass blame onto some other officials when she knew and was warned that her actions were triggering a suit.

November 11, 2007 1:12 PM  

Blogger Unknown said:

I appreciate your perspective but I must point out a few things. You cannot treat this City as one mass
entity. There are extreme differences in the geographical and economic make-up of our multitude of neighborhoods that must be considered
in any planning decision.In our case, we are geographically located between two mountain ranges. Our community is less than 3 miles wide by 5 miles long. Development space, especially commercial space is very limited. This site is the only site available that can support a general merchandise development that meets the needs of the community. Economically, our town is in dire need of an anchor retail development that will meet the general merchandise needs of the community and hopefully stop the tax dollars from being spent in the cities of Burbank, Glendale, Pasadena, etc. Hardware stores we got. General merchandise we don't.

I also have to agree with you that the left hand didn't know what the right hand was doing. This seems to by an ongoing problem between City agencies, and it took the efforts of our group to point out these inconsistencies to them. The City is complaint driven, if you don't complain, they will rubber stamp anything.
We not only complained, we backed up our complaints with extensive and overwhelming evidence.

HD will try to drag the City into the mud. They tried to drag us into the mud as well by labeling all as racists. Now, in their lawsuit, they are trying to drag us into the mud by accusing the NHDC of being a "front" for one of their competitors. You see, everyone likes a David vs Goliath story, but no one could give two shits about one company fighting another. Their
portrayal of us as a front group serves their purpose of trying to dehumanize the battle, and is an attempt to gain sympathy for "just trying to do business". I hope people will see through this.

Will the City settle out of court?
The word I am getting is "No Deals Will Be Made!" and the City Attorney appears ready and willing to take HD on.

November 11, 2007 1:40 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

joe b, I'll agree w/ one thing: HD has had a divide and conquor strategy all along: the community from their phony bused in "supporters," who were mostly Hispanics looking for work with no understanding of the issues, when reporters approached them; now, their attempt to pin the suit on some city officials (and Wendy is quoted in the Daily News as lashing out at them, calling them names -- which is just the distraction HD wants), when their lawsuit was a certainty all along; and as you say, trying to turn it into being put out of business by another home improvement store. But I've never even heard of "Do It" stores, so it can't be on a par with HD, OSH etc.

Their aggressive lobbying of the CC and acting like they'd already won, definitely p o'd a lot of them and swayed their vote against HD.

Well, I hope the City Attorney's office earns its keep for once. I know some CMs and the Mayor are pretty fed up with Rocky's people losing or being afraid to prosecute every case.

November 11, 2007 2:12 PM  

Blogger Unknown said:

A win by the City (for once) would
be very nice indeed.

November 11, 2007 2:47 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I am going to spend about $400 k on a remodel. Sorry Home Depot. I will go out of my way to purchase materials elsewhere. You try to f*** the City shows how little you care about the communities you serve -- we know how to f*** you by walking with the business.

November 11, 2007 6:36 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

How about organizing a city-wide boycott of HD/ making it clear it's ONLY HD, and inviting other big box stores? Provided they fit in with their Community Specific Plans and work with the neighborhood as well as the city.

November 11, 2007 11:13 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Nelalist post, Oct. 22, 2007. Who is Autry Lawyer? By Judith Dancoff
“Who is Latham and Watkins? Who does the “other side” have stacked up against us in our struggle to preserve the purpose and function of the Southwest Museum?” THE FIRST MUSEUM OF LOS ANGELES
“Some information gleaned from the web about Latham & Watkins, counsel to the Autry Museum. Remember knowledge is power!”
“The law firm Latham & Watkins dates back to the l930s but made its recent fame by structuring the high-yield debt junk bond maven Michael Milkin and his corporation, Drexel Burnham Lambert, Latham & Watkins’s client are corporations, millionaires, and even the current Bush Administration. Latham & Watkins was behind the scenes as Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKK) executed its hostile takeover of RJR Nabisco in l988, and Latham & Watkins provided council for Brown & Williamson in the infamous tobacco conspiracy trial Philip J. Perry, alitigation partner at L&W”s Washington DC office, recently served as General Counsel to the Department of Homeland Security and Cheney’s son-in-law works for the firm. When the Bush Administration went looking for a chief to handle air quality at the EPA, the chose a former Latham & Watkins attorney who had regularly represented the chemical, power, oil and fores-products industries, Google “Latham&Watkins” and the Bush Administration”. You”ll get thousand of hits.
This is the law firm tha represents the Autry Museum. If we feel alittle bowled ove, could this be the reason? It’s the perfect David and Goliath story, though. I have hope.

November 12, 2007 7:36 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I would bet that Jack Weiss was one of the Councilmembers who urged Home Depot to sue. He does whatever Latham & Watkins tells him to do.

November 13, 2007 7:46 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

He goes by the letter of the law and isn't vying for popularity contests. It's others like Wendy, Huizar and Alarcon who are treading in questionable territory and don't understand the law.
when they do get advice from Rocky's office they often don't follow it. I doubt that the supposed two were CM's at all, and may not exist. HD is all divide and conquor and tosses out innuendo to get the city to settle. strategy is to get people on a guessing game, and for Wendy to toss blame on someone other than HD itself. Main thing is to realize HD is mounting a distraction campaign -- focusing on the murky issues is hard enough.

November 14, 2007 12:27 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Seem to remeber last year when HD was looking to biuld in Janice Hahn's district, she did the shakedown bit, demanding HD pay a large amount for community something or other, like a company coming in to provide jobs and a tax base should have to cough up dough on the side to shut up a clowncil member.

November 14, 2007 3:30 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I'll learn to spell on the next thread...

November 14, 2007 3:31 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

3:30: That seems how business was always done in South Central, or whatever Janice and Perry declared we're supposed to call it these days.
Which is only one reason her brother was known for corruption -- guess who had the kickbacks for the "privilege" of bringing in business to their blighted area?

Under MAV, at least he's got his big bucks friends helping. Now that there's a downturn in the whole state, with construction and jobs and everything, they've got to go begging twice as hard for any business to come to that part of town.

November 14, 2007 6:15 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Two housekeepers have sued the LAX Hilton for making them do much of the stuff that maids do, scrubbing/ cleaning/ changing sheets. They allege that fancy hotels like Hilton are hardest to work for because they have more "things," like coffee pots and hairdryers that add to their work. (How do you injure yourself cleaning a hairdryer?)

Seems California is the only state with an anti-repetitive motion law and it's just sheer coincidence that the LAX Hilton's housekeepers are organized by Unite Here, which worked with Janice Hahn to try to force the LAX area hotels to adopt a living wage ordinance.

Hilton says Unite Here is putting the housekeepers up to this to harass them. Funny, how it's just that Hilton being sued, when it seems that all hotels have "stuff" in their rooms that need to be cleaned. Repetitively. As people come and go.

Janice can chalk up another one for giving L A a business friendly reputation.

November 14, 2007 6:41 PM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home