A Tale of Two Mothers Part 2


 

By signing up, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

For background, see http://janbtucker.com/blog/2014/04/09/a-tale-of-two-mothers-part-i/

CALLAC Ltr to PC & IG_001

CALLAC Ltr to PC & IG_002CALLAC Ltr to PC & IG_003Marc Fitzsimmons NAN ltr_001Marc Fitzsimmons NAN ltr_002Marc Fitzsimmons NAN ltr_003

Posted in Anecdotes & Adventures, Ideas & Opinions, Private Investigation Industry | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Games Lawyers Play?


 

By signing up, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.


Know the old saying when it rains it pours? Sometimes that applies to the weird coincidences of what kinds of cases you get in the private investigative world.

At one time within about 1 ½ years, three (3) different Iranian clients had me investigate one of their Iranian competitors in their industry; yes, the same exact guy. For a glimpse in what happened in that investigation, see http://janbtucker.com/blog/2011/09/20/saving-america-for-25%C2%A2/

Fraudulent transferMore recently in December, I testified as an expert witness in a trial against an Iranian couple—and I carefully refer to them as a “couple” because a “couple of what” was actually at-issue in the lawsuit: http://janbtucker.com/blog/2014/12/20/mohsen-loghmanis-im-pro-per-performance/. So all of a sudden, within a matter of days, I get in two (2) new cases, both involving (as did the December trial) Iranian defendants; both involve fraudulent transfers of assets allegations and like the December trial, one of them involves whether or not two people are married. The Plaintiff’s trial brief from December, Tessie Cleveland Community Services Corporation vs Mohsen and Mahshid Loghmani, explains the issue like this:

Defendants will seek to assert that they divorced in 1981 under the misguided belief that this defeats Tessie’s claims. This is a red herring. Even if Defendants could introduce competent, admissible evidence of such a divorce, this is of no consequence. First, Defendants’ newly-developed divorce claim is contradicted by a wealth of contrary evidence, principally representations to the contrary by Defendants themselves (under oath), and precluded by admissions in discovery.

Regardless of whether Defendants are married, the analysis under Plaintiff’s fraudulent conveyance and trust claims is the same. Whether married or not, Mohsen Loghmani transferred assets to Mahshid Loghmani with the intent to defraud Tessie. (Civ. Code § 3439.04(a)(1).) Whether married or not, Mahshid Loghmani took legal title to a property that Defendants intended Mohsen Loghmani to have an equitable interest in. (Fidelity Nat’l Title Ins. Co. v. Schroeder (2009) 179 Cal.App.4th 834, 848, 101 Cal.Rptr.3d 854, 864.)

Indeed, Defendants’ newly-asserted divorce makes their conduct more fraudulent, not less. Virtually every document executed by Defendants in connection with the acquisition of the Subject Property identifies Defendants as married. If Defendants are not married, then Defendants’ use of Mohsen Loghmani’s funds to purchase and improve the real estate is simply fraud.

When it was convenient for the Defendants to claim they were married, in an attempted bankruptcy filing (that was thrown out of court) to discharge the over $2 million they owed to my clients, they claimed they were married. In other proceedings, like the one I testified in, they claimed they were divorced. How can two such situations be true in the real world? Well, in America they can’t, but they justified their statements on the grounds that despite the entry of a divorce judgment in Illinois obtained on the grounds of intentional cruelty (committed by husband Mohsen against wife Mahshid), they were still married in Iran! I had to testify about (a) the legislative intent of the fraudulent transfer laws themselves which were enacted because of the phenomena reflected in much popular literature, not to mention comedy routines, about “it’s in my wife’s name;” (b) my background, training, education and experience concerning “intentional cruelty” divorces, which virtually never result in reconciliation unless they are bogus to begin with; (c) the similarity of Muslim grounds for divorce in Iran to the Orthodox Jewish problem of obtaining a “get,” i.e. permission from the husband for most divorces.

 

Mohammed Reza Sahranavard

Mohammed Reza Sahranavard

So fast forward to Sahranavard vs Better World Institute pending in Los Angeles Superior Court. In this case issues arose over the marital status of attorney Mandana Vasseghi (aka Donna Vasseghi) and her client, Mohammad Reza Sahranavard (and his brother Hamid) who was being represented in litigation by her and various other attorneys in a series of litigation actions while it is alleged she was married to Mohammad and at the same time that she was representing my client, who has now become adversarial to Mohammad. Part of the allegations which were spelled out in a motion to disqualify Attorney Kathleen M. Neumann, involve assertions that Neumann and other attorneys to who participated were all controlled by and coordinating with Vasseghi and therefore had conflicts of interest in representing their individual clients and especially my client who’s now being sued by Mohammad and his brother, Hamid.

At this point, let’s review the State Bar Rules that are applicable:

State Bar Rules of Professional Conduct:

Rule 3-310 Avoiding the Representation of Adverse Interests

(A) For purposes of this rule:

(1) “Disclosure” means informing the client or former client of the relevant circumstances and of the actual and reasonably foreseeable adverse consequences to the client or former client;

(2) “Informed written consent” means the client’s or former client’s written agreement to the representation following written disclosure;

(3) “Written” means any writing as defined in Evidence Code section 250.

(B) A member shall not accept or continue representation of a client without providing written disclosure to the client where:

(1) The member has a legal, business, financial, professional, or personal relationship with a party or witness in the same matter; or

(2) The member knows or reasonably should know that:

(a) the member previously had a legal, business, financial, professional, or personal relationship with a party or witness in the same matter; and

(b) the previous relationship would substantially affect the member’s representation; or

(3) The member has or had a legal, business, financial, professional, or personal relationship with another person or entity the member knows or reasonably should know would be affected substantially by resolution of the matter; or

(4) The member has or had a legal, business, financial, or professional interest in the subject matter of the representation.

(C) A member shall not, without the informed written consent of each client:

(1) Accept representation of more than one client in a matter in which the interests of the clients potentially conflict; or

(2) Accept or continue representation of more than one client in a matter in which the interests of the clients actually conflict; or

(3) Represent a client in a matter and at the same time in a separate matter accept as a client a person or entity whose interest in the first matter is adverse to the client in the first matter.

(D) A member who represents two or more clients shall not enter into an aggregate settlement of the claims of or against the clients without the informed written consent of each client.

(E) A member shall not, without the informed written consent of the client or former client, accept employment adverse to the client or former client where, by reason of the representation of the client or former client, the member has obtained confidential information material to the employment.

(F) A member shall not accept compensation for representing a client from one other than the client unless:

(1) There is no interference with the member’s independence of professional judgment or with the client-lawyer relationship; and

(2) Information relating to representation of the client is protected as required by Business and Professions Code section 6068, subdivision (e); and

(3) The member obtains the client’s informed written consent, provided that no disclosure or consent is required if:

(a) such nondisclosure is otherwise authorized by law; or

(b) the member is rendering legal services on behalf of any public agency which provides legal services to other public agencies or the public.

Rule 3-300 Avoiding Interests Adverse to a Client

A member shall not enter into a business transaction with a client; or knowingly acquire an ownership, possessory, security, or other pecuniary interest adverse to a client, unless each of the following requirements has been satisfied:

(A) The transaction or acquisition and its terms are fair and reasonable to the client and are fully disclosed and transmitted in writing to the client in a manner which should reasonably have been understood by the client; and

(B) The client is advised in writing that the client may seek the advice of an independent lawyer of the client’s choice and is given a reasonable opportunity to seek that advice; and

(C) The client thereafter consents in writing to the terms of the transaction or the terms of the acquisition.

As far as I’m aware, there was never any effort to comply with Rule 3-310 according to what I know of the case the bold phrases above are of extreme importance to the discussion. As to Rule 3-300, one thing I found out in my investigation is that Attorney Kathleen M. Neumann wound up entering into Deeds of Trust to encumber the equity in Attorney Vasseghi’s home, right around the time that Sahranavard was getting sued by Marcel Pahmer, which started the chain of litigation going on right now and which resulted in a judgment for Pahmer against not only Sahranavard but also Vasseghi, personally.

Whether this is the case remains to be seen, but based upon my background, training, education and experience I can tell you my reader, that it’s not uncommon for corrupt attorneys who are conspiring with their clients to “structure” assets in order to shield them from judgments, liens and attachments use all sorts of methods to encumber those assets. First, by a hand-shake arrangement, they inflate their bills to the client and then enter into Deeds of Trust, Promissory Notes, and in some cases UCC-1 filings to put them first in line, preferably as secured creditors, in the event that litigation puts those assets at risk.

Here’s where the status of the marriage or non marriage gets weird. Apparently, Mohammad and Mandana had a wedding and reception at a Country Club in the United States. They apparently then applied for visas to Iran at that time and sources indicate that the applications indicated that they were married, but now, they are holding themselves out as not married. In light of the Loghmani case, does this sound familiar?

Weirder yet is the background of the other lawyers who are alleged to have been part of the cabal of orchestrated representation of the various parties in the underlying litigation, Behrouz Shafie and Steven Zelig. Both have histories of State Bar disciplinary action.

From the State Bar Journal:

June 18, 2011

Behrouz Shafie

Behrouz Shafie

BEHROUZ SHAFIE [#108581], 66, of Beverly Hills was suspended for three years, stayed, placed on four years of probation and was ordered to take the MPRE within one year. He received credit for a period of inactive enrollment from July 1, 2008, to Oct. 13, 2009. The order took effect June 18, 2011.

Shafie successfully completed the State Bar Alternative Discipline Program after demonstrating a connection between his mental health issues and his misconduct and stipulating to misconduct in three sets of charges.

He failed to communicate with a client; perform legal services competently, promptly return client files, refund unearned fees and properly maintain client funds and he wrote a check against insufficient funds and misappropriated more than $55,000.

In the misappropriation matter, Shafie represented the wife in a divorce and received a check for $55,028 from the sale of the couple’s assets. His client fired him and hired a new lawyer, requesting that he sign the substitution form, and return her file and her funds. Although Shafie signed the substitution form two months later, he said he needed a court order to turn over the money, which partially belonged to the husband. When the court so ordered, he gave his client a check for $55,028. However, in the intervening months, he allowed the balance in his client trust account to fall to a negative amount, thus misappropriating the funds.

In mitigation, he had no prior discipline record and he cooperated with the bar’s investigation.

February 9, 2012

Steven L. Zelig

Steven L. Zelig

STEVEN ZELIG [#94654], 58, of Los Angeles was suspended for one year, stayed, placed on two years of probation and was ordered to take the MRE within one year. The order took effect Feb. 9, 2012.

Zelig stipulated to six counts of misconduct in two cases. In the first, he sued an insurance company after claiming it insured his client for earthquake damage sustained during the Northridge earthquake. Zelig did not dismiss the complaint, and the insurer incurred more than $30,000 in legal expenses. It filed a malicious prosecution claim against Zelig, who reached a settlement in which he agreed to pay $45,000 within 30 days. He did not do so and was sanctioned $8,250. He did not pay the sanction within 30 days as ordered.

Zelig filed separate cross-complaints against various parties in the same litigation without obtaining the court’s permission. He appealed when the court granted motions to strike a cross-complaint, but the appeal was denied on the grounds that it was frivolous. Zelig was sanctioned another $7,500 but did not pay the sanctions or report them to the State Bar within 30 days.

He stipulated that he pursued a frivolous appeal, disobeyed court orders by failing to pay sanctions and he did not report sanctions to the bar within 30 days.

In a second matter, Zelig also stipulated that he disobeyed a court order by failing to pay sanctions on time and he maintained an unjust action. He filed an amended complaint in federal court that included causes of action that had been dismissed. When the opposing side asked for sanctions, Zelig said he erroneously included the causes that were stricken. The court ordered sanctions of $4,032 and found that Zelig’s amended complaint “was made for the improper purpose of causing unnecessary delay and needlessly increasing the cost of litigation.” Zelig paid the sanctions late.

In mitigation, Zelig had no discipline record since his 1980 admission to the bar.

Posted in Anecdotes & Adventures, Ideas & Opinions, Private Investigation Industry | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Jeffrey Williams: a coerced confession?


 

By signing up, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Jeffrey Williams:  Was his confession coerced?  Here’s an eyewitness report from the scene at the Ferguson, Missouri demonstration by somebody who had to duck for cover during the shooting.

For starters, background on my personal experience with St. Louis area law enforcement is recounted at: http://janbtucker.com/blog/2014/08/14/st-louis-ferguson-michael-brown-and-why-im-not-surprised/  As an “oh by the way,” one thing I don’t think I mentioned in that story about USA vs John Gipson, was that a white, retired police officer in St. Louis administered a polygraph examination on my client, Gipson and amongst other things established the truth of his allegation that he was beaten while in custody by St. Louis police officers.

A typical allegation being bandied about on Facebook and throughout social media sites is the allegation that suspected police shooter Jeffrey Williams was beaten and/or tortured into confessing while in police custody. Here’s a comment by Mark A. Clements forwarded to me by my friend and colleague Alex Salazar:

I am urging all Attorneys and U.S. attorney Eric Holder to travel to the Ferguson county jail and to make a determination if Ferguson shooting suspect of two police officer was not tortured in police custody. The claims have been released and must be addressed. Torture is a crime!. If police tortured this suspect I demand that he be released for violations of his civil rights and that the officers be held responsible.

L-Alex Salazar at the Edmund Pettus Bridge, Selma Alabama

L-Alex Salazar at the Edmund Pettus Bridge, Selma Alabama

Alex, an ex-LAPD officer turned private investigator and civil rights activist (and member of the board of CALLAC, California League of Latin American Citizens), has been to Ferguson repeatedly, not to mention New York in connection with the Eric Garner shooting, Cleveland on the Tamar Rice killing, Albuquerque, and recently, to Selma Alabama. Alex turned me on to a reliable confidential source who gives the following chilling narrative of the events surrounding the shootings of police officers in Ferguson from an eyewitness perspective (someone who had to duck when the bullets started flying) and the allegations now circulating in the community about Jeffrey Williams being beaten in custody:

Mar 11, 2015 approx 7:00pm I arrived at my friend xxxxxx house to do laundry.
Mar 11, 2015 approx 9:15pm I received a series of texts from my son yyyyyy (age xx, xth grade) wanting to attend the protest being held at Ferguson Police Department to celebrate Chief Thomas Jackson resignation. The text exchanges between xxxxxx and myself continued until (approx. 10:56pm) where I informed xxxxxx that I was on my way to pick him up.
Mar 11, 2015 approx 11:15pm yyyyyy and myself arrived at the house to pick xxxxxx up then we proceeded to go Ferguson Police Station.
Mar 11, 2015 approx 11:30pm We arrived at FPD and parked on the Subway parking lot located across the street from FPD. xxxxxx exited the vehicle and walked to the entrance of Subway parking lot to see what the protesters were doing and checked out the scene. He returned back to the vehicle (approx. 2 minutes) at that time yyyyyy, xxxxxx, and myself exited the vehicle.
Mar 11, 2015 approx 11:35pm We then proceeded to walk toward the direction where protesters were assembled but stopped at the entrance of Subway parking lot standing on Tiffin Street. I observed (approx. 70) protesters standing on both sides of S. Florissant Rd. in front of Ferguson police station and also on Andy Worm parking lot. Overall the crowd was peaceful. As we were standing there an African American male approached us and started to imply that he had never seen police officers from other municipalities here in Ferguson. We briefly talked with him then proceeded to walk across the street.

Tiffin Ave, MO

Tiffin Ave, MO

Mar 11, 2015 approx. 11:40pm We walked across Tiffin Street and stood on side walk near the edge of the hill. During this time I observed a Caucasian male (medium build, approx. age 55-60 years old) who identified himself as a “homeless man” as I over heard him as he conversed with an African American male (slim build, approx. age 50-55 years old) who appeared to be intoxicated. They were standing just below the hill (approx. 5 yards) from where we were standing on the hill on Tiffin Street.
Mar 11, 2015 approx.11:45pm As we stood on the hill I observed a Caucasian male (slim build, approx. age 27-35 years old) barbecuing on the left hand side of Tiffin Street just a few feet from S. Florissant Rd. During this time I observed him yell out random things and heckle Ferguson police. It should be noted that he can be heard in the background of the actual police shooting that is being played on CNN. I also observed the Caucasian male being approached by two Caucasian males where they had a brief conversation before the two males walked away. One of the males was a bald head heavy/stocky build, approx. 35-40 years old with a pudge stomach wearing a white t-shirt and jeans. The other male was stocky build, approx. 50-55 years old with beard and mustache. All three males had a brief conversation and then the two males walked away. At one point the male who was barbecuing walked across Tiffin street where the protesters were gathered on Andy Worm parking lot for a brief moment before returning back across Tiffin Street where he resumed barbecuing and continued to “yell out” random things and heckle police.
Mar 11, 2015 approx. 11:50pm I observed an African American female with long black braids (slender build, approx. 20-25 years old) with two to three African American males. My attention was focused on her because she seemed to be intoxicated and protesting aggressively. At times I observed her walk across S. Florissant Rd on the same side of the street were the Ferguson police were standing. She continued to yell and heckle the FPD. Also during this time frame I observed a black SUV truck that was previously parked on the left hand side of Tiffin Street move to park on the right hand side of Tiffin Street. The driver was an African American male (heavy build, approx. 30-35 years old) wearing a hat.
Mar 12, 2015 approx.12:00am I observed the same African American female previously mentioned and two African American males walk from Andy Worm parking lot up the hill towards where yyyyyy, xxxxxx, and myself were standing on Tiffin Street. As the female walked up the hill she made eye contact with me and stated that she was “intoxicated” and I then agreed with her. I recognized one of the males she was with as a protester whom I had met approx. 7 months ago. xxxxxx knew him as well and we all embraced and greeted one another. Again the female made eye contact with me and stated that she wanted to walk across S. Florissant Rd in front of the police station to “agitate” the Ferguson police “some more.” Then she proceeded to ask me if I thought she should “do it.”

My response was “no.” Then she proceeded to ask me “why not?” My response was “you have a target on your back because you have been messing with them tonight, and they are going to pounce on you.” She proceeded to say “I don’t give a fuck.” My response was “but I do.” She then stated “I’m going home” and proceeded to walk up the hill along with an African American male.

Approx. 10 seconds later I heard what appeared to be gun shots being fired from the top of the hill on Tiffin Street. As I look back I observed a flash about 30-40 yards from where we were standing on the hill. I heard approx.4-5 gun shots. I then observed the same African American female I had just spoken with run back down the hill and hide in front of the black SUV truck I mentioned in previous entry. My reaction time to process what was happening was approx. 3-4 seconds. I then grabbed xxxxxx’s wrist and yyyyyy’s arm and we all ducked in front of the black SUV truck mentioned in previous entry. We stayed there for approx. 2-3 seconds before we attempted to run back to my vehicle.

As we were running I observed a blue four door vehicle with two Caucasian males inside the vehicle coming from the top of the hill on Tiffin Street driving fast. The vehicle turned left onto the Subway parking lot before almost hitting a white vehicle which was being driven by a Caucasian male. The white vehicle pulled back a little to allow the blue car to get by. As the blue car passed us I stopped running and yelled to yyyyyy and xxxxxx “that’s them, that’s them.” We stopped running approx. 2 seconds before yyyyyy stated “lets get to the car.” The blue car then made a left onto S. Florissant Rd. then sped off. We continued to run to my vehicle and then drove off onto S. Florissant Rd. As we drove down Chambers Rd. we noticed several police cars driving extremely fast with their lights and sirens on driving in the opposite direction.

March 12, 2015 approx. 12:30am I dropped yyyyyy off at home.
March 12, 2015 approx. 12:50am xxxxxx and myself arrived home.
March 12, 2015 approx. 1:00am I watched CNN and discovered that two police officers were shot during the protest at the Ferguson police department.
March 12, 2015 approx. 1:10am I notified yyyyyy via text that what happened to us at the protest made national news. I also informed her of the two police officers who had been shot. The text exchanges between yyyyyy and myself continued until approx. 2:30am.
March 12, 2015 approx. 2:38am Contacted CNN to report my account of the events of what took place and informed them of the blue car that sped away from the scene. Left voicemail message.
March 12, 2015 approx. 3:47am Contacted News 4 via email sent from my cellular phone to inform them of the blue car I observed sped away from the scene.
March 12, 2015 approx. 3:35pm I contacted Lacy Clay office to talk to someone regarding my account of what happen in the police shooting. I was directed to call crime stoppers.
March 12, 2015 approx. 4:00pm I contacted Crime Stoppers to give my account of what happened in the police shooting. A short version of my account of the events was documented and I was given a tip reference number CSI-xxx-yyy and was told I could follow up on my lead in approx. 2-3 weeks.
March 13, 2015 approx. 5:10pm Second attempt to contact News 4 to give my account of what happen in the police shooting.
March 15, 2015 approx. 6:30pm I drove to the Ferguson Police Department to see what if anything was going on. I observed news crews and a couple of people standing in the Subway parking lot. I recognized an African American female whom I met approx. 7 months ago from protesting. We had a brief conversation about the events that had taken place over the last couple of days. She indicated to me that her friend sent her a series of text messages stating that the suspect Jeffrey Williams in police custody is her cousin and that “he did not do it and the police are beating him.”
March 13, 2015 approx. 11:30am I was watching CNN and saw police had a person of interest or possible suspect in connection to the Ferguson police shooting. While still watching CNN I observed police trying to gain entry through the suspects roof. I also saw a very heavy police presence on the suspect’s street.
March 13, 2015 approx. 2:30pm I was watching CNN to get an update on the Ferguson police shooting. I recognized a young African American female on CNN stating that she woke up to the police with a “red dot ” on her chest and she was “begging for her life” stating over and over “don’t kill me.” I recognized the female mentioned on entry March 11, 2015 (approx. 11:50pm) and entry March 12, 2015 (approx. 12:00am) as the female who I briefly talk to on the hill right before the shooting took place. There was absolutely no way she could have been a suspect because I was talking to her just seconds before the shots rang out.

Posted in Anecdotes & Adventures, Ideas & Opinions, Private Investigation Industry | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Murals of Carlos Callejo Exhibition


 

By signing up, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Carlos Callejo ExhibitionCarlos Callejo Exhibition2

Posted in Anecdotes & Adventures, Ideas & Opinions | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Neville Lawrence Johnson: what’s he up to and why?


 

By signing up, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Attorney Neville Lawrence Johnson

Attorney Neville Lawrence Johnson

I recently learned—belatedly–that Attorney Neville Lawrence Johnson, had issued a subpoena duces tecum (“SDT,” a subpoena requiring me to produce records) for me to appear at a deposition on December 15, 2014. I say belatedly because he never served me with it. I didn’t even know it existed until yesterday. So this piqued my interest.

I’ve heard of Neville Johnson before, primarily in the context of civil litigation surrounding the Anthony Pellicano case. I was on the criminal defense team for one of Pellicano’s co-defendants (who was adversarial to Pellicano) so his existence certainly could not have escaped me, but not being involved in the civil end of things and being overwhelmed with the magnitude of the criminal defense work involved, he wasn’t high on my radar screen. Anyway, I decided to do some cursory checking up on this guy who issued this SDT but doesn’t bother to serve me with it to see what makes him tick.

I found out some very interesting and intriguing things.

Tony Pellicano in custody

Tony Pellicano in custody

For starters, since I’d first learned of him through his Pellicano litigation involvement, suing Pellicano, the telephone companies, and various lawyers and entertainment industry folks who’d used Pellicano’s services (like Chris Rock for example), I looked at the Pellicano angle. Lo and behold I find out that, according to my old frenemy and sometimes nemesis John Nazarian that Johnson and Nazarian are thick as thieves….and that’s cause for some worry! John wrote in his blog:

(http://desperateexes.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/Chris_Rock.jpg) It is reported that all good things come to those who can wait, Neville Johnson, Lawyer was in court with me almost everyday during the Anthony Pellicano trial. Much of the time he had a smile on his face, and why not? Mr. Johnson is representing several victims of the ‘ultimate private investigator’.

Private Investigator John Nazarian

Private Investigator John Nazarian

What worries me about that connection? Well some years ago I wrote a letter to the editor of California Lawyer magazine that John took issue with….and he left a threat on my voicemail. A couple days later, after apparently figuring out who I am in the private investigator world, he calls up and leaves another voicemail, a mea culpa apology with his tail between his legs.

Now I’m sure that there’s all sorts of gossip and tall tales about me floating out there too. Macchiavelli wrote some very important wisdom in The Prince [Chapter XVII] when he said that “it’s best to be both loved and feared but if you have to choose, choose to be feared.” So I have a tendency to neither confirm nor deny many of the rumors about me no matter how outrageously false they might be, because they add to my mystique and keep me safe from those who might otherwise want to harm me. At least it makes them think twice, since as James Bond taught us, you only live twice.

John relishes and creates his own public mystique, but the rumors that come to my ears by people reporting to me confidentially as writer of this Detective’s Diary, are neither scary nor flattering, if they’re in fact true and having only the word of the private investigators who told me I don’t actually know one way or the other. Here are a couple of examples where at least I know it as a first hand account from a private investigator colleague:

  • According to one very well-respected PI, she took over a case from the mother of a convicted rapist for practically no money, because she’d spent practically her last dollar on John Nazarian to investigate for the defense. According to the story, John never interviewed the Defendant, concluded there was nothing to be done, and abandoned any efforts to clear him. After my friend interviewed the Defendant she went out and located a retail store video tape that showed that precisely at the exact time the rape took place the Defendant was committing a shoplift many miles away.
  • One of my colleagues reported that Nazarian hired him to do a “bug sweep” using very primitive equipment (a wide spectrum radio wave detector) at a house, got paid himself by representing to the client that this was a very thorough search for transmitters and wiretaps (which it isn’t) and then stiffed my friend for his fee.

Continuing to delve into the Pellicano litigation that Neville Johnson was involved in litigating, it seemed to be a pattern that some of the cases (both in Pellicano and other unrelated issues) he brought seemed to keep getting thrown out of court for violating the statute of limitations:

  • Michael David Sapir vs Tom Cruise, Bert Fields, et al, LA Superior Court Case No. BC 428383
  • ROBERT S. REIN, Plaintiff and Appellant, v. PACIFIC BELL TELEPHONE COMPANY, California Second Appellate District (unpublished opinion) B223403, Decided: April 25, 2011
  • Long v. Walt Disney Co. (2004)116 Cal.App.4th 868
  • Ory v. Country Joe McDonald 68 U.S.P.Q.2d 1812 (C.D.Cal. 2003) (and decision upheld by the 9th Circuit)

Following this line of inquiry I came across a real ugly case which has resulted in a current lawsuit for legal malpractice against Johnson’s firm, Cooper vs Johnson & Johnson LLP, Los Angeles Superior Court Case No. BC 547299, in which the Plaintiff alleges that knowing full well that his contract with the opposing party in litigation handled by Johnson provided for jurisdiction in Tennessee, Johnson first filed suit in California only to dismiss it when confronted by a motion to dismiss for violating the contractual venue provision. Then according to the suit, Johnson filed a federal action in Tennessee….just to dismiss it because he’d blown the statute of limitations. After filing in a Tennessee state court for a third time, it was tossed out for having had two bites of the apple already and resulted in Cooper having to get new counsel and go all the way to the Tennessee Supreme Court to get relief.

Meanwhile according to Cooper’s suit, Johnson & Johnson had cost him over $100,000 in attorney fees and costs for doing what he alleges was fundamentally incompetent work.

While that lawsuit might be enough to make Johnson sweat, I hear that he’s got a couple of other problems coming down the pike. One of those problems concerns his inability to keep his mouth shut in a public place where he can easily be overheard making what would normally be considered “privileged” statements if done in a court of law or in a legal pleading filed with the court. This is similar to the kind of problem that got Bill Cosby into trouble when one of his lawyers publicly denied the accusations made by California Attorney Tamara Green of sexual assault against Cosby. From Green’s slander suit against Cosby:

Defendant Cosby, by and through his agent, authorized representative, and lawyer, Walter M. Phillips, Jr., responded that Defendant Cosby did not know Plaintiff Green, and that Plaintiff Green’s allegations were “absolutely false” and that the incident “did not happen in any way, shape, or form.” Thus by innuendo and effect, Defendant Cosby publically branded Plaintiff Green a liar.

What I’m told is that not only did Johnson open his big mouth about a friend of mine and repeat things that he’d previously only been known to say to the judge, he also talked about me…that’s right, moi….without any regard to how loud he was talking or who was likely to overhear him at a gathering of lawyers….and it’s not like I’m unknown to the legal community.

I do have to hand it to Johnson. He has come a long way since he filed a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy years ago and had fallen on hard times. Fueling the fire for his bankruptcy, were:

  • (a) IRS liens for $9,357.77; $2,095.63; $5,629.35; $8,440.68;
  • (b) EDD State Tax Liens for $412.77; $41.12; $7,102.72; $961.28; $6,811.61; $3,702.57;
  • (c) California Franchise Tax Board Liens for $441.55; $6,841.92;
  • (d) Los Angeles County Tax Assessor Liens $231.45; $230.95;
  • (e) Abstract of Judgment Finova vs. Johnson $7,179.19;
  • (f) Abstract of Judgment Bender vs. Johnson, $11,479.02;
  • (g) Abstract of Judgment Comelco vs. Johnson, $55,135.58.
Posted in Anecdotes & Adventures, Ideas & Opinions, Private Investigation Industry | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Exxon-Mobil Torrance Refinery Explosion


 

By signing up, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

This is a report by name friend and colleague, Attorney Sherry Lear, a founder and leader of Miss Revolutionaries

Exxon Mobil Torrance following explosion and fire

Exxon Mobil Torrance following explosion and fire

REPORT ON TORRANCE TOWN HALL MEETING ON 2/20/2015
ExxonMobil held a “Town Hall” at 6 p.m. on 2/20/2015 in response to public concerns about the explosion at the ExxonMobil Torrance refinery on 2/18/2015. The meeting was held at Torrance Cultural Arts Center and was attended by several hundred people. From what I could see on the sign-in sheet, the attendees were overwhelmingly residents. There was also media coverage from several news stations (NBC4 and KTLA) along with the Daily Breeze, Reuters and I expect the L.A. Times. The entire meeting was filmed by ExxonMobil.

In addition to media, several politicians either made appearances or had representatives. Notably, no one from the City of Torrance Council or Mayor’s office identified themselves as such. (Not to say no one was there but they did not speak publicly.) Assemblyman Tom Hadley (and his wife) were seated prominently in the front and he was the first to speak during public comments. (Hadley is a Republican who beat out Al Muratsuchi last November.) He didn’t take any sort of stance against ExxonMobil or what happened (from his comments, he seems very pro-business) but did indicate that there has been some “confusion” about how to find information when an event happens and that he wanted to make sure ExxonMobil will communicate with the public.

Heather Hud came from State Senator Isadore Hall’s office. (Notably, he just won a special election and has already announced that he will run for Janice Hahn’s seat since she is stepping down in 2016.) Heather gave her phone number (310) 412-0393 and indicated that Hall is working with State Senator Kevin DeLeon to follow up on this event and that they plan to do a public hearing in Torrance. She advised audience members to call her or field representative Avelino Valencia (sp?) for help with this matter. This comment came after several residents complained that they were not able to get responses to their calls to ExxonMobil and/or SCAQMD.  Joey Apadoca also spoke from Congressional Representative Ted Lieu’s office. He indicated that Lieu’s office was ready to provide assistance to anyone who needed it and noted that this was the third explosion at this refinery since 1988. (Per my husband, during one of the prior events, a woman was literally “vaporized” on Van Ness.

Introductions:

The main speaker for ExxonMobil was a man named Brian. I got there a few minutes late and did not get his last name. He had an English accent. He did not provide any real information. He repeated, over a dozen times, that ExxonMobil’s first concern was safety and offered an apology to the audience. He indicated that this event happened because an ESP exploded – he denies there was any fire in connection with this. ExxonMobile does not know why the explosion happened. They have an “internal investigation” team who will be looking into this but he cannot give a time line for how long that will take, other than to say it will be shorter than the investigations by governmental agencies.

Someone asked for a phone number of who is in charge of the investigation at ExxonMobil. Brian did not have the information, but did note that someone from national will be coming on next week to take over the investigation. Torrance Fire Department, CAL-OSHA and SCAQMD are also investigating. There are requests for other agencies to get involved.

After the ESP exploded, large amounts of ash were discharged into the refinery and in the neighborhood, more so to the west because of the way winds were blowing. Per ExxonMobile, the explosion resulted in what they called “catalyst dust” being deposited on people’s homes and cars. Brian said “We are committed to help you deal with this.” ExxonMobil had claims adjusters and members of its Risk Management team at the back of the meeting room to “help” audience members.  Brian’s opening comments included the claim that they would “leave no stone unturned,” that Exxon wanted to address and fix the problem and ensure that this “never happens again.” Brian noted the time line: 8:50 a.m. explosion occurs, 8:55 a.m. Torrance Fire Dept. responds, 9:00 a.m. Del Amo Blvd. closed due to flaring going on and they don’t want anyone too close (flaring went on thru the night.)

Brian and Dr. Eleanor MacIntosh, an ExxonMobil employee who is a physician and occupational medical specialist who works at the refinery, claim that testing was completed from samples within 25 minutes which indicated that the “ash” was not toxic but “inert” catalyst dust. Because they declined to sound the refinery siren system. Brian claimed the discharge was “just like normal dust.” Of note, the parts of the refinery which were not damaged are still operating. They ran tests over the next 24 hours to make sure that the rest of the refinery could operate safely. They claim their priority is to fix damage in the community, not to fix the ESP.

With this limited amount of information, the meeting was opened to Public Comments:

As noted, Assemblyman Tom Hadley took the mic first. He said nothing of substance.
Jean Severance, a nearby resident who lives 2 miles west, indicated she was outside cleaning her patio when dust and debris started raining down on her. She was upset that the sirens were not sounded. This is when Brian advised that they decided not to use them because they had determined there was “no immediate hazard to health.” He did agree it was a “fair question” why this was not done.

Next, a male resident who did not give his name talked about the fact that schools (which I understand included public schools, but did not include either campus of my son’s private school) were told to “shelter in place. “ This meant they were supposed to turn off air conditioning and cover openings with visqueen/plastic and tape. The resident asked what the refineries plan was for a catastrophic event. Brian had no response other than to note that ExxonMobil needs to look at its response system.
Next, Brad Kamiso, spoke. He is a landlord with 2 acres of residential rental properties on Earl Street. He complained that it “snowed” on his property. He had done some internet research on ESPs and catalyst dust and was concerned that it included “dehydrated aluminum” which would be toxic. He demanded several times that the material be tested (at ExxonMobil’s expense) and that someone from ExxonMobil come out to clean it or else advise on the proper method of cleaning the stuff up. (It became clear at the meeting that ExxonMobil had not advised anyone how to clean this stuff up and they offered no such instructions at the meeting, only a suggestion to talk to a claims adjuster.)

At this point, Dr. Ellen was asked to step up and give her qualifications. She then claimed that the material discharged was “spent FCC catalyst” which had aluminum oxides in it but was not dehydrated aluminum. She also said it includes amorphous silica, and kaolin (a binder made from clay.) She described this as an “irritant” which could cause coughing or wheezing for asthmatics but had “no short term or long term health effects.” Dr. Ellen was extremely defensive on this point.

Another resident noted that FCC catalyst often contains “rare earth elements” and heavy metals, which are used to increase production. He asked if that was used in the ESP. The question was not answered; instead, Dr. Ellen kept repeating the answer that the “dust” tested had aluminum oxides, kaolin and amorphous silica. The commenter was not satisfied with this answer and noted that what goes in the ESP will also go out. He also asked about the insulation used and if was tested for asbestos. Brian said, yes, none was found. (Notably, it came out in later testimony that large chunks of insulation were also blown out into the neighborhood.)

Next comment was asking why local schools were not provided with Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) or even dust masks for use during an emergency or instruction to “shelter in place.” He had been advised by the principal of North Torrance High School (where his son attends and which is close to refinery) that the principal had asked for this from ExxonMobil many times and it had never been provided. He asked if ExxonMobil would be providing PPE and gas masks to local schools and residences.

Brian responded with the comment, “I get it. “ He said that money isn’t an issue here, they want to make people safe. He claimed, “We care deeply” and this is a “wake up call” for ExxonMobil. But, he offered no promises or commitment that anything would be done.

A gentleman named Kahn commented several times. He was very emotional. He claims that someone in his family lost a “baby” because of toxic exposure after this event. Brian called this a “tragedy.”

Another gentleman asked for Brian to provide the phone number and name of ExxonMobil’s lead investigator. As I noted, Brian had nothing to provide. He seemed surprised that someone was asking for this. Brian did note that “LA Hazmat,” Torrance Fire Dept., CALOSHA and the Chemical Safety Board were doing their own investigations and said that you could look those numbers up.

Steve Goldsmith offered public comment that the first phone number provided by ExxonMobil was disconnected and that he had called the second number, which promised a response within 24 hours, but this had not happened. He had been playing tennis at a local club when “fibrous flakes” (versus “regular dust”) started raining down. He asked why there had not information provided about how to clean this up as well as the massive flaring that occurred afterward and the fact it would have air quality impact. He noted that his eyes were stinging after this and the community needed to be better informed.

Joe Mendez spoke next. He commented that “globs” of insulation and catalyst dust came into his yard and that when he tried to wash it off his sidewalk, that it left stains. He wanted more information on how to clean up.

Dave Campbell next spoke from United Steel Workers. There were several USW workers present, including workers outside holding up a sign. USW has workers at this facility. He came with the Material Safety Data Sheet for “spent catalyst” on his phone. He asked if ExxonMobil would provide it. He then contradicted the claim that this is not like “earth dust.” It contains heavy metals, aromatic oils and can cause cancer with long term exposure. (At this point, Dr. Ellen got upset again and said that this is not what they found when they tested.) Dave Campbell then volunteered to have USW provide dust masks for local schools and do independent testing of dust and materials people had in their yards.

Sherry Lear, 2nd from left

Sherry Lear, 2nd from left

Sherry Lear (me) spoke after Dave Campbell. I identified myself as a Torrance business owner, that my husband works in Torrance literally across the street from this refinery and that my son goes to school. I complained that my son’s private school didn’t get notice to shelter in place for at least an hour (or what that meant) and that my office didn’t get a call about this event (via the phone tree) for 2 hours. (My secretary saw the flaming on her way into work.) I also asked about what materials had been discharged during the massive flaming including how much sulfur. Brian said he didn’t have that information to give to us although they had already reported it to AQMD because he didn’t expect people would be asking him questions about sulfur. He gave me no commitment on when this information would be made available.

A Lawyer from USW spoke and asked about hydrofluoric acid production at the refinery and indicated that USW would be making a public records request. He also indicated ExxonMobil needs to do a better job of public preparedness and extensive outreach.

Alicia Rivera next spoke for CBE. She indicated that workers reported very unusual strong smells for an hour before the explosion and that management decided to proceed with operations. She also talked about the USW strike and how it was to get safer worker conditions and the concern with refining of heavier and more dangerous crudes. Alicia said the Chemical Safety Board and not the AQMD need to investigate this event.

A woman from the audience volunteered that two workers who had been interviewed by NBC4 on the day of the event had been fired. Brian denied these were ExxonMobil employees (could be contracted workers.)

Carl Walter lives on Sara Drive near the refinery. He called this “fibrous dust” and was also concerned about the lack of information on toxicity. (Brian’s response was this had only happened 48 hours ago.)

Another commenter stated that ExxonMobil should be sending people out to clean up the dust. Brian made a comment, “Well, it looks like we will.”

Another commenter suggested that ExxonMobil should do public outreach to neighborhood watch programs so people can be better prepared. Brian said this was a good idea.

A female commenter noted that this refinery had 9 violations since 2010 and was fined $100K, which ExxonMobil has appealed. Brian commented that Cal OSHA did a safety review and found 2 serious violations and 12 general violations. The 2 serious violations were “closed” and the other 12 are in the process of being “closed.” Brian said “we are glad” that the violations were found and they are always looking for ways to get better and that they had “settled” the fines. He said these violations had “nothing” to do with the ESP which exploded.

Rodney Barnes lives near the refinery, had worked there as a third party contractor and also sat on the Citizen’s Advisory Panel (CAP) and suggested people join that. He had some specific questions about the ESP and said answers to these would explain what happened.

There were some other minor comments which I won’t repeat here. People in the audience asked for ExxonMobil to agree to another meeting in one month. That commitment was not made but Brian said that they would “have other meetings.”
My overall impression; this was a spin exercise. They came with as little information as possible, apologies and claims that they care about safety. What information provided was clearly intended to minimize this event. While some audience members talked about how ExxonMobil provided jobs and gave money to the community, the general mood is that people were pissed off at the lack of information and lack of response.

Posted in Ideas & Opinions | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Great Candidates for L.A., and some ugly ones


 

By signing up, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Los Angeles Elections: 2015

One of the hats I wear, figuratively as well as my literal hat collection (consisting of everything from a Basque Beret to a Capone Fedora), is that of coordinator of the Same Page/Misma Pagina Coalition. The SPC is a joint process for vetting candidates. Some of the participating organizations make endorsements; others participate solely for the purpose of neutral voter education and get out the vote (GOTV) efforts.

Sharon Kyle and her husband Dick Price of LA Progressive graciously hosted SPC Candidate Interviews at their home

Sharon Kyle and her husband Dick Price of LA Progressive graciously hosted SPC Candidate Interviews at their home

This year we just completed the SPC vetting process with candidate interviews (following their submission of extensive responses to the longest and most difficult candidate questionnaire on the planet, or at least in the State of California). Each of the SPC participating organizations contributes questions and issues for candidates to be jointly vetted on which is why it is so long. The participating organizations are: San Fernando Valley/Northeast Los Angeles Chapter of the National Organization for Women (SFV/NELA NOW), Miss Revolutionaries, Bring Hollywood Home Foundation (BHHF), California League of Latin American Citizens (CALLAC), United For Education Coalition (UFE), L.A. Progressive, Todos Unidos, and the California LULAC Institute (CLI).

L-R:  Former Assembly Member Sally Morales Havice, Andra Hoffman, and Donna Dymally

L-R: Former Assembly Member Sally Morales Havice, Andra Hoffman, and Donna Dymally

While I’m factually reporting the outcome of the organizational endorsements that have resulted, the opinions and reasons I’m expressing in the following are mine alone for why I’m endorsing these candidates (and opposing others). The beauty of the SPC is that each group makes it’s own decision after the joint vetting process which in the long run saves both the individual associations and the candidates a lot of time and energy, even if our questionnaire is so long and so detailed, it tends to scare off most people running for office….and that’s just the way it should be. If you want to run for office you should expect and be prepared to be raked over the coals, not given a cake walk by the voters or grassroots organizations that make endorsements to educate and sway the voters.

Andra Hoffman for Los Angeles Community College Board of Trustees, Seat No. One

Andra Hoffman is being endorsed by SFV/NELA NOW, CALLAC, UFE, and Miss Revolutionaries. Some may wonder why Andra is being supported by CALLAC as opposed to the apparent front-runner amongst some bourgeois Latino circles, Francesca Vega, of CSUN (my Alma Mater). My mentor and intellectual jefe Dr. Rodolfo “Rudy” Acuna put his view (and mine) of Francesca succinctly when he wrote on January 7:

When I raised this issue criticizing the candidacy of a Latina for the LA Community College Trustees, some people went berserk saying I was anti-Latina. I knew of no instance where she advocated for Latino students or Chicana/o Studies on the California State University campus. Indeed, in a controversy with the CSUN president she sided with the administration.

In other words, en otras palabras, Francesca is a Vendida: a sellout.

L-R:  Andra Hoffman, Norma Ramirez, Cindy Montanez

L-R: Andra Hoffman, Norma Ramirez, Cindy Montanez

Andra on the other hand and to her credit, has a consistent and courageous record of advocacy for the most oppressed, repressed and generally fucked over Latino/Chicano students: Dream Act students. Not only did she participate in efforts with the late great Assembly Member Marco Firebaugh to craft and pass AB 540, the original Dream Act, she then bucked the administration at her own college (Glendale Community College) to implement it and educate students about its benefits and protections. At peril to her own employment, she resisted efforts to truncate and restrict the Dream Act’s applications and that is a record of involvement that deserves applause and support.

Filiberto Gonzalez for Los Angeles Board of Education, District No. Three

Filiberto Gonzalez

Filiberto Gonzalez

SFV/NELA NOW, CALLAC, UFE, and Miss Revolutionaries are endorsing Filiberto Gonzalez along with the BHHF. Filiberto was raised by his mother, a single parent, in Salinas and went to a school that was right next door to a United Farm Workers organizing office. An activist at an early age, he majored in Chicano Studies (as I did in a double major) at CSUN and by 19 was already being personally targeted for abuse by the racist anti-immigrant organization, Voices of Citizens Together because of his activism on the issue of a young Chicano who’d been gunned down, shot in the back, in my old barrio of Arleta/Sun Valley by a white racist. This is a background like my own; a life time of commitment to La Causa.

Filiberto is well versed in the policies and politics of the Los Angeles School Board, has identified specific areas where it needs to be changed and how the LAUSD needs to adapt to the challenges of the coming years and decades. He has the requisite experience to make that happen.

Cindy Montanez for City Council 6th District

Cindy Montanez

Cindy Montanez

 

Cindy is endorsed by SFV/NELA NOW, CALLAC, UFE, and Miss Revolutionaries.  I think that this is the fourth time that Cindy Montanez has earned my endorsement for public office. One big reason is that when I wrote AB 1617 in the 2002-3 legislative session, then-Assembly Member Montanez introduced and fought for it in an effort to put teeth into laws against discrimination and sexual harassment in California.

While I personally like her opponent, Nury Martinez, Nury just didn’t perform when she was a member of the School Board. SFV/NELA NOW vetted her on very specific issues. If she’d done anything to implement her promises during her tenure on the Board of Education, believe you me, I’d have heard about it. The comparison between Cindy’s record and Nury’s record is simple: for Nury, it is the Biblical writing on the wall, “Mene, Mene Tekel Upharsin,” (It has been counted and counted and found wanting) and that is very disappointing.

Aside from that, a quick read of Nury’s campaign disclosure forms indicates that she received a contribution from a certain individual who is part, parcel of, and owes his soul to the Jerusalem Network of the Israeli Mafia. As Bob Dylan sang in two of his songs (Subterranean Homesick Blues and It’s Alright Ma) “Money doesn’t talk, it swears.” What does this guy expect to get for his money? Mobsters do not contribute money to politicians without expectations that have been very carefully considered.

Nadine Momoyo Diaz for City Council, District Fourteen

L-R:  Nadine Momoyo Diaz, Sandra Mendoza, and Norma Ramirez

L-R: Nadine Momoyo Diaz, Sandra Mendoza, and Norma Ramirez

Nadine is endorsed by BHHF, SFV/NELA NOW, CALLAC, UFE, and Miss Revolutionaries.  In the Fourteenth District voters have a choice between business as usual and politics as unusual, the latter being represented by Nadine Momoyo Diaz. A long time activist and community organizer who has often represented the people on land use issues, she has always bucked the established trends and refused to sell out. Let me start by contrasting that with the record and campaign contribution record of the incumbent, Jose “the Weasel” Huizar.

Before he started running for office himself, Huizar made a campaign contribution to anti-semitic City Council Candidate Woody Fleming who ran against Jan Perry. Woody, a one-time member of Social Democrats USA, which supported the CIA inspired fascist-military takeover of Chile by Augusto Pinochet in the early 70s, denounced Jan Perry as being married to a “white, wealthy Jewish Westside lawyer who is coming to take their land” referring to a fabricated allegation that her husband wanted to buy up black neighborhoods. Anti-semitic accusations tend to be really unreasonable and stupid, but that one takes the cake. Jan is Jewish so how or why Woody thought it was reasonable to denounce her marriage to another Jew is really weird, unless what he’s complaining about is that a Black Jew was married to a White Jew……Woody….Negro Please!

More recently Huizar accepted $700 from a bar that was once the center of extreme controversy for refusing service to Gay patrons and posting anti-Gay leaflets up to make it a hostile environment for LGBT people.

He’s taken repeated contributions over the years from the perennial CEO of one of the notorious poverty-pimp 501(c)(3) “non-profits” in East Los Angeles who have been targeted in my investigations for all kinds of mis-guided uses of public monies and by “mis-guided” I’m being very polite so as not to belabor the very obvious corruption that can be gleaned just by reading their publicly available IRS 990 tax returns.

Over the years one consistent contributor to Huizar has been labor exploiter and capitalist pig Bruce Corwin. To see why I have no problem saying this and without mincing words, just read my blog at: http://janbtucker.com/blog/2010/12/23/holding-my-breath/ Huizar is supposedly proud of his immigrant roots. If he really is and if he had any self-respect he’d call out Corwin as the pig he is for what he did to his immigrant work force at Film Processing Company. Incidentally, the doctor who diagnosed the workers there that Corwin’s company chemically poisoned is now endorsing and supporting Nadine Diaz. Similar to Corwin is another Huizar contributor who got nailed  and went to jail for dumping perchlorate in Playa Del Rey, on a property bought by the family of a man presently in federal prison for ripping off a bank for around $40 million and who incidentally are associated with a cabal of contributors to John Noguez who benefited from favorable tax rulings……

In 2010, the “Elect Noguez Committee,” run by then County Assessor and now charged criminal John Noguez gave a campaign contribution to Huizar. Of Noguez, who also personally contributed to Huizar in 2005, Wikipedia reports:

Jose Huizar campaign contributor John Noguez

Jose Huizar campaign contributor John Noguez

On October 17, 2012, Noguez was arrested on 44 counts of conspiracy, bribery and corruption, with bail set at $1.36 million.[23] Also arrested were key conspirators Mark McNeil, Noguez’s chief appraiser and Ramin Salari, a campaign contributor and Arizona tax consultant.[23] Between February and September 2010, Noguez allegedly accepted $185,000 in bribes from Salari and used his influence to lower the appraised property values for Salari’s clients, to help the clients save millions of dollars in property taxes.[23] In total, the property tax scam deprived the Los Angeles County of at least $1.16 million in tax revenue.[20] Improper tax breaks were granted to more than 100 wealthy Westside property owners.[24] If convicted, Noguez faces more than 30 years in state prison.[25]

EVOQ Properties Inc. gave Huizar money in 2014. Here’s what I have to say about EVOQ: http://janbtucker.com/blog/2012/06/22/mount-kelletts-new-litigation-nightmares/ and http://janbtucker.com/blog/2012/03/16/romneyizing-los-angeles/ and http://janbtucker.com/blog/2012/04/06/will-mount-kellett-ever-learn/ and http://janbtucker.com/blog/2012/03/20/mount-kelletts-war-on-workers/

Another of Huizar’s campaign contributors (and his wife, daughters, father, and entire extended family) along with his company that made consistent contributions to Huizar’s legal defense fund (when he was fighting a lawsuit by his former campaign staffer of sexual harassment charges) was described to me by one of my reliable confidential sources as “Partner in Forever 21, pays people for illegally converted storage facilities, not up to fire code, building and safety codes.”

Ken Spiker, the Los Angeles Parking Association and some of the more sordid companies involved in oligopolizing the parking industry in Los Angeles have made contributions to Huizar. For that background, see http://janbtucker.com/blog/2013/09/09/parkmaggedon-for-los-angeles/. Richard Ullman, one of those contributors along with his campany Five Star Parking, is also featured in that article along with the story of his family’s questionable contributions to then City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo. One utterly despicable company that has contributed to Huizar’s current campaign is United Valet Parking: http://janbtucker.com/blog/2014/02/09/united-parking-ripping-off-workers/.

It has been said for centuries (http://janbtucker.com/blog/2012/01/11/birds-of-a-feather/) that “birds of a feather flock together.” Maybe that is why former Senator Richard Polanco, for whom the taxpayers footed a $117,000 plus settlement for sexual harassment, has been a campaign contributor to Huizar, who likewise was sued for sexual harassment by one of his former aides.

Contributions to Gloria Molina over the years have been suspect as well.

Amongst her contributors are the CEO of an East Los Angeles for-profit medical firm that helped to run Huntington Park’s Mission Hospital out of business (http://janbtucker.com/blog/2011/01/21/re-open-mission-hospital-in-huntington-park/), attorneys in a firm closely associated with now convicted felon ex-lawyer Terry Christiansen who were up to their eyeballs in the Tony Pellicano case, and now disgraced former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. But one of the most interesting past contributors, and the timing of the contribution, were large last minute contributions to Gloria’s unopposed June 8, 2010 re-election to her final term on the Board of Supervisors.

Gloria was the only candidate on the ballot, so you’ve got to wonder exactly why she had to make reports of last minute “late contributions” just days before the election. On June 3, 2010 two unions gave her $1,000 each and the next day, Occidental Oil gave her another $1,000 on June 4??????? Maybe it had something to do with the fact that a couple of years later, Occidental would attempt to start fracking for oil in the City of Carson with 200 wells right near Cal State Dominguez. It helps to have bought and paid for politicians to grease the wheels of your company’s political operation, but Oxy had to back down in the face of massive community opposition from that plan.

Aside from her contributions, Gloria was behind the shakedown of the Bobcats Youth Football and Cheer leading program and its expulsion from its home at Salazar Park where it had been instrumental in a vigorous positive campaign to keep children off the streets and out of gangs since the late sixties: http://janbtucker.com/blog/2013/03/11/save-the-bobcats-youth-football/.

Other Candidates to Vote Against

In a couple of races where the SPC (or myself) hasn’t made an endorsement, be attentive to voting against a couple of degenerates running for office.

Thankfully, Melvin R. Snell did not qualify for the ballot in the 10th City Council District, but he did qualify as a write-in candidate. Snell, and his wife Birgitta Croil, have twice been involved in lawsuits involving the ripoff of assets from the elderly. In one case the woman died and the autopsy results showed burns on the bottom of her feet after Croil was supposed to be taking care of her. Snell and Croil operate the so-called LOS ANGELES HUMANITY GROUP FOUNDATION which purports to be a non-profit but which has failed to file with the California Department of Justice Registry of Charitable Trusts….and which ignored my written request that they comply with IRS regulations and federal law which require them to provide me with copies of their IRS form 990 tax returns…..gee, I wonder why they wouldn’t want me to see them??????

Homophobic Anti-Semite Lydia Gutierrez is a right wing fanatic running for Los Angeles Board of Education in the 7th District. She’s an evangelical protestant associated with such lunatic fringe groups like Focus on the Family and once accused myself and another Jew of supporting “baby killing” while we were trying to offer a family free criminal defense services in a meeting at a Catholic Church, apparently because our Jewish views on abortion somehow disqualified us from defending their son on a criminal charge that had nothing to do with abortion or politics.

Posted in Anecdotes & Adventures, Ideas & Opinions, Private Investigation Industry | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mohsen Loghmani’s “im Pro Per” performance


 

By signing up, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

From The flowers of wit, or a choice collection of bon mots, by Henry Kett, 1814:

…observed the eminent lawyer, “I hesitate not to pronounce, that every man who is his own lawyer, has a fool for a client.

Attorney JJ Little

Attorney JJ Little

Thursday and Friday, December 18 and 19, 2014, I underwent an experience of being cross-examined as an expert witness in a fraudulent transfer case by Engineer/Contractor Mohsen Loghmani, representing himself in propria persona.  It was like stepping into a combination of the 5th Dimension and the Twilight Zone simultaneously.  When I got done, I received the following kudos from Plaintiff’s attorney J.J. Little:

Hi Jan, thanks again for (as is usual for you) doing such an unbelievably fantastic job as our resident “expert.” You are truly gifted and it is a real pleasure and privilege to watch you in action. I’ve now seen you testify on numerous occasions and you honestly seem to get better and better-and I do not see how that is possible given that you are from the get-go perfection in action. I do not believe there is anyone better! Again, thank you. Closing arguments are on Monday. I will let you know how it turns out. I just wanted you to know how much I appreciate what you did for us. Have a great evening, JJ

Hopefully I’ll get a copy of the transcript when it’s done because nobody will actually believe some of went on in the courtroom.  One example (approximation of the question/answer):

Mohsen Loghmani asked me a question using a word he pronounced as T H E I R and I was pretty sure that was the word he meant instead of T H E R E or T H E Y ‘ R E, but it wasn’t clear because he consistently seemed to be referring to himself and his co-defendant ‘wife,’ Mahshid Loghmani, collectively in questions when he should only have been referring to himself.

I responded:  “Did you use the word T H E I R in your question?”

Loghmani:  “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

Sharia Divorce

Sharia Divorce

In the foregoing exchange, I put the word “wife” as ‘wife’ because even that was in question in the case.  In an Illinois divorce action, a divorce was granted based upon intentional cruelty alleged by Mahshid against Mohsen Loghmani.  Yet, they continued to live together for decades, commingled their funds, and raised their children together.  Trying to discharge the underlying judgment in excess of $2 million against him, Mohsen Loghmani alleged under oath that Mahshid was still his wife and their testimony in deposition and discovery responses were all over the map on whether or not they were still married; amongst other things a contention was made that the Illinois divorce didn’t matter because they were still married under Iranian law???????

Heisenberg Uncertainty PrincipleIn another exchange with Mohsen Loghmani I had to cite the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle as applied to social science and investigation, Kurt Goedel’s mathematical Impossibility Theorem and Ockham’s Razor in my response to his question, to explain why it was impossible for me to respond to or make sense of his question.  Loghmani asked me if I could say that in terms a layman could understand and I told him that the problem was that what he was talking about made no sense, in so many words.

In the meantime to see more about this bizarre case and the history of Mohsen Loghmani, check out my Skeleton’s Closet at:

http://www.janbtucker.com/jb_tucker_in_action

Posted in Anecdotes & Adventures, Ideas & Opinions, Private Investigation Industry | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dr. Udani & Staywell Research–Should You Beware?


 

By signing up, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Dr. Sanjay Kishore Udani

Dr. Sanjay Kishore Udani

UPDATE 1-26-15:  check out Facebook Page of other Staywell Research people who allege they were stiffed by Dr. Udani– https://www.facebook.com/groups/1606834922872578/

A lawsuit filed against Dr. Sanjay Kishore Udani and his Northridge, California based Staywell Research firm which conducts pharmaceutical drug testing raises some serious questions about the representations for compensation made on internet solicitations.  According to the suit, these concerns have been brought to the attention of the Food & Drug Administration but there has been no response to our communication from the FDA and potentially, no investigation.

On the surface, Dr. Udani lists an impressive curriculum vitae [Note it is mis-spelled by his own internet posting as curriculum vitale]:

Jay Udani_001 Jay Udani_002Anyway, the lawsuit speaks for itself:

S&C Scan_20141212_113126_001 S&C Scan_20141212_113126_002 S&C Scan_20141212_113126_003 S&C Scan_20141212_113126_004 S&C Scan_20141212_113126_005 S&C Scan_20141212_113126_006 S&C Scan_20141212_113126_007 S&C Scan_20141212_113126_008 S&C Scan_20141212_113126_009 S&C Scan_20141212_113126_010 S&C Scan_20141212_113126_011 S&C Scan_20141212_113126_012 S&C Scan_20141212_113126_013 S&C Scan_20141212_113126_014 S&C Scan_20141212_113126_015 S&C Scan_20141212_113126_016

Posted in Anecdotes & Adventures, Ideas & Opinions, Private Investigation Industry | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Rudy Acuna on Student Activism


 

By signing up, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Stupid America!

Student Unrest

How Chicanas/os Lost Their Swagger  12 12 14

By

Rodolfo F. Acuña

 

I constantly hear references to winning football teams having swagger – they play with a chip on their shoulder.

 

In the sixties, black youth had that swagger — after years of being taught that they should stay in their place, they adopted the mantra of “black is beautifuldon’t fuck with me.” Mexican Americans and Puerto Ricans displayed a similar swagger as if to say “I am someone, I demand respect.

 

The Chicano Movement was serious business. It spawned a ton of characters.  You delighted in their audacity and their challenging of the man. I remember Dr. Ricardo Sanchez telling anyone who would listen that he went from a GED to PhD.

 

Sanchez, a high school dropout and ex-convict, wrote poems about cultural justice. He received a doctorate from the Union Institute in Cincinnati and had an academic appointment at Washington State University, teaching creative writing and Chicano studies.

 

He would saunter into El Paso restaurants and deliver poems “reciting not from memory but from the moment.” I remember how he and Tigre captured a Tex Mex cafe in Milwaukee.

 

You had those who would snicker about his doctorate. But he did not give a shit – he knew he was a doctor because he willed it and his poetry established that. Ricardo did not need to attend a Princeton or a Yale to validate himself — his swagger said it all.

 

Another favorite was Abelardo. Like Sanchez he was from el Chuco (El Paso).  A teacher, social worker, and administrator of community service organizations he declared himself a poet, producing mountains of poetry, fiction, and essays. We both taught a summer session at the University of Utah.

 

He loved the sound of his name, my favorite poem was “Stupid America.”

 

stupid america, see that

chicano

with a big knife

on his steady hand

he doesn’t want to knife you

he wants to sit on a bench

and carve christ figures

but you won’t let him.

stupid america, hear that

chicano

shouting curses on the street

he is a poet

without paper and pencil

and since he cannot write

he will explode.

stupid america, remember

that chicano

flunking math and english

he is the picasso

of your western states

but he will die

with one thousand

masterpieces

hanging only from his mind.”

 

The truth be told, a person or country is only stupid when they make the same mistakes, over and over and deny them.  For example, in August 2014, Ferguson, Missouri Police Officer Darren Wilson shot and killed Michael Brown, a black youth. Two grand juries failed to indict the white police officer. The previous month Eric Garner was strangled by Staten Island, NY police officers. These incidents tapped the grief and grievance of centuries of injustices. Protests against the police killings of Brown and Garner turned violent and spread to campuses and cities throughout the country. .

 

On September 26, 2014, 43 Mexican students from the Raúl Isidro Burgos Rural Teachers’ College of Ayotzinapa went missing in Iguala, Guerrero, Mexico. In all probability, they were assassinated and incinerated.

 

In the 60s, the U.S. spent millions of dollars studying the causes of urban and student rebellions — studies that were ignored. The catalyst was the 1965 Watts Rebellions that shook the nation “to its democratic foundation.” A 101-page report of December 2, 1965 titled “Violence in the City—An End or a Beginning?: A Report by the Governor’s Commission on the Los Angeles Riots, 1965” startled America and then went away.

 

Two years later the Kerner Commission, “The National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders,’ was commissioned by President Lyndon B. Johnson to investigate the causes of the 1967 race riots in the United States and to provide recommendations. It warned “Our nation is moving toward two societies, one black, one white—separate and unequal“, adding that “Unless there are sharp changes in the factors influencing Negro settlement patterns within metropolitan areas, there is little doubt that the trend toward Negro majorities will continue.”  The report called unemployment a major cause of the unrest as well as the poor training of police. 

 

Despite or because of the war on students, launched by the patron Saint of Greed, Governor Ronald Reagan, student activism escalated. The largest and most heated were at the University of California, Berkeley that along with San Francisco State was the flagship of student protests. .

 

Reagan’s (1967-1975) approach to solving student turmoil was to “get rid of undesirables. Those there to agitate and not to study might think twice before they pay tuition. They might think twice how much they want to pay to carry a picket sign.” It was a smoke screen for one of the biggest shifts in taxes from the rich to the poor, and the wedding of the Republican Party to the super rich.  

 

Student protests came to a climax on May 4, 1970 when guardsmen shot down four student protesters students at Kent State, leading to nationwide campus protests. More than 450 violent and non-violent demonstrations broke out across the country. At New York University banners read, “They Can’t Kill Us All.”

 

Over 100,000 people demonstrated in Washington, D.C., against the war and the killing of unarmed student protesters — “The city was an armed camp. The mobs were smashing windows, slashing tires, dragging parked cars into intersections, even throwing bedsprings off overpasses into the traffic down below. This was the quote, student protest. That’s not student protest, that’s civil war,” said a Nixon adviser. The Jackson State killings occurred on Friday, May 15, 1970, at Jackson State College (now Jackson State University) in Jackson, Mississippi. It resulted in the killings of two students and injury of twelve.

 

According to the Urban Institute’s national study the Kent State shooting was the single factor in the first nationwide student strike in U.S. history, as over 4 million students protested in over 900 American colleges and universities that were closed during the student strikes.

 

Yet another commission, “The President’s Commission On Campus Unrest,” was chaired by William W. Scranton, the Former Governor of Pennsylvania. The report gave a sense of urgency. It exhausted the available material on the subject, concluding that “Studies of activist youth reveal that in most cases students become activists through an extended process.”

 

Rounding off the reports was a 1979 book by Fresno State English Department Chair Kenneth Seib — The Slow Death of Fresno State: A California Campus under Reagan and Brown. The conclusion was that Black Studies and La Raza Studies programs were intentionally killed by far right senior professors in collusion with Governor Gov. Ronald Regan and CSC Chancellor Glenn Dumke. They deliberately murdered the programs.

 

These studies are readily available on the internet. As I have said, it is not stupid to make a mistake but is to keep on making the same mistakes. Americans are stupid not because they are Americans but because they won’t admit their mistakes and find ways to correct them.

 

“Stupid America.” You lost generations of geniuses. Gone is the boasting, “From GED to  PhD,” giving of gritos of liberation. As a result Chicana/o lost their swagger condemning the poorest them to staring an “Y Qué” look. Part of the swagger was hope.

Posted in Ideas & Opinions | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment