Index
Saturday
Jul202013

POLITICS/EDUCATION: Los Angeles Unified School District, relationship between LAUSD board and Supt. Deasy: "LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy ordered to submit a succession plan"....

* Daily News:  "LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy ordered to submit a succession plan" - From the DN:

Los Angeles Unified board member Bennett Kayser, part of a majority that has been increasingly critical of Superintendent John Deasy, sent a letter Friday to the schools chief demanding a plan spelling out who is in charge when he's gone.

The one-page letter from Kayser said he wants Deasy to submit a succession plan for himself and his senior staff that details "immediate, short- and long-term succession plans delineating timelines, positions and personnel." He also wants the plan to address potential impacts on contracts and action plans and to identify any "risks" that might affect the district.

He wants the board to review a draft succession plan by the start of school or soon thereafter. The next board meeting is Aug. 20, a week after classes resume.

Kayser said the letter was merely procedural, and not an indication that he wants Deasy replaced. He issued a statement characterizing his request as "a minor governance and risk management matter."

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* Los Angeles Times:  "A request for Supt. Deasy to submit 'succession' plan attracts attention" - From the LAT:

A Los Angeles Board of Education member has requested a "succession plan" for schools Supt. John Deasy, sparking speculation about moves to replace the leader of the nation's second-largest school system.The request, made in a Friday letter from board member Bennett Kayser, asks that the plan "be drawn up by and for" the superintendent and senior staff of the L.A. Unified School District.

The timing is curious..............

Saturday
Jul202013

POLITICS: Gil Cedillo Jr., son of Los Angeles City Councilman Gil Cedillo Sr.: "Gil Cedillo Jr. out at embattled LA water district"....

* Sacramento Bee:  "Gil Cedillo Jr. out at embattled LA water district" - From the Bee:

A southern California water district under federal scrutiny has let go of Gilbert Cedillo Jr., the son of former assemblyman and current Los Angeles City Councilman Gil Cedillo Sr.

Cedillo had been working since April of 2011 as a business development manager for the Central Basin Municipal Water District, which recently received a federal subpoena seeking more information on the southeastern Los Angles County water wholesaler's federal contracting practices and its relationship with former Assemblyman Tom Calderon, who did consulting work for the district.

"Gil is going to no longer be with the district as of July 31st. He's on administrative leave until then," said Central Basin Municipal Water District spokesman Joseph Legaspi, who added that Cedillo was being let go because there funding is not available for his position through the next fiscal year.

According to Legaspi, Cedillo received an annual salary of $112,970 and had his tuition at Azusa Pacific University covered by the water district. Legaspi attributed the agreement to the district's previous administration, which saw some turnover after a June 2012 election. "The district did provide professional development assistance," Legaspi said.

Saturday
Jul202013

L.A. CITY HALL: Death of Lillian Kawasaki, well-known long-time public servant, had worked for City of Los Angeles for 34 years....  

***Sad news, the death of a friend to many of us, a dear colleague with long ties to Los Angeles city government....

* Long Beach Press-Telegram:  "Lillian Kawasaki dies of cancer after two-year battle" - "The unsuccessful City Council candidate had battled breast cancer" - From the PT:

 LONG BEACH - Lillian Kawasaki, who lost last year's most competitive council race in the 8th District, died Thursday from breast cancer. Kawasaki, an elected director of the Water Replenishment District of Southern California, had battled the cancer for slightly over two years. She was 62. Kawasaki had been free of the ailment at the time of the council race, but she suffered a relapse about a month following the April 2012 election.

Born Sept. 17, 1950, in Denver, Colo., Kawasaki graduated in 1967 from Baldwin Park High School, and later earned a bachelor's and master's degrees from Cal State Los Angeles. She met her future husband, Craig Carter, in graduate school.

Kawasaki had a 34-year career with the city of Los Angeles as assistant general manager for the Department of Water and Power, then became the general manager of the new Environmental Affairs Department -- the first woman to reach that rank in the city's history -- followed by the job as general manager of the Community Development Department.

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She enjoyed a statewide reputation as an expert on the nexus between water and energy, the importance of storm water capture for beneficial use, and the relationship between water supply in Southern California and ecosystem restoration in the Bay-Delta..............

***ALSO, Updated/Later Report (more info/details):

* Los Angeles Times:  "Lillian Kawasaki dies at 62; L.A.'s first environmental chief" - "Lillian Kawasaki spearheaded major initiatives to protect the city's air and water in the 90's. She later led the Community Development Department and the DWP's Green L.A. program."

 

Friday
Jul192013

POLITICS (National): Detroit, Chapter 9 bankruptcy filing, local Michigan judge rules city's bankruptcy filing is unconstitutional and must be withdrawn, Michigan attorney general to appeal decision, wants judge's order stayed pending appeal....  

***Following up on most recent earlier item noted here (Detroit, state-appointed emergency manager, filing ankruptcy protection)....

* USA Today:  "Mich. judge rules Detroit bankruptcy unconstitutional" - From USA Today:

LANSING, Mich — An Ingham County judge says Thursday's historic Detroit bankruptcy filing violates the Michigan Constitution and state law and must be withdrawn. But Attorney General Bill Schuette said he will appeal Circuit Judge Rosemarie Aquilina's Friday rulings and seek emergency consideration from the Michigan Court of Appeals. He wants her orders stayed pending the appeals, he said in a news release.

In a spate of orders Friday arising from three separate lawsuits, Aquilina said Gov. Rick Snyder and Detroit emergency manager Kevyn Orr must take no further actions that threaten to diminish the pension benefits of City of Detroit retirees. "I have some very serious concerns because there was this rush to bankruptcy court that didn't have to occur and shouldn't have occurred," Aquilina said. "Plaintiffs shouldn't have been blindsided," and "this process shouldn't have been ignored."

Lawyers representing pensioners and two city pension funds got an emergency hearing Thursday with Aquilina, and she said she planned to issue an order to block the bankruptcy filing. But lawyers and the judge learned that Orr filed the Detroit bankruptcy petition in Detroit 5 minutes before the hearing began.

Aquilina said the Michigan Constitution prohibits actions that will lessen the pension benefits of public employees, including those in the City of Detroit. Snyder and Orr violated the constitution by going ahead with the bankruptcy filing because they know reductions in those benefits will result, she said.

"We can't speculate what the bankruptcy court might order," said assistant Attorney General Brian Devlin, representing the governor and other state defendants.

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Douglas Bernstein, a partner with Plunkett Cooney law firm in Birmingham, Mich., said Aquilina's ruling is surprising. "This is generally how bankruptcies occur: You file bankruptcy when there is an impending crisis at the 11th hour," Bernstein said. "You file bankruptcies to stave off litigation."

University of Michigan law professor John Pottow said the issue could travel up the court system, all the way to the Michigan Supreme Court. Or it could be answered decisively and quickly in bankruptcy court.............

* Detroit Free Press:  "Michigan AG challenges judge's ruling that Detroit bankruptcy is unconstitutional"

Friday
Jul192013

LOCAL GOVERNMENT (Washington, D.C. City Hall): Update, investigation, fundraising, Mayor Vincent Gray's 2010 political campaign: "Probe of Gray's 2010 political campaign may take longer to resolve".... 

***Following up on most recent earlier item noted here (Jeffrey E. Thompson, the "Governor of D.C.", etc.)....

* Washington Post:  "Probe of Gray's 2010 political campaign may take longer to resolve" - From the WP:

The investigation into Mayor Vincent C. Gray’s 2010 political campaign may take longer to resolve than prosecutors have signaled in recent weeks, injecting new uncertainty into the District’s unsettled political landscape — and Gray’s political future.

Jeffrey E. Thompson, the D.C. businessman at the center of the investigation, has agreed to an extension of the deadline for law enforcement officials to file charges against him, according to several people with knowledge of the case. The decision opens the door for Thompson, who court records show is the subject of a grand jury investigation, to negotiate with prosecutors.

Thompson is the alleged financier of an off-the-books shadow campaign for Gray (D). The mayor has not been charged and has declined to comment on the allegations, citing the ongoing investigation, but he has denied any wrongdoing. Prosecutors have appeared to be methodically building a case against Thompson; without identifying him by name, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. said last month that the case was moving “extremely fast in pace.”

One by one, a series of Thompson’s business associates and a former D.C. Council member have pleaded guilty to federal charges and implicated Thompson in several alleged campaign finance schemes. But the timeline changed in recent days because of a behind-the-scenes agreement between Thompson and federal prosecutors, according to several people with direct knowledge of the deal......................