Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Maven's Morning Coffee: LAPD's impound policy rejected, councilman denies harassment complaint, Moreno Valley politician arrested

los angeles police department lapd seal

A judge has ruled that LAPD's relaxed policy on vehicle impounds conflicts with state law.

Good morning, readers. Welcome to the Maven's Morning Coffee -- a listing of the important headlines, news conferences, votes and announcements you need to know to fuel up and tackle your day.

The Maven's Morning Coffee is also available as a daily email. Click here to subscribe.

Today is Tuesday, Aug. 13, and here is what's happening in Southern California politics:

Headlines

The Los Angeles Police Department's relaxed vehicle impound policy was struck down by a judge Monday, reports KPCC. The policy that allowed unlicensed drivers to avoid a 30-day impound was found to conflict with state law.

Los Angeles City Councilman Jose Huizar is denying sexual harassment allegations made by his former deputy chief of staff. Francine Godoy filed her complaint with the state's Department of Fair Employment and Housing. Council President Herb Wesson has authorized the Personnel Department to form an independent committee to look into the accusations. Los Angeles Times, KPCC.

Read More...

Former staffer files sexual harassment complaint against Councilman Jose Huizar

City Council Los Angeles

Mae Ryan/KPCC

A former staffer to Councilman Jose Huizar has accused the Los Angeles politician of discrimination, harassment and retaliation.

The former deputy chief of staff to Councilman Jose Huizar has accused the Los Angeles politician of harassment, discrimination and retaliation in a complaint filed with State Department of Fair Housing and Employment.

The complaint was filed by Francine Godoy, who worked for the councilman from 2006 until earlier this year. She is now with the Bureau of Sanitation, according to the department's personnel division. 

An attorney for Godoy, Michael Eisenberg, told KPCC, "We are not speaking about the allegations at this point in time."

In her June 7 complaint, Godoy stated, "I was subjected to sexual harassment (quid pro quo and hostile work environment) and retaliated against when I refused advances." 

She further  states that she was asked "impermissible non-job-related questions," demoted, denied employment and promotion, forced to quit, terminated, and denied the ability to run for office. 

Read More...

State takes away cities' power to ticket at broken parking meters

Mercer 3868

Corey Moore/KPCC

A state bill signed by Gov. Jerry Brown Monday will prevent local municipalities from ticketing at broken parking meters.

Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill Monday that will prevent local municipalities from ticketing drivers who park at broken meters. The new law will go into effect Jan. 1, 2014.

The Los Angeles City Council recently reversed its own policy allowing ticketing at broken meters, making  plans to revisit the issue in six months.  There are concerns that that acts of vandalism and intentional jamming of parking meters might increase if broken meters aren't ticketed.  The passage of AB 61 means the city cannot return to penalizing drivers at inoperable meters, even after assessing rates of vandalism.  

Assemblyman Mike Gatto, who authored the state bill, and Councilman Mike Bonin, who pushed the policy at the city level, each took credit for the new rules  -- though under the previous policy, the L.A. Department of Transportation issued just one ticket at a broken meter this year. 

Read More...

Report: LA City Council should approve proposed DWP contract (updated)

David McNew/Getty Images

An independent report sent to the Los Angeles City Council encourages the city to approve a proposed contract with the DWP union. Above, the Department of Water and Power's San Fernando Valley Generating Station.

A new report from the city's chief legislative analyst urges the Los Angeles City Council to approve a proposed contract with the union representing employees with the Department of Water and Power. 

The CLA's report found the deal could save $7.9 billion over a 30-year period. 

The contract "accomplishes the negotiating goals established several years ago with all labor negotiations, will provide the greatest protection to DWP ratepayers, creates certainty over the next several years in DWP revenue requirements and rate impacts on customers" and provides a template for future labor negotiations, according to chief legislative analyst, Gerry Miller.

On Friday, members of both the Budget and Finance committee and the Energy and Environment committee are expected to hold a joint public hearing on the contract.  Council President Herb Wesson has said a deal needs to be in place by Sept. 1 to avoid cost-of-living adjustments that are scheduled to take effect on Oct. 1. 

Read More...

Former Mayor Villaraigosa heads to Harvard

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Former Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has maintained a low profile since leaving City Hall in June. This fall, he will be a visiting fellow at Harvard's Institute of Politics.

Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and former U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis are headed to Cambridge as visiting fellows at Harvard's Institute of Politics. 

Visiting fellows meet with students groups, participate in public policy classes, and lead discussions on their experiences in public service.

"Our fall Fellows class has impressive experience in politics and campaigns, journalism, business, technology, and service at the highest levels of city, state and federal government – including in the U.S. Senate and the President’s cabinet.  We are confident this group will create strong interest and inspire the leaders of tomorrow here at Harvard," said Trey Grayson, director of the Institute of Politics. 

This year's resident fellows are:

  • Mo Cowan, former U.S. Senator
  • Ginny Hunt, strategy principal, Google
  • Sasha Issenberg, columnist, Slate
  • Karen Mills, administrator, U.S. Small Business Administration 
  • Beth Myers, advisor, Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign
  • Ana Navarro, political commentator, CNN/CNN Español

Read More...