LOS ANGELES CITY ATTORNEYS' ASSOCIATION
(LACAA) / SEIU LOCAL 721
BOARD MEETING MINUTES
Meeting Date / Time: Thursday, February 24, 2011; 5:00 p.m.
Meeting Site: ERB Boardroom
City Hall East
Board Members Present: Oscar Winslow (President), Howard Fuchs (First Vice-President), Mark Lambert (Second Vice-President), Juliann Anderson (Secretary), Nick Karno (Criminal Director), Patrick Hiscocks (Criminal Director), Marie McTeague (telephonic) (Civil Director)
SEIU Local 721 Representative
Present: Bob Hunt (General Counsel)
Motion for Commission on Status of Women table for March 14, 2011.
The motion was approved.
Motion regarding next meeting.
Motion approved; next meeting set for Wednesday, March 2, 2011 at 5:00 p.m.
Summary of meeting with Executive Assistant City Attorney Bill Carter.
Issues discussed included the following: LAPD overtime and the city attorney's office, volunteer attorneys, Daily News article inaccuracies regarding domestic violence cases (new class not allowed to prosecute DV).
Motion regarding non-LACAA members on committees.
Motion to allow and to insure non-LACAA members on committees approved.
Formation of volunteer committee.
Committee members: Brad Rothenberg, Mark Lambert, Ann Rosenthal.
Report by attorney Robert Hunt regarding unfair labor practice (use of volunteers).
Volunteer committee to craft proposal. Effort to meet with management and reach agreement.
Discussion regarding communication with members via website.
Website manager (911 Media) will create constant contact account for $450; an additional $300 will add spreadsheet. Once approved, will send office wide blast to get private email addresses.
To be given Wednesday, February 9.
Discussion regarding continuing education.
Meetings with city council members.
Meetings held with Council member Reyes and staff of Council members Perry and Cardenas.
Report / discussion regarding public relations.
Boardmember Karno reported regarding SEIU (in house) field communication operations. Communication director leaving in a week. New hire on board soon. Boardmember Hiscocks advocated for lobbyist instead of public relations consultant. Attorney Hunt reported that though communication director leaving, assistant director (Tracie Morales) on staff.
Boardmember Fuchs declared his lack of faith in SEIU; inability to protect each subgroup within union. Fuchs added that LACAA should pay consultant to take care of LACAA's interest. Boardmember Lambert stated that LACAA would get better service if it hires a consultant.
Regarding lobbyist Arnie Berghoff, Board President Winslow stated that he had questions.
Regarding public relations specialist Dave Gershwin, Boardmember Karno summarized Gershwin's firm as a small boutique servicing small- to medium-sized clients (e.g., Jewish Family Services). Karno stated that Gershwin has a great reputation. Cost: $5000 per month. Would serve as lobbyist and public relations consultant.
Regarding public relations consultant Brendan Huffman, Karno summarized Huffman's firm as small and Valley-based. Huffman's spouse is a deputy city attorney. Some discussion regarding appearance of conflict. Further discussion regarding political activity.
Regarding public relations consultant Barbara Maynard, Karno summarized her firm as well-known and costing $5000 per month. Karno stated that Maynard prefers union locals (e.g. probation officers), and has been part of city budget meetings on their behalf. Maynard has also worked with the Coalition of LA Unions and understands SEIU.
Regarding lobbyist Arnie Huffman, Karno summarized Huffman's practice as the "Rolls Royce" of Los Angeles lobbyists. Boardmember McTeague expressed concern regarding conflict and appearance of impropriety, as Huffman has represented large corporations doing business with City such as AEG. All of the above consultants had been vetted by Boardmembers Karno, Anderson, Lambert, Bobo, and Fuchs; also vetted by LACAA Member Michael Amerian.
Boardmember Karno said he would get a list of clients from Huffman, and would speak to SEIU's Julie Butcher and Rich Llewellyn, chief of staff to Councilman Koretz.
Motion to table to March 2 approved.
Motion to endorse city council candidacy of Mitch Englander.
Approved. Abstentions by Fuchs, Winslow.
Minutes respectfully submitted,
Los Angeles City Attorneys' Association