Date: Wednesday, February 8, 2017
Time: 12:00 p.m.
Location: Public Works Conference Room
Present: Oscar Winslow, President
Howard Fuchs, 1st Vice President
Josh Geller, 2nd Vice President
Garcelle Embry, Treasurer
Ann Rosenthal, Secretary
Patrick Hiscocks, Criminal Director
Matt Schonbrun, Criminal Director
Carmen Hawkins, Civil Director
Legal Counsel: David Mastagni, by phone.

1. Request for Donation

The Association of Black City Attorneys (ABCA) has requested a donation for their Roundtable Discussion celebrating African American Heritage Month.

Motion: By Hiscocks – for LACAA to donate $500 to the ABCA for this event. Second: Geller.

In favor: Unanimous

Motion passed

2. Englander, Knabe & Allen (EKA)

EKA is the Lobbying firm that was hired to assist the Board with bargaining.

Now that bargaining for this last MOU is complete a discussion was had regarding the current status of the relationship between LACAA and EKA.

Motion: By Winslow - to terminate LACAA’s relationship with EKA. Second by Hawkins.

In favor: Winslow, Fuchs, Geller, Embry, Rosenthal, Hiscocks, Hawkins.
Against: None
Abstain: None (Schonbrun temporarily absent from meeting)

Motion passed

3. LACAA Dinner

A proposal was made for LACAA Board Members to gather for the purpose of reviewing past strategies and brainstorm for future bargaining.

Motion: by Hiscocks – for LACAA to fund a dinner for LACAA Board Members. Second: Fuchs

In favor: Unanimous

Motion Passed

4. Diabetes Association Roast Dinner


5. Promotional Opportunities


6. Political Protests by LACAA Members

LACAA is aware that Members are protesting against the Federal Government (LACAA is not aware of any Members protesting for the Federal Government). It was discussed that if the President of the United States is issuing a policy, and Congress hasn’t rebutted the policy, and an employee of a City government goes against the policy, it could create a problem. The issue of the 1st Amendment rights of public employees is tricky. Garcetti v. Ceballos (2006) 547 US 410 talks about broad 1st Amendment rights to engage in expressive conduct including lawfully protesting and expressing opinions. However, there are unique issues here with government attorneys and law enforcement that 1st Amendment expression could conflict with job duties. An employee could be subject to discipline if they are engaging in activities that conflict with their job duties. City employees do not have the right to speak on behalf of the City in opposition with the Federal Government. If Members decide to volunteer for immigrant rights issues (pro bono), the Office’s policies regarding outside employment must be followed. When Members engage in 1st Amendment activities, they must be speaking as private individuals, and that has to be clear. The 1st Amendment does not apply when employees are acting in their official capacity. Employees cannot refuse to take an enforcement action as part of their job function. When using Social media, there is a tendency to get carried away. Political comments will be protected for the most part, but if a Member identifies themselves as an LA City Attorney, they could be seen as speaking for the office, or showing conduct unbecoming, or showing that they are biased.

7. Promotional opportunities

The Board will consider how to approach Management regarding a new PRP process.

8. Hiring

A question was posed to LACAA as to whether there will be a hiring freeze. LACAA is not aware of a hiring freeze.

9. Career development / Career opportunities

LACAA will have discussions about this subject in the future.


As you know, our new MOU includes annual reimbursement for MCLE-related expenses. To ensure that you receive complete and timely reimbursement, we encourage you to follow the instructions contained in the MCLE protocol provided by City Attorney Management. You must complete and submit a reimbursement form in order to receive reimbursement.

You can reimburse expenses related to attending MCLE programs that are accepted by the California State Bar, even if the program takes place in another state. Eligible expenses include the cost of the program, travel, and per diems.

Please be judicious when choosing lodging and which food/drink expenses you submit for reimbursement.

The Board is pleased to announce that LACAA has retained the law firm of MASTAGNI, HOLSTEDT, AMICK, MILLER & JOHNSEN as General Counsel.

To sign up for the LACAA newsletter and email updates from Oscar Winslow,
LACAA's President, send a request to lacaapresident@gmail.com.