Photo: FLLewis/A Writer’s Groove — Burbank
Controversial court ruling involving one of the lawsuits swirling around the Burbank PD
A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge dismissed Burbank Police Officer Jamal Childs as a plaintiff from that explosive discrimination lawsuit filed against the Burbank PD last May by five of its minority officers. On Thursday, March 18, Judge Joanne O’Donnell ruled the statute of limitations had expired on Childs’ claim. Hmm, Childs has been a Burbank Police officer for five years. It’s not like his complaints date back 20 years or so.
Well no surprise the attorney for the officers, Solomon Gresen, plans to appeal. Here’s the Leader story about it. Also, plenty of chatter and information about the ruling, Judge O’Donnell, what constitutes a hostile workplace, and similar discrimination cases over on Jim Carlile’s blog.
Photo: FLLewis/A Writer’s Groove — Burbank Police Chief Scott LaChasse
LaChasse’s plan of action
While the city attorneys are busy fighting the allegations of misconduct and civil rights violations in the police department, the new Burbank Police Chief, Scott LaChasse, is making changes. On the job since January, LaChasse is wasting no time in shaking up the department.
At last Wednesday’s Burbank Police Commission meeting, LaChasse introduced two new key members of his team, cop psychologist Dr. Larry Blum and Deputy Police Chief Tom Angel, who comes with 30 years of experience at the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department.
LaChasse mentioned improvements were being made in the BPD with the “Department of Justice” in mind. Gee, it sure sounds like LaChasse has discovered there is merit to some of those allegations and complaints against the Burbank Police. I doubt the chief would be trying to fix what wasn’t broken.
What about those town hall meetings?
Vice-Mayor Anja Reinke is a lousy tap dancer from what I can tell. At Wednesday’s meeting, Police Commissioner Jim Etter asked Reinke about the timetable for setting up town hall meetings with the public. Reinke babbled on and on about the problems arranging the meetings and how city officials wanted to have their excuses, ah, responses worked out first, before taking public questions about the police mess.
Perhaps it was more of a bad case of moonwalking by Reinke. Nevertheless, Etter, the main advocate of the town hall meetings on the commission, listened to her explanation patiently this time. It will be interesting to see if Reinke has the nerve to try to pull the same stunt at next month’s police commission meeting.
State Assembly candidates forum at Burbank City Hall next Wednesday
A televised forum for candidates vying for that vacant seat in the 43rd State Assembly District is set to get underway at the Burbank City Council Chambers next Wednesday, March 24, starting at 7 p.m. The public is invited to attend. The League of Women Voters Glendale/Burbank is sponsoring the event. (Maybe the Vice-Mayor should get some pointers from them on how to put together such an event)
By the way, the League is asking the public to submit questions for the candidates via e-mail or by phone. Details here. The primary special election is April 13, 2010.
Ex-Mayor Marsha Ramos still on the hot seat
More grief for Former Burbank Mayor/Council Member Marsha Ramos. At that most informative Burbank Police Commission meeting, during oral communications, Activist Mike Nolan indicated Ramos’ deposition about the police mess had prompted threats to subpoena her phone records. According to Nolan, Ramos has hired a lawyer to protect her rights.
A strange accident involving a Burbank city bus filled with school kids
A lot of talk and concern in B-City about a traffic accident involving a school bus — that really wasn’t a school bus. Confused? Well, wait it gets more complicated and weird.
Sources tell me a Burbank City blue bus, with 21 kids on board (ages 11-14), got into a traffic mishap with another vehicle at Olive Avenue and Orchard Drive around 3:20 p.m. on Friday, January 15, 2010. The accident was minor — no injuries, but it raises a number of questions about why the city blue bus was being used as a school bus.
The California Highway Patrol handles all school bus accidents, but the agency refused to deal with this accident because the bus was not a state certified school bus. Even the bus driver was not certified to drive a school bus.
What’s going on here? Is the city trying to save a few bucks by using regular city transit buses as school buses, violating state mandates and putting children’s lives at risk? How many of these not-really school buses are transporting children around town? Do parents know about the situation? More on this later.
Parking violations at the Downtown Burbank post office
Photo: FLLewis/A Writer’s Groove — Downtown Burbank post office
So what’s up with all the folks boldly parking illegally at the Olive Avenue post office after hours? There are only eight spaces, two are for handicapped drivers, on the side of the building. Rarely can you pull into one of those spaces after dark, because they’re filled with the vehicles of people working nearby or shopping or dining or catching a flick at the AMC or whatever.
There are signs posted that clearly state the parking is only for those doing business in the post office. Burbank traffic cops need to crack down on these violators who force others to double park or do some other kind of inventive parking, just to run in to the post office to buy stamps, mail a letter or package, pick up mail from a P.O. Box …etc.