Open Letter to Grayce Liu – General Manager of DONE

Open Letter to Grayce Liu,

July 30th, 2018

Grayce Liu

General Manager

Department of Neighborhood Empowerment

200 North Spring Street, Suite 2005

Los Angeles, California 90012

Phone: 213-978-1551

 

Dear Grayce Liu,

 

Finding the wherewithal to survive the abuses of those we entrusted in power position requires nothing less than switching on “beast mode” and focusing on protecting my family and our stake in Sunland Tujunga.

The first issue to address is that, unless formally specified, I act alone and on my own accord as a stakeholder, concerned citizen and a victim of your failing department and its civilian extension, the Sunland Tujunga Neighborhood Council.

To further my declaration of action, I take full responsibility for my publication “CD7 Independent”. The publication was created, written, designed, produced, funded, and distributed on my own. Any published content is compiled and produced without anyone’s prior knowledge, approval,or consent. I understand that, although, your Department and the LA City Attorney have issues with the publication, under the First Amendment right of our Constitution, I have the right to express myself and without abridging my freedom of speech, the freedom of the press, the right to peaceably assemble, or to petition for a governmental redress of grievances and not be prosecuted for speaking out against corruption. The content is the narrative of my personal experiences and observations within the Sunland Tujunga Community.

Content, including photos, logos, names, aliases, and/or other identifying items, were used without the knowledge or permission of the Council Office, LAPD, or subject individual/business. Councilwoman Monica Rodriquez, her staff, aides, representatives and/or volunteers are not associated with any part of the publication or its production and distribution. Additionally, they are not privy to or aware of content or release dates prior to public distribution. Although repeatedly penalized by the deliberate and intentional actions of a select group of the Sunland Tujunga Neighborhood Council members, I am prepared to pay applicable fines/penalties for unknowingly violating any city law/regulation. Upon imposing punitive measures, I ask that you are considerate to the habitual abuse and retaliation that my family and I have been subjected to for simply speaking out on the blatant abuses and corruption.

The recent performance staring STNC Board Member Lydia Grant at the Board of Neighborhood Commissioners meeting is another example of the manipulation of the already failing system. Lydia Grant’s defamatory rhetoric and false accusations towards our Council member was a disgrace. Knowing that you allowed Lydia Grant to go on with her award-winning performance as a sobbing profiteer playing victim is unacceptable. I have had enough of playing defense. After a meeting with you and your assistant Semee Park. I decided to take your advice and go on the offense to protect my family and our community from the Sunland Tujunga Neighborhood Council. It appears with your silent avowal of Lydia’s behavior that your department is less than interested in empowering stakeholders. Ms. Liu, I am committed to exposing all individuals involved in our neighborhood council system who are profiteers, ill minded, racists, self-serving, and actively destroying lives and businesses to remain in power/position. The purpose of Neighborhood Councils was to help the community and the neighborhood prosper, but after years of corruption the purpose has been lost. It is clear your lack of response is an affirmation this is an acceptable standard of behavior. With that, your department (DONE) should be dissolved and funds be allocated towards a stakeholder centered department.

Although my position seems very strong, it is founded on facts. The award-winning performance of the sobbing profiteer Lydia was a diversion. She has continued to extort money from our neighborhood councils with the assistance of her boyfriend and his company, Bridgegap. As a former Commissioner on the Board of Neighborhood Councils, Lydia knows the rules and regulations, yet she is the first to abuse them. The information on this racket was brought to you and Semee when we met and although I have noticed Lydia has ceased the STNC minute taking, Bridgegap still is profiting from our neighborhood councils. The Bridgegap contract should be terminated immediately, LA City Vendor License revoked, and applicable consequences applied for Brown Act and Ethics violations. With your choosing to let this fly below the radar, Lydia Grant and her friends boastfully act with no concern as DONE will not be enforcing ethics rules and laws on them. These NC representatives have abused their power and positions for over a decade. They have PROFITED from our taxpayer money and controlled the Neighborhood Council by discriminatory force.

An even more blatant abuser is Cindy Cleghorn and her business, C & M Printing. Cindy has been profiting from DONE for over a decade. I have requested numerous investigations from your office, City Attorney, and the City Clerk to no avail. These requests have fallen on deaf ears and uninterested, blind eyes. No matter how much proof or how many facts are presented, investigative measures are never taken. How can you overlook things like Cindy getting no bid contracts from Neighborhood Councils? Ms. Liu, who does that empower? How does allowing those abuses assist our neighborhoods? The fact remains that it does not. The only beneficiary of these acts or omissions is Cindy. Furthermore, DONE on many occasions, has been presented with facts showing Cindy Cleghorn’s abuse of power and her position. However, DONE has failed to protect the stakeholders and our communities through enforcement of the Brown Act and/or Ethics code. It is my understanding that DONE is not there to enforce violations but by not enforcing any Brown Act or Ethics violations, Cindy has been enabled to run wild on the taxpayers dime. Furthermore, DONE has enabled Cindy Cleghorn and the Profiteers to abuse the system and the community as a whole. After meeting with you and Semee, I felt very confident you grasped the scope of these organized crooks and you would follow up on updates and violations. I have not heard from you or Semee Park since that day. That is inexcusable.

In additional to directly profiting, many of the STNC members recklessly spend taxpayers’ money for unneeded expenditures and personal gain. The latest was when committee members called LAPD to respond to the STNC-LUC meeting for false allegations of terrorist threats and violence by meeting attendees. In addition to the fact that no such behavior took place as they reported, committee members neglected to state their antagonistic behavior such as charging towards stakeholders with cameras and verbally assaulting them. After an LAPD response and short assessment, all meeting attendees, including myself, were welcomed back into the meeting without incident. Cindy feels that it is against the law to call her out for her abuses of power and continual Brown Act and Conduct code violations. She felt it is acceptable to waste LAPD resources just to keep her “deals” quiet. The irony here is the meeting was delayed close to 35 mins to ensure that quorum was met as committee members showed up as they wished. Even stakeholders know that per regulations, a meeting must be called to order and rescheduled if it doesn’t start within 15 minutes of the meeting time. Most importantly, Cindy and Lydia are aware of this rule, but decided to proceed with the meeting because they have their own agenda. Quite frankly, calling 911 for a non-emergency and lying to police dispatch is a crime yet again, DONE has silently affirmed this behavior as the acceptable standard. There must be a point in time where DONE puts the Communities first.

As a matter of spending, the current board has shunned and deliberately pushed out interested candidates for open seats to ensure their personal agendas and events continue to reap STNC funds and support. Recently, the STNC voted to give Nina Royal up to $1,500.00 for National Night Out. At the time of the vote, the venue was still to be determined but it was pushed through on the direction of the interim treasurer, Cindy. She advised those in attendance that if the request was postponed, it would be time barred and Nina would not get the money. Stakeholders stated that the STNC should use the money for BOTH National Night Out events in the community. A corrupt board ignored the communities request and granted Nina Royal up to $1,500.00 for NNO. Ultimately, the venue was named as Little Landers Park. This leads to a question of the vote, as many members serve on both the STNC and Little Landers Board. Members serving on both boards did not recuse themselves yet voted to approve the funds. These members do this quite often yet DONE allows the money to continue flowing. This is the kind of behavior our community is sick and tired of experiencing.

Words cannot explain my disappointment in the failing system of the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment and the Neighborhood Councils. You, as the General Manager, have failed to provide a healthy and safe environment for Angelenos to communicate our community issues by enabling and empowering the crooks and profiteers of our Neighborhood Councils. Your hands-off approach has not served the City of Los Angeles. City of Los Angeles and Angelenos are not safe under your leadership. We simply deserve better!

Sincerely,

Arnie Abramyan

 

CC: Mayor Eric Garcetti

Councilmember Herb Wesson

Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez

Councilwoman Nury Martinez

Councilmember David Ryu

Councilmember Paul Krekorian

Councilmember Gilbert Cedillo

Councilmember Bob Blumenfield

Councilmember Paul Koretz

Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson

Councilmember Curren D. Price, Jr.

Councilmember Mitch Englander

Councilmember Mike Bonin

Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell

Councilmember Jose Huizar

Councilmember Joe Buscaino

Assemblywoman Luz Rivas

Senator Anthony Portantino

City Attorney Mike Feuer

 

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