Thursday, May 16, 2013

Latest Edition of Judges Go Wild! Judge Shuts Down Entire Arts District BID Over Spending On Economic Development! UPDATE!

If you need to know why California consistently rates as the worst state to do business -   Superior Judge Robert H. O’Brien is now the latest poster boy of how California's main business now seems to be the business of driving businesses out of business.

Judge O'Brien has  ordered that the entire Arts District Business Improvement District has to be dissolved and all of  its security patrols and its trash pick-up activities have to be terminated (even though this judge agrees they are legal) because he disagrees with one other program of the BID. It is is his opinion this BID's using some of  assessment money that is collected property owners for economic development projects violates the state's laws forming BID's back in 1994 - even though both the state and the City of Los Angeles have repeatedly approved the BID's by-laws and assessments since then.   And you can get more details about this in the linked to story in the Downtown News.

Now whether or not this Judge's point of view is valid, is not the point here. 

The real point is that if both the state and the city have repeatedly approved  - and re-approved every five years - this type of assessment - which is the only part of the overall assessment this judge has a problem with - it is  irresponsible of him  to declare only remedy  is to shut down 100% of the BID - immediately - without allowing the BID to make the one change he feels is needed.  It is also equally as irresponsible for him to deny the time for a higher court to review his unprecedented decision.  

Unfortunately, his rush to not just judgment - but also execution -  is only the latest example of ego-driven 'government-gone-wild' behavior that has given California the 'honor' of consistently having  the highest or one of the highest unemployment rates in the country.

In my above blog post, I specifically did not take a position in favor or against the BID since I have close friends on both sides of this issue, it is not my neighborhood in DTLA and - far more importantly - to me, the real issue is gross judicial misconduct.  As I see the legal aspects of the case, the BID was formed under guidelines written by and enforced by the State of California and the City of Los Angeles and both political entities have approved the current by-laws of the BID.  Now that does not mean that a judge can not rule that they were mistaken when they did that.  And if a judge feels that the city and the state were mistaken he should order that the mistake be fixed.  And he could have done that by ordering that portion of the assessment for economic development be frozen and further ordering that the by-laws of the BID had to be altered to remove the parts of their by-laws he feels are illegal.  But for him to instead disband a BID for one part of their assessment that had been APPROVED by both of the government agencies that created it and supervise it, is clear judicial overreach.


Neil Bethke said...

why a govt official would thwart a BID which is basically a self imposed tax is puzzling...i propose random drunk and drug testing for public officials

brady westwater said...

The - IMHO - clear judicial misconduct in this case is a lot more complicated than that. See the update I have posted above.