It's Okay for the Santa Monica Pier to Catch on Fire, says the City Attorney, So Let the Illegal Vendors Supplied by Criminals Have Their Butane Fires on Their Unpermitted Cookstands
Santa Monica staff bend over backward to protect criminal gang
May 10, 2021
May 5, 2021 After public outcry regarding illegal food vendors on the Santa Monica Pier, apparently run by a criminal family gang, authorities cracked down on the activity. Police would now accompany Code Enforcement Officers onto the pier, according to a statement from Deputy City Manager Anuj Gupta on April 21. The city also pledged to enforce parking restrictions so that the large trucks hauling the vendor carts would not be able to park in the adjacent lots. Residents were urged to notify authorities if they saw street vendors without the required stickers, "Approved Sidewalk Food Vendor" and "Department of Health Services Food Service Cart."
But enforcment was short-lived. According to a highly placed city official, the Chief Deputy City Attorney, Nicole Gougis, ruled that the Santa Monica Police Department may not enforce fire and health safety codes in keeping the illegal, unpermitted vendors off the pier. Her reason: the pier has a sprinkler system under the planks. Apparently, according to our city paid staff, it's okay for the pier to catch on fire, damaging property (of people who pay for licenses and permits and income tax) and endangering the lives of residents and tourists before that one hundred percent reliable, absolutely guaranteed sprinkler system will put the fire out. Of course it will!
And there is no other reason to enforce codes that one assumes were legislated in order to protect public safety and ensure equity under the law. Apparently, it is okay with the City Attorney if people get sick from food cooked without regard for health codes. It's okay with the City Attorney that a criminal gang, the Murcia family, runs a shakedown racket on these illegal vendors. It's okay to have violent fights at the pier when individuals run afoul of this gang. And it's okay for gang members to threaten and assault city staff - the Code Enforcement Officers. All of that is perfectly fine.