Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

Closed Session Meeting On Sale or Lease of the Civic Auditorium, Clearly Violates the Brown Act

The Brown Act requires all Council proceedings, including its decisions, to be held before the public. Why is the Civic Center Sale Secret?

Letter to the Editor:

City Attorney Sloan has broken his ethical obligations to all residents, the Council, and the State Bar by falsely claiming in the Observer that the Brown Act will not be violated Tuesday when Council meets in Closed Session to discuss and make decisions on all aspects of proposed sales of the Civic Auditorium without any open meeting on the issue. He is also causing all Council members , the City Manager and other senior staff members to be put in serious legal risk of prosecution by the LA County DAs Office.

The Brown Act requires all Council proceedings, including its decisions, to be held before the public. There are specified exceptions such as litigation, personnel matters and real estate deals. However, only the price and terms of payment of real estate sales or leases can be dealt with secretly. Tomorrow's secret session will deal with dozens of major terms and conditions relating to Items 3C and 3D.

Therefore, the Act will certainly be violated.There is nothing in the Surplus Lands Act that modifies the Brown Act!

On Tuesday, there will be no Staff Report on the two items or relevant documents provided to the public.In this case, the Report would probably be about 20 pages if there were an open meeting. How can anyone comment meaningfully when the City tells no one what is being proposed at the secret session? There will be no open discussion by Council; no motions or amendments thereof; no votes on anything but a bare bones proposal approving the undisclosed deal reached behind closed doors.The public has a legal right to all of that under the Brown Act and it is totally being taken away because Council, David White, and Sloan have blessed the illegal procedure.

We hear a lot lately that " No one is above the law". That American standard will apply here to City Attorney Sloan and all others who choose to hide their actions by violating the Brown Act.

Stan Epstein, Member of the NY State Bar for many decades


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