DA Rejects Criminal Filing Alleged by Parkin’s Hired Guns

By: 
Stephen Downing

On May 8 the Beachcomber reported that Gina Herrera, an attorney working for Best, Best & Krieger (BBK) – the go-to law firm that has received millions in legal contracts awarded by City Attorney Charles Parkin – sent letters to four candidates for Long Beach public office, who if elected could seriously impact the decade-long status quo of governance in Long Beach.

The article entitled “City Attorney’s Hired Guns Engineer Political Hit on Four City Hall Challengers” can be read here: https://beachcomber.news/content/city-attorney%E2%80%99s-hired-guns-engineer-political-hit-four-city-hall-challengers

At that time this newspaper reported that Herrera informed Gerrie Schipske, candidate for city attorney, Dan Miles, candidate for city auditor and Nicholas Liddi and George Moyer, candidates for city prosecutor that “Pursuant to Section 2.01.1120 Best Best & Krieger LLP, as special counsel to the city, will be filing a civil action against you…”

The Beachcomber also reported that In the BBK letters to Schipske, Miles and Litti, the attorney notified each candidate that “We will also be referring this matter to the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office, Public Integrity Division for further review,” implying that a violation of the city ordinance – which can at the most amount to a citable misdemeanor – should be considered for felony prosecution by the DA

Public Records Request Reveals DA Response

On May 17 the Beachcomber filed a Public Records Act (PRA) request with the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, Bureau of Fraud and Corruption Prosecutions, Public Integrity Division in order to determine what action, if any, was taken as a result of the criminal “referral” from the BBK lawyer.

On May 19 Bjorn Dodd, assistant head deputy of the division produced two letters in response to the Beachcomber’s PRA, one from his Public Integrity Division to the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) and one sent to the Long Beach City Clerk.

Both letters established that a criminal complaint would not be filed against the candidates.

In his letter to the FPPC Dodd wrote: “The Public Integrity Division has received four complaints from the City of Long Beach (city) through its special counsel of Best Best & Krieger LLP, that candidates for several city offices have violated the City’s Campaign Reform Act.

District Attorney George Gascón has requested that these matters be referred to you for consideration in lieu of criminal prosecution.”

In his letter to the city clerk, Gascón’s deputy said that the district attorney “has requested that these matters be referred to the Long Beach Ethics Commission for consideration in lieu of criminal prosecution.”

Both letters outlined the BBK allegations, as follows:

  • Nicholas Liddi, candidate for city prosecutor – allegation of personal loan to campaign exceeding limit
  • Gerrie Schipske, candidate for city attorney – allegation of personal loan to campaign exceeding limit
  • Dan Miles, candidate for city auditor – allegation of personal loan to campaign exceeding limit
  • George Moyer, incumbent candidate for city prosecutor – allegation of receiving donor contributions exceeding limit

(Editor’s Note: George Moyer is a non-incumbent candidate. Also, in the Beachcomber’s May 8 article on this subject, it was reported that Moyer had been informed by BBK that the law firm dropped all allegations against him when notified by Moyer that he had seen the error and returned the excess funds prior to receiving the BBK letter).

The Beachcomber has been unable to determine whether the civil suits the BBK lawyer said “will be filed” have yet to be filed or not against any of the named candidates.

This newspaper has also been unable to determine if BBK has open-ended authority to bring lawsuits on behalf of the city without approval from the city to incur the costs of the four lawsuits and the potential liability of countersuits for frivolous prosecution.

Candidate Responses

Upon receipt of the PRA related documents from the DA’s office, the Beachcomber forwarded the two letters to each of the accused candidates for comment.

Response from Tim Lineberger on behalf of Nick Liddi, candidate for city prosecutor

“The DA’s refusal to give this matter any consideration whatsoever further verifies it was nothing more than a dirty political trick that was done in bad faith – and it totally backfired.

“By attempting to weaponize enforcement authority for political gain, those involved inadvertently outed their own potential corruption and misdeeds.

This is a total face plant, and yet another reason why change is so desperately needed in Long Beach.”

Response from Dan Miles, candidate for city auditor

“It is hard to understand why a simple clerical error, which was immediately corrected, required further review.

“The fact that the district attorney has promptly rejected the city's referral speaks for itself.

“I have been completely transparent about this issue, going so far as to publish copies of the cancelled checks on my website DanMiles.org. It is clear that my loan to my campaign was within the legal limits.

“I encourage voters to visit my website and see the details for themselves."

Response from George Moyer, candidate for City Prosecutor

“I'm shocked to hear that I was referred for prosecution because of routine campaign activity.

“I received two donations over the city's limit, I did not use the money, and I refunded it to the respective donors. This happens on campaigns routinely.

The city's referral appears to be made after the city had assured me that they would not pursue any action against me because I had resolved the issue months ago.

“The City of Long Beach is selectively enforcing election law against its political opponents. In my case, the city waited for months until the eve of ballots being released to harass and intimidate me.

“I am calling for a complete investigation into this incident by an entity independent of the City of Long Beach, and I agree with David Gould that misuse of the Political Reform Act should result in significant punishment.

“Beyond the immediate incident, it is clear we cannot rely on the city government to treat all candidates fairly.  

“The silence of candidates on this issue, and on the conduct of Charlie Parkin, speaks volumes. We need to elect people who are committed to fundamental fairness and transparency in our local government.

“If elected, I will bring professionalism, impartiality and civility to Long Beach.”

Gerrie Schipske, candidate for city attorney, declined to comment on the matter.

Stephen Downing is a resident of Long Beach and a retired LAPD deputy chief of police. stephen.beachcomber@gmail.com

 

Category:

Comments

It's apparent the cabal is fearful that citizens of Long Beach have finally realized we've been bamboozled for at least the last 16 years that the "Bobs" have been mayor. If you're going to play nasty and stupid games like this, at least do them well. This was sophomoric at best.

Corruption in the open with the city of LBC, no fear of anyone or anything.. never accountability. Just another day in the LBC.

Add new comment

Beachcomber

Copyright 2022 Beeler & Associates.

All rights reserved. Contents may not be reproduced or transmitted – by any means – without publisher's written permission.