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Note: Emails can be found at the end of this story, click on the image to view in full screen or click on link to go to website.
By Brian Hews
In January of this year Los Cerritos Community News sent a public records request to Los Angeles Mayoral candidate Wendy Greuel asking for emails between Greuel and her top campaign advisors John Shallman and Rose Kapolczynski, including emails from Brian D’Arcy head of the IBEW, a major campaign contributor to Greuel’s campaign between Jan 2009 to Jan 2010.
Eighty-two days after the request, which by law should have been answered in twenty-four days, Greuel sent a letter to LCCN threatening to sue the newspaper. Included in that letter Greuel stated, “your request was voluminous and encompasses tens of thousands of pages.”
This past Monday, ninety days later, LCCN received documents responsive to the request. The total consisted of just 130 pages and strangely there were no emails between Greuel and D’Arcy, who have met several times in the past two years.
“We were told there were tens of thousands of pages, and that was the reason for the delay. Then we only received 130. You have to question why Greuel took so long to gather 130 pages,” stated Brian Hews, President of Hews Media Group, and Publisher of Los Cerritos Community Newspaper.
After looking at the emails Hews and his team began to realize why Greuel delayed the release.
“The emails confirm that Greuel is running her mayoral campaign out of the Auditor/Contoller’s Office of Los Angeles using taxpayer resources, a clear violation of California state law,” he said.
“The emails document in great detail how Wendy Greuel is using one of the most powerful offices in the City of Los Angeles to leverage campaign support, coordinate political events, and garner major endorsements from some of the biggest political forces in Southern California,” said Hews. “It is no wonder she attempted to delay the request as long as possible.”
In addition to communicating with her campaign managers, she often included another Shallman operative, Dave Jocobsen. Greuel also copied or forwarded the emails throughout the city office, and to all of her key employees such as Chief Deputy Controller Claire Bartels, Deputy Controller of Government Relations Daniel Tarica, Press Contact Shannon Murphy, Adminstrative Controller Elaine De Leon, and Executive Assistant Yvette Rojas.
Courting Influential Players
One of the most influential political players in Los Angeles is attorney David Fleming. Fleming said in an email to Greuel April 19, 2011 that he would not be endorsing her for mayor by telling her “Wendy, after a good bit of soul searching I have decided to join Dick Riordan in endorsing Austin Beutner for mayor. I wanted you to know this before it is announced tomorrow.”
Fleming then tells Greuel in the same email that, “I will send you money and tell people who ask me about you how much I think you’re great leader. But having worked so much with Austin over the past year is the main reason I felt I must support him at this time. Best wishes, Dave.”
After Beutner dropped out of the campaign, Fleming, who is of Counsel at the high-powered Los Angeles law firm of Latham and Watkins, switched his allegiance to Greuel and is now one of her most ardent backers.
Several emails between Shallman and Greuel also discussed how to garner the support and endorsement of California State Assemblyman Isidore Hall who represents a wide swath of South Los Angeles. Hall is considered to be one of the key leaders in Sacramento and influential in the African American community.
On August 10, 2010, Greuel tells Shallman in emails that Hall had cancelled “another meeting” with her. “FYI· this is the 3rd time” (Hall cancelled). Administrative Controller De Leon intercedes in the email discussion between Greuel and Shallman by stating, “received an email that his flight from Sacramento is delayed and they don’t know what time he’ll make it into town.”
Greuel also used her city email and staff members to coordinate campaign support meetings with John Mack, President of the LA Urban League as well as with Julie Butcher, president of the local SEIU 721, who is considered to be one of the most influential and powerful leaders inside the Los Angeles union movement as well as with other campaign donors.
Greuel also courted support from Gisselle Acevedo (Franco), CEO of Para Los Ninos in Los Angeles. Ms. Acevedo said in the email, “I am so honored to support you, trust me I will give you lots more money, use my name anywhere and everywhere.”
In an email between Kapolczynski, Shallmann, and Jacobsen, Greuel is esctatic that she got the endorsement of Los Angeles City Councilman Bill Rosendahl, and asked if “we should announce the Cindy Miscokowski, Head of Los Angeles Ports, endorsement.”
Office-Wide Coordinated Effort
In May, 2012, Kapolczynski and Greuel communicated back and forth about an article that was being written in the Los Angeles Times regarding the progress of her campaign for mayor. “Terrific,” Kapolczynski tells Greuel. “It is a gift at this point in the race to have a piece like this describing you as having momentum and playing the hot hand. Obviously good work on your part threading the needle at the forum. It also gives us some clues on things we can work on the “vision thing” and what he perceives as the other candidates’ strengths.”
On Dec. 6, 2012 Gruel forwarded an email from Pyllis Pires, a prominent teacher at Stanford University, that contained a resume of an Obama campaign worker to Kapolczynski for vetting.
Greuel also sent a note to Shallman, Jacobson, Murphy, and her husband Dean Schramm on January 13, 2013 about an invitation to participate in an event sponsored by California Common Cause. Greuel told her , “I sent you an earlier email about (the) Common Cause event at city hall tomorrow…and this being the anniversary of Citizens United… anything we should be prepared for (or should I) · stay quiet, (or), go on the offensive?”
Another email sent to Greuel from “Jules” highlighted an LA Weekly article on the proposed high-rise building on Hollywood and Gower. “Without getting into specifics, (Eric) Garcetti was the one that approved it.” Greuel forwarded the email to her team saying, “we need to be prepared for the issues at the Hollywood (Mayor’s) forum on the 19th of Sept., who is taking the lead to get ready for this one?”
In one of the most egregious communications, which can be questioned as a possible ethics violation, Greuel emails the city of Los Angeles Preliminary Financial Report for 2011-2012 to Kapolczynski, Shallmann, and Jacobsen. The email was sent out at 7:41am, two and a half hours prior to the scheduled presentation to Mayor Villaraigosa and the City Council and before giving the document to the City Clerk.
Attempts by LCCN to contact Ms. Greuel for comment have repeatedly been denied.
Emails cited in article click on image below.
Entire email document, click on image below.
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