Echo Park attorney Arthur Margolis is howling about his removal from the city Animal Regulation Commission because, he said, of his criticism of animal control policies. He conceded, however, that his relationship with Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley was never that great.
He never voted for Bradley, never gave a dime to any of the mayor's many campaigns and usually voted for Peace and Freedom candidates.
In four years on the commission, Margolis has spoken to the mayor a grand total of once, he said this week. That was when Bradley "called to chastise me for congratulating the Animal Liberation Front for breaking into the City of Hope" and freeing animals used in research.
In fact, the letter from Bradley informing Margolis that his volunteer service was no longer desired was addressed to the wrong person--another soon-to-be-ex commissioner.
The letter was worded like all those Bradley's office sends to commissioners whose presence the mayor no longer relishes. Thanks, but so long--"in keeping with my goal of involving as many citizens as possible in the government of our city."
Margolis, 47, speculated that he was being replaced because "I have been too much trouble."
"I have been very critical of the (Animal Regulation) Department's failure to act in sufficient ways to protect animals," he said. Margolis was outspoken against the department for a crackdown on leash-law enforcement at Laurel Canyon Park, a small park above Studio City where dog owners have let their animals run free.
Several representatives of animal-rights groups have said that they will go to the City Council confirmation hearing on Margolis' proposed replacement to protest. In Margolis' place, Bradley appointed Frank Madison Reid, pastor of the Ward African Methodist Episcopal Church in Los Angeles.
Mike Gage, Bradley's chief of staff, said he had no idea whether Margolis had been "trouble," adding that he had gotten fewer than 10 complaints about the change.
Margolis, meanwhile, said he was angry about the city scroll recognizing his service to the city.
"I had expected it to be handed to me by the mayor," he said. "I got it in the mail."
Margolis said he was appointed because fellow animal-rights activists submitted his name to Bradley. He said he believes that someone close to the mayor also recommended him.