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David Zahniser

March 5, 2008 | David Zahniser
City Atty. Rocky Delgadillo said Tuesday that his office secured a $10-million settlement from a company accused of engaging in a scheme to drive low-income people out of more than 800 rent-controlled apartments. Darren Stern, the owner of Landmark Equity Management Inc., agreed to pay a $1-million penalty and establish a $9-million restitution fund to repay tenants who were forced out of the company's apartments since 2002, according to Delgadillo's office. The settlement will also ban Stern from the city's residential real estate market for four years and six months, city officials said.
September 17, 2008 | David Zahniser
Los Angeles Police Chief William J. Bratton and L.A. County Sheriff Lee Baca said Tuesday that they supported a city ballot measure that would raise taxes to pay for anti-gang programs. The campaign for Proposition A, a $30-million tax hike on the Nov. 4 ballot, said that it also has secured the support of Los Angeles Fire Chief Douglas Barry and businessman and former basketball star Earvin "Magic" Johnson. Proposition A would charge property owners an additional $36 per year, with the proceeds paying for after-school programs.
December 3, 2008 | David Zahniser
The City Council voted Tuesday to approve an ordinance to make it easier for building officials to crack down on property owners who allow drug dealing, prostitution, vandalism and other illegal public nuisances to occur. The ordinance, proposed by Councilwoman Jan Perry, seeks to cut the amount of time needed to prosecute a nuisance abatement case. The new law will require that nuisance abatement cases are heard within two years. It also is designed to crack down on public urination, excessive littering, lewd conduct and loud noise.
March 4, 2014 | By David Zahniser
The L.A. City Council is expected vote Tuesday on a proposal to treat e-cigarettes like conventional cigarettes and prohibit them in nearly every workplace and many outdoor spaces. Lobbyists for the e-cigarette industry have been pushing back, and want to secure exemptions for establishments where "vaping" -- taking a drag of flavored nicotine vapor from an e-cigarette -- is increasingly popular. Backers of the battery-powered e-cigarettes portray them as a godsend for those looking to quit conventional smoking.
October 22, 2013 | By David Zahniser
Los Angeles City Councilman Jose Huizar said Tuesday that his extramarital relationship with a former aide was a "huge mistake" but added that he expects voters will judge him on his accomplishments. Huizar attended his first council meeting since his former deputy chief of staff, Francine Godoy, filed a lawsuit accusing him of waging a campaign of sexual harassment and retaliation against her. Running for a third four-year term in the March 2015 election, Huizar has called Godoy's allegations false while also confirming he had an "occasional and consensual" relationship with her. PHOTOS: Political sex scandals "I made a huge mistake when it comes to the relationship I had with this woman," said Huizar, standing in a stairwell near the council chamber.
October 17, 2013 | By David Zahniser
Los Angeles City Councilman Jose Huizar said Thursday that he had a "consensual relationship" with the female former staffer who has filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against him, an affair he said he now "deeply regrets. " Huizar, in a prepared statement released by a spokesman, described the allegations made by his former Deputy Chief of Staff Francine Godoy as "absolutely false and malicious. " "More importantly, Francine Godoy's behavior towards him both before and after these fabricated events will prove that they are not credible," Huizar spokesman Robert Alaniz said.
March 21, 2013 | By James Rainey and David Zahniser, Los Angeles Times
For months, the top two candidates in the Los Angeles mayoral campaign have bombarded the public with competing claims that each of them is best-suited to get City Hall's financial affairs in order. With a new round of labor talks awaiting the next mayor, a critical question for voters is this: which candidate would be best positioned to negotiate pay and benefit packages with city employees that the public can afford? City Councilman Eric Garcetti and City Controller Wendy Greuel are both Democrats with long histories of supporting organized labor.
June 18, 2013 | By David Zahniser, Catherine Saillant and Matt Stevens, Los Angeles Times
Attention Los Angeles shoppers: The plastic bag is disappearing from more than just the supermarket. L.A. on Tuesday became the newest and by far the largest city to back a ban on plastic grocery bags, approving an ordinance that applies not just to food stores and mini marts but also big retail chains with their own line of groceries, such as Target and Wal-Mart. The ordinance, which has been in the works for years, would go into effect gradually, reaching large stores Jan. 1 and smaller ones July 1, 2014.
January 20, 2014 | By David Zahniser
With the next Los Angeles municipal election more than a year away, more than a dozen people have already stepped forward to compete for seats held by two of City Hall's most prominent political veterans: Councilmen Bernard C. Parks and Tom LaBonge. Political aides, activists, attorneys and one medical marijuana dispensary owner have filed the paperwork to raise money in the 2015 campaign to replace LaBonge and Parks, who are leaving after decades of public service in an array of city posts.
March 19, 2014 | By David Zahniser
The Los Angeles City Council on Wednesday voted unanimously to pay $185,000 to end a lawsuit over a rear-end collision involving a city car driven by Councilman Jose Huizar. On a 14-0 vote, council members signed off on the payout to David Ceja, a former Huntington Park police officer whose vehicle was struck by Huizar's city-owned SUV in 2012. The council approved the agreement without comment. Because the settlement was treated as a consent item, lawmakers did not discuss the case -- either in open session or behind closed doors -- during the meeting.
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