imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List




IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

San Diego Community Leader Accused of Breaking Law

by Leo E. Laurence/Zenger's Newsmagazine Thursday, Sep. 04, 2008 at 4:13 PM
leopowerhere@msn.com (619) 757-4909

Popular San Diego community activist Leo Wilson is being accused of practicing law without a license, involving a heated controversy over the balloting on by-laws revisions for the Hillcrest Business Association (HBA).

San Diego Community ...
crowder___hba.a.jpg, image/jpeg, 600x739

Community Leader Accused of Practicing Law Without a License

Leo Wilson at Center of Hillcrest Business Association Controversy

story and photos by LEO E. LAURENCE

Copyright © 2008 by Leo E. Laurence • All rights reserved

Photos, top to bottom: Scott Crowder and Nancy Moors.

Popular community activist Leo Wilson is being accused of practicing law without a license, involving a heated controversy over the balloting on by-laws revisions for the Hillcrest Business Association (HBA).

Wilson has long been a major part of community life in the Hillcrest and Park West/Banker’s Hill communities. Many believe him to be an attorney.

The controversy involves the balloting on proposed changes to the by-laws of the HBA, an organiza-tion with an annual budget of nearly a third of a million dollars, according to its financial records.

The HBA has long operated with a board of directors of 15 members, as required by its by-laws. Written in 1983, those by-laws state that they may be amended only by a majority vote of its full membership.

Back in 1990, the board voted to increase its size to 20. After it was pointed out to them that only the members could increase the size of the board, the board nonetheless took three more votes on its own in 2007 to authorize the increase from 15 to 20 board members. Those last three votes occurred when the HBA was under investigation by the district attorney’s office for alleged state Brown Act violations.

John Stump, then the HBA’s attorney, convinced them that their action was appropriate.

“That’s when I decided we were going to shop for a new corporate counsel, which we (now) have,” said long-time HBA board member Scott Crowder (Mondo Condo Corp.).

The current controversy involving balloting is that the HBA has 1250 members, according to Simon. However, they rarely get more than two or three people to attend board meetings, other than board members.

The board then asked popular community activist Leo Wilson to advise them.

They decided to conduct the balloting by mail because the organization didn’t expect to get the required 626 members to an annual membership meeting. They also hired people to take the ballots around to HBA members in person.

However, the HBA may again be violating the state’s Brown Act. The California Attorney Gen-eral’s office says, “This office has long disapproved secret ballots in open meetings and the casting of mail ballots (emphasis added).”

Who Can Vote?

Additionally, just who is a member for purposes of voting?

“It’s a big organization,” says Crowder. “When you have a vote, you have to set a ‘record date’ to determine who is eligible to vote as of a certain date. That date is critical to the vote (under the state’s Corporation’s Code).

“They (the HBA board) didn’t establish a record date,” Crowder explained.

When Crowder tried to raise these important issues of law at the HBA’s August 19 board meeting, vice president Nancy Moors, who was chairing the meeting, cut him off. Crowder challenged the chair’s ruling.

Moors didn’t know Robert’s Rules of Parliamentary Procedure and asked for a second on the challenge, even though none is required. The challenge failed, and Crowder’s questions on his nu-merous legal challenges involving the disputed balloting were silenced.

“This is all petty junior high school stuff,” Crowder said during an interview. “All this would have been caught if we had the advice of legitimate legal counsel.”

Even Wilson seemed confused about the ‘record date’ issue at the August 19 board meeting.

“First he (Wilson) said it was June 30,” Crowder reported. “Then he said it was May 1. Finally, he said June 30.”

“They (the board and Wilson) are using an official list (of members) from the city that is dated two weeks after the ballots were mailed. They mailed out ballots before they knew who was eligible to vote,” Crowder argued.

“They crossed off people who have gone out of business, but were in business as of the ‘record date’ (and are therefore eligible to vote). They are also giving ballots to businesses that have joined after the ‘record date.’

“The ‘record date’ (required by state law) means nothing to them,” Crowder added. “They are just trying to get as many ballots as then can.

“They are going to count them at a board meeting (in September), not a membership meeting. That is invalid because they are again violating their own by-laws,” Crowder explained.

The one-page ballot lists three basic changes to the HBA’s by-laws.

One changes the number of directors “shall be not less than 15 or more than 21. The Board of Directors shall fix the exact number of Directors, within these limits.”

A second item on the ballot involves the quorum at annual meetings, changing it from a majority of the membership to “three percent … present or in person or by written or electronic proxy.”

A third change says the HBA’s by-laws may be “amended or repealed” upon a 2/3 vote of the Board of Directors, with subsequent approval by three percent of the membership.” It doesn’t say when that approval must be provided.

“Also, the state’s Corporations Code says (a member) should be able to vote aye or nay on each item (on a ballot), separately. These three (ballot) items are not inter-related or interdependent. This is absolutely against (state law),” Crowder said.

The ballot says “members who have not submitted a mail ballot by (September 9) may vote in per-son at the meeting,” which is only a board meeting.

“This is not true,” Crowder says. “It is not a membership meeting,” as required by the by-laws. “How can a member vote at a board meeting? (The September 9 board meeting) is not a regular or spe-cial, noticed, membership meeting.

“I was told (by board member Robert Grinchuk, a member of the By-laws Committee who de-posed Crowder as chair) that I should direct my legal objections to Leo Wilson, which I cannot do, by law,” Crowder added.

“Board members need to review fiduciary responsibility and reliance on professionals,” Crowder wrote in a recent e-mail.

If the HBA’s balloting proceeds as planned, any member could file a lawsuit challenging the results.

Wilson’s Predicament

Leo Wilson is caught in the middle of these growing controversies involving the HBA’s challenged balloting.

“I understand these people (the HBA directors) don’t like each other, but I’ve known everybody. But I got caught in the bad politics of that board and it angers me,” Wilson said.

Many people have long believed that Wilson is a practicing attorney.

HBA executive director “Warren (Simon) argued with me (recently) and said, ‘He is an attorney. I said he is not’,” Crowder reported.

“He (Wilson) is taking money (for legal advice). I’ve seen it on the monthly ledgers, so I know he’s getting paid something. 0 (so far) this year,” Crowder explained.

It is also reported that Wilson received payments for consulting fees from the Maintenance Assess-ment District in Hillcrest.

Wilson explained that he is not practicing law because he has AIDS and is a long-time survivor.

Records of the State Bar of California, however, reveal a “resignation with charges pending” on December 25, 1992.

Wilson had also been “ordered inactive” on May 5, 1992.

“My intentions are directed at the (HBA) board, not Leo Wilson,” said Crowder. “I like him. They (HBA board) continue to do stupid stuff, like holding committee meetings without notifying the public or even other board members.

“There are (HBA) committees with delegated authority of the board, so they are subject to Brown Act requirements. They have to publish an agenda and their minutes. Some do neither.

“You don’t even know who the committee members are. The standard is, anybody who shows up at a committee meeting is a voting member of that committee. There’s no accountability,” Crowder charged.

“Why is it that the members don’t rise up in indignation and throw these rascals out and properly change their by-laws?”

Treasurer’s Authority

If all these HBA problems were not enough, it has been learned that the organization’s treasurer, Cecilia Moreno, owner of the Crest Café, now has single-signature authority to spend HBA money. The organization had 9,646.72 of tax money in the bank as of June 30, according to its records.

Normally, checks of an organization of this size require two signatures to be valid.

Banking regulations have changed in the past few years with the advent of Internet banking. That gave Moreno single-signature rights to the HBA’s internet accounts.

A representative of California Bank & Trust, where some HBA money is located, said “there is no verification done beyond providing the pertinent account numbers” when using single-signature authority transactions.

As a result, assistant executive director Harrison reportedly refused to follow the instructions of two HBA board members to set up internet banking, though it was done anyway.

For comment, contact Leo Laurence at (619) 757-4909 or at leopowerhere@msn.com. Additional material by Leo E. Laurence is available online at http://blogbythelion.blogspot.com/

Report this post as:

Scott Crowder (top) and Nancy Moors (bottom) confront each other at Hillcrest Business Asn

by Leo E. Laurence/Zenger's Newsmagazine Thursday, Sep. 04, 2008 at 4:13 PM
leopowerhere@msn.com (619) 757-4909

Scott Crowder (top) ...
moors___hba.a.jpg, image/jpeg, 600x746

Report this post as:

Local News

GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE A12 5:39PM

lausd whistle blower A10 11:58PM

Website Upgrade A10 3:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 1:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 11:58AM

Change Links April 2018 A01 11:27AM

Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018 M31 6:57PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 7:00PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 6:38PM

Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! M19 2:02PM

Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A. M16 5:40PM

Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released M15 12:34AM

Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups M06 12:10PM

After Being Told He's 'Full of Sh*t' at School Event, Mnuchin Demands UCLA Suppress Video M02 11:44AM

Resolution of the Rent Strike in Boyle Heights M01 6:28PM

What Big Brother Knows About You and What You Can Do About It M01 3:30PM

Step Up As LAPD Chief Charlie Beck Steps Down F14 2:44PM

Our House Grief Support Center Hosts 9th Annual Run For Hope, April 29 F13 12:51PM

Don’t let this LA County Probation Department overhaul proposal sit on the shelf F13 11:04AM

Echo Park Residents Sue LA Over Controversial Development F12 8:51AM

Former Signal Hill police officer pleads guilty in road-rage incident in Irvine F09 10:25PM

Calif. Police Accused of 'Collusion' With Neo-Nazis After Release of Court Documents F09 7:14PM

Center for the Study of Political Graphics exhibit on Police Abuse posters F07 9:50AM

City Agrees to Settle Lawsuit Claiming Pasadena Police Officer Had His Sister Falsely Arre F04 3:17PM

Professor's Study Highlights Health Risks of Urban Oil Drilling F04 12:42PM

Claims paid involving Pasadena Police Department 2014 to present F04 10:52AM

Pasadenans - get your license plate reader records from police F03 11:11PM

LA Times Homicide Report F03 1:57PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Biodiversité ou la nature privatisée A20 11:22AM

The Market is a Universal Totalitarian Religion A20 7:14AM

Book Available about Hispanics and US Civil War by National Park Service A19 5:52PM

The Shortwave Report 04/20/18 Listen Globally! A19 4:01PM

The Republican 'Prolife' Party Is the Party of War, Execution, and Bear Cub Murder A19 11:48AM

Neurogenèse involutive A18 9:21AM

Paraphysique de la dictature étatique A16 10:13AM

Book Review: "The New Bonapartists" A16 3:45AM

The West Must Take the First Steps to Russia A14 12:25PM

Théorie générale de la révolution ou hommage à feu Mikhaïl Bakounine A14 3:30AM

The Shortwave Report 04/13/18 Listen Globally! A12 3:50PM

“Lost in a Dream” Singing Competition Winner to Be Chosen on April 15 for ,000 Prize! A12 3:48PM

The World Dependent on Central Banks A12 4:43AM

Ohio Governor Race: Dennis Kucinich & Richard Cordray Run Against Mike DeWine A11 9:40PM

March 2018 Honduras Coup Again Update A10 10:52PM

Apologie du zadisme insurrectionnel A10 3:33PM

ICE contract with license plate reader company A10 1:14PM

Palimpseste sisyphéen A09 11:23PM

Black Portraiture(S) IV: The Color of Silence...Cuba No...Cambridge Yes A09 5:32AM

Prohibiting Micro-Second Betting on the Exchanges A09 4:18AM

Prosecutors treat Muslims harsher than non-Muslims for the same crimes A08 10:33PM

Amy Goodman interview on cell phone safety A08 10:29PM

Mesa, Arizona police officer kills unarmed white man A08 9:50PM

Israeli leaders should be prosecuted for war crimes A08 9:48PM

Paraphysique de l'autorité A08 12:11AM

Two Podcasts on fbi corruption A06 10:13PM

Fbi assassins assault & try to kill DAVID ATKINS A06 7:29PM

EPA Head Scott Pruitt: Of Cages And Sirens A06 2:15PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy