Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Attorney Gerrie Schipske Calls Upon City Attorney to Investigate Connections Between Political Consultant – Arrested by the FBI -- and Several Long Beach Officials

For Immediate Release: 5/24/2022





Contact: gerrie@schipske4LB.com

Attorney Gerrie Schipske Calls Upon City Attorney to Investigate Connections Between Political Consultant – Arrested by the FBI -- and Several Long Beach Officials

Long Beach, CA – Upon learning that the same political consultant being investigated by the FBI in a criminal corruption case in Orange County has been working and contributing to several elected officials in Long Beach, Attorney Gerrie Schipske, candidate for City Attorney issued the following statement:

“I call upon the City Attorney to immediately begin an investigation into the connection between Long Beach elected officials and the political firm of Progressive Solutions Consulting, whose owner has been named in the ongoing FBI criminal investigation concerning bribery of elected officials and fraud.

The chief duty of the City Attorney is to protect the City from liability. The Long Beach City Attorney must investigate all votes cast by these elected officials to determine if prior to these votes they received political or officeholder contributions from anyone connected with the political consultant or her other clients.

It has also been disclosed that one of the clients of the political consultant named by the FBI is the Chief Development Officer of Urban Commons who was given the contract by the City Council to operate the Queen Mary and has defaulted on the contract. It is critical that the votes concerning this contract be examined to determine if any money was received by those voting to give the contract to Urban Commons.

We need to restore the public trust and confidence in our local government which is why I have made Anti-Corruption my top priority in my campaign for City Attorney. I am the ONLY candidate to do so.

As City Attorney, I will require that all elected officials disclose if they have received contributions of any kind from anyone connected with an item on the Council agenda.  If they have, they will be recused from voting, and it will be announced during the Council meeting.

Attorney Gerrie Schipske, candidate for City Attorney, is a fierce advocate for open, transparent, and accountable local government. Because of her work on the Long Beach City Council for 8 years, she was named at the White House as one of only seven “Champions of Change for Open Government.” Her complete Anti-Corruption plan is included on the following website:  www.trustgerrie.com or https://www.flipsnack.com/E5D6BD77C6F/anti-corruption-tool-kit-final.html

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Sunday, May 22, 2022

Schipske Calls on City Attorney to Release Euthanasia Records from City Animal Shelter -- Asks State Veterinary Board To Refute City's Claim



For Immediate Release: 5/22/2022

Contact: gerrie@schipske4LB.com

 

Gerrie Schipske Calls on City Attorney to Release Euthanasia Records from Animal Shelter – Says She Has Asked the Veterinary Medical Board to Clarify Why City Can Release Records

 

Long Beach, California – In response to numerous animal advocates who have contacted her, Attorney Gerrie Schipske, candidate for City Attorney, today issued the following statement concerning the current City Attorney’s refusal to release public records documenting the euthanasia of animals held in the City animal shelter:

The City Attorney is currently refusing to release veterinary records of euthanized animals at the Animal Control Shelter. The City Attorney has told animal advocates that the records will not be released for the 'greater good' even though State law is clear that such records are public.

The City Attorney is claiming the so-called “catch-all” exemption, found in Government Code section 6255.   This exemption requires a strong showing that on the facts of the particular case, the public interest in withholding the record from public view far outweighs the public interest in releasing the record.  This exemption is broad and undefined and is often improperly invoked by agencies when no other exemption applies.

The public has a legitimate interest in monitoring the activities of our animal shelter, particularly when stray dogs are at issue.

Shelters are required to keep records as specified under the California Food and Agricultural Code, section 32003. This section requires that medical record keeping requirements established by the Veterinary Medical Board and additional recordkeeping requirements listed in section 32003 must be met.

The law is clear: All public pounds and private shelters shall keep accurate records on each animal taken up, medically treated, or impounded.  The records shall include all of the following information and any other information required by the California Veterinary Medical Board:

(a) The date the animal was taken up, medically treated, euthanized, or impounded.

(b) The circumstances under which the animal was taken up, medically treated, euthanized, or impounded.

(c) The names of the personnel who took up, medically treated, euthanized, or impounded the animal.

(d) A description of any medical treatment provided to the animal and the name of the veterinarian of record.

(e) The final disposition of the animal, including the name of the person who euthanized the animal or the name and address of the adopting party.  These records shall be maintained for three years after the date the animal's impoundment ends.

The public should be allowed to review the veterinarian’s reasons for euthanizing animals at the shelter.

The City of Attorney also apparently made a claim that disclosing the records would place the contracted veterinarian at risk for criminal prosecution by State Veterinary Medical Board. Veterinarian-client confidentiality should not apply because the veterinarians are working for the city. The law applies only to veterinarians who see animals that are owned by someone else.

I have therefore sent an email to the State Veterinary Medical Board asking for further clarification of this issue.

I commend the City of Sacramento on posting and updating its animal shelter records online every two hours and as City Attorney will encourage Long Beach to do the same: https://app.powerbigov.us/view?r=eyJrIjoiMGQwNjM4YzgtZWQ5Zi00ZWM4LTk1NGEtZGFjODZhYjNjYTY5IiwidCI6ImUzN2UwMWYyLTU0MWItNGZmZC1iOGQ0LTc2YWVlOGI4YzA4ZCJ9.

Attorney Gerrie Schipske has over 32 years of legal, legislative, and administrative experience at every level of government and in the private sector. She and her partner have two adopted rescue dogs. #

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Schipske Calls on City Attorney to Remind City Manager of Migratory Bird Treaty Act and California State Laws Protecting Birds and Active Nests – Questions Why Filming Allowed to Disturb Area


Gerrie Schipske, candidate for City Attorney and former City Councilwoman who worked with residents on protecting the native birds and active nests in Long Beach, today called upon the City Attorney to remind the City Manager of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act as well as California State Codes 3503 and 3503.5. These laws make it unlawful to harm, harass, possess, or kill a native bird, its eggs, chick, or active nest.

Schipske made the request after several members of her former Lakes, Ponds, and Wetlands Task Force contacted her because they are not receiving any response from the City Parks, Recreation, and Marine Department.

“These residents have asked repeatedly for the City to follow the state and federal Migratory Bird laws and have requested the City to stop the planned filming on Oil Dock Road on May 12 – 14th,” says Schipske. The planned filming is apparently under active Great Blue Heron, Snowy Egret, Great Egret, Black Crown Night Heron, Yellow Crown Night Heron nests, and new babies.

“While residents can report anyone disturbing an active nest, by calling the California Department of Fish and Wildlife at (888) 334-2258 and the United States Fish and Wildlife Services at (916) 414-6660, it seems to me that the City Attorney can remind management of the need to follow the law and respond to these residents’ concerns.”

Schipske notes these same residents contacted the City before about the impact of filming in areas where nesting is located. “The City was contacted last January when filming took place in the nesting area of Great Blue Herons by Horseshoe Pond in Area 2 of El Dorado Regional Park,” says Schipske. “Two of four active Great Blue Heron nests were abandoned during that filming, and sadly, the two remaining pairs in the pines later abandoned their nests.”

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Thursday, May 5, 2022

Schipske Admits Error in Her Financial Report – Problem Was Corrected Immediately: Says Threat of Criminal Prosecution is Pure Political Theatrics



Gerrie Schipske, candidate for City Attorney, tonight issued the following statement after receiving a letter via email from outside counsel retained by the Long Beach City Attorney informing her that there were problems with the first financial report filed for her campaign on 4/28/2022 and that a criminal complaint would be filed by the City with the District Attorney:


“Tonight, I received notice from lawyers hired by the City Attorney that my campaign finance report filed four business days ago, indicated that I had loaned my campaign committee $50,000 which exceeds the City imposed limit of $15,000.

I am totally aware of the loan limits Long Beach has set. I immediately contacted my treasurer who corrected what the report should have initially shown. A total of $15,000 had been loaned to the committee and the remainder of the $50,000 was to be posted as a $35,000 contribution. At no time was there any intent to violate the Municipal Code limitations. The amounts loaned and contributed were unfortunately not distinguished in the report. My treasurer apologized but I accept full responsibility for the filing.

I came into the campaign late and my opponent had already raised a considerable amount of money. I felt I needed to spend my own money to get the campaign going.

The other problem cited by the City’s hired attorneys was that one contributor had made two contributions: $259.23 and $600. Contributions are limited to $600 a person. In fact, the contributors were separately made by a married couple, whose both names appear on the checks.

The threats by outside counsel to refer this correctable error to the District Attorney as a criminal complaint is being done as pure political theatrics and to garner headlines. The attorneys have also threatened to sue me for $105,000 which is 3 times the amount exceeding the $15,000 allowed as a loan.

The problems have been corrected and I look forward to being elected on June 7th.” ###









Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Schipske Calls on City Attorney to Advise Mayor and City Council to Provide for Virtual Participation at City Council Meetings – Says Restriction Impacts Disabled and Older Adults Who Have Difficulty Navigating City Hall




Schipske Calls on City Attorney to Advise Mayor and City Council to Provide for Virtual Participation at City Council Meetings – Says Restriction Impacts Disabled and Older Adults Who Have Difficulty Navigating City Hall



Gerrie Schipske, candidate for City Attorney, today called upon the current City Attorney to advise the Mayor and City Council to continue to provide for virtual participation at City Council meetings.

“Up until March 22, City Council meetings were held virtually and provided for citizen participation via Zoom,” says Schipske. “There is no legal reason why citizen participation should be restricted to in person. During COVID we found that this works out fine. The City Attorney should encourage every means to ensure the public's rights to fully participate in meetings." 

Schipske says she is concerned this restriction impacts many disabled and older adults who are unable to navigate the City Hall. “It also makes no sense, especially since the city brags that it has been recognized as a Top Digital City in the Center for Digital Government (CDG)’s 2021 Digital Cities Survey, which evaluates how cities across the nation use technology to advance city goals, operations and services to the community.”

Gerrie Schipske, a former City Councilmember, strenuously advocated to make Long Beach open, transparent, and accountable. Consequently, she is the only candidate for City Attorney who was honored by the President at the White House as one of only seven “Champions of Change for Open Government.”

Saturday, April 30, 2022

Schipske Faults City Attorney Office for Not Properly Vetting Community Hospital Deal – State Had to Remind City That Property Is Surplus Land

Gerrie Schipske, candidate for City Attorney and former member of the Long Beach City Council, today issued the following statement in response to the disclosure that the State Department of Housing and Community Development reminded the City in March that the Community Hospital property is “surplus” and as such the City must comply with the law which requires such property to be on the open market to affordable housing developers:


“I think the City Attorney should explain why his office did not properly vet the transaction between the City and the Molina Wu Network with the State Department of Housing and Community Development. The Surplus Land Act has been in existence since 1968 and clearly requires local governments to prioritize affordable housing when selling or leasing public lands no longer necessary for agency use. (Government Code § 54220 et seq.)

In 2019, the court held that this requirement applies to both general and charter cities, such as Long Beach. The law requires Long Beach prior to any action disposing of the land to declare the land as either surplus or exempt surplus land at a regular, public meeting. It must also provide written findings that the property is either surplus or exempt and to file those findings with the State at least 30 days before the sale of the land. (Government Code § 54222(f).

The agreement between the City and MWN fails to reference that any of these actions would need to be taken prior to entering an arrangement that allows MWN to take the property as payment by the City for expenditures made by MWN while operating Community Hospital.

While I never supported this agreement, I do think it unfair to MWN that the City Attorney failed to properly advise concerning restrictions under State law. This sends an ominous warning to businesses that want to do business with the City.

The agreement, approved by the City Attorney, also contains another serious omission as it fails to include a clause giving the City Auditor the right to audit MWN’s records and books within six (6) months of the end of each fiscal year and following the expiration or termination of the lease. This clause is included in the lease of the Queen Mary and should be for all leases of City-owned property.” ##

Thursday, April 28, 2022

Schipske Responds to Snarky Letter to the editor of Grunion


 Yes, I read former City Attorney Bob Shannon’s attack on me in the Grunion Gazette.

Keep in mind, this is the same former City Attorney who gave the wrong advice to the City Council which cost the City $16.6 million for an illegal telephone tax and $12 million for an illegal water pipeline fee placed on water bills.  (He forgot to mention I argued against these taxes while I was on the City Council.)

He is also the current President of the Water Board and stayed silent as the City Council pushed a 12% surcharge on water rates. Thanks to the legal team I assembled, the courts have ruled the surcharge is illegal. Mr. Shannon and his Board now claim they need the other millions of dollars taken from the ratepayers. 

The City Charter requires the Water Board to only transfer funds that are not needed for the operation of the Water Department. So why did they transfer the money to the City if it was needed???

The former City Attorney and the special interests supporting my opponent are scared I will win and change the way City Hall operates.

With the support of the voters on June 7th, I will bring that change.

Celebrate Law Day with Gerrie Schipske for City Attorney. Get a Law Day Comic Book and Win a Chance for an RGB Action Figure.


 



In celebration of National Law Day, Gerrie Schipske, candidate for City Attorney, will host a booth at the Sunday, May 1 Farmers’ Market located at Spring Street and Clark Avenue from 9 am until 12 noon.

May 1, 2022, is the annual national Law Day established in 1958 by President Eisenhower to celebrate the rule of law. Law Day provides an opportunity to understand how law and the legal process protect our liberty, strive to achieve justice, and contribute to the freedoms that all Americans share.

Residents are invited to stop by Schipske’s Farmers’ Market booth and get a “Law Day” comic book and a chance to win their very own Ruth Bader Ginsburg “action figure.”

“United States Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg officiated at my swearing into the United States Supreme Court Bar,” said Schipske. “I particularly admired her strength and love of law and think ‘Law Day’ is a perfect time to celebrate her contributions to the rule of law.”

Gerrie Schipske is running for City Attorney to establish the strongest “Anti-Corruption” effort to root out unethical or illegal conduct by City elected officials, employees, and those who contract with the City.

“I took an oath that as ‘an attorney and as a counselor of the Court, that I will conduct myself uprightly and according to law, and that I will support the Constitution of the United States,’ “says Schipske. “I expect all public employees and elected officials of Long Beach to conduct themselves ‘uprightly and according to law.’ Corruption erodes the public’s trust.”

Schipske says that she will also be providing information on her “Long Beach Open Government Bill of Rights” which inform voters about their legal rights to an open, transparent, accountable, and not to mention, ethical City government.

Friday, April 22, 2022

A Calendar of Events for Gerrie Schipske for City Attorney

 Mark your calendar for several events for Gerrie Schipske for City Attorney:




Also, you can go to: https://schipske4lb.my.canva.site/