Atake Resigns! Blames Boks and Blackman

Finally, maybe this action by Animal Commissioner Atake will force the Mayor to really take a close look at Boks and LAAS.

August 31, 2007
Honorable Antonio Villaraigosa
Mayor’s Office, City of Los Angeles

Dear Mayor Villaraigosa,

For two years, I have worked very hard to help improve the Department of Animal Services (LAAS) and protect the integrity of the Mayor’s office as your appointed Commissioner.

However, my seeking transparency, clarity and honesty is apparently what Mr. Blackman, your Deputy Chief of Staff, does not want me to do. His consistent refusal to hold Mr. Ed Boks, the General Manager, accountable — for his actions, including making false, misleading and inflammatory comments to your office, staff, City Council, the public, and the media
— has made my efforts ineffective at every level.

When I told Mr. Blackman that Mr. Boks would not shut down his city website blog, against the advice of the LAPD’s Threat Management unit, Mr. Blackman dismissed my concerns and called it merely “one of the many wrong things Boks has done” that he’s already aware of and would not take any action.

On the city website, Mr. Boks recently bashed the Director of LA County Animal Control and attacked one of the most reputable animal-welfare organizations which has provided invaluable assistance to the city’s department. Instead of allowing the Commission to keep Mr. Boks under control, it is my opinion that Mr. Blackman conceals critical facts and
protects Mr. Boks’ misbehavior from your view.

As a result, one such distortion made you appear uninformed at a recent press conference about the state of the city animal shelters. Consequently, several media outlets are presently investigating your claims of LAAS success.

Mr. Blackman looked the other way on another serious problem when Mr. Boks grossly misled City Council on August 3rd, during Item #41. As a result, City Council had to table an innovative program when it was discovered that Mr. Boks failed to consult with the Commission, Personnel and SEIU.

Recently, the Commission discovered its serious procedural problems with a past appeal. I was not involved with this particular appeal, however, I felt it was the Commission’s sworn duty to right its wrongs, and restore its integrity, when the process was violated, with unfairness and prejudice appearing high and harmful.

Unfortunately I have learned that certain members of your administration, this department and the Commission are incapable of acknowledging errors, therein misleading the public. Such actions (or inactions) are resulting in the needless suffering and death of many animals, mistreatment of the public, and wasting of financial and human capital.

You are welcome to contact me if you wish to be further informed about Mr. Boks’ crises, including, but not limited to, the veterinarian shortage; unopened spay/neuter clinics; zero foreign language outreach; shelter overcrowding; delayed shelter openings; end-runs on key stakeholders; and a tidal wave of public relations disasters.

As I recall, one of your campaign platforms was to uphold the ethical standards expected by the city residents. Most recently, you stressed the importance of accountability. While these values may not matter to some of your key staff, I hope they still matter to you.

In closing, I am resigning my position as a Commissioner because I can no longer, in good conscience, be a part of such demoralization. I wish that I were allowed to apply my business skills and expertise as a nonprofit organization leader, (the reason why you appointed me), to fully serve the people and animals of Los Angeles, which is supposed to be the City of


Marie Atake


Anonymous said...

This is a sad day for the animals of our city, and for those that love them.

To hell with the lying Boks!

Anonymous said...

Marie made the right move. What good is a seat on a toothless, rubber stamp commission? Without Atake( and if Kathy Riordan leaves, too-as she has been even more vocal about the De La Rosa appeal for Stu, the dog) it's a gang of guys led by spineless Khero that will rubber stamp everything Boks puts in front of them.

This could only have been prompted by the Mayor's office (Blackman) chastising Atake for her concerns voiced at the August 27th Board meeting in San Pedro.

Best of luck to Marie. What will Riordan do? She must be in hot water, too.

Anonymous said...

Blackman knows about all the horrible and illegal things Boks is doing. He's not telling the Mayor, or is he? Why would the City want this walking liability representing the City?

They have lost a good commissioner today, because of the actions of Boks and Blackman.

DAVE said...

i have known and volunteered with Marie Atake for a period of four years. she doesn't lie or exaggerate anything. so these issues she wrote about are true.

it seems that rather than lie to the public she committed political suicide. good for you, Marie.
bad for you, Antonio.

Anonymous said...

Marie Atake was not an asset to the Commission. She was close-minded, insulting, and had a negative attitude. Thank goodness for inhibitions because many times I wanted to bombard her with rotten tomatoes as she espoused garbage before the Commission. And by the way, she kept saying that the pitbull Stu was such a model canine citizen, misunderstood and martyred. This dog, according to Animal Services staff, is unsocialized and aggressive to even his caregivers at the shelter. I'm really tired of people who know nothing about a situation making comments as if they are there in the ranks.

pam said...

How unsocialized would you be if you were a dog (the most social creature) and for the better part of two years you spent practically every minute of every day alone?

I've never heard such things being said about Marie, and that comment must have come from Boks or someone that supports him (is there still anyone left out there that does?).

Anonymous said...

I've been to many of these meetings, and never heard Marie saying any of the stuff "Anonymous" said in his/her post. It seems Boks is asking his groupies to make up a bunch of crap about her to cover up his own wrongdoings! If this "Anonymous" and any of his groupies actually went to any of the commission meetings with their tomatoes, they would have seen Marie was the most open minded, and look, Boks himself said in an article that she was always "gracious and well-prepared"! If you have nothing else but lies to post, back off!