Lori Golden of Pet Press received a letter from Ed Boks regarding her editorial from the previous issue. Ed’s response basically was that the Mason raid had nothing to do with the upcoming filming of Animal Precinct in LA.
But before I post his letter, I’d like readers to look at my January 7, 2008 post. In it is my request for public records regarding the Mason raid and Animal Precinct:
Dear Mr. Boks,
This request is being made subject to the California Public Records Act: Government Code §6250-6268.Under this statute you have 10 calendar days from the date of receipt of this request to respond as to whether you will release the records requested as detailed below.
In your General Manager’s September/October Report to the Animal Services Commission, you stated, “The Department has recently had conversations with the producers of the Animal Planet show “Animal Precinct” about putting together a five-show pilot that would feature the Department’s animal care centers and staff.”
As I believe there may be a relationship between the negotiations you conducted with producers of Animal Planet and Animal Precinct, and recent raids conducted by LA Animal Services, the Animal Cruelty Task Force, the LAPD and City TV, on residences and businesses during October and November of 2007, I request:
Any and all correspondence including memos and emails between Ed Boks and: The producers of Animal Planet; the producers of Animal Precinct; any staff of City TV 35; any members of the ACTF, Jim Bickhart and Jim Blackman regarding the above stated intent of having Animal Services and the ACTF being featured or viewed on any Animal Planet network show, but especially as noted in the Commission notes, LAAS being featured on one or more Animal Precinct shows.
Such emails should contain the type of activities or events that Animal Precinct would be filming, e.g., dogfighting rings, animal hoarders, per store anaimal neglect or abuses.I am especially interested in, but not limited to, correspondence or memos or email between Mr. Boks and any staff member of City TV 35 regarding taping of the raid on the home of Ron Mason on October 11, 2007. The raid has already aired and thus is in the public domain.
Linda Barth’s response data one day later, on January 8 stated:
Your request of January 7, 2008, regarding information related to correspondence between the Department'; General Manager and producers of the Animal Planet television series has been received by the custodian of records. The Department believes that additional time, in excess of the 10 days called for under the Public Records Act, will be necessary to research, collect and review all of the records requested. The Department is therefore advising you that an additional 14 days to respond to your request is necessary.
Well folks, 47 days have passed since that request; I have received nothing.
Here is Boks’ response to Lori’s editorial in the current issue of Pet Press, page 6:
“I just read your editorial on the Ron Mason case. There is one key point you bring up that needs clarification.
“No aspect of that case, from the long buildup, to the investigation, to the raid, to the videotaping, to the troubled aftermath, had ANYTHING to do with the animal planet interest in eventually doing a program on the work of the Los Angeles Animal Cruelty Task Force (ACTF). The videotaping was done by the LA’s CityView at the request of LAPD, specifically for “inside the LAPD,” the local show you reference with no prior knowledge by animal services management.
“Animal planet began talking to the city of Los Angeles (which is to say, the LAPD, LAAS and the city attorney, accompanied by the mayor’s office and council member Tony Cárdenas) about doing a show on a ACTF in the summer of 2007. They met with the City Hall officers and the ACTF, toured facilities, went on calls with the ACTF and came to their own conclusions about the viability of the concept.
“In fact, the England-based producers of “Animal Precinct” made their decision, that a preliminary green light from Animal Planet and met with Los Angeles officials to communicate that they expected to base a future “Animal Cops” or “Animal Precinct” show in Los Angeles before the Mason raid took place in November 2007. At that meeting they made it abundantly clear that they, not the city, would handle all production related activities for any program they did and they did not need or want to see any “samples” submitted by the city of Los Angeles for any reason.
“The erroneous and, I dare say, irresponsible rumor that the Mason rate was staged and taped specifically as some kind of audition for animal planet appears to have been propagated by the author of a local blog based on a dearth of hard evidence, and a lot of wild extrapolation. Unfortunately it has led to unwarranted comments by others who had no more real information on this situation to base it on than did the person who started the rumor.
"The Mason case has provided a number of important “lessons learned” for all involved on the City’s part. Perhaps it can do the same for those who write about these issues."
Lori's response, which you can read for yourself in the current issue of Pet Press, was basically, “Where is the beef?” She stated, “And despite my asking Mr. Boks if the whereabouts of Mr. Mason’s cats, records and traps were “part of the important lessons learned for all involved on the City’s part,” I have received no reply." (By the way, for some of you who are humor challenged, this is sarcasm.)
Your contention the the CityView taping of the Mason raid was made at the request of the ACTF and LAPD with no prior knowledge by Animal Services management is kinda hard to believe, don't you think, as lots of dept ACOs, a dept vet and Lt. Boswell-- all department employees--were there.
They did this without your prior knowledge? They did it behind your back? Were you out applying for another job that week?
Didn't you also outline on your truth vs. rumor defense of the raid that having CityView TV at the raid part of the department's "openness"?
Concerning the irresponsible rumor about the context of the Mason raid “propagated by an author of a local blog based on a dearth of hard evidence and wild extrapolation, which has led to unwarranted comments by others who had no more real information on this situation and did the person who started the rumor” (that would be me), my response would be:
Mr. Boks, I requested the hard evidence and real information from you on January 7. The next day you refused to give me that information until after 10 plus 14 days, or 24 days. Six weeks have gone by, double the time you asked for, and I have received none of that “hard evidence” or “real information.”
One of the ways you could have avoided any irresponsible rumor propagated by me, or unwarranted comments by others, would have been to have complied with my request for any and all “hard evidence and real information” made on January 7. Your failure to respond has led many of us to speculate about your actions and those of the ACTF in the Mason case. I still await your providing me with the hard evidence and real information in this case.
I did not just make up my allegation. Information from a credible source was passed to me that Animal Precinct was taping the show and I had to stop it before other raids, and killing like what happened to Ron Mason, took place. It was a plea for help to me to stop you from doing more of what you did to Mr. Mason.
Even in your letter to Lori Golden, I note that the timeline you refer to still makes me suspect as false your allegation that all decisions made by animal precinct, including that they “made it abundantly clear that they did not need or want to see any samples submitted by the city of Los Angeles for any reason.”
In your letter to Lori Golden you state that the Mason raid took place in November of 2007, and if anyone should know, you should, that the raid took place on October 11, two days after your General Manager’s report to the commission mentioned that you and the producers of animal precinct were recently having conversaions.
In that October 7 report you stated, “The Department has recently had conversations with the producers of the Animal Planet show “Animal Precinct” about putting together a five-show pilot that would feature the Department’s animal care centers and staff.” Well, doesn't "recently" then mean September, well after you contend everyting was a done deal during the summer, and a month before the Mason raid?
In your letter to Lori, you basically stated that everything was a done deal during the summer of 2007, when in your October General Managers report you stated that you recently had conversations with the producers of Animal Pplanet's show Animal Precinct.
Until you provide me with the hard evidence I requested, especially specific contracts, and emails to and from the City Attorney, I’ll stand by my speculation that the Mason raid was associated with Animal Planet filming in LA.
By the way Ed, as Lori mentioned, where are the records regarding Mason’s cats Brad Jensen asked for on October 30, and subsequently requested by me twice?
It is kind of hard for us to say anything about anything, Ed, when you withhold any evidence about anything, and your timeline about the Mason case and Animal Planet is so vague.
I think you are not to be trusted Mr. Boks.