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.
LAAS has pursued TV producers for more than a decade. For some irrational reason, management thinks just being on TV will be beneficial (bigger budgets?) to them, but the TV producers see nothing positive in recording the LA ACO's daily rounds. The stories never have a positive endings. Judges in California never support animal control and LA's dogcatchers have nothing like the powers of the agencies shown on Animal Planet, etc. Documenting LA animal control is too depressing to make entertainment.
This points out one of LAAS's main problems -- no public relations staff. The last real PR officer was Peter Persic and he ran away from the job after the Pal the pug PR debacle/melt-down in the '90s.
The department has had no PR or Public Information Officer since then.
Attempting to run LAAS without a professional PR expert is suicidal madness.
In addition, why would the Ron Mason "bust" be recorded and broadcast for all to see when to my knowledge, no other "busts" have been? Boks' rationale baffles me.
And what exactly does this statment of Boks' mean anyway?
"At that meeting they made it abundantly clear that they, not the city, would handle all production related activities for any program they did not need or want to see any “samples” submitted by the city of Los Angeles for any reason."
This makes no sense. They (being the producers of Animal Precinct) would handle all production related activities for any program they did not need? Now why would they want to do that?
And why does Boks keep referring to the Mason raid as the "Mason rate"?
Something doesn't seem to be quite right with Ed Boks.
Sorry about the misquote of Boks. He wrote 'raid' but I wrote 'rate.'
The same with leaving out an extra 'did'. As corrected he said .."for any program they did and did that they did not need or want..."
But I agree that something is not right with Ed.
C'mon enough with Ron Mason. I still can't believe you even affiliated with this guy........
Because Ed Boks has lied so much, it's impossible to believe anything he says, even if it were the truth. He's said the sky is blue when it's black so many, many times. He could say the sky is blue when it is indeed sunny out but I'd still have to look up and check for myself at this point. He has no credibility whatsover.
He said "I haven't killed an adoptable animal in three years" while in Maricopa. He killed 120,000 animals during that time.
He said "I made Maricopa nokill," He killed 120,000 animals, over 65% euth rate.
He said "I reduced euthanasia by 30% in NY." He reduced it three percent, and that's iffy.
He said he "counted all bodies in and all bodies out of the shelter" in NY. He did not count 4,500 euthanasias in and out per year.
He told Councilman Zine "we are not refusing any animals" after he released a press release saying he was refusing owner surrender animals during certain hours. He also refused feral cats and some kittens.
He said "I was not fired from NY" while in his NY deposition he said "I feared being fired all the time." He also said "my friend sued NY because they fired me."
Who can believe a man who lies in writing so blatantly?
Don't forget this one, "LA is the number one adoption agency in the US" when quite a few other shelters adopt out more animals. Later he said "we are the number one rescue agency in the world." Yes, the "world."
The funny part to me is that out of the giant debacle that was the Mason setup/raid, Boks' one beef is the TV aspect. How about:
The fact that his people lied to Dana Bartholomew.
The ACTF hung a cat by his neck.
Boks lied and said Muffin was on top of a dead cat, when Muffin was in fact very obviously next to a mirror.
Boks, as well as various City personnel on City time slandered Ron and made unfounded, unsubstantiated allegations regarding his mental health.
THe ENORMOUS appearance of impropriety in arresting someone whose vet is days away from starting a job with LAAS- meaning if she had been called to testify she would have had a considerable conflict of interest at best, and an incentive to lie at worst.
Bringing a County inspector on the raid, even though Ron's house wasn't within this inspector's jurisdiction.
Either incompetently or deliberately mis-diagnosing the original six kittens, killing them, THEN "discovering" they were never sick (allegedly even before the raid took place).
Uh - NOT READING RON HIS RIGHTS...
Not giving Ron an inventory of seized property and cats at the scene.
Sending an incomplete inventory later.
Not informing Ron of his RIGHT to a post-seizure hearing.
Playing musical chairs with which charges they were going to bring.
Keeping property stolen from Ron at the raid. (For me to refer to it as "seized" they would have had to properly inventory it, then return it when they promised. At this point, with the case over, it's stolen.)
Allowing an incompetent, ill-trained, and mentally erratic desk clerk at West Valley to further place Ron's cats in jeopardy by impeding his attempts to get them adopted out.
And these are just the issues I can think of before I've had my coffee.
As for why we still care about Ron Mason, there are two reasons.
1. Ron is a nice guy who tried to help, feed & spay/neuter a lot of cats. Like it or not, we are in favor of that here.
2. Because if it happened to Ron it could happen to any one of us. He tried to work with LAAS, he tried to play by the rules, except that he couldn't leave pregnant cats, newborn kittens, or injured/hungry cats to fend for themselves, which is an admirable thing.
Boks, along with his LAAS and LAPD flunkies, used governmental power to abuse someone, deprive him of his rights, and libel and slander him. If you can't see why we think that's a big deal, then you must have something to gain by siding with the abusers.
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