Orlov Refuses to Do Homework; Defends Boks as Victim of animal community and unhappy politicians

Rick Orlov wrote an extremely inaccurate exoneration of Ed Boks this morning, more or less blaming everyone but Ed Boks for his problems. It appears that to save his job at the failing Daily News, he decided to write the most outrageous and slanted article possible to create his own firestorm of controversy.

1. Orlov blames Boks’ problems on, “Unhappy political bosses looking to divert attention from their own offices.” Does he mean Zine, Cardenas and Alarcon? I'll bet they are glad to hear that.

2. Orlov blames Boks’ problems on animal activists, providing examples of the “rage that animal activists have directed towards Boks.”

3. Then Orlov seems to blame the entire LA animal community and Council, as well as staff with all their criticisms for making the job of general manager impossible for anyone.

Orlov writes, “...how long he will be able to withstand the firestorm that seems eventually surround every director of Animal Services.”

4. Orlov writes, “In the past decade alone, the department has had four permanent directors replaced, plus a number of lower-level officials who fled after the threats became too much.”

He says Dan Knapp was replaced when hospitalized for nervous seizures said to be related to job pressures, followed by Greenwalt who resigned after protests at his home by animal activists. Then he mentions Stuckey’s job as so tenuous and threatening that his wife refused to move to LA.

Orlov says that under Boks, the euthanasia rate has dropped from more than 23,000 to about 18,000 in the past year.

Mr. Orlov, let us do the fact check you failed to do.

First, the euthanasia rate has never been at 23,000 since Boks has started. He started on January 1, 2006. Since that time euthanasia has fluctuated from about 19,500 when he started, down to about 15,500 then back up to 19,500 now. How is that progress towards no kill?

Dan Knapp had epilepsy, not some nebulous nervous seizures, and was suffering from “static gran mal seizures,” meaning they were happening all the time. Knapp hid his condition from the City until after he started. The animal community more or less loved him until the mayor made him round up street dogs prior to the Democratic Convention in 2000. He was fired by the Mayor while he was in the hospital.

Stuckey never had any animal experience before coming on the job. He was a community outreach director in a small city back East, and didn’t have a clue as to how to run the dept. he didn't even have a dog or cat himself.

Greenwalt was just another hack bureaucrat waiting out his time for his pension and who had been fired for incompetence from Animal Services by Knapp a year before Greenwalt took over. He retired, and did not resign.

Orlov inaccurately quotes Zine. “Zine chairs the council's Personnel Committee and he said he has compiled boxes of complaints from employees over how Boks runs the agency.” In fact, Zine showed Council one large full box of complaints from staff as well as emails from the animal community and others about Boks. Zine was making a point that it was not just the animal community that opposed him.

It is these little yet glaring errors of fact that allows Orlov to lay the blame for Boks’ messes at everyone else’s doorsteps but Boks’.

Where did Rick receive his training as a reporter, Costco?


Anonymous said...

Where does it say the kill rate is back at 20,000 a year? Whose ass did you pull that number from?

Ed Muzika said...


From the dept. statistics site above.

For the 12 months March-Feb 06-07, kill was at 19,273.

For the past 12 months it was 19,394, an increase of 121 animals killed.

Anonymous said...

You got a few things wrong in your article. Villaraigosa promised to fire Stuckey as a campaign promise. It was not one of the first things he did. He waited five months to fire Stuckey and hire Boks in mid December 2005. He was elected in July.

Boks is the first GM to be hated by not just the rescuers, volunteers and public but also the employees and council members. Previous GMs were just hated by rescuers and the public. Employees even stood up for Stuckey when he was being fired. Council members stood up for Stuckey and even gave him a golden handshake.

Dan Knaap had epilepsy. It was not related to his job. He ultimately retired and died of epilepsy while calmly gardening in his home.

Greenwalt officially told people he just "retired." He didn't quit.

People have threatened to kill Boks. It's common knowledge. Boks was forewarned by the LAPD that he would be attacked. They briefed him for two days on how bad the attacks would be and he said he's okay with that. Even City Council told him he will be attacked. He said fine. He accepted that when he signed on to the job.

Boks must have fed you the euthanasia numbers. Euthanasia did not go down Boks' first year here. In fact 751 fewer animals made it out alive. More animals died from Boks' overcrowding. Cat euthanasia went up as did bunny and other animals.

Boks second year here euthanasia went down a little yet animals dying on their own went up. The main reason euthanasia went down his second year is he refused the animals most likely to be euthanized, i.e. feral cats, neonate kittens. Guess what happened his third year here? Those refused intact feral cats and kittens had babies which flooded the shelters.

Boks third year intake and euthanasia went up because of refusing animals the previous year and the economy. The employees also decided to refuse to follow Boks orders to overcrowd the animals. It was extra work which didn't save lives and caused some animals to die a painful death.

The box of complaints which Zine held up contained mainly complaints from the employees. One employee reported Boks for animal cruelty because of conditions caused by his overcrowding. Zine is on the personnel committee. The employees go to him with problems. Discrimination and harassment complaints have been made to personnel. The union even filed a complaint against him.

I personally witnessed Boks publicly humiliate two employees. It was tough to watch. He called them lazy and stupid when they merely did not have the tools to get the job done because Boks didn't give them the tools. The employees then attacked the rescuers who were present at their public humiliation. Actions such as these cause the employees and rescuers not to get along. Boks is the worst people person in the world.

Boks' last problem with the spay and neuter vouchers has to do with following proper legal city protocol, following the policy of the Mayor and fiscal responsibility. Boks went over budget. There was fat in the budget which he could have cut but it was easier to cut the vouchers. His biggest mistake was not running this by the commission that governs his Department and budget and finance committee. He just did it with no approval.

By discontinuing the vouchers he runs astray of the Mayor's goal to be a nokill City. Research has shown that spay and neuter is the only way to control pet overpopulation. Cutting the vouchers was also fiscal stupidity. This program saves money. For each cat you spay, you will have to kill six fewer kittens in six months. It costs $25 to neuter a cat or apx $250/ea to house and kill a kitten times six. This is basic math.

What is this? "unhappy political bosses looking to divert attention from their own offices." How are Cardenas, Zine and Alarcon diverting attention from their own offices? They don't have problems. This problem is solely the responsibility of Ed Boks. It's his job to solve these problems. He keeps making mistakes and those mistakes cause people to complain to the councilmembers. Time and time again the council must waste countless days trying to fix his mistakes and micromanage.

This all brings me to this. Why are you supporting Ed Boks' side? More importantly, why hasn't the Mayor fired this guy after all these mistakes? Do you know how many lawsuits Boks has caused? The City just lost one caused by Boks. Eight more have been filed. He will end up costing the City millions. Time to cut losses.

Anonymous said...

Thank god for Rick Orlov! I hope the mayor never, ever, ever, ever fires Boks. We have swamped him with letters begging him to not give in to the animal lunatics. It looks like it's time for us to swamp Zine with letters of support. That is if (a big if) he even had a box of letters of opposition. It doesn't count when they're all written by Pam Ferdin and her ex-husband and their BFF Danny Gus!

The mayor should never give in to people who picket, throw paint on porches, make up websites called fuckvillaraigosa.com or whatever it is. Tacky losers. Destructive vandals. I have never met Boks but I love him because they hate him.

Anonymous said...

Poster number three wrote:

"Dan Knaap had epilepsy. It was not related to his job. He ultimately retired and died of epilepsy while calmly gardening in his home."

Not true, Knaap was working at Capitol Area Humane Society in Columbus, Ohio. I heard he loved his job. He was better suited for this than taking on the big city.

True, he died while mowing his lawn.

True, Knapp had an history of epilepsy. It was somewhat under control up until the DNC issue when Council mandated him to gather stray dogs. Dan informed the rescue community about this. I do not recall if he informed them that it was a Council mandate. I just remember the actual mandate by Council. Mr. Knapp got alot of bad press on this. People blamed him for the round ups.

The stress of the job did not help his situation. Because of that, he was absent alot. A performance audit led to his dismissal by former Mayor Hahn.

The job is stressful. That is no one's fault, not the community, not Council, not the city at large. It is just the nature of the beast and one needs to understand that when taking on the task.

True, Boks is disliked by the community and staff. This is an anomaly.

You can't blame an entire city for the failures of one person. Can you?

Anonymous said...

Poster four:
The Mayor needs to look at Boks' job performance. That is how he should decide to hire or fire someone. The Mayor's office didn't do their homework when they hired Boks. He had a bad reputation in Arizona and New York.

Poster five:
Knapp was a good guy. He had epilepsy. This is a stressful job. You couldn't pay me enough money to have Boks' job. You can blame these failures on Boks. He alone made the decision to do Hooters even though advisors told him it wasn't a good idea. He alone made the decision to stop the vouchers. He alone made the decision to blog derogatory things about rescuers, volunteers, employees and activists. He is his own worst enemy. He keeps shooting himself not in the foot but in the head, over and over.

Anonymous said...

When the person running the department has allienated the employees, the volunteers, the rescue community, the public and the fundraisers...the YES you can blame one man for the problems of an entire city. GM of LAAS is not an easy job and requires the support of ALL of these groups of people, Boks has none. So it isn't "the animal rights people," as some would like to believe...it is everyone, that's not a coincidence.

Anonymous said...

Poster 5 wrote that "You can't blame an entire city for the failures of one person. Can you?"

I believe that poster was being sarcastic. Boks and Barth blame everyone for their botch ups. Too bad Orlov bought it.