Mike Feuer

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Michael Feuer
Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer.png
18th Los Angeles City Attorney
Assumed office
July 1, 2013
Mayor Eric Garcetti
Preceded by Carmen Trutanich
Member of the California State Assembly
from the 42nd district
In office
December 4, 2006 – November 30, 2012
Preceded by Paul Koretz
Succeeded by Brian Nestande
Member of the Los Angeles City Council from the 5th district
In office
July 1, 1994 – July 1, 2001
Preceded by Zev Yaroslavsky
Succeeded by Jack Weiss
Personal details
Born (1958-05-14) May 14, 1958 (age 62)
San Bernardino, California, U.S.
Nationality American
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s)Gail Ruderman [1]
Children2
Education Harvard University ( A.B., J.D.)
Profession Politician
Lawyer

Michael Nelson Feuer (born May 14, 1958) [2] is an American politician and lawyer who has been serving as Los Angeles City Attorney since July, 2013. A member of the Democratic party, Feuer previously served three terms in the California State Assembly, representing the 42nd Assembly District, and as a member of the Los Angeles City Council from 1995 to 2001, representing the 5th Council District. Prior to seeking office, Feuer served as executive director of Bet Tzedek Legal Services and was a lawyer in private practice.

Feuer is running for Mayor of Los Angeles in the 2022 election. Feuer's attacks on medical cannabis businesses, [3] prosecution of Black Lives Matter activists, [4] and allegations of corruption against him have made his tenure as City Attorney highly controversial. [5]

Personal life, education, and early career

Feuer was born and raised in a Jewish family [6] in San Bernardino, California. He graduated in 1976 from San Bernardino High School. [7] Feuer received both a bachelor's degree (magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa) and a J.D. degree (cum laude) from Harvard University. [8] He later served on the Harvard Law School Visiting Committee, which reports to the Harvard Board of Overseers. He practiced law at two of California's law firms and served as a judicial clerk to the California Supreme Court. [8]

In his early career, Feuer served as executive director of Bet Tzedek Legal Services. [9] He established programs to help Alzheimer's patients, victims of the Northridge earthquake and L.A. civil unrest, and Holocaust survivors striving to obtain restitution. [8]

Feuer has been married to California Court of Appeal Justice Gail Ruderman Feuer for over 36 years. [10] [11] They have two children, Danielle and Aaron.

Los Angeles City Council

From 1995 to 2001, Feuer served as the 5th District member of the Los Angeles City Council. He was elected to fill a vacancy caused by the election of Councilmember Zev Yaroslavsky to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. Feuer defeated Barbara Yaroslavsky, the outgoing councilmember's wife. [7] Feuer reached the two-term limit for his city council seat in 2001, and unsuccessfully ran for city attorney. [8] [12] [13]

After Feuer was the only council member to oppose a ballot measure to lift a $10,000 spending limit on "officeholder" funds, Council Member Nate Holden said: "I am sick and tired of the grandstanding." [14] Mark Ridley-Thomas also criticized Feuer, saying "Mister Feuer seems to suggest that there is a higher ground that [he has] staked out that the balance of the council does not seem to appreciate." [14] Some colleagues also blamed Feuer for the City Council's contentious relationship with Mayor Richard Riordan. [14] Feurer defended himself saying he was trying to make good on campaign promises for government and ethics reforms. [14]

California State Assembly

In 2006, Feuer defeated West Hollywood Mayor Abbe Land and three others in the Democratic primary for the 42nd Assembly District seat. [15] [16] [17] Feuer served as a member of the California State Assembly, 42nd District, from December 4, 2006 - November 30, 2012. He served as the Majority Policy Leader of the California Assembly and Chair of the Assembly's Judiciary Committee.

During his time with the state assembly, he sponsored numerous bills. He supported laws that protect insurers from denying coverage to children with pre-existing health conditions. [18] He also supported a law that requires nursing homes to post the quality care rating that has been given to them by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. [19] He supported funding the Long Term Care Ombudsman program which responds to reports of suspected abuse and neglect. [20] He supported the Reverse Mortgage Elder Protection Act that mandates more information when considering reverse mortgages, including risks and alternatives to utilizing them. [21] He supported a law that protects good samaritans from liability. [22] In 2010, he supported a law that requires people convicted of DUI to install ignition interlock devices (IID’s) in their cars. [23] He supported the Sargent Shriver Civil Counsel Act, a pilot program to assure equal justice by providing free legal representation to low-income Californians. It was signed into law as a permanent program in 2016. [24] He supported equal treatment for same-sex couples. [25] [26] He supported a law that prohibits contracts of $1 million or more between the State of California (including cities and counties) and companies with significant business in Iran’s energy sector to ensure that tax dollars do not go to companies whose investments support Iran’s nuclear program. [27] He supported a law in 2009 to conserve water usage. [28] In 2009 he supported a law that facilitates domestic partners having the same rights with respect to survivorship benefits as spouses. [29]

Los Angeles City Attorney

In 2001, Feuer ran for City Attorney. He placed first in the nonpartisan primary for the office, taking 39% to opponent Rocky Delgadillo's 38%, but was defeated in the runoff, with Delgadillo taking 52% to Feuer's 48%. [30] Afterward, Feuer worked in private practice and taught at the UCLA School of Public Affairs. During this time, he provided commentary for newspapers and radios. [31]

Feuer took office as the 8th Los Angeles City Attorney on July 1, 2013. He was re-elected in 2017 without opposition. [32] Feuer expanded the Neighborhood Prosecutor Program. [33]

Homelessness issues

Feuer’s office has reached $4 million in settlements with hospitals, nursing facilities and medical centers in eight cases of unlawfully discharging homeless patients. [34] [35]

In 2019, Feuer filed an amicus brief asking the U.S. Supreme Court to grant review for Martin v. Boise, a case from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal. [36] The Martin decision held that the "enforcement of ordinances that prohibit sleeping or camping on public property against homeless individuals is unconstitutional when those individuals do not have a meaningful alternative, such as shelter space or a legal place to camp." Feuer wanted the Supreme Court to reconsider this ruling, but the Court denied the request for review. [37]

Consumer issues

Feuer filed a wage theft suit in 2014. [38] Feuer sued Wells Fargo for opening unauthorized accounts. [39] He has also sued the Weather Channel App over data privacy concerns, [40] vape companies alleging that they target children [41] and H&R Block and Intuit, the makers of Turbo Tax, alleging the companies defrauded low-income taxpayers and charged them for a service that the companies are required by law to provide for free. [42]

In 2014, Feuer charged two businesses for polluting as a part of an effort to clean up neighborhoods near schools. [43] He also formed a strike force to combat illegal dumping, [44] Feuer settled a dispute regarding the City of LA's responsibility for dust pollution in the Owens Valley. [45]

Gun issues

To prevent gun violence, Feuer created the Gun Violence Prevention Unit in his office. [46] Feuer has brought charges against parents who did not properly store firearms which later fell into the hands of their children. [47] Working with the LAPD, he created protocols to assure domestic violence perpetrators do not have weapons. [48] He has also advocated for the use of gun violence restraining orders, leading educational trainings after the law passed in California in 2016. [49] Feuer joined with Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr. to co-found and chair Prosecutors Against Gun Violence—an independent, non-partisan coalition devoted to prosecutorial and policy solutions to the public health and safety crisis of gun violence. [50] After the Parkland shooting, he formed a Blue Ribbon Panel on School Safety to evaluate and recommend ways to enhance efforts by Los Angeles Unified School District to keep students safe from violence, particularly gun violence, both in schools and surrounding neighborhoods. [51]

In 2019, a federal judge blocked the City of Los Angeles and Feuer from enforcing a law that would require contractors seeking to do business with the city to disclose their ties to the National Rifle Association. Feuer had vigorously defended the law. [52]

Immigration issues

In April 2018, Feuer successfully petitioned for an injunction against the Federal Government enjoining the government from tying funding to immigration considerations. [53] and a successful fight for transparency in how ratepayer dollars are spent by DWP trusts. [54] In 2015, he instituted a program to protect immigrants from fraud. [55]

Controversies

Bribery allegations

Feuer was among many politicians in the City of Los Angeles who took money from campaign donor Justin Kim. [56] When Kim plead guilty to bribing city councilmembers to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars, Feuer was disclosed as a recipient of these donations. Feuer's campaign has said there was nothing suspicious in his conduct, and he has returned the more than $13,000 raised by Kim. Nonetheless, it has been stated that this citywide scandal could play a role in the 2022 election. [57]

Cannabis dispensaries

In 2014, Feuer targeted medical marijuana dispensaries in the city of Los Angeles. [58] He announced that he was targeting medical marijuana dispensaries and a medical marijuana home-delivery service Nestdrop run by smartphone app. [58] Feuer believed there was a voter mandate from Proposition D, saying: “At the same time, they [voters] felt there were too many dispensaries — and there are too many, too close together and too close to sensitive sites like schools, playgrounds and child care centers." [58] Feuer closed half of the City's marijuana dispensaries and filed a complaint against Nestdrop seeking to prevent them from providing home-delivery of medical marijuana. [58]

Some, at the time, criticized Feuer for his actions. Kris Hermes, spokesman for Americans for Safe Access, said: “He [Feuer] should be figuring out ways to improve access instead of figuring out how to shut down dispensaries. Delivery services have developed because of local officials who are trying to shut down dispensaries. Also, delivery services are a way that people with mobility problems can get their medicine.” [58]

FBI raid of City Attorney's Office

In July of 2019, FBI agents raided the offices of Mike Feuer and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. The raid stemmed from the City Attorney’s handling of the DWP overbilling scandal that dates back to 2013. There were reports that Feuer’s own outside defense counsel recruited a plaintiff to sue the city over the DWP billing errors. [59] [60] [61]

Links to Ed Buck

Ed Buck was a prominent LGBTQ advocate and wealthy political activist in California. In 2017, two African-American men were found dead of overdoses of methamphetamine at Buck's home. In 2019, Buck was finally arrested and charged in connection to the deaths, suspected to have had at least ten victims. Buck stands accused of drugging and assaulting unconscious gay men who struggled with drug addiction and homelessness. [62] [63]

Buck's large donations to prominent political figures, including Eric Garcetti and Jackie Lacey, has drawn controversy. According to the Los Angeles Times, Mike Feuer was the second largest recipient of donations from Buck. [64]

Prosecution of Black activists

Feuer's office has filed charges against numerous prominent Black activists after their arrests during Los Angeles Police Commission meetings. These include Los Angeles' only homeless elected official "General" Jeff Page, [65] [66] Black Lives Matter Los Angeles co-founder and Cal State LA professor Melina Abdullah, [67] and longtime civil and human rights activist and labor organizer Greg Akili. [68] Akili, a member of Black Lives Matter Los Angeles’ Action Committee and a cofounder of the United Domestic Workers Union, [69] filed a $4 million lawsuit in 2017 against the City of Los Angeles, the LAPD, and others regarding his arrest at a 2016 Commission meeting and subsequent prosecution. [70] Akili called his trial, in which he was found guilty of resisting arrest but the misdemeanor battery charge against him was dismissed after a jury with no Black members deadlocked, "an effort to silence Black Lives Matter", [68] and said Feuer could have avoided the "political trial" by dropping the charges against him. [68] Akili's attorney, Dermot Givens, said the battery charge against Akili was dropped because Feuer "didn’t coordinate the lies good enough." [69]

Renewed interest in this case came after widespread protests against police brutality in the wake of George Floyd's death. Mike Feuer has received a considerable amount of donations from the Los Angeles Police Protective League, the union of the Los Angeles Police Department. He has claimed this does not represent a conflict of interest. [71] It is unclear how this might impact Feuer's mayoral candidacy.

Awards

The American Bar Association Government and Public Sector Lawyers Division awarded the Los Angeles City Attorney's Office with the Hodson Award (2017), which recognizes sustained outstanding performance or specific and extraordinary service by a government or public sector law office. [72]

References

Notes

  1. ^ California Manufacturers & Technology Association. "CMTA legislative database: Mike Feuer Assembly District 42, Democrat." Accessed on August 17, 2007.
  2. ^ Article in the LA Times titled "Candidates Spar for Seats of Democratic Legislators" published on May 25, 2006, on page B1, in the California Metro; Part B; Metro Desk section, written by Deborah Schoch. It states: "A former Los Angeles city councilman, Feuer, 48, spent eight years as executive ...", thereby sourcing the 1958 birth year given above.
  3. ^ Los Angeles Daily News - "400 Los Angeles marijuana shops closed, home delivery under fire"
  4. ^ Los Angeles Sentinel - "Prominent Civil and Human Rights Activist Sues L.A. and LAPD for False Arrest"
  5. ^ The Los Angeles Times via Yahoo! News - "L.A.'s politicians took his campaign donations. Then he admitted arranging a bribe"
  6. ^ Times of Israel: "Los Angeles’ Jewish Electoral Sweep" by Pini Herman May 23, 2013
  7. ^ a b A Matter of Integrity by Tugend, Tom. Jewish Journal. May 11, 2001. © 2006-7 The Jewish Journal. All Rights Reserved. Accessed August 17, 2007.
  8. ^ a b c d California Assembly Biography Archived 2007-02-23 at the Wayback Machine Accessed August 17, 2007.
  9. ^ Former Los Angeles City Councilman, Michael Feuer, Joins Morrison & Foerster in Business Wire on Nov 13, 2001 from FindArticles.com -- sources starting date for Bet Tzedek work.
  10. ^ "Gail B. Ruderman Marries Michael Nelson Feuer - The New York Times". Nytimes.com. August 15, 1983. Retrieved March 10, 2020.
  11. ^ "Division Seven: Associate Justice Gail Ruderman Feuer - 2DCA". Courts.ca.gov. Retrieved March 10, 2020.
  12. ^ Riordan's Silence in City Attorney Race May Be at End Archived 2006-08-19 at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ Open for Business - Los Angeles City Council in Los Angeles Business Journal on June 25, 2001 from FindArticles.com -- provides date for Feuer's leaving city council.
  14. ^ a b c d "Feuer's Zeal for Reform Earns Colleagues' Ire". Los Angeles Times. January 19, 1997. Retrieved April 29, 2020.
  15. ^ State Assembly: Feuer, Krekorian, Murray, Eng: Democratic primary endorsements in four crucial districts by The Los Angeles Times Editorial Board, The Los Angeles Times, May 1, 2006.
  16. ^ Mike Feuer for 42nd – Exclusive Interview Archived 2007-06-13 at the Wayback Machine
  17. ^ Koretz Drops Bomb on Assembly Race Archived 2007-07-09 at the Wayback Machine
  18. ^ "Our View: Kids' health care essential". Pasadena Star-News. February 26, 2011.
  19. ^ "New State Law Calls for Nursing Homes To Post CMS Five-Star Ratings". California Healthline. October 16, 2009.
  20. ^ "Governor Signs AB 392 to Fund Ombudsman Programs". California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform. August 6, 2009.
  21. ^ Lifsher, Marc (October 13, 2009). "Governor OKs mortgage bills". Los Angeles Times.
  22. ^ "Unpunishing Good Deeds". Los Angeles Times. March 4, 2009.
  23. ^ Behrens, Zack (December 28, 2009). "New Driver Laws for Drivers in 2010: Drunk Driving Devices, Bicycles & TVs in Cars". LAist. Archived from the original on October 3, 2019.
  24. ^ Gordon, Erin (February 1, 2018). "Advocates promote a right to counsel in civil cases, too". ABA Journal.
  25. ^ "FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS on AB 641" (PDF). National Center for Lesbian Rights. June 13, 2012.
  26. ^ Astacaan, Eric. "RECENTLY ENACTED STATUTORY LAWS THAT HELP ADVANCE THE CAUSE OF EQUALITY FOR LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL, AND TRANSGENDER (LGBT) CALIFORNIANS (1999 – 2013)" (PDF). California Legislature LGBTQ Caucus.
  27. ^ Yebri, Sam (October 1, 2010). "Iran Contracting Act of 2010 (AB 1650)". Jewish Journal.
  28. ^ http://www.ecovote.org/bill/water-conservation-essential-first-step. Missing or empty |title= ( help)
  29. ^ Astacaan, Eric. "RECENTLY ENACTED STATUTORY LAWS THAT HELP ADVANCE THE CAUSE OF EQUALITY FOR LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL, AND TRANSGENDER (LGBT) CALIFORNIANS (1999 – 2013)" (PDF). California Legislature LGBTQ Caucus.
  30. ^ Official Election Results: June 5, 2001[ permanent dead link] City of Los Angeles General Municipal & Consolidated Elections. Accessed on August 17, 2007.
  31. ^ Feuer goes back to roots to grow his new practice - Law published by the Los Angeles Business Journal on Nov 19, 2001 by Amanda Bronstad from FindArticles.com -- sources his post-city council work, and loss to Delgadillo.
  32. ^ Zahniser, David (December 7, 2016). "L.A. City Atty. Mike Feuer heads to March election with no opponent; charter school founder drops mayoral bid". Los Angeles Times.
  33. ^ "L.A. city attorney doubles number of neighborhood prosecutors". Los Angeles Times. June 2, 2014.
  34. ^ Susan Abram. "Patient dumping allegations against Glendale hospital nets $700,000 settlement with Los Angeles – Daily News". Dailynews.com. Retrieved March 10, 2020.
  35. ^ "LA hospital to pay $550K in homeless patient dumping case". The Seattle Times. July 2, 2018. Retrieved April 30, 2020.
  36. ^ Chandler, Jenna (September 25, 2019). "Los Angeles city attorney asks Supreme Court to rule on where homeless can sleep". Curbed LA. Retrieved April 30, 2020.
  37. ^ "MRSC - What Are Local Governments Doing in Response to Martin v. City of Boise?". mrsc.org. Retrieved April 30, 2020.
  38. ^ "L.A. city attorney alleges contractors failed to properly pay workers". Los Angeles Times. November 13, 2014.
  39. ^ Egan, Matt (May 15, 2017). "Guy who fought Wells Fargo is angry about Republican attack on CFPB". Money.cnn.com. Retrieved March 10, 2020.
  40. ^ Valentino-DeVries, Singer, Jennifer, Natasha (January 3, 2019). "Los Angeles Accuses Weather Channel App of Covertly Mining User Data". NY Times.
  41. ^ Panzar, Javier (October 31, 2018). "L.A. city attorney accuses e-cigarette companies of illegally selling and marketing to minors". LA Times.
  42. ^ Blankstein, Thompson, Andrew, Anne (May 6, 2019). "Los Angeles city attorney sues H&R Block and maker of TurboTax for allegedly misleading low-income taxpayers". NBC News. Archived from the original on May 6, 2019.
  43. ^ Thomas Himes. "Panorama City school first in program to clean up neighborhoods around campuses – Daily News". Dailynews.com. Retrieved March 10, 2020.
  44. ^ Mejia, Brittny (November 6, 2014). "City attorney creates strike force to combat illegal dumping in L.A". Los Angeles Times.
  45. ^ "100 years later, the dust settles in the Owens Valley". Los Angeles Times. November 16, 2014.
  46. ^ Jim Newton (November 2, 2014). "Gridlock in Congress? Act locally". LA Times.
  47. ^ "Mother charged in teen's possession of gun at school". Los Angeles Times. October 15, 2014.
  48. ^ Christine Devine (October 10, 2013). "What LA Is Doing About Gun Violence, Domestic Violence". My Fox LA. Archived from the original on February 21, 2015.
  49. ^ Gerber, Marisa (September 19, 2018). "A landmark 2016 law praised as an 'unbelievably powerful tool' against gun violence remains scarcely used". LA Times.
  50. ^ Joseph Serna (September 17, 2014). "Feuer to co-chair new national group Prosecutors Against Gun Violence". LA Times.
  51. ^ Blume, Howard (March 5, 2018). "LA Times". Los Angeles Times.
  52. ^ "Judge blocks Los Angeles from enforcing NRA disclosure law". Reuters. December 13, 2019. Retrieved April 30, 2020.
  53. ^ Jennifer Medina. "Justice Dept. Can't Tie Police Funding to Help on Immigration, Judge Rules - The New York Times". Nytimes.com. Retrieved March 10, 2020.
  54. ^ http://www.dailynews.com/general-news/20140325/court-rules-in-favor-of-city-controller-ron-galperin-to-audit-department-of-water-and-power-trust[ permanent dead link]
  55. ^ Klein, Asher (February 5, 2015). "LA City Attorney: Undercover Investigation Reveals Illegal Immigration Advice Scam – NBC Los Angeles". Nbclosangeles.com. Retrieved March 10, 2020.
  56. ^ Los Angeles Magazine - "The Investigation into City Hall Corruption May Soon Take A New, Bigger Step"
  57. ^ The Los Angeles Times (on Yahoo News) - "L.A.'s politicians took his campaign donations. Then he admitted arranging a bribe"
  58. ^ a b c d e Rick Orlov. "400 Los Angeles marijuana shops closed, home delivery under fire – Daily News". Dailynews.com. Retrieved March 10, 2020.
  59. ^ Radio, Southern California Public (July 22, 2019). "FBI Searches City Attorney, LADWP Records". Southern California Public Radio. Retrieved April 29, 2020.
  60. ^ "FBI raids at DWP, L.A. City Hall related to fallout from billing debacle". Los Angeles Times. July 23, 2019. Retrieved April 30, 2020.
  61. ^ "FBI raids and DWP scandal pose a political threat to L.A.'s ambitious city attorney". Los Angeles Times. July 25, 2019. Retrieved April 30, 2020.
  62. ^ The Guardian - "LA 'predator' Ed Buck had at least 10 victims and drugged unconscious men, complaint says"
  63. ^ CNN - "Democratic donor Ed Buck charged with a felony for running a drug den"
  64. ^ The Los Angeles Times - "All the California politicians who took money from Ed Buck"
  65. ^ "Skid Row's General Jeff Profiled By CNN". Curbed. January 7, 2010.
  66. ^ "Opening statements to begin in Najee Ali assault trial | Jasmyne Cannick". Jasmyneacannick.com. Retrieved March 10, 2020.
  67. ^ "Arraignment Delayed for Woman Charged in Alleged Attack on Ex-Police Chief". My News LA. August 31, 2018.
  68. ^ a b c "Prominent Civil and Human Rights Activist Sues L.A. and LAPD for False Arrest". LA Sentinel. May 11, 2017.
  69. ^ a b "Activist Sues Over Arrest At Police Commission Meeting". Los Angeles Wave. May 11, 2017.
  70. ^ "Black Lives Matter Activist Sues City Over Alleged False Arrest". LA Weekly. May 10, 2017.
  71. ^ The Los Angeles Times on Yahoo! - "L.A. police union spent big in local elections. Some politicians now shun the money"
  72. ^ "Los Angeles City Attorney's Office awarded for outstanding performance by a public sector law office". Beverly Press. September 11, 2017.
Political offices
Preceded by
Zev Yaroslavsky
Los Angeles City Councilman, 5th district
July 1, 1994 – July 1, 2001
Succeeded by
Jack Weiss
California Assembly
Preceded by
Paul Koretz
California State Assemblyman, 42nd district
December 4, 2006 – November 30, 2012
Succeeded by
Brian Nestande
Legal offices
Preceded by
Carmen Trutanich
Los Angeles City Attorney
July 1, 2013 - present
Incumbent