September 25, 2020 #1 Local News, Forum, Information and Event Source for Venice Beach, California.

Update on Jim Bickhart / SnakePliskin

Remember Jim Bickhart? Here is an update from The Venice Stakeholders Association. Download the documents released by the City in reply to the public records request as a pdf by clicking here.

Venice Stakeholders Association

For Immediate Release
Contact: Mark Ryavec

Public Records Reveal Mayor’s Deputy Transportation Director Used City Time and Email Account to Pursue Personal Campaign Against Overnight Parking Districts

(Venice, CA/1-4-11) City records requested by the Venice Stakeholders Association (VSA) have revealed that Jim Bickhart, the Mayor’s Associate Director of Transportation, used City time and a City email account to pursue his own personal opposition to the implementation of Overnight Parking Districts (OPDs) in Venice, against the official position of the City and Councilman Bill Rosendahl in support of the districts. None of his actions were taken under his job description, which is limited to transportation issues at LAX and the zoo.

In late November the VSA sent a letter to Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa calling for an investigation into claims on the website Yo!Venice! that Bickhart had repeatedly posted hostile and hateful comments on the website under a pseudonym in an effort to discredit Venice Stakeholders and those who support overnight restricted parking in Venice.

In December, the VSA followed up with a public records request concerning Bickhart, OPDs, VSA, and other topics. In reply, the Mayor’s Office released on Monday, January 3rd, several email communications between Bickhart and various City staff and members of the Venice community, including Venice Neighborhood Council president Linda Lucks, Council aides Laura Mclennan and Arturo Pina, and Department of Transportation officials Yadi Hashemi and Alan Willis. At the time, Hashemi and Willis were overseeing City negotiations with the California Coastal Commission regarding the City’s application for the Venice OPDs.

The emails date from November 12, 2008 up to May 4, 2010 and cover various requests for information from City departments, scheduling of meetings for Bickhart on City time on OPD issues with City employees, a letter of opposition to OPDs from Bickhart to City officials, and the details of negotiations between City representatives with Coastal Commission staff.

“The City has withheld other documents on the requested subjects in violation of the California Public Records Act,” said Mark Ryavec, the president of the VSA. “So, we don’t know yet whether the missing documents will confirm that Bickhart is the person who posted the hostile remarks and attributed them, in part, to the VSA.”

“What we do know is that Bickhart used time paid for by taxpayers and a City email account to pursue his personal campaign to scuttle OPDs in Venice,” Ryavec said.

“This is clearly not acceptable behavior for any City employee and we call upon the Mayor to require that Bickhart repay the City for the City time he used, that he be formally reprimanded for using City resources to oppose an official City position, and put on an unpaid leave for some appropriate period of time to make it clear that such actions are not tolerated in City service,” Ryavec said.

Attachment: Documents Released by City in Reply to Public Records Request

Related Posts

Officials Threaten to Shut Down Westside Skatepark if Face Coverings Are Not Worn

September 24, 2020

September 24, 2020

Officials post additional notices at skatepark  By Chad Winthrop Culver City health officials are threatening to close the city’s skatepark...

County Passes Grant Program to Help Breweries Who Say They Have Been Unfairly Shut Down

September 24, 2020

September 24, 2020

$10 million grant program approved by Board of Supervisors  By Sam Catanzaro Will a $10 million grant program be enough...

Two Venice Restaurants Make ‘Essential Los Angeles Burgers’ List

September 23, 2020

September 23, 2020

Eater LA includes Venice restaurants The Window and Hinano Cafe among the essential Los Angeles burgers. By Kerry Slater Two...

County Watching for Surge in COVID-19 Cases

September 22, 2020

September 22, 2020

County health officials keeping close eye on data this week By Sam Catanzaro Los Angeles County health officials are monitoring...

Edify TV: Miramar Santa Monica Redevelopment

September 18, 2020

September 18, 2020

The Santa Monica skyline may look different in the future with a major redevelopment of the Fairmont Miramar Hotel &...

Edify TV: Sit-down Dining Safety?

September 17, 2020

September 17, 2020

Despite a recent CDC report stating the risks of in-person dining, many Westside restaurant patrons feel the experience is safe....

Arson at Venice Beach Homeless Encampment

September 17, 2020

September 17, 2020

Tent goes up in flames Thursday morning By Sam Catanzaro A fire broke out at a Venice Beach encampment Thursday...

Sur La Table to Vacate the Westside

September 17, 2020

September 17, 2020

Popular culinary store closing stores nationwide By Sam Catanzaro Sur La Table is closing its Santa Monica location, marking the...

Venice Beach Pier Sexual Assault Update

September 16, 2020

September 16, 2020

LAPD says victim’s vehicle in September 8 assault missing By Sam Catanzaro Los Angeles police have provided an update in...

COVID-19 Could Have Been in Los Angeles as Early as Last December

September 15, 2020

September 15, 2020

UCLA study reports significant increase in coughs and acute respiratory failure prior to first official cases of COVID-19 By Sam...

Willy California Wants Men to Rethink Their Closet

September 15, 2020

September 15, 2020

Local clothing line reimagines athleisure By Toi Creel With ranges in styles for men’s clothing from suits and professional clothing...

Fire Breaks out at Penmar Homeless Encampment

September 14, 2020

September 14, 2020

Fire breaks out early Monday morning By Sam Catanzaro A fire broke out at a homeless encampment on Rose Avenue...

Edify TV: Over 100 Apartments Could Replace Palms Thrift Store

September 11, 2020

September 11, 2020

A lot that currently contains a thrift store in Palms near Sony Pictures Studios could soon be home to over...

LA County Bans Door to Door Trick or Treating

September 9, 2020

September 9, 2020

Update: the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has revised its Halloween guidelines. Previously, as reported below, officials planned...