Posts Tagged ‘lawsuit’

Allegations About the Troubles of the Koret Foundation: An $80,000 Life-Sized Mural of a Board Member?

Thursday, October 9th, 2014

This is news to me:

“Without board approval, commissioned and installed a life-size mural depicting himself and now hung inside the Koret Foundation’s new headquarters in San Francisco at a cost to the Foundation of $80,000.”

I’ll tell you, this one allegation should prolly make you never even consider starting up any kind of foundation.

And what’s the response – a general denial about how all the charges are “bogus” and an ad hominem attack against the widow of Koret?

Spokesmodel Nate Ballard could try to explain the painting / mural – like he could say how it didn’t cost $80k or how it was authorized, but he chooses not to.

OK fine.

Hey is it “erratic” to want to invite non-poor non-Jewish Willie Brown in to the Koret Foundation? Probably. But there’s a lot of erraticism going on on these charitable boards – that’s no reason for a dismissal.

All right, have at it Koret Foundation. Let’s hope the fund will be in better shape and be used for better purposes after all this gets hashed out.

All the deets;

“Lawsuit Filed by Widow of Koret Foundation Founder Demands New Independent Board to Save Half-Billion Dollar Foundation from Spending Down Assets

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 8, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — The widow of Koret Foundation founder Joseph Koret has filed suit against Koret Foundation Board President Tad Taube, accusing him and the Foundation’s Board of Directors of conflicts of interest in funding pet projects that include conservative causes in the United States and charities in his native country of Poland.

The suit filed October 7, 2014 in San Francisco Superior Court by Mrs. Koret alleges that under Taube’s direction the board has ignored the priorities established by her late husband to help the poor and assist Jewish causes in the Bay Area and Israel.

Instead, her suit claims, the Koret board is using foundation funds to promote programs closely affiliated with individual board members and is purposely confusing the public by putting signage that prominently features Taube’s name alongside the Koret Foundation name on buildings and grants for which the Koret Foundation is the principal funder.

“Defendants’ duty of loyalty to the Foundation has been corrupted by these directors’ close affiliations with many of the Foundation’s recent grants, resulting in tens of millions of dollars distributed due to self-interest,” according to the lawsuit.

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Koret Foundation Board vs. Mrs. Koret – Open Letter Labels Her Erratic, Unfit to be Lifetime Chair

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

The question in this case is how the board is spending the money. Perhaps somebody should look into that.

As far as whether Susan Koret is as crazy as 7/8ths of the board is making her out to be, well, that’s not the real issue.

Read the board’s letter below and then read Mrs. Koret’s side of the story here.

And let me just say, “Mmmm…”

In the late 1970s Taube convinced the Korets, who had no children, to donate their estate to charity.”

Here it is:

An Open Letter from the Koret Foundation Board of Directors

October 8, 2014

Dear Friends and Colleagues:

We are seven of the eight Directors of the Koret Foundation Board of Directors, and have served alongside the eighth, Ms. Susan Koret, for decades. Today, we write withone voice to express our regret regarding the actions Ms. Koret has taken in filing litigation against her fellow members of the Koret Foundation Board of Directors as well asthe Foundation.

We are each honored to be a part of advancing the local, national and global work of the Koret Foundation. We are also proud of the fact that the Foundation has provided $500 million in grants to non-profit organizations, and the majority of our funding has been dedicated to supporting the vulnerable and disadvantaged, children, families and the elderly. Our purpose is and will remain to support Jewish organizations worldwide, and to improve the quality of life for all the residents of the Bay Area community.

Ms. Koret has voted in full support of 95% of the grant decisions the Foundation has made. We are dismayed that she is now suing in disagreement with these very same decisions. She now makes vicious and unfounded personal attacks on her colleagues.

We believe Ms. Koret is taking these actions in an aggressive attempt to take over the assets of the Foundation. Alarmingly, her behavior has also become increasingly confused and erratic, and it is clear that Ms. Koret is unable to fulfill her duties as a Director.

We, the undersigned, unanimously decided to file a cross-complaint in order to respond swiftly and accurately to Ms. Koret’s false allegations. It is our hope that this matter will be resolved quickly. In the meantime, we assure you that the important humanitarian work of the Koret Foundation will continue, despite the attempted disruption by Ms. Koret.

Sincerely,

Tad Taube
Robert Friend
Koret Foundation Board President
President, Howard Properties of San Francisco
 
 
Michael Boskin
Anita Friedman
Koret Foundation President-Elect and Tully M. Friedman Professor of Economics, Stanford University; Senior Fellow,
Koret Foundation President-Elect
Hoover Institution; and Research Associate, National Bureau of Economic Research
Richard L. Greene
Richard Atkinson
Founding Partner, Greene, Radovsky, Maloney, Share & Hennigh
President Emeritus, University of California and Chancellor
Emeritus, University of California, San Diego
Abraham Sofaer
 
George P. Shultz Distinguished Scholar and Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution

Monomaniacal Single-Issue Voting Run Amok: “DogPAC: I Have a Dog and I Vote!”

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

I’ll tell you, Supervisor Scott Wiener, for one, lives in fear of running afoul of these people, the very same people who vandalize the “no dogs allowed” signs our Feds put up on certain parts of our Federal lands:

Click to expand

Our Feds wonder why Bay Aryans can’t abide the rules the rest of America accepts with no trouble at all…

So look out, little Western Snow Plover. The dog pacs of the world say that you’re nothing special and that, in fact, you don’t even exist – they say there’s no such thing as a Western plover anything. OK fine.

As seen at Ocean Beach near Taraval, 1200mm focal length:

Good luck, little plover.

Dennis Herrera Throws Down: “Vows Aggressive Defense of the Prop B Waterfront Development Voting Measure”

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

All right, it’s on, the defense of Prop B (2014) is on:

“San Francisco’s participatory waterfront land use decision-making has included voters, elected leaders and appointed commissioners for decades, City Attorney argues

SAN FRANCISCO (July 15, 2014) — The California State Lands Commission today sued San Francisco to invalidate Proposition B, an initiative measure passed in the June 3 election that requires voter approval for waterfront development height increases on property owned or controlled by the Port of San Francisco.  The legal challenge filed in San Francisco Superior Court contends that the California legislature specifically intended to prohibit local voters from exercising authority over bay and coastal public trust lands, strictly limiting management of state tidelands to designated trustees.  In its legal action today, the State Lands Commission argues that the sole trustee responsible for sovereign tidelands in San Francisco is the city’s Port Commission.  The State Lands Commission is additionally seeking a preliminary injunction to bar San Francisco from enforcing Prop B.

In response, City Attorney Dennis Herrera issued the following statement:

“For decades, land use decisions involving San Francisco’s waterfront have included voters, elected leaders and appointed members of our Planning and Port Commissions.  It’s a participatory process that enacted a comprehensive Waterfront Land Use Plan in 1990, developed a showplace ballpark for the Giants, and continues to protect an urban waterfront that is the envy of cities worldwide.  San Francisco’s deliberative decision-making process on waterfront land use has never been successfully challenged, and I intend to defend it aggressively.  With today’s lawsuit, the State Lands Commission seems to have embraced the notion that any local initiative — and, by extension, any land use regulation approved by a Board of Supervisors or Planning Commission — affecting port property is barred by state law, and therefore invalid.  That view represents a radical departure in law and practice from land use decision-making in San Francisco and elsewhere.  While the City must certainly honor its obligations as trustee in managing public trust property, it is a legally and practically untenable position to argue that San Francisco’s voters and elected officials have no direct say over how our city’s waterfront is developed.”

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Domestic Violencer Gurbaksh Chahal Resigns from Board of RadiumOne: Here’s His Nonsensical Open Letter

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

I’m not sure what Gurbaksh Chahal is talking about with this “exoneration” stuff. The best he could have hoped for was a “not guilty” verdict, and that’s not anything close to exoneration, not at all.

Did he have an agreement allowing himself to be convicted in San Francisco in exchange for something from the Board of RadiumOne? Is any such agreement in writing? Would it even be enforceable? IDK.

Did his father have a heart attack from the stress associated with the assault upon the girlfriend? IDK.

And who’s the primary owner of RadiumOne these days? IDK.

Anyway, here it is, entitled “Greed, Betrayal, and Honesty.”

An Open Letter to the Board of RadiumOne

To the Board of Directors of RadiumOne:

As you all know, I resigned from the board of directors on Tuesday. In light of recent events and to stay transparent and forthright, you give me no other vehicle than an open letter to communicate adequately.

I am deeply disappointed by your actions and decisions over the last few weeks.

All of you were well aware of the legal matter I had been struggling with since August, just as you were aware that of the exaggerated allegations against me. You supported me from the beginning both in person and in writing, and you made it clear that you had every intention of standing by me until justice prevailed.

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Dennis Herrera Throws Down: Sues Short-Term Rental Scofflaws for Illegal Conversions, Unlawful Business Practices – Ellis Act, Baby!

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

[UPDATE: Direct link here and the full press kit with complaint here.]

City Attorney Dennis Herrera, The Happy Warrior:

“Herrera sues short-term rental scofflaws for illegal conversions, unlawful business practices

Two cases target ‘egregious offenders’—both involving Ellis Act evictions of disabled tenants to illegally convert residential apartments into tourist lodging

SAN FRANCISCO (April 23, 2014) — City Attorney Dennis Herrera today filed two separate lawsuits against short-term rental scofflaws for illegally converting residential apartments into commercial tourist lodging, which the property owners then marketed through such online platforms as Airbnb, Homeway.com and VRBO.com.  In both cases, the defendants had previously evicted long-term residents from their apartments under the Ellis Act, a state law that allows landlords to evict tenants and withdraw their properties from the residential rental market.  Two of the evicted tenants were disabled, according to San Francisco Superior Court and Rent Board records cited in today’s pleadings.

“In the midst of a housing crisis of historic proportions, illegal short-term rental conversions of our scarce residential housing stock risks becoming a major contributing factor,” said Herrera.  “The cases I’ve filed today target two egregious offenders.  These defendants didn’t just flout state and local law to conduct their illegal businesses, they evicted disabled tenants in order to do so.  Today’s cases are the first among several housing-related matters under investigation by my office, and we intend to crack down hard on unlawful conduct that’s exacerbating—and in many cases profiting from—San Francisco’s alarming lack of affordable housing.  I’m grateful to the city departments, including the San Francisco Planning Department, and community advocates who have worked with my office to help us pursue these kinds of scofflaws.  And I encourage tenants and neighbors to report housing-related wrongdoing online to my office through our Up2Code.org website or the Up2Code app, or by calling our Code Enforcement Hotline at (415) 554-3977.”

Herrera’s complaints filed in San Francisco Superior Court this morning detail pervasive violations of the city Planning Code and state Unfair Competition Law at three addresses: 3073-3075 Clay Street, owned by defendants Darren and Valerie Lee; and 734 and 790 Bay Street, which is owned or managed by defendants Lev, Tamara and Tatyana Yurovsky.  If successful, the litigation could result in permanent court-ordered injunctions; civil penalties of up to $200 per day for Planning Code violations; up to $2,500 for each unlawful business act; disgorgement of illegally obtained profits; and attorneys’ fees.  Though the Ellis Act itself does not preclude the commercial use of properties for tourists where long-term tenants have previously been evicted, Herrera’s litigation emphasized longstanding city policy that tourist conversions of residential properties be aggressively policed “in order to protect the residents and to conserve the limited housing resources.”

According to one of Herrera’s civil actions, defendants Darren and Valerie Lee purchased 3073-3075 Clay Street in 2004, and invoked the Ellis Act in 2005 to evict their tenants from both of the property’s residential units.  One of the evicted tenants was disabled.  Evidence presented in the complaint found that the Lees have marketed 3075 Clay Street, a four-bedroom, three-bathroom property, for tourist lodging on such vacation websites such as Homeaway.com and VRBO.com since 2009, describing it as an “exquisitely renovated home, in prime Pacific Heights.”  The Lees charged their guests between $395 and $595 per night for a minimum stay of three nights.  But in doing so, the owners flouted the city’s required conditional use authorization process—depriving neighbors and city planners of their role to first determine whether the conversion is necessary or desirable; compatible with the neighborhood; detrimental to the City’s housing stock; or consistent with the city’s Planning Code or Planning Department’s General Plan.  According to Herrera’s complaint, San Francisco’s Planning Department repeatedly cited the Lees for their illegal use of the property for commercial tourist lodging, even collecting penalties of as much $250 per day for violations.  The Lees—who at one point assured Planning Department officials that their illegal conduct had stopped—then defiantly resumed marketing and renting their property to tourists.  In 3073 Clay Street, the Lees evicted a disabled tenant who had lived in the unit for more than ten years and, until evicted, was paying $1,087 per month.  By invoking the Ellis Act, the Lees were legally restricted until August 25, 2011, from re-renting the unit at market rate.  But evidence presented in Herrera’s action shows that the Lees admitted to the Planning Department that they had, in fact, re-rented 3073 Clay Street and charged their new residential tenants between $5,000-$7,038 per month.

Herrera’s other civil complaint against Lev, Tamara and Tatyana Yurovsky notes that they, too, used the Ellis Act to evict long-term residential tenants — including one who was disabled — from one of their properties, at 734 Bay Street.  Together with a residential unit at another of their properties owned by Lev and Tatyana and managed by Tamara, at 790 Bay Street, the Yurovskys illegally converted their apartments into tourist use beginning in 2010.  They marketed the rentals to tourists on Airbnb.com and “greatsfvacation.com” for rates of between $165 and $320 per night, with three-night minimum stays.  Though the Yurovsky defendants boasted on social media that they had hosted several hundred tourists, according to evidence detailed in the complaint, they too flouted the city’s conditional use authorization process, violating the San Francisco Planning Code and state law.

The cases are: City and County of San Francisco and People of the State of California v. Darren Lee et al., San Francisco Superior Court No. 538857; and City and County of San Francisco and People of the State of California v. Tamara Yurovsky et al., San Francisco Superior Court No. 538854.  Additional documentation from the case is available on the City Attorney’s website at:http://www.sfcityattorney.org/.

Ouch, “Friends” No More: Lawyer for the Agent Lisa Kudrow Stiffed Calls Her an “Unsophisticated Actress Client”

Friday, February 28th, 2014

Boy, there are two interesting grafs here.

In a statement, Kudrow’s attorney Gerald Sauer said, “The jury’s verdict is merely one step in the legal process. This case ultimately will be resolved at the appellate level. Ms. Kudrow has faith in the judicial system, and she believes that the eventual outcome of this contractual dispute will be in her favor.”

How do think jurors feel after hemming and hawing day after day, sweating the details, you know, only to be told their brand-new decision just doesn’t matter?

NOT GOOD, prolly.

But it gets better:

In a statement of his own, Scott Howard’s attorney Mark Baute countered, “What generally happens now with unsophisticated actress clients is they overpay for filing a frivolous appeal that has no chance for success. The verdict is rock solid, and we look forward to collecting 10 percent, 16,000 dollars a month, in post-judgment interest while their frivolous appeal is pending. We will collect that interest for two years, which is how long it will take for the Court of Appeal to affirm this jury’s righteous verdict.”

Oh, so this kind of thing happens all the time, not with actors generally, but specifically with actresses, the “unsophisticated” ones, and just from recent cases, so we can generalize this particular case and know for sure what’s going to happen? Wow.

Now if I were Lisa Kudrow, I’d be thinking, mmm, the math’s off a bit, but mmmm, maybe I should cut a deal right now.

Is what I’d be thinking…

Peas in a Pod: The Tesla Model S and the Fisker Karma are Very Hard to Tell Apart

Friday, February 21st, 2014

Ah look, from Marin it’s a red Fisker Karma plug-in hybrid in red and in the background it’s a silver Tesla Model S electric car.

Don’t they look super similar?

Click to expand

Ah memories:

“On 14 April 2008, Tesla Motors filed a lawsuit against Fisker Automotive, alleging that Henrik Fisker stole Tesla’s Model S hybrid technology and was using it to develop the Karma. Tesla’s suit claimed that the design work done for the Model S sedan by Fisker Coachbuild was substandard, and that Fisker Automotive diverted its best ideas to the Karma.[77] On 4 November 2008 CNET News reported that Tesla Motors would discontinue its suit after an interim ruling in favor of Fisker et al.[78] A news release on the Fisker Automotive website stated that Tesla was ordered to pay US$1,144,285 in costs.[79]

City Attorney Dennis Herrera Throws Down: Says “MeetMe.Com” Enables Sexual Predators and Child Stalkers

Monday, February 3rd, 2014

All the deets:

“MeetMe.com enables sexual predators and child stalkers, San Francisco’s lawsuit contendsSocial network’s unlawful publication of minors’ profiles, photos and geolocation data has been used to victimize children as young as 13 years of age — and younger

SAN FRANCISCO (Feb. 3, 2014) — San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera today filed suit against MeetMe, a popular social networking platform that facilitates interactions among strangers, over inadequate privacy protections and unlawful publication of minors’ profiles, photos, and location data, which can enable sexual predators and stalkers to target children as young as 13 years of age.

The civil complaint filed in San Francisco Superior Court this morning alleges that the New Hope, Pa.-based MeetMe, Inc. is violating California’s Unfair Competition Law by relying on legally invalid consent from minors between the ages of 13 and 17 to collect and improperly distribute their real-time geolocation and personal user information.  Approximately 25 percent of MeetMe.com’s user base is under the age of 18, according to social media marketing statistics cited in Herrera’s complaint.  The lawsuit additionally alleges that MeetMe fails to adequately disclose to users how their personal data is distributed.

“MeetMe has become a tool of choice for sexual predators to target underage victims, and the company’s irresponsible privacy policies and practices are to blame for it,” said Herrera.  “MeetMe improperly collects personal information from young teens — including their photos and real-time locations.  It then distributes that information in ways that expose children to very serious safety risks.  Sadly, these risks aren’t hypothetical.  Dozens of children nationwide have already been victimized by predators who used MeetMe to coerce minors into meeting.  Under California law, MeetMe’s reckless business practices are illegal, and we’re asking a court to put an end to them.”

MeetMe has been a key factor in numerous crimes involving sexual assault and illicit sex with minors in California, according to news reports documented in Herrera’s complaint.  In Aug. 2013, a 29-year-old Citrus Heights, Calif. man was charged with multiple counts of sexual acts with a minor and communicating with minors for unlawful purposes.  Police investigators found that MeetMe was among the apps the perpetrator used to send sexually-explicit photos and text messages to underage girls in order to begin a “sexting” relationship that ultimately progressed to sexual contact.  A Fresno, Calif. man was arrested in Oct. 2013 on suspicion of sexually assaulting a minor that he met using MeetMe, according to news reports, and in July 2013 a 21-year-old Fair Oaks, Calif. man was criminally charged after posing as a 16-year-old boy to have sex with two girls — aged 12 and 15 — whom he met using MeetMe.

Dozens of minors nationwide have been similarly victimized in sex crimes by predators who relied on MeetMe to target their underage victims, according to reports cited in the complaint.  In June 2013, a Tewksbury, Mass. man was sentenced to up to 15 years in prison after pleading guilty to more than 50 charges, including rape of a child by force, indecent assault and battery on a child under 14.  The man used multiple aliases on MeetMe to trick teenage girls into sending him nude images.  He then threatened to publish the photos in order to blackmail victims into having sex with him.  A Wilmerding, Penn. man, who was criminally charged in Sept. 2013, used MeetMe to meet and then sexually assault three teenagers.  In Grady County, Okla., a 25-year-old man used MeetMe to meet and rape a 15-year-old girl.  An Albuquerque TV news station, reporting on MeetMe’s role in the case of a 21-year-old man who was arrested for soliciting sex with a 13-year-old girl, noted: “Investigators say it’s the latest site predators are cruising to find new victims, and it’s happening all too often.”

The lawsuit, which was investigated and filed by Herrera’s Consumer Protection Unit, is seeking a court order to enjoin MeetMe from continuing to engage in activities in California that violate state law; civil penalties of up to $2,500 for each violation found to have occurred in the state; and costs of the City Attorney’s lawsuit.

About the S.F. City Attorney’s Consumer Protection Unit
The San Francisco City Attorney’s Office’s Consumer Protection Unit pursues public interest civil cases under California’s Unfair Competition Law, which are funded virtually exclusively by civil recoveries — not taxpayer dollars.  The award-winning program, for which the National Association of Consumer Advocates recognized Dennis Herrera as its 2009 Consumer Attorney of the Year, reflects voter-enacted changes to California law that require civil penalties recovered by public prosecutors to be used exclusively to enforce consumer protection laws.  Since voters passed the amendments as part of Proposition 64 in 2004, Herrera’s Consumer Protection Unit has recovered some $20 million in successful battles against unlawful business practices that include price-fixing, illegal marketing, credit card collections arbitration scams and more.  The unit’s work has helped win equally important industry reforms to help protect consumer privacy, end discriminatory practices in health insurance and media metrics, protect immigrants, halt predatory evictions, and obtain recoveries for victims of wage theft.

The litigation is: People of the State of California ex rel. Dennis Herrera v. MeetMe, Inc. et al. (San Francisco Superior Court Case No. 537126, filed Feb. 3, 2014).  Complete documentation on the case is available at: http://www.sfcityattorney.org/.”

Driver and Writer CW Nevius Goes on a “Rant” Against the “Militant” Pedestrians of SF – Do They Have the Right to Jaywalk?

Friday, January 31st, 2014

Here’s the latest effort from CW Nevius, who’s taking a break from being spokesman for San Francisco’s right-side-of-the-aisle  political faction to go on a “bit of a rant” against local pedestrians. But what’s up with this?  

“Even when they are in the right, I worry about them. When the traffic light countdown gets to five or six, they step confidently into the crosswalk — which is their right…”

But pedestrians don’t have “the right” to do so. It’s agin CA law – check out V C Section 21456,* which is dealt with by Rule #3 of the Five Rules for Pedestrians.

Don’t you have an editor, Nevius? Oh, that’s right, you’re too old and experienced to have an editor, and plus, editors cost money, that’s right.

But don’t you have a fact checker, Nevius? Oh, that’s right, you’re too old and experienced to have a fact checker, and plus, fact checkers cost money, that’s right.

But don’t you have a photographer, Nevius? Oh, that’s right, photographers cost money. So all your observations, we’ll just have to take your word about them. OK fine. BTW, [sarcasmmode ON] nice stock photo you’ve got there, Neve. “Cause a stock photo taken in the People’s Republic of China, you know, from more than a thousand li away, well, that really illustrates how “militant” and “freaking nuts” San Francisco peds are, huh? [sarcasmmode OFF]

And oh, BTW Neve, the peds of SF aren’t militant, not at all. Try to find a different word for what you mean.

Of course you’re new in town, I get that. Sure, welcome to San Francisco, Neve.

But you’re doing a half-assed job doing your half-time gig.

You need to try harder.

*”Walk, Wait, or Don t Walk

21456. Whenever a pedestrian control signal showing the words “WALK” or “WAIT” or “DON’T WALK” or other approved symbol is in place, the signal shall indicate as follows:

(a) “WALK” or approved “Walking Person” symbol. A pedestrian facing the signal may proceed across the roadway in the direction of the signal, but shall yield the right-of-way to vehicles lawfully within the intersection at the time that signal is first shown.

(b) Flashing or steady “DON’T WALK” or “WAIT” or approved “Upraised Hand” symbol. No pedestrian shall start to cross the roadway in the direction of the signal, but any pedestrian who has partially completed crossing shall proceed to a sidewalk or safety zone or otherwise leave the roadway while the “WAIT” or “DON’T WALK” or approved “Upraised Hand” symbol is showing.

Amended Ch. 413, Stats. 1981. Effective January 1, 1982.”