Friday, November 8, 2013

Another Ipsen caper goes down the crapper

ERCOM ruling in favor of ADDA thrown out - tainted by bias and improper ex parte communications.

The Los Angeles Metropolitan News-Enterprise reports that Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Luis Lavin has "tossed out" a controversial ruling by the Employee Relations Commission (ERCOM) Hearing Officer Thomas Kerrigan which fawningly supported then ADDA President Steve Ipsen's assertions that ADDA officers had been the subject of retaliation.

In vacating the July 25, 2011 ruling, Judge Lavin found that ERCOM's Executive Director, Paul Causey, had engaged in improper ex parte communications with Ipsen and other ADDA officers. Furthermore, Judge Lavin found that Causey had not only selected Kerrigan as Hearing Officer, but had also relayed Ipsen's communications to Kerrigan, thereby influencing Kerrigan's ruling in favor of Ipsen and the ADDA.

Kerrigan and Causey, Judge Lavin noted, were former law partners and that there was "substantial evidence in the record that Causey and Kerrigan were biased against the District Attorney's Office." Judge Lavin also found that during the pendency of the ERCOM hearings, Ipsen had sought to develop a "personal relationship" with Causey, citing emails showing that Ipsen had invited Causey to a "complimentary lunch" on "National Remembrance Day" and that Ipsen took Causey to show him an "exotic Italian sports car" and allowed him to drive it.

Despite Judge Lavin's findings, the ADDA continues to display a portion of Kerrigan's invalid ruling on their website, captioned "ERCOM Decision re Retaliation by DA."

ADDA Website hails Kerrigan's corrupt ruling as "Decision re Retaliation by DA"

Perhaps the ADDA will now also provide a link to the full text of Judge Lavin's findings, captioned "Misconduct by [former] ADDA President Steve Ipsen invalidates ruling in favor of ADDA." In the event that the ADDA do not have a copy of Judge Lavin's Writ of Prohibition tossing out the bogus "decision," we provide it in full below.

Evidence of the bias and improper ex parte communications came to light when the District Attorney's Office learned of numerous email messages between Ipsen, other ADDA officers and ERCOM. Although ERCOM had steadfastly refused to disclose the improper emails, lawyers for the District Attorney's Office ultimately prevailed and obtained the 'smoking guns' showing Ipsen's improper conduct.

Readers familiar with Ipsen will recall that this is far from the only time that Ipsen has engaged in misconduct. In 2003, the LA Times reported that "A Los Angeles judge has found that Deputy Dist. Atty. Steve Ipsen intentionally argued inconsistent theories of the same murder in two death penalty trials in order to present the most damaging case against each defendant."

In overturning the death penalty conviction obtained by Ipsen, the Metropolitan New- Enterprise reported that the California Supreme Court found that Ipsen had "engaged in willful misconduct by arguing different theories of each defendant’s role in order to maximize the possibility of winning two death sentences."

If a Supreme Court finding of "willful misconduct" isn't a large enough red flag as to Ipsen's unfitness for holding the Office of District Attorney,  let alone a leadership position in the union purporting to represent 1,000+ Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorneys, there is also the very troubling admission by Ipsen that a three-time convicted sex offender was one of his closest friends, and that Ipsen had testified as a character witness for the defense in the trial of the sex offender. 

All the more surprising then, that notwithstanding all his 'baggage' and the fact that Ipsen has been fired from the DA's Office, he nevertheless continues to hold the position of "Director" on the board of the ADDA.

Steve Ipsen continues to serve as a "Director" on the ADDA Board

Many in the DA's Office cringe at the mention of Ipsen recalling his cynical manipulation of the ADDA to serve as the springboard for a political career. Ipsen's political aspirations took a Trutanich-like nose dive when he was apparently forced to withdraw his candidacy from the 2012 race to become Distict Attorney. That withdrawal is understood to have been influenced by attempts to obtain his personnel records. 

Despite multiple findings of misconduct it is understood that the ADDA has plans to "honor" Ipsen at an event in the near future. Unsurprisingly, many Deputy District Attorneys seem to have other plans that evening. It is an open secret that Ipsen continues to be a divisive figure at the ADDA, and that many on the Board would like to see him removed. That, apparently, will only happen if a few good people run for positions on the ADDA Board and succeed in winning enough votes to oust him. If you don't like the idea of someone like Ipsen having a presence on the ADDA Board, then get involved. Either run for a Board position, or help to support someone who is going to run. It's called democracy, and it's time we had some at the ADDA.


Anonymous said...

Thousands of DDAs and victims were invited to the "complimentary lunch," and you were probably included too, Berger. AFSCME printed invitations and handed them out. The invitation was special to Causey?? and the judge used this mass invitation and mailing as part of his decision, but failed to disclose that thousands were invited? Something is smelly on the judges bench. Donna McClay is after Ipsen with a vengence. Interesting, given that he supported her for president. McClay supporters are weakening the ADDA and placating the county and Lacey at every junction. McClay is an embarrassment to the ADDA and her croonies are going to make it easy for Lacey and management to go after anyone they want, at anytime. Good idea Berger, get rid of the fighters on the board, elect management hacks, and prepare to take your beatings.

Anonymous said...

Steve Ipsen is a hero and should be honored by his comrades for his selfless fight against the oppression of the ruling class who earn their fat salaries off the backs of underpaid line deputies. Maybe, Mr. Berger, you will appreciate that a little more when you find yourself on the wrong end of another Federal Lawsuit and all your fat cat buddies in the administration hang you out to dry. Only then will your realize why we need a strong union with good people like Steve and Hyatt to fight for workers rights. Steve was unfairly terminated from the DA's office and I am proud to continue to support him and all you people can pound sand. God luck running for the board, we control it and will not allow management stoolies to disrupt the important work that lies ahead.

Anonymous said...

@7:02am. How about that exotic Italian car ride?

Ipsen is a disgrace to the good people of the DA's Office and I don't want his name associated with mine. You want a sex offender's closest friend who commits willful misconduct representing you? I don't.

Anonymous said...

8:14am - Keeps repeating the same old BS over and over, not true and you know it, isn't that right Monique, AKA Frank, AKA Jack. Just Cooley and his croonies trying to repair the hurt to Cooley's feelings that he had a federal injunction controling him over the past 4 years. Cooley is still boo hooing and desparately clinging to Berger's Blog and the Met News... His only remaining friends. Poor thing.

Anonymous said...

I just love how the Met News and Berger turn this into anti-Ipsen when the County's employees screw up. The ADDA should sue the county and recover all of their attorney's fees for having a stupid dysfunctional system that they then attack and try to blame for hurting Cooley's feelings. Looks like Cooley is still crying over the federal injunction that controlled him for the past 4 years? And he is still clinging to the Met News and Berger's blog as he becomes irrelevant. Cooley still struggles to type a memo, and we all know he never wrote his own while he was sitting in the big chair. Now he depends on Berger and Roger Grace to do his bidding. So very sad.

Anonymous said...

10:43am & 11:00am = Ipsen. Can't get over the fact that all the lies, all the back door dealings, all the shenanigans with ERCOM amounted to one big fat zero. The federal lawsuit was a sham, the case Ipsen and Selligman had in Federal Court went down the crapper. The only thing missing from this article is a full and complete explanation of why Ipsen was fired. I'm sure it will set your blood pressure off the gauge when you find out the truth about Ipsen.

Anonymous said...

Ipsen and Selligmam are conspiracy theorists who shame the name of DDAs. Donna needs to kick their sorry asses off the Board if the ADDA is going to have any credibility. I am glad Judge Lavin got to tell us what we already knew about Ipsen; he is utterly unfit.

Anonymous said...

When is there going to be an election. Dannette Meyers for ADDA President. McClay has to go.

Anonymous said...

Ipsen is being honored at the ADDA awards dinner on November 14. The ADDA kept that dirty fact real quiet, but word got out. Nobody wants to go, not even the folks getting awards. Who wants to be associated with Ipsen? Worse, they are also honoring Seligman and Bozajian. All theses people hVe always been part of the problem, never the solution. They all have inflated ideas of their importance and abilities, but they are losers. If the ADDA continues to set the bar so low, then it will continue to be irrelevant. Donna has a hard job ahead of her to turn the ADDA into a success story instead of it being a sandbox for the broken toys. Y'all have a great time on the 14th, I've got better things to do than hang out with.a sex offenders best friend.

Anonymous said...

It never fails. Whenever this site tries to invite discussion of the foibles and fuck-ups of the ADDA, someone is bound to threaten Berger with a federal lawsuit and rant about adoringly about Ipsen.

RELAX. Take off the tin-foil helmets. Take a deep breath. Judge Lavin is just the latest in a string of judges (state and federal) to rule against the ADDA.

Why? Well READ THE FREAKIN' DECISION!!!! (Not just the Dragnet Summary) Especially the findings about Causey advising the hearing officer (Kerrigan) how and what to rule (in secret), then the hearing officer doing it, while both agreed to keep it secret. Happened more than once. Shouldn't have happened at all. (Why do these guys still have bar cards?)

Come on fellow prosecutors, if you were in a trial in a case you had worked your ass off to prepare, and you found out defense counsel and the judge had engaged in this shit, there would be hell to pay. If that's not your reaction, check in your badge because you are only going to lose cases and let criminals out.

Same thing with much of the indignation and rage that you see posted when Dragnet dares to criticize Ipsen. Read the accounts of the crap he pulled that got him in trouble (not the just the shit that got him fired). Would you engage in this shit? Would you tolerate it?

The simple fact is ERCOM (yes. . .ERCOM!) fucked up. It takes two to tango. Causey could have held Ipsen at arms length. Kerrigan could have taken a freakin' judicial ethics course and learned something. ERCOM's fuck ups (yes, its ERCOM's, not Ipsen's fuck ups) have been outed and detailed in court.

On the other hand, the ADDA is here to stay. DDA's could easily vote it out, but my bet is that the County and District Attorney Management can't go more than a few days without some new creepy story emerging about how the county or some head deputy mistreated someone in the trenches. Happens too often. Although Lacey is an improvement.

But just as the ADDA is here to stay, Ipsen is gone. Hopefully his cronies are dwindling in number. Hard to say based on some of the bat-shit stuff you see posted on this board. His departure is a good thing.

Now that I got that off my chest, how about that Oregon/Stanford game? Unbelievable! I knew Stanford could put up a good fight, but by double digits?? WOW!

Anonymous said...

Bobby Grace said 200 have already RSVP'd. No one wants you. Good please don't show.

Anonymous said...

@12:49pm what Bobby Grace says about 200 RSVPs does not take into account the fact that most of those 200 had no idea that Ispen, Seligman and Bozajian were going to be there, let alone be honored. The ADDA crazies kept that quiet and slipped it in at the last minute - even Donna didn't know. Now that the Dragnet is getting the message out, I think that 200 number is not looking too firm. It won't get any bigger even though the deadline to but tickets has been extended to 2 days before the event. In fact, I think there could be a lot of cancelations now that everyone knows.

BTW, you say 'no one wants you,' I assume you mean you only want my union dues, not my involvement. Nice.

Anonymous said...

@12:15PM Well said!

I also like what @8:37AM said about Ipsen, Seligman and Bozajian being the broken toys in the sandbox. So true.

And how about them Trojans? 62-28 Bears lose.

Anonymous said...

@ 3:23 PM Donna was in the room with Grace when they decided to honor Ipsen, Seligman and Bozajian. Your just plain ignorant about so many things. Again, please don't show. No one wants you.

Anonymous said...

So I got an email from the ADDA Friday ssaying that the deadline to buy tickets to the Awards Dinner has been extended to November 12. There must be a ton of unsold seats. Then someone told me about the Dragnet article and that Steve Ipsen is going to be honored. I didn't believe it, so I looked at the ADDA email again, and the flyer did indeed mention Ipsen's award. When the fuss blew up here, it seems that a bunch of 'guests' decided to cancel. What's really weid is the the ADDA email has vanished and so has the flyer. Perhaps Donna got her way and nixed the Ipsen thing?

Anonymous said...

November 9 @ 12:49pm,
200 seats is not much. That's only about 20 tables of ten. Barely enough to fill a portion of a small banquet room, and easily dwarfed by other legal community events and past ADDA dinners. And then you got to consider the number of attendees who aren't being charged. Of course, the labor dues can cover any loss.

Look. . . . .I'm not complaining. It's better than nothing at all.

What surprises me is that for years Ipsen supporters have been crowing that he made the ADDA into more than "a t-shirt and banquet club."
But WHAT THE HELL?? There hasn't been an ADDA awards Dinner in YEARS!!!! The awarding of "The Prosecutor of the Year" used to be (as the name implies) a yearly occurrence.

But with the Ipsen crowd, the emphases came to be about litigation and crony endorsements.

200 is not a good number, but at least its a start. Maybe if they learn to tone down the vitriol they'll get the mainstream rank and file back.

Anonymous said...

@9:44PM You are misleading when you say “Donna was in the room when they decided to honor Ipsen, Seligman and Bozajian.” [Emphasis added].

The “they” you refer to is not Donna and Grace who were blindsided by the demand from the Ipsen crazies that the disgraced, fired, piss-poor example of a prosecutor be honored.

Yes, Donna and Grace were ‘there’ but they did not approve of honoring Ipsen. Seligman is another matter. His sex-tape disgrace and and pathetic pandering to Carmen “I’ll make you a Grade V” Trutanich can be forgiven. Seligman may be an egocentric nut with inflated ideas of his abilities, but he is not as bad as Ipsen.

You are trying to imply that Donna and Grace approved of and voted for honoring Ipsen. That is not true and you know it. It’s like saying the Democrats were in the room when the Republicans decided to vote to de-fund Obamacare.”

The truth is that Ipsen should not be honored for anything; certainly not for his alleged misconduct as a DDA, and certainly not for his efforts to unionize the ADDA because that had a lot more to do with advancing his political career, than doing anything for the rank and file.

And as for your remark to @12:49PM stating he or she is “not wanted” at the ADDA Awards dinner, who are you to say who is or is not wanted? I thought the ADDA was for all DDAs - after all, we all pay dues now. Maybe you are shitting your pants because the writing is on the wall for you and the other Ipsen crazies? Why don’t you just crawl back into the sandbox with the other broken toys.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who thinks Ipsen or Seligman should be honored for anything should read what the LA Times reported about the collapse of their "Federal Lawsuit":

"In the federal trial that ended Wednesday, Ipsen's lawyer, Joseph Y. Avrahamy, argued that his client was moved several times and given poor job evaluations after he ran against Cooley and pushed for the Assn. of Deputy District Attorneys to become a full-fledged union. Seligman's attorney, Bradley Gage, argued that the veteran prosecutor was treated well until Seligman became involved with the union, after which he was transferred twice and passed over for promotion.

Hershman told jurors that the transfers had nothing to do with union politics and that Cooley's managers, not the district attorney himself, were responsible for the reassignments.

Ipsen, he said, was moved after he was rude to his supervisor at the Inglewood office, comparing her to Jewish collaborators in Nazi Germany. At the same time, he was repeatedly late for work and court appearances, upsetting at least one judge, Hershman told jurors. Other transfers were made only after Ipsen had requested to be moved, Hershman said.

Hershman argued that Seligman failed to act appropriately as a manager, making sexual references and using profanity during a meeting with his new subordinates. One prosecutor filed a complaint alleging that Seligman had created a hostile work environment.

Eighteen months later, Seligman failed to report an allegation of workplace harassment when he heard that a prosecutor had used a racial slur when talking to a black secretary, Hershman told jurors. As a result, office managers decided Seligman should be reassigned, he said.

Seligman said he disagreed with the verdict but would respect the jury's conclusion. Ipsen released a statement after the verdict saying he would continue to fight the case in court."

Gimme a break!

Anonymous said...

11-8-2013 @ 11am, You are too cute!!! So Ipsen unethically lobbied Paul Causey and Tom Kerrigan. Then when the case gets reversed because Causey and Kerrigan were unethically lobbied, he throws them under the bus! It's hilarious. Now that's screwing someone and not buying them breakfast the next morning! Though I bet the "exotic Italian car ride" was nice.
Of course Causey isn't footing the bill . Neither is Ipsen.
It would be funny if it were not so damn expensive for the rest of us.