Letters to the Editor: 7-1-2021
Manhattan Beach Mayor Suzanne Hadley, Councilman Richard Montgomery and the rest of the city council did not do their homework when they voted to support the recall of Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascon, led by former D.A. Steve Cooley (“Former DA leads recall rally,” Easy Reader June 10, 2021). The documentary “Crime After Crime” is an expose’ of Cooley’s role in blocking the release of Debbie Peagler, a Black survivor of domestic violence, wrongly convicted of the murder of her abusive boyfriend turned pimp. She was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison, and served 21 of these years. Two decades after her sentencing, the two men who committed the crime were identified. Uncovered by pro bono, was the fact that the D.A. had no evidence to justify the plea bargain offered Peagler. She was told to “take the deal” — prison for life — or take a chance on being executed. Young Peagler, who had a history of emotional abuse and physical battery, accepted the deal, motivated by concern for her six-year-old daughter. The D.A.’s office’s internal memo revealed the lie behind Peagler’s coerced deal. This memo should have opened the door to charges of prosecutor misconduct. Over and over, the documentary shows Cooley attempting to block the release of Peagler, who had an exemplary record in prison, earning an Associates degree. In a letter to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Cooley questioned the parole board’s decision to release Peagler, and delayed her release, well aware that she was terminally ill. L.A. County Attorney George Gascon is the polar opposite of Cooley. He initiated the formation of an independent Factual Analysis Citizen Consulting Team (FACCT), composed of community members, civil rights attorneys, scholars, and police practices experts to investigate fatal use of force incidents by law enforcement officers. This was announced on the day of Gascon’s inauguration. I wonder why former D.A. Cooley is pushing to unseat such a simpatico D.A. as George Gascon, who is working for the greater good of our communities?
Mary R. Ewell
Money spent elsewhere
It’s too bad 84 percent of the COVID-19 tests (130,775) administered by the Beach Cities Health District were to non-residents of the three Beach Cities, according to Los Angeles County Department of Health data provided by BCHD. BCHD also claims it spent $4.36 million on COVID and expects a reimbursement from FEMA of only $1.17 million, leaving $3.2 million for taxpayers to cover. That means 84 percent or $2.7 million of Beach Cities taxes went to COVID test for non-residents. LA County was both funded and obligated to do that testing. BCHD will claim the 130,775 tests included workers in the beach cities. I have asked BCHD to document that, but have not received a response. Can we really afford any more BCHD mistakes?
The new appropriations for all of the Redondo Beach projects are split nearly exactly by district (“Redondo Beach North South conflict flares up in budget discussion,” ER June 24, 2021). Why is this, again, a North versus South Redondo issue? I really wish that Easy Reader would have done its homework, rather than gravitating toward the shiny object.
Redondo Beach City Council member
So the Redondo Beach budget includes all these budget items for North Redondo. and yet the two North Redondo Councilmembers, Laura Emdee and Christian Horvath. cast No votes. What am I missing in this article?