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Patch Blog: ASNC and Monterey Hills Federation Share a Conflict of Interest

Can two individuals on the Arroyo Seco Neighborhood Council faithfully serve it if they also hold key posts in the Monterey Hills Federation?

There is a conflict of interest between the Monterey Hills Federation and the ASNC.

Darius Adle, one of the two ASNC Monterey Hills geographic reps and PRESERVE ASNC Monterey Hills geographic candidates, is also the President of the Monterey Hills Federation.

The Monterey Hills Federation website makes the following disclaimer at the bottom of its Homepage: “In association with the Arroyo Seco Neighborhood Council, Monterey Hills Local Issues Committee”.

The Monterey Hills Local Issues Committee consists of Darius Adle and Judy Knapton. The ASNC has appointed Judy Knapton, the current ASNC Treasurer/Monterey Hills geographic rep and PRESERVE ASNC Monterey Hills geographic candidate, to serve as the liaison between the ASNC and the Monterey Hills Federation.

Therein lays the nature of the conflict of interest. There cannot be an “association with” yourself.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Alaine Lowell October 05, 2012 at 05:02 PM
I thought that Judy Knapton moved out of Monterey Hills. Are non residents able to serve as Monterey Hills reps?
Margaret Barto October 06, 2012 at 08:20 PM
Doesn't prove. conflict of interest.
David Lyttle October 06, 2012 at 09:00 PM
As a PRESERVE ASNC candidate you are holding the line Margret – good job. How about this question: Do you think it is ethical to “urge” stakeholders to specify a community other than their own in order to stack the vote for a slate geographic rep? Is this something you would promote teaching to our children? I came into possession this week of a PRESERVE ASNC flyer which says: “You’ll be asked which community you are a stakeholder in. If you are comfortable with it, we urge you to specify MONTERY HILLS, (you love the Jazz Festival there!) and vote for Darius Adle and Judy Knapton.” I guess you are “comfortable with it” – I am not. Are you “comfortable with it” and if so why ? Can’t wait to hear what Martha Benedict and her side-kick Judy Knapton have to say about all this.
Mark Legassie October 06, 2012 at 10:35 PM
Voting for Judy Knapton would be a grave mistake as she has shown a side of dishonesty, deceipt and lies. She no longer lives in Monterey Hills but claims to be a factual basis stakeholder. She'll probably say "Oh, since I helped organize the Monterey Hills Jazz Festival that makes me a stakeholder. " In fact, with Martha Benedict's help, a "Preserve ASNC" flyer is being distributed now to everyone (not just ASNC stakeholders) urging people to lie during the NC elections on 10/13 by stating they're from Monterey Hills! I've attached the flyer for you to read. And conflict of interest? Yes indeed. Two years ago when I was ASNC treasurer, Judy wanted over a thousand dollars from the ASNC to generate Federation flyers. I had to deny it, stating it is against the law to use public funds to promote private entities. She fought back, bringing it back up at the following meeting for us to "reconsider", and then complained to the City Attorney's office. In the end, the CA agreed with me and she was denied the funding. That was the start of her revengeful, immoral plots against me to defame my character. She even went so far as to claim criminal activity has occurred with the ASNC checkbook, stating that I misused funds, made purchases without Board approval, etc. All of these false accusations were then backed by her claim that she is a "forensic auditor" by profession and is "positive" her findings are accurate. Now we know the her findings were not true.
Mark Legassie October 06, 2012 at 10:58 PM
For more information, read the blog entry titled "'Preserve ASNC' Candidates Urge Stakeholders to Lie at Upcoming Elections?" It is currently under review by Patch and should be released Sunday or Monday.
nonoise October 06, 2012 at 11:43 PM
The problem with many NC bylaws is that a stakeholder is someone that just buys something in the community, goes to a religious organization there or just drives through it. The meaning of stakeholder needs to change for all the NC's. It should only be for those that live or have a business in the community. That's it.
El Cid October 08, 2012 at 03:50 AM
Arroyo Seco NC - choose your candidates carefully! Some candidates are running for multiple local NC's. To me this is a RED FLAG!!! It's all about the $$$ Check out EmpowerLA and find out who is on more than one ballot.
Alice M. October 08, 2012 at 02:39 PM
Drive-by voting and 'packing' the ballot box with the uninformed and generally uninvolved is as old as the hillsides this community group sits on. A former chief of staff for one of the local councilmen told me once that's how Mount Washington ended up having two competing home owner groups a couple decades ago when the original one started playing fast and loose with what being a 'member' meant and a group of angry long-time members bolted to start the second association.
David Lyttle October 08, 2012 at 04:37 PM
Urging ASNC Stakeholders to lie............... Lets see what others have to say.
The MOG October 08, 2012 at 04:44 PM
I got a chance to meet Martha at the HHPNC Candidate's Forum. She sat with Ann Walnum. Martha struck me as being very beautiful, bright smile,& shining eyes. I admire her obvious ability to ignore rank criticisms & negativity. This is the quote I used in my opening remarks. It is from the book, Inspirational Thoughts On The Tarot, by Ann Davies, and she wrote, "If we want tender concern, then that is what we must give. If we want appreciation...and who does not want appreciation?...then we must give it, freely."
Jane Doe October 08, 2012 at 05:00 PM
Teresa "Teri" Bonsell is running for Arroyo Seco Neighborhood Council and Historic Highland Park Neighborhood Council.
David Lyttle October 08, 2012 at 05:33 PM
As to Martha's ability to ignore rank criticisms & negativity Muhammad Ali had it right when he said: "Silence is golden when you can't think of a good answer."
David Lyttle October 08, 2012 at 08:50 PM
The Monterey Hills Federation is singing a new Jazzy tune............................... In my original blog posted October 5th (see above) I quoted a disclaimer from the bottom of the Monterey Hills Federation Homepage as: “In association with the Arroyo Seco Neighborhood Council, Monterey Hills Local Issues Committee” in order to substantiate my argument for conflict of interest. Interestingly enough that disclaimer has now been changed to read: "We are Proud to be affiliated with the Arroyo Seco Neighborhood Council, through the Monterey Hills Local Issues Committee" Nice change, from "in association with" to ".affiliated with............through" I knew this was coming so I was sure to print a hard copy of the original website disclaimer which is date and time stamped. If anyone wants copies I will have them available for you at the ASNC Candidate Forum being held at Linden Heights this Wednesday. Please everybody come.........................
David Lyttle October 09, 2012 at 02:34 PM
Is the ASNC Monterey Hills Local Issues Committee in violation of the Brown Act? The Brown Act (§ 5494(a)) requires meetings to “be held at the time and place set by ordinance, resolution, or bylaws.” The ASNC Monterey Hills Local Issues Committee Meetings are always posted as beginning after the Monterey Hills Federation Meeting ends, no specific time has been given which is required under the Brown Act.
JosephR October 09, 2012 at 04:58 PM
I saw a City Attorney (Darren Martinez) storm out of a Board of Neighborhood Commissioner's meeting he was staffing in Lincoln Heights several years ago -- in protest, because the commissioners wanted to JUST take public comment, since many had attended. The reason? The posted agenda didn't have the time specific for the start of the meeting. Anything approved at that meeting could have immediately been challenged and reversed as a violation of the Brown Act.
The MOG October 09, 2012 at 05:15 PM
Mr. Lyttle, it's like water off a duck's back, I guess, or sweat off a bull's...well, you get the picture!
David Lyttle October 09, 2012 at 07:09 PM
Absence of proof is not proof of absence. Margaret, Can you state your position or give a counter as to why you do not feel there is a conflict of interest and that the argument that I have put forth being "There cannot be an 'association with' yourself" is not sound? Maybe Darius and/or Judy can help you out here.

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