The Chinatown Business Improvement District, run by locally sourced fascist George Yu, has never been easy to get public records out of. In fact, I’ve never managed to get any! In 2018 Katherine MacNenny and I sued the BID for noncompliance. George Yu never participated in the case, and in California CPRA writs don’t issue by default, so we had to argue the whole thing to the judge and then, after we won, had to get an order authorizing the sheriff to seize $75K in fees from the BID’s bank. At one point the judge even issued an order for Yu’s arrest, but he changed his mind. We got the money but we never got the records.
Well, in January 2022, ably repped by Tasha Hill, we had to sue him again over some other records. This time Yu dodged service for six months, but two intrepid volunteers from Chinatown Community for Equitable Development, tracked down Yu at his house and served him. The trial is set for February 26, 2022. This time Yu apparently intended to defend the case because he hired corporate hack CPRA lawyer Christina Cameron, name partner of corporate hack law firm Devaney, Pate, Morris, and Cameron to represent him.
But whatever Yu intended he hasn’t followed through on it. In fact, according to a motion by Yu’s lawyers heard on November 3, 2022, Yu has stopped communicating with them entirely, forcing them to ask the judge to allow them to fire him as a client. According to a letter Cameron sent Yu in September:
There has been a complete breakdown of the attorney/client relationship…our office has been unable to contact Mr. Yu regarding material and time sensitive issues pertaining to the representation of the Los Angeles Chinatown Business Council (LACBC). Despite our exhaustive attempts to reach Mr. Yu, we have been unable to do so as he has failed to return phone calls, emails, text messages or respond to our 09/02/2022 letter. We have also been unable to identify any other officers of this corporation in spite of extensive efforts to do so. Accordingly, we must assume, based on Mr. Yu’s failure to respond, that LACBC is no longer interested in our representation of him in this matter.
The judge granted the motion, so now Yu and the Chinatown BID are unrepresented. Stay tuned, as there are likely to be some interesting developments in this case over the next few months.