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L.A. councilmen Huizar and Koretz fail to show up on time, cause public meeting to be canceled

January 25, 2011 | 12:14 pm

Los Angeles City Council President Eric Garcetti canceled the council’s regularly scheduled 10 a.m. meeting Tuesday after two members –- Jose Huizar and Paul Koretz -– failed to show up on time.

Garcetti said five members of the 15-member council had excused absences: Janice Hahn, Bernard Parks, Bill Rosendahl, Herb Wesson and Dennis Zine. That left the council with the minimum 10 members needed for a quorum.

When Huizar and Koretz failed to show up by 10:17 a.m., the meeting was called off. Both had unexcused absences, Garcetti said. “We need to respect the public’s time, as they respect ours,” said Garcetti, who last canceled a meeting because of a lack of a quorum on Oct. 12.

Huizar spokesman Rick Coca said his boss was late to the meeting because he had been at a 9 a.m. news conference announcing the opening of two restaurants in downtown Los Angeles -– Two Boots Pizza and Umami Burger. Huizar was “in the City Hall elevator” when the meeting was called off, Coca said.

“We were rushing to get him there,” he added in an e-mail.

Click to read one of Huizar's lists ranking constituent influenceThe cancellation disappointed one of Huizar’s constituents, Boyle Heights resident Kay Morishita. She and four others drove to City Hall to testify during the council’s public comment period about Huizar’s practice of having staff members compile lists that rank community leaders on their support for him -- and their level of political clout. Morishita said she had hoped to testify against the use of the lists, even though she got “a pretty decent score.” Huizar is up for reelection March 8.

“We planned our whole day around this. It was an inconvenience because I had to borrow a van,” she added.

Koretz spokesman Paul M. Neuman said his boss was late because he was stuck in traffic. Koretz, who represents the traffic-congested Westside, plans to make sure his unexcused absence “never, ever happens again,” Neuman said.

“From now on, he will be extra early,” he added.


Huizar sends backers an e-mail defending use of lists

Huizar staff graded civic leaders on their clout and support for him

-- David Zahniser at Los Angeles City Hall