The Don Corleone of West Third

You may have read blog posts about her role in delaying the opening of the highly touted Magnolia Bakery on Third Street a few weeks ago. She is the Don Corleone of the Wilshire / Fairfax / Third Street / Beverly Blvd area. Her tactics are brazen and vicious. Like a terrorist leader, she has an endless supply of angry, alienated underlings to do her bidding. Amazingly, few people outside of L.A.’s political elite or her extortion victims would even recognize her name.

What does she want? Money and power. She claims to be protecting her neighborhood from “greedy” small business people while she and her cronies pocket payoffs, large and small, from small businesspeople, political candidates and large developers, alike.

She uses her intimate knowledge of the City of L.A. Planning and Building Departments to delay anyone doing anything in her neighborhood for YEARS until she either loses a court challenge or collects a confidential “settlement” payoff, rumored to run as large as $250,000 or even $500,000 a pop.

Unfortunately, she operates within the parameters of the administrative rights afforded to well-intentioned residents who legitimately want to ensure that their liveability issues are addressed when new businesses open in the neighborhoods. And she gives this process a bad name. Still, she magically becomes the “new best friend” of any business (big or small) who is willing to pay her price � and to hell with liveability issues. Why else did she try to shut down popular independent businesses like Joans on Third while bending over backwards to support massive projects like the Grove?

Of giant concern is that she is a big chum of Councilmember Paul Koretz, who serves on the same secret Democratic Party “Central Committee.” Rumors abound about her nefarious dealings, from many, many insiders. Even if only half of the stories are true, it is an ethical disaster for Koretz and the City of Los Angeles. The fact that this woman is so transparent, so vociferously raucous with her demands, makes it enormously puzzling why all these powerful developers and politicians would be so “bound” to her.

One can only hope that this “plague” of the Beverly Wilshire is exposed very, very soon, that her political buddies either abandon her or go down with her. Maybe then the future of this great neighborhood can go back into the hands of real people � those who live and work here � instead of being the plaything of housewife mobsters.