Council removes member from Advisory Committee

By Brett Callwood

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A story in the CCN two weeks ago touched on the fact that Mark Lipman was voted out of his position on the Advisory Committee for Housing and Homelessness at the City Council meeting on Monday, Jan. 24 amid allegations of domestic abuse. It was a rare show of unity for the four voting council members (Mayor Daniel Lee had to leave early that night due to a family emergency) – the vote was unanimous on a night that saw contentiousness elsewhere. Lipman spoke in his own defense for an allotted seven minutes, but felt that he deserved more time to finish his prepared statement. All of the council members recommended that Lipman seek help with anger management, and said that the issue was too serious to ignore. It was pointed out that the police have been called three times to address his emotional state, with Lipman being taken in once to cool down. A staff note reads that: “On Nov. 11, 2021, Housing Division staff received a complaint alleging misconduct by Mark Lipman, a member of the Advisory Committee on Housing and Homelessness (Committee). Mr. Lipman was appointed to the Committee in 2018 and is serving his first term, which expires on June 30, 2022. Mr. Lipman is also a member of the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) on Housing related to work on the General Plan Update.” It goes on to spell out the allegations against Lipman” “Allegations of misconduct include incidents of domestic violence committed in 2020 by Mr. Lipman against an individual he was living with at the time. Police responded to the residence regarding reports of domestic violence on Aug. 22 and Nov. 22, 2020, with no arrest or prosecution. On Dec. 23, 2020, police were called to the property again and Mr. Lipman was arrested on charges of domestic violence; however, no charges were filed by the Los Angeles District Attorney. As a result of the December 23rd incident, the victim requested and was granted an Emergency Protective Order (EPO), which has since expired. The complainant also alleges Mr. Lipman was dishonest during a meeting of the Democratic Club when speaking about the circumstances of his unhoused status. During the discussion, Mr. Lipman stated he was the victim of eviction. Complainant alleges this was a dishonest statement, based on the circumstance of Mr. Lipman being arrested for domestic violence and not permitted to return to the residence due to the emergency protective order.” We reached out to the City Council, with Council Member Alex Fisch reiterating that the allegations were too severe to ignore, particularly once they had received a complaint from a member of staff. Fisch did concede that he regrets not acting earlier. Lipman himself remains indignant and certainly unapologetic as he pleads his case. “Both the incidents in August and November were determined by the officers who responded, to be landlord-tenant disputes – that’s why there was no arrest,” he told the CCN. “In August, I informed my ex that I could no longer contribute anything towards rent … that is when she told me that ‘I owed her’ and that if I didn’t give her ‘all my money,’ that she would accuse me of domestic violence and ‘destroy your life.’ In August that argument was about her locking me out of the house and in November of trying to force me out of the garage where I’d been living.” Lipman alleges that his landlord, who is also his ex, set out to make his living space uninhabitable while making it her mission to “destroy his life,” although she spoke on his behalf at the Jan. 24 meeting. Lipman also believes that there are political motivations behind the council wanting him gone, despite his term ending in June. “It was well known for years that Alex Fisch and myself were at odds over his up-zoning agenda (and even contentiously so) and it’s just too convenient that the complaint that was filed against me came from within his own inner circle of political operatives,” he said. “Both (Göran) Eriksson and (Albert) Vera also told me that the timing, circumstances and from where the complaint was coming from was very suspicious, but all they could do was respond to the complaint itself. So when I say ‘political motivations’ I mean retaliation for breaking ranks with a group of political activists who felt that I should have been loyal to their ‘side,’ instead of putting the well being of the entire community first.” In the end, both Vice Mayor Vera and Council Member Eriksson voted in favor of removing Lipman from the committee. If you or anyone you know is the victim of domestic abuse, you can call the domestic violence hotline at 800-799-7233.

Council removes member from Advisory Committee