Attorney General Kamala Harris Fails to Provide Findings
The Ad Hoc Committee to Save Keiro sent yet another letter to the State Attorney General bringing to light the fact the department has yet to deliver information it promised to provide showing clearly why it made the decision to waive any public hearing and allow the Keiro Board and Management to get away with selling the facilities without allowing any input from the community.
Below is the letter, sent February 12, 2016:
February 12, 2016
To California Attorney General Kamala Harris, Ms. Loftus, Mr. Breckler, Mr. Sumner, and Ms. Ibanez,
In our previous correspondences with your office, you have indicated to us that you were conducting your investigation as expeditiously as possible, and that you needed to “verify the information” provided to you by Keiro. You have also stated that you would respond to us when you completed your review. You have specifically asked when escrow was scheduled to close and we provided your office with the anticipated date of closure. At our meeting on November 24, 2015, your office was thoroughly informed of the misleading and fraudulent information that Keiro provided to you. It is also our belief that you are aware of the oversight and the failure on your part in not conducting an investigation prior to giving a waiver of a public hearing, which the community was entitled to having.
On Thursday, February 4, 2016, the community represented by our pro bono attorneys from Bet Tzedek, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher went to the Los Angeles Superior Court, to request a TRO so that escrow closure could be put on hold. The Department of Fair Employment and Housing also filed for a TRO to complete their investigation of the claims submitted by residents of Keiro. These claims pertain to disability and civil rights violations of the residents.
The attorney representing your office at the court did not support the request for a temporary restraining order, and instead, he chose to not oppose the TRO request.
Our request was denied by the court, escrow closed on the following day, and we lost the most important institution that the Japanese American community has. To this date, we have not received your response to the critical questions that we raised pertaining to your failure to properly conduct an investigation, to your decision to waive a public hearing, and to your approval of the sale of Keiro that cares for 600 plus elderly Japanese, most of whom do not speak English and who are too frail to care for themselves. And while your office, in court on Thursday, could have corrected your failure to protect public interest, you chose not to do so. We are led to believe that protecting the public was not in the interest of the Attorney General.
The community mourns over the death of Keiro facilities, which took 55 years to develop with the help of countless number of volunteers, families, and donors from both U.S. and Japan. These facilities cannot be replaced. The community has been devastated by the loss. In going forward, we demand with our strongest conviction that your office not repeat the error you have made with the Japanese American community by depriving other institutions, particularly those that care for the elderly, and other communities of their basic rights for a public hearing.
We also demand that your office take immediate steps to monitor any changes or violations of the conditions you set in the sales agreement as the new owner, Pacifica, takes over the facilities. We would like to report such violations and retaliation complaints directly to Ms. Ibanez of your office and to ask that you take full responsibility to remedy the problem.
According to your office, your staff has spent the past 2 ½ months conducting investigations to verify the information given to you by Keiro. However, to this date, we have not received any report of your findings, which has been a great disappointment to us. It is critical that we receive the result of your findings and we ask, therefore, that you do so by February 29, 2016.
While we wait to hear your official response, please send an acknowledgement of your having received this letter.
Ad Hoc Committee to Save Keiro Traci Imamura
Charles Igawa, Ph.D. Eileen Asato
Keiko Ikeda, Ph.D. Mariko Watabe
Jonathan Kaji Alex Tokita
Takeshi Matsumoto, M.D.
Ford Kuramoto, DSW
Kenji Irie, M.D.
cc: Congresswoman Maxine Waters
Congresswoman Judy Chu
Assemblyman David Hadley
Mr. Norman Mineta, Former Secretary of Transportation
Mr. Warren Furutani, Former California Assemblyman
California State Legislature Asian Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus
Supervisor Hilda Solis, LA County Board of Supervisor and Former
Secretary of Labor
Gardena City Council
State of California Department of Fair Employment and Housing