Critics, including Chiu, have complained that the Entertainment Commission has been
ineffective in curbing repeated outbreaks of violent crime at city
clubs. (In fact, as we reported last week, two commissioners are
co-owners of clubs that have been the subject of police
complaints.) The legislation at hand would give the commission added powers to crack down on misbehaving clubs, but has stalled
because the commission opposes Chiu's amendments.
Ryan's criticisms centered on Chiu's suggestion that an undue increase in permits for late-night clubs or one-time late-night events -- defined as an uptick of more than 15 percent in a given year -- should trigger caps on further permits. Three of the memo's eight pages were devoted to difficult-to-parse mathematical equations demonstrating that even a slight increase in the permits would trigger such a moratorium.
In a telephone interview, Chiu said the letter was the latest sign of lack of cooperation on addressing nightclub violence from the mayor's office. He said the mayor's criminal justice officials had agreed to meet with him, then "blew off" the meeting and began going after him in the press.
"To set up meetings, attack me in the press, blow off the meetings, and then send me a letter with several pages of bizarre mathematical formulas is not the best way to move forward," Chiu said. "I think this letter continues to show that the MOCJ has just not been focused on the public safety, and has spent more time thinking about the interests of the late-night entertainment industry."