Update from Hydee
Greetings, Fellow Angelenos!

I hope your new year and spring have been off to a terrific start.

From meeting and engaging with Angelenos across the city, to furthering our efforts on priority initiatives for the Office of the LA City Attorney, including homelessness, public safety and consumer protection, we have been hard at work on behalf of the city and residents we serve.

We have been making progress on our efforts to ensure that my office demonstrates the values of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion ("DEI"). Our official DEI statement, composed by members of the Equity Panel in my office, states in part: "We are committed to harnessing the diversity of our employees — attorneys and legal professionals — to protect communities and serve constituents with integrity, fairness and honesty, ensuring that programs and services are equally available to people of all backgrounds and identities, including people with disabilities."

I’ve created a permanent Equity and Inclusion Division to implement DEI best practices, in addition to building a leadership team that reflects the diversity of our city.

On behalf of the nearly 1,000 legal professionals that make up the City Attorney’s Office, including 500+ attorneys, thank you for your support.

Read on to learn more about what we have been up to, and I look forward to connecting with you all again soon.
Hydee Feldstein Soto
Los Angeles City Attorney
City Attorney Hydee Feldstein Soto announced that, in partnership with the Office of Mayor Karen Bass, Supervisor Hilda Solis, Presiding Judge Samantha Jessner of the LA Superior Court, LA County Public Defender Ricardo Garcia, and LA County Alternate Public Defender Erika Anzoategui, her office has established LA’s first Community Outreach Court ("COC") to help unhoused people by removing legal roadblocks to social services and housing opportunities. Held on the final Thursday of each month at the Skid Row Community ReFresh Spot, the COC provides expungements, ticket relief, warrant recall, social support and housing assistance. Since launching as a pilot project in September 2023, the COC has offered services to more than 200 people, either unhoused or at-risk of being unhoused.

"When unhoused individuals are summoned to court, they are often reluctant to appear sometimes, because they have no place to store their belongings or are afraid of losing them, sometimes because they struggle with mental and/or substance abuse issues, and sometimes because of experience and mistrust of officials in government or law enforcement. This is our effort to bring our courts directly into the community to help solve these challenges," said Hydee Feldstein Soto, Los Angeles City Attorney.

Last month, on behalf of the City of Los Angeles, City Attorney Feldstein Soto filed an amicus brief in a landmark homelessness case from Oregon that could change how cities grapple with encampments. The brief makes clear the City’s priority is to bring unhoused people inside until everyone has a safe place to sleep and it seeks clarity on the City’s ability to regulate shared public spaces balancing the rights of people experiencing homelessness with the need to keep public spaces - especially sensitive public spaces such as schools - safe, clean and accessible to all. A ruling is expected in June.
As part of a broader operation to eradicate human trafficking on the Figueroa corridor - South Figueroa Street - in South LA, City Attorney Hydee Feldstein Soto announced that her office has secured a guilty verdict against a 49 year-old male defendant charged with three violations of the California Penal Code, including solicitation of prostitution from a minor. The defendant was found guilty on all counts.

"Combating sex and human trafficking is a priority of mine and this case exemplifies why this continues to remain a top priority. For far too long, the Figueroa corridor has been an epicenter of trafficking and violent criminal activity and the community has had enough," said Hydee Feldstein Soto, Los Angeles City Attorney.

Since  2023, Feldstein Soto has been helping to lead a multi-agency, multi-jurisdictional trafficking task force focused on the Figueroa corridor on South Figueroa Street in South LA with Mayor Karen Bass, Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson, the LAPD, the FBI, the US Attorney’s Office, and the Department of Homeland Security.

The task force is not aimed at prosecuting commercial sex workers, rather, its endeavors to assist trafficking victims, shut down illegal activity, identify, arrest and convict pimps and traffickers, and disrupt buyers of sex services from minors and trafficking victims. It also aims to hold predators and profiteers accountable through local, state and federal human trafficking investigations and prosecutions.

As the initiative continues, anecdotal reports from law enforcement suggest positive results with multiple juvenile and adult rescues, and numerous arrests for pimping, pandering and trafficking and supervising prostitution, outstanding warrants and lewd conduct.

City Attorney Hydee Feldstein Soto and LAPD Deputy Chief Emada Tingirides discussed human trafficking in detail on KBLA radio’s First Things First with host Dominique DiPrima.
In conjunction with her work on the ground, City Attorney Hydee Feldstein Soto has worked with legislators throughout California to sponsor a number of “fixes” that will strengthen our laws, protect minors and hold predators accountable. One of these is Assembly Bill 2419 ("AB 2419"), for which she partnered with Assemblymember Mike Gipson (D-Carson) who introduced it. AB 2419 would expand the parameters for issuing search warrants in cases involving child prostitution.

"AB 2419 will give our law enforcement partners a crucial tool which will make it easier to hold predators accountable while protecting children from sexual exploitation. I am grateful to Assemblymember Mike Gipson for his partnership and dedication to strengthening our laws, especially those that will protect minors," said Hydee Feldstein Soto, Los Angeles City Attorney.

The Los Angeles Sentinel just wrote about the success that the trafficking task force is having thus far, including the legislative tweaks the City Attorney is leading. 

City Attorney Hydee Feldstein Soto is also working to tackle the theft of copper wire from our streetlights and other utilities. This crime, in which thieves steal copper wire or copper pipes and then turn around and sell it to metal recyclers, makes our neighborhoods, roads, sidewalks and bike lanes dark and less safe, while costing the city millions to repair each year.

She has partnered with Council President Paul Krekorian, members of the City Council, LAPD and the Port Police Department, and the Bureau of Street Lighting to attack this problem at scale, by eliminating the market for stolen copper.

The sale of copper in California is highly regulated, so the initiative’s focus is on the metal recyclers who buy it. Feldstein Soto has sent the nearly 700 recyclers in the City letters putting them on notice that they are required to comply with California’s stringent laws involving copper or they’ll face legal penalties. They have also been reminded that LAPD is authorized to inspect their records. Additionally, since 2022, the City Attorney’s Office has filed 20 criminal cases alleging copper theft.
"Copper wire theft is a public safety issue that costs LA area taxpayers millions of dollars yearly and harms neighborhoods when street lights go out and water pipes stop working. I am grateful to Angelenos who have been vocal on this issue and am thankful to Council President Krekorian, the City Council, and our colleagues at the Bureau of Street Lighting and Los Angeles Police and Port Police Departments for their partnership," said Hydee Feldstein Soto, Los Angeles City Attorney. 
With tax season upon us, City Attorney Hydee Feldstein Soto announced that her office has settled a civil enforcement action against HRB Digital LLC and HRB Tax Group, Inc. (collectively "H&R Block") operators of the online tax preparation and filing products offered under the H&R Block brand. Under the settlement, up to $1.6 million in restitution will be provided to tens of thousands of California customers who unfairly paid H&R Block to file their federal tax returns when they were eligible to file their returns for free. The City Attorney’s Office filed this lawsuit in 2019, alleging that H&R Block engaged in a wide range of fraudulent, deceptive and unfair business practices.

"My office will always work to protect California consumers and I am pleased to be able to return $1.6 million to people who shouldn’t have paid for a free service," said Hydee Feldstein Soto, Los Angeles City Attorney. 
City Attorney Hydee Feldstein Soto and the City Attorney Women’s Association sponsored a special event entitled, "Women Uplifting Women" in recognition of Women’s History Month. Celebrating the strength and diversity of women, the reception was held at the Downtown Women’s Center ("DWC"), the only organization in LA serving women experiencing homelessness. Among the guest speakers were Mayor Karen Bass, LAFD Chief Kristen Crowley and the DWC CEO Amy Turk.

"Too often, the triumphs of women experiencing homelessness are not shared and their accomplishments go unnoticed. But as we mark Women's History Month today, in addition to honoring the trailblazers before us, how wonderful it is to cheer on the powerful women whose stories are unfolding right in front of us here at the Downtown Women’s Center. Let us all continue to create a city in which every woman, regardless of her past, can thrive," said Hydee Feldstein Soto, Los Angeles City Attorney.
City Attorney Hydee Feldstein Soto recently joined Fox 11’s Hal Eisner for a full episode of “In Depth” news program. You can watch it here: https://shorturl.at/ioqG0

She also recently joined The Block and Tackle Show to discuss the priorities of the City Attorney’s Office and her journey to serving as the first woman in this role. You can watch it here: https://tinyurl.com/2h8ukwae 

Hydee Feldstein Soto, L.A. City Attorney

Office of the L.A. City Attorney, Los Angeles, CA 90012