|The LookOut sm confidential|
(In the last Confidential, a civic leader provided a thumbnail sketch of the anonymous author of "The Dirt," while a high-ranking city official offered evidence that pointed to a direct connection to an activist. Then, just when we thought we were unraveling the mystery in time to avoid having to pay for a meal at an exclusive German restaurant on Pico....)
Chuck Allord sat at the end of a long corridor at City Hall watching a live broadcast of a Council meeting that was taking place a few hundred feet away.
We approached the community activist and sat down.
"We got a tip from a high-ranking city official who says he has evidence that links you to 'The Dirt,'" we said matter-of-factly.
Allord laughed. "I'm sure glad you guys think I did it. I'm really flattered, but my name would be all over it."
It seems Allord hates anonymous attacks. He got so peeved at an anonymous campaign hit piece once, he tracked it down, first to the Oklahoma address printed at the bottom -- where an elderly lady denied having anything to do with it --, then to Pasadena -- where a print shop worker pointed the finger at the candidate.
We explained that we weren't implying he penned "The Dirt" himself, only that he had a direct connection to the writer, and if he spilled the beans, he'd get a free meal.
"A reward offends me," Allord said. "It implies the person did something wrong."
"Okay, fine," we said, trying to get back on track, "but the high-ranking city official said you were just one of three people at the Social Services Commission meeting when the homeless cap was discussed, and an item appeared the next day in 'The Dirt.'"
"They didn't discuss the homeless cap," Allord said, throwing us off again. "What they discussed and took a position on was the so-called homeless at-risk youth."
"Okay, that appeared in the issue too," we countered, "and the only people there were a high-ranking city official, Rent Board Commissioner Alan Toy," we paused, staring at him for effect, "and you."
"There was also a balding guy in his forties that's a lawyer for disabled persons," Allord said. "There were a lot of people at the meeting earlier and heard what was going on. It was on the agenda. It's public knowledge."
We weren't getting anywhere.
"Okay. Look us in the eye and tell us if you know who it is."
"I don't know," he said, looking us straight in the eye. "How do I know you're not? I've heard your name bandied about."
"It's not us," we protested. "For all we know it's Art here."
We pointed to Art Casillas, who was putting the finishing touches on his regular tirade against Chief Butts and the city's police force. Art looked up.
"If it doesn't have anything about Butts, you're out of luck," he said, and returned to his speech.
Then, just when we were about to give up, when the high-ranking official's tip seemed to lead nowhere, David Cole showed up.
It seems the parent activist had run into someone at The Shack's Mardi Gras party who fit a civic leader's source's description of the anonymous writer.
"I had dinner with a parent from McKinley who had worked for a year at Lincoln and he had a beard but no hat."
We were excited. Except for the hat, everything else seemed to match.
"He fit the bill," Cole said, "except he hasn't been to a school board meeting in over a year. And he doesn't wear hats."
Turns out he's also a renter, a SMRR member and very liberal, qualities that disqualify him as the author of a newsletter that blasts SMRR and the homeless.
"He was disgruntled," said Cole. "But he's not a part of the disgruntled parents' group. At least not our group."
We were back to square one, down to our last lead - the reporter who was allegedly spotted speaking with the mysterious writer of "The Dirt."
(Stay tuned for the next episode.)
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