Yeah—it’s about the money. What else to surmise with word that the IRS is working alongside the FBI on a probe of 14th District City Councilmember Jose Huizar? The investigation flashed in public with Nov. 7 raids on Huizar’s office in City Hall, one of his field offices, and his home in Boyle Heights. The feds have been mostly mum since, but FBI spokesperson Laura Eimiller recently confirmed to SullivanSaysSoCal that IRS agents were on the job at one of the locations … No official word on which of the locations, but the presence of the IRS indicates matters are well beyond the recent accusations of harassment and retaliation made against Huizar by former staffers … And City Council President Herb Wesson’s recent move to strip his erstwhile pal of the chairperson’s post of the powerful Planning and Land Use Management Committee adds to a growing sense around the city that this probe will go far and wide … The FBI isn’t offering much else on the investigation – and that apparently goes for the local authorities as well as the press and general public. A spokesman for Mayor Eric Garcetti tells me the feds didn’t give any heads up on their plans to raid Huizar’s office in City Hall.
Bank for Banksy
Nothing hush-hush about Culver City-based Julien’s Auctions pop-up operation in the Standard Oil Building at 257 N. Canon Drive in Beverly Hills—the only mystery in the run-up to the bidding was whether the several pieces by guerrilla artist-cum-marketing master Banksy would somehow self-destruct when the hammer fell … Banksy’s stuff went on the block for online bidding on Wednesday, Nov. 14 as part of a Street & Contemporary Art lot that included works by Jean-Michel Basquiat, Andy Warhol and Shepard Fairey, among others … The star of the group was Banksy’s Slave Labour, a black-and-white aerosol-on-concrete depiction of a boy at a sewing machine, adorned with bunting. The piece fetched $730,000, according to the auctioneer, going toward the high end of its estimated range … The pop-up location remains open and free to the public for viewing through 6 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 16, with live bidding starting at 7 p.m. on the same night and continuing the morning and afternoon of Saturday, Nov. 17.
Bob & Carol & Cher
Hollywood will get top billing on Saturday, with Marilyn Monroe’s 1956 Thunderbird – opening at $250,000 – and a selection of gowns and other garments from the personal collection of famed Hollywood designer Bob Mackie, with all sorts of movie and TV memorabilia in between … Mackie was on hand for a recent preview, and offered this counter-intuitive tidbit during a press preview: Cher and Carol Burnett fit perfectly into each other’s outfits. Mackie worked on both of their TV shows back in the 1970s and said it wasn’t unusual for him to send outfits back and forth between the sets.
Howard Plenty Hip
PR vet Arlene Howard isn’t working Hollywood these days, but she’s been there, done that as a studio exec over here and an insider in the expat film community in Rome during its cinematic heyday. Howard still has a command of Hollywood style, as a recent lunch-hour crowd at Jean-Georges in the Waldorf Astoria on Wilshire learned, with diners and staff charmed by everything from her chic and colorful eyewear to her fluent Italian … Howard is hip to new media, too, and she’s mounting a publicity push for a new podcast featuring Dr. Rady Rahban, a Beverly Hills-based board-certified general plastic surgeon who’s become known as an expert in corrective procedures – also called “revision surgeries” – to fix everything from not-so-nice nose jobs to face lifts that fall short. Rahban, who aims to educate people about plastic surgery and cosmetic procedures, has partnered with Dallas-based ReVolver Podcasts on Plastic Surgery Uncensored, which is co-hosted by stand-up comic and radio personality Monique Marvez, also known as one of Snoop Dogg’s “Bad Girls of Comedy.”
Angelenos Not So Obvious
Several members of an L.A. contingent carried something other than their obvious credentials when they headed down to speak at the Nov. 12-14 run of the Wall Street Journal’s annual WSJ Tech D.Live at the Montage in Laguna Beach. L.A. Clippers owner Steve Ballmer was billed as boss of USA Facts, a trove of data gleaned from public sources with a mission of offering a “portrait of the U.S. population, its government’s finances, and government’s impact on society”; comedian Kevin Hart was representing the Laugh Out Loud video-on-demand service he’s working on with Santa Monica-based Lionsgate Entertainment; and actor Gwyneth Paltrow was there on behalf of everything from the marble incense burners with brushed brass to the silk-satin pajamas hawked by Goop, the “lifestyle brand” she founded.
Ever-observant Mapleton Investments boss Marc Nathanson noticed more than the menu during a recent lunch hour at The Belvedere in the Peninsula Hotel. He also made the observation – based on his own eyes and reports from friends and family – that toney hotels and resorts from the shore of Santa Monica to the Golden Triangle seem to be chock full lately in large part because of visitors forced to flee their homes amid the wildfires that scorched Malibu and other parts of Los Angeles and Ventura counties. A luxury retreat no doubt helps, but Nathanson also made sure to note that the toll is devastating for any and all touched by the blazes, especially victims who have fewer options when it comes to emergency shelter. The Disaster Relief Fund by United Way is one of several ways to help those affected.
Los Angeles remains full of surprises, including the horses and horse lovers that sometimes take to the trails in Elysian Park, where the view can be magical when the light falls right on Mt. Washington, across the 5 Freeway. This lady goes by K.B., and she confided that she brought her trusty Meiko out on a recent afternoon for a last look around. Seems the horse has been hurting more than an animal should lately, and would soon be headed to the vet for a humane end. Best wishes all around.
Sullivan Says: Every pawn shop should be as secure as the U.S. Postal Service branch office at Wilshire & Detroit.