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BlogBack: John Sandercock, NY Attorney, on Whether MOCA Broke California Law

MOCA's Grand Avenue flagship building

MOCA’s Grand Avenue flagship building

I still have had no response from LA MOCA to my various questions, regarding the museum’s uncertain future and checkered past, but CultureGrrl reader John Sandercock, a New York attorney with no connection to the in-recovery Los Angeles museum, helpfully explains for us why officials from MOCA and legal experts might disagree with the assertion in a 2010 LA Times article (which I repeated, here) that MOCA had “broken state laws”:

The MOCA Board did not “break the law” in the sense that most people use that expression, which is the violation of a statute or ordinance that prescribes a penalty such as a fine or a prison term. The expression “abused the law” might be more appropriate. [In a second piece on the subject, the LA Times wrote that MOCA had “skirted” state law.]

I don’t practice in this area, and certainly not in California, but I think most lawyers would understand the distinction the Board is trying to make here between “breaking the law” and being criticized by the AG.

Whether your readers think there is a meaningful distinction is altogether a different issue.

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