Eric Schmidt, one of eight challengers in the March 5 election for three West Hollywood City Council seats, has escalated his attacks on City Hall by sending an email to council members in which he calls a prominent city employee a “whore.”
In an email exchange with the current council members, Schmidt has attacked Corri Planck, the strategic initiative manager in the city’s Human Services & Rent Stabilization Department. Schmidt alleges that Planck, while paid well in her position, hasn’t done enough to help the homeless.
“Corrie Plank has done nothing for the homeless, yet she takes the money….she is a total whore who is paid $200,000 a year. It’s time to cut loose the whores,” Schmidt said in an email message this weekend to council members. “You are a whore Corrie. People are cold and hungry on the street while you eat like a f–king whore.”
Schmidt’s email drew sharp and quick rebukes from council members John D’Amico and Lindsey Horvath, both of whom are running for re-election.
“This is not OK,” D’Amico wrote. “Your criticisms may be valid. Your personal attacks are not acceptable. It would be appropriate to apologize to Ms. Plank even as you continue to press for your preferred use of public funds.”
In her email to Schmidt, Horvath wrote: “This email is wildly inappropriate, sexist, and wrong. There’s plenty of room for disagreement without character attacks, foul language, and baseless accusations. Most of all, this is conduct unbecoming of someone seeking to lead this City. #shameful.”
Schmidt responded by saying that his criticism of Planck was not meant to be personal but as an attack on the way she does her job.
“Being a whore does not always have to do with gender or sex,” he wrote. “It has to do with compromising your integrity for personal gain which is happening here. Ms. Plank is taking hundreds of thousands of dollars a year from the City to help the homeless, yet she is not doing so. Many of the homeless she is supposed to be helping have lived on our streets for more than two years. None of them have ever heard of her. She has never been seen on the street talking to the homeless. Most of the service contracts she refers to have done very little. The documents the City has provided me list all the services they provided. but no actual interactions with the dates, locations and resolutions.”
In fact, Planck has overseen an ambitious effort by the city to deal with the homelessness issue. In 2017, City Manager Paul Arevalo asked her to take on the role of coordinating the city’s homeless efforts. Among other things, the city launched a pilot program that provides outreach and services to homeless people at West Hollywood Library. The pilot program makes it possible for homeless people to meet at the library during certain hours with organizations with which the city has contracted to provide services. Those organizations provide an array of services, ranging from housing and shelter to mental health and substance abuse treatment.
As part of its “Homeless Initiative,” West Hollywood has created outreach teams that include Sheriff’s deputies and people who help address mental health and substance abuse issues. The L.A. County Sheriff’s Department’s Mental Evaluation Team has housed some of its staff members at the West Hollywood Station. That makes it easier for Sheriff’s deputies to effectively respond to an issue involving a homeless person who apparently is mentally ill.
Planck has noted that offers of shelter, food and assistance sometimes are turned down because the homeless person is able to get cash or food on the street. Planck and Lt. Geoffrey Deedrick of the Sheriff’s Homeless Outreach Services Team (HOST) also have said that some with mental illness or drug abuse issues can’t be easily convinced to take advantage of services that will find them shelter.
In an interview with WEHOville not long after she was assigned to deal with the homelessness issue, Planck explained that there are no easy solutions to homelessness, which also is a major issue in Los Angeles County and other large metro areas in the country. “It’s complex, it’s just complex,” she said. “If there were an easy answer somebody would have done something about it by now.”
One of the issues, Planck explained, is that the presence of homeless people in West Hollywood can’t be solved by the city alone, given the ease with which people can cross the city’s boundaries. That’s one reason why West Hollywood is working with countywide agencies on the problem and why a recent meeting of the Westside Council of Governments had three items on its agenda about homelessness. Another issue is that homelessness can be the result of several different factors: poverty, mental illness and drug addiction, among them.
And then there is the lack of affordable housing. “What we need regionally is more affordable housing, more housing vouchers and resources,” Planck said. ”
WEHOville as of publication has been unable to determine Plack’s current salary. However, Transparent California, a website that chronicles the pay of public employees, lists her salary as $128,862 in 2017, with “other pay” of $17,404, for a total of $146,266.
Schmidt’s virulent attack on Planck is not unprecedented. Last year, after WEHOville revealed that he maintained a profile on DudesNude.com in which he posted photos and videos of him having sex with other men, Schmidt attacked Henry (Hank) Scott, the publisher of WEHOville (and editor of this story). In a series of emails to City Council members, Schmidt alleged that WEHOville posted the story because he had rejected requests from Scott to have sex with him that involved fecal matter.
Schmidt later recanted those allegations and apologized in an email to this writer.
I am a liberal in favor of assisting people in need. HOMELESSNESS, sad to say, has no “solution”. The City could try various efforts, but to my knowledge, no city anywhere has an even partially successful PLAN to use to help/deal with the homeless crisis, locally, in CA, Nationally …
Attacking the Elected Leaders or City Employees without a real solution is naive, illinformed, and puts negative pressure on the plight of homelessness.
This dumbass needs to go back to high school and take Civics again. If you don’t like how West Hollywood is handling homelessness, you should criticize the City Council that sets policy and governs the city…not the full time professional staff hired to implement and execute their policies.
A) I worked with Ms. Planck on a city-sponsored project two years and found her to be intelligent, ethical, and very dedicated to the public.
B) Perhaps whoredom is such a ubiquitous and pervasive part of Mr. Schmidt’s life, the word has lost all meaning to him.
C) Doubling down on disgusting behavior only works for conservatives. Good luck with that.
I stand by my comments and I will not step down from running for City Council. Sometime hearing the truth isn’t very pleasant, but if people don’t tell the truth, nothing gets done. Someone needs to speak truth to power. I am heading out right now at 3:15am to make sure the homeless have blankets and ponchos to stay dry.
Ugh, please go away. Just. Go. Away. You are a clueless clown. Having one in the White House is enough. We don’t need likeminded fools in city government.
kid, you aren’t doing much to dispel the stereotype of the self-absorbed, narcissistic, women-hating gay male. you obviously also are jealous of city employees who have jobs you wish you had. and you probably shouldn’t call other people wh*res unless they make money by selling sex. cough!
Yeah, dig in your heels. Your choice of words were disgusting, and I can’t wait for the election to be over, so we don’t have to listen to you anymore. You use the word “whore,” and yet you seem to be nothing but an attention-whore, who has abused the West Hollywood Democratic process for your own personal gain, which is exemplified by your brags to your Dudesnude page. I admire your passion when it comes to homelessness issues, and maybe you can find a way to be an activist in that area. But you are not qualified to sit on… Read more »
Schmidt should resign his candidacy. There is absolutely no place on our City Council for someone with that temperament.
Everybody knows the current city council is crooked af.
Even the people defending them.
Did this guy major in diplomacy at Trump University? This language and conduct is beyond reprehensible to the employee of any company let alone someone so dedicated to the City of West Hollywood.
Every major City is looking for solutions to fix the homeless and housing crisis – this is not an easy fix.
Rather than spew foul language at someone who has been doing a fantastic job managing the homeless people in West Hollywood, offer alternate solutions. Be constructive.
There is no place for this ignorance and hateful rage.
Shameful! We already have a foul mouth in office, WH, and we don’t need this type of smut sitting on council . We have enough sitting there already and are waiting for him , oops them , to term out! Let’s not subject ourselves to another . He’s shown who he is already, let’s believe him and NOT vote for him.
I want to say for the record that this man’s comments are 100% absolutely untrue. I live just outside West Hollywood but have worked with many West Hollywood stakeholders. I am greatly fortunate to have housing and work. Over the last two years I have worked with Ms. Planck on two occasions. 1. A senior resident of West Hollywood (not in subsidized housing) that I met at the Grocery Store confided in me that her resources after rent and other living expenses left her unable to afford food for the last week of the month. I put her in touch… Read more »
He’s a POS that doesn’t deserve to serve in any form of government. I too have received his vitriolic emails when I was still employed with the city.
He recently confronted me on Facebook messenger asking me why I post “hate filled” comments on wehoville, and and I let him have It. He hasn’t responded because he’s spineless when confronted with his same tactics.
I cringe every time I see this joker speak at a City Council meeting.
Corri Planck is one of the most dedicated City Hall employees there is. She has dedicated herself to helping those in the community and has done so much that often goes unreported. I am proud to have worked with her and alongside her. Any sexist, virulent attack on anyone, especially from someone attempting to run for public office, is uncalled for and is disqualifying. When I was an intern at City Hall, Corri took me under her care and helped guide me through City Hall and I wouldn’t be half the person I am without her guidance. I’m disgusted by… Read more »