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ellisonz's Journal
ellisonz's Journal
April 2, 2024

Part 91: Los Angeles Corruption Investigation Updates - Izek Shomof Versus Patrick Wizmann

By Zachary Ellison, Independent Journalist
Published April 2, 2024.

The latest legal action in the showdown between wealthy Israeli-American real estate developer Izek Shomof and his brother-in-law, Moroccan-American Patrick Wizmann. Aside from sharing a common faith, Shomof and Wizmann have a bond of marriage, with the former having married the latter’s sister Aline with whom he has had five children. Attorneys for Patrick Wizmann have filed two lawsuits, one over real estate in Shadow Hills in the San Fernando Valley, and another over Shomof’s recent book distributed by Simon & Schuster, Dreams Don’t Die that along with telling his life story goes into the world of Los Angeles politics and homelessness crisis. The whole story is like something straight out of the Kardashians with legal sparks flying around!

Wizmann’s litigation, initiated by the firm Grant Shenon LLP is up against Shomof’s attorneys at Allen Matkins Leck Gamble LLP in the real estate case, and in the book case Simon & Schuster joined by Forefront Books, who created the book jacket are being represented by Fox Rothschild LLP. The latter is scheduled for a May 24 9:00 am hearing in Superior Court before the honorable Bruce G. Iwasaki. A trial date regarding the 18-acre Wheatland Property that Wizmann currently resides on is yet to be set, which also delves into another property in Nichols Canyon that the two former business partners agreed to work on with the outcomes now in dispute. Wizmann is the one who has come forward with the matter, which was briefly covered in a legal publication the Daily Journal prior to me picking up the story for investigation.

Linked: https://zacharyellison.substack.com/p/part-91-los-angeles-corruption-investigation

The Underworld
March 24, 2024

Part 89: What Makes A Suppressive Person? The Church of Scientology and the Practice of Social Victimization

By Zachary Ellison, Independent Journalist
Published March 22, 2024.

It’s a fact! The protests in Hollywood, which have now stretched for months, are a heretical act, both towards the Church of Scientology, and the broader social structure that takes offense to the very idea of recording in public. At the start of the now viral protests, and in the first major news outlet article on the story, Rolling Stone journalist EJ Dickson wrote about Scientology Street recruiter “Sebastian” that viewers “are building a “‘parasocial relationship’” with him — a term used to describe intense emotional investment in social media influencers.” Sebastian hasn’t been seen regularly as before earlier in the protests, nor has Scientology’s street recruiting operation returned to Hollywood Boulevard. Sebastian probably won’t be saved, but the idea of mockery, or heresy even from within the Church is a constant fear within the organization.

To say that the Church of Scientology is under siege might be an overstatement, but as I watched Church members scatter back across L. Ron Hubbard Lane next to the controversial sect's “Blue Building” location between Sunset Boulevard and Fountain Avenue, one thing became clear: the Church is afraid. I’m not sure I even fully captured this moment on camera, as I’ve strived to capture so much else the last few months on Hollywood Boulevard, but it was telling. Often controversial because of their aggressiveness, and the fact that almost all interactions are live streamed and recorded for future viewership across TikTok and YouTube primarily, creates a significant fear factor for members of the alleged cult. More than the average person, the idea of having their beliefs challenged openly scares the Church of Scientology, so much so that they have responded with fear tactics, designed to show demonstrators that not only will the authorities not protect them, but that tangible harm can happen for being resistant.

Link: https://zacharyellison.substack.com/p/part-89-what-makes-a-suppressive
March 24, 2024

Part 90: American Politics in the Wasteland of Donald Trump - Why I Still Support Barack Obama

By Zachary Ellison, Independent Journalist
Published March 23, 2024

People have asked me about the time I was Barack Obama’s one-millionth online campaign contributor, in fact, I probably lose some readership over the political identification, establishing myself firmly in the moderate, center-left, a “liberal” as one poster once scorned at me with disgust. Usually, if I say anything about this online, I’ll be instantly branded as someone who must want to kill people with drone-strikes and cage children. American imperialism at its finest, the global empire, but really I still wonder if Barack Obama wasn’t something different. The promise of hope and change, the stability of two contiguous terms as President, the first African-American to do so in the history of this country.

To many he undoubtedly remains a hero, but it’s hard to pretend that the so-called “birtherism” launched by Donald Trump wasn’t the evil reflection of the worst tendencies of racist paranoid politics in the country. When I start to go through the story about how I donated $25 dollars in 2008 at just the right moment, people don’t believe it, and of course I did get two calls from Sam Graham-Feldstein, the former Obama aide who rang with the news that my late night donation from my grocery store paycheck was the one that put Obama’s essentially small donor count over the 1 million dollar mark. I was featured on the website of a Presidential Candidate for nearly a week back then, it was the strangest development.


March 4, 2024

Part 84: The Longest Title IX Case at USC - Sexual Violence and Corrupted Investigations

Part 84: The Longest Title IX Case at USC – Sexual Violence and Corrupted Investigations
Published March 1, 2024. Updated March 2, 2024.

By Zachary Ellison, Independent Journalist

What may be perhaps the longest Title IX case in the history of the University of Southern California is fast approaching a conclusion as the process continues toward a scheduled Live Hearing later in March. I met “Jane Doe” in a café to discuss the case for the first time, my prior reporting has been simply taken from the telltale signs of an intentional elongated process. The young woman became a victim of sexual violence at USC as a prospective student and the accused has long since graduated. The question of whether or not she would go through Live Hearing or instead agree to a Resolution process without one was on the table.

The USC EEO-TIX office, standing for equity, equal opportunity and Title IX, the nation’s fundamental gender-equity law for educational institutions, including private colleges and universities, was eager to press the case forward. Contacting the Jane Doe, at legal term used to conceal the victim’s identity in court proceedings, the EEO-TIX official wrote in a formal memorandum titled “RE: Notice of Partial Dismissal” that the “Respondent” the technical term for the accused, “who was a University student at the time…alleging potential violation of the Policy on Prohibited Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation (Policy)” before getting down to the legal business. Would there be a Live Hearing, and if so on what “potential Policy violations.”

Link: https://zacharyellison.substack.com/p/part-84-the-longest-title-ix-case

I'm going to keep investigating this as long as it takes!
February 27, 2024

Voyage LA Magazine Rising Stars: Meet Zachary Ellison

FEBRUARY 26, 2024

Today we’d like to introduce you to Zachary Ellison.

Hi Zachary, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today.
Today, I’m an independent journalist and a whistleblower, so what I write is what’s known as whistleblower journalism. The reason I went public as a whistleblower was the “October Surprise” of the LA Fed Tapes, an event that I had feared would come from my time in the University of Southern California, Office of the Provost. I worked there from October 2015 to August 26, 2022, when I was subjected to a hostile termination. I became suspicious that something was amiss from observing a senior official at USC speak and predicted that he would appear in the middle of leaked materials. This was discussed during the termination and reported to a senior security official at the university after the termination hearing.

My role was in academic operations and legal matters for the Provost’s Office, and I took it very seriously. We had difficult times navigating the Carmen Puliafito scandal, the former Dean of the Keck School of Medicine, but it was the George Tyndall sexual abuse scandal, the former campus gynecologist who recently died, that shook me the most. The victims were classmates, and the impact on the university community was profound. The Mark Ridley-Thomas and Marilyn Flynn bribery scandal that followed further corroded trust in the university. What moved me to action, though, was the lack of consistency in following the Resolution Agreement that President Carol Folt and former USC Chairman Rick Caruso signed.

Link: https://voyagela.com/interview/rising-stars-meet-zachary-ellison-of-lawndale/

February 26, 2024

Part 82: False LAPD Narratives and Other Conspiracies - The Squirrel Squad Parties in Hollywood

By Zachary Ellison, Independent Journalist

February 25, 2024

The press release from the Los Angeles Police Department Public Information Office came late last Sunday night after the 4 arrests made the preceding Friday night. It accuses the protestors colloquially known as the Squirrel Squad in joking reference to the terminology used by the Church of Scientology to describe dissidents and critics it believes to be undermining its authority. LAPD had moved in early, making one arrest for criminal threats relating to the initial episode on January 19 after a suspected member of the Church of Scientology punched well-known ex-Scientologist influencer Aaron Smith-Levin in the head on Hollywood Boulevard.

This protestor would be the last of four arrested that night to make it out of jail on bond after altercations with patrons at the La Poubelle Bistro & Bar at the intersection of Franklin and Bronson opposite the secretive organizations Celebrity Center. Two were released after one night with charges still pending, and a fourth known by his handle as the “Defender of Ants” would make it out after 5 nights in Men’s Central Jail. I greeted him at the Hollywood Police Station that same night getting a bear hug from the sizable man still in his blue prison scrubs and in search of his property seized by the LAPD with the charges being dropped against him.

Link: https://zacharyellison.substack.com/p/part-82-false-lapd-narratives-and
February 24, 2024

Part 81: Izek Shomof and the LA Alliance for Human Rights - Developer Chutzpah and the Salvation of Los Angeles

Published February 23, 2024

By Zachary Ellison, Independent Journalist

The Los Angeles Times featured a story on February 9 by respected journalist Doug Smith describing a meeting sometime in January regarding a proposed $6.4 million dollar fine requested by the LA Alliance for Human Rights. The meeting with Judge David O. Carter and lawyers for the group was interrupted by Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez and the Chief of Staff to Councilman Kevin de León according to the report. “Frustration rose to a point,” he writes that they “walked in uninvited to a negotiating session in a judge’s chambers to see what was being discussed” in an act of defiance.

The fine is being requested because the LA Alliance previously sued the City of Los Angeles to force them to “shelter at least 60% of people living on the streets in each council district,” but also because “the city repeatedly missed deadlines and negotiated in bad faith.” Mayor Karen Bass “blasted it” in a statement saying that: “The City of Los Angeles brought thousands more unhoused Angelenos inside last year than the year before and we will continue that urgent work to save lives no matter what…I do not have patience for anyone who stands in the way, and certainly not for those seeking to profit with baseless motions in court.”

Link: https://zacharyellison.substack.com/p/part-81-izek-shomof-and-the-la-alliance

February 19, 2024

Part 78: A New Corruption Investigation in Los Angeles - The Case of Patrick Wizmann Versus Izek Shomof

Part 78: A New Corruption Investigation in Los Angeles – The Case of Patrick Wizmann Versus Izek Shomof
Published February 16, 2024. Updated February 17, 2024.

By Zachary Ellison, Independent Journalist

The call was furtive, the source had something important to say, the meeting was urgent. So I arranged a first interview for a Starbucks on Santa Monica Boulevard near the 405 on a Thursday afternoon. Patrick Wizmann accompanied by his wife Sophie presented me with the most incredible story about one of the most powerful men in Los Angeles: prominent developer Izek Shomof. The former long-time business partners are now embroiled in a court battle amidst allegations of fraud, conspiracy, and most recently robbery and assault beneath the Art Deco buildings of downtown Los Angeles.

Wizmann is a brother to Izeks’ spouse Aline, played by “Delphine Chanéac, who perfectly captured Aline’s beauty and character” as Shomof writes in his new memoir Dreams Don’t Die published by Simon and Schuster with co-author Don Yaeger about his prior self-directed movie biopic For The Love of Money released in 2012. The marketing of the book by Tennessee based Forefront Books is the subject of a False Advertising Act claim by Wizmann, with the goal of getting the distributor to pull it from the shelves. Wizmann contends that the book co-written with ghostwriter Don Yaeger is a deliberate misrepresentation, most especially in regards to the repeated claim in the book to have led a law-abiding life in the United States, a “liar,” Wizmann loudly exclaimed.

Link: https://zacharyellison.substack.com/p/part-78-a-new-corruption-investigation

Some breaking news in this one! I'm going to be publishing full documents for this shortly. No one new Izek Shomof had a criminal conviction until now, and it comes during a family legal dispute and right after he published an autobiography omitting the episode.

February 4, 2024

Part 75: A Lack of Justice in Los Angeles - The End of the George Tyndall Criminal Case

Part 75: A Lack of Justice in Los Angeles – The End of the George Tyndall Criminal Case
February 3, 2024

By Zachary Ellison, Independent Journalist

Yesterday I attended the final dismissal of the People’s case against former University of Southern California gynecologist George Tyndall at the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center, it was my first time attending the proceedings that have dragged on for years following the disclosure by the Los Angeles Times in May 2018 and Tyndall’s subsequent arrest in June 2019. Tyndall would soon be granted bail in August 2019, and would remain under electronic ankle bracelet monitoring while living at home in Westlake.

I had avoided attending in the past, in the hope that justice would be served to the victims in a court of law, a day that never came. So even as I’ve spoken out for the last 14 months since going public in November 2022 following my hostile termination from USC in August 2022, still I hadn’t gone to the proceedings for fear of somehow spoiling them or being accused of seeking some undue spotlight. This has never been my intention, despite the intimations received from attorneys in the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, San Francisco Office, which ostensibly continues to monitor USC for further violations.

Link: https://zacharyellison.substack.com/p/part-75-a-lack-of-justice-in-los

I was the only person from the USC administration at Court on Friday to see the end of this case.

Please support local independent journalism. There is no Los Angeles Times article on this yet, and they just laid off 115 journalists. Plus their news coverage is now officially suspect, you can read about it in the New York Times. Really need your help DU to secure justice and protect women still on campus at USC better!

January 25, 2024

Part 70: USC Leadership Goes on the Record - Title IX Cases and the Avoidance of Resolution

Part 70: USC Leadership Goes on the Record – Title IX Cases and the Avoidance of Resolution
Published January 24, 2024

By Zachary Ellison, Independent Journalist

The University of Southern California has responded to my investigation, they don’t want to call it that, but this is our true purpose at the end of the day in carrying out journalism. You report on the case, do the investigation and hope that the institution responds. I’m ethically obligated to seek reply from those I write about when possible, and so that’s what we’ve done, and I’ve published USC’s full refusal to even discuss what’s going on in this case with me or acknowledge that any wrongdoing has occurred yet to date in delaying a prospective students complaint for more than two years.

Only after the victim came forward with their story, and it was published has USC now responded with the offer of a Live Hearing to ostensibly resolve her case long after the accused has graduated. Unfortunately, in doing whistleblower journalism like this you take the risk that by not disclosing the identity that something else will happen to someone. That’s an unfortunate trade-off, but USC knows exactly whose case has been reported, and I will continue to provide updates as I’m able on any progression.

Link: https://zacharyellison.substack.com/p/part-70-usc-leadership-goes-on-the

Please help me hold the University of Southern California accountable for covering-up sexual misconduct. This is a real story.

Profile Information

Name: Zachary Ellison
Gender: Male
Hometown: Los Angeles
Home country: United States of America
Current location: Los Angeles
Member since: Tue Oct 4, 2005, 03:58 AM
Number of posts: 27,711

About ellisonz

Zachary Ellison is an Independent Journalist and Whistleblower in the Los Angeles area. Zach was most recently employed by the University of Southern California, Office of the Provost from October 2015 to August 2022 as an Executive Secretary and Administrative Assistant supporting the Vice Provost for Academic Operations and the Vice Provost and Senior Advisor to the Provost among others. Zach holds a Masterís in Public Administration and a Graduate Certificate in Sustainable Policy and Planning from the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy. While a student at USC, he worked for the USC Good Neighbors Campaign including on their newsletter distributed university wide. Zach completed his B.A. in History at Reed College, in Portland, Oregon and was a writer, editor, and photographer for the Pasadena High School Chronicle. He was Barack Obamaís one-millionth online campaign contributor in 2008. Zach is a former AmeriCorps intern for Hawaii State Parks and worked for the City of Manhattan Beach Parks and Recreation. He is a trained civil process server, and enjoys weekends in the great outdoors. Find me on: https://zacharyellison.substack.com/
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