The Thursday night meeting of the Echo Park Improvement Assn. began with some residents praising the LAPD for sweeping out swap meet vendors from Echo Park Lake, with peddlers being warned and ticketed for soliciting on public property. But there was at least one person who wasn’t ready to join in the praise just yet – Deputy City Attorney Andre Quintero.
Despite working on the swap meet issue for more than year, Quintero was as surprised as many other Echo Park residents to hear that officers had cleared the park of vendors last Sunday. It was only last month that Quintero and a representative from Councilman Eric Garcetti’s office told members of the improvement association that the city could not force the vendors to leave the park until a related lawsuit is settled. But police last Sunday said they were enforcing a portion of the municipal code that was not suspended by the lawsuit. That was all news to Quintero, who said the LAPD had not advised him about their action. In fact, Quintero said that he was not sure whether the law that officers were citing could be applied to the park. He said he would check into the matter. So, will the LAPD be back at Echo Park Lake on Sunday to issue more warnings and tickets? Stay tuned.