Freedom of Press or Character Assassination?

As a grateful recipient of the many people that the Sunland-Tujunga philanthropist Dr. David De Mullé has helped over the years, I would like to take this opportunity to voice how appalled I was by the character assassination by a Mexican-American columnist, Eddie Rivera, who clearly has a huge chip on his shoulder!

The character assassination written by Eddie Rivera and aided and abetted by his LAPD connection, Detective Vandersall, was the cover lead story with a large photograph of Dr. David De Mullé, who is affectionately called “Doc” by local persons he has helped. To my surprise, Eddie Rivera used exclusive quotes from the LAPD ex-policeman who graduated to the position of detective.

Dr. De Mullé’s no-nonsense, to-the-point approach with those for whom he puts himself out — personally and financially — to help through a rough time gave me respect for a man I instinctively felt had the aura of a retired highly successful businessman. In 2011, a good friend of mine, Gregory Garland-Gordon, introduced me to Dr. De Mullé through his Head of Security, Hershel. It quickly became obvious to me that Doc was doing a service to Los Angeles by rounding up and personally paying less fortunate persons who helped him collect old and discarded computers, monitors, etc. and carefully recycling them for redistribution to poor Native American or underprivileged communities.

Having lived from the mid to late 1960s until 2010 on the west side of Los Angeles, then moved to Santa Monica to a modest apartment for 17-plus years. I was amazed by the different standards of recycling of metal objects and defunct electronic computer parts here in the Valley. In Santa Monica, it is even a big deal not to bring old AA and/or AAA batteries to special recycling places because, I suppose, of their lead content. Santa Monica is even strict about any large items of any sort left in city trash bins on alleys because of the cost and space factors of trash collectors.

I feel terrible for the futures of both Eddie Rivera and former LAPD Detective Vandersall, the latter being the only LAPD reference in Rivera’s hit piece. I fear the two of them are not aware of their amateurish character assassination of a man whose character, in my heart, gave him the stature of success and who now is a retired wealthy philanthropist helping those who need his help or a little guidance, his focus and commitment; a man in a fatherly, albeit tough, to-the-point, no-nonsense fashion, has done his best to help displaced persons, alcohol addicts needing non-formal rehabilitation via the focus of doing manual-type labor to earn a little walking-around money.

Back in 2010-11 Doc took the leap of faith in negotiating a “safe refuge” for homeless people on land he rented located adjacent to Verdugo Liquor Store and the nearby Tujunga Gas Station. Although Doc’s main area of focus was driving around taking photos and writing stories for his newspaper articles he also took time to make sure that those a little confused or not fully off their pot, etc. did not disturb home- and land-owners in and around Kagel Canyon, Old Tujunga Canyon and the lower hills behind the homes on the inland side of Foothill Blvd. from Lowell and Foothill Blvd. down through the edge of Lake View Terrace.

It seemed most gracious to me, as I was neither an old-time resident of this area or an alcoholic or drug addict, that he provided me the safety and protection of the land he rented. Although I was only there for a period of about six weeks, his generosity and throw away non-assuming manner made me feel not just at ease but at home as it were during a financially challenging period of my life.

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