"Old, and rude, habits die hard for L.A. City Council"

From this:

It was the Los Angeles City Council's first day back in session since an appellate court chastised it for failing to pay attention to the public during its meetings.

But so far, it didn't look like a whole lot had changed.

As they discussed tsunami relief and rewards for crime victims, council members Tuesday continued their practice of walking around, using cell phones and talking to aides while they carried out the public's business...

"It was like the first day back to school after Christmas break." [Janice Hahn said.]

...Indeed, as Councilman Tom LaBonge was asking the city's emergency preparedness staff about the tsunami disaster in Asia, most of the council members had left their chairs.

Councilman Dennis Zine got on his cell phone, while Hahn went into the audience to speak to an aide.

Councilman Bernard Parks carried on a lengthy conversation with a former colleague, while others went missing completely.

Hahn defended her actions, saying she was having a private debate with her aide over whether to speak on the tsunami issue.

And LaBonge said he had no problem with so few of his colleagues sitting in their seats while he spoke.

"What bothers me at the end of the day is if we don't get our work done," he said...

Previous coverage here.