Health Investigators Would Conduct Condom Checks Under Plan

Rhett Pardon

LOS ANGELES — If Los Angeles County voters approve the porn-condom ballot measure slated for November, investigators from the Public Health department would be trained and deployed to conduct random condom and permit checks to ensure compliance.

Public Health also would maintain a phone line to field complaints and reports of violations, according to a memo from Public Health Director Dr. Jonathan Fielding.

The memo, reviewed by each county supervisor prior to yesterday's vote that sends the measure to voters for consideration, addresses the initiative's "preliminary implementation approach" and outlines proposed requirements as well as costs. XBIZ obtained the memo Wednesday.

Fielding's memo, along with another from the county's chief counsel discussing legal implications of the initiative, helped supervisors determine the ballot initiative's manifest.

Fielding said the measure establishes two types of permits that would be required if voters approve it: a Public Health permit and film permit.

Under the Public Health permit, a porn production company would have to attest and maintain documentation that it was in compliance with the condom mandate and that relevant staff have taken the required training. Training would need to be accomplished through a Public Health-approved training center.

Issues over film permits, Fielding said, could vary because certain conditions exist for each city or unincorporated areas. "Some cities may not require on-location permit while others may have specific conditions," he said.

Fielding noted that compliance will be difficult because porn producers typically don't publicly disclose locations in advance and that "imposing fines and confiscating equipment of noncompliant adult film producers may not result in films being produced in full compliance with a mandatory condom-use ordinance."

"The ballot measure's effectiveness will be a challenge with respect to compliance as there are few options to identify and require underground, inconspicuous, intentionally noncompliant filmmakers to obtain permits," Fielding said. "While it is likely that there will be adult filming conducted without permits, larger film production companies may be more motivated to secure permits for insurance or other business permits."

In the memo, Fielding addressed additional costs adult producers would have to shell out, if voters approve the plan.Two hundred producers of porn have been identified in the county.

The ordinance proposes a two-year Public Health permit for porn producers with two-year county costs projected at $582,932, Fielding said.

The costs, he said, would fund two investigators, one full-time and one part-time, as well as an administrative assistant, but it does not calculate in law enforcement costs.

"If 10 Public Health permits were issued, the two-year costs translate into a fee of $58,294 per permit," he said. "Alternatively, if 50 permits are issued, the per permit fee would be $11,658. Because actual permit volume is unknown at this time, Public Health will need to make a volume estimate for purposes of establishing the initial fee and make adjustments thereafter."

View Dr. Jonathan Fielding's memo to supervisors