Our cameras caught a City of L.A. employee lighting up and smoking something out of a pipe while on duty and earning your tax dollars. What was he smoking? That is what we wanted to know.

David Goldstein: “What are you smoking here? You smoking pot or you smoking crack?”

Our hidden camera caught a City of L.A. employee smoking what appeared to be a pipe, while on duty at the Port of Los Angeles Harbor Department on June 21.

City employee: “No I’m not. It was a cigarette.”

David Goldstein: “No, it was a pipe. You were smoking out of a pipe.”

City employee: “No it wasn’t.”

The man is a gardener for the Port of Los Angeles Harbor Department. He makes good money — $46,000 a year plus benefits.

We saw him working on 22nd Street in San Pedro at about 10 a.m. on June 21. Our camera caught him standing next to his truck, lighting up a pipe and taking a long hit while looking around, apparently to see if anyone was watching.

A few seconds later, he lit it one more time and when he pulled the lighter away from his mouth, you could clearly see him holding a pipe with his two fingers. But he denied it.

City employee: “I said it was a cigarette, like I said before.”

David Goldstein: “It was a cigarette and not a pipe?”

City employee: “Exactly.”

David Goldstein: “Come on, it clearly was a pipe.”

In fact at one point we did see him smoking a cigarette. But when played in slow motion, our video clearly shows that he was holding a pipe.

City worker: “No, it wasn’t. It was a cigarette.”

We reported what we saw to Port of L.A. officials, who called the employee in for questioning. After he told me at least four times he was smoking a cigarette, he told his bosses a different story.

Port of L.A. official: “I spoke with the individual yesterday and said to him we were told you were smoking a pipe and he said, that’s correct, he was smoking a pipe. That’s what he told me.”

David Goldstein: “What did he tell you was in the pipe?”

Port of L.A. official: “He said tobacco. He said he was smoking a pipe and it was tobacco?”

David Goldstein: “Did you know he had told me he was smoking a cigarette?”

Port of L.A. official: “No I did not.”

The conflicting stories will be part of an investigation launched because of our hidden-camera video.

The employee was ordered to take a drug test. The results will be confidential, but the port has a zero-tolerance policy for drugs and if the test is positive, the man will be disciplined.

David Goldstein

Comments (51)
  1. Shazoom says:

    What’s the world coming to when a guy can’t take a few hits of the old crack pipe once in a while to break the monotony of the work day?

    1. JA rodriguez says:

      -Because he will be operating machinery and to mention driving company owned vehicle; that’s enough to endanger the lives of civilians around this (fill in blank).

      1. JOe says:

        operating machinery?? he’s a gardener for crying out loud.SO WHAT if he smokes a little grass.

      2. cringo says:

        But it’s okay for people to do such things on other drugs, like xanax, etc? I’ve worked with people who have smoked marijuana on the job and I’d rather them smoke it than cigarettes. Or even better, I’d rather be around someone who smokes a little marijuana than someone who is going through nicotine withdrawal.

    2. dean says:

      You whack azz people should mind your own business. I’d like to see what we would find if we spied on your azz for a day or two. You nosey azz rats suck.


    3. Dixon Cider says:

      He was smokin Odweeds no Thc.

  2. Meagan says:

    Disciplined? HE SHOULD BE FIRED!

  3. Betsy Aeschliman says:

    I’m thrilled with your new format for video viewing. I really like the fact that we can have a full screen now…but I’m distressed that there are no dates on the selections anymore. I see times but no dates…bummer

  4. kerry says:

    if it was a crack pipe would he, have burn his hand by holding the other end of a pipe, i guest you will say he had glove on also, did you see the la count sheriff put his serin on to pass people at a red light when he had no cause for that, then got into line and was laughing smart ass

    1. Chris C. says:

      What the ???? are you smoking?

    2. DAVID says:


  5. unclevito says:

    Fire this idiot, now. There are too many others who would do better at this job.

  6. Obama says:

    Come on Like If You Dont Do This Stuff, What are You Inisent Lier, Maby Some One Should Fire You Like You Said Someone Can Do A beter Job.

    1. Lol I Can Use My Shift Key Too!!!

  7. Vickie says:

    If indeed he was smoking something other than tobacco he should be fired not disciplined. He is putting a lot of lives in danger by doing this. Someone who does not do drugs and could do a better job would love to have this job!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. Hott4Vickie says:

      Vickie you are so right , I think we should make out in my car

  8. inand out says:

    as long as he has been doing his job well all these years… give him a break!!!!! pot, crack, harsh hesh, wat eva, let the guy be PLEASE!!!!! a word of encouragement for the dude, when one door closes, it opens a new and better one

    1. Another word of encouragement – your next employer will fire you too. Maybe it has something to do with smoking your pipe on the job…just a thought…

  9. fadedpent says:

    ppl are way too uptight. if hes doing his job properly then more power too him. People posting are so quick to asume they are better then someone just because that someone is seen smoking a pipe. Get a life ppl.

  10. Colin says:

    You can see how the drug war has prospered just by reading little comments like a few on this page. Blind, illogical arrogance in a significant portion of the populace.

    When people say things like “someone who does not do drugs and could do a better job” you can see the contents of their minds. You can see that this is a much larger fundamental issue than some guy taking two hits off of a pipe at work. Though it is a small dose that he took,(if it really wasn’t tobacco, who knows) I can understand work endangerment, but a few of these comments show that work-time use isn’t really on their minds..

    These types of people believe that people who use drugs are sub-human, that they are inherently flawed. They don’t know this guy, even so much as his name, yet they instantly dismiss his entire work record in their minds. When they see “DRUGS” being used, their entire view changes suddenly. The man they would have once seen as a great worker is now a deadbeat, and a “better” (non drug user) employee should immediately take his place. Even if they knew the man who used drugs for decades, and only knew the non-drug user for a few days, they’d replace the first man in a heartbeat.

    It’s sad to realize that these kinds of people are out there, and in significant numbers, but one day they won’t have any power over responsible drug users anymore.

    1. Vickie says:

      I just want you to know I used to be a pot head for 30 yrs, thank god it did not lead to nothing more serious, I have seen a lot of my friends killed or die over drugs, so I did not make my judgment lightly since I have been there done that, now who has the closed mind. I can tell you this now I have COPD from all the chemicals I have put in my lungs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and one day it will put me in my grave.

    2. j.bode says:

      “responsible” drug users, a real oxymoron if I ever heard one. Look it up in the dict.

    3. Marc says:

      Typical liberal viewpoint. Reading what he wants into the comments. Some points are true but he throws it on all the negative comments erroneously.
      Do drugs at work, your done. I don’t care what you do at home. I don’t pay you to get high, even ‘just a little bit’
      Then give me back alittle bit of your pay while you get f#^%%&ed up’
      In fact, walk to work.

  11. jesse james says:

    just figuring out what city workers really do . wake up ! only thing protecting them is the unions they work for . tax dollars working %&^$^%$

  12. Jeff says:

    I couldnt care less what his work history is, He made a consious decision to risk termination by violating the city drug policy. The municipal drug policy is a blanket policy, who amoung you would be able to say who should or shouldnt be covered in a municipal drug policy and would you be so forgiving if you saw a police officer or a fire fighter doing the same thing? If he is to be considered a ‘responsible drug user’, then he should be held accountable for his actions

  13. dacount says:

    whats a serin ? isn’t that nerve gas? thae sheriff put nerve gas on people ?

  14. mindurbissness says:

    David Goldstein get over it why worry about sure he shouldnt smoke out in public. But as long as the man is doing hes job right. Alcohol is worse and legal. Cover a real story!!!!

  15. Chris J says:

    The US media — What do we do to look like we are an investigative news branch to boost ratings? We can’t investigate large corporations cause they sponsor us. We can’t look into politicians cause they are sponsored by the corporations that sponsor us.

    Oh lets try to investigate some Joe citizen that works for the state. After all state employees belong to the people and we can’t look into the acts of someone employed by one of our sponsors.

  16. sara says:

    Take another hit government worker(parisite)your all corrupt. Cal-Trans workers are notorious, at getting loaded, they all cover for each other to. Fire all em. Hire new.

  17. shaynawade says:

    im not happy with that soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo sad lol but forreal sad

  18. shaynawade says:

    those people who has a puppy like a poparania or a yorkie under 50$ please please!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! give them to me amarie cell them by petsmart thank have a great day sorry you cute pupppys

  19. gina says:

    he obviously loves the stuff more than his job and doesn’t seem to care what anyone else thinks about it ,needs help.

  20. James S says:

    Wow, shockingly enough…well not so much, it doesn’t surprise me at all when I read comments from people who condone the acts of this person. Personally I think what he did is awesome, he was caught smoking (something) lied about it to both the investigating reporter, and his supervisor. I mean hell, think about it…no big thing if he is working, riding one of the big commercial lawn mowers smoking his (something) runs over 3 or 4 kids playing ball! You know, nice little kiddy chunks, no big deal right people??

    This person not only violated Municipal regulations, lied to several people to try and cover it, broke both state and federal laws…if he was smoking (something) but he also violated the trust given to him by the people in the county he works in.

    But by all means, those of you condoning what he did by you comments and talking about responsible drug use, by all means…write some more so that those of us with a brain cell left can have someway to understand that you are right, and all of us are wrong for thinking that he should be fired and charges brought against him. If he was smoking (something) he should be prepared for what the outcome will be…but like all the rest, he will whine and cry and tell everyone it was a mistake and he should just be slapped on the wrist, when in all truth, this is NOT the first time he did it, just the first time he has been caught….big difference there!!!

    1. Calical says:

      snitch our freedom away

  21. Frank O says:

    You guys are dorks. Of course he is smoking weed. And that aint no crime. All you conservative losers, you can fly a space shuttle while smoking weed and nothing bad will happen. I am a school teacher and I smoke herb before I leave for work. Pot is good for people!!!

    1. I REALLY hope you explain it that way to your superiors when you get caught…you’ll get your own page on CBS!

  22. Wow…so I just stumbled upon this through a couple of links, but boy am I glad to come across some of the worst spelling and grammar available on the web!

    Or should I say I came “acrosst dis site wen I wuz surchin the web”???

    “Come on Like If You Dont Do This Stuff, What are You Inisent Lier, Maby Some One Should Fire You Like You Said Someone Can Do A beter Job.”

    Your shift key is going to wear out REALLY soon. You might want to invest in a durable keyboard, and maybe some schooling…

  23. john fiorella says:

    What is the world coming to when you cannot smoke a pipe? If it was drugs then fire him but a pipe or cigarette let him take his break.

  24. gay of the united states says:

    come on leave the poor guy alone,hes just trying to light his cig,People do what they want to do anyway.. FREEDOM

  25. just a thought says:

    theres nothing wrong with him smoking a pipe, alot of people do it, even government officials, BUT where he F@(%3D up was the part when he got caught, But not only caught, BUT CAUGHT ON CAMERA! Idiot! But at least he was smart enough to lie about it and let them do their job and prove it! THAT is what makes AMERICA a wonderful country, we are innocent until proven guilty!

  26. michelle says:


  27. getoverit loosers says:

    Fire him immediately. Zero tolerance means zero tolerance. Hopefully he cannot collect unemployment. Rediculousness of the comments on here. If you want a good job get off and stay off the drugs. And as for the prescribed drugs. see a doctor and if he or she feels you should be on it then do it, but not while you are at work unless you wanna loose your job for being under the influence. It is breaking the terms of employement get over it. Welfare recipients and unemployment recipients should have to take a drug test too to get the money. Maybe you would be more productive in society if you couldnt get stoned on someone elses money. Oh and they should all have legal citizenship papers.

  28. girokonto vergleich says:

    I have the same opinion with most of your points, but some need to be discussed further, I will hold a small talk with my partners and maybe I will ask you some advice shortly.

    – Rob

  29. James Hubbard says:

    My name is James Hubbard, III and I am sending this email on behalf of my son James Hubbard, IV. James IV is a senior Safety for the Chatsworth football team. James IV was the second leading tackler on the team this year. James is worthy of playing in the Daily News “All Star” Game. How do I/we gather information on how James IV would qualify to be a part of your “All Star” Game. I’m in hopes that James IV will not “slip through the cracks”, or be over-looked. My phone # is (818)355-6291. Thanks, James “Skip” Hubbard

  30. JJ says:

    Who the hell pays a gardener 46k plus benefits….his total compensation is likely pushing 55k a year….The going rate for a gardener/landscaping is about 12 bucks an hour or roughly 25k a year. The LA taxpayers are getting fleeced…

  31. Mommy the gardner was smoking….. taddle tale.

  32. I am really thankful to this topic because it really gives useful information ;:,

  33. Jennifer Costa says:

    next he will say what miley cyrus said and say he got it from a website like http://hollywoodherbalincense.com/ and it was not weed…..LOL!!!

  34. ErikGreed says:

    Nice blog!! keep up the nice style, it’s nice to see writer’s like you these days

  35. Copd statistics 2011 says:

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