Following up on my article that was published in CityWatch in January 2019, my theory has served to be correct regarding misappropriation of funds paired with building high-priced housing units and spending that was out of control.
The work of Councilman Jose Huizar and former Councilman Mitch Englander confirms that LA City is a real-life Gotham City, and between the two of them, their corruption included bribery, kickbacks, extortion and money laundering. But does the corruption stop there? Are there others on the Council and/or individuals currently running for an LA County Supervisor’s seat or even a City Council seat involved?
Let us do some fact checks.
- Former Councilman Mitch Englander was indicted on obstruction, taking cash and gifts in a “Pay to Play” scheme dating back to 2017 (thus far), but are the hands of his former chief of staff John Lee clean?
- The FBI raided Huizars’ home and found about $130,000 in the pockets of his suits, which confirms that he is not that bright, and clearly not bright enough to mastermind the “Pay to Play” scheme on his own. The question becomes, who is he protecting and at what cost? Spill the beans, Huizar.
- How did a certain council member, who was in debt up to the eyeballs -- to the point that this member’s home was only hours away from foreclosure, paired with an enormous amount of credit card debt -- all of a sudden become debt free? Was this council member also part of the “Pay to Play” scheme? If my reliable source serves me well, it was shared with me that contractors met with city officials and were offered bribes at a local lounge. The FBI may want to run video footage from The Edison Lounge located downtown Los Angeles. It wouldn’t hurt to check it out. They may be able to pinpoint various contractors and city officials meeting off the record. This may answer why a certain council member is no longer in debt. Imagine that.
Here is the bigger question: Who is the Big Fish? Because anyone with functioning brain cells knows that there is a mastermind, a big kahuna behind all of this.
How was this going on without the knowledge of the other City Councilmembers?
Who took bribes in Los Angeles City Planning and Zoning?
And finally, another big question: How was all this going on right under the watchful eye of Mayor Eric Garcetti?
Inquiring minds want to know.
(Diedra M. Greenaway, MS/MBA, is a long-time community activist who lives and works in Los Angeles.) Edited for CityWatch by Linda Abrams.