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An Open Letter From Former City Controller Laura Chick To The People Of Los Angeles

OP-ED - It was the honor of my life to serve the people of Los Angeles and the State of California over a 20-year public service career.

Sadly so many distrust their elected leaders. In a 2021 Gallup poll, less than half of U.S. adults (44%) say they have a great deal or fair amount of confidence in people who hold or are running for public office. 

We must remember that it is our responsibility as voters to do our homework and find the best candidates. To that end, I felt it was my responsibility as a former Los Angeles City Controller to share my views on one of the candidates whom I believe, if elected, would be detrimental to the well-being of Los Angeles 

Though many people don’t know what the Controller does, they should. The City Controller is one of three citywide elected offices and is the City’s Chief Financial Officer. Every City public dollar runs through the Controller’s Office. The Controller is responsible for making every payment, including the salaries of thousands of City employees. As the Chief Auditor, the Controller is the Truth Teller, Inspector General and the Taxpayers’ Watchdog.  

One of the two candidates running for City Controller in November’s election is unfit for public office. Don’t take my word; look at what Kenneth Mejia has said about himself, “I’m a radical.”  He has shown himself to be an erratic, intolerant and extreme individual, yet he garnered 44% of the vote in the June primary. 

Some of this is because Angelenos are angry about the state of LA with a burgeoning homelessness crisis, rising crime and streets clogged with traffic, which are serious and challenging problems. But fixing those problems means electing steady (stable) and proven leaders, not loose cannons like Mejia. 

Here is the truth about Kenneth Mejia 

  1. Five times in the last six years, his CPA license was either expired or inactive, as recently as earlier this year. While he was touting to voters that one of his qualifications for Controller was that he was an accountant, he wasn’t being honest. When Los Angeles Magazine discovered this, Mejia Tweeted: “Anyone who is a CPA knows you DON’T NEED AN ACTIVE CPA to be an accountant.” 

However, according to the California Society of Certified Public Accountants, the nation’s largest statewide professional association of certified public accountants, “you cannot practice public accountancy while your license is inactive. Additionally, when using the title certified public accountant or the CPA designation, you must place the term inactive immediately after the designation or title.”  

  1. He is an extremist: Mejia accused the President of being a rapist and racist when he Tweeted,  “I can’t waste my vote this year voting for Joe Biden as much as me & my DEMOCRAT friends love him as a rapist and racist.” 
  1. He played right into the hands of Donald Trump‘s Presidential campaign in 2016 by parading around and Tweeting out a photo of himself holding a giant poster of Hillary Clinton with jail bars superimposed over her face. Echoing the calls of Trump mobs chanting, “Lock her up! Lock her up!” 
  1. Unacceptable behavior from Mejia campaign staff, From Los Angeles Magazine:”…foul-mouthed Mejia staffers have been disrupting a series of mayoral forums and debates this year. This includes attempts to force their way into a ticketed mayoral debate at California State University, Los Angeles, as well as the infamous interruption of a forum inside a Jewish house of worship in Valley Village on March 21. Such disruptions are unbecoming behavior, perhaps, from the associates of a media-savvy Millennial vying to become the elected paymaster, auditor, and chief accounting officer for the nation’s second-largest City.” 

The City Controller is the one elected office in the City that is meant to be objective, exceedingly honest and accurate in its reports to the public, and responsible, reasonable and rational in its financial advice to the Mayor and Council. The Controller has to be all about finding ways to make the City serve the public better…. not tear it apart and blow it up! 

Mr. Mejia must not be the next City Controller. Paul Koretz has the experience, character, and temperament to be an effective Controller. I urge all voters to choose Paul Koretz as Los Angeles City Controller!

Sincerely

LAURA N. CHICK

 

(Laura Chick is the former Los Angeles City Controller and Councilmember and former California ARRA Inspector General.)