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05
Mon, Dec

LA’s Corruption and Scandals Go On and On

RANTZ AND RAVEZ - The LONG and continuing series of CORRUPTION and SCANDALS at Los Angeles City Hall by Elected Officials and Top Administrators continues as we approach the November Election.

Nury Martinez, who was elected in a special election to the Los Angeles City Council in July 2013, resigned as the council president and as a member of the City Council.  The two other councilmembers, Kevin de Leon and Gil Cedillo, who also engaged in outrageous conduct remain members of the council as of October 12. 

These Councilmembers have caused elected officials, business leaders, voters  and residents of Los Angeles to look at city hall and ask what the HELL is going on with the so- called “Honorable” Officials who are elected to represent All of the people of Los Angeles and not just specific groups of residents and business owners? 

The group of three L.A. City Council Hispanic officials and labor Federation leader Ron Herrera met in private at a union facility to discuss redistricting boundaries of the 15 council districts.  They discussed how to divide the city into various sectors and provide certain areas to specific officials.  The goal was to gain influence and a stronger hold on various Los Angeles neighborhoods that would assure their status on the City Council.  Highly unethical and blatantly discriminatory for the residents of Los Angeles.      

While redistricting communities of Los Angeles appeared to be the purpose of the meeting, the RECORDED comments made by those attending were hostile and negative in nature for several reasons.  This included offensive comments about the adopted son of councilman Mike Bonin.  What that had to do with the purpose of the meeting is reflective of just how the conversation brought up issues that had nothing to do with the purpose of the meeting and reflected unacceptable attitudes toward minority members of Los Angeles.          

The city is comprised of 473.93 square miles with a population just shy of 4 million residents.  While some areas of the city have expensive homes and exclusive business districts, other areas are a mixture of commercial, industrial, and less expensive and affordable for many working - class people.  Being a native of Los Angeles, a former member of the LAPD, and an elected 12 year city councilmember, I know firsthand how the city is divided into economic areas.  For example, the West side of Los Angeles has multi-million-dollar residents along Sunset Blvd and the areas toward the Ocean and Pacific Coast Highway.  On the other hand, the Eastern portion of Los Angeles is comprised of less expensive areas with a combination of residential, commercial, and industrial all packed together and at times stacked on top of each other.  The San Fernando Valley is a mixture of affordable housing for some and the exclusive areas in a variety of Valley neighborhoods.  Then there is the southern portion of Los Angeles with San Pedro on one end and the struggling neighborhoods as you approach the downtown portion and beyond along the 110 Freeway.  You can clearly see just how the city is divided when you drive down some of the local freeways like the 101, 405, 118, 10, 5 and the other freeways surrounding various Los Angeles neighborhoods.  I know the many diverse areas of Los Angeles from north to south and east to west from my over 50 years serving with the LAPD.    

The public outcry for the three councilmembers to resign from office will continue until they decide to leave office.  Without a voluntary departure from City Hall, the only option is a Recall from Office.  I am sure the three will realize that they must resign their positions and move along with their lives.  This has become a major crisis for Los Angeles and will only end with the resignation of the three members of the city council.  

We will see how this incident works out in the days ahead as even President Joe  Biden and other elected officials and countless residents have called for the three to leave office.  I hope Los Angeles can quickly recover from this incident since we are continuing to face many social, economic and crime related issues.  

While some city officials may use this situation to call for an expanded City Council, I am totally opposed to that idea.  We don’t need more of our tax dollars going to more elected officials.  We need our tax dollars going for city services.  How about paving the streets, repairing sidewalks and cleaning up Los Angeles?  Even better would be a reduction in the property and utility taxes we are all paying for living in the crime ridden and corrupt City of Los Angeles!  

Just check the City Hall record of recent City Hall corruption.  Councilmember Englander is a convicted Felon and served time in prison.  He is now released. 

The next two elected officials facing criminal trials for corruption are Jose Huizar and Mark Ridley Thomas.  The question is who is next on the FBI list of corrupt Los Angeles City Hall officials? 

With the LAPD unable to offer enough incentives to recruit police candidates, where do you turn in Los Angeles for public safety matters? 

The latest notice from the LAPD is a PSA urging potential crime victims to de-escalate confrontations to avoid violence!  That is the latest way for you to avoid becoming a crime victim in Los Angeles.  And don’t forget to leave your expensive watches, rings, clothing and vehicle locked away from those that want to steal your property. 

My next RantZ and RaveZ will feature my recommendations on who to vote for.  If you want to enhance your safety and live a happy life in Los Angeles, you may want to explore the candidates I am recommending to represent all of us in the political offices.

 

(Dennis P.  Zine is the author of RantZ and RaveZ.  The column is published twice a month in CityWatch to enlighten you on issues impacting Los Angeles and your community.  Dennis is a 54-year active member of law enforcement and a retired elected public official.)