How L A City Hall got so corrupt bribes, kickbacks, scandal leaks
Los Angeles scandal was rocked by the recent leak of a recording in which top officials made sexist comments about multiple racial or ethnic groups.
City Hall is not immune to scandal. Many elected officials and leaders are still dealing with the consequences of past missteps. Three former members of council have been charged with federal crimes.
This brief overview will give you a refresher on some of the most famous and infamous scandals that have occurred in L.A. politics in recent years. Get ready.
Scandal : Audio of a racist leak
Los Angeles’ political world was rocked this week by audio of a 2021 closed door meeting between some of the city’s most powerful Latino leaders. The meeting discussed the city’s redistricting process. While many have raised concerns about the group’s discussion on ways to increase their political power in a contentious redistricting, it was the racist comments they made that triggered outrage from Angelenos all over the country.
The clip shows Nury Martinez, then-City Council President, making a slur about a Black council member’s son. He used a Spanish phrase that meant “looks like monkey” and suggested the child should be beaten to get him to behave. She claimed that the council member treated his son as an “accessory” and Councilmember Kevin de Leon later appeared to compare Martinez’s treatment of his child with Martinez carrying a Louis Vuitton bag. Ron Herrera, the then-president of Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, was also present in the conversation.
Martinez also makes bigoted and crude comments about Oaxacans and Jews in the same conversation.
Although there have been loud and swift calls for council members to resign, De Leon and Cedillo still hold their seats. Martinez finally resigned Wednesday
Scandal : Herrera resigned Monday night.
The bombshell recording was made public by the California Attorney General. He said that his office would open an investigation into redistricting in the city, which resulted in the redefinition of lines last year for the City Council, with 15 seats.
Scandal :The USC Kickback Scheme
Mark Ridley Thomas, a suspended City Councilmember, was indicted last January along with a former USC Dean on federal charges of taking bribes from the latter in return for directing millions of public funds to the university.
Prosecutors claim that Ridley Thomas was part of the L.A. County Board of Supervisors in 2017 before he joined City Council, from which he was later removed. The case is ongoing and he has pleaded not guilty.
Marilyn Louise Flynn was the ex-dean of USC’s School of Social Work. She recently agreed to a plea agreement, admitting to taking bribes in a case.
In order to conceal the source of the funds, she said that she had agreed to channel money from Ridley Thomas’ campaign through the university to his son’s non-profit.
She claimed that Ridley-Thomas had agreed to renew an L.A. County contract for USC’s online mental healthcare clinic. Ridley Thomas’ son was admitted to the university as part of the alleged “quid proquo”.
Scandal : Allegations against the Mayor’s Office
A Los Angeles police officer who was a bodyguard to Mayor Eric Garcetti filed a lawsuit against the city in 2020. He claimed that he had been repeatedly sexually harassed and abused by one of Garcetti’s top advisors. Garcetti was accused of witnessing some of the inappropriate behavior, including unwelcome touching and crude comments. The mayor refutes the allegations.
After Dolores Huerta, labor icon Dolores Huerta was criticized in a private Facebook group, Ana Guerrero became Garcetti’s chief staff officer. Guerrero resigned months later. Guerrero posted comments on the social media platform saying “I hate” and using a Spanish term which translates to “jealous elderly lady”.
After the June 2021 incident, Guerrero was placed on unpaid administrative leave by Garcetti’s office. However, she has recently returned to Garcetti as a top advisor.
Jacobs was also accused of the incident. This brought into question Jacobs’ workplace culture.
Scandal : ‘Pay-to-play’ scheme
One ex-council member was sentenced to prison for corruption charges. Another is facing criminal charges.
Mitchell Englander, a former City Councilman was sentenced to 14 months imprisonment in 2021 after he was convicted of lying about his dealings to federal authorities regarding $15,000 in secret cash payments as well as a night in Las Vegas.
Englander’s case is part of a wider probe into an alleged scheme to “pay-to play”, which has been focused on Jose Huizar, former Councilmember. The FBI raided the former Councilmember’s office and home in 2018. This case first came to public attention in 2018.
Huizar was arrested later and is now facing federal charges. He is accused of taking campaign donations and cash bribes from real estate developers to help get development projects through the city’s difficult approval process. He has pleaded guilty.
Huizar’s ex-special assistant George Esparza, his older brother and lobbyist, as well as two real estate consultants, have already pleaded guilty for federal crimes in this alleged scheme. Esparza admitted to receiving lavish perks, including trips to Australia and Vegas, and expensive meals and escort service, from a developer who wanted to build a skyscraper taller than 77 stories.
He also accepted $8,000 to $10,000 per monthly from the businessman who gave Englander cash. Salvador Huizar (the brother of the council member) admitted to this week that he had received cash envelopes from his brother. He told him to write checks from his bank account for the same amount.
Raymond Chan, who was Garcetti’s former deputy mayor, is also facing criminal charges. He focuses on economic development. Prosecutors claim that he is guilty of a variety of illegal activities, including the arrangement of “indirect bribe payment” to city officials through the securing of employment contracts for their relatives.
Scandal : Deals made by L.A. Water and Power officials
At least two people have been charged with the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. One of these former top-ranking lawyers in City Atty. In a separate federal investigation, Mike Feuer’s office was charged along with an attorney hired to represent the city.
Prosecutors allege that DWP officials as well as city attorneys participated in various criminal acts, including aiding in extortion or bribery.
Feuer claimed he was unaware of any illegal or unethical behavior in his lawyers and immediately condemned them after the scheme was exposed.
Feuer’s ex-civil litigation chief Thomas Peters earlier this year confessed in a plea agreement that he orchestrated a payment to someone threatening with disclosing damaging information about the city’s lawyers handling a DWP suit over faulty billing. Prosecutors claimed that the city’s legal staff colluded with lawyers representing ratepayers of the DWP.
David Wright, a former top DWP executive, participated in a similar scheme. Wright managed a $30-million DWP deal with an outside company. In return Wright was promised a job at the company at a $1-million annual salary and access to a Mercedes-Benz.
Illegal developer donations
A Torrance-based developer donated money to more than seven local politicians. Most scandall of them were from City Hall. In the case of campaign money laundering, the developer was later convicted.
An investigation by the Times in 2016 revealed that Samuel Leung had a network of over 100 people and companies who were connected to him. They made more than $600,000.000 in political donations to seven politicians during the six-year period Leung was developing the project. Later, the apartment complex was approved.
The D.A. began investigating these donations. The D.A., FBI, the FBI, and the Ethics Commission investigated these donations. They found that many of the donations were from unreliable sources. Some of them claimed they didn’t know about contributions made in their names — a violation of campaign finance law.
According to records, Joe Buscaino and other Councilmembers, including Martinez, Huizar, Huizar, Cedillo and Englander, received significant donations related to Leung.
Sometimes, the money was given to them as they were poised for key decisions regarding the development.
Garcetti was not directly involved in the decisions made by an independent campaign committee, which received donations tied to Leung.
Leung pleaded guilty to the charges in 2020. The case did not involve any elected officials.
Federal and county investigate campaign contributions
Martinez, the former president of the council, was subject to both a federal investigation and a local investigation in 2015. However Martinez and her staff were not charged with any criminal offenses.
Martinez’s campaign was investigated by federal prosecutors in 2015. They issued subpoenas for many of Martinez’s staffers in 2015 and then questioned donors who had given small amounts to support her reelection bid.
Martinez’s campaign was made possible by these donors. They showed grass-roots support, which allowed Martinez to be eligible for a larger pool of taxpayer-funded matching funds. These smaller donations were also investigated by L.A.’s District Attorney’s Office, who are investigating an allegation that fraud was being committed.
The Public Integrity Division of the District Attorney’s Office determined that $5 donations were not made to the purported donor, but investigators stated that there was not enough evidence to prove who was responsible.
This report was contributed by Dakota Smith, Emily Alpert Reyes and Richard Winton, Times staff writers.
L.A. Times Today is live on Spectrum News 1 at 7 p.m., Channel 1 and via streaming on the Spectrum News App. On channel 99, viewers can see Palos Verdes Peninsula or Orange County on Cox Systems.
Cara Delevingne Does Hollywood Glamorous on the 2023 Oscars Red Carpet
Cara Delevingne Makes Her Oscars Red Carpet Debut in an Eye-Catching Gown featuring a Thigh-High Slit
Delevingne will also serve as a presenter at tonight’s show. Cara Delevingne brought an old Hollywood glamour to Sunday’s 2023 Oscar red carpet.
At this evening’s award show, The Only Murders in the Building star, who is presenting, looked stunning in her daring red Elie Saab gown and Bulgari jewels. Her one-shoulder dress featured a thigh-high slit that showcased her platform Stuart Weitzman heels.
Delevingne took her glamorous style to the next level with a shimmery eye and bright rosy lip, finishing off with her hair pulled back off her face for an effortlessly stylish finish.
Delevingne, styled by Mariel Haenn and Rob Zangardi, got ready for her big night with hairstylist Danielle Priano and makeup artist Hung Vanngo. Vanngo used NakedBeauty MD Damsk Rose Revitalizing Gold-Infused Hydrogel Eye Masks to hydrate and plump Delevingne’s eyes – the ideal start to a glamorous night and the foundation for her makeup look.
Delevingne has been making waves on red carpets this awards season. She looked stunningly glamorous on the 2023 SAG Awards red carpet.
At the award show, model-actress Carolina Herrera, 30, stunned in an eye-catching long sleeve jumpsuit featuring plunging neckline decorated with large rosette appliques from their Fall/Winter 2023 collection. Additionally, this designer piece featured an overskirt which the star proudly showed off while walking down the red carpet.
Delevingne finished off her ensemble with black satin Casadei platform sandals and an amazing 74.73 carat necklace made of De Beers diamonds!
“Excited to be attending my first @sagawards tonight as part of the nominated cast of @onlymurdershulu!” she posted on Instagram alongside a picture of herself wearing the award show look.
Before the event, she shared on her Instagram Stories a behind-the-scenes glimpse of her beauty prep with Dior Beauty and celebrity esthetician Sarah Akram. To top it off, she donned bold brows and an intense red lip for full glam perfection.
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Delevingne has never shied away from making daring fashion statements at red carpet events. Last year, she graced the MIPCOM 2022 Fremantle photocall in Cannes wearing a flowy black minidress with sweetheart neckline and cutouts, paired with black heels with ankle-cuff detail and delicate jewelry. Delevingne kept her makeup understated but glamorous with a nude lip and glowing cheeks.
Cara Delevingne Reveals She Cried Watching Rihanna Perform at Super Bowl: ‘I Felt So Proud’
The Only Murders in the Building star chose soft waves for her hairstyle, giving off an effortless aesthetic that complemented her breezy dress perfectly.
Delevingne also donned an all-black ensemble when she hit the red carpet at Paris Fashion Week last September.
Delevingne had earlier missed a New York Fashion Week event to honor her collaboration with late designer Karl Lagerfeld, Cara Loves Karl. However, she was present at the Paris party to commemorate this momentous milestone.
Delevingne donned an oversized tuxedo blazer adorned with a harness belt bearing her late designer’s name and atelier address. Finishing off the ensemble were red lips and thigh-high black boots.
On Thursday morning, Delevingne debuted another Cara Loves Karl ensemble on Instagram with a carousel of photos featuring an elegant black blazer, matching pants and classic pointed-toe pumps. She chose not to wear a blouse underneath the blazer to show off its plunging neckline.
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Hyundai Verna Launched in India 2023: Pricing, Availability, Engine, Safety, Interior Review
Hyundai Verna Launched in India 2023: This updated model offers a radical redesign in terms of design, powertrain, and features over its predecessor. Furthermore, Hyundai has included some first-of-a-kind features not seen before on this generation of Verna. Primarily competing against it are Honda City 2023 hybrid cars which also offer hybrid powertrain options.
Pricing and Availability for the Hyundai Verna
The Hyundai Verna 2023 has been launched at an introductory price of Rs 10.90 lakh, with the most expensive variant priced at Rs 17.37 lakh (all prices ex-showroom). These prices are ex-showroom and subject to change without notice.
Explore the pricing details for the new Hyundai Verna 2023:
The Hyundai Verna 2023 is available in six variants: EX, S, SX(O), SX Turbo, and SX(O) Turbo. Customers can select between manual transmission, IVT, or DCT for their driving experience.
Hyundai Verna 2023 Engine Options
In terms of powertrain options, the Hyundai Verna 2023 will feature a 1.5-liter MPi variant and a 1.5-liter GDi petrol engine. It will be offered in nine color options totaling seven solid shades plus two dual-tone shades.
Hyundai Verna 2023 Safety
As standard equipment, the Verna comes with six airbags and other features like seatbelt reminders and three-point seatbelts. Furthermore, it gets Level 2 ADAS protection as well.
Hyundai Verna 2023 Interior Options
The Hyundai Verna 2023 will be offered dual-tone black and beige interiors. Plus, all major touch points feature soft-touch elements for added comfort.
The new Hyundai Verna 2023 boasts larger dimensions compared to its predecessor, providing more interior space as well as a 528-liter boot for storage needs.
The Hyundai Verna 2023 boasts a host of features, such as its 10.25-inch infotainment system with Bose speakers, multi-language support, and over 65 connected car tech options.
How Did South African Rapper Costa Titch Tragic Death?
Costa Titch had big plans and big dreams. On Saturday night, however, fans of the South African rapper feared for the worst when he collapsed during a performance. Later, his family issued a statement on Instagram lamenting the tragic knock at their door. Police continue to probe the tragic death of 28-year-old. Tributes have been paid to him as they continue their investigation. BBC 1Xtra presenter Jeremiah Asiamah, who interviewed Costa Titch just weeks prior, expressed her sorrow over the passing. “Not just for fans of amapiano music,” he tells BBC Newsbeat, but for all who appreciate great music.” “His presence is contagious – just like his music!”
How did Costa Titch Died?
Videos posted to social media show Costa collapsing twice before falling off the stage during his performance at Ultra South Africa festival in Johannesburg. Organisers praised him as a beloved artist and “an inspiring voice in South Africa’s amapiano scene”. They expressed their sorrow over the sudden loss.
Contrary to what some have speculated online, no cause of death has been given. Local police say a post-mortem examination will determine the cause of death for Costa. His family has requested time and space as they try to make sense of what has befallen them while seeking closure.
Who was Costa Titch?
Costa Titch Born Constantinos Tsobanoglou, he began his career as a dancer before making an international breakthrough with his song Big Flexa in 2022. Last month, Akon announced a collaboration with his record label Konvict Kulture.
Rappers Swagger and Jeezy came together for a remix of the track that was named a ‘Rising Record’ on 1Xtra’s Rave Show. Costa stated on the show that despite its success, there are still many places around the world which haven’t heard about the record yet.
1Xtra host Jeremiah Asiamah predicts Costa Titch’s songs will now ‘hit even harder in the clubs’. Jeremiah believes Costa’s ambitions went far beyond just creating music.
“When speaking to me, he said to me ‘Big Flexa has done its thing. But I want to take it up a notch – show people I’m more than just a rapper or dancer; I am an accomplished musician’.”
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