LA Sentinel Throws Up a Smoke Screen for Councilman Price on the Bigamy Mystery

LOS ANGELES

@TheGussReport -- On Monday night, CityWatch published my article based on public records that suggest Los Angeles City Councilmember Curren D. Price was simultaneously married to two different women. The next day, the Los Angeles Sentinel newspaper published a statement attempting to refute my story, but misled its readers in numerous ways.  

The Sentinel article wrongfully or misleadingly alleges:

  1. “Mr. Price’s opponents apparently tried to muddy the waters in a last minute smear campaign.”

The article is the result of my own research and writing, and it was seen by nobody other than me prior to submitting it to my publisher. I have never met Mr. Price’s opponent, Jorge Nuño (who the LA Times endorsed over Price), nor anyone else from his campaign or family at any time. In fact, a few weeks earlier, I publicly pressured Mr. Nuño to identify his stances on various ballot issues in next week’s primary, until his campaign manager publicly requested that I cease, which I did.

  1. “As of Sentinelpress time no factual data has been produced to show that the councilmember has done anything wrong.”

That’s because at no time prior to publishing its statement did anyone from the Sentinel contact me in any way, shape or form to ask for proof, or anything else for that matter. Subsequent to its publishing, I sent Sentinel Publisher Danny Bakewell and its Managing Editor Brandon Brooks two emails letting them know that nobody from their publication contacted me, and that the documentation is free and readily available online. I also posted two comments on their website below the text of their statement. The Sentinel responded to none of them.

  1. The Sentinel quotes Albert Robles, the attorney who handled Mr. Price’s divorce efforts, “Curren Price is divorced, end of story.  I was Curren Price’s attorney, my office filed the paperwork.  As far as Curren Price is concerned, his divorce was settled years ago and that’s what was communicated to Mr. Price at the time.  I am no longer Curren Price’s attorney…”

According to Los Angeles court records, Mr. Price’s divorce is “pending,” (i.e. not finalized) and has been in that status since it was taken off-calendar on April 17, 2012.   On May 1, 2012, Mr. Robles was sent, and the court record contains, a notice by the court that the divorce dissolution was rejected. As of yesterday, the case is still pending and there has been no further activity in that file since May 1, 2012. The court records also show no new divorce filings from Mr. Price. Moreover, the record contains no withdrawal from Mr. Robles of his representation of Mr. Price, so while he says he is no longer his attorney, the record reflects otherwise.

Note: According to the California Bar Association, Mr. Robles was ineligible to practice law in California in 2014 for not complying with attorney continuing education requirements, and again less than a year later in 2015 for not paying his Bar Association dues.   He is presently licensed to practice, and bills himself as “The Best Eviction Attorney in California.”

I made numerous efforts to reach Messrs. Bakewell, Brooks and Robles to see if any of them could furnish proof that Mr. Price was, in fact, divorced, and received no reply from any of them. The Sentinel story remains on its website, with no updates to its content.

So let’s cut to the chase.

This is a 2013 article in which Del Richardson Price, Mr. Price’s second wife, discusses her chronic health condition. In it, she refers to a 2009 incident and references her husband….Curren Price.   But if Mr. Price was married to Del Richardson as of 2009, and he was still trying to divorce his first wife, Lynn, as late as 2012, it not only means he was married to two women simultaneously, it means he knew he was still married to Lynn, his first wife, when he married Del Richardson. It would also mean that Mr. Price (according to public records) is still married to both women.

Based on that information, this is bigamy, and it was committed by Mr. Price with knowledge aforethought. And if Del Richardson Price knew that she was marrying an already married man (there is no evidence to show that that is the case) it would mean that she, too, committed bigamy.

Finally, on Mr. Price’s Los Angeles City Ethics forms, which he has signed under penalty of perjury each year since 2012, he was required to identify any financial holdings of his or his spouse’s. In 2012, he identified no spouse. In each subsequent year, he identified only Del Richardson as his spouse. Since Mr. Price knew that he was still married to first wife Lynn, as evidenced by his unsuccessful divorce filings as late as 2012 (i.e. the same year he signed his first Ethics Form 700) it means that he perjured himself on each Ethics form he submitted by not including his first wife and her financial interests on each them.

It’s bigamy. It’s perjury. So say the records. Why is all of this so important? Because, these days more than ever, with our elected officials, what could be more important than trust?

(Daniel Guss, MBA, is a contributor to CityWatch, KFI AM-640, Huffington Post and elsewhere. Follow him on Twitter @TheGussReport. His opinions are his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of CityWatch.)

-cw

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