18
Thu, Jul

Here We Go Again, LA

POLITICS

RANTZ & RAVEZ - The alleged Political Corruption at Los Angeles City Hall by elected officials continues once again.  This time the accused, and presumed innocent until proven guilty, is 72 -year -old veteran politician Curren De Millen Price, Jr. from the 9th Council District.   

Here we go again.  More alleged illegal activity by an elected Los Angeles City Council Official.  Another experienced member of the Los Angeles City Council falls from the title of Honorable Councilmember to accused criminal and is being charged with 10 counts of criminal activity.  This time it is Councilmember Curren De Millen Price, Jr. who has been charged with multiple Felony counts of illegal activity while serving as president pro-temp of the council. 

Curren Price has a long history serving in the California political arena.  First in Inglewood as a member of the City Council in 1993.  From there Curren was elected to the California State Assembly and then the State Senate.  With this unique background in local and state politics, Price was successful in moving onto the Los Angeles City Council where he won elections in 2013, 2017 and 2022.  While serving as a Los Angeles City Councilmember, Price was allegedly engaged in criminal activity that came to light with the filing of multiple Felony charges by the Los Angeles County District Attorney.  In reviewing case number Ba515782, the criminal charges reflect a history of Conflict of Interest, Perjury and Grand Theft by Embezzlement of Public Funds.  Very serious charges for any person charged but more severe when dealing with an elected official who takes an oath to serve in public office.  If convicted, the sentence could range from State Prison to County Jail.  In any case, the consequences are severe for any elected official that crosses the line between honesty and corruption for whatever the reason.

With an annual salary over $218,000 and many job benefits, one might question why someone would cross the line from Honorable Councilmember to Accused Criminal.

Looking at the recent history of multiple City Hall corruption cases and the deterioration of many Los Angeles neighborhoods.  Many families are leaving and more are planning on leaving Los Angeles.  It is up to the elected officials to set the standard for the  Quality of life.  Elected officials need to move on that agenda and not wait until we are all gone to nicer places that are more affordable and safer to live.   

As we have witnessed the comments and actions by Councilmembers Mitchell Englander, Jose Huizar, Mark Ridley-Thomas, Nury Martinez, Kevin de Leon and Gil Cedillo there are issues at City Hall that need to be addressed for the city to move forward for all of our benefits.  Councilmembers are held to a high standard and expected to work for the betterment of all people in our historic city.  Being elected to public office is an honor bestowed by voters to very few people.  The Honor is not to be broken for Greed or any other excuse that betrays the voters and all the people of our city.    

Academics  Report on Los Angeles Governance Reform

A very expensive and foolish idea has been proposed to increase the size of the City Council to counter corruption.  A group of Academics recently released a report on how to reform Los Angeles City Governance.  The report recommends the City Council expand from the current 15 members to 25, four of which would be elected at-large, and adopt provisions to empower the city’s Ethics Commission. 

What will that do to improve the standard of living for the people of Los Angeles?  We don’t need more Elected Officials spending more tax dollars on offices and staff and all the perks of being an elected official.  We need more services serving the people of Los Angeles.  Clean and Safe neighborhoods and Schools is what most people want and demand from government.  Not more elected officials spending tax dollars. 

Think about the County of Los Angeles that runs with 5 County Supervisors for 10 million people.  Los Angeles has 15 Council Members for 4 million people.  We don’t need more elected officials in Los Angeles.  We need Honest and Responsible people in public office including the Los Angeles City Council.      

Most of us know that Academics often don’t deal with reality.  That is quite obvious with their recommendation for more elected officials at L.A. City Hall.

L.A. Ethics Commission…Expensive and mostly Worthless for the $4 Million plus they are receiving to operate.

The Los Angeles City Ethics Commission was established by voters in 1990 to help preserve the public trust and foster public confidence in city government and elections.  They have been very silent when it comes to Criminal or Ethical matters involving city officials.  What do they actually do other than audit campaigns, levy fines and publish various reports?  One would think that they would be aggressive in enforcing the Ethics rules governing Los Angeles elected officials.

Something like Honesty in Los Angeles Politics might be a good place to start.        

The Commission has an annual budget over $4 million dollars and a staff of nearly 40 people.  The categories include:  Executive Staff, Advice and Disclosure, Strategic Communications, Audits, Enforcement and Administration.  

With the documented CORRUPTION already presented to the public by the FBI and the D.A.’s Office, one would think that the Ethics Commission might find something in their dealings with elected officials.    

There you have it.  More of your tax dollars that are not doing much with the Ethics Commission to “Preserve the Public Trust and Foster Public Confidence in City Government.”       

The LAPD continues to shrink as Crime continues to occur in Los Angeles and beyond.

The LAPD’s current strength as of June 3 is at 9,030 personnel.  A far cry from the 10,000 once on the record books under previous Mayors.  As the numbers shrink, the calls for service continue and the officers are hard pressed to “Protect and Serve the People of Los Angeles.”

The city’s crime stats as of June 10th comparing 2021 to 2023 are as follows….Robbery up 2.5%, Burglary up 12.3%, GTA up 4.5%, Burglary from Vehicle up 9.0%, Personal/other Theft up 43%.  Please make sure to report all crimes to the Police Dept.  Many reports can be made on line.  Police patrols are focused on the areas where crimes are reported.  If you fail to make a crime report, few if any patrols will focus on your neighborhood.  Patrols are designed to patrol those neighborhoods impacted by reported crime.

(Dennis P.  Zine is the author of RantZ and RaveZ.  The column is published twice a month to bring you City Hall and related political information.  Dennis is retired from law enforcement and the L.A. City Council.  Please email your comments to www.Valley News [email protected].)