Nury Martinez’s racist attacks add a new scandal to corruption-plagued LA City Hall – Orange County Register
In July 2022, the Los Angeles Daily News published a disturbing look at the top corruption cases affecting Los Angeles City Hall, the Los Angeles City Council and the city’s Department of Water and Energy, leading to investigations by the FBI and the Department of Justice , which sent a council member to prison. Others are awaiting trial, being investigated, or have been found guilty.
A new scandal now centers on former Los Angeles City Council President Nury Martinez, who in a leaked secret recording of her discussion with councilman Kevin de Leon, councilman Gil Cedillo and the powerful president of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, Ron Herrera, disturbing, used racial slurs to criticize Councilman Mike Bonin’s young son, who is black.
Martinez resigned as powerful council leader on Monday, October 10, after privately attacking Bonin’s son as “parece changuito,” meaning “like a monkey.” De Leon also echoed criticism of Bonin and his baby boy, appearing to compare Bonin’s handling of his toddler at a parade to Martinez holding a Louis Vuitton purse. Councilor Gil Cedillo and LA County Federation of Labor President Ron Herrera were also heard on the tape strategizing to get more Latino candidates elected to the city council and expressing frustration at the redistribution.
Nury Martinez represents City Council District 6, which includes Van Nuys, Panorama City, Arleta and other communities in the San Fernando Valley. The Nury Martinez scandal adds another notch to a growing list of troubling behavior at Los Angeles City Hall.
Here is a summary of the Los Angeles City Hall scandals and corruption that have gripped the city’s leadership and still do today:
On June 27, 2022, the first of a series of high-profile lawsuits resulted in a guilty verdict in what federal authorities are calling a “pay-to-play” criminal enterprise at LA City Hall. The court found that billionaire developer Dae Yong “David” Lee had paid a middleman a $500,000 bribe for then-Councillor Huizar in 2017 to ensure Huizar would crack down on an anti-construction union group voiced a 20-story tower that Lee hoped to build.
In a previous case, George Esparza, a special counsel for Huizar, pled guilty in 2020 to a property developer charging a 77-story skyscraper in Huizar district with conspiracy. Billionaire developer Wei Huang provided $600,000 in collateral in 2014 when Huizar applied for a loan, Esparza said in his plea agreement.
Future court cases are expected to focus on larger players, including former councilman Jose Huizar, who prosecutors claim is the leader of a criminal operation within the LA city government, along with senior official Raymond Chan, who controls the powerful building security department and which prosecutors say was part of Huizar’s alleged company.
Jose Huizar was removed from office in 2020 after his arrest. He and Los Angeles Deputy Mayor Raymond Chan are scheduled to face federal charges on February 21, 2023, for conspiring to violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act. The Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously to suspend Huizar on June 23, 2020, shortly after his arrest on federal racketeering charges stemming from a wide-ranging bribery investigation. Huizar, 51, is accused of taking $1.5 million in bribes from developers in exchange for his support of downtown development projects.
A second City Hall corruption scandal centers on the Los Angeles Department of Water and Energy and the LA City Attorney’s Office following a 2019 FBI crackdown targeting DWP and an internal plan to rig DWP contracts and collect kickbacks of $2.2 million to pay private attorney Paul O. Paradise. Paradis, aided by an unnamed clerk at the city’s prosecutor’s office, allegedly secretly represented both sides in a major class-action lawsuit against DWP over its 2013 billing debacle in which tens of thousands of Angelenos were overcharged.
In 2021, another scandal erupted when then-Councillor Mark Ridley-Thomas was charged with bribery after he allegedly secured his son a paying job and scholarship at USC in exchange for USC paying for contracts with had given positive votes to the district. At the time of the alleged crime, Ridley-Thomas held a seat on the influential Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. His charge is not directly connected to City Hall. His trial for bribery is scheduled for November this year.
A third councilman, Mitchell Englander, resigned and was later imprisoned for obstructing an FBI investigation into his accepting lavish gifts in Las Vegas from a businessman asking for favors from Englishmen.
Other former senior City Hall officials and advisers, developers, lobbyists, and others have pleaded guilty or have been found guilty of bribery, fraud, obstruction, and other crimes.
Ethical allegations are also fueling a major career controversy for Mayor Eric Garcetti, who months ago was hoping to be named ambassador to India. But after a Senate report suggested he may have ignored alleged longstanding sexual harassment by one of his top aides, the trail to Washington DC went cold. The mayor said he was unaware of any sexual harassment involving his aide, Rick Jacobs. His appointment remains pending.
https://www.ocregister.com/2022/10/10/nury-martinezs-racist-slams-add-a-new-scandal-to-corruption-riddled-la-city-hall/ Nury Martinez’s racist attacks add a new scandal to corruption-plagued LA City Hall – Orange County Register