Fighting Back Against Corruption at City Hall

The recent indictment and arrest of Councilmember Jose Huizar by the Department of Justice was an important step in addressing a horrendous and disgusting breach of the public's trust. Two months ago, I was among the first city officials to demand Mr. Huizar's resignation from office. But as the legal process proceeds, and regardless of what happens to Mr. Huizar, City Hall needs to take much bolder steps to get to the root of corruption and hold accountable anyone who attempts to profit from it.

This week, I wrote and introduced a motion, co-presented with my colleague Councilmember Marquise Harris-Dawson, that would create severe consequences for corrupt developers who attempt to influence city officials illegally. Among other things, our motion seeks:

  • the reversal of real estate and development entitlements that are obtained through corruption;
  • filing a lawsuit on behalf of taxpayers against those who engage in corruption for depriving the people of the honest services of city employees;
  • barring anyone who engages in corruption from seeking any city approvals or entitlements in the future.

In the coming months, I will be working on a number of other systemic reforms, including creating an independent Inspector General office that will be empowered to identify and investigate potential fraud and corruption in the real estate entitlement process. Unfortunately, the greed and dishonesty of a few very powerful people have unfairly tainted the thousands of dedicated women and men who work for the City of Los Angeles with commitment to serve the interests of the people. We need to be relentless in taking all steps to restore the public's confidence in their city government.