County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas ex. "SEIU Brother" Tyrone Freeman
What does County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas have to hide, especially from Federal Investigators and the Los Angeles Times?
But first, a flashback moment.
Controversy surrounding a powerful Los Angeles labor leader threatened Thursday to alter the landscape beneath the county's hottest political race, which has been fueled by record amounts of union spending.
Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors candidate Bernard C. Parks, who trailed in the June primary, challenged opponent Mark Ridley-Thomas to return more than $4.5 million raised on his behalf by a labor alliance that included beleaguered union leader Tyrone Freeman.
Parks, a Los Angeles city councilman, also noted that county officials have accused Freeman's local of raising more than $5 million in illegitimate union dues from low-wage home healthcare workers, a charge that union attorneys have flatly denied.
That was then, this is today from LA Times Investigative Reporter Paul Pringle.
Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas has declined to release any records of communications between his office and a longtime associate who has been employed by corporations that do millions of dollars of business with the county and a rail project that Ridley-Thomas helps oversee.
Ridley-Thomas similarly rejected Times requests for any e-mails, memos and letters involving the companies that hired the associate, Cynthia McClain-Hill, earlier this year.
The Times has reported that federal authorities have questioned people about Ridley-Thomas' ties to McClain-Hill and her employment with a joint venture managed by Flatiron Construction, which is building the $862-million, taxpayer-funded Expo Line light rail train. McClain-Hill, a lawyer who owns a lobbyist firm and has contributed thousands of dollars to Ridley-Thomas' campaigns, also works for Unisys Corp., which provides computer services to the county. Under the California Public Records Act, The Times sought more than nine months of records, including copies of the supervisor's appointment calendar and telephone bills.
The Feds are looking at Supervisor Ridley-Thomas? Wonder why?
The federal queries grew out of a U.S. Labor Department and FBI investigation into alleged corruption within the Service Employees International Union, a key financial backer of Ridley-Thomas' election campaign last year, people familiar with the probe say.
The Project Acorn event was at the headquarters of Local 721 of the Service Employees Union. It hadn�t started so I walked around the Virgil Avenue neighborhood, a few miles west of downtown. It�s a neighborhood of apartments, probably affordable for working families (if they double up) but they will be out of range if building ever resumes. At the union hall, I ran into Sen. Mark Ridley-Thomas, and interviewed him on the closed Martin Luther King Jr. hospital for a story I plan to do for LA Observed on his race with Los Angeles City Councilman Bernard Parks. Then I introduced both Mama Hill and a short video about her and about how she faced foreclosure.
Too bad that Boyarsky was fixated on the outcome of his agenda missive, thus missing the chance to get to the bottom of now Supervisor Ridley-Thomas dubious ties to SEIU, but then this is from the noted denier of "Raineygate"
** Less than one week from being sworn in as former Chief Bill Bratton's "designated heir" in the role of City of Los Angeles "Top Cop", Chief Charlie Beck announces a shake up of his command staff.
Beck, who was confirmed as chief by the City Council last Tuesday, promoted Deputy Chief Michel Moore to become one of the LAPD's three assistant chiefs and assigned him to a newly created post in charge of Special Services, according to an announcement released Monday.
In his new post, Moore will oversee an array of specialized operations that, until now, have been run separately, including the agency's Counter-Terrorism and Criminal Intelligence Bureau, the elite Metropolitan Division and the Detective Bureau.
To make room for Moore, Assistant Chief Jim McDonnell, who for several years has been the second-highest-ranking person in the department, dropped one rank to deputy chief and will take on a new position as chief of detectives.
** Talk about stimulating your political appetite. The City Council will resume talks Tuesday on a proposed medical marijuana ordinance that would let dispensaries sell pot to qualified patients -- even though the city attorney and district attorney insist such transactions would be illegal.
The City Council will consider amending the fifth draft (in how many flippin years!?) of the proposed ordinance submitted by the city attorney. Among the three dozen amendments proposed to the measure are:
-- only 70 collectives would be allowed citywide, or one medical marijuana facility per 57,000 residents, each chosen via a blind random drawing; link here for the rest.