LA City Ethics Commission OKs proposal to ban developer contributions to city pols

Law would upend a longstanding financial relationship between developers and city officials

TRD LOS ANGELES /
Feb.February 20, 2019 12:00 PM
LA City Ethics Commission President Melinda Murray and City Hall (Credit: Wikimedia)

With an FBI probe into potential ethics violations involving real estate deals swirling around Los Angeles City Hall, the city’s own Ethics Commission has taken a major step towards barring developers from donating to elected officials.

The Ethics Commission voted on Tuesday in favor of a proposal that would ban donations from developers to political candidates and officeholders, as well as their associates and all non-individuals, including companies, according to the Los Feliz Ledger.

Such a law would upend the typical cozy relationship developers have with city officials. Developers vying for city contracts or approvals on large projects often donate dollars to officials with decision-making power over those approvals.

It would also bar any lobbyists or prospective city contractors who have lobbied a city official in the last year from donating to “pet charities” at the request of a city official. That’s a common practice at City Hall and is central to an FBI investigation of alleged misconduct by L.A. Councilmember Jose Huizar and others.

City officials have received nearly $50 million in such payments since 2014. Mayor Eric Garcetti received $40 million of that.

The measure was proposed by Councilmember David Ryu, who first proposed it in 2017. The measure died in committee over concerns it limited free speech in violation of the U.S. Constitution.

The ethics commission vote moves the proposal back to the City Council’s Rules, Elections, and Intergovernmental Relations committee. An approval there would send it to the full City Council for consideration. Council President Herb Wesson chairs the committee. One of his deputies is of interest to the FBI in its investigation of alleged pay-to-play between developers and City Hall officials. [Los Feliz Ledger] — Dennis Lynch 


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
From left: Jose Huizar, Huang Wei, Mohamed Hadid, Robert Herscu, Raymond Chan, and Arman Gabay, with Los Angeles City Hall (Credit: iStock and Getty Images)

Real estate’s role in LA corruption scandals

From left: Governor Gavin Newsom, Assemblymember David Chiu, Senator Holly Mitchell, and Senator Nancy Skinner (Credit: Getty Images)

Here are the key housing and rent control bills state lawmakers are debating

Assemblymember Phil Ting

Statewide pot shop bill gets smoked

Assemblymember David Chui

Opponents of statewide bill to cap rent increases call it “disincentive” to build

Councilmen Blumenfield and Cedillo with City Hall

City Council’s plan to restrict developer donations faces Council pushback

Inglewood Mayor James T. Butts

Inglewood spent millions soundproofing wealthier homes from LAX noise

State Senator Anthony Portantino and Glendale

Strength in the suburbs: Homeowners played central role in opposing housing bill

LAplus' Mark Vallianatos

Housing construction in LA is down, and developers blame Measure JJJ

arrow_forward_ios