LONG BEACH – Long Beach Councilman Rex Richardson is making it a habit to work for companies that he has voted in favor of contracts they have sought in the city of Long Beach. Richardson’s recent position has him required to register as a lobbyist in various cities across Los Angeles County.
On August 15, 2017, Richardson voted “yes” to award a ten year license agreement between the city of Long Beach and Crown Castle LLC, who lays the foundation for 5G mobile technology. According to this annual statement of economic interests, otherwise known as Form 700s, Richardson claimed that he began working for the company in July 2019.
2UrbanGirls was able to reach Mark Guillen, Public Affairs Manager for Crown Castle, who shared “it’s not typical that we hire current council members for government affairs work but Richardson does not represent himself as a councilman while working for us nor does he do any work in the city of Long Beach.”
When asked how many of the 87 cities in Los Angeles County, does Richardson work in, on behalf of Crown Castle, he said 86.
This is the second time Richardson has appeared to have made money from his vote.
In April 2018 Richardson began working for Renovate America, which some describe as a predatory lender, who sought out homeowners to take out loans on their homes for energy efficient upgrades that would be assessed on their property taxes.
HERO and CalFirst took the extra step of also having the Long Beach City Council vote to officially join their programs on April 7, 2015. Another PACE provider called Figtree was also voted on by the City Council as part of the same vote. All were approved unanimously and all three motions were made by Councilmember Andrews, and seconded by Councilmember Uranga. All three votes happened back to back and are here.
Rex started with the HERO Program more than 6 months later on October 27, 2015. Rex doesn’t represent HERO in Long Beach, and doesn’t use his title of Long Beach City Councilmember when working on HERO issues outside of Long Beach. The one time that the subject of PACE has come before the Long Beach City Council since then, Rex recused himself. This happened sometime in 2016 when the City Council approved another PACE provider, Ygrene.
Rex Richardson is well known around Los Angeles County and unless these elected officials are living under a rock, they would immediately know he is a member of the Long Beach City Council.
2UrbanGirls reached out to other elected officials to inquire if it were typical for elected officials to work for companies, after voting favorably for their projects.
“Absolutely not, don’t you think if it were possible all of us would do it?” said an elected official who refused to be publicly identified for this article.
This issue has come up in Inglewood with Inglewood Mayor James Butts and Councilman Eloy Morales personally benefitting from their votes on the city’s trash contract.
L.A. County District Attorney spokesperson Greg Risling confirmed they have received a complaint, that’s under review, into Richardson’s current employment and the question will become has he violated Government Code 1090.
The DA has determined that a conflict did not exist as the councilman took the job two years later, and cited the quote in this article from Crown Castle as determining Richardson does not perform work in Long Beach.