INGLEWOOD – The Los Angeles District Attorney’s has confirmed they are reviewing a 2003 ordinance that provides lifetime medical benefits for retired Inglewood elected officials.
The ordinance came into question as Treasurer Wanda Brown publicly accused the City Council and City Manager Artie Fields of misappropriating $195,983 for medical benefits for past elected officials.
2UrbanGirls initiated a public records request where City Clerk Yvonne Horton confirmed that former Council members Jose Fernandez and Judy Dunlap are the only ones receiving lifetime medical benefits.
This contradicts a Daily Breeze article stating that benefits were also paid on behalf of former Mayor Roosevelt Dorn.
The 2003 ordinance passed on a 3-2 with Fernandez, Dunlap and Curren Price voting in favor. Price’s second wife filed a claim, in January 2018, for medical premiums to be paid on her behalf which the city denied.
Fernandez served as the councilman for District 3 and groomed his protege, Eloy Morales, to succeed him. A pulitzer prize winning investigation, into Fernandez’s shady dealings while heading the Centinela Valley Union High School District, revealed that Morales benefitted from Fernandez’s corruption.
The ordinance in question allows retiring council members 120 days to declare if they wish to take the lifetime medical benefit, in exchange for a lump sum payment.
Brown said she approached both City Manager Artie Fields and Butts about receiving the benefits, but was told she did not qualify because she isn’t a department head or an executive.
City Clerk Yvonne Horton does appear to have a dual role as both an elected official AND a city employee as she is covered under the collective bargaining agreement under Section IV of the Inglewood Executive Organization (IEO) Memorandum of Understanding, which covers city department heads. Approved salary ordinances between 2010 and 2018 show Horton’s salary has increased, for performing “extra” duties, that at times she falls short on fulfilling.
It is unclear why the city clerk is covered under a collective bargaining agreement and the treasurer isn’t.
The District Attorney’s office has yet to render a decision on the complaint filed in this matter.Ordinance 03-02