Inglewood Mayor James T. Butts offered an explanation as to why the city clerk unilaterally decided to impose background checks on potential candidates for the upcoming election without any official city documents giving her the authority to do so.
The Inglewood Charter says the provisions of the general laws of the state of California relating to municipal elections shall govern elections held in Inglewood unless otherwise provided for by charter or ordinance adopted by at least four affirmative votes. This section was last updated November 5, 1996.
In short, City Clerk Aisha Thompson appears to have no legal authority to unilaterally ask candidates to submit to a live scan in order to qualify for the ballot.
In Mayor Butts own words during the regular city council meeting held Aug. 23 no ordinance exists on the matter and “at some point” the council could take up the matter. Voters haven’t formally changed the charter either.
The Charter states that typically ordinances don’t become effective until 30 days after its adopted, with the exception of an ordinance related to an election.
Issues with the nomination process isn’t new as the District Attorney’s office reviewed the process leading up to the 2020 election where Thompson not only didn’t submit to a live scan, but the office failed to alert the public that the nomination period was extended due to two of the incumbents not filing for re-election, the city clerk and an area councilman.
Thompson was also allowed to violate the city’s municipal code Section 2-48 for improper campaign activity when she ran for office while a city employee. There is becoming a pattern of the council breaking the law and the DA’s office routinely ignoring complaints and only issuing a slap on the wrist to the continued offenders.
In our opinion, it’s beginning to appear that there is collusion between the City and the County in order to allow the council to usurp the rights of voters on behalf of construction projects. Over $20 million is earmarked for a transportation project in Inglewood that is barely 30% funded.
Will the nomination process need to start over?
That will be for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office to decide should they chose to investigate.