LA COUNTY – The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s department continues its investigation into public corruption by serving multiple search warrants across LA County Sept. 14.
The Sheriff’s department submitted its initial findings to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office in Sept. 2021 and were told to “keep investigating”.
DA George Gascon is on the record declining to pursue public corruption cases in conjunction with Sheriff ALex Villanueva, who surrendered his Sheriff powers while the search warrants were served.
The DA explained he didn’t want to get involved in going after the Sheriff’s “enemies” but rather less politically connected people like former school superintendents.
Inglewood residents have submitted a plethora of complaints to the DA’s office that have been routinely rejected.
They couldn’t find files related to the city’s trash contract, found the city violated state law regarding the Clippers arena, rejected claims of election fraud when candidates were forced to submit to a live scan, and didn’t find the ex-aide to Inglewood Mayor James Butts excessive salary a gift of public funds.
How is Gascon any different from his predecessor? The DA’s office received complaints on Mark Ridley-Thomas that were ignored until USC bypassed them and went straight to the feds, who later indicted him.
In the warrant signed Sept. 8 a whistleblower from Metro stated she submitted complaints to the district attorney, Sheriff’s department, and the attorney general. The only agency to look into it was the Sheriff.
Her complaint centered around Phil Washington usurping hiring rules and paying an invoice to avoid upsetting people.
The witness further stated that Phil Washington told her directly that he would rather pay the $75,000 so he could later use that to his advantage when he needed a political favor from Supervisor Sheila Kuehlexcerpt from search warrant
Emails from Patti Giggans indicate she was pressing for the $75,000 invoice to be paid and noted its “delay” in its approval.
Washington would need a political favor last year when he was under consideration for a return to the Denver International Airport. Washington previously worked for the airport where he was also under federal scrutiny but not found of any wrongdoing.
Kuehl personally wrote a letter to the Denver City Council denouncing allegations that Washington and Metro were named in a criminal search warrant.
Among the nearly dozen other officials named after Washington in the search warrant is LA County Supervisor and Metro board member Sheila Kuehl, who wrote a letter to Denver council members defending Washington’s merit.
Kuehl told Axios that Peace Over Violence was “probably the finest agency on domestic violence and sexual assault in our country.”DIA CEO nominee named in search warrant
Kuehl’s letter appears to have swayed the Denver council as they voted in favor of his return, which then led to Washington being nominated this year by President Joe Biden to lead the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
Politico is now reporting Mississippi Sen. Roger Wicker, the top Republican on the Senate Commerce Committee, called Wednesday for additional scrutiny of Washington’s nomination in light of the probe because he is “deeply troubled to learn the nominee was named in a search warrant that ties him to allegations of corruption at LA Metro.”
“I anticipate that this nominee’s credibility will also be a key focus of the committee.”Sen. Roger Wicker
LA County residents fought long and hard to have former DA Steve Cooley create the public integrity office to ensure elected officials aren’t making money from their votes.
A complaint sent to the DA on a Long Beach councilman voting in favor of contracts, to eventually go work for the company two years later was rejected and justified by saying “well he doesn’t do work for them in Long Beach”. An Inglewood councilman voted in favor of the city’s trash contract vendor and received a consulting agreement two years later that the DA also found to be ok.
Why does the Los Angeles County Public Integrity Unit continue to exist if the same players are either ignoring/rejecting complaints in the same vein as Jackie Lacey? What was the point in electing George Gascon? Unless their office is compromised too by the very elected officials who supported his campaign which is why he can’t fight public corruption with the Sheriff because it would conflict with his ability to stay in office.
Do two failed recalls of Gascon ring any bells?