INGLEWOOD – Inglewood City Clerk Aisha Thompson was heavily supported by the City’s elected officials, and developers, in securing the seat after the resignation of her boss Yvonne Horton. She is now out of compliance with the City’s Investment Policy with no backlash from Mayor Butts.
Thompson was the long serving deputy to Horton for over a decade. After the public fallout between Mayor Butts and Treasurer Wanda Brown, she inherited many duties which fell on the treasurer, primarily including compliance with the City’s Investment Policy.
From the Daily Breeze:
Council members argued Treasurer Wanda Brown’s fiscal criticisms aren’t grounded in reality, mislead the public and indicate she is no longer qualified to handle the city’s investments. Her salary will change to reflect her more limited responsibilities, according to Mayor James T. Butts Jr.
These were duties that were granted by the council over the years,” Butts said. “What she did was show herself incompetent to perform these duties.”
The key change will limit Brown’s investment portfolio to “no more than $50,000,” a figure Butts says is at the discretion of the council and could be as low as a single dollar.Inglewood strips elected treasurer of most duties, moves to slash salary over infighting
Although Brown filed her claim against the City in early 2021, it is not clear if she was present for a meeting related to the investments that summer.
The City’s website details the Investment Committee has only met once, back in June 2021. The agenda was light. They discussed Policy and Procedures; 2) Make Recommendation to Research and/or Revise current policy and procedures; and 3) Give direction to staff.
Residents are unable to view the meeting minutes, as they have not been published to the City’s agenda center, nor has the City Clerk’s office responded to records requests.
According to the Monthly Treasurer’s Report, it is required to be filed monthly. A review of city council agendas from July 2021 to present shows that is not taking place since those duties were removed from Brown.
No reports were submitted for June 2020, or August and September 2021.
2UrbanGirls was able to reach multiple city treasurer’s to determine the significance of the monthly reports. They would only speak to me on condition of anonymity to avoid conflict with the mayor.
The treasurer’s report details all of the money under their offices purview, and in Inglewood’s case, with them reducing Brown’s authority to only $50,000, it’s possible she is not aware of what is going in and out of those accounts as those duties now fall under your City Clerk. The question is why isn’t she filing them in accordance with City’s investment policy which says once a month?
You must also note that there is a glaring decrease in one of the accounts during the month’s where there are no reports on file. Your treasurer consistently speaks of the mayor having control over the City’s (bond) funds, and previous articles indicate the City is dipping into the bond account for expenditures, then reimbursing from the general fund. In this instance, there is money missing but doesn’t show it as being returned.
Is the City Clerk, either knowingly or unknowingly, in collusion to defraud bondholders, and the public of how bond proceeds are being spent on expenditures not directly tied to a bond related activity?
Residents and city employees were outraged that Thompson received a nearly 10% salary increase, of close to an additional $1000 / month, after less than a year of her being elected.
Thompson was elected November 2020, and received her raise on the August 24, 2021 council agenda. Two months after the June Investment Committee meeting, and a month after she submitted nearly a year of investment reports at once.
The mayor has acknowledged the City used $25,000 in bond proceeds, from the US Bank account, to feed law enforcement personnel during the Super Bowl weekend.
Does this add to the treasurer’s claim that bond proceeds are being misused?