Inglewood will host local elections Nov. 8 with a final list of candidates being listed on the City Clerk’s website. Behind the scenes, 2UrbanGirls has been copied on a litany of emails from candidates filing complaints with the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Public Integrity Unit over last minute requirements imposed on them by the city clerk.
Inglewood City Clerk Aisha Thompson is embroiled in controversy requiring candidates complete a live scan despite the city charter not being amended to include it in as a requirement to be on the ballot. Many candidates believe her salary dictates her allegiance to the incumbents and not Inglewood residents.
Erick Holly, the former head of Inglewood’s Chamber of Commerce and a candidate for mayor, said he isn’t surprised Inglewood is making it more difficult for people to run for office.
“L.A. County doesn’t do this but our little 9-square-mile city does. That leads me to believe this is about control.”Erick Holly, candidate who didn’t qualify for the Nov. 8 ballot
Potential candidates have filed multiple complaints with the DA claiming what amounts to election fraud after Inglewood Mayor James Butts said no ordinance exists changing the requirements of potential candidates and applauded Thompson’s “common sense” during the Aug. 23 regular city council meeting.
The clerk’s office has also been accused of not releasing public records related to how she came to her decision to unilaterally deny residents the right to participate if they declined to submit to a live scan and declined to say which department those records are going to.
“It’s intrusive,” Alena Cindy Giardina said. “You have no idea who that information is going to, or who is going to have access to it.” Giardina is a previous elected member of the Inglewood school board and the first woman to hold the title of city council member when she was appointed to District 1 nearly two decades ago.
The Inglewood charter states the city is to follow state law for municipal elections which only require the candidate to be 18, a U.S. citizen and for local elections a resident for 30 days before pulling nomination papers. Thompson declined to state how she came to this decision despite her not being made to adhere to such a requirement when she ran in 2020.
An affidavit is typically sufficient to prove meeting election requirements and residency which became an issue when Butts ran for office in 2010.
A question of his residency came into question by then City Clerk Yvonne Horton when his voter registration didn’t show he was eligible to run after it was discovered he wasn’t resident 30 days prior to appearing on the ballot.
When Horton asked him to sign an affidavit that he was in fact a resident 30 days prior to pulling nomination forms, Butts declined citing he wasn’t represented by legal counsel.
He came to a city council meeting, with his lawyer, and when Horton again requested he sign an affidavit attesting to when he became a resident, he declined.
“You are seeking to disenfranchise over 2,000 voters,” said Butts when the council removed him from the ballot.
Butts subsequently won in 2011.
The District Attorney has yet to render a decision on the complaints received although more will follow.
The DA is currently engaged in prosecuting a former member of the Compton city council for election fraud and continues to delay that case citing “shortage of court rooms” but is stopping short in Inglewood for violating their own charter and municipal codes.