Inglewood Mayor James T. Butts Jr. will go to trial in an auto accident he caused when he turned on a red light and into oncoming traffic which resulted in him hitting a motorist and LAPD motor officer near USC in 2019.
The trial was initially set for last September but lawyers representing both the City and the mayor, as an individual, requested it be moved presumably due to the Nov. 8 election.
Simultaneously, the mayor was evading being served court documents to appear before a judge on a permanent restraining order request by his ex-aide. The judge ultimately denied her request.
Mayor Butts is being sued by driver Karina Gomez, the city of Los Angeles, and LAPD officer Michael Flynn and his wife.
The mayor was driving a city vehicle registered to the Inglewood Police Department on April 30, 2019, and was reportedly headed to a speaking engagement at USC when he made a left turn on a red light and into oncoming traffic. He hit the first vehicle which was being driven by Gomez who had her daughter in the backseat. Sitting stationary in front of USC was Officer Flynn who took the brunt of the impact which threw him off his motorcycle and into a fountain.
The violent crash was caught on video.
Butts’ lawyers attempted to downplay the accident saying they had no right to sue him and that being hit by a car is a known risk to motor officers. Butts quickly backtracked and admitted fault during the May 7, 2019 city council meeting.
“For whatever fault is to be assessed in this accident, that is mine, I accept it,”Mayor James T. Butts Jr.
If he accepts fault, why are taxpayers still paying legal fees on the matter three years later?
Related: Inglewood mayor used city’s $52,000 SUV whenever he wanted, though no law authorized it
Questions arose as to why City Manager Artie Fields gave butts 24/7 authorization to drive a city-owned vehicle which places liability on the shoulders of taxpayers in situations like this. The City Charter permits the elected officials to have an auto allowance which Butts refuses to take. Instead, he uses taxpayer funds as his personal piggybank with the full support of Fields and the other members of the city council.
The city of Los Angeles are seeking to recoup worker’s compensation costs for Flynn. Flynn and his wife’s lawsuit seeks nearly $60 million.
The mayor has already cost Inglewood taxpayers close to $500,000 in attorney fees related to his ongoing lawsuit with his ex-aide and now taxpayers will be expected to spend millions in settlements to resolve these claims.
The city council will meet in closed session on Feb. 14 to discuss the cases which have been combined into one.
There is a May 8 final status conference and the trial is set for May 22 at 8:30 a.m.
The question for the council is why do they continue to vote in favor of paying for Butts’ legal fees which are of a personal nature?
I can understand defending against “frivolous” lawsuits but there is no good reason why the mayor is allowed to drive a city-owned vehicle and continues to be driven around in a replacement Chevy Tahoe by a city employee who does not have “driver” in his job description.
He was seen being chauffeured by a staff member of the City’s Office of Emergency Services office last month at a store grand opening in Inglewood and a court hearing in Whittier.
What is Mayor Butts holding over this council that makes them go along with bilking the taxpayers out of millions of dollars for his personal indiscretions?
Great Questions !!
First taxpayers are paying the bills because all the council members believe in their hearts that residents owe them or at least their idol all he could ever desire with no regard for residents, home owners, or small business owners.
Shall we speculate about the whys the council votes in lockstep ?
There are personality types that want glory (even if it is reflected glory) so badly they will sell their souls especially if they know they may never be able to earn the glory they would like on their own,
There are others who may have in their past been a part of a situation that would spell career end if not for their hero coming to their career rescue. Of course he will forever hold that over their head.
Some know in their hearts they.have neither the interest, or the skill set to research and study what residents would want their representative to discuss/debate orconsider so their willingness to vote as directed and hold up their idol for 45 minutes 50 weeks a year in exchange for $60,000.00 ( or in the case of employees outrageous salaries ) are the best gig they could ever imagine, even if that means leaving their brains /hearts locked in closet.
Consider each have shown they have no interest in standing up for residents rights to comment, Each has shown they have no interest in adhering to the Brown Act ,AND each has shown they lack a sense of integrity or morality.so expecting them to act as if those concepts were important is unrealistic.
There are those who know they have no chance in the world of being in the presence of wealthy persons unless they are tied to another’s coat tails and are willing to sell their souls for that experience.
Some may have chosen the path of doing as told rather than owning independent actions because they believe the director of their actions will handsomely reward them..
Sadly because of the lack of moral integrity of 3 councilmembers – taxpayers are footing the bills for what should be a personal lawsuit – Didn’t we notice the Attorney who filed the response for the restraining order request suggested there was a marriage. Hello! yes there is a wife and anyone who looked at her request sees Butts and McDade dated but it is the LaDera Heights woman whose parents Butts claimed were in- laws when he used their address to run for mayor.. Should Taxpayers be paying attorney fees because of the Mayor’s extra marital affair didn’t go they way he wanted!
I keep seeing a Ad of a Tattoo of a SNAKE on a arm for tattoo remover, under article, funny i was thinking of a snake when you mention Mayor Butts. Good for him,
i cant really being nice.