Inglewood Mayor James T. Butts Jr. was forced to address an unauthorized check, issued to a local radio DJ employed with KJLH radio, due to the reporting of 2UrbanGirls. The radio DJ was issued a check, for a non sanctioned city event, that Butts had pulled from the July 7, 2020, warrant register.
Radio DJ Guy Black has performed emcee duties for the annual City of Inglewood Earth Day festival beginning in 2018. Black has “short form” agreements on file with the city for years 2018-2020.
2UrbanGirls obtained those agreements through a public records request which explicitly state Black is to be paid upon completion of the services provided, however, the agreements listed due date for payment typically fall on the the day prior of the event.
Black was paid $523 to emcee the 2018 Earth Day Festival held on April 22, 2018. His contractual obligations detailed his emcee services were needed between 1pm-6pm or whenever the event ended. Payment due date was April 21, 2018.
Black’s fee swelled to $6256 to emcee the 2019 Earth Day Festival held on April 20, 2019. His contractual obligations detailed his emcee services were needed between 1pm-6pm or whenever the event ended.
The 2020 Earth Day was sponsored by West Basin Municipal Water, Consolidated/Republic Services, the Clippers and KJLH so it is not known why Inglewood taxpayers paid Black when his employer is a title sponsor?
Black’s fee for the 2020 Earth Day Festival, which never took place, was $12,000.
Black’s agreement included: booking the talent for the event, pre-Earth Day event meetings, stage operations, emcee and stage manager and his full payment was due on April 18, 2020, the day before the event was scheduled to take place. Black was not contractually obligated to be there a pre-determined number of hours or have an established start/end time to emcee the event as previous contracts listed.
The city issued Black a check March 24, 2020, in the amount of $6000, without any contractual obligation to do so. The contract states his payment wasn’t due until April 18, 2020.
On June 6, 2020, two protests were held in the city of Inglewood. One took place at City Hall and the other took place at the Forum. Mayor Butts paid overtime to nearly the entire Inglewood Police Department to staff the event, along with calling in other agencies for the non-permitted event.
The Divine 9, which is a group of greek fraternity and sorority’s, held a protest rally at the Forum where flyers circulated around social media that Mayor Butts was the guest speaker and that the city of Inglewood “sponsored” their private, non-permitted event.
A public records request details that neither event organizer submitted the required special event applications, paid zero costs towards police, sanitation or city staffing fees and then a check showed up on the city’s warrant register for $4900 made payable to Guy Black with a description bearing “Divine 9” as the event.
The city could not produce documents related to the event so it is startling that someone in the city’s Sanitation department, where the check’s funds were charged to, would issue a check without the necessary backup documentation. Why didn’t the Finance department’s accounts payable team require the backup?
The Divine 9 event organizer, Sharis Rhodes, shared with 2UrbanGirls that it was a “no brainer” that the city switched the funds earmarked for the Earth Day festival to her event, without the approval of the city council. Sharis Rhodes is a paid campaign consultant to L.A. Councilman Herb Wesson’s campaign for L.A. County Supervisor. Wesson is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc.
Wesson’s relationship with KJLH has flourished with his sponsoring of a weekly radio program airing on Saturday mornings which features mayors from around L.A. County’s 2nd District.
Did Inglewood taxpayers fund a campaign event under the guise of a “community protest/rally”?
This is troublesome because it is illegal. You also have to take into consideration the city is facing a devastating revenue shortfall, employee unions are being asked to forgo raises in contract negotiations and Treasurer Wanda Brown is alluding to furloughs in the coming fiscal year. She is also consistently discussing the mismanagement of city funds and bullying of city staff by Mayor Butts.
When did Inglewood taxpayers money become Mayor Butts’ personal piggybank and why are city staffers possibly breaking the law at his request?