We are a little over a week away from the June 8th election. We aren’t distracted by pot shops, pot holes or shiny mailers. We are focused on the city’s fiscal solvency and capacity to fund its retirement accounts and pay city bills in a timely manner. Under the current administration, that is not happening. They continue to withhold warrant registers from public view. They also haven’t restored the city’s credit rating, which means they can’t sell bonds on the open market with better rates. They will instead need to leverage TRAN funds as they did in 2013. The problem lies in IFS Securities, the company that pulled off the first $ 5 million bond with no rating. This company also caused big trouble in St. Louis elections. A favored candidate didn’t win.
IFS Securities Vice President is a convicted felon named Craig Walker. His company was doing business with city of St. Louis City Treasurer Tishaura Jones, who recently ran for mayor and lost. Presumably due to the media coverage surrounding his felon status.
IFS Securities has underwrote $55 million in bonds for St. Louis, however, a huge chunk of the city’s tax revenue relocated to Inglewood, CA. According to Zillow, the median home value in St. Louis is $119,000.
Interestingly, many high-profile, politically connected Black women, based out of Los Angeles, went on their social media accounts to support her campaign.
In 2015, Craig Walker appeared before the Compton mayor, council and residents, stressing the city was meeting their financial obligations and weren’t “financially stressed” as labeled by the California Policy Center. Walker mentioned the city was on track for the last 3 1/2 years, yet there is no audited report backing this claim. As a direct result of their being no audited report to back that up, the city’s credit rating was suspended in 2012 due to accountants not wanting to put an opinion under their name, which would mislead investors. IFS Securities knew the city finances better than Meyer Hoffman McCann (MHM) who performed the audit in 2011? The accounting firm would be fined and placed on probation the.following year due to not catching financial irregularities in the city of Bell. Compton has had $3.7 million stolen and audits didn’t catch that loss either.
Between February and October 2013, IFS Securites has underwritten $2 million in General Obligation bonds and $15 million in Tax Revenue Anticipated Notes (TRAN) on behalf of the city.
IFS Securities heavily supported Mayor Aja Brown in passing Measure P, yet were brought in under councilwoman Janna Zurita and the county of Los Angeles, to keep the city operating.
The bank holding the notes are Wells Fargo who was just fined for opening false accounts under their customers identities.
How many more “bonds” will IFS Securities and Wells Fargo underwrite and how long will the city languish without a credit rating, if Mayor Aja Brown is re-elected?