The city of Inglewood and its Successor Agency filed multiple title deed changes with the LA County Assessor’s office between April and May 2013 related to properties under the control of the former Inglewood Redevelopment Agency (RDA). A review of city council agendas don’t detail an agenda item authorizing the city/Successor Agency to make those title swaps. The issue of improperly executed deeds of trust arose the following year by a former Budget and Finance Manager who was ousted for uncovering the potential fraud.
“Neither the city council nor the Successor Agency are allowed to enter into any transactions without a related resolution authorizing them to do so,” said a current city clerk who refused to be identified for this article.
Grant deeds, for the nearly two dozen RDA properties were signed by Inglewood Mayor James Butts, City Clerk Yvonne Horton, Royce Jones (Kane Ballmer & Berkman), and former city attorney Cal P. Saunders.
The documents were notarized by a city employee, but there are no accompanying details for whose identity she was verifying which violates state law AB 886 which no longer allows a notary to use “personal knowledge” to verify a persons identity.
The notary would become a recipient of a home, as a winner from a housing lottery, administered by the Inglewood Housing Authority.
The charade surfaced in April 2017 when confusion arose as to who the true owner of 327 S. Glasgow was.
The owners K P Auto Center LP (Michael and Louise Koper) then sent a “letter of direction” to City Manager Artie Fields directing him to not to allow the city to issue either permits or business licenses for a list of properties, he identified by parcel number.
According to the Assessor the owner was KP Auto Center, however, HDL, a parcel database used by city’s, showed the owner as the city of Inglewood.
Allegations of improperly executed deeds of trusts were first raised by Barbara Ohno in a claim filed with the city related to her wrongful termination. The city would ultimately settle with her outside of court.
View the title documents by clicking here.