Are Inglewood commercial property owners leveraging campaign donations to Inglewood Mayor James Butts to rid themselves of troubled tenants? Today the FBI sent out a media release announcing new indictments of a local gang operating out of a shopping center directly across from the NFL stadium. A review of Mayor Butts campaign contributions show the properties owner donated a paltry sum a year before the investigation commenced. Mayor Butts has used the indictments to share with residents how he is making Inglewood safer. He is up for re-election next week.
Two months ago, August 29th to be exact, the FBI held a press conference at Inglewood City Hall to announce indictments against 15 members of the Legends Crips. 2UrbanGirls spoke with multiple business owners in the shopping center who tell us, on condition of anonymity, that the gang has operated out of the strip mall for at least a decade.
The owner of the Holly Park strip mall, located at 1035/1041 S. Prairie Ave., is Leon E. Valdry aka Leon Valdry Trust. Valdry is an engineer by trade and a real estate mogul by night. The strip mall sits at the corner of Prairie and Hardy where an entrance to the NFL stadium has been created.
Valdry has owned the strip mall since 2004. In fact, a review of property records show that between 12/17/2004 and 12/20/2004 Valdry purchased 24 properties throughout Los Angeles County. Two of which are located on Prairie Ave. Prime real estate now that the NFL stadium is set to open in 2020.
Residents wonder how many businesses, that are illegal in the city of Inglewood, continue to remain open under the leadership of Mayor Butts? As a former police chief, us residents find it a stretch that he is keeping our city safe.
Inglewood just surpassed its 2017 murder total of 13 recording its 15th murder October 27th.
A murder occurred outside of an illegal marijuana dispensary, at the former site of Gin’s Liquor on Crenshaw at 11001 S. Crenshaw last July, yet it has remained open under his leadership. No murders have occurred at the Holly Park strip mall. Is Mayor Butts and Police Chief Mark Fronterotta engaging in “selective enforcement”?
Mayor Butts will more than likely use this indictment to further justify residents re-electing him to a third term, however, is he really doing his job if business owners are turning in their own tenants?
Leon Valdry and Mayor Butts could not be reached for comment.
15 Members of “Inglewood Family” have been arrested on federal drug charges. The FBI says they are a “criminal enterprise” with the arrests reaching as far as Atlanta, GA.
When asked if the indictments have anything to do with the NFL stadium, Mayor Butts said no. He again repeated his rhetoric that we have historic crime drop which was factually proven by Curbed LA and this blog to be a LIE. From the Curbed LA article titled “Meet the candidates running for mayor of Inglewood“:
What is the most pressing issue facing Inglewood?
The management of our success, making sure all of our mass transit options match our development, ensuring our development partners follow through with the goals of the development agreement for 35 percent local hire, to continue to push our unemployment rate down, and to continue our eighth consecutive year of the lowest crime rates in the history of the city. [Note: The city’s crime rate has fluctuated from 2010 to 2017, and the number of overall crimes and the overall crime rate were up between 2016 and 2017.]