A local Inglewood business, with close ties to Inglewood Mayor James Butts is under scrutiny by claims made by current employees. Employees feared being identified in this 2UrbanGirls article out of fear of retaliation by the well connected business owner Daniel Kash. Mr. Kash has been able to leverage over $50,000 on the books donations to Mayor Butts to be awarded expedited permitting, reduction of city business taxes and lax inspections by local authorities of his $40 million dollar operation.
LAX Firing Range opened in the city of Inglewood in 1995 under a shroud of controversy. City of Inglewood Senior Planner Eddy Ikemefuna shared with 2UrbanGirls he was directly responsible for permitting the businesses expansion into manufacturing bullets and introducing Mr. Kash to Mayor Butts. City employees believe that Ikemefuna and Mayor Butts receive “off the books” contributions from Mr. Kash to facilitate his businesses needs.
Mr. Kash is able to blatantly ignore LA County ordinances that ban the sale of guns and ammunition the 7 days prior to January 1st and 7 days prior to 4th of July. A public records request to the county coroner shows LAX Firing Range is the number one destination for recorded suicides at a gun range in Los Angeles county.
LAX Firing Range came on this blogs radar due to the number of complaints of lead exposure the employees are complaining about. Some employees receive no medical benefits due to their being undocumented immigrants and are paid a paltry sum of $15/hour despite their exposure to life altering chemicals. They also shared the business stores chemicals in excess of what is allowable under the law.
This would also expose the ranges customers to lead as well.
Employees also shared complaints were filed due to their unsafe working condtions.
2UrbanGirls submitted public records request to both the Department of Industrial Relations and CAL OSHA, in August of this year, and they have failed to respond within the established timeframe of the CA Public Records Request Act.
2UrbanGirls happened to bump into a group of LA County Firefighters from Fire Station 171 located at 141 Regent St. a mere blocks from the range. When asked about their performing inspections at the business one pretended to not be sure if the business was in city limits. His colleague quickly spoke up directing this author on how to obtain inspection reports.
Unfortunately, the Fire Department public records representative Julia Bennett could not obtain any inspection reports from Fire Station 171 for 927 W. Manchester Blvd. (the location of the firing range) between 2011-2017. There were also no available records from the departments Petro-Chemical department despite the high quantities of gun powder used in the bullet manufacturing process. One report was obtained for address 234 S. Hindry Ave. (LAX Ammo) which was conducted in November 2017. She did not have forms for alleged inspections that were conducted on October 10, 2013 and May 24, 2016. She could not articulate whether inspections were performed in 2012, 2014-15.
The departments retention policy is five years. She had no explanation as to why electronic records showed additional inspections that Fire Station 171 had no physical record of. Mayor Butts assumed office in January 2011.
A review of Mayor Butts campaign reports shows he regularly supports the LA County Firefighters Union and recently re-opened shuttered Fire Station 172 after the city declared a fiscal emergency shortly before he was elected.
An African-American Inglewood business owner made news for facing felony charges of multiple counts of insurance and tax fraud. Allegations included paying employees cash to avoid costly payroll and unemployment insurance related costs. They also underreported sales.
LAX Firing Range was also found to be severely underreporting their taxes to the city of Inglewood Finance Department. Millions in unreported income saw the city losing tens of thousands of dollars in business taxes. Due to his close relationship with Mayor Butts, his debts for multiple years were wiped off the books and he was able to “start fresh” for 2017. This was made possible by the mayor’s assistant Melanie McDade, Finance Manager Maria Heaney and CFO/Assistant City Manager David Esparza.
Under Mayor Butts Inglewood City Hall has become a cesspool of corruption and bullying of city employees to ensure his campaign donors don’t have to pay their fair share of taxes, and/or follow city ordinances, as long as they contribute to his campaign coffers.
Daniel Kash and Mayor Butts could not be reached for comment.