Inglewood Mayor James T. Buts Jr. has been named in a new lawsuit that Clippers owner Steve Ballmer can’t pay to make go away. Butts, City Manager Artie Fields and Human Resources Director Jose Cortes are alleged to have been in collusion to end the employment of Butts and Fields long-time executive assistant Melanie McDade-Dickens.
McDade admits to having been in an consensual relationship with Butts, spanning nearly nine years, and once she ended the relationship, things got “creepy”.
She states she believes he abused his relationship with the Police Department, to place a department issued tracking device on her car to monitor her whereabouts. Fields admitted to allowing Butts access to an unmarked police car, outfitted with lights and sirens, which he used to plow into a mother, her child and a Los Angeles Police Department motor office in April 2019.
According to McDade’s 55-page lawsuit, “Butts would randomly show up to places she was on her Friday’s off, including a hair salon in Lakewood where surveillance cameras caught him fiddling near her car.
“Butts’ behavior is one of a 16 year old pimple face school boy,” said Carl Douglas, who is representing McDade. “No man is above the law.”
McDade points out Butts’ office doubles as a motel room, where she was made to “pleasure” him multiple times per week, which included massaging his aching feet.
McDade further points out that she knows Butts’ “secrets” which could include the blueprint to how he rids the city of employees he labels “troublemakers”. A term also used extensively throughout the lawsuit of former Budget and Accounting Manager Barbara Ohno.
McDade claims that Butts restricted her access to her emails, which are also claims made by Treasurer Wanda Brown when she began speaking out on the true state of the city’s finances.
There was growing concern that McDade became one of the city’s highest earners because of her relationship with Butts and that Fields and Cortes were obliged to indulge the mayor’s requests in order to maintain their jobs and annual bonuses.
McDade claims that she was subjected to sexual harassment, abuse, retaliation and defamation by Mayor Butts once she ended their relationship in early 2018. She believes his behavior was ignored by Fields and Cortes who have a duty to keep the workplace a safe environment. Instead, Inglewood City Hall has become a nightmare for the women who work there.
“The City ratified and condoned Butts, Cortes, Fields and Does 1-100 actions, negligently hired, retained and supervised Defendants Butts, Cortes, Fields and retaliated against Ms. McDade and defamed her,” said the lawsuit. “She made a complaint to a government entity and they retaliated against her for blowing the whistle against the all-powerful mayor.”
This resembles the claims made by Barbara Ohno that we examined in our Eye on Mayor Butts series, which broke down the complaints lodged by Ohno when she was repeatedly asked to “look the other way” and do as Butts instructed to defraud federal, state and local agencies.
McDade claims Butts had her give “preference” to his friends and supporters with city jobs, benefits and possible misuse of taxpayer funds, which we pointed out her involvement in wiping out Butts’ campaign donors tax debts to the city.
Possible misuse of taxpayers funds include putting up one of the mayors critics in a city owned house, that later would be rented to a city employee for less than what his critic was paying, who then received the #1 spot in the city’s housing lottery.
Butts has absolute control over City Hall and the police department which attribute to his ability to hire unqualified women for positions in order for him to use their job as leverage to harass them, knowing he will not be subject to any disciplinary actions as it was alleged when he worked with the Los Angeles Airport Police Department.
Despite background checks performed on one employee in the Finance department, she was still approved for a position processing the city’s payroll and having access to confidential employee information, despite protests from the police department.
McDade claims there are other women inside of City Hall being sexually harassed by Mayor Butts, despite his attendance at mandated sexual harassment training classes administered by Human Resources.
He is openly involved with another woman in the city’s administration department, which many have identified as Tunisia Johnson, which has spilled over into her prominent placement in city photos, and outside outings where elected officials and political consultants call her the “new” Melanie.
Johnson was the recipient of a city loan, that she allegedly didn’t qualify for, after notarizing documents related to questionable property transfers, outlined in Ohno’s lawsuit.
2UrbanGirls has fielded multiple calls of individuals seeing Butts and his new lady friend out in public at events typically attended by McDade.
Sadly, Melanie McDade won’t be the first lawsuit, related to Mayor Butts getting handsy with employees. Some of whom welcome his advances as an easy “come up”.
Butts is described as the “Black Donald Trump” in McDade’s lawsuit, when his actions are more akin to Harvey Weinstein and former Los Angeles Councilman Jose Huizar.
Butts abuses his power and authority because there is no one willing to stop him. Former District Attorney Jackie Lacey was his friend and allowed her office to lose case files related to allegations of him personally benefitting from the city’s trash contract. The city will pay out millions to an LAPD motor officer after Butts hit him while driving a city police vehicle while presumably distracted by texting while driving. McDade points out Butts blamed the accident on her because she broke up with him and “ruined his life”.
Coincidentally, the city is instructed to have a distracted drivers campaign as a condition of federal funding they receive to soundproof Inglewood residents homes.
Mayor Butts, as McDade eloquently lays out, is using taxpayer resources to fund his love life while Inglewood voters continue to turn a blind eye because their property value has gone up.
“I agree you have been a wonderful mayor, my home was underwater and lost all its equity,” said Councilmember Dionne Faulk. “Since Inglewood has turned around, with your leadership, my home value has more than doubled.”
Butts has become the city’s largest liability while the council, city staff and residents condone his behavior and continue to either remain silent or vote for him as the city’s leader.
Inglewood voters should be concerned with his continued mistreatment of women, particularly Black women, in his quest to “get shit done” for the alleged benefit of residents.