Inglewood Mayor James T. Butts Jr. continues to rule the city with an iron fist. Despite the COVID pandemic continuing to wreak havoc on the world, Butts openly defies mask mandates, and continues to remove the public from participating in the weekly council meetings.
During the regular city council meeting held August 10, Mayor Butts was the only member of the council not wearing a mask. Residents are no longer allowed to call in for public comment, and are now allowed to enter the Gladys Waddingham Lecture Hall, at the Main Public Library, to participate.
The meeting was barely audible for viewers. Commenters complained about the volume being skittish and because it appears to happen during every meeting, it is now believed to be intentional.
City Clerk Aisha Thompson is no longer allowed to read public comments emailed to her office, despite City Attorney Ken Campos public reminder that they are to be read into the record.
What was most disturbing about the August 10 meeting was finding out the mayor sits on the dais with a police radio in his possession. He was observed speaking into it while the meeting was taking place.
Despite a live feed streaming into the council chambers, from the lecture hall, the mayor appeared to be using the radio to monitor who was in the hall to give public comments.
It is well documented the mayor is allegedly using police resources without any regard for the law.
Mayor Butts was behind the wheel of a police vehicle when he slammed into an LAPD motor officer, and a mother and her child during a traffic collision near USC. Despite the taxpayers giving the council an auto allowance, City Manager Artie Fields allows Butts to use the car 24/7 365 days a year.
Butts’ former aide Melanie Mcdade filed a lawsuit against him alleging he is stalking her and placed a tracking device on her car.
When City Treasurer Wanda Brown began speaking out about the conditions of the city’s finances, Butts removed her from meetings, cut her pay, and according to her, she believed Inglewood police officers were stationed near her home at the mayor’s request. Warrant registers show the city hired a private investigator at the time she made those assertions.
Mayor Butts has brought his personal bodyguard, Emory Ward, into City Hall as an employee of the Office of Emergency Services. Butts’ campaign expenditures shows payments to Ward for protection services and he is regularly seen shadowing the mayor in public. Ward also has a city vehicle at his disposal 24/7.