Inglewood treasurer Wanda Brown continues to pull back the veil on the city’s finances and alleged misappropriation of city funds to enrich former city council members with lifetime medical benefits. During this week’s (May 26th) council meeting she continued her crusade to alert the residents about the city’s finances.
During the May 19, 2020, council meeting Brown entered into record discussion about an overpayment to Pinner Construction that was never returned. Pinner received bond money to build the state of the art Senior Center with proceeds authorized under former mayor Roosevelt Dorn.
Dorn resigned from office, in 2010 before pleading guilty, to conflict of interest charges for voting on a homebuyer program that he personally benefitted from. Brown has now revealed that another former council member has done the same.
Former Inglewood council member Jose Fernandez was apart of a Pulitzer Prize winning investigation into the Centinela Valley Union High School District (CVUHSD) by Daily Breeze reporters Rob Kuznia and Rebecca Kimitch.
Their investigation revealed Fernandez, former Superintendent of CVUHSD, duped the school board into rewarding him with excessive benefits and a home loan. Current Inglewood Councilman Eloy Morales Jr. was also included in the investigation as he was Fernandez’s protege and succeeded him into representing residents in Inglewood’s District 3.
Brown declared that in 2003 Fernandez agendized an item inflating the compensation of council members to include lifetime medical benefits that every former council member receives. Brown clarified that she does not benefit from lifetime medical as the ordinance states it is reserved only for former executives.
Brown identified the misappropriation totaling $195,983.94. She stated that the misappropriation continues to occur under City Manager Artie Fields, Mayor James Butts and City Attorney Ken Campos. Campos was an employee of the city attorney’s office when the ordinance passed.
Brown cited the following figures related to lifetime medical expenses paid out under Fernandez’s ordinance:
- $92,270.56 for Jose Fernandez who hasn’t been a councilman in over 15 years;
- $4,649.16 for Judy Dunlap who was voted out in 2013;
- $65,680.40 for Roosevelt Dorn who hasn’t been on the council since 2010;
- $33,383.82 for former city clerk Hermanita Harris;
Brown has called on the FBI, LA County District Attorney’s office and the state controller to investigate the city’s finances.
Jose Fernandez is currently on trial for his misdeeds in CVUHSD, while Inglewood taxpayers should be asking if the current city council and city administrators are obligated to reverse the ordinance in question if in fact it is not allowed under the city charter, unless they planned on obtaining the lifetime medical themselves.
Unfortunately, the city clerk’s website doesn’t include council agendas prior to 2010 nor is Yvonne Horton’s office forthright in document requests under the CA Public Records Act.
Other city business included the postponing of two Public Hearings related to amending the city’s General Plan to benefit out of state developers.Misapropriation of Public Funds 05-2020