Inglewood Mayor James Butts continues to put his foot in his mouth trying to dispute the ongoing fiscal irregularities occurring in the city’s Finance Department. Treasurer Wanda Brown continues to discuss overpayments to the construction vendor on the Senior Center and 2UrbanGirls was instrumental in having a check removed from the July 7, 2020, warrant register for an unauthorized city event.
Brown has been removed from giving council remarks by Mayor Butts, and has had to resort to giving comments, during the public comment portion of the meeting, in order to be heard. This week she discussed the state auditor’s findings about council salaries and questions surrounding outrageous bonuses paid to members of the city’s executive team, which included Melanie McDade-Dickens, who was in a long-term relationship with Mayor Butts.
Butts called up Assistant Finance Director Sharon Koike to discuss the audits findings, related to the bonuses and salaries.
In 1996 voters authorized city council to have a base salary of $47,244 and the mayor to receive $94,500 under Proposition Y. City Clerk Yvonne Horton has apparently shredded the full language of the ballot language but you can see an excerpt at the end of this article.
“Salaries have not increased for this council, without voter approval, since Fall of 2003,” declared Councilman Ralph Franklin. “We inherited these salaries from the previous council.”
“Where we being paid more than we were authorized,” asked Butts?
As of 2012, Transparent California shows those figures swelled to $60,660 for council and $111,303 for the mayor WITHOUT voter approval and was confirmed by the auditor that the mayor and council’s salary also increased between 2015-2018 without voter approval.
Koike explained her versions of the events.
“We didn’t feel the deficiencies the auditor’s found where significant,” said Koike. One of the deficiencies involved the $701,482 in staff bonuses the city paid out. This prompted Butts to lash out at the state’s audit calling it “political”.
“Where is it the auditor’s business to determine as whether or not our reasons for giving bonuses are sufficient,” said Butts. “That’s a management issue.”
Butts went further.
“There was never an accounting issue,” said Butts. “They never said we couldn’t account for the bonuses that were paid did they?”
But the auditor’s found that the city couldn’t account for WHY bonuses were paid and had NO backup documentation to support the bonuses. It is unclear what supporting documentation was provided to the mayor and council or what formula was used by City Manager Artie Fields to determine the amounts bestowed on himself, Police Chief Mark Fronterotta, and the rest of the executive team over a three year period.
City Manager Artie Fields continues to give away taxpayers funds with little to no regard of the law, bestowed a city car to Mayor Butts which he used to nearly kill an LAPD motorcycle officer and continues to allow his signature to be forged on documents which have dire consequences and repercussions to the city’s nearly 100,000 residents and is basically paid a total compensation package of $531,816.27 to look the other way and let Mayor Butts control him just as Wanda Brown says he does.
Inglewood residents MUST vote out Eloy Morales, Ralph Franklin and Yvonne Horton this November to restore ethics and integrity in City Hall. The first order of business, by the new council, is to terminate the employment of Artie Fields if he hasn’t already been indicted by the Department of Justice.
You can read the full city of Inglewood audit by clicking here.