Is Christine Robert, owner of The Robert Group (TRG), being used to deceive Inglewood residents? It is no lie that the Robert family has long standing in the Inglewood community. Their family owned business, F&M Market, has been a staple in the community for decades. After the Robert family sold it, we now know it as Set for Life Liquor. After contributing thousands to Mayor Butts campaigns, her company The Robert Group has received contracts exceeding $500,000 for work she was unable to complete. The most glaring was a failed parking plan for the incoming NFL stadium. Eerily, her connections to the stadium include her brother Melvin Robert Jr.
On January 2, 2015, a petition arrived to the Inglewood City Clerk’s office from Melvin M. Robert Jr. titled Proposed “City of Champions Revitalization Initiative”. The document requested to circulate a petition to get residents support of an incoming NFL stadium. He stated if City Clerk Yvonne Horton had any questions to refer them to his attorney, Tom Hiltachk. Hiltachk was counsel to former Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Hiltachk was the author of Proposition 32 which was designed to remove “special interests” from Sacramento. Proposition 32 was soundly defeated.
Related: Tom Hiltachk, Master of Deception
A full-time political and election lawyer since 1998, Hiltachk is an old hand at drafting legislation benefiting Big Tobacco or beating back living wage campaigns. He is also the California Republican Party’s go-to legal mind for penning regressive ballot initiatives intended to give conservatives maximum political power in an otherwise majority progressive state. Like the political consultants at the Dolphin Group, Hiltachk is known for promoting “Trojan Horse” political gambits. As Hendrik Hertzberg put it in a 2007 New Yorker piece, Hiltachk and his law film Bell, McAndrews & Hiltachk, “specialize in initiatives that are the opposite of what they sound like.”
This author wondered how the City Clerk was able to accept the petition while Inglewood City Hall was CLOSED for the annual two week end of year holiday break. Was it possibly due to collusion between Chris Robert, her brother Melvin, Mayor Butts and City Clerk Yvonne Horton?
Three months after the petition was accepted, this author was watching “Being Mary Jane” a popular BET Networks series written by Mara Brock Akil.
During Season 2, an April 2015 episode aired titled “Primetime”. The episode revolved around Mary Jane’s brother being hired by a developer to keep an eye on the new NFL stadium project in the city of Inglewood. With the filming schedule being wrapped months prior, this author again pondered how that storyline could be included when the entire season was delivered to the network in November 2014?
On February 28, 2017, the City Clerk received authorization from City Council to destroy all records related to the City of Champions Revitalization Initiative. Was this done to cover up how a city contractor benefitted from her brother playing intermediary for the Mayor, in order to pass an initiative she was paid to promote?
Since the NFL initiative was unanimously adopted by the Inglewood City Council, TRG was the lead on pushing the initiative to the public as what the “community” wanted when in essence it was what our Republican Mayor wanted. TRG also pushed the new “Inglewood Forward” initiative as the “community” wanting the NBA in Inglewood. TRG is also pushing a Metro monorail that the “community” wants when its really her other lucrative contract partner, Metro (Mayor Butts) and TRG is also behind WHAM another sham “community” group pushing the Crenshaw/LAX rail line extension to West Hollywood.
When 2UrbanGirls brought to the public’s attention about her selling her mother’s home located at 3215 W. 82nd St., to Mayor Butts for below market value, Mayor Butts remarked he just so happened to know the home belonged to the Robert family.
“The reality is that when the house was listed I saw it on the [Multiple Listing Service], I went by the house, recognized that the house actually belonged to the mother of Chris Robert, and then I contacted the listing agent and asked, ‘Is the house for sale?’ and they said yes.”
The reality is he knew her brother Melvin Robert owned the house directly across the street at 3216 W. 82nd St. The Roberts were able to avoid scrutiny due to Melvin listing his other Inglewood address on the stadium petition he delivered to the Inglewood City Clerk that fateful first Friday of 2015.
The unfortunate reality is Mayor James Butts is a Republican, pushing a Republican agenda in the city of Inglewood and is upset they found someone to replace him who is free from scandal. Poor little Jimmy Butts. NOT.
(Longtime Inglewood resident Joseph Texeira contributed to this article)