Engineers and Architects Association, affiliate of I.B.E.W. Local 11(EAA) hires local political strategist Steven Belhumeur, Principal of SB Strategies, LLC.
EAA has had it share of union drama over the years but members are calling foul against the board with this hire. City of Los Angeles Ethics Commission records have revealed a possible pay-to-play between newly re-elected EAA Executive Board member Jack Kayajian who was also most recently a candidate for Los Angeles City Council District 12.
Ethics commission reports reveal Kayajian’s City Council campaign paid Belhumeur more than $50,000 over three months for various campaign activities less than 6 months before bringing forth a nomination and voting in favor to hire Belhumer as the new Executive Director of EAA.
Jack Kayajian ran a failed campaign for council district 12. It is rumored Kayajian made a deal to resign from City of Los Angeles rank and file employment for an appointment in the office of newly elected District 12 Councilman John Lee.
According to EAA website calendar, EAA’s board met at their December 11th agenda closed session item 18-B the board discussed Executive Director recruitment.
To Belhumeur’s (SB Strategies) credit he has played a vital role in securing elections for numerous elected officials throughout Los Angeles, most notably CA Senator Steven Bradford, LA County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas as well as continued work with African American Voter Registration, Education and Participation (AAVREP) founded by Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas and currently ran by former Assembly Member Sebastian Ridley-Thomas, son of Supervisor Ridley-Thomas who resigned from the legislature last year due to sexual harassment allegations.
Belhumeur also worked on the campaign for former LA Councilman Martin Ludlow and was involved in a peculiar union related snafu involving SEIU Local 99 President Janet Humphries, which saw Ludlow fined hundreds of thousands of dollars and forced from his seat.
According to the Ethics Commission report, union funds were used for political purposes, without approval. Ludlow accepted “in-kind” donations from the union to exceed campaign donation limits by hiring “phantom” employees who were placed on the unions payroll at Humphries request. Belhumeur coordinated the phantom union employees activities on Ludlow’s campaign behalf.
It is unclear at the time of this Article if I.B.E.W. Local 11 has weighed in on this new hire. According to EAA governing Bylaws I.B.E.W. Local 11 Business Manager Joel Barton has a say in who is appointed as EAA’s Executive Director.
EAA Represents about 5,100 members employed by the City of Los Angeles.
Steve Belhumeur could not be reached for comment.DEC2019_BoG-Meeting-Agenda-