Former County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas might not be the only political figure caught in the crosshairs of federal prosecutors. After filing a 20 count indictment against Ridley-Thomas alleging corruption, one of his County comrades could be following in his footsteps.
Supervisor Sheila Kuehl activities related to a sexual harassment program run by one of Kuehl’s campaign donors/close friend Patti Giggans. Giggans runs nonprofit Peace Over Violence, which was setup to run a hotline for patrons riding either a Metro bus and/or rail line, to report sexual harassment.
In September 2020, Fox 11 ran an expose detailing how Kuehl “privately” pushed Metro to award the “no bid” contract to POV, where Kuehl is listed as a member of its board.
A whistleblower alleged the contract was costing taxpayers a whopping $8,000 per CALL, on the multiple contracts awarded to POV totaling $800,000.
“it was costing taxpayers anywhere from three to eight thousand dollars per call,” said Jennifer Loew. “They wanted to hide it from you as taxpayers in L.A. County, and I’m here to expose it.”
Loew currently works at Metro as a transit security special project manager. One of the projects she was put in charge of was the ‘Off Limits” hotline, which she says has been a failure since its inception. Giggans was also appointed by Keuhl to the Civilian Oversight Commission, which has subpoena power over the Sheriff’s Department.
In February 2021, the Sheriff raided the “Marble Palace” with search warrants in hand, to search Metro offices and those of POV.
“The search warrant was signed by a judge, and partially sealed, in connection to an ongoing criminal investigation,” said Deputy Eric Ortiz, a member of the sheriff’s information bureau, in an email. “We are unable to offer further comment at this time, in order to preserve the integrity of this active investigation.”
Four months later, Los Cerritos News reported a Civilian Grand Jury was convening on the matter.
According to sources close to the investigation, there are several other high-profile officials under scrutiny including L. A. County Supervisors Sheila Kuehl, Hilda Solis, Kathryn Barger, former Supervisor Mark Ridley Thomas, L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti, L.A. City Councilman Gil Cedillo, Inglewood Mayor James Butts, and former DA Jackie Lacey.
“Both the D.A.’s office and Metro’s Communication Department did not deny the existence of an August email from Alan Yochelson , head of the D.A.’s Office of Public Integrity,” wrote Brian Hews in his article.
WHERE ARE THEY NOW
Alan Yochelson has since been removed from his post in the Public Integrity’s Unit. Residents have to send complaints to an “firstname.lastname@example.org” address which doesn’t acknowledge receipt of your submission. Former Metro CEO Phil Washington ran off to Denver, and Mark Ridley-Thomas will appear in a federal courtroom on October 20.
It is key to note that Ridley-Thomas and Kuehl have moved in tandem to push the agenda of MRT, and residents may now have to consider if the corruption is linked to pushing agendas rather than policy.
It appears that everyone is doing “their part”, but want something in exchange for their support. The only way that can happen is when your district attorney’s office is looking the other way, which explains why corruption cases are being prosecuted in federal courtrooms and not on Hill Street.
George Gascon was supported by the “establishment” and is already in the crosshairs of former County District Attorney Steve Cooley for matters related to a solar farm in the city of Industry.
Is Gascon compromised too?