California doesn’t quite have the reputation of Illinois or New York when it comes to public corruption. Identical with the city of Los Angeles and its counterpart in Chicago. However, the City of Angels has a long history of public corruption itself. Many public officials stole from the people’s trough for their enrichment. Here we look at some of the more prominent examples and their broader ripple effects on the city’s history.
The history of corruption in Southern California is well documented. The Cal Watchdog has a list of some of the more infamous cases. One of the more recent examples is the 2016 resignation of South El Monte, Luis Aguinaga, after taking bribes for seven years. Another LA Times expose found that in 2010 City Manager Robert Rizzo ran the city of Bell through some corrupt actions. A jury found Rizzo guilty of 69 corruption charges, including additional city council members.
In the city of Carson, Mayor Al Robles faced an investigation over serving both as Mayor and a board member of the Water Replenishment District and campaign finance questions for each. In Lynwood, two former City Council members, Louis Byrd and Fernando Pedroza, received convictions for raising their pay by almost a combined half-million dollars.
They took stipends for working on city commissions without any responsibilities. Reportedly, city officials also used city credit cards to pay for a night out to a Mexican strip club — including sexual favors. Mayor Paul Richards II was slapped with a 16-year sentence for embezzlement in 2007.
Of course, there is the public corruption in the 1990s Rampart Scandal, which saw over 70 police officers implicated in crime over the city’s Community Resources Against Street Hoodlums program. The police chief Bernard Parks was not hired back in 2001.
Did we miss any high-profile cases? Let us know through an email!
Driving Directions to Ehline Law Firm from LAPD’s Rampart Division.
Drive is 6 min (1.3 miles) via W 6th St in usual traffic from Los Angeles Police Department – Rampart Station
1401 W 6th St, Los Angeles, CA 90017.
Driving Directions to Ehline Law Firm from South El Monte City Council.
The average commute is 34 min (15.5 miles) via CA-60 W and San Bernardino Fwy to the City of South El Monte City Hall at 1819 Central Ave, South El Monte, CA 91733.
Driving Directions to Ehline Law Firm from the City of Bell City Council.
Drive 27 min (9.3 miles) via I-5 N City of Bell 4401 E Gage Ave, Bell, CA 90201.