Patterico's Pontifications


More from the Monoparty Avocado Republic

Filed under: General — JVW @ 9:03 pm

[guest post by JVW]

Note: The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office is bringing this case against Councilman Curren Price, so I want to take special care to point out that this post is being written by JVW and not by Patterico, nor did I (JVW) discuss this matter with our host before drafting and publishing this post.

It’s good to know now that the Los Angeles City Council has been embarrassed by public revelations of what they really stay to one another behind closed doors, they are getting back to the simple graft for which they have long been known. From the Los Angeles Times:

Los Angeles City Councilmember Curren Price was charged with 10 counts of embezzlement, perjury and conflict of interest on Tuesday, becoming the latest in a years-long parade of elected city officials to face public corruption allegations from state or federal prosecutors.

Price, a 10-year veteran of the City Council, is accused of having a financial interest in development projects that he voted on, and receiving tens of thousands of dollars in medical benefits from the city for his now wife while he was still married to another woman, according to a statement issued by the L.A. County district attorney’s office.

He was charged with five counts of grand theft by embezzlement, three counts of perjury and two counts of conflict of interest, according to a criminal complaint made public Tuesday.

Does the wife in question own her own consulting firm which received $150,000 between 2019-21 from housing developers not listed on the councilman’s financial disclosure forms? Yep. Are the developers in this matter also involved in the affordable housing scam which funnels tax dollars to the well-connected in return for lowering the rent on a few units in an otherwise overpriced development? Righto. But that’s run-of-the-mill as far as Los Angeles pillage is concerned. Councilman Price upped the pilfering game by stealing from the taxpayer in a more inventive (and brazen) manner:

Price is also accused of bilking the city out of roughly $33,000 in medical premiums by listing Richardson Price as his wife on city forms from 2013 to 2017, according to the complaint. Prosecutors allege he used public funds to pay for her healthcare despite the fact that he was still legally married to Lynn Suzette Green. The council member and Richardson Price did not legally marry until 2018, records show.

I have no idea (and the article doesn’t say) what the qualifications are for enrollment in this particular health care plan. Was the councilman required to list his current wife — whom he didn’t divorce until February 2018 — as his spousal dependent during that time, or did she have health insurance provided by a different job? Did he list Ms. Richardson Price (who was his girlfriend) as his spousal dependent on the form during those years, or did he actually have both women on his taxpayer-subsidized enrollment? It won’t surprise me at all to learn that whatever he did was not allowed yet city officials just let it pass. That would be an effective defense, I would think.

In fact, I’m sure this is all a colossal misunderstanding which will be rectified by Councilman Price amending his disclosure fines and writing a quick reimbursement check for the health care mix-up. Then we can all get back to the business of extorting from businesses, cutting sweetheart deals with developers, and obediently doing whatever is asked by the public employee unions and anyone else who fills their campaign coffers.

Councilman Price will unfortunately likely be suspended while he faces these charges. He’s not due to face reelection until 2026, so theoretically if his case drags out through the courts and if the council keeps him on suspension but doesn’t vote to expel him, his district (South Los Angeles reaching into the southwestern part of Downtown Los Angeles) will be without representation for up to the next 42 months. Frankly, that is what a community deserves when it elects corrupt public officials.


18 Responses to “More from the Monoparty Avocado Republic”

  1. It wouldn’t be a Dog Trainer article without at least one head-scratching assertion, and here is the one in this article:

    It’s unclear what [Del] Richardson Price‘s status is with Del Richardson & Associates.

    Yep, it’s a real damn mystery, isn’t it?

    JVW (1ad43e)

  2. Yep, it’s a real damn mystery, isn’t it?

    I’m stumped.

    Good piece, JVW.

    norcal (8b5267)

  3. Did you know that they got the good citizens to allow them 3 terms instead of 2, tied up in a ballot measure for new ethics rules. The irony.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  4. I wonder if he had been cohabiting with a man, would they be so picky about who was married to whom and when?

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  5. These are the pieces that made me love this site. Posting the truth and giving depth to the facts that the Dog Trainer avoids with a 10 foot pole.

    Well done.

    NJRob (993fa3)

  6. Thanks NJRob, I appreciate that. I’ve come to accept that my posts won’t have as many comments as others, mostly because I don’t generally post about Donald Trump, but I’m glad that readers enjoy hearing about items that are kind of specific to California and Los Angeles County.

    JVW (1ad43e)

  7. Yeah, the things the poor guy had to go through just to have a little on the side. And he could still go to jail like he was Harvey Weinstein or something.

    What happened to California since the days of Haight-Ashbury and free love?

    nk (426ee2)

  8. I would be inclined to risk a small cash bet favoring the proposition that Curren Price of LA is somehow genetically related to the Dallas (TX) County Commissioner John Wiley Price. Certainly the political philosophies are the same. Perhaps the feds in the CA case can learn from the mistakes of the TX prosecutors.

    Thanks J!

    Pouncer (16faac)

  9. > Did you know that they got the good citizens to allow them 3 terms instead of 2

    Sort of. The previous rules allowed 2 terms in *each house*, so what would happen is people would simply jump from one house to the other.

    The new rules allow 3 terms in *both houses combined*.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  10. JVW, good post. Was an interesting read. I don’t have much of value to add to posts like this so I don’t usually comment.

    Time123 (754e2e)

  11. Hi JVW,

    I’m like Time — I admire the post but have nothing to add. Corruption is one of things politicians do. In a polarized environment, it becomes very easy, as if the scoundrel is on your side, you find a way to not really care. Ken Paxton in Texas sounds like an example of this. Barney Frank was a past master.

    Appalled (48e30c)

  12. I think you’re mixing up the LA City Council with the California Legislature, aphrael. LA City Councilmembers do get up to three four-year terms, but that doesn’t then preclude them from running for any other office, including LA Mayor.

    JVW (1ad43e)

  13. JVW — you’re right, I assumed Kevin was talking about the state rule. Mea culpa.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  14. The LA angle was a big part of my decision to start reading this site after Cathy Seipp died. (She also wrote about and lived in LA, and I needed my fix. I’ve always had a fascination for LA.)

    And, it didn’t hurt that Dana also made the migration from Cathy’s blog to this one.

    norcal (8b5267)

  15. This sounds like the brazen corruption you might see in Cook County, when one party runs things for too long. Here, Price ain’t even trying and is basically begging someone to stop him. The only things you can hope for is a very public humiliation to deter the next “public servant”. The bigger problem is the lack of churn caused by one-party rule. I also agree with Kevin that California is just too damn big and has too many constituencies that are just not being served. There’s just no a lot in our system designed to address this…people benefitting won’t give that up.

    AJ_Liberty (5f05c3)

  16. The point was that they floated a city charter change allowing an addition term, along with “ethics” reforms. It’s not clear what effect the reforms had, but the additional term was fairly concrete.

    A few years later they had another city ballot item — move city elections from Spring in odd years to the federal cycle. On its face, a good idea since more people go to the polls at federal elections.

    This could be accomplished by 1) a transition term that was 6 months shorter, or 2) a transition term that was 18 months longer. Guess which one they chose.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  17. A few years later they had another city ballot item — move city elections from Spring in odd years to the federal cycle. On its face, a good idea since more people go to the polls at federal elections.

    I’m crusty enough to disagree that this was a good idea. I think municipal elections ought to be separate from state and federal elections. For one thing, as a devoted believer in subsidiarity, I want our civic elections to be decided by voters who take an interest in local issues and are willing to come out an extra day in odd-numbered years in order to cast their ballots. I don’t want an important city charter initiative to be item #103 on a 16-page election ballot in Presidential election years, somewhere down below the State Agricultural Commissioner and the various votes on whether or not to retain judges.

    I know this change to consolidating the ballots was sold to voters like me as a money saver — “we’ll save hundreds of thousands of tax dollars by not having to run off-year elections” — but in this case I do believe it’s worth shelling out the extra bucks.

    JVW (1ad43e)

  18. NO, that’s not it. City elections on weird schedules are predominately attended by those with vested interests, such as city employees. The unions win everything unless there is a concerted effort (e.g. Riordan’s school board slate) to get out others to vote. Mostly though, turnout is 10%.

    You may say, well, that’s the people’s fault, but they’ve “voted”, repeatedly, that local elections in March are stupid and not a good use of their time. Respect their choice.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

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