PRESS RELEASE: Land Use and Development Inspector General Motion Passes out of Committee

LOS ANGELES - The Rules, Elections, and Intergovernmental Relations Committee of the Los Angeles City Council approved a motion introduced by Councilmember David Ryu today to establish an Inspector General for Land Use and Development. The Office of Anti-Corruption and Transparency (LA ACT) would oversee, investigate and subpoena City officials, with a focus on preventing corruption and increasing transparency on land use and planning decisions.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  

June 30, 2020

Contact for Councilmember Ryu:

Mark Pampanin

mark.pampanin@lacity.org

213.407.7616

Land Use and Development Inspector General Motion Passes out of Committee

LOS ANGELES - The Rules, Elections, and Intergovernmental Relations Committee of the Los Angeles City Council approved a motion introduced by Councilmember David Ryu today to establish an Inspector General for Land Use and Development. The Office of Anti-Corruption and Transparency (LA ACT) would oversee, investigate and subpoena City officials, with a focus on preventing corruption and increasing transparency on land use and planning decisions.

“This is the next step in bringing real reform to City Hall ,” Councilmember Ryu said. “I came to City Hall to root out corruption, and there is a lot of work left to be done. This Inspector General would have the power to investigate corruption in land use development and hold City officials accountable. I’m grateful to the Council President and the Rules Committee for moving this legislation forward, and I urge all my colleagues to support this reform effort.” 

The proposed office could exist on its own, or within the Controller's Office or Ethics Department. The motion mentions models in place in other cities, like the Inspector General’s Office in Chicago, which has 100 staff members investigating potential fraud, abuse and corruption. The number of fraud investigators in Los Angeles’ Controller’s office has been reduced in the City Budget from four investigators in 2008 to just one today, which Councilmember Ryu argued was far too low in a letter to the Budget Committee.

“We need more oversight, not less,” Ryu said.

Councilmember Ryu first introduced the motion on May 19, amidst a sweeping FBI and DOJ probe into corruption around real estate development and the abuse of land use power in the City of Los Angeles. That probe has led to the arrest of Councilmember Jose Huizar and former Councilmember Mitch Englander, and implicated the former General Manager of the Department of Building and Safety, among others. 

Councilmember Ryu has also put forward legislation to remove the power City Councilmembers have to interfere in specific development projects before the City Planning Commission. Last year, Ryu’s ban on donations from developers with business before the City was signed into law. Ryu is the only sitting City Councilmember to have a citizen-run discretionary funds task force and to publish all discretionary spending and meetings with developers online.

Read the motion on an Inspector General’s Office for Land Use Anti-Corruption and Transparency here.

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Assistant City Council President Pro Tempore David E. Ryu represents Los Angeles’ 4th Council District which includes Griffith Park, Sherman Oaks, Toluca Lake, Hollywood, Hollywood Hills, Los Feliz, Silver Lake, Miracle Mile, Hancock Park, Windsor Square, Larchmont and portions of Koreatown and Van Nuys.


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