LOS ANGELES - City Council approved a motion introduced by Councilmember David Ryu today seeking to establish an Inspector General for Land Use and Development. The proposed office, dubbed the “Office of Anti-Corruption and Transparency,” or 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:
August 11, 2020
Contact for Councilmember Ryu:
Motion to Establish Inspector General’s Office Passes City Council
“It is beyond clear that we need more oversight in City Hall, and more accountability and transparency over planning and land use decisions,” Councilmember Ryu said. “Cities across the U.S. have Inspector Generals that investigate and root out corruption before they become federal crimes. It’s time for an Inspector General in Los Angeles.”
The motion, seconded by Councilmember Paul Koretz, cites similar offices in other cities, like the Inspector General’s Office in Chicago, which has 100 staff members investigating potential fraud, abuse and corruption. The proposed office could exist on its own, or within the Controller's Office or Ethics Department. 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.
The Chief Legislative Analyst, City Administrative Officer and City Attorney will now report back to City Council on the feasibility, funding and structure of such an office in City Hall. Councilmember Ryu first introduced the motion on May 19th, 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 here.
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.