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AHF Sues Los Angeles to Stop Luxury Developments Tied to Huizar Corruption

Press Teleconference: Tuesday, Aug 4th, 10:30 am PT

AHF’s Superior Court lawsuit alleges violations of California’s Political Reform Act of Gov’t and the Tax Payer Action to Prevent Waste

AHF seeks to force the city to rescind any related ill-gotten development permits on the heels of extensive federal corruption charges filed against City Councilman Jose Huizar and other city employees related to extortion, bribery and exploitation of the city’s Planning and Land Use Management Committee (PLUM), which wields unchecked power over city approval and permitting of property developments

AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) will host a PRESS TELECONFERENCE Tuesday, Aug. 4, at 10:30 am PT to announce its filing Tuesday of a lawsuit in Superior Court of the State of California for the County of Los Angeles (case No. TBD) against the City of Los Angeles, the L.A. City Council, Mayor Eric Garcetti and property developers (Doe Defendants 1 through 10) of numerous luxury residential/commercial/entertainment projects (Doe Defendants) in the City of Los Angeles.

The lawsuit seeks to force the city to rescind and void any related ill-gotten development permits following revelation of extensive federal corruption charges filed against City Councilman Jose Huizar (D-District 14) and other city employees related to extortion, bribery and exploitation of the city’s Planning and Land Use Management Committee (PLUM), which wields unchecked power over city approval and permitting of property developments. AHF’s lawsuit alleges violations of California’s Political Reform Act of Gov’t Code Section 81000 et. seq. and the Tax Payer Action to Prevent Waste – Cal. Code Civ. Pro Section 526a.

In a separate action, Councilman Huizar was arraigned on 34 additional federal bribery and money laundering charges Monday and entered a plea of ‘not guilty.’

WHAT:

PRESS TELECONFERENCE: AHF Sues City over Planning Department Project approvals tainted by the Jose Huizar/Mitch Englander PLUM committee corruption scandal

 

 

WHEN:

TUESDAY, August 4th, 2020, 10:30 am PT

 

Teleconference Dial in information: +1.877.411.9748 participant code #7134323

 

 

WHO:

Michael Weinstein, President, AHF

 

Tom Myers, General Counsel and Chief of Public Affairs for AHF

 

Grace Yoo, Co-Founder, Environmental Justice Collaborative (EJC) and candidate for Los Angeles City Council, District 10.

 

Casey Maddren, President, United Neighborhoods for Los Angeles (UN4LA)

 

Liza Brereton, Assistant General Counsel, AHF

 

 

CONTACTS:

Ged Kenslea, AHF Dir. of Communications (323) 791-5526 cell

In its lawsuit, AHF is asking the court to rescind or restrain "… building permits granted by the City of Los Angeles during the time(s) Councilmember Huizar and/or Englander sat on the PLUM Committee and engaged in violations of Government Code Section 81000 with respect to the permits."

Mitch Englander (R-District 12) served as a Los Angeles City Councilman from 2011 to December 2018, when he abruptly resigned mid-term. During his City Council tenure, he also served on the PLUM Committee with Councilman Huizar during the alleged bribery and corruption. Englander was subsequently indicted on corruption charges as part of the major corruption probe at Los Angeles City Hall. He pleaded guilty to one felony corruption charge on June 7, 2020 and is awaiting sentencing.

From 2012 to 2015 Englander and Huizar constituted the majority of the then three (3) member PLUM committee. It wasn’t until July 2015 that PLUM started to be a five (5) member committee.

Under its Second Cause of Action, AHF also is seeking to prevent the city from allowing city employees to do any further work on, and/or for any additional city resources to be expended on or utilized for development projects tainted by or subject of the illegal actions in the federal corruption cases. AHF is also seeking to include other development projects that may be involved and come to light as both the federal case and this case unfold.

Here, AHF’s lawsuit states: "As the approved projects are built, City employees and resources will continue to be devoted to the projects, including review of plans, review of work, additional permits, etc.

  • Each of these tasks will involve the use and expenditure of City taxpayer funds.

  • Given the impermissibility of the projects themselves, further expenditure of taxpayer funds on these projects will be illegal, and a waste as set out in California Code if Civil Procedure Section 526a.

AHF therefore seeks an Order restraining the City from utilizing any further taxpayer funds, personnel efforts, or resources with respect to these projects."

Regarding the enormity and brazenness of the greed and self-dealing the corruption involved—and of the wholesale shredding of the public’s trust and pocketbook—AHF's lawsuit today asserts, "The Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office [Paul D. Delacourt] stated, ‘Mr. Huizar was busy enjoying the fruits of his alleged corruption while his criminal enterprise sold the city to the highest bidder behind the backs of taxpayers . . . As we continue to investigate this case, we urge residents, business owners and city employees to come forward with information about bribery and illegal practices in government. The FBI relies on the cooperation of others to build cases that successfully root out corruption in order to restore integrity in public office’."

AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organization, currently provides medical care and/or services to over 1.4 million individuals in 45 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin America/Caribbean, the Asia/Pacific Region and Eastern Europe. To learn more about AHF, please visit our website: www.aidshealth.org, find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/aidshealth and follow us @aidshealthcare.

View source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20200803005847/en/

Contacts

Ged Kenslea, Senior Director, Communications, AHF +1.323.791.5526 cell
gedk@aidshealth.org