City Council revamps committees in wake of Price scandal

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Wave Wire Services

LOS ANGELES — In response to City Councilman Curren Price surrendering his committee assignments in June amid criminal charges, the council Aug. 2 approved recommendations from President Paul Krekorian to shuffle the membership of multiple committees, change some jurisdictions and meeting times, and dissolve one committee altogether.

The council voted 12-1 to approve Krekorian’s recommendations with Councilman Kevin de León the lone “no” vote. Krekorian and Price were absent from the meeting.

“This simplifies the committee structure, fills the vacancies created by the absence of council member Price and adds [new] council member (Imelda) Padilla to a number of committees,” Krekorian’s office said in a statement.

In a June 20 letter to Mayor Karen Bass, the City Clerk, council members and city departments, Krekorian said he would introduce a resolution and motion to make the following changes, which were approved by the council:

• The Economic and Community Development Committee will be dissolved and its responsibilities redistributed.

• Oversight of the Economic and Workforce Development Department and other economic, workforce and business matters will be under the jurisdiction of the Trade, Travel and Tourism Committee.

• Oversight of the Community Investment and Families Department, Consolidated Plan, Family Sources Centers, and policies related to reduction of poverty, etc., will now fall under the Civil Rights, Equity, Immigration, Aging and Disability Committee.

• The Rules, Election and Intergovernmental Relations Committee will meet on the third Friday of each month at 1 p.m.

• The Transportation Committee will meet on the first and third Wednesday of each month at 3:30 p.m.

• And the Budget, Finance and Innovation Committee will meet on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month at 2 p.m.

In addition, Krekorian assigned Council President Pro Tem Marqueece Harris-Dawson to the budget committee and the Rules, Elections and Intergovernmental Relations Committee. Councilman Bob Blumenfield will join Harris-Dawson as a member of the rules committee.

Krekorian also assigned the newest member of the council, Padilla, to the Personnel, Audits and Hiring Committee; the Civil Rights, Equity, Aging & Disability Committee; and the Planning & Land Use Management Committee. She will serve as the chair of the Government Operations Committee.

Councilman John Lee will serve as the vice chair of the PLUM Committee.

Councilwoman Traci Park will serve as chair of the Ad Hoc Committee on the 2028 Olympics, and Harris-Dawson and Padilla will join Park on that panel.

Price is facing criminal charges of theft by embezzlement, perjury and conflict of interest for allegedly voting on projects involving developers tied to his wife’s consulting firm, then failing to report the connections. He is set to be arraigned Aug. 28 at the downtown Los Angeles courthouse.

The June 13 criminal complaint alleges that Price effectively embezzled money between 2013 and 2017 by having the city cover roughly $33,800 in medical premiums for Del Richardson, to whom he claimed to be married, although he was still married at the time to Lynn Suzette Price.

Price — who has maintained his innocence — has represented the Ninth District, which includes most of South Los Angeles and Exposition Park, since 2013. He previously served in the state Assembly and state Senate. 

The council’s rules committee previously deferred, until its next meeting on Aug. 25, a recommendation regarding the possible suspension of Price from the council.

Price has said he wants to remain on the council while he fights the criminal charges, although he has not attended a council meeting since he was charged.

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