Council chief reconsidering suspension of Curren Price?

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By Ray Richardson

Contributing Writer

LOS ANGELES — As support builds for embattled Ninth District Councilman Curren Price, Los Angeles City Council President Paul Krekorian appears to be re-thinking his motion to suspend Price after he was charged with 10 felony counts by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office

Krekorian expressed a strong desire to further evaluate the charges against Price and not follow the same course of action taken by former City Council President Nury Martinez, who immediately suspended former 10th District Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas after he was indicted on federal charges in October 2021.

“We will not proceed in the same way the previous pouncil president did with Mark Ridley-Thomas,” Krekorian said June 21 in an interview with Tavis Smiley on KBLA Talk 1580. “Many council members expressed concern about that process. This conversation must include the people of Price’s district.”

The conversation is expected to begin June 23 when the City Council Rules, Elections, and Intergovernmental Relations Committee, chaired by Krekorian, meets to discuss whether or not to recommend a suspension for Price. The three-person committee is scheduled to meet at 1 p.m. in City Hall and the meeting is open to the public.

Krekorian’s rules committee includes Eighth District Councilman Marqueece Harris-Dawson and Hugo Soto-Martinez of the 13th District.

Price made his first public comments June 21 since the charges were announced June 13. He released a statement labeling the allegations as “unwarranted charges” and said he will prove his innocence in court. No arraignment date has been set.

“I have lived my entire life in public service honorably and with no other focus than the best interests of my constituents,” Price said in his statement. “I am eager to respond both to the misguided charges that have been filed against me, and the unfair aspersions that have been cast upon my wife. I am confident that the court, and any fair observers, will recognize that these charges are unwarranted.”

The District Attorney’s Office charged Price with five counts of embezzlement, three counts of perjury and two counts of conflict of interest.

When the charges became public, Price stepped down from his president pro tem role on the council and all of his committee assignments, including the Economic Development Committee. Harris-Dawson was appointed president pro tem June 20 to replace Price.

The pro tem job positioned Price as the No. 2 person in the City Council power structure. Price led council meetings in Krekorian’s absence and was projected as the obvious choice to take over as president when Krekorian’s term is up.

A day after the charges were announced, Krekorian announced his motion to suspend Price. Krekorian explained that introducing the motion did not automatically mean Price will be suspended.

“The motion was more about making sure the public is heard,” Krekorian said on KBLA Talk 1580. “We’ve learned from previous experience. Moving forward with a suspension has real ramifications for the City Council and the people of the district. We haven’t seen the evidence supporting these charges. It’s important for the rules committee and the City Council to take this into consideration.”

Price’s wife, Del Richardson Price, is at the center of the allegations. Price is accused of casting several votes in the City Council between 2013 and 2017 that allegedly benefitted Del Richardson & Associates, a real estate development company operated by Price’s wife.

The allegations also claim Price had Del Richardson Price on his medical benefits plan with the City Council before the couple were legally married. The District Attorney’s Office complaint indicates that Price’s divorce from his first wife, Lynn Suzette Green, had not been finalized at the time Richardson Price was added to his medical benefits plan. Price and Richardson reportedly were legally married in 2018.

Price indicated in his statement he is prepared to answer all of the charges and allegations. In the meantime, he urged the City Council to allow him to remain in his role as council member.

“Until I have had an opportunity to address the charges in court, it is inappropriate for the Rules, Elections, and Intergovernmental Relations Committee to recommend my suspension from the City Council,” Price said in his statement.

“While I respect that Council President Krekorian has to take any allegations against a member of the council seriously, I am presumed innocent, as indeed I am. And the best way to protect the voices and concerns of those in my district is to allow me and my dedicated staff to continue to serve the needs of District 9.”

Residents and community activists in District 9 are gearing up to attend the rules committee meeting, an overture from Krekorian to give many of Price’s constituents a voice in the process.

Krekorian’s invitation is a significant contrast from the approach used by Martinez in her handling of the Ridley-Thomas case. Tenth District residents, who went nearly eight months without formal representation after Ridley-Thomas’ suspension, strongly criticized the process for not having input or a forum to express their concerns and preferences.

“Suspending Councilmember Price before he has his day in court would be like punishing him,” said Pastor Shep Crawford of Experience Christian Ministries, a church located in District 9. “To take him from us now would be detrimental to the Black and brown communities in the district. The Black and brown communities are working together more and Price is the reason.”

Crawford said he and a group of about 50 people will be attending the rules committee meeting. Crawford said he’s planning to speak to the committee members.

A press conference also has been scheduled for June 22 at Estelle Van Meter Multipurpose Center in South Los Angeles to show more support for Price before the committee meeting the next day. Organizers of the press conference are asking the rules committee to not recommend suspending Price.

Ray Richardson is a contributing writer for The Wave. He can be reached at

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