The City Council voted unanimously Wednesday to have the Ethics Commission report on implementing an independent auditors and investigators office that would have oversight over land use issues.

The motion, filed by Council Members Paul Krekorian and Marqueece Harris-Dawson, states that the city lacks an Office of Inspector General. Given that several city officials have recently faced criminal indictments on suspicion of accepting cash from people attempting to influence the city’s land use process, the council members sought additional safeguards.

The council action shifts the purview of reporting on the office from the Chief Legislative Analyst to the Ethics Commission. A previous motion had instructed the CLA to report on the matter, but it has yet to be acted on.

“This is a very critical, time-sensitive, urgent need that we have to ensure that no one in the city feels that they can be involved in pay-to-play schemes without being identified and held accountable for it,” Krekorian said.

The instruction includes a report on “oversight and monitoring of land use, development, implementation, structure, budget and operation” of the office that would “provide focused oversight and monitoring of land use, development, and construction services” in the city. This could potentially include amendments to the city code, administrative code and city charter.

Krekorian and Harris-Dawson also filed another motion Wednesday seeking an ordinance related to California Government Code Section 1090, which prohibits public officials from entering into government contracts in which they have a financial interest. The ordinance would prohibit developers from seeking approval for projects that are deemed to have violated the state code, and potentially allow the council to rescind such approvals.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *