The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to urge the state controller and District Attorney Jackie Lacey to investigate allegations of fraud, corruption and illegal activity by former Industry mayor David Perez, saying that a grand jury should be convened.
Supervisors Michael Antonovich and Hilda Solis cited a recent KPMG audit raising concerns about millions of dollars in contract payments between Industry and companies owned by Perez family members over a period of nearly 20 years.
“Given the magnitude of the audit findings, a grand jury investigation into possible corruption and backroom deals is warranted,” the supervisors’ motion stated.
The District Attorney’s Office announced last week that it would look into the allegations. If a grand jury is convened, its work would be secret unless, and until, an indictment was filed.
Last-minute amendments to the motion called for the board to send a letter to State Controller Betty Yee asking her to initiate her own investigation and for any review to include contracts between Perez-linked businesses and surrounding cities.
The D.A.’s office first launched an investigation in 2009, when Steve Cooley was district attorney. Two years later, investigators concluded that no conflict of interest existed because the contracts in question were signed before Perez took office and he abstained from votes related to family-owned businesses.
But KPMG’s audit raised new concerns about deals made in the roughly 12- square mile city of about 200 residents, according to 2013 census data.
Commissioned by Industry officials, the audit found that more than $326 million was paid out under contracts with companies owed by Perez and members of his family, the San Gabriel Valley Tribune reported.
Fees paid for street sweeping, parking lot maintenance and other services raised questions about whether the city may have been overcharged. Industry officials now pay a street sweeping vendor less than one-sixth of what it had been billed by a company owned by Perez family members, according to the newspaper.
Perez resigned in 2012, after serving as mayor for 11 years.
— City News Service
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