Four months after a state audit lambasted Maywood’s City Council for poor oversight of its operations and finances, investigators with the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office executed search warrants at City Hall and other locations.
Details of the warrants were not immediately released.
“Search warrants were served today at various locations, including Maywood City Hall, by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Bureau of Investigation,” said Greg Risling, a public information officer with the District Attorney’s Office. “We cannot comment further because of an ongoing investigation.”
Warrants were served at the homes and businesses of Maywood’s mayor, Ramon Medina. City Councilman Eduardo De La Riva told the Los Angeles Times he was met by law enforcement officers when he arrived at work Thursday morning.
Medina expressed disappointment over the serving of the search warrants “without revealing the nature of the investigation.”
“Despite the opaque nature of the investigation I intend to fully cooperate with the authorities and expect to be totally vindicated upon its completion,” Medina said. “I want to ensure my constituents that I have done everything in my power to meet or exceed their expectations when they first elected me to office, and I’ll continue work every day to maintain their trust while ensuring this city continues to provide the best programs and services for our residents.”
In October, the state auditor issued a report finding inadequate oversight of city operations and “significant financial challenges” that were threatening “its ability to provide services to its residents.”
The city “has lost substantial amounts of revenue because it has not collected on parking citations and business license fees, and its budgets have not addressed significant overdue debts that threaten its ability to provide city residents with such services as law enforcement and maintenance of public roads.”
The audit found the city had failed to develop a long-range plan for paying off more than $15 million in debts, had released “poor-quality” budget documents that omitted critical information about the city’s financial condition, had repeatedly violated the state’s open meetings law, made hiring decisions without a structured selection process, violated competitive bidding requirements when awarding contracts, failed to comply with wage laws in contracts, had inadequate accounting controls and made “little effort to correct significant deficiencies” in the city’s internal controls.
“Maywood’s City Council has failed to oversee the city’s operations adequately and has violated its fiduciary duty — its responsibility to act with the utmost good faith for the benefit of the city,” the audit found.
—City News Service
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