OCTOBER 27, 2005
Here is an original line from an elected official who took campaign money tainted with suspicion and conflict-of-interest; ?I was not aware they were donors.?
That is what Los Angeles City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo said when the local newspaper printed a story that documents how he took thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from a pair of rich slumlords sued by the city for delinquent utility bills and other violations.
Turns out that Delgadillo, in his powerful position as the head of the city’s legal department, helped the slumlords, Lance Robbins and Stanley Treitel, settle the case for a third of the amount the city initially sought.
In filing the lawsuit, city officials accused the two and their associates of failing to pay $3 million in delinquent utility bills and a variety of other penalties yet Delgadillo stepped in to settle the case for $1 million.
The settlement also required the partners to maintain their rental properties or face additional court sanctions, but Delgadillo’s office did nothing when the landlords were accused of ignoring the agreement.
Could it be a coincidence that, since the settlement, Delgadillo has accepted $15,600 in contributions from Robbins and Treitel, their associates and relatives?
Here is an interesting fact; officials with the city and California ethics agencies as well as the state bar said there were no regulations prohibiting prosecutors from accepting campaign contributions from those they prosecute criminally or civilly.
Of course, Delgadillo said that he does not take contributions into account in his prosecutorial decisions. Should we believe him?
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