Los Angeles Corruption

The Piper Comes Calling

The Los Angeles Ethics Commission takes a step towards holding City Staffer B responsible for his corruption-fueled trip to Las Vegas.

5 min readOct 9, 2023

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it has been determined that probable cause exists to believe that City Councilmember John Lee (Lee) violated governmental ethics laws by accepting gifts in excess of the gift limit, failing to report gifts, misusing his City position, and aiding and abetting another person’s misuse of a City position.

– LA City Ethics Commission

Which City Councilperson has managed to avoid accountability for the same trip to Vegas that landed his former boss in jail?

While it is understandable that the Justice Department wants to do everything possible to assure the public that it does not take sides in elections, its policy of not taking action in the months before an election does just that. Voters deserve to have access to all the information available before heading to the polls and not informing them that a candidate may have engaged in criminal actions deprives them of the ability to make a fully informed decision.

Election workers were still counting votes in the March 3, 2020, race for the Los Angeles City Council’s District 12 seat when the Department of Justice announced that the person who had previously held the seat, Mitch Englander, had been arrested. Included in the charging documents was the description of a corruption-fueled trip to Las Vegas and the resulting coverup. Accompanying Englander on this trip was the person referred to as “City Staffer B.”

Though unnamed in the government’s documents, “City Staffer B” is widely thought to be John Lee, Englander’s Chief of Staff and successor on the City Council. In the days following Englander’s arrest, he was declared the winner of his re-election bid by a mere 801 votes. Had the voters known of the pending charges, there is a good chance that the lead may not have held up. Justice delayed was justice denied.

Instead of showing contrition, Lee refused to confirm that he was “City Staffer B.” When Neighborhood Councils started…

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Parent, special education advocate and former LAUSD School Board candidate. Still fighting for the children. www.ChangeTheLAUSD.com