Former LA City Councilman Surrenders to FBI for Obstructing an Investigation into His Illegal Trips and Escorts

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Statement by Kathay Feng, Executive Director of California Common Cause

Former Los Angeles City Councilman Mitch Englander’s indictment on corruption and federal obstruction charges today justifies robust anti-corruption and campaign finance laws at City Hall, and closing all loopholes in the ban on contributions by real estate developers.

“Businessperson A” was identified in the indictment as allegedly seeking approval for multiple real estate projects, trying to influence Councilman Englander by going to extraordinary lengths to circumvent the law with secret trips to Las Vegas and illicit gifts.

The Englander case also points to the need for a stronger developer ban in Los Angeles, one that is at least as robust as the City’s ban on lobbyists and city contractors. The alleged illegal conduct between Councilman Englander and “Businessperson A” was related to the approval of a number of real estate projects.

Bad actors will always attempt to circumvent effective anti-corruption and campaign finance laws, but they do so at their own risk. By making the risks of circumvention too high, Los Angeles can better prevent future political scandals.

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