“The scope of corruption outlined in this indictment is staggering,” said U.S. Attorney Nick Hanna. “As the indictment alleges, Huizar, Chan and their network of associates repeatedly violated the public trust by soliciting and accepting numerous cash bribes and other financial benefits, turning Huizar’s City Council seat into a money-making criminal enterprise.”
In September 2013, our co-founding member George Abrahams filed an ethics complaint against Los Angeles Dept. of Building & Safety General Manager Raymond Chan. Among other issues, Chan’s son was being paid by developer Millennium Partners’ law firm at the same time that Chan’s LADBS was approving Millennium’s seismic studies. The Mayor-appointed Ethics Commission dismissed the complaint and took no action.
Our evidence should have been enough to invalidate all approvals Chan’s LADBS had granted to Millennium Partners. But as our attorney Robert Silverstein recently told the LA Times, instead of cleaning house, Mayor Garcetti promoted Chan to Deputy Mayor.
Garcetti and Hollywood Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell repeatedly betrayed the public during the original Millennium project disaster.
Their betrayal continues as they cheerlead for a new version of this same old dangerous and illegal project, and for this highly disreputable developer. (Look to the developer’s Leaning and Sinking Tower of San Francisco, as a prime example.)
It took seven years and the FBI’s ongoing investigation, but the below Superseding Indictment released by the U.S. Department Of Justice just days ago sums up what we and many of you already suspected:
Recall the initial Indictment against former Councilmember Jose Huizar filed in July. That included multiple criminal counts related to Huizar accepting at least $1.5 million in illicit financial benefits. The criminal charges allege 402 overt acts that Huizar and his co-conspirators committed to further their criminal enterprise, including bribery, honest services fraud, and money laundering.
As of this week, Raymond Chan has now been charged with multiple counts of bribery, honest services fraud, facilitating a bribe agreement and lying to federal agents.
More details in the Indictment can be found in this article by the EastsiderLA.
A 2018 Search & Seizure Warrant issued by the FBI allowed the FBI to seize any and all evidence related to alleged violations involving then Councilmember Jose Huizar and Raymond Chan for Conspiracy, Bribery and Kickbacks Concerning Federal Funds, Deprivation of Honest Services, Extortion, Money Laundering, and Structuring a Financial Transaction to Evade a Reporting Obligation.
How does this relate to our Millennium Hollywood Center dispute? For one, many of Millennium’s bogus seismic studies that prop up the current Final EIR – which would allow skyscrapers on top of earthquake faults – were approved by LADBS when Raymond Chan was still in charge. Thus, the long arm of Ray Chan reaches deep into the current Hollywood Center EIR. But now it looks like the long arm of the law is finally catching up to Chan, and we think others yet to be exposed.
In the May 2020 LA Times article, Garcetti served a greasy plate of platitudes, including that he had “zero tolerance” for the alleged wrongdoing detailed by prosecutors. Really Mayor Garcetti? Actions speak louder than words. Similarly, while Councilmember O’Farrell praised Chan for making “great strides in reducing the number of steps that it takes to get projects off the ground,” one might argue that those “steps” are the laws that must be followed, not violated!
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