by NOlympicsLA Coalition
To coincide with today’s arraignment of LA Councilmember Curren Price (postponed until October) and the sentencing hearing of former County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas (3.5 years in prison to begin one week after his birthday), NOlympics LA is releasing our Olympic Corruption Dashboard — a dynamic tool for tracking the extensive cases of corruption and conflicts of interest tied to LA 2028 and other Olympic Games. See it here: https://nolympicsla.com/olympic-corruption-dashboard/
This dashboard was inspired primarily by the fact that of the 12 city council members who voted in 2017 to bring the 2028 Olympics to LA, three have been indicted for corruption tied to real estate deals in the last four years. That’s Jose Huizar, Mitch Englander, and Curren Price. And then there’s Mark Ridley-Thomas, who advocated for bringing the Olympics to LA in his former role as County Supervisor before being indicted for corruption while he was a city council member.
We know we’re probably missing a lot, and we’d love your help identifying any additions, updates, or corrections. Please help us get the word out, share this content widely!
The dashboard’s Who Gave Us the Games? ring shows us that of the 12 council members who voted on our LA 2028 Host City Contract, only three have avoided indictment, rejection at the ballot box, and/or getting caught on tape being extremely racist. The vote on the Host City Contract was always a rushed, undemocratic, and illegitimate rubber stamp. What we’ve since learned about the people who approved it only underscores why we should rip up that contract and cancel the Olympics.
The Corrupt Local Leaders ring provides more details on the council members caught up in corruption and racist, anti-tenant gerrymandering scandals. We hope we don’t have to update this box as more scandals emerge, but we won’t be surprised if we do.
Olympic corruption is as old as the modern Games themselves. But in our rings on IOC Member Corruption and Olympic Corruption Around the World, we’ve so far focused more on twenty-first century crimes to emphasize that Olympic corruption is also VERY. MUCH. ONGOING. These two lists are works-in-progress! We invite the public to send us suggestions for the people and incidents we should add, from breaking news about mega-event misdeeds to historical examples of five-ring fraud.
The final ring is LA28 Board Conflicts of Interest. We track the board members whose companies have been paid directly by LA28, board members whose companies stand to profit from LA hosting the Olympics, and board members whose business and political ties begin to show the myriad ways that networks of wealth and power are driving the real interests behind these “Games.” Did you know that LA28 paid one of LA28 Chairman Casey Wasserman’s companies $2.91 million over five years? All of this box’s figures come straight from LA28’s publicly available tax documents, and yet LA news media have barely blinked. If LA28 disagrees with the figures we’ve listed, we WELCOME them to show their version of the math. Again, we’ll be building out this list as we go, so we invite the public to send us tips and suggestions!
Ethics Commission Nominee unanimously (and shamelessly)
rejected by the City Council
While residents around the county made preparations for Hurricane Hilary, the Los Angeles City Council was supposed to proceed on a routine vote: Jamie York, a member of the Reseda Neighborhood Council, was set to be appointed to the City Ethics Commission.
The vote, however, was not routine. Unusually: Every member of the LA City Council present voted to block York’s appointment, and moved the vote to proceed without public comment. The only unaccounted for vote was Councilmember Nithya Raman, who was not present — every other councilmember voted no.
And most won’t say why.
LA Public Press reached out to all fifteen city council offices. Almost all would not comment on the record about their vote, the exception being Councilmember Eunisses Hernandez. Councilmember Hugo Soto-Martinez, who did not return a request for comment, spoke about his vote at a recent meeting.
Hernandez tells LA Public Press that she and her office’s focus was on the vote to acquire the Mayfair Hotel, and that she didn’t have the time that she would have liked to research York.