On April 30, 2014, the City Council approved the appointment by Eric Garcetti of Raymond Chan as permanent General Manager of the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety. It was a slap in the face to all who care about good government.
Those of you who have been following the Stop The Millennium Hollywood lawsuit against the twin skyscrapers Millennium Project should remember the interview last September with Raymond Chan by John Schwada. In the taped interview, Chan claimed he had no involvement with the review of flawed geotechnical reports for the project which falsely claimed that the Hollywood Earthquake Fault was nearly half a mile away from the project site.
However, emails we obtained through Public Records Act requests between Chan and Sheppard, Mullin, the lobbying firm for the project, and other LADBS staff put the lie to Chan’s claim.
We have also uncovered many other emails between Chan and Sheppard Mullin showing that Sheppard Mullin and Millennium had a level of access to the General Manager unavailable to others.
Also troubling is the paid internship of Chan’s son, Jeremy, at the same lobbying firm. The timing was a bit odd, too. The position for Chan’s son started three days before Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety (LADBS) issued the seismic approval for the Millennium Project.
Eric Garcetti and the City Council approved Millennium’s Twin Towers last year. California State Geologist Dr. John Parrish mapped the Hollywood Fault directly through the middle of the project site this January, 100% vindicating what we have been saying.
Despite these facts, LADBS, the Mayor and City Council continue to break the law which prohibits habitable structures on top of an active earthquake fault (much less a surface rupture, Magnitude 7.0 fault like this one) by not rescinding the approvals. Indeed, it was reported in last week’s Los Angeles Business Journal that “The developers are still working through the litigation, but in the meantime are beginning early marketing efforts to lease 215,000 square feet of office space and 85,000 square feet of retail space that the towers are expected to bring to market.” And who is siding with the Millennium developers and litigating against the public? You guessed it: The Los Angeles City Council.
If Mother Nature and State Law don’t stop Garcetti and the City Council from risking the lives of thousands, maybe a federal indictment will.
In a letter that Chan wrote to Kelli Bernard in the Mayor’s office, Chan confirmed that he gave money to his son for the purpose of making campaign contributions. Chan’s contributions through his son to Garcetti, Gruel and Montanez were in excess of $4000.00. It is troubling that the Los Angeles Ethics Commission does not view this as money laundering.
And we know from disclosure documents that Millennium has spent over $5 million “lobbying” to get their project approved.
The pay-to-play culture in L.A. City government makes Chicago look squeaky clean. This is why your continuing support of our fight is so crucial.
George Abrahams’ public comment to the PLUM Committee.
John Schwada’s September 19, 2013 interview with Raymond Chan.
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