LOS ANGELES (CNS) – Los Angeles City Councilman Curren Price was charged today with embezzlement, perjury and conflict of interest, according to an online report, but details about what prompted the charges were not immediately released.
Price, 72, has represented the Ninth District, which includes most of South Los Angeles and Exposition Park, since 2013. He previously served in the state Assembly and state Senate.
The councilman was charged with five counts of grand theft by embezzlement, three counts of perjury and two counts of conflict of interest, the Los Angeles Times reported on its website, citing the District Attorney’s Office. Representatives for the office did not immediately respond to inquiries requesting confirmation of the report.
Price’s spokeswoman, Angelina Valencia-Dumarot, told City News Service, “We have not seen the charges filed against Council member Curren Price. It’s highly unusual for charges like this to be brought up against a sitting City Council member without any prior notice or discussion.
“Curren Price is a longstanding public servant who has given his life to the city of Los Angeles. He looks forward to defending himself once he’s had an opportunity to address these charges,” she said.
Zach Seidl, the spokesman for Mayor Karen Bass, issued a statement saying, “The mayor has yet to review the charges filed earlier today but she is saddened by this news.”
According to The Times, prosecutors did not release any information regarding the basis for the charges or a copy of the criminal complaint.
Price came under scrutiny in 2019 when The Times reported that he repeatedly cast votes involving developers and others who were listed as clients of his wife’s consulting company, Del Richardson & Associates.
At the time, Valencia-Dumarot told The Times that neither Price nor his wife had benefited financially from votes cited by the paper.
Price “believed that his participation was allowable either because the companies involved were not sources of income at the time or because his votes would not affect Ms. Richardson’s business in any way,” Valencia told the paper.
Price is the latest Los Angeles city officials to fall into legal or political turmoil. Former council members Jose Huizar and Mitch Englander have both pleaded guilty to federal charges in recent years, while Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas was convicted earlier this year of federal charges for trading votes during his time on the county Board of Supervisors in exchange for benefits provided by USC to his son.
Former City Council President Nury Martinez resigned last year after being caught on tape in a racially charged conversation with two other council members and a county labor official discussing the council’s redistricting process.
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