Friday, September 11, 2009

SHOCKER!!!...CityWatch Reports: 9 Neighborhood Councils May Face Charges on Finances (Was $100.000 Embezzled?)

9 Neighborhood Councils May Face Charges on Finances

$100,000 Embezzled?
This special report posted first in the Chatsworth Roundup

Active ImageMembers of as many as nine Neighborhood Councils may be subject to criminal sanctions for misuse of taxpayer money, a city auditor told the treasurer of the Chatsworth Neighborhood Council Wednesday.

The Chatsworth Neighborhood Council (CNC) is not under suspicion.

Chatsworth is one of 14 councils selected at random during an examination of the functions of EmpowerLA, formerly known as the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment (DONE). There are 89 councils in the Neighborhood Council system. Each has $45,000 in taxpayer money to spend on projects in their local communities.

DONE supervises the councils. Following a recent meeting of the Board of Neighborhood Council Commissioners held in Chatsworth, DONE General Manager BongHwan Kim commented that there might be as much as $100,000 embezzled from the Council system. CNC President Judith Daniels had just excoriated the department for its "make up the rules as you go along" method of overseeing finances and paying bills.

In 2008, a South Los Angeles Neighborhood Council chairman/treasurer was arrested for stealing $30,000, in part by making withdrawals of city funds at the Normandie Casino ATM over a three-year period. For details, click here .

Click here for full story.

MUCH MORE (speculation, I'm sure) to come. I know people will say DONE/Un-EmpoweLA is doing this as a retaliatory move against Neighborhood Council members of the community. But if this is able to be uncovered, then it's going to be a REAL uphill battle for the decent community members. Of course people will be wishing the same investigation into City Councilmember uses of taxpayer money.

But, you have the CMs fighting to prevent performance audits of themselves. I guess you can't expect them to vote for more transparency of themselves, so it's probably going to have to go to the ballot; and I doubt any of the CMs who don't vote in favor of more transparency will never be re-elected again.

But for now, let's hope these embezzlers are the City Hall insiders who infiltrate these councils and this may expose some racketeering...OTHERWISE...looks like some other community folks just blew it for everyone else.

BONUS STORY FOR THE BLOG RECORD:

OOPS, big lender to L.A. Downtown Development goes BANKRUPT!

The U.S. added two more banks to its growing list of bank failures Friday, bringing the tally for the year to 91.

Regulators shut down Chicago-based Corus Bank (CORS: 0.26, -0.0702, -21.26%) – the second largest bank to fail this year – and turned most of its assets over to MB Financial (MBFI: 17.03, 0.52, 3.15%).

The bank, which did much of its business in commercial real-estate loans, had $7 billion in assets and $7 billion in deposits as of June 30, according to a statement issued by the FDIC. The cost to the FDIC’s Deposit Insurance Fund is estimated to be $1.7 billion.

Regulators also closed Woodbury, Minn.-based Brickwell Community Bank on Friday. CorTrust Bank of Mitchell, S.D. will assume virtually all of its assets.

Brickwell Community Bank had $72 million in assets and about $63 million in deposits as of July 24. The cost to the FDIC’s Deposit Insurance Fund is estimated to be $22 million.

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