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Council Votes to Advance Ethics Reform

Posted on 05/14/2024

LOS ANGELES - Today, acting on a motion by Council President Paul Krekorian, the City Council voted to advance a set of substantial reforms to the City’s Ethics Commission, and laid the groundwork for further reforms to the City Charter.

This motion instructs the City Attorney to prepare for the November 2024 ballot an amendment to the City Charter to bolster the independence of the Ethics Commission and enhance its powers of enforcement.  

“In recent years, a series of shocking scandals and revelations created a powerful demand for reform of our City government,” said Council President Paul Krekorian.  “Today, we are answering  that demand.  When I became Council President, my first action was to create the Ad Hoc Committee on City Governance Reform, in order to create fundamental changes and restore the public’s confidence in City Hall.  The Council’s actions today are another huge step forward in doing so. I want to thank all the members of the public who weighed in to support the process of reform, and my fellow Councilmembers for moving these proposals forward.”

The proposal approved today does the following:

  • Triples the penalties for violations of the City’s Ethics Code.
  • Prohibits persons from serving on the Ethics Commission who do business with the City or have any financial interest in the City’s actions.
  • Prohibits elected officials from appointing to the Ethics Commission any relatives, campaign consultants or major campaign donors.
  • Compels the Council to consider all Commission recommendations within 180 days.
  • Provides the Ethics Commission with a minimum annual budget (adjusted annually to reflect changing City revenues), one that it controls without requiring Council approval for specific expenditures.

The motion approved today also instructs the City Attorney to prepare an ordinance creating a Charter Reform Commission, to be appointed every ten years to review the entire Charter for potential updates, improvements and efficiencies, and propose further Charter amendments as needed.  

Last month the Council also placed on the November 2024 ballot a proposed Charter amendment, creating an Independent Redistricting Commission and taking the process of drawing council districts out of the hands of the Council for the first time in 100 years.