California Attorney General Rob Bonta has launched an independent investigation into the City of Los Angeles and its city council with regard to the city’s redistricting process.
The investigation comes on the heels of leaked audio revealing deeply concerning remarks tied to the city’s 2021 redistricting efforts, and will seek to determine whether there were any violations of state or federal voting rights laws and transparency laws, consistent with the Attorney General’s authority under the California Government Code and the California Constitution.
“Let me be absolutely clear: The job of a public official is to serve the people. We’re elected to represent our constituents to the best of our abilities, doing the most good for the most people,” Bonta said. “As a father and human being, I am deeply appalled by the remarks made by some of Los Angeles’ highest-ranking officials. Their comments were unacceptable, offensive, and deeply painful. There is no place for anti-Black, antisemitic, anti-Indigenous, anti-LGBTQ, or any kind of discriminatory rhetoric in our state, especially in relation to the duties of a public official.”
Bonta said that while the decennial redistricting process is “foundational for our democracy,” and for the ability of community voices to be heard, “it must be above reproach.”
“Given these unique circumstances, my office will investigate to gather the facts, work to determine the truth, and take action, as necessary, to ensure the fair application of our laws. We will endeavor to bring the truth to light as part of the sorely-needed work to restore confidence in the redistricting process for the people of our state.”
Under the California Constitution and Government Code, the Attorney General has broad authority to investigate any potential violations of the law and ensure the laws of the state are uniformly and adequately enforced. At this stage, the investigation will be conducted by the California Department of Justice’s Racial Justice Bureau within the Civil Rights Enforcement Section.
At press time, Bonta’s office has made no determination with regard to specific complaints or allegations related to the conduct of those involved in the city’s redistricting process.