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Council President likely to suspend Curren Price


Lawmaker charged with embezzlement, perjury

Los Angeles City Council President Paul Krekorian introduced a motion this week to suspend Councilman Curren Price, who has been charged with theft by embezzlement, perjury and conflict of interest for allegedly voting on projects involving developers tied to his wife's consulting firm, then failing to report the connections.

“While I navigate through the judicial system to defend my name against unwarranted charges filed against me, the last thing I want to do is be a distraction to the people's business,'' Price wrote in the letter.

An arraignment date is still pending for Price. The criminal complaint, filed Tuesday, also alleges that Price effectively embezzled money between 2013 and 2017 by having the city cover roughly $33,800 in medical premiums for Del Richardson, to whom he claimed to be married, although he was still married at the time to Lynn Suzette Price.

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.

Price's spokeswoman, Angelina Valencia-Dumarot, released a statement late Tuesday: “We have not seen the charges filed against Councilmember 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, spokesman for Mayor Karen Bass, issued a statement Tuesday reading in part that the mayor is “saddened” by the news.

“Today's charges against Councilman Curren Price are the result of a thorough investigation into allegations of public corruption,'' District Attorney George Gascón said in a statement. “This alleged conduct undermines the integrity of our government and erodes the public's trust in our elected officials. We will continue to work tirelessly to root out corruption at all levels and hold accountable those who betray the public's trust.''

Price is the latest Los Angeles city official to fall into legal or political turmoil. Former council members Jose Huizar and Mitch Englander have both pleaded guilty to federal charges.oui