Skip to content

Community members, clergy vow support for Curren Price


Councilman faces corruption charges

Several clergy groups and community organizations demonstrated their support this week for Ninth District City Councilman Curren Price at his arraignment on alleged corruption charges. Price has pleaded not guilty.

Members of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Southern California, Experience Christian Ministries, South Central United and other groups were at the Criminal Courts Building on Monday in downtown L.A. when Price was arraigned on charges of theft by embezzlement, perjury and conflict of interest.

Allegedly, Price voted on projects involving developers tied to his wife’s consulting firm, then failed to report the connections. He was charged on June 13, and has denied the allegations.

“He’s innocent until proven guilty, and he has vehemently denied the allegations,’’ Pastor William Smart, president and CEO of the SCLC of Southern California, told City News Service. “He’s been someone for the community.’’

Smart also called Price a “champion of the people,’’ adding, “we have to stand by our champions because they speak for us, and now we have to speak up and show up for him.’’

SCLC, whose first president was the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., has several offices throughout Price’s Ninth District, which encompasses most of South Los Angeles.

“We were fighting for rights, and against white supremacy, against militarism and against poverty,’’ Smart said. “That’s what we’ve been fighting for even today.’’

Price is the fourth council member to face charges in recent years. Former council members Jose Huizar and Mitch Englander both pleaded guilty to federal charges.

Former Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas, who represented the adjacent 10th District, was convicted last 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.

“This is not a great time for African-American elected officials in L.A. because of what recently happened to another city councilman,’’ Smart said, referring to Ridley-Thomas, who, like Price, is Black.

“It’s time to really stand behind him (Price) and the work that he has done from immigration, parks, cleaning the streets, economic development and the things that he has stood for.’’

Maria Espinosa, a member of Mamas del Sur Centro, a group of mothers who advocate on behalf of their South Los Angeles communities, said Price has been a supporter of her group and others like it.

“I hope all goes well, because we want him to continue to represent all of us in District 9,’’ Espinosa said.

According to the criminal complaint, between 2019 and 2021, Price’s wife’s consulting firm, Del Richardson & Associates, received payments totaling more than $150,000 from a pair of developers, after which Price voted on matters pertaining to the companies. He also allegedly failed to report the connections or the money paid to his wife’s company on city disclosure forms.