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Curren Price is accused  of 21 ethics violations


Has pleaded not guilty to charges

Councilman Curren Price has been accused of 21 violations of city ethics laws for voting on several projects and other matters connected to his wife.

The alleged violations are similar in nature to charges filed last year against the councilman by L.A. County prosecutors. Price has been accused of voting on projects involving developers tied

to Del Richardson Price's consulting firm, then failing to report the connections.

He has pleaded not guilty to charges of theft by embezzlement, perjury and conflict of interest, vehemently maintains his innocence and denies any wrongdoing.

A trial date has not been set. The criminal complaint 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.

The allegations from the LA Ethics Commission involve “violations of conflict-of-interest laws or the council member's failure to fully disclose economic interests'' he held in relation to his wife's business.

Nancy Jackson, spokeswoman for the Ethics Commission, said that per city law “we can neither confirm nor deny the existence of a complaint or investigation.''

Price's attorney, Michael Schafler, said he had no comment with respect to the alleged ethics violations.

Schafler previously told The Times that prosecutors failed to show that the “developers' payments to his wife's consulting company had any influence on his votes on those projects.''

He added that the votes cast by Price were “routine and noncontroversial on proposals that passed by large majorities.''

The Ethics Commission was established by L.A. voters in 1990 to help preserve the public trust and foster public confidence in city government and elections. The commission is required by law to administer city and state laws related to campaign financing, contracts, developers, governmental ethics and lobbying.

The violations alleged by the Ethics Commissions cover a period between 2019 and 2021, The Times reported. The Ethics Commission holds an evidentiary hearing after an accusation is publicly issued, then the five-member body makes a determination and levies penalties, if any.

Earlier this year, a judge denied Price's bid to throw out the criminal case. Price is set to return to the court on April 25 for a hearing on a motion. The councilman is still awaiting a preliminary hearing.