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Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Los Angeles mayor’s race: James asks for inquiry into Greuel's use of city staff on her campaign

Los Angeles City Controller Wendy Greuel, center, says allegations that she has used her office staff for political purposes are "silly."
Los Angeles City Controller Wendy Greuel, center, says allegations that she has used her office staff for political purposes are "silly." Adolfo Guzman-Lopez/KPCC

Longshot Los Angeles mayoral candidate Kevin James has filed a complaint with the city attorney accusing City Controller Wendy Greuel of using her office staff in her campaign for mayor. James said he hasn't collected any evidence himself, but points to newspaper articles that raise questions about the issue.

“She appears to have assigned her taxpayer funded City Controller office staff and resources to mayoral campaign events, campaign briefings and fundraising meetings during city hours,” James said in a letter.

The Los Cerritos Community News obtained Greuel’s official calendars and found city staff assigned to campaign events.  The documents don’t say whether the staff members are volunteering.  It's common for people who work for elected officials to also donate time to their campaigns.  Some also take a leave of absence.

Earlier this week, Greuel denied any wrongdoing and called the accusation “silly.”  Campaign spokesman Dave Jacobson called James “a two-bit political hack,” according to the Los Angeles Times.

RELATED: Interactive: Hollywood insiders backing Garcetti, Greuel for mayor

James, the only Republican in the non-partisan race, is competing with Greuel for conservative voters in the western San Fernando Valley.

A spokesman for City Attorney Carmen Trutanich said the office received James’ complaint Wednesday.

“Our lawyers are reviewing to determine what, if anything, our office can do at this time,” said Frank Mateljan.

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