Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Wendy Greuel attacks Eric Garcetti for accepting campaign donations from former convict

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Accusation. Rebuttal. Counter-rebuttal. That was the theme of L.A.'s mayoral campaign on Tuesday.

Wendy Greuel summoned reporters to her Boyle Heights field office to divulge that Eric Garcetti's campaign has accepted donations from a man convicted and sentenced to prison for financial crimes. 

The donations came from Juri Ripinsky, who — back in the '90s — was convicted of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, wire fraud and money laundering for defrauding the Independence Bank of Encino. He was released from prison in 1998. 

According to the Ethics Commission, Ripinsky has given Garcetti's campaign $2,600 in the primary and general elections and hosted a fundraiser in May of 2012. The campaign has received a total of $9,200 from members of the Ripinsky family. 

"We know that Mr. Garcetti likes to play by his own rules, and he’s broken a lot of them," Greuel said. "I'm not sure what's more incredible — the fact that Eric Garcetti took thousands of dollars from a convicted felon at a polo match or that he's been championing this convicted felon's development project before the City Council.”

What Greuel didn't say was that she, too, supported Ripinsky's project at Paseo Plaza Hollywood. Back in 2007, both Garcetti and Greuel voted for approval when it came before the Los Angeles City Council. The next year, Garcetti and Greuel again voted in favor of bonds on the development. 

A spokesman for the Greuel campaign said the then-councilwoman would not have cast those votes had she known of Rapinsky's past. 

As for the Garcetti campaign, spokesman Jeff Millman said: "As Eric Garcetti campaigns on his proven results revitalizing Hollywood and negotiating pension reform, Wendy Greuel's campaign is now a trash talking tour of hypocrisy and phony accusations."

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