One day after a Los Angeles city councilman accused a political rival of benefitting from a housing development he helped shepherd through the city's approval process, Richard Alarcon today asked the city attorney to clarify the city's conflict of interest policy.
The Seventh District councilman is running for state Assembly against Raul Bocanegra. Yesterday, Alarcon accused Bocanegra of using an interest-free city loan to purchase a condo in a Pacoima development that Bocanegra worked on when he was an aide to then-Councilman Alex Padilla. The councilman reported the alleged violation to the city's Ethics Commission.
The Alarcon motion, which will be heard by the Los Angeles City Council next week, asks the City Attorney's Office to clarify the policy that prohibits city staff from using taxpayer-funded loans to purchase housing units in developments they have worked on.
"Whether or not (the motion) has an impact on the Assembly race, it's good public policy and it's my job as a city councilman -- if I find somebody who violates a law, it's my responsibility not only to report it but to ... improve the situation so people don't do this in the future," Alarcon told KPCC.
There was no immediate comment from the Bocanegra campaign. In a statement to reporters yesterday, a Bocanegra spokesman said, "Richard Alarcon should be ashamed of himself, and is frantically trying to deflect attention from his court appearance next week where he faces felony charges of perjury, and the recent ethics complaint against him from Raul Bocanegra."
Alarcon is facing charges of perjury and voter fraud for allegedly living outside of his Los Angeles City Council district. He has pleaded not guilty.