Price Charged Multiple Counts Of Embezzlement and Perjury
By Dolores Quintana
In a surprise announcement, Los Angeles Councilmember Curren Price has officially been charged with offenses related to public corruption. The charges include allegations that Price had a financial interest in projects he voted on and that he caused the city to pay for medical benefits for his current wife while he was still married to another woman. The Los Angeles District Attorney’s office announced the charges on Wednesday.
District Attorney Gascón said, via a press release,” Today’s charges against Councilman Curren Price are the result of a thorough investigation into allegations of public corruption. This alleged conduct undermines the integrity of our government and erodes the public’s trust in our elected officials. We will continue to work tirelessly to root out corruption at all levels and hold accountable those who betray the public’s trust.”
Price is facing multiple charges, including five counts of embezzlement of government funds, three counts of perjury, and two counts of conflict of interest. The arraignment for these charges will be scheduled for a later date.
According to the criminal complaint, Price’s wife allegedly received payments totaling over $150,000 from developers between 2019 and 2021, coinciding with his votes in favor of approving projects. The complaint also accuses Price of failing to disclose the money his wife received on government disclosure forms, a violation of the law, and receiving about $33,800 in medical coverage for his wife while he was still married to another woman.
Council member Price is prohibited from having any financial interest associated with projects before the City Council, further adding to the seriousness of the charges against him.
Following the announcement of the charges, Council member Price, who was also President Pro Tempore of the City Council, resigned from that post and from his committee assignments.
LA City Council President Paul released a statement in the wake of these charges, which said, “Councilmember Curren Price has written to me to resign from his position as President Pro Tempore of the City Council and to relinquish his committee assignments. Pursuant to that request, I have removed him from all committees, effective immediately.
Tomorrow, I will introduce a motion to initiate the process of suspending Councilmember Price from his duties on the Council, pursuant to Section 211 of the City Charter. The motion to suspend will proceed by regular order to the Rules Committee for hearing and then back to the Council for a final vote. This process will give the Council adequate opportunity to consider all of the issues, including the nature of the charges that have been filed and the impacts of suspension on the people of the Ninth District.
At the same time, we will begin a process of outreach to the people of the district to hear what course of action they believe would be most appropriate to ensure that they are not harmed by a potential vacancy of this Council seat and that they continue to receive the services of their Council office.
While I am deeply saddened to learn of these charges, I am confident that justice will be served by the legal process. In the meantime, the City Charter does not permit the Council to remove or replace a sitting member who has not been convicted of a criminal offense, and we should all honor the presumption of innocence. As the judicial process takes its course, the Council will continue to conduct the business of the people.”
The case is currently under investigation by the District Attorney’s Bureau of Investigation,