For Immediate Release: December 14, 2022
Contact: Nancy Jackson (213) 978-1960
At its meeting today, the Los Angeles City Ethics Commission approved four stipulated orders totaling $49,000 for violations of governmental ethics, lobbying, and campaign finance laws.
The first case involved two violations of the Governmental Ethics Ordinance, which prohibits City employees from misusing their City positions to create a private advantage or disadvantage for anyone. LAMC § 49.5.5(A). Lasker Freeman (Freeman), a former traffic officer employed by the Los Angeles Department of Transportation, admitted to misusing his City position to create a private advantage for himself by falsely claiming sick leave and failing to obtain approval to engage in outside employment. Freeman resigned from the City and was fined $5,000.
The second case involved violations of the Municipal Lobbying Ordinance, which requires persons who qualify as lobbying entities to register with the Ethics Commission and to report their lobbying activities. LAMC §§ 48.01 et seq. Brian Silveira (Silveira), owner of Brian Silveira & Associates (BSA), admitted that he and BSA failed to register as a lobbyist and lobbying firm in 2021 and 2022 and failed to file disclosure reports for all of 2021 and for the first and second quarters of 2022. Silveira and BSA were fined $20,000 and have filed the required registrations and disclosure reports.
The third case involved violations of the Campaign Finance Ordinance, which requires those who make independent expenditures (IE) in City elections to comply with specific disclosure and disclaimer requirements. Charter § 470(l). Brian Kennedy (Kennedy) and KBS Holdco, LLC, dba Regency Outdoor Advertising (Regency) admitted to wrongfully attributing a billboard to the “Kevin James for City Attorney 2022” campaign committee and then failing to file the required IE disclosure. Kennedy and Regency have removed the billboard, reported their IE communication, and amended its content to include a proper disclaimer. Kennedy and Regency were fined $19,000.
The final case also involved violations of the Campaign Finance Ordinance, which prohibits City commissioners who are required to file statements of economic interests from engaging in certain political fundraising activities on behalf of City candidates. LAMC § 49.7.11(C)(2). Jill Banks Barad-Hopkins (Barad-Hopkins), a former member of the Los Angeles Board of Water and Power Commissioners, admitted to allowing her name to appear on invitations to, providing the use of her home for, and inviting one or more persons to political fundraising events for former City Councilmembers David Ryu and Paul Koretz. Barad-Hopkins was fined $5,000.
All penalties levied by the Ethics Commission are paid to the City’s general fund. Enforcement orders can be viewed and searched through the Ethics Commission’s Public Data Portal.
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The Ethics Commission was created by Los Angeles voters in 1990 to impartially administer and enforce the City’s governmental ethics, campaign financing, and lobbying laws.