I’ve emailed Venice Neighborhood Council President Linda Lucks asking for her response / rebuttal. Her response to the community will be posted when I get it!
Update from Linda Lucks:
The City Attorney has the press release and will issue an opinion. I have nothing to be concerned about as I am scrupulous about ethics and conflicts of interest and all VNC board members take ethics training. I would love to say more but it would not be prudent.
Venice Stakeholders Calls for Investigation of Ethics Violation by Linda Lucks, President, Venice Neighborhood Council
(Venice, CA/3/25/13) The Venice Stakeholders Association (VSA) today filed a request for an investigation of an ethics violation by Linda Lucks, the president of the Venice Neighborhood Council (VNC). The request was filed with both the State Fair Political Practices Commission and the City of Los Angeles’ Ethics Commission. (Click here to download the pdf)
The VSA’s attorney, John Henning, called for the investigation because Ms. Lucks has failed to respond to calls for her to recuse herself from involvement with deliberations concerning overnight restricted permit parking (OPDs) in Venice, which her client, the Venice Community Housing Corporation (VCHC), has long opposed.
“Ms. Lucks’ involvement in the OPDs issue is in direct conflict with her economic interest in her paid position as Capital Campaign Coordinator at VCHC,” Henning wrote. “On the one hand she is orchestrating a campaign to reverse the VNC’s position on OPDs, and to influence the City Council to effectively abandon its own resolutions establishing OPDs, while on the other hand she is in the employ of one of the foremost opponents of OPDs.”
Citing the Los Angeles City Charter, an executive directive by Mayor Villaraigosa, and advice by the City Attorney, Henning noted that just the appearance of a conflict is enough to require a city official to withdraw from any involvement in a matter.
Mark Ryavec, president of the VSA, said that he had emailed the full Board of the VNC some weeks ago about Lucks’ conflict of interest and had not received a reply, so the VSA felt the issue should be raised with State and City officials.
“The residents of Venice deserve a neighborhood council free from both actual and perceived conflicts of interest so they can trust that the recommendations of the council are determined on the merits and do not reflect the wishes of narrow special interests,” Ryavec said.