Sunday, December 21, 2008

Weiss Silent on $24M Gang Program Secrecy

As reported in the L.A. Weekly this week, the City Council will not reveal the names or credentials of the 50 people who will decide how $24M will be spent on the City's anti-gang program. It's a fait accompli according to the Mayor and Rev. Jeff Carr, the City's new "Gang Tzar," and the public are not to be told who will decide how to dole out the money. What does Jack Weiss say about that? Nothing.

Given the City's appalling record of doling out money to questionable anti-gang programs - remember the $1.6M given to self-proclaimed "former" 18th Street gang member Hector Marroquin for his "No Guns" program? Well Marroquin turned out to be not so much of a "former" gang member, and more of an active gang member supplying guns to gangs. After recovering from a gang drive-by shooting, Hector Marroquin was sentenced to prison for his illegal arms dealing.

The City's last anti-gang program doled out funds to 49 "non-profits" and half of those 49 non-profits were also run by former gang members. With no oversight, it was hardly a surprise that the program failed. This time, the City wants to "do it right" but with no oversight from you, the People. They don't want pesky probing questions from you.

* Don't you think that you have the right to know how our money is being spent?

* Don't you think the person running for City Attorney should be challenging the Mayor over this secrecy?

Jack Weiss has made no comment on this whatsoever, presumably because he'll upset Mayor if he does. Perhaps Jack Weiss knows better than the rest of us ordinary folks, so we should trust his judgment.

As your City Attorney I would not resort to secrecy and backroom dealings when it comes to how public funds are spent. I don't trust Jack Weiss's judgment, and I do not believe secrecy is justified when spending Millions of dollars. Neither should you.

On March 3, 2009, you can decide if Jack knows best.

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