On Thursday, May 22, we went to the MTA to demand an immediate investigation into ethics law violations of our Council Member and MTA Board Member Bernard Parks.
In total disregard for MTA’s ethics rules and California state law, Bernard Parks is taking in money hand over fist from contractors doing business and in current negotiations with MTA. These are hundred million dollar projects with MTA, and thousands upon thousand of contributions to Bernard Parks. It’s incumbent on all oversight agencies and authorities to conduct an extensive investigation to determine how egregious Parks has been.
California Senate Bill 89 (backup link) (“Limits on MTA Contributions”), by then State Senator Tom Hayden, was signed into law during the 1997-1998 session and established the following ethics laws which are still in effect today:
“Neither the owner, an employee, or any member of their immediate families, of any construction company, engineering firm, consultant, legal firm, or any company, vendor, or business entity seeking a contract with the authority shall make a contribution of over ten dollars ($10) in value or amount to a member, alternate member, or employee of the authority, or to any member of their immediate families.
“No member, alternate member, or employee of the authority, or member of their immediate families, shall accept, solicit, or direct a contribution of over ten dollars ($10) in value or amount from any construction company, engineering firm, consultant, legal firm, or any company, vendor, or business entity seeking a contract with the authority.”
And yet Parks has taken at least $21,800 in such illegal contributions:
Controversial MTA contractor Tutor-Saliba, which today is still involved in litigation with MTA for shoddy work done on the Red Line subway, and is currently constructing the new City Council-approved LAPD headquarters has contributed $18,000 alone through their executives and their relatives:
- Ronald Tutor: $1,000 on 12/28/07.
- Gerarld Brown, Vice President: $1,000 on 12/28/07 (the same day “Homemaker” Patricia Brown gave $1,000).
- Mark Fischbach Vice President: $1,000 on 12/28/07 (the same day “Homemaker” Rosemary Fischbach gave $1,000).
- James Foster, Equipment Manager: $1,000 on 12/28/07.
- James Frost, Construction Executive: $1,000 on 12/31/07 (the same day “Homemaker” Nicole Frost gave $1,000).
- Joseph Guglielmo, Construction Manager: $1,000 on 12/28/07 (the same day “Homemaker” Ardis Guglielmo gave $1,000).
- Michael Kerchner, Vice President: $1,000 on 12/28/07 (the same day “Homemaker” Carolyn Kerchner gave $1,000).
- Robert Lewis, Executive: $1,000 on 12/31/07.
- David Randall, Sr. Vice President: $1,000 on 12/28/07.
- Roger Sexton, Business Executive: $1,000 on 12/28/07 (the same day “Homemaker” Diane Sexton gave $1,000).
- Williams Sparks, CFO: $1,000 on 1/24/08 (the same day “Homemaker” Vicki Sparks gave $1,000).
Koar Development Group, LLC and Archeon International Group are jointly building a $160 million dollar mixed-use project with the MTA at the Wilshire/Western Station.
- Archeon International Group contributed $1,000 on 2/25/08.
- Koar Development Group CEO Edward Dong, contributed $500 on 2/29/08.
Hope Bullock III of Bullock & Associates, Inc., the Utilities Consultant on the Draft EIR for the Canoga Transportation Corridor project contributed $300 to Parks the same day the EIR was released on 3/5/08.
MTA contractor URS Corp Vice President Gerard Orozco gave Parks $1,000 on 12/31/07.
Carter & Burgess, Inc. Professional Engineer Bruce Russell gave Parks $1,000 on 12/17/07.
Bernard Parks put MTA in the mirror and saw ATM. The dirty money has clearly compromised his ability to be independent and serve his constituents.
Despite amassing our large and growing coalition of South LA community groups to encourage MTA to address the safety hazards and other adverse impacts of the current Expo Line design through the South LA community, the concerns of our group have fallen on deaf ears with Parks. In a moment captured on camera last fall and available on YouTube, Parks dismissively told the group leader Damien Goodmon, “Just because you don’t like the line, you should stop wasting other people’s time, because you have a concern about it.”
Additionally, in response to community concerns about the safety of the design of the Expo Line given its similarity to the MTA’s Blue Line, which is the nation’s deadliest light rail line by multiples at 90 deaths from 815 accidents, Parks’ defended the safety record of the MTA’s Blue Line.
Parks’ actions were confusing, but it’s all beginning to make sense now. Our advocacy on behalf of the safety of the children in his district, and the parents who have trusted him to protect them, is clearly interfering with whatever backroom deals he’s made for his personal political gain.
The former police chief is acting like a true criminal.
As covered on Front Page Online
- List of Bernard Parks for Supervisor Donors from 1/1/07 - 12/31/07
- List of Bernard Parks for Supervisor Donors from 1/1/08 - 3/17/08