The complaint alleges embezzlement, perjury, and conflict of interest by the sitting councilmember.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.
Today, LA City Councilmember Curren Price was charged by LA County District Attorney George Gascón’s office in a ten-count criminal complaint for embezzlement of public funds, conflict of interest, and perjury. The charges were first reported by the Los Angeles Times.
Price has written a letter to City Council President Paul Krekorian stating that he would be stepping down from his leadership position as council president pro tempore as well as all committee assignments.
Krekorian released a statement saying that he will introduce a motion at tomorrow’s City Council meeting to suspend Price from his duties on Council, and that he has removed Price from all of his committees. He added that the City Charter does not permit the council to remove or replace a sitting councilmember unless they have been convicted of a criminal offense.
Price currently chairs the Economic and Community Development Committee as well as the Ad Hoc Committee on the 2028 Olympics and Paralympic Games. He is also vice chair of the Rules, Elections, and Intergovernmental Relations Committee.
Audio leaked last year of former and current councilmembers having a racist conversation discussing how to redistrict the city for their own political gain with former LA Federation of Labor president Ron Herrera. Councilmember Kevin de León — who took part in the meeting but has still yet to resign — has claimed in an interview with Tavis Smiley that Price had also been set to attend the meeting. Price has emphatically denied this.
The complaint alleges that Price voted on projects that financially benefited his spouse, including a Thomas Safran project using HHH funding — money that voters approved in 2016 for city bonds to go toward affordable housing projects. It also alleges that he failed to report income from his spouse, and that he received medical coverage for his current spouse while still married to another woman.
Price is the fourth city councilmember to be charged with criminal conduct in recent years, after former councilmembers Mitch Englander, José Huizar, and Mark Ridley-Thomas.
Price was elected in 2013 to serve as councilmember of LA’s Council District 9 and overwhelmingly won reelection in 2022 against challenger Dulce Vasquez.
“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,” said DA Gascón in a press release. “We will continue to work tirelessly to root out corruption at all levels and hold accountable those who betray the public’s trust.”
Mayor Karen Bass said in a statement that she has yet to review the charges but is “saddened” by the news of the charges.
Here is the entire criminal complaint: