Oh no...U.S. President Barack Obama is working SO HARD to try and not just restore the country's economy, but try to keep our cities and states from falling into a big DWP sinkhole.
So he probably wouldn't be to happy to find out the bang he is getting for his buck when it comes to the HUD money for affordable housing projects in the City of Los Angeles that HUD director Mercedes Marquez is handing over to the city.
We've read the reports on Federal Stimulus money being stuck in the pipeline and grossly bamboozled. And FBI investigations on money being handed out to developers for affordable housing projects, only to find the housing is never built. Also, purposefully driving up costs and flat out over-billing. (FBI investigation into ADI developers, who are also accused of giving bribes and campaign contributions to elected officials, may show the other problem of MASSIVE over-billing.)
So when homelessness seems to be visibly increasing on the streets of Los Angeles, keep in mind, the city's solution is like trying to capture water in a bucket, while the elected officials shoot holes in the bucket to reclaim the lost money...I mean water.
But before the property scheduled for an "affordable housing" make-over makes it into the hands of the City's preferred developers and contractors...HOW DOES THE PROPERTY GO FROM THE LAWFUL HANDS OF THE ORIGINAL PROPERTY OWNER...INTO THE HANDS OF THE CRA OR ONE OF THE REAP OUTREACH CONTRACTORS, HIRED BY THE CITY, WHO SOMEHOW END UP WITH THE PROPERTIES THEY WERE HIRED TO INSPECT?:
RENT ESCROW ACCOUNT PROGRAM (REAP)
The more you look into it, the more you will find that the City of Los Angeles' REAP program is the single biggest fraud and racketeering scheme in city history. And it is currently underway as this post is being typed.
Over the past four years, L.A. City gadfly, Zuma Dogg has spoken out on the issue of REAP corruption (conflict of interest allegations), literally hundreds of times as the REAP items appeared on the agenda at the L.A. City Council meeting.
And over the past month, more specifics of this corrupt racket have been detailed and exposed from within the Los Angeles Housing Department (LAHD) in form of a memo sent to some L.A. City Councilmembers and to this blog.
Zuma Dogg took the information contained in the memo (which he had already heard all about, before) -- and did a little more investigation, that echoed what the LAHD staffers were saying about the fraud, waste and abuse (of staffers) in the department, and began to not only blog about it, but blast it on L.A. City's own cable channel (carried on every Time Warner cable TV in L.A. City).
The result: Hakha Mortezaie, Director of Enforcement, overseeing the REAP cases, WILL BE LEAVING THE LAHD, effective in NOVEMBER. (Which starts on Monday.) This is the person who wears a judge's robe at the REAP rent reduction appeal hearings, even though he is not a judge and the hearings are not really a court.
But, Hakha REALLY DOES ALSO WORK FOR one of the REAP outreach contractors hired by the city. And he really is an attorney for them. And they really do end up owning some of these properties they are going out to inspect, I am told. (So does the CRA, sometimes.)
Hakha Mortezaie is part of the Mercedes Marquez, Roberto Aldape (Eric Garcetti?) crew. Mercedes works at the White House in Washington, D.C., now. (So if there is any corruption happening, and some of it has been reported to be investigated by the FBI, then does the corruption LEAD to the White House? Or is it happening under the White House's nose, like kids tearing up the house with wild parties while the parents are away on vacation?)
HERE'S WHAT HAS BEEN ALLEGED TO BE HAPPENING (And the allegations are getting so loud, my ears are starting to feel the way they did the day after I saw The Who in concert.):
City hires outreach contractor to inspect mom and pop building owners, housing the kind of people who can't afford a (city hall connected developer's) million dollar luxury condo project.
But, the City of L.A. is a casino where your building is seen as chips that they are there to take from you, since THEY are the house. But they are playing with a marked deck. (The "marked deck" being conflicts of interest and sheer corruption.)
One conflict may be arising out of the fact that you have people like Roberto Aldape & Hakha Mortezaie who are not only the LAHD executives in charge of overseeing REAP; they are both associated with outreach contractors that they are hiring to inspect properties across the city for REAP. Both are attorneys, working for these outreach contractors.
So are they hiring and paying outreach contractors, of which they are listed as the contact people for, then suing property owners as attorneys, based on the information they gather as outreach contractors? (This scenario was described on the record during the July 21, 2010 L.A. City Council meeting.)
MASSIVE CORRUPTION ALLEGATIONS!!!
AND OH YEAH, Hakha Mortezaie is the guy who puts on a judge's robe as though the REAP rent reduction appeal hearings are actually a real court. Surprisingly, the court always rules to place your property INTO REAP, then it becomes ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE to get off the list, get your money back -- and NOT lose the property.
Part of the problem as alleged by people telling their stories to LA City News; Hakha will not release the money tenants have paid into the city's Rent Escrow account, back to the owner...UNTIL THE SHOW THEY HAVE A ZERO OR NEGATIVE BANK ACCOUNT BALANCE!?!?! (I guess the point is you have to prove you spent all the money you have fixing the problems they keep tacking on. Of course, then people can't make the loan payments, and they lose the property.)
Sometimes the outreach contractors sue for it and ends up in their hands. Sometimes the CRA takes it over.
In one person's situation, as soon as they satisfied the city's requirements and were released from REAP (after suing, cause the ONLY way you will EVER be removed from REAP and get your money back IS IF YOU SUE...and even then you have to fight to get the money) -- THE COUNTY INSPECTORS SUDDENLY HAPPENED TO SHOW UP THE NEXT DAY, to start all the shakedowns and tack-ons, from the top with 135 violations.
I THINK THIS WHOLE SITUATION NEEDS THE ATTENTION OF THE FBI (FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATIONS)
And Eric Garcetti said Zuma Dogg and Matt Dowd should go ahead and hire 12 attorneys for the FEDERAL civil lawsuit regarding 1st Amendment violations at Venice Beach against L.A. City-- because Eric says City Council budgets for the City Attorney's office to defend lawsuits against the city -- and that City Hall is used to DOWD/DOGG on TV 35, taking up time exposing fraud, waste and abuse.
THAT'S NOT THE POINT ERIC! WE KNOW THE CITY ATTORNEY'S OFFICE HAS A BUDGET TO DEFEND LAWSUITS...THE POINT IS, YOU ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO BURN IT UP ON A LAWSUIT YOU CLEARLY LOST, WHILE TRUTANICH'S OFFICE IS STRETCHED THIN TO DEFEND OTHER MATTERS...THE CITY HAS A CHANCE OF WINNING! (DOH! Didn't they teach you that at Rhodes Scholar School?)
SUMMARY: After two weeks of blogging and blasting on TV about LAHD corruption allegations with the Rent Escrow Account Program, the person in charge of overseeing REAP enforcement IS LEAVING THE HOUSING DEPARTMENT AND TAKING A JOB OUTSIDE OF THE CITY. (Outside ZD's jurisdiction, though not far from it.) Also, Garcetti said, "Hire the attorneys" to Dowd/Dogg because, "Trutanich's office has a budget to defend against lawsuits and City Hall has gotten used to us." Hope this post is "no biggie", Eric.)
NEXT: Did LAHD use CITY OFFICE SPACE, SUPPLIES & EQUIPMENT FOR VILLARAIGOSA'S MEASURE H? (Garcetti, was MEGA-PRO "H", too!)