Corruption & Ethics

Read Rick Caruso's detailed plan and pledge to run the cleanest and most transparent mayoral administration in the history of Los Angeles.

The Cleanest, Most Transparent Mayoral Administration in History

Why are homelessness and crime out of control in Los Angeles?

The last three years have seen more councilmembers, staff, bureaucrats, and high-level commissioners arrested and indicted than anyone can remember. Three different councilmembers have been arrested, one is currently serving house arrest, and two are awaiting trial. We’ve heard salacious tales of wiretaps, cash hand offs in casino bathrooms, sex workers, and even bizarre plots involving councilmembers trying get phony degrees for their family members.  

City Hall has turned into an ethical swamp, where lawmakers behave as if laws don’t apply to them and corruption runs so rampant, even the most brazen and unbelievable acts have become commonplace and unsurprising. Career politicians have failed us. We need real leadership, and we need to restore faith and trust in our government.

As mayor, Rick will:

  • Work for $1 a year as Mayor. Rick isn’t a career politician and he isn’t running for Mayor because he needs another job like all these other candidates. Rick is here to work for you, his only special interest is to ensure we can CLEAN UP LA.
  • Refuse contributions from corporations or lobbyists. Unlike the other candidates for Mayor, Rick won’t accept campaign cash from corporations or lobbyists doing business with the City.
  • Appoint an independent ethics czar on day one to advise on all issues and ensure City business is conducted to prevent any conflicts of interest.
  • Won’t meet with lobbyists. Special interests can’t cut the line – and won’t be allowed in City Hall.
  • Publish the Mayor’s official calendar on a daily basis so everyone can see who Rick meets with and what Rick’s official activities are, including all travel within or outside of the City.
  • Place all his business holdings in a blind trust. Rick will immediately separate himself from all formal business activity and run the cleanest, most ethically uncompromised administration in the City’s history based on the best ethical practices.

Root Out Corruption in Contracting and Development

We’ve seen the headlines over and over again. Councilmember arrested for bribery while approving lucrative development contract. DWP Commissioner arrested for bribery for approving a high dollar City contract. The corruption at City Hall truly has become commonplace and expected. It’s no wonder nothing gets done and our problems continue to worsen, self-enrichment seems to be the only motivating factor there. 

Here in Los Angeles, we have to start by recognizing that pay-to-play politics is at its worst when it comes to land use and development corruption. That’s why we need tougher laws around transparency, reporting, and ultimately removing the tools that allow these corrupt actors to leverage people for bribes or self-gain.

As mayor, Rick will:

  • Draft legislation to remove the City Council from ALL land use decisions. Developers and their representatives bribe councilmembers because they need their support to get large out of character developments approved. None of these council members are experts in land use, planning, or environmental issues yet they wield enormous power in projects that are extremely technical and impactful. We don’t need them involved. We need technical professionals reviewing these applications and we need revamped zoning laws that make it clear what can and can’t be built, with no exceptions.
  • Bar commissioners from meeting with lobbyists. Rick will mandate that all appointed commissioners be barred from meeting in secret with any applicants, lobbyists, or others who stand to gain from their actions. All conversations with these applicants on items before their commissions must be done in open session, in public view, and with notes and minutes being taken to ensure accurate records. We don’t need any city business taking place in dark rooms with no public accountability. As the saying goes, sunshine is the best disinfectant.
  • Draft legislation that forces councilmember transparency. Rick will push legislation to mandate that council members and their staff publicly report their schedules, meetings, texts, and emails with all applicants, lobbyists, and others who stand to gain from city actions. The City Council has been a hotbed for corruption and we need to stamp it out. We must demand transparency and accountability from them immediately. We also need tough penalties for those who don’t adhere to these rules. Hefty fines need to be in place to ensure these bad actors face real consequences for breaking the public’s trust.