LOS ANGELES, CA – Upon the breaking news
reported in the Los Angeles Times that former LA County Supervisor and current LA City Councilmember Mark Ridley-Thomas faces 20 federal corruption charges, Sam Yebri, community leader and political outsider, calls for an immediate end to the revolving door of cronyism and corruption in Los Angeles local government. Public confidence continues to erode with Ridley-Thomas becoming the 3rd City Councilmember to face federal corruption charges within the last two years.
“Every Angeleno should be outraged by the news of these recent charges,” said Yebri. “The status quo is broken and toxic. It’s time for Angelenos to stand up, elect new leaders, and reject the corruption and nepotism that have allowed our great city to fall deeper and deeper into decline. We need leaders who will tackle our city’s growing problems, not enrich themselves and their families. We need fighters, not more insiders.”
Corruption scandals have plagued the City Council in recent years. In June 2020, former CD-14 Councilmember Jose Huizar was arrested on charges
of bribery, extortion, money laundering, racketeering, and other charges. Federal prosecutors allege he led a “criminal enterprise,” soliciting bribes from developers seeking to build projects in his district and to enrich himself and his associates. In January of this year, in a related case, former LA City Councilmember Mitchell Englander was sentenced to 14 months
in prison for obstructing a federal investigation into his own corrupt practices.
“Fighting corruption has been a cornerstone of our campaign for LA City Council,” said Yebri. “I am the only candidate running for CD-5 to reject money from real estate developers, corporations, oil and gas companies, PACS, and special interests of any kind. I have consistently called for long-overdue reforms to root out this culture of corruption, including an independently funded and appointed City Ethics Commission with robust subpoena power; far-reaching campaign finance reforms that would bar contributions from non-individuals and special interests; and land use and planning reforms that would empower stakeholders in neighborhoods over lobbyists in backrooms.”
Sam Yebri is an advocate, small business owner, attorney, husband, and father of four young children. Nearly 40 years ago, Sam and his family came to Los Angeles as refugees from Iran and moved to Westwood, where they experienced firsthand the promise of Los Angeles. He attended public schools in the 5th District and went on to earn degrees from Yale and USC Law School. Sam built a successful law firm in the District, working to provide effective representation in a broad range of issues, including civil rights. He has used his expertise to advise startups and small businesses and litigate on behalf of workers, tenants, and refugees. Committed to public service and championing the promise of Los Angeles, Sam formerly served as a Commissioner on the Los Angeles Civil Service Commission and currently serves as a board member of the Friends of Westwood Library. He has also served the Los Angeles community as a board member of numerous non-profits, including the Anti-Defamation League, Bet Tzedek Legal Services, the Jewish Community Foundation, and ETTA, which provides services and housing for developmentally disabled adults.
Los Angeles’ 5th City Council District is being vacated by Councilmember Paul Koretz due to term limits. The District currently includes the neighborhoods of Bel Air, Beverly Crest, Beverly Fairfax, Beverlywood, Carthay, Century City, Century Glen, Cheviot Hills, Comstock Hills, Encino, Melrose, Palms, Pico Robertson, Rancho Park, Roscomare, Westside Village, and Westwood.