By Michael Goldstein
By Dennis Romero
By Sarah Fenske
By Matthew Mullins
By Patrick Range McDonald
By LA Weekly
By Dennis Romero
By Simone Wilson
A month later, Councilman Parks publicly called on Sandbrook to resign.
Parks had both personal and policy differences with Sandbrook — the liquor license, the USC lease — but those were not his stated reasons for wanting Sandbrook out. Instead, he claimed that Sandbrook had failed to end the corruption of Lynch's regime.
In particular, Parks asked why Sandbrook hadn't fired Lederkramer. "How do you fall in love with the CFO in the middle of a financial corruption investigation?" Parks would ask. (Parks Jr. denies that the Regalettes dispute contributed to the call for Sandbrook's resignation. Lederkramer would soon take a medical leave, and then retire.)
Sandbrook's integrity was under attack. But the rest of the commission continued to support him, and the USC lease stayed on track.
Stronger measures apparently were required. In early April, the L.A. Times obtained a confidential draft of the lease — likely from Parks' office — and highlighted a provision whereby commissioners would continue to receive free tickets to Coliseum events. That embarrassed the commissioners, and they removed the provision. Still, the lease stayed on track.
Then, in late April, someone placed an anonymous call to the Fair Political Practices Commission's tip line, advising them that Sandbrook was angling for a job with USC after the lease was concluded. If true, that would be a conflict of interest. The FPPC opened a probe into the matter.
The L.A. Times did a story. Parks jumped on it, suggesting that Sandbrook was guilty of a felony and calling for a delay on the lease vote.
In response, Yaroslavsky all but accused Parks of being the source of the anonymous tip. (Parks' office denies that, and also denies leaking the lease draft to the Times.)
"Shame," Yaroslavsky said at a public hearing. "Shame on you."
The commission voted 8-1 to approve the lease, with Parks opposed. Last month, the FPPC cleared Sandbrook, ruling there was no evidence he was interested in a job at USC.
The deal to transfer Coliseum operations to USC still must win approval from the state. That seems likely to occur within the next several months. Assuming the lease goes through, Parks will have lost three levers of power in the space of a year.
This year, Parks' district was redrawn to exclude USC. He's also lost his chairmanship of the city Budget and Finance Committee and, thanks to the lease, soon likely will have his position on the Coliseum Commission reduced to a ceremonial role.
But his son promises he'll continue to have a voice.
"He's still the most quoted councilmember at City Hall," Parks Jr. says. "He'll probably be that forever."
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