FBI Criminal Probe Targets Los Angeles City Attorney

The San Francisco Chronicle reported today that San Francisco-based FBI agents have begun a criminal investigation of Los Angeles City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo. The newspaper quoted sources familiar with the FBI investigation as saying that agents recently went to Los Angeles to conduct interviews. The investigation was spurred on by criticism over Delgadillo allegedly using city resources for personal benefit.

Delgadillo's office told the City News Service that the city attorney has yet to be informed about the investigation, or interviewed by agents. According to local news reports, City Controller Laura Chick was interviewed by agents in the last few weeks.

“I can't confirm or deny the existence of an investigation,” says FBI spokesperson Joseph Schadler.

In 2007, Delgadillo admitted that he had his city-owned SUV fixed at taxpayer's expense after his wife ran into a pole. He was also criticized for using city employees to babysit his children and pick up his dry cleaning.

City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo

Last week, Delgadillo filed a lawsuit against Chick over her proposed audit of the $128 million workers’ compensation program. Chick says the City Charter gives her the right to audit the city attorney. Delgadillo says Chick only has the power to do financial audits, not performance audits. Later, the city attorney agreed to drop the lawsuit if Chick backed off of the audit until the debate over her powers is resolved. Chick said she would stop if Delgadillo didn’t move forward on his lawsuit.

The investigation is being handled by the U.S. Attorney's Office in San Francisco because of conflict of interest concerns that could arise because the U.S. Attorney's Office in Los Angeles regularly works cases with the city attorney, the Chronicle reported. However, an FBI source told the Weekly that it was highly unlikely that agents from San Francisco would be working a case in Los Angeles. The U.S. Attorney's Office in Los Angeles has not returned calls made by the Weekly.

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