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Is West Hollywood Councilman Jeff Prang Caught in a Political Tug of War?

West Hollywood City Councilman Jeff Prang appears to be caught in the middle of a nasty political tug or war, but it has nothing to do with behind-the-scenes maneuvers at West Hollywood City Hall.

According to WeHo News, Prang's troubles are located in Pico Rivera, a small city in southeastern L.A. County where he works a day job as assistant city manager, and where certain City Council members have apparently been trying to get rid of his position.

The controversy swirls around the fact that the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office has opened an inquiry into whether or not Prang and two other Pico Rivera officials used city credit cards for personal use.

News about the inquiry stunned many community activists and politicos in West Hollywood, where Prang has been serving on the City Council for 13 years -- a recent L.A. Weekly cover story titled "West Follywood" examined, among other things, the cliquish political culture of the 1.9-square-mile city.

But Prang firmly denies any wrong-doing, telling WeHo News that the inquiry is the result of an "unfounded political attack" by some Pico Rivera City Council members who want to eliminate his job.

WeHo News, in fact, talks with Pico Rivera officials who back up Prang's claim. Mayor Pro Tem Bob Archuleta says the assistant city manager is "as trustworthy as the day is long, and this is only a smear campaign aimed at trying to ruin a good man's reputation with false accusations."

Still, Prang now waits for the next move by the L.A. County District Attorney's Office, which has yet to decide if the credit card complaint is valid and warrants a full investigation.

Prang, who won a fourth, four-year term to the West Hollywood City Council in 2009, won't be up for re-election until 2013.

Contact Patrick Range McDonald at pmcdonald@laweekly.com.

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