The shocking investigation of Andrew Adelman, a powerful Los Angeles City Hall department head, will also put a spotlight on how this unpleasant and abusive bureaucrat was allowed for years to run one of the most-criticized municipal departments in Southern California, all while being protected by the Villaraigosa Administration.

For now, the story will rightly focus on his allegedly, incredibly sick, rape-by-several-objects of a woman who reported she passed out after drinking heavily, then woke up in his bed to a Twilight Zone nightmare in which she felt like a robot, couldn't control her limbs, and found Adelman inserting creepy objects into several of her body orifices.

Jesus Christ, it makes your skin crawl and then fervently wish it weren't true. But that will be decided by the courts.

But what was the clearly, clearly incompetent Adelman doing with a key job in City Hall?

Adelman, as head of Building and Safety, allowed the massive proliferation of illegal billboards in Los Angeles, claiming he didn't have the money to employ inspectors — a bizarre claim in a department of 1,000 workers that blows through $120 million yearly.

As we reported, the billboard companies found Adelman's department so laughable that one Thanksgiving week a company erected a huge, illegal, (nobody knows if it will withstand an earthquake) billboard — in direct view of the downtown Building and Safety office where Adelman's “inspectors” work.

Adelman's team then bizarrely alerted Clear Channel that LA Weekly was demanding The List — a long supressed list of the locations and owners of all 11,000 legal and illegal billboards in L.A.

Who ordered those Building and Safety workers to help Clear Channel keep The List secret by alerting Clear Channel to the Weekly's public records request? Why didn't Adelman punish any of them for aggessively trying to repress what are so clearly public records?

And then, for 18 months, Adelman's Department of Building and Safety sat by while questionable pot dispensaries, virtually unregulated, spread from a few dozen in Los Angeles to — by some estimates — more than 800 today (100 to 200 more dispensaries apparently popped up just in the days since the Weekly ran this report).

As questionable, crime-ridden pot “dispensaries” bloomed next to schools, preschools, churches and single family homes, Adelman sat quietly. If any one bureaucrat has allowed L.A. to collapse into itself, it might be Adelman. And consider this:

Adelman was hated in his own department. Yet Antonio Villaraigosa was chummy with him, protected him, and never called him out in any public way for all of Adelman's disasters.

Adelman works entirely at the pleasure of Villaraigosa, as do all the highly-paid city department heads. If Adelman finally gets fired, it will be for a hateful, grotesque crime against a woman, the details of which are hard even to listen on the radio. Some might say that's passingly strange.

Note: an earlier version of this post had Adelman arrested. No arrest has been made.

LA Weekly