How L.A. City Hall became so corrupt: A recent history of bribes, kickbacks, scandal, leaks

The recent leak of a recording that exposed some of Los Angeles’ top officials making abhorrent racist comments, disparaging multiple racial and ethnic groups, has rocked the City of Angels.

But City Hall is no stranger to scandal — with many elected leaders and officials still facing the fallout from prior missteps, including three current or former council members who have been charged with federal crimes.

For anyone new to the mayhem in L.A. politics, here’s a quick refresher of some of the most memorable — or perhaps infamous — scandals in recent history. Buckle up.

The Los Angeles political world has been roiled this week by audio from a 2021 closed-door meeting among some of the city’s most powerful Latino leaders discussing the city’s redistricting process. Many have since raised concerns about their discussion about ways to expand their political power amid a contentious redistricting process, but it’s the racist comments the group flippantly shared that have sparked an onslaught of outrage and condemnation from Angelenos all the way to the White House.


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