LAUSD Board member Scott Schmerelson allegedly did not submit an updated financial disclosure form when he declared his intention to run for re-election in November, causing two complaints filed against him on Thursday at the City of Los Angeles Ethics Commission and in the State Fair Political Practices Commission (FPCC).

According to an allegation by the activist father Kenchy Ragsdale, the form that Schmerelson (BD3) submitted in November was dated and signed in March 2018, almost two years earlier.

Ragsdale provided Speak UP with copies of the complaints it filed Thursday alleging that Schmerelson did not comply with the California government code that requires all candidates to “submit by the deadline to declare their candidacy, a statement that reveals their or your investments, your interests in real estate and any income received during the immediately preceding 12 months. ”

These complaints occur one day after the FPPC discovered that Schmerelson violated the Political Reform Law when it did not adequately disclose the initial date on which it bought shares in the giant tobacco company Altria, which owns a 35% stake in the electronic cigarette company JUUL Therefore, he received a warning letter, according to the Los Angeles Daily News.

The FPPC confirmed the new complaint, which is now under review, while a spokeswoman for the City Ethics Commission said it could not confirm or deny it. However, Schmerelson sent an updated form to the City Ethics Commission on Thursday, according to Kyle Stokes of KPCC, who posted the form on Twitter.

In particular, the rectified form definitely shows, for the first time, that Schmerelson owned shares in the tobacco giant Altria at least until November 4, 2019. That means that he owned shares in Altria when he voted in closed session on the demand of the LAUSD vs. JUUL last October.

Ragsdale had filed a conflict of interest complaint about that vote, but the FPPC dismissed that complaint. According to the Daily News, an Ethics officer of the Los Angeles Unified District last December “concluded that Schmerelson's ownership of Altria shares would only prove to be a conflict of interest if that company had more than 50% stake in JUUL,” instead of 35%.

Schmerelson has said he sold his shares in Altria, although so far he has not provided evidence of that sale. The form he submitted on Thursday showed that, if he sold it, he did so only in the last three months. He bought the shares for the first time in January 2016, and bought additional shares in 2017. The deadline to submit your next financial disclosure form is until April.

The FPPC also continues to review a conflict of interest complaint filed against Schmerelson for casting in 2017 the only vote against the ban on fundraising at McDonald’s while owning shares at McDonald’s.

Courtesy of Speak UP


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