Los Angeles Local Government Analysis

Los Angeles Local Government Analysis

‘The ongoing scandal at the Los Angeles veteran’s affairs office,” is the article chosen for this paper. It was published by Tom Fitton on the Los Angeles Times newspaper on 14 Feb 2019. It dwells on the boundless corruption that has been going on at the Department of Veterans Affairs in Los Angeles. Veterans officials in Los Angeles are blatantly ignoring the needs of veterans and appear to be running some kind of business out of their offices (Fitton, 2019). The article exposes such scandals as the sale of the 338-acre grounds that was deeded to the federal government in 1888 to care for the disabled veterans. This land has and is been used for completely non-veteran affairs such as serving as the stadium for the University of California, Los Angeles baseball team. This property has also been used for profit-making businesses by the official; for example, it has been leased as a training complex to a nearby school, a local hotel, 20th Century Fox Television, the Brentwood Theatre, a dog park, and a farmers’ market. All these forms of misappropriation of veteran property have gone on despite the fact that many veterans, who mental conditions and brain injuries sleep in the streets.

Before any other progress with this paper, understanding the form of government in Los Angeles is very crucial to understand who were the people involved in the case. Los Angeles is a Mayor Council-Commission form of government. It was adopted by the Los Angeles voters on July 1, 1925, and further reaffirmed by a charter that became effective on July 1, 2000. It comprises of a mayor, city controller and an attorney who are elected every four years by the residents of Los Angeles. As for the question of involvement of the local government in the case study scandal, it is minimum. This is partly because the Department of Veterans Affairs is independent of the local administration. It has however been involved in some indirect ways in the case. For example, the government sent police to harass and intimidate members of the Old Veterans Guard that filed complaints of corruption and assembled at the property weekly to protest. Robert Rosbrock, for example, was illegally charged for breaking federal law, when he posted a pair of American lag outside the Veterans Affairs offices. Mayor Eric Garcetti also took heroic steps and housed the most homeless veterans in one year.

When it comes to the question of federal government involvement in the scandal, the federal government played numerous positive roles in this scandal. First and foremost, it is the federal government that settled the lawsuit that accused the Veteran Affairs of misuse of property meant to cater for the over 4200 veterans in Los Angeles. In the 2011 lawsuit, the federal government also exposed evidence supporting that the veteran agency was leasing the land to private businesses in order to make a profit. Recently, Judge S. James Otero halted the construction of a private amphitheater on the property. The federal government, led by President Obama, also supported Mayor Garcetti’s efforts that led to the housing of many homeless veterans in Los Angeles (this also provides evidence for the existence of intergovernmental relations). Finally, recently in 2018, a federal audit exposed rampant fraud and corruption involving the illicit land sharing agreements made by crooked Veterans Affairs officials.

As for democracy, the United States of America being a democratic state provide adequate support that democracy was involved in the case. These are evidenced by the many demonstrations that were carried out by members of the Old Veterans Club. Although they were often intimidated and harassed by the police, it shows that at least, the people do have the right to demonstrate, which is a characteristic of democracies.

Did public finance play a role in the local government case study? In the case study selected for this paper, there was no public finance involved. There was however public property involved. The land that was being misused had been set apart by the federal government for the public purpose of settling the homeless veterans of Los Angeles. The only funds that are close to public funds in this case study are those that the crooked officials of the Veterans Affairs obtained after misusing the property.

So far, there have not been any forms of city planning involved, except that the 338-acres of land had been set out by the federal government of America to build a complex facility that could cater for the many veterans who are homeless in Los Angeles. There however been debates of reinitiating the idea, after the lawsuit has been settled, and the land returned to the public. It is also very essential to mention that the case of corruption in the Los Angeles Veteran Affairs does not involve economic development. This is because the property had already been set out for a non-profit endeavor.

In conclusion, it’s important to mention that the case study involves very many aspects of citizen involvement. This ranges from protesters to the very homeless veterans who the property belongs to. It’s also important while making the final remarks to mention that the issue of management of the human resource is not so important to the case unless the decision of construction of a veteran facility is reached at. The final remarks of this paper would be to mention some important points for the Los Angeles policymakers. The veterans represent a very important facet of the

American community. They symbolize the struggles America has endured to get where it is. It is, therefore, a very important step to preserve this symbol by giving them a home and catering for all their needs. The V.A should be charged for embezzlement of a public resource and the land returned to the public for construction of the veterans facility.




Works Cited:

Kelly, K. M. (1976). Community Property, II. Calif. L. Rev.64, 305.

SURF, W. Who’s News.

England, R. E., Pelissero, J. P., & Morgan, D. R. (2016). Managing urban America. CQ Press.


López, R. W. (2009). Community resistance and conditional patriotism in cold war Los Angeles. Latino Studies7(4), 457-479.