Saturday, September 23, 2023
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Ethics Panel Wants Deputy L.A. Attorney|Cited for Contempt, and Compelled to Testify

LOS ANGELES (CN) - Deputy City Attorney Michael Amerian refused to cooperate with an investigation of his campaign finance, forcing the City Ethics Commission to seek a court order, the commission's directors say in Superior Court. Executive Director Leeann Pelham says the commission "has evidence that Mr. Amerian may have violated campaign laws during his candidacy for elective office of City Attorney."

Amerian was asked to testify about whether he accepted contributions from city employees, "among other potential violations," according to the complaint.

In two responses sent the same day, Amerian's attorney told the Ethics Commission that his client could not testify because he would be in court, and that "unless more information was provided regarding the subject matter of the investigation, Mr. Amerian would not participate in the investigation."

Pelham subpoenaed Amerian, demanding that he testify and bring with him "any and all correspondence" related to his campaign fund raising.

Amerian objected, claiming that the requests were "vague" and "burdensome," and that the commission already had the information it sought.

After the commission's director of enforcement upheld the portion of the subpoena that required Amerian to testify, Amerian's counsel replied, "stating disagreement with the ruling and declaring that Mr. Amerian would not comply with the subpoena."

The commission wants Amerian compelled to comply with the subpoena. It also seeks "attorney's fees for bad faith actions that are 'frivolous or solely intended to cause unnecessary delay,'" and contempt sanctions of $1,000 or 5 days in jail.

Mara Rosales represents the commission.

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