Holding Government Accountable

Embattled City Councilman Is A No-Show

John Lee denies his constituents the opportunity to understand his connections to the developing Los Angeles corruption scandal.

Carl J. Petersen
4 min readAug 18, 2020
Northridge West Neighborhood Council member Kathleen Edwards makes a point during August meeting (From Zoom recording of meeting)

“I need no clarity on this issue.”

- John Lee supporter

Last week the Northridge West Neighborhood Council (NWNC) became the latest group of community representatives to consider a motion questioning John Lee’s involvement in a trip to Las Vegas that resulted in the felony conviction of his former boss, Mitchell Englander. The NWNC invited Councilman Lee to attend the meeting or to send a representative, but neither was present for the proceedings. Instead, Empower L.A., the agency that is supposed to enable the work of these elected community representatives, attempted to dissuade NWNC from taking up the issue. Unable to silence the debate, Lee’s supporters tried to mount a defense that borrowed heavily from Trump’s efforts following his impeachment.

Central to the arguments against asking Lee if he is “City Staffer B” is that this would somehow “overthrow” the will of the slight majority of voters who voted for him. Ignoring the fact that Englander’s indictment outlines the crimes committed by “City Staffer B” in detail and that Lee admits that he was on the trip to Vegas, these supporters labeled the search for truth as a “witch hunt” based on “guilt by association.” Instead of joining the call for accountability, they attempt to classify those demanding answers as sore losers who refuse to accept the results of an election.

Facebook post from Kathleen Edwards attempting to get John Lee supporters to attend the NWNC meeting

Knowing that their case is weak, Lee’s supporters tried to obscure the facts by disseminating a steady stream of falsehoods. These included the already disproven talking point that…



Carl J. Petersen

Parent, special education advocate and former LAUSD School Board candidate. Still fighting for the children. www.ChangeTheLAUSD.com