Former Aide to Los Angeles City Councilmember Alleges Retaliation in Claim Against City

A former longtime aide to Los Angeles City Councilmember Curren Price has filed a claim against the city, alleging that she was wrongfully terminated from her position after being accused of being a “snitch” in the criminal case brought against Price by L.A. County District Attorney George Gascón. The claim, filed by Angie Reyes English on February 1, outlines a series of alleged intimidation tactics and retaliation by Price and his team.

According to the four-page claim, which has been reviewed by The Times, Reyes English faced intimidation from Price and his staff, culminating in her dismissal from her job in January. However, Angelina Valencia-Dumarot, a spokesperson for Price, denied these allegations and stated that Reyes English had been the subject of complaints from Price’s staff. Valencia-Dumarot added that they have been working closely with the city’s Personnel Department on the matter for months.

Attorney Greg Smith, representing Reyes English, stated that his client is unaware of any complaints against her and has never been notified of any formal or informal complaints. Reyes English, who currently serves as mayor pro tem and a City Council member in Hawthorne, declined to be interviewed. She had worked for Price for 17 years.

Los Angeles City Attorney Hydee Feldstein Soto’s spokesperson, Ivor Pine, declined to comment on the claim. The district attorney’s office also did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The charges against Price, a Democrat who previously served in the state Senate and Assembly, were filed by Gascón in June 2023. Price faces 10 counts of embezzlement, perjury, and conflict of interest. These charges are related to medical benefits received by Price’s wife, Del Richardson Price, from the city, as well as alleged votes cast by Price that benefited his wife’s business. Price has vehemently denied the charges.

Reyes English’s claim alleges that she was labeled a “whistleblower” by Price’s deputy chief of staff, Jose Ugarte, and others who believed she had disclosed information to government agencies. She reported this intimidation to her supervisors and human resources representatives. As a result, she was placed on involuntary medical leave for approximately 3½ months starting in July 2023. Upon her return to work, she claims to have faced further intimidation, harassment, and harm, leading to her termination on January 9.

Price is scheduled to appear in court in early March. Last month, a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge denied a request from Price’s defense team to dismiss the case, arguing that the prosecution had failed to prove that Price’s votes were motivated by his wife’s business dealings. Price’s defense attorney, Michael Schafler, also contended that the embezzlement charges were inappropriate under California law, as Price’s alleged conduct related to his wife’s health insurance.

Author: CrimeDoor

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