L.A. County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas says he reimbursed the county for work done in addition to the installation of a taxpayer-funded security system.
By Paul Pringle and Jack Leonard
January 22, 2014
Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas acknowledged Tuesday that a taxpayer-funded project to install a security system in a converted garage at his home involved improvements “over and above” that job, but said he reimbursed the county for the upgrades.
The Times had disclosed that county-paid crews worked at the supervisor’s Leimert Park home for a week and replaced the garage’s interior walls, installed electrical wiring and equipment, and put in appliances, including a wall-mounted air conditioner and heater and a television.
Ridley-Thomas has declined repeated requests from The Times to comment on the project, and the county has not released any documentation of reimbursements.
In an interview on radio station KCRW-FM (89.9), Ridley-Thomas said he repaid the county nearly $4,000 for the cost of the appliances and extra labor. He did not offer a breakdown of the reimbursements or say when he made them.
The county has provided to The Times heavily redacted records that list the cost of the security work at $10,038. It was unclear whether that amount accounted for any reimbursements.
In the segment on KCRW’s “Which Way L.A.,” Ridley-Thomas said the garage had been converted before he bought the home more than 20 years ago. A check of city databases turned up no permits for the conversion or for the more recent work by the county.
Ridley-Thomas did not address why the county project was done without permits. Last week, after a Times report on the garage work, the Los Angeles Building and Safety Department opened an investigation into the conversion.
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