D.A. Finds No Felony by Aides to Bradley : Politics: Reiner will not prosecute mayor’s staff for using city equipment to help campaign of council candidate Walters.
Dist. Atty. Ira Reiner will not prosecute aides to Mayor Tom Bradley for using city offices and equipment to assist the City Council campaign of Rita Walters, Reiner’s office announced Friday.
Reiner concluded after a two-month investigation that the help given to Walters, a longtime Bradley ally whom the mayor endorsed in the 9th District council race, would have been made available to her opponents if they had asked, said Roger J. Gunson, head of the Special Investigation Division.
In a letter to Bob Gay, Walters’ runoff opponent in the bitterly contested race, Reiner said Bradley staffers committed no “prosecutable felony” under state law when they provided Walters’ campaign with reports, memorandums and briefings on city issues.
Reiner also said the mayor’s staff could not be prosecuted under the city’s new ethics law because it applies only to elected officials, commissioners and department heads. The ethics law prohibits “unwarranted” use of city equipment.
Gay called Reiner’s investigation “superficial” and said he will ask the state attorney general’s office to investigate.
“They claim that these reports were available to the public, but it’s clear to me they didn’t provide them to any other candidate in the race and they did not offer them to any other candidate,” Gay said. The assistance was “designed to enhance her opportunity as a candidate at the expense of myself and the other candidates.”
Walters won a narrow victory over Gay in the June runoff after the two emerged from a crowded primary field.
The investigation was begun in May after The Times reported that Bradley aides had written briefing papers for Walters, provided her with materials from City Hall files and met with her to familiarize her with city issues.
The report also disclosed a series of computer messages sent by Bradley staffers regarding the Walters campaign.
In one, a Bradley aide pointed out that Walters had been endorsed by the mayor and urged fellow staffers to assist her campaign.
In another, Deputy Mayor Mark Fabiani solicited volunteers from the mayor’s staff to “boost the crowd” at a Walters fund-raiser.
Fabiani and five other staff members were reprimanded by the mayor for creating the “perception” that they used taxpayers’ resources to help Walters. Bradley denied any knowledge of their activities, and ordered two aides to reimburse the city a total of $37 for staff and computer time spent on the campaign.
Bradley spokesman Bill Chandler said Friday that Reiner’s decision “demonstrates that the internal disciplinary action taken immediately by the mayor was both appropriate and reasonable.”