Alleged Checks to Councilman Investigated


Four former aides to Los Angeles Councilman Rudy Svorinich Jr. were asked Friday by the city Ethics Commission to detail allegations that political contributions were brought to the freshman councilman’s office several times last year in violation of campaign reform laws.

Additionally, it was learned that the district attorney’s office has contacted at least three former Svorinich aides about their allegations of campaign violations. Those set to be interviewed by district attorney’s officials include Svorinich’s former chief deputy, John Vidovich, who previously spoke to city ethics officials, and Brian Hannon, a former aide to the councilman who is scheduled to talk to an Ethics Commission investigator next week.

Another former Svorinich aide, who declined to be identified, said he has already has spoken to the district attorney’s Special Investigations Division.


Representatives of the Ethics Commission and the district attorney declined comment on whether they have launched inquiries.

A spokesman for Svorinich, Tom Kruesopon, said the councilman had not been informed of any investigation by either the city or the district attorney.

The requests for interviews came after a report by The Times that five former Svorinich aides said they saw campaign contributions brought to his San Pedro district office last year despite a ban on such activity in city offices.

One of the aides also said he saw the councilman holding an envelope in that office that contained thousands of dollars in campaign checks from a business based in Ft. Worth and some of its employees--checks that Svorinich’s office initially denied receiving. After inquiries by The Times, Svorinich filed a campaign finance statement this week reporting $1,400 in contributions from the company and six of its employees.

Svorinich has denied any improprieties in accepting or reporting contributions, although he has said one aide inadvertently received an envelope of campaign checks shortly after he took office last year. At the time, Svorinich has said, the aide was unaware it was illegal to accept political donations at a city office.