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Night on Broadway event canceled amid mounting legal pressure for Councilman Jose Huizar

People pack Broadway in downtown Los Angeles for the Night on Broadway event on Jan. 27, 2018. The annual event will not be held in 2019.
(Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)

The annual Night on Broadway event, which aims to draw people to downtown Los Angeles’ historic core as part of City Councilman Jose Huizar’s plan to revitalize the area, has been canceled for the coming year.

The event, which began in 2014 and features access to Broadway’s historic theaters, live music, carnival rides and food booths, will return in 2020, according to the event’s website.

Huizar declined to comment on the reason for the cancellation, referring questions to a spokesman, who did not respond to a request for comment. Patti Berman, president of the Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council, said she was disappointed to learn the event won’t be happening next year.

The cancellation, first reported by City News Service, comes roughly a month after FBI agents searched Huizar’s home and offices, hauling out an array of materials, including a cardboard box labeled “fundraising.”

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Berman said the letter she received from Huizar’s office offered no explanation for the cancellation, saying only that the event would be postponed to the following year.

“Council District 14 produces this 100% by themselves, and under the circumstances it’s probably more than they can handle,” said Berman, who indicated that she is speaking for herself, not the neighborhood council.

Huizar has been facing other legal pressures in recent months. He also has been sued by two former aides who alleged that they faced retaliation after complaining about unethical or potentially illegal activities.

In the wake of the FBI searches, he was stripped of his committee assignments that deal with planning, economic development, poverty and homelessness, and election rules and state legislation.

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In January, about 250,000 people attended Night on Broadway, which is billed as a key component of Huizar’s 10-year plan — known as the “Bringing Back Broadway” initiative — to boost economic development along the once-bustling thoroughfare.

Berman said she viewed the annual event as a huge success, showcasing the area’s shops and restaurants and giving newcomers reasons to visit again.

“It’s something that’s going to be difficult to replicate,” she said.

Times staff writers David Zahniser and Emily Alpert Reyes contributed to this report

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hannah.fry@latimes.com

Twitter: @Hannahnfry


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