Lawyer Calls for Investigation into Possible Local Voting Rights Act Violations

Title: Lawyer Calls for Investigation into Possible Local Voting Right Act Violations
Source: Echo Park Patch
Date: July 10, 2013
By: Karen Jordan

A lawyer who is already suing the city called on U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder today to begin an investigation into possible Voting Rights Act violations he alleges occurred during Los Angeles' recent redrawing of its council district lines.

"There are people being disenfranchised in Los Angeles, and they are minorities,'' attorney Leo Terrell said. "And Mr. Holder, they're being disenfranchised by minorities, by the mayor and by (Councilman) Herb Wesson.''

In a letter to Holder, Terrell pointed to a "preponderance of evidence'' in a lawsuit he filed on behalf of a group of residents in the Eighth, Ninth and 10th
City Council Districts that he contends shows city officials illegally used race in 2012 to set district boundaries.

"I am respectfully requesting that you become an intervening party to our lawsuit and that your staff assigned to violations relating to Voting Rights thoroughly investigate the sequence of events that led to the filing of (the lawsuit),'' he wrote in the letter.

"This case needs urgent consideration to bring those to justice who blatantly disregarded the law for their own benefit under the color of authority,'' he added.

Yusef Robb, spokesman for Mayor Eric Garcetti, and a spokesman for Wesson declined to comment on Terrell's accusations, citing the ongoing litigation.

A spokesman for the City Attorney's Office, meanwhile, said Terrell was misinterpreting the law governing the redistricting process.