The City of Compton has been at the center of attention recently following an allegation that the City Council squandered hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal aid. The city is accused of failing to comply with the requirements of the Community Recovery Act, which was donated by the federal government to help rebuild after a devastating earthquake in 2011.
COVID – The City of Compton is accused of squandering thousands of dollars in relief funds given to the City after the riots.
In a report released by the Center for Investigative Reporting, the city of Compton is accused of squandering thousands of dollars in federal relief funds meant to help the city’s residents recover from the devastating effects of Hurricane Katrina. In 2012, the city’s Mayor A. J. Thomas was charged with misusing $170,000 from the federal disaster relief fund that was meant to help the city rebuild from the 2005 storm.
COMPTON (CBSLA) – Activists are accusing the city of Compton of diverting relief funds for COVID-19 victims. They accuse him of embezzling food that would be distributed to needy residents and of spending tens of thousands of dollars making custom face masks.
The city has been hit particularly hard by the pandemic and is struggling with high infection rates, poverty and unemployment.
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I want more transparency, said Tia Walker, a Compton resident and activist. We have a transparency issue in Compton.
Last month, Walker photographed dozens of pallets of food in a dumpster in Louders Park, home of the Compton Food Pantry, which is operated by the Chamber of Commerce and funded by the City of Compton’s United Relief Fund.
In those boxes were groceries, all of them, Walker says.
According to city documents, the chamber received more than $80,000 between June and November 2020 to maintain the pantry.
I was angry, but I wanted answers first, Walker said. So I decided to post on Facebook to see if there was a reasonable explanation.
A Chamber board member responded to Walker’s post with the following comment: Hardly anyone has come for their groceries, and the pantry can’t get them back to the store.
When so many people are starving, Walker said. If people are sleeping on the streets and homeless in Compton, there should be no trash cans full of food.
Compton created his relief fund last spring, as soon as the pandemic began: The $200,000 fund was donated by Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine, an entrepreneur and top executive of a record label.
CBSLA looked at the city’s receipts and found that while some of the money was used for testing and food distribution, more than $35,000 was spent on Made in Compton brand masks.
That’s a lot of money, said Adolfo Varas, executive director of the Compton Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Thanks to their donations, we received over 50,000 masks.
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Varas has been an outspoken critic of the way the city has spent the relief funds.
We don’t know if the masks they bought were distributed to Compton residents, Varas said. We don’t know what these masks were used for.
The City of Compton gave CBSLA the following statement about the masks:
Although disposable, single-use masks could be provided, cloth masks were also required for residents who needed them and for indispensable staff.
City officials also gave CBSLA the following statement about the food bank:
The pantry is obviously committed to minimizing food waste. This means that if the food spoils in transit, the pantry cannot serve it to residents because it could pose a hazard.
The Chamber sent CBSLA its own statement calling Walker’s photos misleading. The statement goes on to say that unscrupulous scammers can, and do, take manipulative photographs to make the staged conditions incredibly disturbing.
I took these photos as a concerned Compton resident, Walker said. It costs me nothing to post these pictures, come in and ask questions.
CBSLA’s investigation found that the Compton Chamber of Commerce has collected tens of thousands of dollars from the city, but has also clashed with the Franchise Tax Board.
Once CBSLA had made enquiries, the House settled its debt. The chamber still receives $20,000 a month for its food bank, according to a city spokesman.
Meanwhile, Dr. Dre’s management has not commented on his donation or how the money was used.
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Second round elections for a new mayor will be held in the city in June.Late last week, a story that had been circulating in the blogosphere for quite a while became front page news when the Los Angeles Times – an independent news source – ran a story by Pulitzer Prize winning journalist David Lienemann. The story, which details how the city of Compton is accused of squandering $100,000 of relief money, accurately paints a picture of a city that has suffered from a lack of follow through on a watch list, and is accused of having officials who willfully ignored the “red flags” of what could have been a preventable tragedy.. Read more about shooting on freeway today and let us know what you think.
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