Mr. Dave Demerjian
Public Integrity Unit
Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office
Los Angeles, CA
Re: Illegal Use of City Resources for Political Campaigning
Dear Mr. Demerjian,
I am writing to formally request an investigation of City Councilman Bill Rosendahl for criminal misconduct for his use of public resources for electioneering in a city election and the illegal use by his Deputy Mike Bonin of an email data base, developed at taxpayer expense, for campaign purposes.
As you will see below, Mr. Rosendahl has included in an official press release from his city office the web link to his chief deputy's campaign website. City staff were used to prepare this communication and a city-assembled email list was used to promote a particular candidate with City resources in violation of State law.
It is one thing to endorse a candidate, it is another to misappropriate public resources - his considerable press operation paid for by taxpayers - for the benefit of one candidate over another by using that operation to direct citizen attention to a campaign website.
Further, as you will see below, Mr. Bonin also today employed the Council Office's extensive email data base to announce his candidacy and to solicit funds.
Several friends and associates of mine have recently sent me copies of Mr. Bonin's email blast. They have told me that Mr. Bonin would not have had access to their email addresses except by accessing the data base maintained by Mr. Rosendahl's City Council office, which is maintained for the purpose of official communications from that office to constituents, not for political campaign purposes. In the instance below, Mr. ---- was contacted at his business in downtown Los Angeles, far distant from Council District 11. There is no conceivable way that Mr. Bonin would have obtained Mr. ----'s business email address and the addresses of the others who have received his notices except by appropriating them from the Council Office's data base of email addresses assembled in the course of official city business. Mr. Bonin even sent the funds solicitation to VMPO@ncvenice.org, the email address of the task force in Venice fighting to preserve the historic Venice Post Office, more evidence that the council office's email date base was the source of all the addresses.
These are all examples of the illegal use of city resources and files developed at taxpayer expense for electioneering.
This instance of misuse of public funds, staff time, and resources raises the question of whether Mr. Bonin is currently engaged in working on his campaign on city time using city offices, telephones, email accounts, computers, etc. After many years in office, it is possible that both Mr. Bonin and his boss Mr. Rosendahl have lost sight of the line between city business and campaigning.
To avoid this obvious criminal misconduct shouldn't Mr. Bonin take a leave of absence from his position with the City?
Thank you for investigating this matter.
Candidate for Council District 11