|Martin Ludlow, the head of the powerful Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, announced that he is stepping down and was close to reaching a plea bargain with federal prosecutors. Ludlow is a close confidant of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.|
The Los Angeles Times has the story.
There is a good Times sidebar as well, covering how it was the involvement of union funds that doomed Ludlow.
If Martin Ludlow had received improper financial assistance from an ordinary individual or business as part of his 2003 City Council campaign, he likely would have faced a hefty fine under local law and a few rough stories in the newspaper.
Life would have pretty much gone on — as it has for some other members of the council.
In 2002, for example, then-council President Alex Padilla was hit with a record $79,321 fine by the Los Angeles Ethics Commission for failing to abide by the city's spending cap during his 1999 campaign and for accepting two donations over the $500 limit.
Padilla paid the fine and subsequently won a second term unopposed and was twice reelected as council president. He now is in the midst of a run for the state Senate.
Ludlow, however, is alleged to have received at least $53,000 of assistance illegally funneled through a union, putting him in the crosshairs of a federal law that oversees dues paid by members of organized labor.
It is an intersting angle, read about it here.