Nervous about SEIU probe

The LA Weekly website posted a (perhaps final?) Rob Greene story saying that the multi-agency investigation of SEIU Local 99's help for Martin Ludlow's City Council campaign has uncovered widespread violations of campaign laws and "has sent ripples of concern through Los Angeles’ political and labor establishments."

Before running for the City Council, Ludlow was the political director of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, the umbrella labor council for local unions affiliated with the AFL-CIO. Last year, he left the City Council to become the organization’s chief after the death of longtime County Fed leader Miguel Contreras. Ludlow has been widely credited with steering the County Fed not just through Contreras’ passing, but through the breakaway from the AFL-CIO of some of the nation’s most vibrant unions — including the SEIU. Under Ludlow’s leadership, the County Fed retains the “Change to Win” locals, such as the SEIU, as well as the unions that have stayed with the AFL-CIO.

Ludlow, who had not responded to numerous requests for an interview over the past two months, issued a written statement Tuesday in response to a series of e-mailed questions. “The Los Angeles County Federation of Labor as a policy will not comment on pending investigations of an affiliate,” Ludlow wrote. “Any investigation into any campaign, including my own, will receive my full cooperation.”

Ludlow is also the subject of an ongoing federal probe into his role in a development project involving the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Ludlow, who was a member of the MTA board when he served on the City Council, asked his transit-board colleagues to hire a consultant to rally public support for a project that he couldn’t officially back, due to state conflict-of-interest laws.

The Times (Greene's employer as of next week) had a story on the probes this morning.


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