The troubled museum-in-waiting near Hansen Dam in Lake View Terrace has taken steps to file for Chapter 7 protection, at least partly due to the impact of a scam, per a statement from Councilman Richard Alarcon.
Upon hearing this news, I convened a team that includes representatives from the offices of the Chief Legislative Analyst, the City Administrative Officer, the City Attorney, the Mayor and myself, and we are analyzing the situation. Additionally, Mayor Villaraigosa and I have communicated on the subject, and we both believe that in all likelihood the City of LA will be the ultimate owners of the facility that has been constructed, and we have begun developing strategies to create a positive end use for the facility. It is our hope that it can continue to be used for an education function.
The filing of Chapter Seven Bankruptcy is not a positive outcome for the Children’s Museum of Los Angeles, but given the current economic condition and the fact that the Children’s Museum was apparently the victim of a scam, pointing fingers of blame is not a priority right now. Our priority is creating a positive outcome for the facility and the community as a whole.
Last month, Daily News reporter Dana Bartholomew reported that museum donor Bruce Friedman, a Sherman Oaks businessman, had been charged by the feds with "with bilking $17 million from investors and funneling the money to himself and his family charity." The upshot was that Friedman's $10 million gift to the not-yet-opened museum might have to be returned, which "could deal a death blow" to the facility. So yeah, not much has gone right since the museum relocated to the far north Valley from Downtown.