Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Torrance, said Tuesday he would be donating campaign contributions from prominent Democratic donor Ed Buck to five gay and civil rights organization, a day after a second man was found dead at Buck’s West Hollywood apartment.
Lieu said he would donate $5,000 each to Lambda Legal and the NAACP, $3,000 each to GLAAD and The Trevor Project, and $2,500 to the Equality California Institute.
Lieu’s announcement and an op-ed in which Mito Aviles, a former candidate for West Hollywood City Council, makes a similar pledge, is likely to put reassure on Mayor John Duran and council members John D’Amico, John Heilman and Lauren Meister to consider taking similar steps. Lindsey Horvath is the only current council member who hadn’t received donations from Buck.
“I am deeply disturbed by the latest revelations of a second death by overdose at the home of Ed Buck,” Lieu said.
A man was found dead early Monday at Buck’s apartment. The man’s name has not been released and his cause of death was under investigation by the county coroner’s office, Deputy Charles Moore of the Sheriff’s Information Bureau said.
Buck made headlines when the body of 26-year-old Gemmel Moore was found at the same apartment on July 27, 2017. The coroner’s office ruled Moore’s death an accidental methamphetamine overdose, to the dismay of his family.
Buck was present at the location when both deaths occurred, according to the sheriff’s department.
The sheriff’s department said the District Attorney’s Office will be closely involved in reviewing the latest case, as it was in the Moore case, which will also be the subject of “a secondary review” by sheriff’s homicide detectives.
Buck’s attorney, Seymour Amster, has denied that Buck had any involvement in either death.
Los Angeles County prosecutors last July 26 declined to pursue criminal charges against Buck stemming from Moore’s death.
According to a charge-evaluation worksheet prepared by the District Attorney’s Office, the evidence was “insufficient to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that (Buck) is responsible for the death of Gemmel Moore. Likewise, the admissible evidence is insufficient to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that suspect Buck furnished drugs to Gemmel Moore or that suspect Buck possessed drugs.”