UPDATED: WeHo’s contract with Planned Parenthood lacked recusal from John Erickson

UPDATE: County rescinded and re-authorized the contract when Councilmember John Erickson recused himself at Council’s meeting Monday night.

West Hollywood will likely rescind its $89,446 contract with Planned Parenthood — but only temporarily.

City staff are recommending that Council yank funding for the organization — one of 31 social service agencies whose contracts were approved in September — in order to correct what they’re calling a “processing error.”

“The Planned Parenthood agreement should be reprocessed separately to allow the Councilmember who is employed by the organization to note recusal for the record,” the staff report reads.

The councilmember it refers to is John Erickson, who is Planned Parenthood Los Angeles’s Interim Vice President of Public Affairs, Communications, and Marketing, according to his LinkedIn page.

The city is allowed to enter into a contract with a 501(c)3 nonprofit entity that employs a city official if certain procedures are followed, specifically disclosure of the interest and recusal for the record — measures that were evidently not taken at City Council’s meeting on Sept. 19 when the contract was approved originally.

“Reprocessing the agreement provides an opportunity to reflect the recusal for the record,” the staff report reads. “There is no change to the substance of the agreement or funding that the City Council authorized on September 19, 2022.”

The services Planned Parenthood is contracted to provide include STI testing and treatment, HIV testing, and PrEP and PEP, along with “reproductive and sexual health services and education to West Hollywood community members.”

City Council will likely follow staff recommendation by immediately re-authorizing the contract at their meeting Monday night.

PARTISAN PERILS

Controversy arose this fall when Erickson and other councilmembers voted not to allow the Chamber of Commerce’s candidate forum for WeHo City Council candidates to be broadcast on WeHoTV, citing the Chamber’s indirect support of certain candidates over others.

“City dollars are going to–in my opinion–a political entity, which is why I pulled this item,” Erickson said at the time. “It is a very interesting situation with a partisan political organization deeply involved in this election. We’ve all sat at the events where they’ve said, ‘we have to take our city back this next election.’ And those are public dollars that are sponsoring those events where political statements are being made, and I do have a problem with that.” 

Planned Parenthood has spent nearly $5 million on California candidates, ballot measures and other committees in the 2021-2022 election cycle, according to the Secretary of State — including over $200,000 on Councilmember Lindsey Horvath’s race for County Supervisor, according to the Los Angeles Times.

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Ronny
Ronny
20 days ago

WE MUST VOTE JOHN ERICKSON OUT! He is actually doing more harm than Horvath and Shyne combined.

Me, me, me, me,
Me, me, me, me,
20 days ago

Would anyone care to comment in Erickson’s council member comments last evening? Aside from the me, me, me, myself and I…..fluffed off the former non-recusal for the Planned Parenthood matter, the “toxic comments” forthcoming resulting from council member indignities to the public…………Just imagine this behavior in Congress or the State Legislature🙄🙄🙄 Only in West Hollywood do we have out of the lane council members minus one. Lauren Meister’s plan book is what Erickson might have read rather than getting a PHd and focusing on gender drama. Local civic behavior should be concentrated on the mechanics of running a city not… Read more »

against this man
against this man
21 days ago

John Erickson has ratlike ethics. He bragged to me about stealing city funds and giving it to Planned Parenthood. Appalling.

More Than Appalling
More Than Appalling
21 days ago

And you said nothing about this? It might seem difficult to bring this to the attention of the City Manager or City Attorney because they are so firmly entrenched but I would definitely consult with an attorney on possible steps.

Ronny
Ronny
20 days ago

Please report this to City Attorney Lauren Langer at:
lauren.langer@bbklaw.com

MG on Havenhurst
MG on Havenhurst
22 days ago

What are Erickson’s kickbacks from Planned Parenthood? We know Shyne is getting kickbacks from Block by Blockbusters.

Tax money goes into the racist Margaret Sander’s PP organization, built upon the principle of eliminating blacks from the population. Yet, they have succeeded with their record number of black abortions. 

Plus, why would PP have anything to do with the dreadful and utterly ridiculous Erickson?

:dpb
:dpb
22 days ago

It’s Erickson’s job to know. Period. Done.

Don Jones
Don Jones
22 days ago

If Planned Parenthood spent $200,000 to elect Horvath when her opponent, Bob Hertzberg has a 100% legislative grade from Planned Parenthood then the organization needs to rethink their allocation priorities. There are many races where the pro-choice candidate could have used those fund to help defeat their pro-life candidate.

Follow the Money
Follow the Money
21 days ago
Reply to  Don Jones

Hmmmm. Where exactly did the $200,000. go?

JF1
JF1
22 days ago

John Erickson has been disastrous for this city. He, along with Shyne, need to be voted out next election. We can not allow them to continue to drag the City of West Hollywood further down the drain.

Pious Sepi Shyne & Erickson
Pious Sepi Shyne & Erickson
22 days ago
Reply to  JF1

If you really want to be disgusted, take a look of Shyne’s Instagram. Not for a moment does she avoid genuflecting to her fabricated self as the most pious among us.

Alan Strasburg
Alan Strasburg
22 days ago

Agreed. Such sanctimonious pontificating belongs in places where people self-reflect, grow and find a spiritual home. It does NOT belong on a city council dais where the job is to represent everyone. Shyne’s abuse of council time for her personal agenda is an affront to democracy. The council could do the people’s work in ninety minutes were it not for the performances that too often extend council meetings to over five hours.

Pious Sepi Shyne & Erickson
Pious Sepi Shyne & Erickson
22 days ago
Reply to  Alan Strasburg

Glad you agree. For readers not knowing what this is about, Shyne’s Instagram page has a collection of her pontifications at City Council which she is perfectly able to do on her own platform but it is inappropriate to subject the public to these personal issues to drive her agenda in and beyond West Hollywood. At the very least it is highly unethical.

Alan Strasburg
Alan Strasburg
22 days ago

Ethics have been discussed from time time but barely get serious attention beyond appointing a task force of yet more members of the incestuous cabal who put forth toothless proposals that die a quick death. Small minds do not see the ethical lapse in a city councilmember advancing her wife’s agenda (regardless of the dollar amount involved) nor the serious lack of judgment in another in failing to recuse himself on a vote for funding for the organization that employs him. We were in much better shape when the majority of council were functioning adults with brains.

WeHo Greg
19 days ago
Reply to  Alan Strasburg

We may not agree on other things, Alan. But I can agree with you on this one. They give 2 minutes for public comments but Shyne is given unlimited amounts of time for performances, shaming residents, and defending Lindsey.

Lets Have a List of Meeting Attendance
Lets Have a List of Meeting Attendance
18 days ago
Reply to  WeHo Greg

Let’s limit Council Members Comments to 2 minutes as well. They can submit their lists of meetings and events attended to be added to the Agenda. That would save on bragging time and everlasting meetings.

Vengeful Ghost of Margaret Sanger
Vengeful Ghost of Margaret Sanger
22 days ago

Sorry John… unlike the people you’re used to dealing with, we weren’t born yesterday.

Joshua88
Joshua88
22 days ago

Please clear up or educate people on the PAC and the organization. Generally, they are discrete operations.

Bastian
Bastian
22 days ago

Cut them off completely. Smells of quid pro quo. The money should be used for services, not funding a candidate in a blue vs blue election.

Say What?!
Say What?!
22 days ago

shady

Steve Martin
Steve Martin
22 days ago

This situation is troubling on a number of fronts. It certainly calls into question the competency of our City Attorney for not raising this issue when the vote was made. This is NOT rocket science. It is also not clear if Planned Parenthood is providing services to WeHo residents that would be provided with or without money from the City. We saw that when the Saban Clinic returned the $200,000 in City funding and said it would not impact services to our residents. Then there is the concern that Planned Parenthood spent $200,000 promoting Lindsey Horvath for Supervisor when she… Read more »

Not Believable
Not Believable
22 days ago
Reply to  Steve Martin

Competency of the City Attorney? That’s a good one.

Residents Last
Residents Last
20 days ago
Reply to  Not Believable

The City Attorney lacks the ability to engage in layered analyses of issuses. The City often deals with matters that involve the confluence of Federal, State and Local laws. She fails to grasp OR ADVISE the Council or Commissions or Staff on the “distinctive dignities” of these laws and regulations. Along with the directot of planning the result is a winding road of appeals, lawsuits, monies lost from the taxpayers Genneral Fund, and the most aggravating to both developers and residents-construcion that takes forever because the more issues and delays, the more time the Planning Director and City Attorney ”… Read more »

Not Believable
Not Believable
18 days ago
Reply to  Residents Last

y Yes, exactly. Thank you for articulating the troubling issue. It is far easier to get in the right lane fro the beginning. If one has acute legal vision, the entire process is more efficient, effective and less costly. Words from a father that was a highly respected attorney that never lost a case even when facing giant corporations. I asked how that could happen and he is reply was its easy, these corporations like GE and similar ones had a teams of attorneys, and they were bound to be careless. My Dad dotted every “I”, crossed every “t” and… Read more »

Alan Strasburg
Alan Strasburg
22 days ago
Reply to  Steve Martin

Yes, it absolutely calls into question the city attorney’s competency and she certainly should have said something. It also calls into question Erickson’s own sense of ethical duty in that he failed to properly recuse himself in the face of this blatant conflict of interest.

I ♥️ WEHO
I ♥️ WEHO
22 days ago
Reply to  Alan Strasburg

In his arrogance, he probably thought he could get away with it!

Not Believable
Not Believable
18 days ago
Reply to  Alan Strasburg

The previous City Attorney Mike Jenkins with the same “Be Best” law firm advocated making things up as he went along until the courts say no. Terrific idea when the city is responsible and the attorney has his back covered. Someone should put together a list of the costly lawsuits City of West Hollywood lost and the expense of it all.

Toms
Toms
22 days ago
Reply to  Steve Martin

So true here this is appalling

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