Deputy Mayor Raymond Chan made use of his time at City Hall, clearing obstacles for real estate developers behind some of the city's major projects. But while working for Mayor Eric Garcetti, Chan was also contacting some of those same developers for donations to the 2017 celebration of Asian Pacific American heritage Month, according to the LA Times .
The Times obtained a correspondence detailing the tens of thousands of dollars Chan raised for the celebration from developers seeking approvals or awaiting building inspections.
In a series of emails to a city council aide, "Chan said he had reached out to at least seven firms and businessmen, including four working to bring new skyscrapers to downtown Los Angeles."
“Hopefully, we will wrap up the $80,000 in a week or two,” he reportedly wrote in an April 2017 email.
A search warrant filed last year showed federal agents have gone to court to obtain records from Chan's email account, looking for any evidence of possible crimes including bribery, extortion, money laundering and kickbacks.
The Times reports experts say fundraising activities are legal but could raise ethical concerns give or take how much influence Chan had over those specific companies and their projects.
Real estate developers who need approval of their projects, or are in the middle of building inspections, may have the felt the pressure to accept a fundraising request from a city official like Chan and felt they could not turn it down.
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