Ex-Controller Laura Chick Guts Kenneth Mejia in Koretz Endorsement

The former L.A. City Controller cites LAMag’s reporting among the reasons why she finds “extremist” accountant Mejia “unfit”

Former Los Angeles City Controller Laura Chick fired off an open letter Tuesday that eviscerated Kenneth Mejia, the front-running candidate for her old job, while also sparing a few words to endorse his opponent, Councilman Paul Koretz.

Chick, who served as the city’s top financial officer from 2001 to 2009, and as member of the City Council from 1993 to 2001, said in her letter that accountant Kenneth Mejia is “unfit” for the post, calling him a “radical,” an “extremist” and a “loose cannon”—and not, presumably, the cool Martin Riggs variety of loose cannon.

Chick enumerated her reasons for rejecting the young candidate. First on her roster was LAMag’s recent reveal that Mejia had been claiming bogus CPA status for years.

“1. Five times in the last six years, his CPA license was either expired or inactive, as recently as earlier this year. While he was touting to voters that one of his qualifications for Controller was that he was an accountant, he wasn’t being honest. When Los Angeles Magazine discovered this, Mejia Tweeted: ‘Anyone who is a CPA knows you DON’T NEED AN ACTIVE CPA to be an accountant.'”

Next on Chick’s list was the time in April 2020 when Mejia tweeted that Joe Biden was “a rapist & racist,” which resurfaced shortly after the Los Angeles Times editorial board saw fit to endorse Mejia in the June 7 primary, in which he stomped Koretz with 43.12 percent of the vote compared to the councilman’s 23.67 percent:

“2. He is an extremist: Mejia accused the President of being a rapist and racist when he Tweeted,  ‘I can’t waste my vote this year voting for Joe Biden as much as me & my DEMOCRAT friends love him as a rapist and racist.'”

In the missive’s preamble, Chick did acknowledge that Mejia dealt her candidate a sound thrashing in June, stating, “One of the two candidates running for City Controller in November’s election is unfit for public office. Don’t take my word; look at what Kenneth Mejia has said about himself, ‘I’m a radical.’  He has shown himself to be an erratic, intolerant and extreme individual, yet he garnered 44% of the vote in the June primary.”

However, she explained, “Some of this is because Angelenos are angry about the state of LA with a burgeoning homelessness crisis, rising crime and streets clogged with traffic, which are serious and challenging problems. But fixing those problems means electing steady (stable) and proven leaders, not loose cannons like Mejia.”

The loose cannon (also, we reckon, not the awesome Hardcastle and McCormick kind), took to Twitter to defend himself, casting the whole thing as an attack masterminded by Koretz, although the other three city controllers who have endorsed Koretz—current Controller Ron Galperin along with Rick Tuttle and Wendy Greuel—didn’t bother to dig into Mejia quite so vociferously.

Third on the grievance tally, Chick recalls that the candidate “played right into the hands of Donald Trump‘s Presidential campaign in 2016 by parading around and Tweeting out a photo of himself holding a giant poster of Hillary Clinton with jail bars superimposed over her face. Echoing the calls of Trump mobs chanting, ‘Lock her up! Lock her up!'”

Chick’s last allegation reads:

“4. Unacceptable behavior from Mejia campaign staff, From Los Angeles Magazine: ‘…foul-mouthed Mejia staffers have been disrupting a series of mayoral forums and debates this year. This includes attempts to force their way into a ticketed mayoral debate at California State University, Los Angeles, as well as the infamous interruption of a forum inside a Jewish house of worship in Valley Village on March 21. Such disruptions are unbecoming behavior, perhaps, from the associates of a media-savvy Millennial vying to become the elected paymaster, auditor, and chief accounting officer for the nation’s second-largest City.'”

Chick does give a full-throated shoutout to her candidate in the final sentence of her Mejia-beatdown, writing, “Mr. Mejia must not be the next City Controller. Paul Koretz has the experience, character, and temperament to be an effective Controller. I urge all voters to choose Paul Koretz as Los Angeles City Controller!”

Mejia did not immediately return an email requesting comment.

Stay on top of the latest in L.A. food and culture. Sign for our newsletters today