Antonovich Calls for Investigation of Former Head of County OAPP
Los Angeles County Supervisor Mike Antonovich on Thursday asked prosecutors to investigate allegations that former county Office of AIDS Programs and Policy Director Charles Henry violated state law related to his work for then-mayoral candidate Antonio Villaraigosa (D), the Los Angeles Times reports (Los Angeles Times, 6/10). Henry last month was removed from his position.
According to a confidential May 9 report by county Department of Health Services auditors that was obtained by the Los Angeles Times on Wednesday, Henry violated a state law that prohibits local government employees from asking colleagues for campaign money when he solicited funds from five county employees and officials who worked for at least five HIV/AIDS treatment organizations that were eligible to receive funds from his office. The report stated that Henry's actions also "created the appearance or concern of bias."
Henry's attorney said Henry did not ask county employees for contributions and his fund-raising efforts were legal (Los Angeles Times, 6/9).
In related news, Los Angeles-based Minority AIDS Project -- the first black AIDS organization in the United States -- might close unless it receives a large monetary donation, according to its founder Carl Bean, the Los Angeles Times reports. MAP provides HIV/AIDS-related services -- including case management, counseling, treatment adherence advice, health education, testing, a needle-exchange program and food provision -- for about 1,200 people monthly, one-third of whom are men.
According to MAP CFO Rev. Charles Lanier, the group -- which normally operates on a $4 million annual budget -- will receive $2 million less in public funding because of government funding reductions.
The group's caseload has increased by about 13% annually, MAP Executive Director Victor McKamie said. He added that he has reduced services for some populations and cut programs providing food vouchers, transportation and housing.
MAP currently is seeking private funding sources (Pollard-Terry, Los Angeles Times, 6/8).