James T. Butts, Jr., Mayor of Inglewood, California, Involved In Shady Trash Deal

In a recent story from the L.A. Times, the city council in Inglewood, California greenlighted a waste collection deal back in 2009. It was worth a whopping $100 million. The position was offered to a business that had steeper charges. It didn’t go to the bidder that went the lowest. The selected company had something else as well. That was a connection to a man by the name of James Butts Jr. He also happens to be the mayor. Consolidated Disposal Services secured the position in June of that year. The contract was for a full 10 years and took place roughly three months after Michael Butts was recruited by Consolidated Disposal Services. He’s the aforementioned mayor’s sibling. His job was that of an Operation Manager with a $72,000 salary.

The situation wasn’t random it seems. The district attorney’s office in Los Angeles revealed a grievance that was filed in 2009. It indicated that the mayor requested that the bidders recruit his brother. His brother didn’t have any employment at that time. The mayor wanted this action to be in conjunction with his assistance. A bidder actually verified this story.

Gary Clifford works for Athens Services as an executive vice president. He indicated that he doesn’t recall the specific words that came out of the mayor’s mouth. The point, however, was that the mayor wanted someone to get his family member a position. Clifford stated this during an interview. He said that his firm didn’t recruit the mayor’s brother and therefore didn’t abide by his request. He said that the negative result of that was that his business didn’t end up receiving the coveted deal. The business that accommodated his request was the one that scored the deal. Clifford continued by saying that that company cost a lot more than his, too. The difference was $10 million.

Consolidated Disposal Services got a lot out of this transaction. The transaction wasn’t that wonderful for the businesses and citizens that are located in Inglewood, however. Refuse-collection costs for these people are associated with the deal for 10 whole years. They have to cope with these substantial rates for four more years as well.

Mayor Butts didn’t admit to any of this. He claimed that he didn’t make this request to the bidders. He didn’t participate in the deal’s last vote, either. He indicated that the claims were totally baseless. He denied contacting any business regarding the matter. Once he said his peace, he stopped answering the interview questions out of nowhere. He did, though, respond to questions through email after that. The mayor said that his brother’s job had absolutely nothing to do with the questionable bid.

Clifford indicates that the FBI and the district attorney studied the trash deal. They didn’t file any charges. The office of the district attorney verified the situation. The office, however, was unable to successfully retrieve the case file. An FBI representative stated that she was unable to verify the entire investigation process. Michael Butts remains a Consolidated Disposal Services employee to this day.

Haley Thompson

About Haley Thompson

Haley is a journalist with over 10 years of experience in the field. She has held many editorial roles at a number of high-profile publishers – both offline as well as online.

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