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Los Angeles

Film Agency for Valley City Is Advocated

September 27, 2002|PATRICK McGREEVY and NITA LELYVELD | TIMES STAFF WRITERS

San Fernando Valley mayoral candidate Keith Richman on Thursday said a Valley city should take over film permitting in its area from the Entertainment Industry Development Corp., which is under criminal investigation for alleged misuse of funds.

"There are too many questions concerning the EIDC," said Richman, one of 10 Valley mayoral candidates in the Nov. 5 secession election. "I will [make] sure that all permit fees stay in the new Valley city."

The EIDC, a quasi-public agency that handles film permits for the city and other local jurisdictions, has become an issue in the secession campaign because it contributed $25,000 to Mayor James K. Hahn's anti-breakup effort.

Hahn, who had solicited the donation, returned the money after questions were raised on whether the EIDC can legally make political contributions, since some believe the permit fees it collects are public funds.

The district attorney's office is examining a range of EIDC spending practices, including campaign contributions.

"There clearly is confusion about whether EIDC is a public agency," Richman said.

"There should be no question issuing film permits is a public function."

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