Los Angeles Controller Laura Chick on Monday charged that voters are being misled by the campaign to ease term limits for City Council members, and a group of opponents of the measure further complained to the city Ethics Commission that backers were circulating inaccurate mailers.
If approved by voters on Nov. 7, Proposition R would ease the current city term limits law and allow council members to serve up to three four-year terms rather than two.
In a letter to Proposition R's campaign consultant, Chick, who opposes the measure, said a recent mailer implied that she believed that easing term limits would have prevented recent scandals involving a public relations firm that was accused of overbilling the city's Department of Water and Power.
"Nothing could be further from the truth," Chick wrote. "Proposition R would have had no preventive effect on that matter. I remind you that the City Council actually voted to turn down my request for them to stop the L.A. DWP from paying millions of dollars more to outside public relations firms."
Chick called on Proposition R campaign consultant John Shallman to immediately desist from using her name in the campaign.
"In fact I adamantly oppose Proposition R. Using my name in mailers to voters in support of this measure is duplicitous and intentionally deceiving," she wrote.
Shallman denied that Chick's name was used to imply that she endorsed the measure, saying that it only reflected her public statements on the overbilling by public relations firm Fleishman-Hillard.
"I have great respect for Controller Chick, but in this case she's just plain wrong," Shallman said in a statement. "Proposition R clearly could have helped prevent the Fleishman-Hillard scandal and other recent City Hall scandals."
Still, Shallman said, he would honor Chick's request to stop using her name.
Earlier in the day, other opponents of the ballot measure filed a formal complaint with the city Ethics Commission and the Los Angeles County district attorney, alleging that mailers sent by supporters were misleading in other ways as well.
The mailers say "Prop. R will limit council members to three terms in office (12 years total), so that no one can serve for life."
In fact, council members already are prohibited from serving for life because they are limited to two terms, said Jason Lyon, a neighborhood council activist from Silver Lake and co-chairman of Not PropR.