Santa Monica City Councilmember Lana Negrete is facing accusations that she attempted to bribe police after an incident at a restaurant owned by her political ally.
The ally, Lucian Tudor, owns the restaurant 1212 Santa Monica and sits on the Downtown Santa Monica Inc. Board of Directors. In July, three underage women were allegedly assaulted after someone slipped them Rohypnol at the restaurant.
According to Santa Monica Next, “in the following days, the police investigation focused not just on finding the people directly responsible for the assaults, but could have also focused on security and underage drinking at 1212 Santa Monica.”
The restaurant is also reportedly operating without a valid business license.
A complaint filed with the District Attorney’s Office alleges that Negrete delivered a packet of $50 gift cards to an officer with the Santa Monica Police Department’s Downtown Division after the incident. Those cards were later determined to have originated from 1212 Santa Monica.
SMPD Lt. Robert D’Andrea “disclosed information about both the assaults and the gift cards to staff in meetings on July 6th and 7th,” Santa Monica Next reports. “SMPD Chief Ramon Batista confirmed on a July 9th call with Juan Matute, a contributor to Santa Monica Next, former Downtown Santa Monica boardmember, and the person who filed the complaints with the district attorney, that the cards had been confiscated once the chain of command had been made aware of them and their origin.”
The question now is what Negrete’s motivation was in supplying the gift cards. Neither her office nor Tudor’s responded to Santa Monica Next’s request for a comment.
Read more about the accusations here.