L.A. County Supervisor Mark-Ridley Thomas is lashing out at an L.A. Times report that work done at his home by county crews went beyond permissible security improvements. In his first public comments on the controversy, Ridley-Thomas told KCRW’s Warren Olney that allegations that he allowed taxpayers to foot the bill for extra work are untrue. The Supervisor acknowledged that some of the work at his Leimert Park house did not involve the installation of a security system – which the county covers. But he said he’s reimbursed the county $4,000 for the extra work. Ridley-Thomas says the payments will be documented in records requested by the newspaper. So far, the county hasn’t released those documents…A federal appeals court says potential jurors may not be removed from a trial during jury selection solely because of sexual orientation. The ruling extends to gays and lesbians a civil right that the U.S. Supreme Court has previously given only women and racial minorities. The decision came in an antitrust and contract dispute between two rival drug companies over the price of an AIDS drug. The company that prevailed used a peremptory challenge to remove a gay man from the jury. A three judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has ordered a new trial…Minutes before a gunman opened fire in an LAX terminal last fall, the two armed officers assigned to the area left for breaks, without informing dispatch as required. The Associated Press reports that airport police officers were outside Terminal 3 when Paul Ciancia allegedly opened fire with an assault rifle in an attack targeting TSA officers. As travelers dived for cover, TSA officers – who are unarmed – fled the screening area without hitting a panic button or using a landline to call for help. And airport contractor was the first person to reach police dispatchers, about 90 seconds after the shooting began…The state’s health insurance exchange – Covered California – says about 625,000 people have signed up so far for coverage under federal health care reform. But enrollments for Latinos and younger people continue to run behind expectations. Experts say younger people are crucial for the insurance market. Insurers need them to balance out the number of older customers, who are more likely to use health services. About 25 percent of those signing up for insurance are between 18 and 34 years old. That’s behind the 36 percent Covered California eventually hopes to see…State Sen. Roderick says he had no intention of deceiving voters when he changed his official address to run for office. Testimony became heated at times yesterday as the Inglewood Democrat took the stand one again in his perjury and voter fraud trial. Prosecutors say Wright lied about moving to Inglewood from Baldwin Hills shortly before he began his state Senate run. They say he merely moved some personal items to a home that he rented to a relative. He won the seat in 2008 and has served ever since…And finally, U.C. researchers have finally handed a list of buildings they believe may not survive a major earthquake. L.A. officials had been trying to obtain the list for months. It covers about 1,500 concrete buildings in the city that are considered to be potentially at risk of collapse during a major earthquake. Having the list gives officials their first comprehensive survey of such structures and allows them to take measures to strengthen the buildings. U.C. researchers caution that their survey doesn’t present a tally of so called “killer buildings” but rather an inventory of concrete structures built prior to 1980.
Furious Ridley-Thomas says newspaper got it wrong
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