LA City Controller Kenneth Mejia Refutes Allegations of “Toxic” Behavior, Ex-Staffers Disagree

Mejia Denies Claims from Former Staffers About His Work Ethic and Inappropriate Behavior

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Los Angeles City Controller Kenneth Mejia has spoken out publicly for the first time against accusations that he is a “toxic” boss. These serious allegations emerged from former colleagues who were dismissed from his office earlier this year.

“Those claims are very serious, and we understand that they’re feeling hurt after colleagues were let go,” Mejia explained during an interview on Spectrum News 1. He emphasized that all the original team members, who were friends of both him and the complaining ex-staffers, remain employed in his office.

It took Mejia over three months to respond directly to the accusations from a trio of campaign volunteers who claim that the 32-year-old city controller blurred the boundaries between friendship and professional responsibility.

The controversy is portrayed by the Office of the Controller as the fallout from disgruntled employees who were upset about being let go. Mejia took office at the beginning of this year and, within weeks, dismissed two key members of his campaign: the director of technology and innovation, Kyler Chin, and the director of community engagement, Shekinah Deocares.

Both Chin and Deocares claimed Mejia encouraged them to move into his apartment complex, where he received referral fees. Additionally, they claimed he hosted a party, initially identified as a “beer-pong” event, for members of his executive team at Chin’s apartment while Chin was away. The office later clarified that it was a “water pong” event, not a beer pong one.

Further allegations from Deocares and her husband, Sim Bilal, involve Mejia making inappropriate comments about their sex life and imitating sex noises.

Before Monday’s interview, Mejia did not directly address these accusations. His executive staff defended him, labelling the claims as false and stemming from resentment over dismissals. Jane Nguyen, the chief of staff for Mejia’s office, termed the allegations “untrue” and “absurdly distorted”.

During Monday’s interview on Spectrum News, Nguyen backed Mejia’s denial. She insisted that the other 14 staffers in the executive office were enjoying their work with the City Controller.

Interviewer Cagle did not question Mejia about the alleged party or the apartment rental fees. However, when asked if he owed an apology for what was termed “locker-room humor,” Mejia maintained his innocence, stating the allegations were “simply untrue”. He reiterated his belief that the accusations stem from feelings of hurt following dismissals.

Morgan Snyder

Morgan Snyder is a highly respected senior correspondent for Los Angeles Magazine. With over 20 years of experience in the field of journalism, Morgan is known for his insightful reporting and in-depth analysis of local and national issues.

Morgan began his career as a staff writer for a small newspaper in his hometown before moving to Los Angeles to pursue his dream of becoming a correspondent. He quickly made a name for himself in the industry, earning praise for his coverage of everything from politics and crime to culture and entertainment.

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