Inglewood's former budgeteer sues city, claims improper financial practices to attract NFL

- The City of Inglewood helped secure a multi-million dollar deal to bring the Rams back to Los Angeles, but the city's former budget manager is crying foul.

Barbara Ohno, who worked for the city from August 2014 through September 2015, filed a 48-page lawsuit against the city and its mayor claiming officials engaged in improper financial practices to appear more favorable to the NFL while trying to attract the team.

"Ultimately, she heard through her superior that the mayor considered her to be a troublemaker and that if she persisted she wouldn't have a job any longer," Ohno's attorney Bruce Ishimatsu said. "Turns out that's what happened."

Ohno said she was fired less than 60 days after filing a complaint with the city, and after only nine months on the job.

However, the mayor flatly denies her accusations.

"It's pretty sad," Inglewood Mayor James Butts said. "It's the result of a probationary employee that was separated from employment and was unhappy about that, and we understand that."


Butts took office in 2011 and admits the city was $18 million in debt but said the city's finances played no part in the Rams deal. 

"The deal that we negotiated required no funds from the city," the mayor said. "No payment towards the stadium, not even payments towards the public parts of the development."

In fact, Butts said he has worked hard to turn the finances around, and even cited a recent boost in Inglewood's public credit rating. 

Butts calls the lawsuit baseless and vows to fight it, while Ohno's lawyer said he'd welcome a conversation with the mayor. 

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