[Image via Baldwin Hills Conservancy]
A state engineer ignored the public welfare as he pushed through new oil drilling permits in Baldwin Hills on the land that was supposed to become a great park for South Los Angeles, according to e-mails acquired by The Associated Press and an investigation by the state auditor.
The engineer, state regulator Floyd Leeson, also owned stock in the company, solicited donations from the
oil companies for his wife's business and acted like a cheerleader of the oil company.
"Just keep up the good work," wrote to a high-ranking
Plains' official in March 2005, "and I will TRY to keep (my boss) from
hitting you guys with any more retarded fines ... Remember, I'm on YOUR
side ... go PXP!"
The park plan, with voters long ago approving $50 million in bond money to snap up half the land, has been delayed, the AP reported. The state auditor investigated Leeson and found he'd misused his position, and he
But first Leeson approved 600 new wells.
The fight for environmental justice continues, according to Curbed LA. A trial is set for April demanding "a comprehensive health study, decreasing the number of wells the company can drill per year and
requiring the company to drill farther away from residential areas."