Los Angeles mayoral candidate Wendy Greuel upped her attacks against rival Eric Garcetti on Wednesday, appearing on a radio talk show to criticize donations given to Garcetti by a felon.
Appearing on KABC's "McIntyre In The Morning" show, City Controller Greuel called on the councilman to return developer Juri Ripinsky's contributions.
Ripinsky helped host a fundraiser for Garcetti in the Pacific Palisades last year. He personally has contributed about $2,600 to Garcetti's campaign, while it appears family members contributed about $5,000 to Garcetti.
In 1993, Ripinsky and two others were charged with federal bank fraud involving the Independence Bank of Encino in the San Fernando Valley. He served four years, according to the Greuel campaign.
Ripinsky's East Hollywood condominium and retail project was approved by the City Council in 2007 and 2008. Garcetti and Greuel both voted for the project and approved bonds for the complex.
Greuel told radio listeners she would have voted against the project if she knew Ripinsky's history.
"There was no mention (of) this gentleman," Greuel said, "or who he was, or that he had been the mastermind behind this bank failure."
Appearing at a Daily News editorial board meeting in Woodland Hills on Wednesday, Garcetti said he had some knowledge of Ripinsky's background. He said he was told the developer had served his time, and had done a lot of good development work since getting out of jail.
"People do time, pay their debt to society, and we re-integrate them," Garcetti said, calling Greuel's attack a "distraction" from his own record of revitalizing neighborhoods.
On her website, Greuel touts the endorsement of former city councilman and former Assemblyman Richard Alatorre. In 2001, Alatorre pled guilty to felony tax evasion and acknowledged taking more than $40,000 from people trying to influence him.
Asked about Alatorre's backing of Greuel, Garcetti replied: "I have thought throughout this whole campaign, be careful of throwing stones if you live in a glass house."
During Doug McIntyre's radio show, Greuel characterized the Ripinsky incident as an ethical violation by Garcetti. "We want to see the next mayor have this integrity," Greuel said.
Greuel's husband, Dean Schramm, is McIntyre's literary agent. That disclosure was not made on Wednesday, though McIntyre, who writes a column for the Daily News, told a reporter later that he often does disclose the relationship on his show.
The heightened attacks from Greuel came the same day the Los Cerritos Community News published a story alleging that Greuel emailed key city financial documents to her political advisers before the documents were made public.
Greuel campaign spokeswoman Laura Wilkinson said the documents were sent by accident under Greuel's city work email.
"As Controller and as a candidate for Mayor, Wendy Greuel has worked 18-hour days for quite some time. She inadvertently forwarded a few emails when using her personal iPad or iPhone and most of the emails were for scheduling purposes or as an FYI including documents that were scheduled for public release," Wilkinson said in a written statement.
"Greuel recognizes that she could have done a better job of keeping her two email accounts separate. Let me be clear that Wendy Greuel's campaign did not benefit from any of these e-mails."