The education of Martin Ludlow continues. And it’s going to take place out of prison. On April 21, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge David M. Horwitz sentenced Ludlow, a former Los Angeles City Councilman, to three years’ probation for conspiring to illegally divert union funds toward his 2003 election campaign. Ludlow also will have to pay restitution and costs in the amount of $45,000, remain out of all union leadership positions for at least 13 years, and not hold elected public office for four years. He also must pay $105,000 to the Los Angeles Ethics Commission for violating city campaign finance laws. In March he had pleaded guilty to a felony count of violating the city’s $500 limit on campaign contributions, plus two misdemeanor counts.
Until recently, Ludlow, 41, represented the apex of where Los Angeles labor and politics converged. He left his Council seat last year to assume control of the 825,000-member Los Angeles County Federation of Labor. Little did people know, but he may have owed his original job to what amounted to a money-laundering scheme. He worked with Janett Humphries, then president of Local 99 of the Service Employees International Union, to steer more than $36,000 in union funds to pay six people on the union payroll to work on his Council campaign. Local 99 represents employees of the Los Angeles Unified School District. In addition to facing local charges for the campaign-fund diversion scheme, Humphries is facing federal charges of embezzling union funds to pay for personal travel expenses. (Los Angeles Times, 4/22/06; other sources).