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Villaraigosa 'appalled' that child porn probe targeted Abrams

Photo: Albert Abrams. Credit: Department of Neighbordhood Empowerment / KTLA-TV Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said Thursday he was “appalled” by news that one of his appointees had been the target of FBI agents who searched his Tarzana home as part of a child pornography investigation.

Albert Abrams, 63, who stepped down as president of the Board of Neighborhood Commissioners this week and has officially resigned, said in an interview with The Times that he had surgery earlier in the year to address a growth on his spine that caused “behaviors that were completely out of character.”

Villaraigosa said the last time he saw Abrams was about three weeks ago during an event in the San Fernando Valley but that he didn’t talk to him. Villaraigosa said he hasn’t had the opportunity to talk with Abrams since his resignation and was not in a position to comment on Abrams’ guilt or innocence.

“I don’t have a lot of facts on this case -– only what I’ve read in the newspaper,” Villaraigosa said.

In regard to Abrams’ statement that the surgery caused him to do strange things, Villaraigosa said he didn’t “think it’s something I’ve heard before as a reason for this type of thing.”

The mayor said he personally did not order Abrams to resign and was unsure if Abrams was directed to do so by another City Hall official. Villaraigosa said that Abrams had notified City Hall officials of the search and told them he was “sorry for everything that has happened.”

The mayor said he did not know Abrams very well.

Villaraigosa said he believes Abrams “needs a lot of help, and I hope he gets it.”

“It’s a very sad situation,” Villaraigosa said.

RELATED:

FBI conducts child porn search at L.A. official's home

72 charged by Justice Department in national online child pornography ring

-- Ari Bloomekatz and David Zahniser at Los Angeles City Hall

Photo: Albert Abrams. Credit: Department of Neighborhood Empowerment / KTLA-TV

 
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