Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

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

August 3, 2011 |  9:06 pm

63731480 FBI agents have searched the Tarzana home of an appointee of Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to determine whether he or anyone else at the residence might have downloaded child pornography, according to authorities and documents released Wednesday.

Investigators went Friday to the home of Albert Abrams, until this week president of the Board of Neighborhood Commissioners, a seven-member panel that oversees dozens of neighborhood councils. No one has been arrested or charged and the investigation is continuing, said FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller.

Computers and other evidence were seized at the home, she said.

Villaraigosa's office issued a statement saying the mayor had accepted Abrams' resignation.    

Abrams, 63, said in an interview that he did not know whether he was a target of the investigation. Asked about the search warrant, he said he had surgery earlier this year to address a growth on his spine. That growth, he said, caused "behaviors that were completely out of character."

Asked if those behaviors included the downloading of child pornography, he responded: "That’s a legal question. You’d have to talk to my attorney."

Abrams, who owns a public relations consulting firm, has been a mayoral appointee on the neighborhood council panel since 2008 and has worked on city ballot measure campaigns in Agoura Hills, Westlake Village and Walnut Creek. He said in an interview that he did not have "a single blemish" on his public record.

"Zero. You probably know that I’ve done a lot to contribute to help the city, to help the neighborhood council system," he said.

According to an affidavit filed in court, FBI agents went to Abrams’ home in search of "any records, documents, applications or materials … that identify any minor visually depicted while engaging in sexually explicit conduct."

The affidavit said that agents had "probable cause" to believe that at least one computer at Abrams’ home had child pornography on it.

The agent who filed the affidavit also said he had reason to believe that either Abrams or another person using the Internet connection traced to the Tarzana home had been collecting such images.


California's whale tail plate gets makeover, fresh start

Court rules for San Diego State in suit by Christian groups

Bubba Smith's death: No signs of foul play, police say

-- David Zahniser at Los Angeles City Hall and Andrew Blankstein

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