LA mayor's race: Caruso accuses Bass campaign of hacking, sending email from purported whistleblower

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Friday, September 9, 2022
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Things are starting to get ugly in the race for L.A. mayor. Rick Caruso and Karen Bass exchanged sharp criticisms over a scholarship Bass received to attend USC's School of Social Work.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- In a strange turn of events Thursday, reporters who RSVP'd to a Rick Caruso mayoral campaign event received an email purporting to be from a campaign whistleblower, disparaging Caruso.

"We got hacked, most likely from the Bass campaign," Caruso said at an afternoon news conference, referring to his opponent in the Los Angeles mayoral race, Karen Bass. "It's a fake e-mail and we're tracking it down."

But there's no proof at this point that the email came from the Bass campaign.

Sarah Leonard Sheahan, a spokesperson for Bass, said: "This is just another lie from Rick Caruso, who has lied about not being a Republican, has lied about being anti-choice and has lied about his failed leadership at USC."

Also on Thursday, Bass denied allegations that a $100,000 full-tuition scholarship she received from USC's social work program has any relation to a federal corruption case involving City Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas.

Bass insisted that she obtained the USC degree to become a "better advocate for children and families," and she balked at comparisons to Ridley-Thomas, who is facing federal corruption charges involving, in part, a full scholarship his son received to the USC social work program.

"This case has nothing to do with me, other than in a middle of a political campaign, Rick Caruso is trying to take advantage," Bass told reporters.

City News Service contributed to this report.