Longtime Woodland Hills Warner Center Neighborhood Council member Peter Fletcher resigned after he was arrested by police last week for possession of child pornography.
On September 1, police served a search warrant at Fletcher’s home in Woodland Hills and found evidence of child sexual abuse material on several electronic devices he owned, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. . He was booked and released later that day, according to inmate information on the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s website.. His bail was set at $20,000.
LAPD detectives said they arrested Fletcher after receiving a tip online through the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
LA Councilman Bob Blumenfield, who represents Council District 3, including Woodland Hills and Warner Center, released a statement on Fletcher’s arrest, saying, “I am shocked by these sickening allegations and urge Anyone with more information, or believing they were a victim, please contact law enforcement immediately.
According to the City Clerk’s Office, in 2019 Fletcher was elected by four votes to ward council. The Woodland Hills Warner Center Neighborhood Council is made up of local elected officials who weigh in on the future of Warner Center, major West Valley developments, and other community issues.
Fletcher appears to have resigned from the board in recent days. He was listed on the neighborhood council’s website last Friday, then his photo was removed from the website. Empower LA, the city department that oversees neighborhood councils, said Tuesday that a person named Peter Fletcher served with the Woodland Hills Warner Center Neighborhood Council “until recently.”
A formal notice was sent Wednesday by ward council vice president Dena Weiss announcing that Fletcher and another council member had resigned. The notice did not contain further details. The announcement noted that the board has several vacancies that need to be filled “in order to achieve quorums and continue to conduct community business.”
Several members of the Woodland Hills Warner Center Neighborhood Council who saw the reservation photo released by the LAPD said that Fletcher served on their board of directors and that Fletcher’s wife, Joyce Fletcher, served as the chair of the board.
Peter Fletcher did not respond to efforts to reach him by the Los Angeles Daily News.
A spokesperson for the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment, known as Empower LA, told the Los Angeles Daily News on Tuesday that Peter Fletcher had resigned. Ann-Marie Holman, spokeswoman for Empower LA, said the department could not confirm he was arrested.
Board members told the Los Angeles Daily News that his arrest would affect the board and that Empower LA and the city attorney would be involved in helping the ward council decide what the next steps should be. .
Mihran Kaladjian, the ward council parliamentarian, said last Saturday that the council had “not yet met since this incident happened, but I just had a conversation with another (executive) member of the advice”.
Regular ward council meetings are held on the second Wednesday of each month, so the next meeting would usually be next Wednesday, if scheduled.
Joyce Fletcher did not respond to inquiries from the Los Angeles Daily News. The information released by the Los Angeles Police Department about her husband’s arrest does not charge Joyce Fletcher with any crime, nor does it indicate that she was aware of the illegal activity that her husband was accused of. accused.
News of the arrest spread as the Woodland Hills Warner Center Neighborhood Council faced internal unrest. At least two other members recently resigned.
Some council members cited complaints about the way the council is run by its chair Joyce Fletcher and by Peter Fletcher, who played a key role on the council. Some members said he manages the council’s social media accounts and Zoom conference calls.
Logan Fisher, who joined the board in February, told a Los Angeles Daily News reporter on Tuesday that several people had quit since Fisher joined in February. Fisher, 20, said he was not among the Fletchers’ critics. He praised Joyce Fletcher’s longstanding commitment to the board, saying, “She really cares about her community.” But he said the distractions caused by Peter Fletcher’s arrest would affect the council’s efforts to represent the community and that both Fletchers should step down.
“I think a lot of people are considering quitting, just because if they stay, a lot of people don’t want to be associated with the ward council at that time, myself included,” he said.
On Tuesday, Fisher, who chaired the neighborhood council’s youth advocacy committee and served on the council’s education committee, submitted his resignation to the council via email. He did not cite Peter Fletcher’s arrest by the LAPD, but said his need to pay more attention to school “is just too much to juggle being on the board.”
Fisher told the Daily News that one of the main reasons he joined the council was to promote greater civic engagement among young people in his community.
The Woodland Hills Warner Center Neighborhood Council is part of a system of citywide advisory committees whose members review and weigh in on projects in their neighborhoods, receive funds for use in their areas, file official statements on the problems of the city and have five minutes. longer than expected for typical public comment – to present statements at Los Angeles City Council and commission meetings. The city should consult with ward councils on the budget process.
Neighborhood councils operate independently of the city council. Blumenfield’s office said the adviser “respects their autonomy as an advisory body and does not become involved in their personnel decisions.”
Several people who sit on the neighborhood council told the LA Daily News that Joyce and Peter Fletcher have been involved with the neighborhood council for many years. A 2013 Empower LA newsletter indicated that Peter Fletcher had been on the board since at least 2013.
In a candidate statement during a 2012 campaign for a Woodland Hills Warner Center Neighborhood Council seat, Fletcher described himself as a 20-year-old resident who owned a Woodland Hills business, Plan R Marketing. He has been active on the ward council as a “social media manager” for the council’s outreach committee and described his participation in council meetings and land use and mobility committee meetings. According to his campaign statement, he worked in corporate management at Sony Music for almost 30 years.
In a 2014 candidate statement, Fletcher wrote that he had served on the council for 18 months and that as a member of the community outreach committee he looked after the council’s website, Facebook social media accounts and Twitter. He said he “represented” the ward council at “VCC Concerts on the Green” for four years.
Prior to this week’s resignations, including Fletcher’s, at least two other people had also resigned in recent months from the Woodland Hills Warner Center Neighborhood Council, citing complaints about how Joyce and Peter Fletcher conducted council meetings. Alex Farassati, who resigned in August, described the Fletchers as taking an “overbearing” approach.
He claimed the Fletchers had recently tried to thwart council members’ efforts to recommend cutting a pantry renovation project. Farassati wrote in his resignation that the council’s Planning, Land Use and Mobility Committee “properly disapproved” of the proposed project and instead approved an “amended and reduced version of the project application based on feedback from stakeholders”.
One of the stakeholders, Nancy McLean, a ward council member who later resigned, wrote to the city’s South End Planning Commission that some neighbors feared the proposed project would lead to “hundreds of cars queuing in the streets every week, and people coming to the neighborhood with their carts and strolling around at all hours. »