Neighborhood council collapses after new member is suspected of being a registered sex offender

LOS ANGELES – Studio City’s neighborhood council has imploded after members found out that they may have voted in a convicted sex offender – even after they alerted Los Angeles city leaders, KTLA has learned. 

Ian Mitchell King, a self-described “non-practicing lawyer” and business consultant, joined the council in mid-August. 

At the time, he told councilmembers that he had served in the U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Navy. 

What council members did not yet know, however, is that there is an individual who is listed on California’s sex offender registry with an identical name and address as the new council member. 

Another council member first made the connection after finding an online article about Ian Mitchell King who served 13 years in prison for sexually assaulting a young woman while on duty as a school resource officer and was listed on California’s sex offender registry. 

Ian Mitchell King, pictured here, at a Studio City Neighborhood Council meeting. Aug. 16, 2023. (Studio City Neighborhood Council)

KTLA reviewed government documents and the sex offender registry and contacted the Los Angeles School Police Department and the state Department of Corrections to confirm King’s alleged background. We learned the person convicted of sexually assaulting a woman as a school resource officer was paroled in 2021 after serving a full sentence for sexual battery and sexual penetration of a victim with a foreign object. 

Just hours before their Aug. 16 meeting, two members of the council learned about King’s alleged criminal record and escalated it to the board president. 

“[I] found a very alarming article,” Councilmember Kim Clements, who first made the discovery, told KTLA. “I didn’t know if it was the same person. I was just stunned.” 

The board president immediately reached out to higher-level Los Angeles city officials and the City Attorney’s Office. 

The responses obtained by KTLA were filled with legalese and warnings against harassment and defamation. 

Clements says she was hoping for a simpler response. 

“We felt bound by what little advice we got … that the [city’s] Department of Neighborhood Empowerment welcomes the formerly incarcerated,” she said. 

When King was asked during the Aug. 16 meeting if he had served in law enforcement, he answered “no.” 

Moments later, the council — including Clements — voted unanimously to approve his appointment. 

“The word ‘yes’ came out of my mouth and it just plagued me,” Clements said. 

When the full board learned of King’s alleged criminal history days after the vote, 11 of the 14 members resigned. 

“Oddly enough, I feel the real criminal in this situation is the city,” said one council member who did not want to be identified. “We felt the only thing we could do was to resign – to have the board collapse so that no harm could be done to everyone.” 

She told us she had recently recruited two teenage girls to join the council through a youth program. 

“I definitely feel blindsided, and I feel unsafe,” she told us. 

KTLA has attempted to reach King by phone, email and in person. He had not responded as of Tuesday evening. 

“If I had known, I would’ve said, ‘Well Mr. King, I know that you were in prison, and you just got out. Is it against your parole to be around young women?’” the councilmember told us. 

KTLA legal analyst Alison Triessl says members of the council who were aware of King’s alleged criminal history missed an opportunity. 

“Members of the committee were free to vote no,” Triessl says. “They could have asked him, ‘Are you a registered sex offender? Did you in fact work for law enforcement? Why were you terminated?’” 

Clements insists she was paralyzed by the city’s guidance and felt as if she had no choice but to vote yes. 

“As it currently stands, they welcome the formerly incarcerated,” she said. “However, that doesn’t really work out in the real world.” 

The office of Los Angeles City Council President Paul Krekorian released the following statement to KTLA about the situation:

“The situation with the Studio CIty Council is outrageous and should never have happened. The Council President wants to see the elected Neighborhood Council members reinstated and will work with the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment to ensure that no situation like this arises again in the future.”