It was 2018 and staffers in Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Office of Economic Development were in fundraising mode. The office was working with the Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles — a charity backed by Garcetti that pays for civic programs — on a jobs initiative in the entertainment industry.

Sumi Parekh, then-executive officer in the Office of Economic Development, emailed AT&T asking for a $70,000 sponsorship to support the program. In response, a company representative offered $50,000.