For the past four years, she lists herself as “Director of Policies” on construction, formally known as the Director of the Office of Construction Management Standards.
In June, she says she formed Policy Masters Inc. and is its president and CEO. Her Facebook page, now only available to friends, tells a somewhat different story starting with a New Year’s resolution to “double my income” in 2010.
By mid-January, she was telling friends she had started Policy Masters and by May 12, she posted this:”I am looking for an auditing firm to partner on a Proposal due this Thursday. Creating this to happen by noon today. Worth 4300k a year…”
On May 19, she posted this: “My new firm is at the top of the list for an amazing contract!! Asking for your love and support…tomorrow at 2 p.m. they choose us unanimously!”
Apparently successful in winning that contract, she went after the college inspector general contract in August and was awared it on Oct. 6 by the LACCD board.
“By employing an inspector general who reports directly to us, the Board will be improving our oversight of the District’s bond program and hopefully will be increasing efficiencies over the remaining years of the construction projects,” said Georgia L. Mercer, president of the Board of Trustees.
Maybe, but a lot of the problems in the LAUSD construction program involved the use of consultants and the lack of policies and standards, according to a Feb. 24, 2009 audit by then Inspector General Jerry Thornton.
In 2006-07, shortly after Marez went from being a consultant to an LAUSD employee, he found there were 1,277 contractors in the Facilities Division earning $186 million — 1.7 times the cost of full-time employees.
He noted the lines of authority between staff and consultants were “blurry,” causing a “lack of accountability” and hiring other consultants from their own firms as well as signing their time sheets.
Fourteen months later, an LAUSD consultant was indicted for allegedly funneling business from the construction program to a business he co-owned and Superintendent Ramon Cortines asked LA City Controller to conduct an audit for other possible conflicts of interests.
fOn Wednesday, Greuel released her audit which some might call a whitewash or at the least a burying of a decade of mismanagement and giving a clean bill of health to the district — and presumably Marez, who shared responsibility for the policies and standards of the construction program.
“While we found some potential conflicts of interest during an earlier era at the district, it appears that the LAUSD under its current leadership has made significant progress in reforming the process for awarding construction projects,” said City Controller Greuel. ”The district still has room for improvement, but they appear to be on the right path.”
It’s part of the lore of L.A. that it’s not what you know but who you know.
Nowhere is that truer even in Hollywood than in the political arena.
It’s a small world that connects every government institution from the judiciary to the elected officials and all the players circling ar
ound the system with their hands out for some of the tens of billions of dollars in public money.
Cleaning it up and restoring honesty and credibility is a monumental task and it can’t be done with Rate Payer Advocates under the system’s control our outside consultants hired as inspector generals reporting to the same people responsible for the problems.
It’s going to take citizen watchdogs tearing into every agency and bringing to light the information that exposes wrongdoing and it’s going to take some of our elected officials finding the courage to stand up to the system that is failing the people.