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If Firefighter Boss Pat McOsker Can Buy a City Council Seat, Why Not AEG’s Tim Leiweke?

It’s not just the Mayor, City Attorney, Controller and City Council that are the nation’s highest elected city officials — count LA’s firefighters as America’s richest averaging $126,258 a year each.

That’s what Bloomberg News’ Christopher Palmeri and Rodney Yap discovered in taking a hard look at firefighter union president Pat McOsker’s campaign in the crowded field of 18 seeking to succeed Congresswoman Janice Hahn for the San Pedro/Watts City Council seat in the Nov. 8 election.
“The mean wage for the nation’s 302,000 salaried
firefighters was $47,730 in 2010, according to the U.S. Bureau
of Labor Statistics
. In the Los Angeles metropolitan area, which
includes other cities as well as county employees, the figure
was $95,000. That compared with $57,360 in the Chicago area,
$51,710 in Boston and $66,800 in metropolitan New York,” they reported.
There is a good reason — actually a bad one — for the disparity.
LA firefighters pick up a fortune in overtime staffing rules negotiated by McOsker’s union require replacements for those who are sick or on vacation so many are putting as much as 75 hours a week on the clock even as many fire stations have been shuttered because of budget cuts.
“This has been going on for years,” said Kris Vosburgh,
executive director of the Los Angeles-based Howard Jarvis
Taxpayers Association, which advocates for lower taxes. “The
public-employee unions are the most powerful force in state and
local politics. No politician wants to stand up to them, so they
continue this gravy train.” 
City unions, other than McOsker’s own United Firefighters LA, are lining up behind his candidacy and prepared to pour big money into the race.
In a funny way, it makes sense to have a union leader actually sitting on the Council since the unions have bought or intimidated all of them to giving them what they want. 
Maybe it will start a trend where all the special interests who buy city elections put their people into Council seats so they don’t have to hire lobbyists to twist arms in back rooms — their Council members will do it right in public. 
Why not AEG’s Tim Leiweke succeeding Jan Perry as the best friend of downtown developers and land speculators? After all Leiweke could qualify as a downtown resident since he had to buy one of those 244 multi-million dollar condos at LA Live so AEG wasn’t embarrassed that none of them were selling.
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13 Responses to If Firefighter Boss Pat McOsker Can Buy a City Council Seat, Why Not AEG’s Tim Leiweke?

  1. jeff says:

    I’m sure alot of overtime deals with helping other fire deprtments and joint efforts such as the station fire, and other Calif fires were mutual assistance is needed. These fires are 24 hr jobs lasting several weeks at a time.

  2. Anonymous says:

    LAPD & LAFD are cleaning out our city in pay & benefits. Reduce their numbers and cut out their BS that society will cease to exist if their numbers are reduced. If anything, LA looks like shit cause there is little money left for other quality of life issues.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Are apples to apples being compared?
    Do the salaries from the other cities include overtime? What are the costs per capita or per square mile for each of the cities in question?
    Instead of phony comparisons, attention should be paid to wasteful spending practices, payouts for employee misconduct, and questionable bonuses and allowances.

  4. Anonymous says:

    As reported by LA Times “The council voted 12 to 0 to hire an outside law firm in the Harrigan case. Councilman Dennis Zine said he is not happy about hiring an outside firm and asserted that Harrigan stepped down in response to allegations of “improprieties” by pension board members. “It bugs me a lot because we’re spending taxpayer money” to respond to Harrigan’s lawsuit, Zine said.
    “I did it out of necessity, not out of desire,” Zine said, explaining his vote.
    Harrigan did not respond to a phone call from The Times. In his lawsuit, he said he was never accused of wrongdoing while on the pension board. He also said he had cooperated with investigators in the two probes, help that generated significant legal fees.
    Harrigan also argued that reimbursement of his legal fees would be in the best interest of the public because it would “encourage other individuals to agree to serve on similar boards and share their expertise” with the city. The lawsuit does not say how much money Harrigan is seeking.
    “As part of Wednesday’s vote, the council also agreed to pay an additional $400,000 to the law firm that is defending the city in a lawsuit filed by Brenda Lee, a city firefighter who alleged that she faced discrimination, harassment and retaliation as a result of her race and sexual orientation.
    Although Lee was awarded $6.2 million, that ruling was reversed on appeal and the case has now been sent back to trial court for further review, according to city officials”.
    This is how taxpayer’s money is wasted. One to defend a Mayor appointed Commissioner and the other for the perennial mismangement at LAFD.

  5. Wayne from Encino says:

    Then with that $78,000,000 you could employ every lawyer in California and stimulate the private sector economy (and gets some damn good lawyering for the City to Boot!)
    First Lawyer to get hired: WALTER MOORE! SALARY:
    Second hire: Dominic Trutanich, salary $1,000,000(If you’re falling out of your chair laughing now, give yourself a pat on the back, you wise guy you!!) Let’s just say he would offer solutions for Section 8 LOAFERS!
    Yes, in a perfect world that’s what would happen to our Gaga for all his broken promises and failures.

  6. david J barron says:

    Firefighters have always known that brush fires mean over-time! That’s why they can afford to live in Stevenson Ranch. They’ve earned the pay. And Bless them. It’s damn hard work and dangerous too! But who do I support for council?

  7. david J barron says:

    Firefighters have always known that brush fires bring overtime. That’s way they can afford to live in Stevenson Ranch. Bless them. They’ve earned it! It’s damn hard work and dangerous too !

  8. david J barron says:

    Yup! LA “blew” it when they failed to elect Walter Moore for Mayor of LA. He would have issued some subpoenas, held some hearings and gone over some documents. And, with his balanced budget, and putting everyone back to work, he would have been such a bargain at $1M per year salary.
    As for Mr Zine’s concern about the out-of-control employee laws suits? Well, of course you need a very good HR Director, and a very good labor attorney that can conduct an investigation. In addition create an ordinance that would make it a crime for a supervisor or management to interfere in an HR investigation. So no favorite or pet employee is protected. And, no one has to fear retaliation.

  9. James McCuen says:

    Mr. Barron,
    First thing that you need to do is be patient when clicking on the “submit” button. Even if it doesn’t return or times out, 9 times out of 10, your comment has been accepted.

  10. Wayne from Encino says:

    David Barron didn’t READ the article: L.A. FIREFIGHTERS ARE SCREWING THE TAXPAYERS IN LOS ANGELES! That’s why the report shows that firefighters in L.A. should get 50-60 grand a year, not these God Damn 175,000 salaries. Then these Clowns take an average of their best and worst year, then retire at 50 at 80% of that number—thus they pump up the O.T. to get the highest pension.
    I knew a firefighter who had a side business he worked that one 4 days a week, and then did his firefighter work the other 3. At 40 years old he was netting $500,000 a year!!!!!
    One day SOON you’ll see L.A. City DISBAND both LAPD AND LAFD and CONTRACT FOR THESE SERVICES FROM THE COUNTY! Then you’ll eventually rid L.A. Politics of the other Union thugs (DWP and City workers) who are purchasing seats in the Horseshoe. When AEG files for Bankruptcy, then that’ll complete the cleansing and rinse cycle of L.A. Politics.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Spot on, Wayne.

  12. One of the great scams is that a huge number of firemen retire with a disability that has huge tax advantages for them. Amazing how it always occurs in the last year of service.

  13. Ken says:

    Pat Mcoskers brother, Mike Mcosker (his campaign treasurer) retired from the Los Angeles Fire Dept with a full disability pension. He was investigated for Workers Compensation fraud, but due to the statute of limitations was never prosecuted.

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