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Waste, Fraud and Abuse — City Hall Doesn’t Even Know What the Words Mean

Our
man Antonio knows a lot about what’s sexy so when he says the West Hollywood men
among the 30,000 participants in AIDS Walk L.A. over the weekend were “hot,”
you can take him at his word.

But
when he audaciously tells the Chamber of Commerce types that he’s so fiscally
conservative he cut $2 billion from city spending and reduced by the city work
force by 4,000, you got to know he’s blowing smoke.

“I didn’t
get elected to make people happy,” Villaraigosa said. “I got elected
to tell people the truth.”

Actually, he did
get elected on the promise he was going to make us happier and not even his
closest friends and family would swear under oath that telling “people the
truth” was even in his repertoire.

They myth of the
4,000 jobs he cut is proof. Some 2,400 were paid off handsomely to retire. More
than !,000 were transferred to the special funds or the DWP where most of them
got big pay raises. Barely 400 – less than 1 percent of the work force – were actually
laid off.

Given the City
Council’s sudden discovery of the extent of the “waste, fraud and abuse” among
city workers, the question arises about how exactly to categorize the mayor’s
misdeeds whether they are taking hundreds of thousands of dollars in freebies
or giving the rich and influential hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars
intended to help the poor.

The task isn’t
made easier by City Hall’s inability to define those terms as Paul Krekorian
pointed out Tuesday during wannabe Controller Dennis Zine’s latest attempt to
posture
as a reformer when he is so much a part of the problem.

“I’m not sure how we will define waste,” Krekorian said. “The challenge I have is that waste, fraud and abuse has
become this cliche term. 
I think we have to know what it is before we adopt this policy.” 

Zine called Ethics
officials and the Controller’s office on the carpet to back up his plan to
solve what his tag team partner wannabe Mayor Wendy Greuel calls “a wave of
fraud” at City Hall.

Running in
support of each other’s political aspirations, Zine and Greuel are “shocked” to
learn city workers are stealing pets from animal shelters, high-powered weapons
from LAPD training facilities and taking bribes to overlook building code
violations or even just to approve routine paperwork as the LA Times exposed
Sunday in a case involving a Koreatown Housing official.

These wizards of
Spring Street offered up a simple solution so elegant you have to wonder why
nobody thought of it before: Change city law to require employees to report all
“waste, fraud and  abuse” instead of just
“suggesting” they should report such problems.

It’s a really
funny idea when you think about it.

It would take
hundreds, maybe thousands of new employees just to handle the backlog of
reports that would pile up on the Waste, Fraud and Abuse Hotlines since almost
everything City Hall does these days is tainted by one of those three problems.

Zine himself
warned his colleagues that reporters have told him about several more scandals
that will come out shortly so it was important to take this “first step to try
to bring some closure to the continual saga” of misconduct by requiring
reporting and setting up a training program to teach employees it’s wrong to
lie, cheat and steal.

Perhaps Zine and
his colleagues should start be setting a good example for city workers by
taking an oath on a stack of Bibles (something that surely must be available in
their “Temple of Democracy”) at the start of every Council meeting to tell the
truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth under threat of prosecution
for perjury.

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22 Responses to Waste, Fraud and Abuse — City Hall Doesn’t Even Know What the Words Mean

  1. Anonymous says:

    If Wendy has learned in her short few years as Controller, just how bad it is, then why don’t they go after the people who committed the corrupt acts; which she apparently discovered as Controller? This new policy is, after all Standard Policy; elected and hired employees have a fiduciary duty to safeguard City Assets. Zine can’t be the only Controller running? He is a Politician and of course he will do no more than what Wendy did, is doing, I mean if you go back, annual audit after annual audit, the auditors are required by law to write a management report whereby Management can put in place “safeguards”, such as official accounting policies and procedures, and internal control… all supported by Senior Management, and the Mayor. So the bottom line is, these wonderful leaders of ours, are just walking through the motions, they believe all they need to do is report it. Who is to take responsibility? Audit Trails leave evidence and all persons involved in fraud should be prosecuted.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Wendy, Zine, Antonio and the other clowns in City Hall are the biggest joke in the nation. No one respects them anymore. When they walk into a room people laugh and snicker. Why the hell are we paying them if they can’t do their damn jobs? They are passing the buck on corruption because guess what? If city council offices were audited you would find the most unbelievable waste of tax dollars ever. Wendy should be ashamed to be called City Controller. When the debates really start all of them will be called on the carpet for their incompetent, leaderless, failed management of our money. Zine has a COS that was arrested and all the while got paid on leave for domestic violence, Perry has staffers who wrecked city cars and still on staff, and the list goes on and on. That’s a story the media shoud report.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Do you appreciate a good and down right dirty Audit Report?
    I wonder why people feel a need to set up a THEFT RING?-of which these people were in full control of certain aspects of the operation, dept., for which they worked.
    For example the ITA Dept. In their case an HD Camera was purchased for several hundred thousand dollars but never used. And within the ITA Dept,(& in other depts) somehow assets were purchased and now missing completely. I don’t even want to talk about LADWP personnel. Yes, most are just like the gyes busted. Yes, they are, their behavior is simular. We want the hard honest workers, not the ones that ZIP UP when Fraud is committed, That’s right it’s a F word, with five letter. Remember the Land Deal for DWP, that was so sad, Mayor’s $$ Man wants to buy land for one price and before the ink is dry sell it at twice the amount to LADWP. But to be fair, if we go back to CHICKS reports, she does fantastic work, you see a history of reports and recommendations. So as Controller you know where to address issues, but apparently since this post is political, visa via an election don’t expect more than “reports”.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Don`t expect much.
    Wendy is part of the corrupt system. Antonio`s people are her closest advisers, hoping to milk the system for another 8 yrs.

  5. link says:

    Where did all the money go Wendy, Antonio, Garcetti?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d8lUY9jS8oQ&feature=related

  6. Miss Anthrope says:

    “Zine himself warned his colleagues that reporters have told him about several more scandals that will come out shortly so it was important to take this “first step…”
    Reporters warned Zine?
    What? Are reporters in his back pocket, too?
    A good reporter doesn’t tell a suspect a scandal is about to break, giving him time to shred documents, work up a CYA story, or better yet, sell off all his assets and run for cover in Rio.

  7. Anonymous says:

    All of us need to start putting the word out about the DWP sewer rate hike. DWP should cut their management staff way down and save money. They have over 45 upper management making over $150,000. They are the only dept. that hasn’t cut their budget yet we the taxpayers are getting another rate hike on our DWP bill

  8. Anonymous says:

    It is not a DWP sewer rate hike. The sewer rate hike is for the Bureau of Sanitation, the charges appear on the DWP bill that is sent out to save the City money by not sending multiple bills out. The information is readily available so try thinking before you comment.

  9. Anonymous says:

    To 10:54 AM: I am no fan of DWP myself, but to be fair, the sewer charge is not a DWP charge – it goes directly to the City with DWP acting only as the collection agent. This is for two reasons: first, the charge is proportional to your water usage and DWP obviously has this information, and second, it is more efficient for DWP to add the charge to your utility bill and pass the money on to the City – the alternative would be for DWP to communicate your water usage to some other agency that would then mail you a separate sewer bill for you to pay.
    People who use lots of water in their yard can reduce their sewer charge by installing an irrigation meter. You essentially have two water meters, one reading the water that goes into your house (and into the sewer), and the other measuring the water that goes into the yard. You pay for the water in both meters, but the sewer charge is based only on the first meter. In my case the irrigation meter paid for itself in 6 months just by reducing the sewer charge.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Here’s a classic example of waste. City Council approved paying to go to Arizona before the entire city council had the motion approved in chambers. I want to know how much is being wasted and down the drain
    City Maven says it’s unclear how much money the city will lose because of registration fees already paid to the National League of Cities Congress in Phoenix.
    (Ed Reyes decided not to move his motion to exempt them from going to Arizona)

  11. Anonymous says:

    Speaking of LADWP, I thought the rates we pay currently, and had been paying in the past included the Capital Asset replacement program on the water side. Notwithstanding the electric side. Something is missing. I think we need to cap pensions because for a generation to be on a payroll, payroll in the way that it doesn’t get shorter, it only grows as employees go on retirement. Stop listening to the HYPE from Wall Street. If they say an 8% return, think to yourself, should I put this money in a CD/SavingsBond/Municipalbonds, investments whereby all retirement is based upon, so we don’t have this Percent to Salary Retirement Program. Or someone may say, put the money in Gold. However in Public Accounting, there is a fudiciary trust, that’s why even for the Mayor, even for Councilmen, and Commissioners, the duty of the Office is to safeguard taxpayer money. Some may yell, hey don’t cap my retirement, I earned it. But if we are to say to the Private Sector, no more tax credits (for example the W Hotel has a Nice Tax Break, via (D) Eric Garcetti) we are to say, adjustments to Pension Costs. Note: Social Security is also over $2,500 so in sum, if they make 7,000 a month; that will sustain through your life. Certainly for me it would. I would be so grateful. But all I got is my SS to look forward to and guess what, $38 dollar increase, COLA Allowance. So you see gentlemen at LADWP, you got it good. Of course the union guy says fuck you. If I were Mayor I would pass a bill that requires cuts to come out of future Pension Pay when money is lost in the Market, OPPS, by then I would have SAFE GUARDED the money in more safe avenues. So yes, DWP must look again at reality, not a titty bar, I’m gona party while I work and when I retire mentality; to that the people say, Sorry Darcy.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Never say die. Right is right and wrong is wrong., Even the guilty ones feel that sting
    and lie to ease the pain,
    A prominent man said years ago: “We shall
    overcome one day”
    But we must work hard not to give any of these
    people another job: Zine, Greuel, Garcetti,
    Perry, etc., are finished. Help get out the vote
    by sharing Ron’s message and all these comments with your family, neighbors and friends. OKEH?

  13. Fly on the Wall at City Hall says:

    Here’s the funny part of this mandate to report fraud: for years people have been reporting it to the very people who are so “shocked” at such a discovery. City officials would punish and/or ignore those who report it. Commissioners are silenced. GM’s must go along with it. The contractual “chain of command” buries it. Council might proclaim “I’m mad as Hell and won’t take it anymore;” but those are just words that are not backed by actions. Ultimately, Council and company protects those who waste and commit fraud through all the protective contracts and loopholes that campaign donations can buy.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Without shame! The council is without Shame.
    I’ll tell them what is waste and corruption — Giving $52 Million to billionaire Eli Broad for a parking garage for his art museum (he rents the land from the city for $1 per year) while telling the children in Hollywood that the city cannot afford a park!

  15. James E. Davis' ghost says:

    Ron -
    Do you know something we don’t know?
    “high-powered weapons from LAPD training facilities”???
    21 submachineguns, maybe?
    Do tell…

  16. Anonymous says:

    Another example, the $1.4 Million fraud on the 1601 N Vine project! It went into some one’s pocket. Was it into Garceti’s, into Steve Ullman’s, into Hal Katersky’s? Was there a kick back to CRA?

  17. Anonymous says:

    Hey Ron, “reducing the city’s workforce” doesn’t mean “laid off”. Go ask a civil servant who’s now doing the job of multiple people because his department wasn’t allowed to backfill.
    I bet if half the cops in this city quit and LAPD wasn’t allowed to hire replacements, you’d still argue the LAPD workforce wasn’t reduced since nobody was fired. What dumb logic.

  18. Anonymous says:

    The city is not unique in the way it is run for the ultra-elite. We are part of a worldwide disaster, but in the end, we all have to admit that we are the ones who keep voting for Garcetti, LaBonge, Tony Villa–, etc. We allow Obama to keep Geithner. Kaisch did not vote himself Gov of Ohio.
    In some places voters are beginning to realize that they have permitted these incompetent crooks take over and only the voters can rectify the mistake. Many angry voters, however, have been completely co-opted by the 1%, e.g. the Koch Bros fund the tea baggers. Occupy LA thinks Garcetti is their friend.
    LA has reached the stage where it needs its own ReCall EveryOne Campaign.

  19. Anonymous says:

    4:53– don’t worry about Ohio. The unemployment rate there is 9.1% vs 12.1 in CA.

  20. leslie says:

    Please just leave me alone. I want you to get mad and protest.

  21. In Eagle Rock says:

    Just have to comment, a little late,but the council time burned up daily by the city council’s practice of everybody-push-your-button-and-blather would seriously be cut should any real oath to tell the truth be taken by them.
    As it is, the “testimony” of public commenters or city personnel as they call such presentations, has never been made “UNDER OATH.”
    mayor Villaraigosa has no shame, no moral guidepost or any other point of reference in his actions- maby amoral is a fitting description here. He plod along in search of his next conquest while leaving behind his other obligations. That applies for personal and business matters.
    Calling out these guys for a recall election? Where was everyone in the March 2010 city elections?
    This is like the baseball equivalent of that flyball hit right to an outfielder for the third out to end an inning and win the game, but it’s unexplainably dropped and lets the winning run score. This 2010 election is over and the next city council election is in 2013 for half of the seats and a new mayor (actually “for a mayor” since we really don’t have one now).
    The statewide elections show incumbents nearly 100 percent returning to office unless term limits put them out.
    Spreading the word on what’s really happening at each instance and getting ready for every election with some better action, like showing up at the polls to act on the dissatisfaction would be a step in the right direction as a starter.

  22. In Eagle Rock says:

    Make that last comment reference for the recent city election “2011″ instead of “2010″- how time flies.

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