The more things change, the more they stay the same — wannabe mayor Wendy Greuel released an audit Thursday on the lack of controls on fuel use for city cars that is little more than a rewrite of then Controller Laura Chick’s Jan. 22, 2009 audit — a lot less actually, not more. (LATimes 2009 story)
Some might call it plagiarism since Greuel doesn’t mention or cite Chick’s audit three years ago. Director of Auditing Farid Saffar oversaw both audits but he did not want to talk about his work.
In addition to exposing the complete abuse of free city gas for private use, Chick also conducted a companion audit released the same day on “take-home cars.” In clear and forceful terms, her cover letters expressed how strongly she felt about the abuses of both cars and fuels:
“Of the 167 audits completed since I took office as Controller, the two I release today are the most stunning testament to how the City does business in an un-businesslike way.
These audits spotlight serious issues whi ch require immediate action. Every day, multiple conversations occur in City Hall about how to squeeze more money out of the taxpayers . . . more fees for parking meters, increased trash collection fees, higher DWP rates, a parcel tax for anti-gang programs. Before we ask for one more penny from the public, we must get our own house in order.
We are supposed to be leading and setting an example. This is not the example we want the public to follow.
That’s the complete text of Chick’s cover letter, which from what Greuel’s audit says had little or no impact on ending this particular corruption that forces us to reduce library hours, cut parks programs and takes cops and firefighters off the streets.
You would think that a woman as ambitious as Greuel would be outraged that three years after her former friend, Laura Chick, exposed this larceny, things were just as bad as before..
Not Wendy, her two-page cover letter details at the length the virtually identical findings of waste and virtually identical recommendations for fixes contained in the audits three years ago. The only rhetoric comes in the last paragraph:
The City’s controls over fuel usage is another example of how simple changes to the City’s business practices can strengthen controls to save millions of dollars. I urge the Mayor, Council and all City departments to make -the changes in my Controller’s Accountability Plan immediately, to better control the City’s fuel costs and ensure that every dollar is spent responsibly for mission-related fuel consumption and that no City funds are spent without adequate monitoring and oversight. Departments must be more vigilant and more accountable for their fuel usage. I look forward to seeing departments implementing these recommendations immediately – the City cannot afford to wait.
“Simple changes?” Urges the mayor and everyone to work to “better control” costs with “adequate monitoring and oversight” so she can “look forward” to departments being “more vigilant and accountable” and “implementing these recommendations immediately.”
No Wendy, the city has watched this abuse of free cars for all kinds of people who shouldn’t have them for years, has watched the widespread abuse of mooching gas off of taxpayers and waited three years already since Chick exposed this and this is all you have to say?
Are you running for mayor of a city whose troubles have a lot to do with your own failure or are you running for social director so we can all talk nice to each other and pat ourselves on the back as the poor get poorer, the rich get richer and those in the middle class get the hell out of town.?
A lot of people think better of you so to coin a phrase “the city cannot afford to wait” any longer for you to to stand up courageously for what’s right and become a true leader.
While we are waiting, check out what the Police Protective League has to say about this audit and look at these lists from Chick’s 2009 audit showing how many take-home cars you are supplying to elected officials and their bloated staffs and how many to various city departments: