"Somebody obviously must have done a much better job of scrutinizing those bills, and they weren’t doing it," the mayor said Tuesday.
"Well, the city controller’s name is on all those checks, and the DWP staff who were reviewing those contracts," he said. "That’s who should do the job."
Okay, sure. But the fact remains that the mayor is in charge. Freeman is likely correct when he says that there will be more indictments, that the "picture show ain’t over." The legal question is whether federal and county prosecutors can take their probe inside City Hall and find any wrongdoing by elected officials or bureaucrats. Maybe they can, maybe they can’t. But that’s just the legal question.
There’s also a political question: Can Hahn successfully continue to claim that overbilling on his watch is an evil perpetrated by a private contractor, and not something for which he must bear responsibility? How much will Los Angeles voters hold him responsible for the goings-on inside City Hall and the DWP headquarters, at a time when the city seems safer and cleaner than it has in years?
Voters will keep Hahn, or oust him, depending on how embarrassing or threatening the notion of corruption in City Hall becomes. So far, it registers only slightly on the political Richter scale. But most likely, the picture show ain’t over.