After we reported that former state Assemblyman Richard Katz might have been breaking the law by sitting on two government boards — L.A.'s Metropolitan Transportation Authority and California's High Speed Rail Authority — Katz caved and gave up his high-speed seat.
Actually it (certainly) wasn't us that got the fire lit under Katz's behind. It was state Sen. Gloria Romero's own torch.
You see, she actually wrote the law that states you can't, as a public official, hold “incompatible offices.” She also wrote a letter to Katz castigating him for allegedly doing so.
But here's the thing:
Curt Pringle, the mayor of Anaheim, has the same problem. He's got cozy chairs on two boards as well (Orange County Transportation Authority and the high-speed rail body), and so far he ain't budging. Both authorities are in charge of billions of dollars and furnish board members with king-like power.
The high-speed rail group has $43 billion (and counting) of your money to play with in its mission to create an L.A.-to-the-Bay bullet train.
The state Attorney General's office has been looking into the dual-board memberships.
Katz said he's focused on the MTA's projects, including a massive, $40 billion expansion that will see a “Subway to the Sea” down Wilshire Boulevard … some day.
“I'm not willing to risk all that for high-speed rail,” Katz told the Los Angeles Times.
[More inside ball, if you so desire, from the California High Speed Rail Blog].