L.A. City Hall is headed for a $400 million budget hole, so you know city departments are really tightening their belts.

Oh wait, they're not. They're spending like it's 1999, and salaries are on course to be $32 million over budget by the time the fiscal year ends in June.

Brilliant. According to city controller Wendy Greuel and L.A. budget chief Miguel Santana, the projected overspenders include:

-The City Attorney's office, which is headed for nearly $9.4 million in spending over its budget.

-General Services: $4.1 million.

-Information Technology: $2.8 million.

-And the LAPD, with a whopping $10 million.

Greuel is threatening to withhold payments if the overspending continues.

She writes to the City Council:

“I will strictly enforce charter section 262 at year-end by withholding payments (including salaries) that lack sufficient available appropriations.”

As such, she urges the departments to get back on track.

We know this is radical thinking. But in the private sector, when companies don't have cash, people don't get paid. Simple as that.

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