Following up on her March announcement that the city of L.A. spends $5 million a year on cellphones for employees, city Controller Wendy Greuel released an audit today that detailed some of the yakity-yak related waste.

She concludes that at least $1.1 million of your money, at a time when libraries are closed on Mondays and police hiring is in jeopardy, is 100 percent wasted on cellphone bills.

For example (and this one, while representing a relatively small amount, stood out to us):

Greuel's office found 563 city cellphones that weren't even used for three consecutive months — yet you're still paying the subscription rates. That's a waste of $46,000 — per month! Keep in mind that an entry-level cop makes about that much — a year.



(So, ah, next time you call the LAPD and they don't come running, remember that the city has to pay for all those unused cellphones).

And then there's this: The city doesn't do a good job of matching cellphone plans — you know, the ones with the minute limits — with actual usage. That cost us … get ready for it … up to $1 million.

Even poor use of directory assistance cost $27k in three months, Greuel says.

Issuing cellphone stipends to employees who need cellphones rather than giving them city-issued handsets could save $1.2 million, according to the audit.


Nobody is minding the store and holding departments accountable when it comes to cell phone oversight. By not optimizing and looking for savings opportunities, we are losing out on millions of dollars that that we simply cannot afford right now.

Advertising disclosure: We may receive compensation for some of the links in our stories. Thank you for supporting LA Weekly and our advertisers.