Though it seems that City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo and City Controller Laura Chick have buried the hatchet and agreed to leave their squabbles to voters next year, the Weekly decided to take a peek at the City Attorney’s lengthy legal complaint.
The legal spat focuses on Chick’s decision to audit the work of other elected officials. Chick says the City Charter gives her the right to audit City Attorney Delgadillo to see how he's handling a workers’ compensation program. Delgadillo says Chick only has the power to do financial audits, not performance audits.
The Los Angeles City Council told the two politicians to stop acting like children and wasting precious taxpayer resources. In response, Delgadillo sent Chick a letter saying he would drop the lawsuit if she backs off of the audit until the debate over her powers is resolved. Chick said she would stop if Delgadillo didn’t move forward on his lawsuit. How nice of them both.
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Even though Delgadillo’s lawsuit is currently in limbo, he does take a couple of good shots at Chick’s political motivation. The lawsuit alleges that Chick pulled the same stunt during the mayoral election in 2005 when the city controller “admitted to pursuing ‘political activism’ by culling information she learned during performance audits of city departments to create a road map for opposition candidates to attack Mayor [Jim] Hahn’s leadership.”
Delgadillo’s office also cited a Weekly article by Jeff Anderson about Chick’s plan to unseat Hahn. And blogger Patterico weighed in this week with a fascinating post questioning whether the Los Angeles Times purposely distorted stories it ran in 2005, essentially acting as helpmate to Chick.
The City Attorney’s office argued in this week's lawsuit that Chick is at it again. “Now, after just announcing interest in running for a seat on the City Council, the Controller’s next act is to ‘audit’ the performance of another elected City office – the Office of the City Attorney. Her actions clearly constitute an unwarranted and unlawful expansion of Charter authority that must be prevented to ward against even the possibility that taxpayers’ funds will be used by a City official for a personal, politically motivated purpose.”
Let the games begin. Please!