Is Wendy Greuel running for Los Angeles mayor by acting like a blond version of the failed Arnold Schwarzenegger, decrying waste, fraud and abuse? She's fired off an election-aimed press release asking the City Council's inept Audits and Governmental Efficiency Committee to address fraud in the 50,000-plus city work force. Pul-eeze.
Fix this instead, Ms. Controller: Fraud among city workers who wangle lifelong "disability retirements" by lying about workplace "injuries" -- as did Lonnie Franklin Jr. (the alleged Grim Sleeper). The cases are never re-investigated after the monthly disability pension checks roll in. There is not a single City Hall investigative/video team to probe the hundreds (or, God, thousands?) of former employees out golfing, jogging -- or being hardcore felons -- on the public dime.
Greuel is grabbing some modest back-pager headlines with her chirpy announcements.
But where are her cojones when it comes to actually outing the bad apple departments, bad apple divisions and bad apple individuals at City Hall, a place where -- as the witty bloggers at Mayor Sam note -- even ethically challenged Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has three different legal defense funds?
The Department of Building and Safety isn't close to being cleaned up, as ronkayela.com explains, but that represents only one of several departments in which city workers have forgotten who they work for.
As we reported during LA Weekly's successful, old-style media crusade to reopen 73 libraries on Mondays, City Hall's Quality and Productivity Commission hasn't produced an efficiency report in years..
And the Department of Water and Power? Nuff said.
Wendy Greuel is not a stupid woman, so what's the problem?
For further reading:
-- Here is how alleged Grim Sleeper Lonnie Franklin Jr. squeezed a lifetime monthly disability check out of you taxpayers. This L.A. Weekly story is headlined "Grim Sleeper suspect will haul in $1 million from taxpayers and city." Read it and get angry.
The story details how Lonnie Franklin's fantastic tale 20 years ago, about suffering a rotator cuff injury as a garbage man, was never double-checked during his two decades of getting an automatic monthly check from Los Angeles City Hall.
Incredibly Franklin was never checked up on again, as he went on to allegedly steal and strip cars for his living, while on the side murdering numerous women -- and hefting their dead-weight bodies into dumpsters.
Some shoulder disability, eh Ms. Controller?
Folks, the Grim Sleeper suspect still gets that $1,658 monthly check in jail -- and he'll even get it if he goes to Death Row. And this is the way it works: there isn't a team, task force, group or entity inside City Hall checking up on the hundreds (perhaps thousands) of other 20-year-old and 10-year-old claims of "lifelong disability" who get their pension checks each month. Some told the truth. Some lied.
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-- Also, please read about how Los Angeles City Hall wastes tens of millions of dollars annually by allowing the elected politicians from A to Z+V (Alarcon to Zine, plus Villaraigosa) to employ vast, unneeded personal entourages.
Even Controller Greuel is in the dark as to what all of these more than 300 personal staffers working for pols at City Hall actually do for a living.
That LA Weekly story is headlined "L.A.'s Library Measure L: There's lots of hidden City Hall fat to fuel the reopening of 73 libraries."