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Metro Digest

Local News in Brief : Case of the Perilous Prefix

January 20, 1988

The issue before the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors was Kenneth Hahn's proposal to form a citizens committee that would investigate ways to revise the Los Angeles County charter, including the possible creation of the post of county mayor.

But board Chairman Deane Dana was adamant in his opposition, arguing that the plan would increase the cost of government. To buttress his argument, Dana quoted the county sheriff.

"As Sherman Block has said, we have probably in L.A. County the most inefficient and uncorrupt government in the United States of America," Dana said.

"Did he say inefficient?" Hahn interrupted in disbelief.

"He said that to me, yeah," Dana answered.

But a few minutes later, after the supervisors had agreed to postpone the matter for several weeks, Dana sheepishly informed his colleagues that he had misquoted the sheriff who had praised the efficiency , not the ineptitude, of local government.

Hahn, who had been ready to summon Block before the board, called the Dana goof "a slip of the lip."

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