In the aftermath of a $1.68-million loss in a speculative investment made by Lawndale Treasurer Ray Wood, the City Council on Thursday asked the city attorney to prepare a resolution that would require a $500,000 bond for the city treasurer.
Lawndale had no bond on Wood, who was fired Oct. 1. Even if it had, the city would have had to show that the treasurer "abused the duties of his office"--something "beyond simple negligence"--in order to collect, City Atty. David J. Aleshire told the council Thursday night.
Wood has declined to comment except to say that he regrets the loss.
A staff survey of 12 area cities showed that most of them bond their treasurers for $100,000. Hawthorne and Culver City have $500,000 bonds. It would cost the city $2,500 to bond its treasurer for $500,000.
In an effort to improve the balance of powers, the council also agreed Thursday to merge the offices of assistant city manager and finance director. The merger will allow the assistant city manager as well as the city manager to review fiscal decisions.