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2 Councilmen Join Call for Audit of Fire Dept. Overtime

May 30, 1996

Los Angeles City Councilmen Mike Hernandez and Marvin Braude on Wednesday became the latest public officials to call for an audit and study of record levels of overtime being paid to firefighters.

Prompted by a Tuesday story in The Times, Hernandez proposed that City Administrative Officer Keith Comrie determine the amount of overtime used by the Fire Department and the reasons for it.

Asking that Comrie report back to the council's personnel and public safety committees within 15 days, Hernandez also called for Comrie to determine whether it would be cheaper to hire additional firefighters than to pay overtime. In addition, the councilman called for a detailed analysis of whether overtime should be used for administrative projects, as it is now.

Braude echoed Hernandez's concerns, saying in a written motion, "At a time when the city is struggling to approve a budget which maintains critical services in a time of fiscal shortfalls, it is particularly disturbing to hear reports of excessive payments of overtime at a city department."

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