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L.A. voters may settle Chick-Delgadillo spat

August 13, 2008|Phil Willon | Times Staff Writer

Los Angeles City Atty. Rocky Delgadillo and Controller Laura Chick agreed Tuesday to a cease-fire to their City Hall spat that spilled into the courts after Chick launched an audit of Delgadillo's workers' compensation unit.

At the City Council's request, Delgadillo agreed to suspend a lawsuit he filed to block the audit, and Chick agreed to suspend the review.

Delgadillo contended that Chick does not have the authority to perform the audit.

Chick insinuated that Delgadillo feared auditors might find that his workers' compensation division is inefficient.

The City Council approved a motion 12 to 0 asking them to set aside the legal fight, which it called a waste of city money.

The City Charter says the controller shall "conduct performance audits of all departments and may conduct performance audits of city programs, including suggesting plans for the improvement and management of the revenues and expenditures of the city."

Delgadillo argued that because the charter does not specifically give the controller authority to audit "elected offices," that authority does not exist. Chick disagreed.

Council President Eric Garcetti said the council would try to draft a measure for the March 2009 ballot so voters could clarify the charter.

That appeared to mollify both Chick and Delgadillo.

Councilman Dennis Zine, who was charter reform commissioner a decade ago, supported Delgadillo's reading.

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phil.willon@latimes.com

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