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STEVE LOPEZ

Riding the public gravy train

L.A.'s water and power utility plans to hand out bonuses and raises to its already well-paid employees. And an L.A. County supervisor has $707,000 to remodel his office. What's the deal?

December 09, 2009|Steve Lopez

Not that it kept Burke from being named to a House ethics panel that was looking into Rep. Laura Richardson (D- Long Beach) and how she managed to pull her run-down Sacramento house out of foreclosure after it appeared someone else had bought it. Richardson, at the time, had defaulted six times on two houses in Long Beach and San Pedro.

This is why I don't write about local politics every day. You turn over a rock, worms wiggle out, you follow them to another rock, more worms wiggle out.

For instance, I'm hoping to have a talk with L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa before he leaves for the climate conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, about his pal Elliott Broidy, a venture capitalist who the mayor appointed to the Fire and Police Pensions board.

Broidy pleaded guilty last week to what New York Atty. Gen. Andrew Cuomo called "an old-fashioned payoff" involving $1 million in gifts to that state's pension officials.

OK, let's think about this: In New York, he had to pay off pension officials. In L.A., he was one.

And I have another question for the mayor: Is he going to mention at the climate conference that he appointed a deputy mayor for transportation whose vehicle of choice was a Hummer?

Oh, what a tangled web.

On a slightly cheerier note -- but I'll let you be the judge -- I did get a nice holiday card from Supervisor Mike Antonovich, complete with eight Bible quotations and a claim that no taxpayer funds were used in the mailing. Included in Antonovich's annual roundup was this nugget: "Our two miniature doxie dogs, Angel and Popcorn are well and happy."

Call me a tough guy, but I was trained to take no one's word for anything. So I'll check with the dogs and get back to you.

steve.lopez@latimes.com

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