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Auditions

OPINION
February 5, 2014 | By Brian D'Arcy
As the elected business manager of IBEW Local 18, a job I've held for more than 20 years, I represent more than 8,500 women and men who work at the Department of Water and Power. I am proud of the many things we have accomplished, including fair wages, high safety and training standards, and responsible workplace rules. I have at times been unfairly attacked by the media and by politicians who do not share my views and values, but that is part of a democratic process that ensures free speech.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 30, 2014 | By Paloma Esquivel
Civic leaders in Irvine have authorized the use of subpoenas to help auditors dig deeper into an investigation of the financial management of the Orange County Great Park. The City Council voted 3 to 2 this week to move forward with a forensic audit after a preliminary report raised questions about spending, contracts and oversight of the planned 1,300-acre park, which has been in the works for more than a decade. Council members Larry Agran and Beth Krom, who helped steward the project from its beginnings until they lost the council majority in the 2012 city election, denounced the decision, which Krom called a "witch hunt.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 30, 2014 | By Paloma Esquivel
Civic leaders in Irvine have authorized the use of subpoenas to help auditors delve deeper into an investigation of the financial management of the Orange County Great Park. The City Council voted 3-2 Tuesday to move forward with a forensic audit after a preliminary report raised questions about spending, contracts and oversight of the 1,300-park, which has been in the works for more than a decade. Council members Larry Agran and Beth Krom, who helped steward the project from its beginnings until they lost the council majority in the city's 2012 elections, denounced the  decision, which Krom called a “witch hunt.” Great Park: where did all the money go?
BUSINESS
January 27, 2014 | By Ricardo Lopez
A California lawmaker Monday asked for additional funding and an audit intended to ease problems with the state's unemployment insurance program, which has been hampered after a botched technology upgrade implemented by the beleaguered Employment Development Department. Assemblyman Henry T. Perea (D-Fresno), chairman of the Insurance Committee, which oversees the unemployment insurance program, is requesting $12 million from the state's general fund to add an additional 200 workers to answer calls.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 25, 2014 | By Adolfo Flores and Samantha Schaefer
On the heels of preliminary findings in an audit of the Great Park that raised questions about the $200-million project's finances, Irvine may start issuing subpoenas to get some answers. The City Council is set to vote on a resolution Tuesday that would allow its attorneys to subpoena people and documents to help auditors continue their review - at a cost of $400,000. During the course of their investigation, auditors said that they were “precluded from further analysis” and that several key players refused to speak with them.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 17, 2014 | By Amy Reiter
New judge Harry Connick Jr. cemented his role as tough-to-please truth teller on "American Idol" on Thursday night, as the auditions returned to Austin for a second night and then moved on to San Francisco. "This is tough because it's a perfect story," he told 15-year-old hopeful Tristen Langley, who'd brought his mother, "Idol" Season 1 third-place finisher Nikki McKibbin, to his audition. She stood nearby, mouthing the words as he sang a so-so "Santeria. " "I just think if mom weren't here and the story weren't here, I can guarantee you it wouldn't work for me. " Jennifer Lopez, who had gushed about the "crazy" history being made -- "We're a second generation 'Idol' already!"
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 16, 2014 | By Robert Faturechi
Los Angeles County sheriff's officials inappropriately kept more than $1 million belonging to county inmates in a two-year period, an audit released Thursday found. When inmates are booked, the cash they have on them is held until they're released. And while they're inside, their loved ones can deposit money into accounts the prisoners can use to buy goods from jailhouse commissaries. Every year, money is left behind by inmates who are released and don't claim their funds. Sheriff's officials have been using that money to boost their department's revenue when they should have been alerting the county treasurer to put out a public notice about the funds.
NATIONAL
January 13, 2014 | By Joseph Tanfani and Alana Semuels
TRENTON, N.J. - For Gov. Chris Christie, the questions about the traffic jam on the George Washington Bridge are just beginning, as New Jersey Democrats announced a new investigative committee that would push to figure out who ordered the four-day traffic snarl, and why. Democratic leaders in the state Assembly said the committee would begin with the bridge closure and possibly expand to look into other allegations of political retribution by...
NEWS
January 13, 2014 | By Alana Semuels, This post has been corrected, as indicated below.
NEW YORK -- The week of headaches for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie continues: He is facing questions over whether his office improperly used Superstorm Sandy aid funds for political purposes. The Inspector General at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development will audit how New Jersey spent $25 million of Sandy aid funds, according to the office of Congressman Frank Pallone Jr., a New Jersey Democrat who asked the Inspector General to look into the issue in August. The probe comes days after Christie was engulfed in a political scandal when emails surfaced implying that top aides orchestrated the closure of lanes on the busy George Washington Bridge and snarled traffic in a town whose mayor had declined to support the governor's reelection bid. The scandal led to a rare, two-hour long press conference by Christie, who apologized and said he had fired a staffer and an advisor, and that he knew nothing about the retaliation plans.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 13, 2014 | By Samantha Schaefer
Preliminary findings of an audit of the Great Park showed irregularities and raises questions about the financial and structural management of the $200-million project. Among other things, the review concludes that some contractors who were awarded low-bid contracts ultimately billed the city far more than originally estimated, in most cases because of change orders approved by the Irvine City Council. The contractor that won the right to construct a preview park, for instance, ended up billing the city five times its original bid. In some instances, services were paid for twice, and some work done by a public relations consultant for individual council members was billed to the park, the report says.
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