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October 22, 2010 | By Sam Allen and Jeff Gottlieb, Los Angeles Times
The California attorney general's office on Thursday significantly widened its probe into the city of Vernon, issuing subpoenas for information on high salaries, lavish travel bills and pension costs for six former and current officials. The action comes two days after L.A. prosecutors filed charges of conflict of interest and misappropriation of public funds against Vernon's former city administrator and Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley suggested the scandal-plagued city be disbanded.
October 14, 2010 | By Kate Linthicum, Los Angeles Times
City Atty. Carmen Trutanich announced a series of reforms to his office's workers' compensation unit on Wednesday in response to an audit that found that the unit took too long to settle cases and failed to collect millions of dollars it was due. Trutanich, who said the program "was in disarray" when he took office last year, has reassigned seven attorneys to the unit and established a new peer review process. The announced reforms were among the recommendations in City Controller Wendy Greuel's audit, which looked at the performance of the unit during the term of previous City Atty.
September 16, 2010 | By Kim Christensen and Sam Allen, Los Angeles Times
The state attorney general on Wednesday subpoenaed records of all compensation paid since 2003 to Vernon officials, including former city administrators Eric T. Fresch, Donal O'Callaghan and Bruce Malkenhorst Sr. The subpoena seeks records related to issues reported this summer by The Times, including top Vernon officials' outsized salaries; a highly unusual pay structure that allowed some to bill hundreds of thousands of dollars a year for...
August 27, 2010 | By Kim Christensen and Sam Allen, Los Angeles Times
One of California's highest-paid public employees has been relieved of his duties while Vernon officials conduct a "comprehensive review" of his and his wife's financial dealings with the well-heeled industrial city. In addition to his annual salary of more than $380,000, Donal O'Callaghan, a city administrator, also received $243,898 in consulting payments from the city through the first half of this year. The additional money came because of a pay structure that allowed him and other top Vernon officials to bill for extra hours worked each month.
August 26, 2010 | By Martha Groves, Los Angeles Times
Responding to community outrage over the dumping of raw sewage onto the streets of Venice, Los Angeles City Atty. Carmen Trutanich said Wednesday that he intended to file criminal charges against a motor home dweller who was arrested but released after serving two days in jail. "When it hits the fan, it hits my office too," Trutanich said of the dumping, which a longtime Neighborhood Watch captain witnessed last week and reported to police. City crews finally cleaned up the mess Tuesday, but only after residents had complained for several days to various city and county agencies.
August 7, 2010
Los Angeles World Airports General Manager Gina Marie Lindsey — $326,855 Police Chief Charlie Beck — $307,290 Harbor General Manager Geraldine Knatz — $300,964 City Administrative Officer Miguel Santana — $256,803 Mayor Antonio Villariagosa — $232,425 Recreation and Parks General Manager Jon K. Mukri — $229,074 City Atty. Carmen Trutanich — $214,546 Planning Director Gail S. Goldberg (retired) — $212,829 L.A. Zoo General Manager John Lewis — $210,908 City Librarian Martin Gomez — $210,000 Controller Wendy Greuel — $196,667 City Treasurer Joya De Foor — $181,530 The 15 City Council members — $178,789 Source: Database posted by City Controller Wendy Greuel.
August 3, 2010 | By Abby Sewell, Los Angeles Times
In two surprise moves at the Maywood City Council meeting Monday, City Atty. Edward Lee resigned while embattled Interim City Manager Angela Spaccia appeared poised to keep her job — at least for the time being. Spaccia, who has been on loan to Maywood from the city of Bell since February, sent an e-mail to the City Council on Friday in which she stated her intention to end her relationship with Maywood in light of negative media attention over the high salaries paid to Bell officials — including herself.
July 25, 2010 | By Kim Murphy, Los Angeles Times
In a city that has seen itself has a leader of new globalism, an urban headquarters for the 24/7 economy, there seem fewer reasons than ever to stop drinking just because it's 2 a.m. That's the way Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn sees it, anyway. A new "nightlife initiative" he's promoting would look at keeping some of the city's bars open later, or even all night — recognition, he says, that a modern city's economy no longer has to stop functioning when the bankers go home at 5. City Atty.
June 11, 2010 | Raphael J. Sonenshein
Last week, the California Senate passed a bill sponsored by Sen. Gil Cedillo (D- Los Angeles) that would vastly inflate the authority of the Los Angeles city attorney. If the Assembly passes the bill and it is signed into law by the governor, the city attorney will be empowered to ask a state judge to empanel a grand jury and issue subpoenas to investigate potential criminal activity, a power now held in California only by the state attorney general and county district attorneys. The proposed law, introduced at the urging of Los Angeles City Atty.
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