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January 6, 2006 | Patrick McGreevy, Times Staff Writer
Faced with criticism that Los Angeles city agencies have been buying bottled water at taxpayer expense, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has reiterated that departments cannot provide it on the public's dime.
December 17, 2005 | Stuart Pfeifer and Robin Fields, Times Staff Writers
The Sheriff's Department expects to spend a record $160 million this year on overtime to compensate for a shortage of deputies caused by a slowdown in hiring and rapid increases in attrition. The department employs 8,094 sworn personnel to guard inmates in county jails and patrol streets, 1,171 fewer than budgeted, officials said. As a result, the department has no choice but to force deputies to work overtime.
December 7, 2005 | Patrick McGreevy, Times Staff Writer
The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power is spending too much on lobbyists and on a fitness center and writing classes for its workers, board members complained Tuesday. Board member Nicholas Patsaouras cited contracts totaling more than $2.2 million for lobbyists in Sacramento and Washington, D.C. His board colleague, H. David Nahai, questioned a $465,000 contract with Aquila Fitness Consulting Systems for the DWP's fitness center covering two years and eight months of services.
September 17, 2005 | Ken Silverstein and Josh Meyer, Times Staff Writers
Senior officials in Louisiana's emergency planning agency already were awaiting trial over allegations stemming from a federal investigation into waste, mismanagement and missing funds when Hurricane Katrina struck. And federal auditors are still trying to track as much as $60 million in unaccounted for funds that were funneled to the state from the Federal Emergency Management Agency dating back to 1998. In March, FEMA demanded that Louisiana repay $30.4 million to the federal government.
August 31, 2005 | Catherine Saillant, Times Staff Writer
After years of double-digit increases, healthcare costs for Ventura County government employees are leveling off, an official told the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday. The county will pay an estimated $35.7 million to insure 5,600 employees in 2006, about the same as this year, said Barry Zimmerman, deputy executive officer for benefits. He said stabilized prescription drug costs were the main reason the county received favorable rates for 2006.
February 12, 2005 | Jeffrey L. Rabin and Jessica Garrison, Times Staff Writers
Labor unions pumped enough money Friday into independent campaigns to support Mayor James K. Hahn's reelection to trigger the lifting of the city's spending limit for candidates. The $2.2-million expenditure cap was eliminated after the union that represents city firefighters reported that it planned to spend $124,080 on a mailer urging that Hahn be elected to a second term.
December 29, 2004 | Peter Wallsten, Times Staff Writer
As President Bush campaigned for reelection pledging to protect doctors and insurance companies from patient lawsuits while easing the tax burden on businesses, industry groups spent record amounts of money lobbying to influence the White House, Congress and their constituents. Special interests spent $1.1 billion during the first half of 2004 on lobbyists and advertising campaigns, according to public records that interest groups are required to file with the Senate.
December 9, 2004 | Patrick McGreevy, Times Staff Writer
Lax oversight of $6.3 million that Los Angeles city officials spent on travel in the last three years led to excessive hotel bills and airfares, City Controller Laura Chick charged Wednesday. The city's top auditor said taxpayers should not have paid $385 per night for a hotel room in Santa Barbara and $1,559 for a round-trip flight to Washington, D.C., triple the average cost other city officials paid.
January 12, 2004
"90% of Dioceses Meet New Rules" (Jan. 6) needs to add "according to them." I am a facilitator at the Long Beach SNAP chapter [Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests], and I was not surveyed, nor was any member of my group. This audit was meant to "give an unmerited positive impression" of the church, and there, unfortunately, it reached its goal. It was a $1.8-million expenditure in the church's public relations budget, and nothing more. Mary Ferrell Lakewood
November 4, 2003 | Janet Hook, Times Staff Writer
The Senate on Monday gave final congressional approval to the biggest foreign aid expenditure in U.S. history, a bill that will give President Bush most of the money he wants for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. And that's not all it will do. While attention has focused on the support for rebuilding Iraq, the $87.5-billion bill also includes an array of provisions that underscore the breadth -- and cost -- of U.S. commitments around the world.
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