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Pat Mcosker

OPINION
February 17, 2010 | By Pat McOsker
In writing about the city of Los Angeles' growing budget crisis in his Feb. 13 Op-Ed column, Tim Rutten expresses concern for "employees who aren't police officers or firefighters" and the fact that the mayor may choose to lay off many of them in the months ahead. Rutten rightly acknowledges the sacrifices these working people have already made, pointing out that mandatory furloughs will reduce their take-home pay by "at least 5%" this year. He calls on police and fire unions to "step up and take an equitable share in the sacrifice," continuing, "That's doubly true given the mayor's firm commitment to maintaining both the police and fire staffs at their current levels."
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 29, 2009 | Robert J. Lopez
Los Angeles Fire Department Chief Douglas L. Barry, who took office two years ago with a mission to reform a highly respected agency that had become tarnished by allegations of racism and retaliation, will retire at the end of August.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 29, 2012 | By David Zahniser, Los Angeles Times
Federal officials have opened a criminal investigation to determine whether confidential information was obtained illegally on hundreds of patients who rode in Los Angeles Fire Department ambulances, a high-level city lawyer said Wednesday. The Fire Department has begun informing past patients that personal records, including Social Security numbers and birth dates, were accessed "deliberately and maliciously" by an employee of the company that provides ambulance billing services to the city.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 10, 2012 | By Kate Linthicum
A Los Angeles mayoral candidate took an early campaign swipe at his leading opponents this week and inadvertently exposed the city Fire Department for publishing misleading performance data. Top brass at the Los Angeles Fire Department on Friday admitted that for years the agency put out data that made it appear that firefighters were arriving at the scene of emergencies faster than they actually were. The dust-up began Thursday, when candidate Austin Beutner complained in an online Huffington Post column that recent Fire Department budget cuts have sent response times for medical emergencies soaring.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 21, 2005 | Daniel Hernandez and Jeffrey L. Rabin, Times Staff Writers
Mayor James K. Hahn and his opponent, Councilman Antonio Villaraigosa, can spend an unlimited amount of money on their May 17 runoff election because the cap was lifted Wednesday when two unions with close ties to Hahn reported spending $320,000 to support his reelection. Hahn has so far benefited from $402,632 in independent spending, primarily from unions, while Villaraigosa has benefited from $121,865, less than a third as much.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 9, 2006 | Duke Helfand, Times Staff Writer
The event at the Foshay Learning Center was billed as a momentous occasion: Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa endorsing Democratic gubernatorial candidate Phil Angelides. But while cameras trained on Angelides' speech, a smaller moment occurred off-screen: A 12-year-old girl standing on the stage in the hot auditorium crumpled in a faint, and Villaraigosa scooped her up in his arms and carried her outside.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 6, 2009 | Catherine Saillant
Troubled by recent wildfire deaths in Australia, California fire chiefs have put on hold an ambitious new firefighting model that would encourage some homeowners to stay and fight advancing flames. Proposed guidelines for the program could be delayed for months, and perhaps scratched altogether, as California fire officials look closely at what went wrong in Australia, said Bob Roper, vice chairman of Firescope, the statewide fire panel considering the change.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 26, 2011 | By Patrick J. McDonnell, Los Angeles Times
A day after Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa unveiled a "watershed" labor agreement with city workers, he was quick to send a pointed message to other municipal unions. "We will be asking all employees and departments to consider how they too can offer reasonable, responsible changes at this time of historic deficits," the mayor said Friday. Though the pact tentatively struck with a coalition representing about 19,000 workers will help ease the city's budget crisis, its real import could be elsewhere: pressuring other city unions to follow, providing a multiplier effect — and tens of millions of dollars in additional savings.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 19, 2010 | By Patrick J. McDonnell, Los Angeles Times
With Los Angeles facing a $320-million budget shortfall next year, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa backed on Monday what he termed a "landmark proposal" to reform "out of control" pension costs and retiree health benefits for newly hired city police officers and firefighters. "The days of unsustainable pensions are over," Villaraigosa declared at a City Hall press conference, accompanied by City Controller Wendy Greuel and Miguel Santana, the city administrative officer. "The era of free healthcare is over.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 25, 2006 | Lisa Richardson, Times Staff Writer
Hiring civilians to replace most firefighters at the Los Angeles Fire Department's dispatch center would save $2 million to $4 million a year, according to an audit released by City Controller Laura Chick. Currently, the department's 75 dispatchers are required to have four years of experience as firefighters or paramedics. Chick recommends redeploying 62 of them to the field. Her audit also recommends redeploying 18 additional firefighters who are assigned to special duty.
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