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City Attorney vs City Controller

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The city controller's office--currently filled by Wendy Greuel--may be deprived of the legal power to audit other elected officials programs if a current court decision is finalized.

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It's a convoluted story, summed up in this Daily News account:

A judge on Tuesday again postponed finalization of a ruling that could set a precedent for elected officials to avoid having their programs audited by the city controller. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mark Mooney decided to hold another hearing on Nov. 20, though Chief Deputy City Attorney William Carter argued a delay would be pointless since a settlement seems out of reach.....

In his preliminary judgment dated June 23, Mooney sided with then-City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo's argument that then-City Controller Laura Chick had no authority to audit the workers' compensation program in his office.

Mooney has repeatedly postponed finalizing that ruling, however, to give their successors, City Attorney Carmen Trutanich and City Controller Wendy Greuel, time to reach a settlement.

To date, they have been unsuccessful. The sticking point is who should pay lawyers' fees amassed by Chick and Greuel, estimated at $200,000.

Speaking of lawyers' fees amassed by the city, see this other Daily News story for more grim news for our city in budget crisis:


The city of Los Angeles shelled out $137 million over the past two years for legal costs - nearly two times more than the previous two-year period and enough to hire nearly 1,300 police officers and cover most of the public works budget, according to a report released Monday.

The study by California Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse also found the amount of money Los Angeles County spent on lawsuit verdicts, settlements and outside counsel rose from $138 million to $190 million in the same period.

California Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse website.

The image associated with this post was taken by Flickr user David Markland. It was used under user Creative Commons license.

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