Los Angeles City Officials Investigating Whereabouts of $41.1 Million in Public Funds

The Los Angeles Times reports: “Los Angeles elected officials ramped up pressure Tuesday (September 24) on the city-owned Department of Water and Power to account for more than $40 million in ratepayer money paid to two nonprofits created to improve relations between agency managers and the largest employees’ union. City Controller Ron Galperin offered new details on the audit he’s launching, saying it will examine the nonprofits’ travel expenditures, salaries and the ‘rather significant and un-detailed outlays’ listed on the groups’ federal tax forms.”

The department has been hesitant to discuss how the two groups spend as much as $4 million in public funds that they receive each year, and the Times reported that the agency “would offer no specific examples of what either organization has accomplished in more than a decade.”

The two entities – the Joint Training Institute and the Joint Safety Institute – were formed in 2000 and 2002, with the listed purposes of identifying safety and training as core values at the Department of Water and Power, and promoting “communication, mutual trust and respect” between the department’s managers and union leaders. The managers and union leaders jointly control the organizations’ accounts. (Source: Los Angeles Times, September 24.)

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