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Wendy Greuel Audit Finds LA Housing *Forgot* to Collect Millions of $$

December 15th, 2010 by Celeste Fremon

In a belt-tightening fiscal climate, where the City of LA has a $350 million short fall in its budget, it is a bit dismaying to learn that the Los Angeles Housing Department somehow failed to even try to collect $48 million in fees and rent owed to the LAHD, and thus to the city.

This is according to an audit of the LAHD released on Tuesday by City Controller Wendy Greuel.

We are thankful that the controller did the audit and uncovered yet one more hole in LA’s monetary pockets.

Just as weirdly, Greuel found that the LAHD has multi-millions it has collected that is sitting in a bank account, unused.

This is from the Controller’s statement:

“The Housing Department does a very good job helping to build housing, they’re not good at collecting money. Referring only 29% of fees for collection is simply unacceptable,” said City Controller Greuel. “I’ve talked about the need for improved collections many times, while the City will never achieve a 100% collection rate, City Departments must do a better job of sending these delinquent accounts to agencies more equipped to collect the outstanding funds.”

How in the world does this sort of thing happen?

Perhaps if those working at the LAHD were directly affect by the collection, or lack thereof, of millions of dollars in fees,—let’s say if the LAHD folks had their salaries dependent on some reasonable percentage of the money getting rounded up—maybe then the whole fee collection thingy would feel a bit more urgent.

I’m just saying.

Note: This past summer Greuel found that other city departments were failing to collect hundreds millions of dollars.


Posted in City Controller | 2 Comments »

2 Responses

  1. sbl Says:

    And why doesn’t she figure out how to go after the 45% of people who get the $500 tickets at red lights cameras, who don’t pay? This has been reported over and over, recently last night (12/14) on KNBC. Their slant included that it puts an unfair burden on the same old law-abiding citizens, who pay this over-sized fine, while the city makes no effort to go after the scofflaws.

    As it is, the city is losing money, tens of millions of dollars. And as it’s been reported, had to violate its own ban on doing business with companies in Arizona. (There may well be a non-financial benefit anyway, in discouraging people from running lights, as is claimed – however, they also cause accidents when people smash on their brakes. The only thing certain is that the city, namely Controller, should find a way to collect this needed revenue or determine why it can’t.)

  2. Sure Fire/Nikki Says:

    The L.A. County judges decided absent personal service they weren’t going to do anything to people who don’t pay the fines SBL. They only would if they showed up in court. Thank them for screwing this up as well. When they don’t show up on the listed court date they don’t issue a warrant so they never are held accountable. That’s not how it works in our surrounding counties who I’m sure are reaping more funds because of that.

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