“Can you believe it? We’re in the middle of a drought, and the water commissioner drowns. Only in L.A.” Chinatown
Except in our case, we’re in the middle of a drought and a budget crisis, and our fired—excuse me—recently resigned head of the DWP, David Nahai, is not drowning in the least. Instead he’s swimming happily in our public money.
Yes, Nahai is still leaving the job, David Zahniser reports at the LA Times, but he’s getting a big, yummyparty favor as he goes out the door in the form of a “consulting fee,” that happens, coincidentally, to be the exact same dollar amount as his former salary—namely $27,000 and change per month. He will receive said amount weekly until the end of the year. The only difference is that Nahai he no longer has the irksome task of actually running the DWP to earn his monthly $27,000.
“There’s nothing nefarious about it, nothing complex about it. This is a reasonable business decision, nothing more than that,” [DWP commission President Lee Kanon Alpert] said. “David’s resigned, and we need his institutional knowledge for the next few months.”
News flash, if you have to keep the departing head of a public agency on salary for a ridiculous rate because he’s the only guy who’s got the requisite “institutional memory” to know where to find the executive restroom keys, or whatever, what does that say about the former exec’s management style?
(HINT: Nothing good.)
Later on in the conversation with Zahniser, Alpert further clarified the reasons for shoveling money Nahai’s direction:
“He may have knowledge we want to pick his brain on,” Alpert said.
Oh, okay, well, now that explains everything!
Ron Kaye broke this story over the weekend, and is in high dudgeon about Nahai’s golden handshake—with good reason.
Meanwhile, on other priorities-challenged fronts, Meg “I-don’t-need-to-vote-in-elections-because-Sonny-Bono-didn’t-vote-either” Whitman, has announced plans to fire at least 40,000 “selfish and arrogant” state workers when she’s governor (excluding the prison guards, naturally). George Skelton has some choice words about that.
photo from the Jewish Journal