The Fleishman Files

Steve Lopez asks in the Times today what DWP customers got for the $20 million paid to Fleishman-Hillard for PR services (his answer: an 11% rate increase). He also plucks from recent emails between Fleishman boss Doug Dowie and Mayor Hahn's deputy for communications, Julie Wong, regarding DWP boss Frank Salas.

"Frank just got a call from somebody at the Dodgers," Dowie e-mailed... A reporter from The Times wanted to know how many Dodger tickets city officials had at public expense. "He's returning the call...but promised not to screw up. Anything new?"

"Not on my end," [Wong] responds. She then asks if Salas seemed to understand his instructions from Dowie on what to say to the Dodgers.

"I had him write it down and read it back to me," Dowie writes back. "But if he does it correctly, I swear it will be the first time. Say a prayer."

"He's only talking to the Dodgers, though," Wong worries in an e-mail to Dowie. "Not reporters, right?"

"Just the Dodgers," Dowie reassures. "He's not allowed to talk to reporters."

Lopez quotes Controller Laura Chick: "I keep telling people that if you're not indignant, you're not paying attention." In the new LA Weekly, Robert Greene unravels some strands of the Fleishman story, and the cover story is about 10-year war against racism and discrimination in the department waged by Milton Crawford, a black claims investigator for the city attorney's office.

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