In Saturday's Times and Daily News, Controller Laura Chick keeps up the heat on Fleishman-Hillard and Mayor Jim Hahn over their mutually beneficial relationship. Chick posted online at her official website eight months worth of billings and other papers from her audit of Fleishman, released to much media attention this week. The Daily Breeze story focuses more on a letter to Hahn from election rival Antonio Villaraigosa demanding the mayor reimburse the city for PR work on his behalf. From the DN story:
"This is a sad day for Los Angeles when we learn the ratepayers of the city of Los Angeles were used to fund a public relations team for the mayor. What my reports find are alarming," she said....
"Fleishman-Hillard executives were involved, top staff to the mayor were involved. What the reports show are telephone calls that were billed, meetings that were billed, lunches they billed and the rates they charged.
"What was particularly outrageous to me was the amount of time they billed the DWP into dealing with me and my audit of a subcontractor of theirs.
"While I was criticizing them, they were using a public relations firm to help massage the department's response. They could have dealt with me directly at no cost."
Councilman and mayoral rival Bernard Parks also called on Hahn to pay back the city treasury for PR services billed through the DWP. Another challenger, Ricard Alarcon, renewed his call for the DWP to roll back its power and water rates.
* Leads again: The DN story is bannered across the top of Saturday's front page.