City Controller Laura Chick released an audit today that found "serious accounting issues" at the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority. When Jim Hahn was mayor and the two political figures were clashing, that would have been the end of it—unless the City Council decided to study the issue. But Chick and Mayor Villaraigosa are allies and pals, and within hours the mayor formed a team to deal with the problem and issued a statement that follows after the jump. Does it mean anything real? I guess we'll know in a few months.
Meanwhile: Villaraiosa is off to Washington this week to meet with congressional leaders on homeland security and transit money. The list of meetings given the press is also after the jump.
STATEMENT BY MAYOR ANTONIO VILLARAIGOSA
REGARDING AUDIT OF THE LOS ANGELES HOMELESS
SERVICES AUTHORITY (LAHSA)
I am aware of the recently announced problems at the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA), as revealed by the City Controller and the County-Auditor Controller's audit. I appreciate their efforts to bring this matter forward so that it can be resolved as quickly as possible. I cannot overstate the importance of resolving the issues identified in the Controller's audit.
Homelessness is one of Los Angeles most pressing problems. We cannot afford to allow the agency responsible for homeless services to put this vulnerable population and the many fine organizations that provide services to them at risk because of poor management.
Therefore, I am assigning a technical support team to correct the problems identified in the Controller's audit. The team will consist of staff from the City's Housing and Community Development Departments along with the firm of Thompson, Cobb, Bazilio and Associates (TCBA), an auditing and accounting firm with experience in restructuring public sector entities. This team will put in place the necessary fiscal controls and procedures, while ensuring that needed services continue to be provided.
I am also creating, in conjunction with the County, a Management Oversight Team to take corrective action quickly and most importantly, to ensure that there is no interruption in the delivery of services to the homeless.
The team will consist of the General Manager of the Los Angeles Housing Department, Ms. Mercedes Marques and the Executive Director of the County Community Development Commission, Carlos Jackson and will report to me through Deputy Mayor Bud Ovrom.
I have asked the team to report back within 60 days on the status of resolving immediate and short-term issues identified in the audit and to develop a plan for long-term stability at LAHSA. Working together, the team will put in place the necessary fiscal controls that will ensure LAHSA is more accountable to taxpayers.
Thr mayor has meetings scheduled in Washington with these officials:
Senator Harry Reid, (D-NV), Senate Minority Leader
Senator Richard Shelby, (R-AL), Chair, Banking & Finance;
Senator Diane Feinstein, (D-CA)
Senator Barbara Boxer, (D-CA)
Rep. Nancy Pelosi, (D-CA) House Minority Leader
Rep. Jerry Lewis, (R-CA) Chair, House Appropriations Committee
Rep. David Dreier (R-CA), Chair House Rules Committee
Rep. Harold Rogers (R- KY), Chair, Homeland Sec. Approps. Sub.
Rep. Frank Wolf, (R-VA), Chair, Science, State, Justice & Commerce Approps. Subcommittee
Rep. David Obey (D-WI), Ranking Member, Appropriations Committee
Rep. Jim Oberstar, (D-MN) Ranking Member, Trans.& Infras.Committee
Rep. Howard Berman(D-CA)
Rep. Hilda Solis (D-CA)
Hon. Norman Mineta, Secretary, US Department of Transportation
Marion Blakey, FAA Administrator
In addition, the Mayor will be hosted at the following events:
Photo-opportunity with Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi
Reception Hosted by LA Area Congressional Delegation together with members of the Black, Hispanic and Asian Pacific Islander Caucuses.