Los Angeles City Council approves inspector general for revenues

A Los Angeles parking meter.
A Los Angeles parking meter.
tschundler/Flickr (cc by-nc-nd)

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Los Angeles now has someone to help find hundreds of millions of dollars people owe the city.

A city report estimates that cash-strapped L.A. hasn’t collected more than half a billion dollars in parking tickets and ambulance and other fees. Nearly half those collections are two years past due, and largely uncollectible.

A new inspector general will help identify and collect the other half. But City Councilman Paul Krekorian issued this warning to his colleagues.

“It’s great to have an independent position that will be advisory that will devote full-time to analyze the status quo and making recommendations," said Krekorian, "but ultimately it will be our responsibility, the general manager’s responsibility and the mayor’s responsibility to ensure a more effective operation of this city.”

A report by the city’s Commission on Revenue Efficiency said the Office of Finance is responsible for collections, but many city departments neglect to send overdue bills to that office. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa hires and fires department general managers.