Controller Greuel has the authority to not pay the city’s salaries, if departments fail to operate on a balanced budget. And that’s exactly what she proposes doing.

The Controller, citing a $54 million mid-year shortfall, says that if a department goes over budget, she will not pay the salaries from the city’s reserve fund. The problem resides in large part with the $31.9 million overages in salaries in a certain departments, including the LAPD (over by $10 million), the City Attorney (over by $9.3) million, as well as General Services and IT (over by a combined $6.8 million).

From the Los Angeles Daily News:

With the city still facing a $54 million shortfall this year, City Controller Wendy Greuel on Friday threatened to withhold salaries and other payments for departments that go over budget.

Also Friday, a city pension panel authorized a 7 percent increase in health benefits for police and firefighters, despite warnings from Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa that it would add $4.8 million to the city’s general fund expenses.

The mayor is asking the City Council to overturn the benefits increase approved by the city Board of Fire and Police Pension Commissioners.

“I think it is wrong what they are doing and that’s why I want the council to take control of this and overturn the decision,” Villaraigosa said, adding he has asked for a legal opinion on what steps are available to the city to halt the increase.

Read the full article here.