wendy_greuelOn Sunday, the Los Angeles Times published an article detailing accusations of corruption and extortion by city employee Eun Chavis. On Monday, City Controller Wendy Greuel sent the City Council a letter demanding swift action to strengthen the city’s Fraud, Waste, and Abuse ordinances, giving her staff the ability to guard against future violations of the public trust.

“Taxpayers deserve to know how this happened,” Greuel said. “It’s unacceptable that many elected officials and City leaders were not made aware of this incident.”

The lack of communication, which would be remedied with the support and passage of a motion before the council today, kept her office and staff from being able to investigate the allegations of criminal activity. Such audits and investigations have become a trademark action of Greuel’s office in the last two years, when 40 investigations discovered $100 million in lost city treasure as a result of waste, fraud, and abuse.

“In order for my staff to guard taxpayer dollars, departments must be required to report any and all instances of fraud, waste and abuse so that I can closely monitor the City’s resources,” continued Greuel. “We must stop these egregious acts and ensure they are not repeated in other departments.”

The proposed motion calls for:

•Reforms that help prevent fraud, waste and abuse and bolstering the City’s reporting;
• A training program that will educate City employees about City policies, prevention and reporting: and
• Changes to the Administrative Code that would ensure that all incidents of fraud, waste and abuse are reported to the Controller’s office so that systemic issues can be addressed.

“Without strengthening the City’s enforcement and controls to decrease the incidences of fraud, waste and abuse, the City is placing itself at risk,” surmised Greuel. “We cannot simply maintain the status quo.”