‘Taxpayers Were Duped’: Audit Finds Fraud, ‘Lavish’ Spending At HACLA

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — City officials tasked with helping low-income families find affordable housing spent at least $17,000 on questionable expenditures, according to an audit released Tuesday.

KNX 1070’s Ed Mertz reports the fallout comes amid questions of the mayor’s handling of his appointees who serve on the beleaguered Los Angeles Housing Authority (HACLA).

City controller Wendy Greuel said her audit found expenditures by HACLA officials was out of control.

“I believe Los Angeles taxpayers were duped by housing authority officials who claimed to serve the poor but instead recklessly wasted public money to support their lavish lifestyles,” said Greuel.

The agency is now under scrutiny from city leaders as the federal government and district attorney’s office investigate other allegations involving housing and taxpayer dollars in the city, including allegations that taxpayers footed a $1.2 million golden parachute to ousted HACLA official Rudy Montiel.

Upon the audit’s release, City Councilman Dennis Zine said it’s time for some housecleaning at the department.

“It needs to be cleaned, the department is fraught with waste, fraud and abuse, and people who violate the law need to be prosecuted and terminated from employment,” said Zine. “Very simple.”

The findings of a CBS2 investigation earlier this month into improper spending at HACLA originally prompted Greuel to order a thorough financial audit of the department.

More from Ed Mertz
  • Elle

    I don’t think citizens should have to pay taxes anymore when these so called “officials” only have their own best interests at heart. Citizens are working hard so these fools can profit? I don’t think so. This country was founded on the premise of fairness and freedom and fraud is surely the opposite of that. Good riddance to corrupt politicians!

    • bob henning

      If they were to investigate and audit ANY department in Los Angeles they would find More of the Same. Start with that USELESS TURD ANTONIO VILLADISGUSTING and I guarente4e you will Find Tons of Fraud and Mismanagement. The Entire System has Been Corrupted All the way from Governor to the Janitor, Everyone isd just out to Come Up. People are SCARED TO DEATH of the World Today and that FEAR is behind all of the INSECURITY that is Turning Normally Honest Employees into Thieves, Afraid thart THEIR world is soon comming to an end.

  • Astonished

    So, if the head honcho scre*ws up, he gets 1.2 MILLION to go away? And we have to pay for that. Seems to me that such a contract predisposes a person towards fraud, since the results are so lucritive.

    Where do I signj up for that gig!!! I can mess up an agency with the best of them!

    • Tyrone

      @Astonished First and Foremost you must be Mexican/American.Know somebody on the Los Angeles City Council or the County Board of Supervisior’s But if your close friend’s of Little Tony Villar you too can be given a plush appointed tax payer deep pocket job!


    It happens because the puS$y dumbf**ks hire or appoint only the “best and the brightest,” just ask them

    • wg//af


      You’re a puS$y dumbf**k coward, wannabe poseur with your daddy’s balls up your aS$, with nothing to say as usual.



        I am a coward. So what else is new?

  • jimmy

    Corrupt, coward wg//af, up//yours and GROWAPAIR uses his daddy’s balls to enter suspect’s homes while they are away and steal items.
    They mostly steal watches, jewelry and less frequently expensive prescription drugs by returning a second time and swapping them with fakes.
    Some of them where stealing wear item parts off of cars, swapping them with old worn out parts from their personal autos and in some cases leaving the auto in a dangerous state.

  • JA Jones

    This really doesn’t surprise me. I have been dealing with hacla for years and have found that I must follow the rules, but they don’t have to. The right hand doesn’t know or care what the left hand is doing. So easy for corruption to take place. This is the blight of bureaucracy .

  • Jose Rodriguez

    what about the moeny LA promised to give to the welfare we always get? we need medical for our papa mama brother sister cousin babys our kids, my papa’s brother and my grandmather. I also want to apply my grandfather from mexico but no enough money. I love mexico and i miss them very much. american peopel are very very rich but they never want to help us.

  • Michael Wojtowicz

    Seems like a partial story. How did the agency respond to the audit issues? What Is the accountable parties remediation plan and or next steps? Why only complaining and nothing constructive for correcting and moving past the issue. The money is spent unless it can be recovered.

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