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LA Mayoral Candidates Spar Over City Spending

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VAN NUYS (CBSLA.com) — Los Angeles mayoral candidate and City Controller Wendy Greuel claims she identified tens of millions of dollars in waste, fraud and abuse at City Hall—but City Councilman Eric Garcetti, a fellow mayoral candidate, said that’s just flat-out untrue.

In a television ad campaign, Greuel said, “As City Controller, I found $160 million in waste and fraud.”

According to Greuel’s website, nearly half of the money comes from lost revenue on a disputed contract with a company over advertising on city-owned bus benches, newsstands and public restrooms.

Garcetti said the figures don’t add up.

“I believe we should have honest numbers when we’re talking to the voters,” he said at a news conference Thursday in Studio City. “I call on Controller Greuel to join me in talking about real results and real solutions with real figures.”

John Shallman, Greuel’s campaign manager, told KCAL9’s Dave Lopez that the controller never said $160 million was just lying around waiting to be used.

However, if certain practices were stopped, the funds could be divested elsewhere.

Shallman added, “Millions of dollars have been saved in the treasury by what she has done already. That’s hardcore money. Useable money.”

Garcetti said the actual amount of revenue saved was $240,000.

In a statement, Greuel said, “Councilman Garcetti doesn’t want to hear the truth. But the fact is that I have identified $160 million in wasteful spending, fraudulent activity and abuse of city resources. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. I stand by the diligent and professional work of the civil servants who have conducted these audits at my direction.”

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