LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The Los Angeles City Council Friday ordered an investigation into city street repair crews who allegedly took unauthorized breaks and falsified their work logs.
The move comes following a report Tuesday by CBS2 investigative journalist David Goldstein, who followed several crews as they went about their work day repairing potholes.
Two different Bureau of Street Services crews were seen working only a portion of the hours they claimed in their work logs and that they didn’t mention the breaks they took, Goldstein said.
“Nothing can be more corrosive to the public trust than what Mr. Goldstein uncovered,” City Councilman Mitch O’Farrell said Friday.
The councilmember says that if the allegations are proven true, those employees should not be working for the city.
Councilman Joe Buscaino, who introduced an emergency motion calling for the investigation, said the report “angered” him because it may taint the reputation of “dedicated, hardworking and highly skilled” city workers. “This may reinforce the stereotypes of lazy, dishonest government employees, which is 100 percent false for the vast, vast majority of our public servants.”
Buscaino’s motion was adopted unanimously and instructs the BSS to look into the allegations, including how they currently assign jobs, estimate the time and manpower each project takes and verify the work is done.
BSS director Nazario Sauceda called the accusations “ugly” and asked that the council to give him the necessary time to conduct a thorough probe.
Councilman Felipe Fuentes said the report came at an inopportune moment when the city is trying to persuade voters to adopt a half-cent sales tax increase to pay for street repairs, as well airing in the middle of National Public Works Week.
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