LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa on Friday cut up the “Gold Card” that helped a number of city officials get out of parking tickets and ordered an investigation of the Department of Transportation program.

Villaraigosa called for the probe in a letter sent to DOT Interim General Manager Amir Sedadi, saying the practice has gone “well beyond the point of isolated incidents or a coincidence of events.”

The letter follows a series of audits of LADOT by City Controller Wendy Greuel.

An audit released Thursday uncovered the existence of a ‘Gold Card Desk’ for city officials to call on behalf of constituents to expedite the review of parking violations.

Council members and the mayor’s office played down the controversial nature of the desk, saying it was poorly named and was used to help constituents with special needs, not to bestow special favors.

The mayor’s office released data Thursday showing that city council and mayoral staffers are the minority of users of the service.

About 90 percent of gold card calls came from LADOT over the last five years.

“I am directing you to discontinue the Gold Card Desk immediately and to establish a uniform system accessible to everyone for contested parking citation intake and adjudication,” Villaraigosa wrote.

The mayor said he ordered the city controller to hire an independent management consultant to do a “top-to-bottom management review” of the department, which is charged with issuing parking violations.

The review will touch on management policies and procedures, internal communications and protocol, record keeping and information systems, and contract and project management.

» RELATED STORY: Drivers Who Know How To Work System Make Parking Tickets Disappear

(©2010 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

Comments (12)
  1. TT says:

    Good Job you guys !!! Keep up the Good Work 🙂

  2. Jerry Loving says:

    Give me a break!!!!! Come on, people connected will ALWAYS find a way to bend the law to their use or misuse. Hey, where is MY gold card.

  3. Ping Kee Ang says:

    The shameless playboy TONY VILLAR RAIGOZA is a phony. On most issues, he simply re-acts, but does not pro-act. All these things that he is doing are simply political gesture intended to fool the electorates so he could perpetuate himself in the limelight of power Don’t you be fooled by his hypocrisy !!! Wake Up Guys.

  4. villaraigosa says:

    i be very happy when this city is broke. it is run by 3rd grade latinos

  5. John Pelligrini says:

    I’ve lived in the SF Valley for 55 years, and this is by far the most corrupt bunch of city officials i have encountered. Do any of these people ever plan on getting a private service job, what I’m seeing is our politicians jumping from one office to another.

  6. white but not white trash says:

    3rd grade latinos?? ok, so that makes George bush a pre- schooler white guy

  7. Tony V is guilty says:

    I’m sure he has some staff members that didn’t finish jr high, but 3rd graders? Come on people.

  8. JEN says:


  9. Tony Clifton says:

    It has been going on for Years and It is ridiculous. This City is in Financial ruin thanks to you know who…. whether you believe it or not. The one way to make up a LARGE amount of the deficit would to make the Police Officer do there jobs, put down their personal cell phone while they are driving and start to ticket everyone who is using their own cell phone and texting while driving……. People dont care, because they see Officers do it, and they do it blatantly in front of them with NO penalty.

  10. Tony Clifton says:

    David Goldstein should follow arounf City vehicles and see how many officials are breaking the text and cell phone usage laws.

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