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LA's City Controller Says CRA Money Handling is Fast, Loose

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City controller and mayoral candidate Wendy Greuel has released an audit on LA's Community Redevelopment Agency and it's not pretty, reports NBC LA. The accounting has been sloppy, with about $1.7 million left unreported when the agency transferred funds to the city in response to Governor Jerry Brown's attempts earlier this year to shut down California's local redevelopment agencies (the city agreed to pay $97 million in August to keep the CRA as part of Brown's Voluntary Alternative Redevelopment Program, which essentially asks RDAs to pay to play). Greuel indicates that the mistakes uncovered in the audit weren't necessarily nefarious, but the bookkeeping was "not a transparent and accountable process." The CRA says the agency wasn't able to accurately calculate the amount of money it was making available to the city "because it is based on taxes that are collected by Los Angeles County." The exact amount "is based on a complex formula," and LA County doesn't release all the details on the funds until the end of its fiscal year. Some other whoopsies caught in the audit (pdf) include the commitment of money for projects not yet approved by the City Council--including work in Hollywood's Barnsdall Art Park--as well as committing more money to streetscape improvements in Reseda than the Council had signed off on.
· Greuel: CRA Played Fast and Loose [NBC Los Angeles]