Southern California -- this just in

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You're paying for $50k cars for county employees

Pimp_my_ride Talk about pimping your ride. According to a story in the Daily News, dozens of L.A. County officials drive the kind of luxury cars the rest of us have to fake a test-drive in order to enjoy:

At a time when many Los Angeles County residents are grappling with the squeeze of an economic downturn, dozens of top county government officials are tooling around in "unjustified luxury vehicles" costing taxpayers as much as $50,000 each.

More than 1,400 county workers are given take-home cars, even though some don't have official authorization to drive them, and at least 30 employees aren't paying the required taxes on the vehicles.

Meanwhile, county employees were involved in 1,852 accidents in their take-home vehicles over the past few years -- with 830 accidents in 2005-06 alone that cost taxpayers $6.7 million.

The info comes from a grand jury report. The city's response?

"We are meeting with the CEO next week to go over all the recommendations by the grand jury and then we'll develop a response to those recommendations," Auditor-Controller Wendy Watanabe said.

Almost makes you want to run for office. The full story is here.

--Veronique de Turenne

Photo: Carlos Chavez / Los Angeles Times

Comments () | Archives (3)

Whew! Talk about being part of the problem! How many hybrids could be bought for the price of ONE of those gas hogs? How many of these 1,400 COUNTY employees require a full-time luxury sedan as part of their jobs? Hmm? Am I guessing NONE?
Sell the gas-guzzling junk. Issue limited-dollar gas credit cards for public employees to use in their OWN cars--and ONLY if a 24-hour vehicle is critical to the performance of their jobs. You've got a gas-dollar budget. If you want to drive a Hummer, you'll run out of gas money by June. If you want to drive on the tax-payer dime for the entire year, you get a more gas-friendly car. Or ride a bike. Or car pool. Or take the bus. Get a horse. Or do what the rest of the country is doing during this gas-price ripoff organized by Big Oil.

Corrupt, Corrupt, Corrupt, thats all I have to say.

Uh, why are the NAMES of these 'officials' not being published? They're getting a 50-large ride on our (taxpayer's) dime and we don't get to know who they are? C'mon, LA Times - give up the dish. What's worse is that without making the few, the greedy, the egregious, accountable and named, it tars with the brush of anonymity all county workers, many of whom I'm sure are aghast at the gluttonous behavior of their co-, uh, not-workers.

Name names. that's how it's gotta work.


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L.A. Now is the Los Angeles Times’ breaking news section for Southern California. It is produced by more than 80 reporters and editors in The Times’ Metro section, reporting from the paper’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters as well as bureaus in Costa Mesa, Long Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Riverside, Ventura and West Los Angeles.
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