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Molina demands action over audit faulting top L.A. County executive

L.A. County Supervisor Gloria Molina said Monday that “swift and decisive action” would be taken against the county’s second-highest ranking employee after auditors found that she improperly helped her son-in-law obtain a county job that was “overcompensated” by nearly $1,000 a month.

Sharon Harper "overrode rules that everyone needs to respect, including myself. No one is above them,” Molina said. “The implications of what she did are very, very significant to our ability to manage the county.”

Molina said she did not know what type of discipline would be imposed on Harper, but she said County Chief Executive William T Fujioka promised in a telephone conversation Monday to move quickly. Fujioka said in an interview with The Times that Harper continued to be his chief deputy Monday as he pursued his own investigation of the allegations substantiated by Auditor Controller Wendy Watanabe. 

It has been six weeks since Fujioka received Watanabe’s detailed report concluding that his top deputy had a “clear conflict of interest” when she helped to create a position in the Los Angeles County Fire Department for Ed’Ward Rhone without submitting documents to supervisors showing that the job was needed.

The report also found that she helped to arrange his hiring into a more demanding job at the Department of Health Services, where he reported to work for only a few hours before receiving a “lateral transfer” to a Fire Department position that should have paid $995 less every month. The extra pay represented 25% of his paycheck.

--Garrett Therolf

Comments () | Archives (35)

They'll just let her retire with a $200,000.00 pension!

Molina - NO Permits Required for a Queen - calling the Kettle Black?? Oh, BARF! WHEN EVER did Molina have i-n-t-e-g-r-i-t-y????

Didn't Gloria's husband, Ron Martinez, benefit from contracts steered his way by Antonio Villaraigosa while Antonio served as Gloria's alternate on the MTA board? And doesn't Molina's huband own several businesses at LAX and Universal City walk - government owned venues. How did he get those contracts approved? And rumor has it that Molina has family working at health centers benefitting from county contracts?

Ahhh, corrupt government officials. Don't you just love 'em? Doesn't matter how bad people or community services are doing, they just keep pocketing all they can get their greedy little hands on. And it never stops...

Fujioka has had the report for six weeks? And no action yet? Thank you, LA Times. If you hadn't brought this audit to light there probably would have been NO action. Perhaps Fujioka should be audited too.

Molina too, while you're at it.

Supervisor Molina - what are the Board of Supervisors going to do about LAC+USC Medical Center and the issues raised by the LAC+USC Insider. Misappropriation of County resources and tax payers dollars are happening everyday at LAC+USC. We need the Auditor Controller to come in and do an audit here to clear up the misuse of power, cronyism, and intimidation.

It's interesting that Harper's superior, Mr. Fujioka, is dragging his feet on a report received 6 weeks ago (per the article). This delay tactic certainly begs many questions...

On another note, it may behoove us all to date Ms. Harper's children so we can get a good job with benefits!

What's the problem? Either nepotism and corruption are okay or they aren't. Action? Six weeks after the report was field and she hasn't even been suspended? More corruption. If the allegations are true, Sharon Harper should be fired. Stop wasting time and money on this sleazy micro-affair.

Sharon Harper sounds like a member of the I-got-mine-now-go-get-yours club. Who does think she is? Marie Antoinette?

It's kind of hard to believe that Supervisor Molina is actually fighting against nepotism considering her record of giving sweet heart deals to her friends and family for years now.

"Molina said she did not know what type of discipline would be imposed on Harper"

HELLO?? Fire her and make her and her son in law pay all the counties monies back plus penalties..... for starters.....

County and city are broke and here are these people abusing the system to enrich themselves like they own it. Talk about abusing power. If it was any ordinary Joe he would have already be walked out the door.

hey molina, i agree with you. first, fire harper and make her pay tha salary paid her loser son in law.second, fire the son in law right now. third, fire everyone involved with harper in this travesty.fourth, tell fujioka it's been six weeks, get on the ball or fire him too for complicity. fifth, look at every hiring by la county for similarities. you got the ball molina, RUN WITH IT.

Jesus Christ is clear about those in power, like Supervisor Molina, Chief Executive Fujioka, Chief deputy Harper… “Whoever among you would be great, must be a server to those less-fortunate. Whoever among you would be first, must be the slave of all!” As a Christian, I work diligently on not Judging others, lest I be judged by the standards I apply.

Therefore, I sincerely pray these LA County employees may want to consider basing their integrity from God's Word.

Classic LA govt cronyism and ineptitude. It's nice to see that the county is cracking down, but do any of us really believe that every member of the board of supervisors hasn't funneled our money to their family and friends? Voting beyond party/racial lines and ousting the complacent incumbents is the only way to change this.

I'll give Gloria a hand here since she doesn't know what kind of "discipline" Sharon Harper deserves. Gloria, it's called PRISON.

L.A. Times, please stay on top of this one!

Look who comes out making a prompt statement requesting swift punishment, Supervisor Gloria Molina, the most guilty elected politician. Out of all the Los Angeles County Supervisors, Gloria Molina is so so guilty of giving out special treatment, employment, and contracts to selected close friends and relatives. The FBI or the District Attorney needs to take Harper in a room and let her provide all the dirty political appoinments that have been made by Gloria Molina. Molina is as guilty as Sharon Harper.

Their always blaming the ones at the bottom cost so much when it's people from private industry who think they can use government to their own benefit and hire or contract anyone they want.

I posted over TWO HOURS ago. Why isn't it approved?

Thanks Garrett

It sounds like chief executive Fujioka needs to get some gonads and fire Gloria Molina and Mr. Rhone with no tax payer pensions. I am sure this is not the first time the Molina family has given jobs to people.

This whole incident smells of corruption. Where is the district attorney hiding?

Garrett keep up the good work.


Doug Wallick

Discipline??? She involved in fraud...it's prison time....

Cooley has never and will never investigate any of the board of supervisors since they control his budget. Instead he will go after little cities and thier less corrupt leaders. The Board of Supes acts with impunity - and Cooley is there to stave off any federal investigation.

With all these cutbacks being imposed to all types of government employees, Ms. Harper has lost the trust of the people that serve with her and the people she serves. How then can she perform her duties knowing she lacks even the minimum level of character. She should be removed from that position of trust!!!

What's the delay in firing and prosecuting her, and getting rid of the nephew as well? Are they untouchable? Or are the higher-ups protecting their own, as usual? If this had been a humble lower-echelon worker, they would have been out the door in a New York minute.

Just another of the endless horrors due to inadequate supervision and auditing.
And lower-downs afraid to blow the whistle because THEY get retaliated against instead of the perps getting punished.

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