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L.A. Housing Authority employees won't get bonuses, CEO says

December 29, 2011 |  9:26 pm

Employees at the Los Angeles Housing Authority, currently under fire for its spending practices, will not be getting any performance bonuses this year, according to a letter sent this week to Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

Doug Guthrie, the housing authority’s interim president and chief executive, said the agency gave $205,000 in bonuses last year and nearly $323,000 worth of bonuses in 2009.

“Because of current budgetary constraints … this program has been discontinued and there will be no distributions of performance bonuses for 2011,” he wrote.

The housing authority has been the subject of fierce criticism over its expense habits, particularly payments for travel and restaurants. Last year, Villaraigosa’s appointees on the housing authority board gave a $25,000 bonus to Rudolf Montiel, the agency’s then-top executive, for his work in 2008-09. Montiel was fired earlier this year but received a $1.2-million payout from the agency.

The housing authority’s chief operating officer, Ken Simmons, received a bonus of $33,802 in 2009 and $14,213 last year, according to Guthrie’s letter. Agency spokesman Eric Brown received a $7,896 bonus last year.

Guthrie also said he had reduced the number of credit cards issued to housing authority employees from 68 to 43.

In addition, the travel budget has been cut from $78,000 to $15,000, he said.


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-- David Zahniser at Los Angeles City Hall