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Greuel announces probe of nonprofits controlled by housing agency

January 3, 2012 |  4:58 pm

Los Angeles Controller Wendy Greuel at a press conference last summer. Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles City Controller Wendy Greuel announced Tuesday that she intends to probe not just the city’s troubled housing authority but also the nonprofit organizations it controls.

In a letter to the authority’s interim president, Doug Guthrie, Greuel requested detailed financial information on the groups, which she said together produce a profit of more than $15 million a year for overseeing rental units and HUD contracts.

Greuel’s  audit comes as city leaders have expressed anger about the way the agency, responsible for housing 60,000 of the city’s neediest, is run.

Last month, city leaders were infuriated by reports of lavish taxpayer-funded restaurant meals and a high-priced payout for the fired executive director.

Many of those meals were paid for not directly from agency funds, but from funds the nonprofits control.

City Councilman Dennis Zine referred to that practice as using the nonprofits as a vehicle for “washing money so we can spend it the way we want and not be accountable for anything.”

RELATED:

Housing authority fires chief executive

Ousted housing chief leaves with $1.2 million

Mayor's office knew about payout to fired executive

-- Jessica Garrison

Photo: L.A. City Controller Wendy Greuel at a news conference last summer. Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times

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