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Former L.A. controller endorses attorney Ron Galperin

January 24, 2013 |  5:52 pm

Former Los Angeles City Controller Laura Chick endorsed Ron Galperin on Thursday over City Councilman Dennis Zine in the race for the city’s fiscal watchdog position.

In an emailed statement, Chick said Galperin’s “courage, energy and drive” would help Los Angeles become more transparent and efficient. She did not say why she passed over Zine, who succeeded her in 2001 as the council representative for the west San Fernando Valley.

The winner of the March 5 election will replace mayoral candidate Wendy Greuel, who is in her first term as controller.

"Laura Chick has been a paragon for transparency, accountability and efficiency," Galperin said in a statement Thursday, “and her endorsement means the world to me.”

FULL COVERAGE: Los Angeles mayoral race

In two terms as city controller, Chick's blunt, hard-hitting audits often put her at odds with city officials. In more than 170 reports and audits, she took major city entities to task, including the airport, harbor and Department of Water and Power. One of her last audits revealed a backlog of thousands of untested rape kits at the Los Angeles Police Department.

“I appreciate someone from Northern California making a campaign endorsement but I’m glad she can’t vote in this election,” Zine campaign spokesman Rick Taylor said. “Since she’s left Los Angeles, things have changed dramatically.”

Galperin, 49, is an attorney and lives in Coldwater Canyon. He is president of the city’s Quality and Productivity Commission. He also chairs the volunteer Commission on Revenue Efficiency. In 2009, he came in fourth to represent a Westside seat on the City Council, a seat held by Councilman Paul Koretz.

Galperin’s other endorsements include former controller Rick Tuttle, state insurance commissioner Dave Jones, the Los Angeles County Democratic Party and Councilman Bernard C. Parks.

Chick, who now lives in Kensington, Calif., served as California's inspector general from April 2009 to December 2010, overseeing $85 million in Federal Recovery Act funding.

Choosing Galperin over Zine was “not about how long I've known someone, it's about who is the right person for the job,” Chick said. “The endorsement speaks for itself.”

As of Dec. 31, Galperin had raised $304,339.59, including $106,592.72 of his own money, according to city campaign disclosure data. Zine’s campaign contributions totaled $727,593.30, including $55,000 of his own funds. Former real estate executive Cary Brazeman, also running for controller, has raised $136,415.09, of which $75,000 is his own.


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-- Laura J. Nelson at Los Angeles City Hall