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Chick to watch state's federal stimulus money

April 3, 2009 |  2:36 pm

Los Angeles City Controller Laura Chick, whose dogged pursuit of waste and abuse often put her at odds with other elected officials, is Sacramento bound. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger will announce this afternoon that he is naming Chick to a newly created post as inspector general of the federal stimulus money that flows into the state.

A statement from the governor says Chick’s job in the $175,000-a-year position will be to “make sure the funds we receive from the Recovery Act are used with accountability and transparency.”

“Laura’s impressive track record as a watchdog and public servant makes her uniquely qualified,” Schwarzenegger said in the statement.

Chick has been city controller since 2001. In that time, she embarrassed city officials for their incompetence in handling a range of issues. Her reports shed light on failures to test rape kits, contracting blunders and conflicts, hazing at the Fire Department and the over-billing scandal at the Department and Water and Power.

Her job in Sacramento will be to help keep a tight rein on the $50 billion in economic stimulus money the federal government is directing toward California’s state and local governments, as well as nonprofits and school districts.

“I am going to Sacramento to deter, detect and disclose any waste, fraud and abuse of these precious stimulus dollars," Chick said in a statement.

Schwarzenegger created the position by executive order.

-- Evan Halper