City Council Orders Investigation into 'Lazy' Pothole Repair Workers

"Nothing can be more corrosive to the public trust than what [CBS] uncovered," City Councilman Mitch O'Farrell said in council today.

Patch file photo.
Patch file photo.

The Los Angeles City Council today ordered an investigation into city street repair crews who allegedly took unauthorized breaks and faked their work logs.

A Bureau of Street Services crew took a 40-minute breakfast break and did not arrive at the work site until three hours into the employees' shifts, according to claims made by CBS2 investigative reporter David Goldstein [see video above].

Goldstein, who followed several crews as they went about their work day repairing potholes, alleged another crew worked two hours out of an eight-hour shift.

He alleges in a report that aired Tuesday that work logs did not match up with what he saw the city employees' do and did not mention the breaks they took.

"Nothing can be more corrosive to the public trust than what Mr. Goldstein uncovered," City Councilman Mitch O'Farrell said in council today.

He said if the allegations against the workers are proven accurate, those employees should not be working for the city.

Councilman Joe Buscaino, who introduced an emergency motion calling for the investigation, said the media report "angered" him because it may taint the reputation of "dedicated, hardworking and highly skilled" city workers.

"This may reinforce the stereotypes of lazy, dishonest government employees, which is 100 percent false for the vast, vast majority of our public servants," he said.

His motion, adopted unanimously, tells the Bureau of Street Services to conduct an investigation into allegations made in the CBS2 report.

It also calls on BSS to report on how it currently assigns jobs, estimates the time and manpower required to complete them and how that work is verified.

BSS director Nazario Sauceda called the accusations "ugly" and asked that the council to give him the necessary time to conduct a thorough investigation.

Councilman Felipe Fuentes said the report came at an inopportune moment when the city is trying to persuade voters to adopt a half-cent sales tax increase to pay for street repairs. The report also aired in the middle of the city celebrating National Public Works Week, he said.

--City News Service

emma May 23, 2014 at 07:59 PM
"..the city is trying to persuade voters to adopt a half-cent sales tax increase to pay for street repairs." NEVER! And councilmembers have going into poorer communities to sell their idea..'It's a good thing..you won't even feel it' It is pathetic! What do we expect..Good behavior? Honest workers? In a city with what is considered one of the most corrupt city councils in the country? The rotting fish stinks starting at the head and works it's way down..No surprises here.
Frank Estrada May 23, 2014 at 11:14 PM
This city is broken...the only oversight and enforcement is for the collection of city revenue...No police, no fire, no repairs, no general services.... its a city with the employees have taken over the insane asylum and have amok...They make their own salaries, and benefits to the point of where the city tax is left anemic and without care for the taxpayers who fund this fiasco....From a current LA city budget of $8 billion only $54 million is going for repairs, improvement and infrastructure.. That's only 6 percent of the budget!!!!YOU CANNOT RUN A CITY WHEN OVER 90 PERCENT OF REVENUE IS GOING TO CITY EMPLOYEE SALARIES AND BENEFITS!!!!!!This is insane!!!!...How do we turn this around???
Frank Estrada May 24, 2014 at 03:38 AM
Oh its Scott the government shill...Do tell Scott, how is it that a city can run when 90 percent of revenue goes to worker pensions and salaries...Over a five year period in early 2000, LA city employees received a cumulative 40 percent raise...it doesn't take a genius to realize that cutbacks came from paying city employees too much. They make 50 percent more than those doing the same work in the public sector,..So do this private sector worker a favor, instead of pointing to which public sector slug in city government steals more from the taxpayer, allow me to suggest where you can put that finger.
Arnold Alonzo May 24, 2014 at 11:56 AM
What ever happened to 8 hours of work for 8 hours of pay. These folks are accountable to a manager, the question is, do they have the same work ethic. I think you could abolish Street Services and contact it out for half the cost.
La Casa de Bernarda Alba May 24, 2014 at 11:44 PM
Is anyone really surprised! Do you honestly think it's just the Bureau of Street Services! Department heads need to evaluate the performance of LA City employees and if they are not performing; then it's time to give them notice because I am quite confident someone else will gladly take their job!!! How about Building and Safety? Has anyone seen the DEFORMITY of many LA HOMES throughout LA who have these unusual room additions!!! Does anyone really believe they are legally permitted and built to Building and Safety Codes!!!


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