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Greuel Releases 1st Audit, Finding Convention Center in Need of Many Fixes

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E3 returned to the Convention Center this year and will next year, too | Photo by JoshMcConnell via Flickr

E3 returned to the Convention Center this year and will next year, too | Photo by JoshMcConnell via Flickr
In her first audit since taking office as City Controller, Wendy Greuel this morning released findings about waste within the Los Angeles Convention Center. There's nothing catastrophic revealed in the audit, but it points out too many examples of lax oversight that cost taxpayers money.

Point in case, the city lost $34,474 because employees that were no longer full-time continued to be paid overtime by the department. And speaking of overtime, Greuel says there's "a flawed system for using employee overtime with a lack of oversight, which has led to over a million dollars being wasted. LACC uses City employees from other Departments - and pays them overtime, as opposed to expanding its pool of as-needed employees that can provide these services at regular rates."

For example,one employee made $146,000 in overtime pay over 18 months, on top of his annual salary of $72,746.

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There are also little things where it seems that people are just not thinking. One employee that has been on administrative leave for 3 and a half years and is still being paid a monthly uniform allowance.

On a broader scale, Greuel found that the convention center lacks the business tools to be competitive during slower seasons. She suggests the City's Administrative Code be changed to let the Convention Center institute flexible demand-based pricing. "Every day the Convention Center sits empty is lost revenue for the City," explained Greuel in a letter to city officials. "It is also imperative that the Council and Mayor explore whether a Public Private Partnership is an appropriate step to consider, to help improve efficiency at the Convention Center and to better compete nationally."

The center is expected to lose $13 million this fiscal year.