Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.

This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.


L.A. to Publish City Hall Salaries Online

Before you
Dear reader, we're asking you to help us keep local news available for all. Your tax-deductible financial support keeps our stories free to read, instead of hidden behind paywalls. We believe when reliable local reporting is widely available, the entire community benefits. Thank you for investing in your neighborhood.

Photo by calvinfleming via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr

Photo by calvinfleming via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr
In the wake of the sky high salaries scandal in the city of Bell, city of Los Angeles officials got a heads up yesterday: their salaries, along with all of their staffs, would be published online as soon as possible. "At the end of the day, we all work for the citizens of Los Angeles and it is their right to know how their tax dollars are being spent," City Controller Wendy Greuel wrote in a letter on Monday. "I've instructed my staff to work... to expeditiously create an online searchable webpage that lists the salaries of City positions as soon as possible."

Such an idea is nothing new, but hasn't been done in awhile. In 2008, the Daily News created a number of databases, including one detailing the salaries of 48,000 city workers. Another one looked into overtime pay.

Since then, a lot has changed, but trying to compare the city's new database with the Daily News' will be difficult. Unlike the newspapers version, in which employee names were listed alongside their salary, the city hall one will only list position title by department with salary information.

Support for LAist comes from

For the most part, employee names and their salaries are public information -- that means the Daily News or any other publication can print them -- but in order to get this database live in the shortest amount of time, the Greuel's office will go with a basic version, according to Controller spokesperson Ben Golombek.

He explained that a number of employees names are protected by law for various reasons such as public safety personnel, employees who have been threatened and those who handle sensitive information. To go through, redact those names and then double-triple check the list to ensure they are not listed would slow the database's creation down and the goal is to get it live next week.

Salaries at the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power, however, will not be published. "We don't handle their payroll," said Golombek.