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Thursday, January 13, 2005

The First Domino Falls**

Jail Stripes
Via the LA Times:
PR Firm Executive Indicted in DWP Fraud Case
L.A. indictment alleges that John Stodder Jr., who ran the firm's local public affairs practice, participated with "others known and unknown" to routinely submit inflated billings.

By Ralph Frammolino and Ted Rohrlich, Times Staff Writers

A Los Angeles federal grand jury today indicted a former high-ranking executive of the Fleishman-Hillard public relations firm for his part in a scheme that defrauded the Dept. of Water and Power of at least $250,000 and cheated private clients by lesser amounts.

**The newest rumor running rampant around water coolers this evening is that besides the expected Doug Dowie and Troy Edwards indictments, Leland Wong may be in the mix.


Anonymous Anonymous said:

This is only the beginning.

The heat getting hot Mr. Hahn?

Hey, when are the indictments going to come down on the real crooks, commissioners, pay for play...ers, etc.

January 13, 2005 5:20 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

My question is 'who turned?'. Who is next and will this become a daily or weekly or monthly occurance?

January 13, 2005 5:23 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Not good for Hahn. Obviously.

Not good for Hertzberg either. After all, where did Bob go to work after he left the Speaker's office -- Fleishman Hillard. And as Channel 4 reported last year, Bob's name was all over reimbursements for $1,200 "strategy lunches" submitted by FH to the DWP.

January 13, 2005 5:34 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Not good for Hahn. Obviously.

Not good for Hertzberg either. After all, where did Bob go to work after he left the Speaker's office -- Fleishman Hillard. And as Channel 4 reported last year, Bob's name was all over reimbursements for $1,200 "strategy lunches" submitted by FH to the DWP.

January 13, 2005 5:34 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Rick Orlov didn't seem to think there was anything to the Hertzberg/DWP connection in the column he wrote on Dec. 20:

Also on the mayoral campaign front, former Assembly Speaker Bob Hertzberg is taking steps to deal with potential controversies.

Hertzberg aides held a series of briefings with reporters last week to talk about his prior business relationship with Fleishman-Hillard, the downtown public relations firm accused of overbilling taxpayers under a contract with the Department of Water and Power.

Hertzberg became one of the firm's prominent advisers -- joining the likes of former White House Chief of Staff Leon Panetta and others -- after term limits forced him from office in 2002.

His aides are careful to point out that Hertzberg had nothing to do with any contracts with the DWP or other city agencies.

Controller Laura Chick has estimated the DWP was overbilled a total of $4.2 million over six years. The firm has said it cannot provide substantiation for some $652,000 in bills and wants to negotiate a settlement.

Hertzberg's pre-emptive strike is motivated by his hiring of someone to look into his background to find potential vulnerabilities.


January 13, 2005 6:20 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I want to see which loser will be the first to say something to the media tomorrow. ALL OF THEM TOOK MONEY. A BUNCH OF HYPOCRITICAL LOSERS. This who John Stodder gave to. Then Fleishman Hillard gave $500 to Antonio and the rest of the council. I don't see them giving it back.

Antonio: $500 during last mayoral race and then Antonio took another %500 from Fleishman Hillard
Nick Pacheco: $250 for City COuncil race 2003
Laura Chick: $250 for Controller 2001
Wendy Greuel: $600 for both City Council races
Ludlow: $200
Padilla: $400
Janice Hahn: $400
James K Hahn: $1000 for re-election
Ruth Galanter: $250 for officeholder

January 13, 2005 6:24 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Funny, that didn't read like Orlov exculpating Mr. Hertzberg, but Orlov commenting that Bob was frantically trying to absolve himself. The facts, according to Ch 4s investigative report, are:

1) Hertzberg attended DWP strategy lunches as a paid consultant for Fleishman Hillard -- which were billed back to the DWP.

2) At the same time Bob was a lawyer working for Mayer, Brown which had just received a fat $3 million legal contract from the DWP. Bob was very specifically working that account - billing taxpayers $400 an hour.

3) And also at the same time, Bob was applying for a $1 million loan from the DWP for his fledgling solar energy company, Solar Integrated Technology.

Breathtaking, isn't it.

January 13, 2005 6:50 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I'm glad to see the Hahn's staff learned from their bilking of Fleishman and DWP and figured out how to difuse the heat being applied to them. Spread the shit around.

To the flak that has the hard-on for Hertzberg - You forgot lesson two: Don't throw the shit on the fan above your head

Why do I bother. You're probably next on the indictment list.

January 13, 2005 7:58 PM  

Blogger The Gadfly said:

Itching for the clatter of tumbling dominos? Can't believe it has taken this long. The thick acrid soot of backroom politics and City Attorney networking makes my eyes water. So, when do they indict the procurers? It takes two to tango, doesn't it?

January 13, 2005 8:21 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Let's take bets. Who turns on whom and who is the first to take a plea for testimony? How high do you think this will go? Will Mayor Hahn ultimately be charged?

January 13, 2005 10:17 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:


What i want to know is... why did i post on the No means No blog about this 20 mins before the indictment came down from the US attorney???

Could there possibly be a squeaky wheel in the US attorney's office? Interesting i'd say.

Christmas in January - i love it.

As for the rumors of the coming idictments -- true, true, true and more true on top of that.

blog away - seriously you are all dum-dums.

January 14, 2005 1:46 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

You gotta laugh when you hear the bullies making their quotes in the paper. All talk about trust of the people. Give me a f----ng break. These are the same idiots that took money from Fleishman-Hillard so especially Antonio has no room to talk cause his people want him out and not in city hall. Heard he's AGAIN hired county people to help volunteer cause can't find enough in the city. Bob worked for FH and we're still waiting to see the backlash on him, and Alarcon is just out there jumping on the bandwagon. Parks is the last one to talk corruption. He was responsible for Rampart and Connie Rice is holding back her report til after elections. Waiting to see him squirm on that one. Word is the report is scathing on his butt. Jimmy still has support out there from what I hear.

January 14, 2005 6:58 AM  

Blogger 4NIC8 said:

Hmmmm.....this is bad news for the City and even worse for Hahn and his DWP Commissioners, particularly president Rubalcava. Oh well, you can only really feed at the public trough for so long once the US Attorneys get involved.

January 14, 2005 7:07 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I think everyone knows this is just the tip of the ice berg. It will move closer and closer to the Mayor. I hope he and all of his staff enjoy City Hall while they can because they are all going down. Oh well that is what happens when you loose sight of the job we elected him to do.

January 14, 2005 8:35 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

My inside sources inside federal building are saying if they had anything on Jimmy he would have been the first to go down. They would not wait this long. Secondly, Antonio I bet will be the first to go down. I hear a nice big surprise is coming his way with a large red community bow on it. Mark my words. He'll be the first to go down.

January 14, 2005 9:29 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Okay eggheads, indicting a Fleishman Hillard executive for committing fraud against the City does not lead directly to the Mayor, especially when the PR guy did it to his private clients as well.

What I want to know is where were the checks and balances on this? Who paid these damn bills? Why weren't they caught before being paid? And don't try that lame excuse that the Controller uncovered this problem? She reminds me of when Parks was taking credit for uncovering Rampart?

January 14, 2005 9:43 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Chick should first come out of the closet. Touche previous poster. That b--ch rubber stamped those checks and all of a sudden she started questioning them. That's like me paying my cable $300 then realizing I overpaid them and now want it back. She took FH campaign money. Talk about a hypocrite.

January 14, 2005 10:11 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Okay kids, here is the real score....

Yesterday's indictment was meant to loosen FH executives lips. There were many FH executives taking the 5th in that Grand Jury thing. By scaring a mid-level manger with charges, it was meant to let the big boys (and girls) understand that prosecutors are hot to trot.

I understand that by yesterday afternoon, assorted agencies were getting frantic phone calls from scared indiviuals with stories to tell and deals to be had.

Make no mistake this will end up at JH's City Hall door. There's talk that Troy Edwards will take the fall but I highly doubt it. He will start singing like a canary (if he has not yet started). This part of the drama will be directed by DA Steve Cooley.

A little birdie has also said that a certain ex-deputy mayor now working full time (yeah sure) on the campaign (HINT: Initials JW) has been called up to testify or is about to.

To counter possible negative PR for the DA's office in relation to the timing of "announcments", you should expect now thru the end of January some additional dominos to fall.

Another biride is chirping that JH is being counseled by some very powerful friends of the Hahn dynasty to gracefully bow out of this run for mayor, citing family obligations and the like.

As far as Controller Laura Chick, she is currently looking into some other interesting city dealings that - word is - have bread crumbs - or rather "dough" crumbs finding its way back to Room 303.

Tick, Tock, Tick, Tock....
The Fly

January 14, 2005 11:25 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Feds have been investigating since last year. Inside sources in federal bldg. say if they had anything on Jimmy you better believe he would have been the first to fold. Chick should start wathcing her back. Seems she's lost a lot of her support in her very own circle for being such a hypocrite. Big announcement today folks. Stay tuned...

January 14, 2005 11:33 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Laura Chick should tell us why her office paid those bills. She's like the little kid that farts and then asks everyone, where did that fart come from. Can you smell it?

If she had been doing her job would we have this problem?

January 14, 2005 12:45 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Whether she blindly rubber stamped the bills or not -- which is a completely different problem -- how does DWP get away with allowing Flesihman to do work for other departments including the Mayor's office under their contract? And at inflated prices no less?

January 14, 2005 1:10 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Hey, MEAT. Want to clarify what you wrote about posting 20 minutes before the indictment "came down" from the U.S. Attorney? Where did you post and what did you write?

January 14, 2005 2:32 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

DWP (and any other dept.) get away with whatever they want as the Controller fails to do their job. They are suppose to check an invoice against the contract's scope of work and make sure a detailed explanation is included before it is paid. The Controller screwed this up.

January 17, 2005 1:14 PM  

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