L.A. Building and Safety Department Blighted by Claims of Financial Misconduct, Food Hazing

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Building and Safety are shown in this undated photo. (Credit: Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

The headquarters of the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety are shown in this undated photo. (Credit: Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

It began with an investigation into bad workplace behavior: a high-level manager inside the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety accused of yelling at his workers.

City investigators soon received reports of more unusual activities, such as staffers being punished by having to eat an entire pizza in one sitting.

That probe, in turn, led personnel department officials to uncover unauthorized purchases, falsified invoices and $24,900 in payments to a consulting company that did not in fact exist, said Frank Bush, general manager at Building and Safety.

Last month, the city quietly turned its findings over to L.A. County Dist. Atty. Jackie Lacey, whose office has opened a review. Bush said investigators also identified improper travel expenses and lax financial controls — and are trying to determine whether a department staffer used city funds to buy iPhones and other equipment, then sold them to other department employees.

Read the full story on LATimes.com

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