Saturday, February 26, 2011

LA TIMES INVESTIGATION: Billions to Spend - How a $5.7 billion program to rebuild L.A. community colleges went astray.

WHAT'S A FEW BILLIONS AMONG (CONNECTED CRONY) FRIENDS?

Billions to Spend - How a $5.7 billion program to rebuild L.A. community colleges went astray. (Los Angeles Times - 2/26/11)

Classrooms were overcrowded. Athletic facilities were decrepit. Seismic protections were outdated. Leaders of the Los Angeles Community College District decided to remake the nine campuses for the 21st century. They promised rigorous oversight of costs and quality. But a Times investigation found that tens of millions have gone to waste.

The trustees rely largely on contractors, college employees and unions to fund their election campaigns. Many political donors received contracts in the construction program. The searchable database shows the sources of political money and which donors have contracts.

Part 1 - The price of poor planning, weak oversight: A pattern of chaotic management, costly blunders and hiring of relatives emerges from interviews and thousands of pages of internal e-mails.

Part 2 - A failing grade for a new science complex: Crooked cabinet doors, faulty plumbing and a lack of temperature controls mar Valley College's health and science complex. Newly opened, it needed extensive repairs.

Board of Trustees:

Following the Money Times Database

The trustees rely largely on contractors, college employees and unions to fund their election campaigns. Many political donors received contracts in the construction program. The searchable database shows the sources of political money and which donors have contracts.


READ MORE (including video from the LA Times authors.)

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