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My colleague Evan McLaughlin has periodically been writing on the city of San Diego’s auditor/comptroller struggles, frequently citing Los Angeles City Controller Laura Chick as a model of what an elected, independent watchdog can do for city government.

Chick’s been in the news again recently as L.A. City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo has struggled with how to respond to reports of his wife’s misuse of a city vehicle.

From Steve Lopez’s Sunday column in the Los Angeles Times:

City Controller Laura Chick had some good advice for Delgadillo, not that there’s been any evidence he would be interested in such a thing.

“I think it would be in the best interest of all of us if the city attorney brought all the facts out into the open, answered questions, and if there were mistakes that were made, it would be better to know it outright,” Chick said.

That way, Chick said, we wouldn’t “have to use public resources” to get to the bottom of it.

And, after Delgadillo finally broke his silence, Lopez followed up today with a quote from Chick that appeared to debunk one of the city attorney’s principle arguments:

Delgadillo said he thought it was OK for his wife to use the car. The city’s policy, he claimed, is ambiguous. …

“For me there’s been no ambiguity,” said City Controller Laura Chick, who as an elected official is subject to the same policy as Delgadillo. “It’s been very clear.”

ANDREW DONOHUE

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