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Inside Safe Audit: Karen Bass says Los Angeles will pay for Audit

Inside Safe Audit: Karen Bass says Los Angeles will pay for Audit

Los Angeles, CA: On Friday, Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass informed a federal magistrate that an independent audit of her $250 million Inside Safe homelessness program will be funded by the city.

On Thursday and Friday, arguments were presented before U.S. District Judge David O. Carter in a lawsuit initiated by the L.A. Alliance for Human Rights. The lawsuit alleges that the city has not fulfilled the shelter bed creation benchmarks that were established in a 2022 settlement. On Friday, City Controller Kenneth Mejia was summoned to testify regarding the auditability of Inside Safe’s expenditures by his office.

Carter was informed over the phone by Bass, who is presently in Paris in preparation for the 2028 Olympic Games, that the city will finance an independent audit of the program. The responsibility of appointing the auditor will rest with the magistrate.

Councilmember Monica Rodriguez informed Craig Fiegener of KNX News that an audit has been imminent for quite some time.

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Rodriguez stated that Inside Safe must have “extremely transparent outcomes associated with every dollar expended”; however, insufficient transparency prevents this from occurring at this time.

In 2020, in response to the homelessness crisis, the L.A. Alliance filed a lawsuit against the city and county of Los Angeles, demanding the immediate construction of sanctuary and housing. The coalition’s attorneys assert that, contrary to the settlement agreement, which required the city to establish 5,190 shelter and treatment beds by the conclusion of 2023, the actual number of beds constructed stands at 2,810.

“The Alliance is in no way convinced that the city will fulfill its commitments,” Alliance attorney Elizabeth Mitchell informed the court. “These beds have to be produced, people have to be protected.”

She stated that 2,000 homeless individuals have perished on the streets of Los Angeles in the past fourteen months. Mitchell proposed that until the city complied with its obligations, it should be fined $100,000 per week.

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The L.A. Alliance requested that Carter assess a $6.4 million sanction on the city for its breach of the settlement.

City Attorney Hydee Feldstein Soto stated in a written response that the municipality “fully complied with its responsibilities as outlined in the Settlement Agreement.” Furthermore, she stated that the Los Angeles Alliance did not incur any tangible losses due to the postponement. Merely on that pretext, the motion ought to be summarily rejected.

Carter expressed “uncomfortable” sentiments regarding the proposed $6.4 million fine on Thursday, but indicated that the city’s homelessness expenditures are squandered and that greater oversight is required to ensure objectives are met.

To finalize the audit offer, Bass and Council President Paul Krekorian are scheduled to appear in court on March 18.

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