Stimulus Shell Game in Los Angeles

Some cities in Los Angeles were caught cutting deals to sell shares of their federal stimulus funds to the highest bidder. The MTA has put the kibosh on any money swapping.
March 11, 2009, 2pm PDT | Tim Halbur
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"MTA board members, who had allocated a minimum of $500,000 in stimulus funds to every city in Los Angeles County, had never intended to let cities to sell their shares of funding to other cities for cash, board member Richard Katz said.

"That was a misunderstanding on somebody's part," Katz said. "It is our intention that all of the stimulus money be for transportation purposes and transportation only."

MTA CEO Roger Snoble said in a statement that "Metro is trying to allow some flexibility to the cities, but there is no provision to allow stimulus money to be swapped with general fund money.

"This is simply not the intent of the Metro board. We will reject anything that is inconsistent with the board's intent," Snoble wrote.

The MTA plans to allocate some $215 million in federal stimulus funds to local cities - a number that could rise to $315 million, pending action in the state Legislature."

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Published on Tuesday, March 10, 2009 in The San Gabriel Valley Tribune
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