The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Living Lavishly Pretending to Aid the Poor

Jan 9, 2012

Last month, the City of Los Angeles paid 1.2 million dollars to Rudolf Montiel in severance, after it had fired him.

Montiel had been head of the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (HACLA), which is responsible for running public housing for about 60,000 of Los Angeles’ poorest people. In 2010, Montiel introduced a plan to begin to privatize some of the city’s public housing projects–turn them over to private developers and managers. Tenants of these projects protested the plan since it would mean big increases in rent, not to speak of put them in danger of losing their housing all together. To stop the protests, Montiel threatened to evict the protesters immediately.

Protestors revealed that Montiel’s compensation package was worth nearly $450,000 annually, including 10 weeks of vacation and a housing allowance. Montiel escalated the scandal by exposing how members of the housing board were reimbursed with public money for staying at extravagant hotels, eating at expensive restaurants, taking limousine rides and shopping for gifts.

The board retaliated by firing Montiel. It then paid him 1.2 million dollars in severance to shut him up. Of course, the money didn’t come out of their pockets, but the money supposedly earmarked for public housing.

They live quite well, don’t they–these vultures who masquerade as “public servants”!