The "questionable use" of federal job training funds by the Private Industry Council has prompted the state Senate Committee on Industrial Relations to schedule a special oversight hearing in Los Angeles, Sen. Bill Greene (D-Los Angeles) said Wednesday.
Greene, who is chairman of the committee, said he intends to question city officials and Private Industry Council representatives about reports in The Times that federal job training funds were mishandled. Under the federal Job Training Partnership Act, the Private Industry Council and the city jointly funnel $42 million a year to local employment agencies.
"We are going to be looking into the total administration and total operation," Greene said. "We are going to walk them right down the line with all their programs, the cost and the number of people in them."
Distribution of Federal Funds
Greene's committee oversees the distribution of federal job training funds to California cities. The daylong hearing is scheduled to be held Jan. 22 in the Museum of Science and Industry in Exposition Park.
On Wednesday, Mayor Tom Bradley said in an interview that he will dismiss most members of the troubled Private Industry Council and replace them with top business executives. In addition, Bradley will urge the City Council to eliminate the agency's $1.1-million budget, forcing the Private Industry Council to close its office and lay off its 12 staff members, according to City Hall sources.
City Hall sources said Wednesday that the PIC staff members will be given temporary jobs with the city for at least six months. Some employees will have an opportunity to take Civil Service exams and qualify for permanent jobs, the sources said.
He Was 'Dumbfounded'
The president of the Private Industry Council, Dominick J. Ramos, resigned under pressure, effective April 30, after reports that he had mishandled a $160,000 marketing contract, pressured his employees to make political contributions and lied on his resume.
Greene said he was "dumbfounded" to learn that Ramos earns $76,572 a year and is furnished with a Lincoln Continental.
"Something of that nature is just totally unheard of," Greene said. "I think most people thought we had gotten rid of that kind of judgment when the poverty programs faded out."