City considers payout to fired official
Los Angeles officials have quietly begun talks over paying a financial settlement to Gloria Jeff, the head of the Department of Transportation fired by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa two weeks ago, council members said Thursday.
Council members said they want to avoid an ugly public confrontation with Jeff, who has asked the council to overturn her firing. Councilman Bernard C. Parks, one of Jeff’s backers, has begun serving as a go-between for Jeff’s lawyers and City Atty. Rocky Delgadillo.
The mayor has no opinion on a financial settlement for Jeff, a spokesman said.
The city has been building a precedent over the last two years by providing consulting work to departing department heads, regardless of whether they have been fired.
In December 2005, the City Council provided a $50,000 consulting contract to Animal Services chief Guerdon Stuckey after the mayor fired him.
Months later, the city gave a $25,000 consulting job to Clifford Graves, the departing head of the Community Development Department.
Earlier this year, the head of Los Angeles World Airports, Lydia Kennard, left and quickly received a consulting contract worth $200,000 annually. Kennard ended that contract early, leaving to join the board of directors of a contractor for the airports agency.
Last month, the city provided a $60,000 consulting contract to Ellis Stanley, who left his job as general manager of the city’s Emergency Preparedness Department.