Guide to the 2022 race for L.A. city controller

Candidates for L.A. city controller
Candidates for Los Angeles city controller, clockwise from top left, Paul Koretz, Stephanie Clements, Reid Lidow, J. Carolan O’Gabhann, Kenneth Mejia and David Vahedi.

Six candidates are vying to succeed Los Angeles City Controller Ron Galperin in a race that is turning in part on who is best equipped to provide oversight of a City Hall beset in recent years by corruption scandals.

Metro’s free ride program will run from midnight to 11:59 p.m. Tuesday. It also has placed ballot drop boxes at many locations, including Union Station.

June 3, 2022

The candidates


Here is the latest fundraising from the L.A. Ethical Commission.


The job

The controller’s office has more than 160 employees. According to the city, the controller is responsible for “serving as the auditor and chief accounting officer of the city. The controller is required to exercise general supervision over the accounts of all officers and departments of the city, including the independent departments of Airports, Water and Power and Harbor. Under the charter all city payments must be approved by the city controller. The controller also prepares the official financial reports for the city and is responsible for financial and performance audits of all city departments and programs.”

The race

A series of corruption scandals has rocked City Hall, and each candidate says they are the best choice to provide better oversight and watchdogging. But politics also loom large. Mejia, known for his eye-catching graphics and billboards featuring his pet corgi, is a longtime proponent of reducing police budgets. Koretz, a longtime ally of the city’s employee unions, says he supports more money for the LAPD. Meanwhile, Clements says she will call out expensive salary agreements negotiated by Koretz and his colleagues. The candidates have also talked about providing more transparency on city spending, scrutinizing no-bid contracts and weeding out waste and fraud.

Six candidates are seeking to replace City Controller Ron Galperin at City Hall, which has been buffeted by FBI probes into council members, political aides and others.

June 3, 2022

On the south side of Los Angeles City Hall, several floors above Mayor Eric Garcetti’s office and the homeless people who nap on the lawn, a quote from the Roman statesman Cicero is chiseled into the face of the building.

Feb. 9, 2019

An auditor in the L.A. controller’s office says the city failed to protect her when she started investigating controversial water department contracts.

Sept. 5, 2019

Can you imagine an easier job than being a federal investigator assigned to L.A. City Hall, where a pay-to-play culture has been entrenched for years?

June 23, 2020

A former L.A. deputy mayor worked to arrange ‘indirect bribes’ for city officials by routing money through officials’ family members, prosecutors allege.

May 2, 2021

Candidate Kenneth Mejia says his deleted tweets from 2020 are a “non-story.” As June 7 nears, his opponents are attacking him over his political messaging.

April 22, 2022

Reading from other publications

Controller candidates present policy positions
(Daily Bruin)

Controller’s race heats up
(Daily News)

Who’s running for city controller?