City officials are reviewing whether a rule that blocks full-time employees from holding other jobs applies to newly elected City Treasurer Rafi Manoukian.
Manoukian, who left his council seat early after winning the treasurer post, holds a second job as chief operating officer of Ameria Group, an Armenian advisory and financial services provider.
Councilman Ara Najarian is calling on City Atty. Mike Garcia to enforce the rule, which exempts outside employment approved by the city manager. For his part, Garcia told council members at a meeting this week that he would “follow up immediately” with a written memo.
This isn’t the first time Najarian has tried to reference obscure city rules to force Manoukian out of his seat. Last month, he brought up a revolving-door policy that stops City Council members from being employed by the city for two years. Garcia, though, said the rule doesn’t apply to elected officials.
In this latest spat, Najarian said the city attorney isn’t enforcing the municipal code that blocks double employment because of his ties to Manoukian, who was Garcia’s boss as a council member.
“Why isn’t Mike [Garcia] going after [Manoukian] like anyone else? I don’t want to make a big deal out of this. I just think he should play by the rules,” Najarian said.
Manoukian, meanwhile, is accusing Najarian of trying to push him out of the treasurer’s position because he didn’t support him during the last election.
“It’s political payback,” Manoukian said. “I don’t work for the city manager or the city attorney. I work for the community.
“I’m not going to abandon everything because I got elected.”
Manoukian worked for Ameria Group before he was elected. While his biography on the city’s website says he is the chief financial officer of USArmenia TV, Manoukian said he left that post more than a year ago.
The city treasurer can make $125,916 a year, according to the city’s salary schedule posted May 1.