The ordinarily pliant Los Angeles City Council rose up in revolt this month when it rejected Mayor James K. Hahn’s proposed $5.1 billion budget imposed its own version.
The Council was motivated in part by personal pique, reports the Los Angeles Times. The mayor’s brash police chief, William J. Bratton, former New York City police commissioner, had accused Council members of being “missing in action” in the fight against crime by refusing to allocate $30 million as part of the new budget for the hiring of 320 new police officers.
Bratton infuriated the Council by suggesting it was jeopardizing the safety of citizens and leaving police officers vulnerable by not supporting the hiring plan. He said that by its actions the Council was inviting Osama bin Laden to attack Los Angeles. Bratton’s personal letters of apology to all 15 members of the Council did not salve the wound.