In the last two years, Los Angeles Police Chief William Bratton has used more than $1 million in grants to hire longtime friends and former business associates as consultants, and refuses to tell the City Council exactly what work was performed, the Los Angeles Times reports. Bratton says he doesn’t have to disclose much information because the money came through a private foundation. Because the council was obligated to accept the grants formally, members say they have a right to know the details.
The money came from the Los Angeles Police Foundation, a private, tax-exempt nonprofit established in 1998 by then-Chief Bernard C. Parks. It raises money from millionaires and other major donors as well as from small contributors who attend foundation fundraisers. The Bratton consultants – all experienced law enforcement experts – were paid, in some cases retroactively, for work that included offering advice on applying for state and federal grants and implementing a computerized crime-tracking system. “I’d like to see the tangible results of that consultant work,” said former Councilwoman Cindy Miscikowski. “If there is private consultant work going on with the Police Department, I think the public would benefit from knowing what that involves.”