Has KCETLink’s flagship news magazine unearthed “the next Bell?” That’s the provocative sub-header question the station asks in a brief news bulletin touting this evening’s SoCal Connected look at some very questionable Compton City Council activities.
One strand relates to the short meetings council members billed for in 2012. According to reporter Laurel Erickson’s calculations, last year individuals earned $39,000 of their $55,000 annual salaries for an aggregate total of 26 hours of conferences convened for a quartet of different commissions. That works out to roughly $1,500 an hour.
The report also details $7,800 car allowances that seem out of whack with a ten-square-mile area of responsibility. Not to mention radios purchased for a police department that does not yet exist and a $3.1 million developer debt that was forgiven in 2006 as part of a complicated tit-for-tat deal. And the best part about that uncovered transaction? The developer’s attorney says his client has yet to begin repaying a different, $3.5 million part of the agreement because Compton never finished the paperwork.
Tonight’s bombshells are the result of a three-month long investigation. Helping Erickson in these efforts were producers Karen Foshay and Lata Pandya.
Erickson is a Peabody Award-winning journalist who came over to KCETLink from NBC Southern California. Rather unusually, she also currently consults to CEOs, athletes, entertainers and politicians dealing with major positive and-or negative media attention. Tonight’s 11-minute Compton expose is must-see-SoCal-TV.
[Photo of Erickson courtesy KCETLink]