Bond oversight committee strengthened

Struggling to respond to a state audit in Sept. which accused the Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD) of misspending millions of dollars in bond money, the board passed a measure Oct. 5 to ensure that the District Citizens’ Oversight Committee can be more proficient in their duties.

The bond program is currently under a moratorium, halting construction of more than 60 projects in the district, announced Mon. Oct. 3.

“It’s a kind of money laundering, a alchemy of funds,” said Micky Jackson, a member of the Van De Kamps Coalition. “Bond fund’s build something, and then ‘oh my goodness we can’t run it, so we’ll rent it out’ and then those bond funds are producing general fund income.”

The DCOC, which is in charge of public oversight of bond program construction, will be restaffed to fill vacant positions and meet quarterly with the board president as well as compiling an annual report.

“I think there was a sense of urgency on the part of the committee and perhaps some of the staff to begin to respond and prepare further responses to the report from the state controller,” said Mona Field, member of the Board of Trustees.

LACCD Attorney Steve Cooley also announced Wed. Oct. 5 that they will be opening an investigation into the choice made by the board to hire Christine E. Marez, founder of Policy Masters Inc., as inspector general to the bond program, according to the LA Times.