Laura N. Chick

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Laura N. Chick
17th Los Angeles City Controller
In office
July 1, 2001 – April, 2009
Preceded by Rick Tuttle
Succeeded by Wendy Greuel
Member of the Los Angeles City Council
from the 3rd district
In office
July 1, 1993 – July 1, 2001
Preceded by Joy Picus
Succeeded by Dennis Zine
Personal details
Born 1944 (age 69–70)
Political party Democratic

Laura N. Chick (born 1944) is a longtime California political figure. Most recently she served as California's Inspector General overseeing the state's spending of $85 billion of Federal Recovery Act funding. Chick was appointed to the newly created position by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in April 2009 and the office was sunsetted at the end of 2010.

Los Angeles City Elected Offices[edit]

Chick was elected to the Los Angeles City Council from the Third District (Woodland Hills, Tarzana, Reseda, West Hills, Winnetka and Canoga Park), in 1993 and served two terms, until 2001. She defeated Joy Picus, who had served since 1977, and for whom Chick had worked as a political aide.[1][2]

In 2001, Chick was elected Los Angeles City Controller, becoming the first woman to hold citywide office in Los Angeles. As Controller, she was the Chief Auditor and Chief Accountant of the City working to ensure its fiscal health. In her nearly eight years in this office, Chick released over 170 audits and reports exposing a wide range of problems throughout city government.

In 2006, Los Angeles Magazine named Laura Chick one of the most influential people in the City. The Los Angeles Daily News editorialized, “…as City Controller, she’s often been downtown’s lone champion of good government." A Los Angeles Business Journal feature said, “Los Angeles City Controller Laura Chick has emerged as a central voice in the ongoing debate over how the City handles its contracts.” In a May, 2004 feature article, Los Angeles Magazine states, “Where others couch and evade, she is Ms. Blunt.”

One of her last audits to be released as City Controller exposed a backlog of thousands of untested DNA rape kits at the Los Angeles Police Department. Chick's report brought a national spotlight to an intolerable situation. This resulted in City officials finally making the problem a priority. Her work won her the prestigious ProPublica Prize for Investigative Governance. Chick left the City Controller's position due to term limits in 2009.

Her experience includes managing a family-owned retail business. Laura first entered elected office in 1993 when she defeated a 16-year incumbent for a seat on the Los Angeles City Council. Seven months after taking office her district was devastated by the 1994 Northridge earthquake. Chick used the crisis as an opportunity to rebuild, creating what is now a thriving redevelopment zone.

California Inspector General[edit]

Shortly after President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed Laura Chick to act as Inspector General, to provide oversight to the proper use of the federal funds.[3][4] Chick resigned her City Controller post before the end of her term to accept the state position.[5]

"Laura's impressive track record as a watchdog and public servant makes her uniquely qualified to ensure this funding is used as it was intended-to create jobs and help our state through this difficult economic time," said Governor Schwarzenegger.

The Sacramento Bee heralded Chick's arrival in the Capitol with the headline, "Misuse stimulus cash - you'll answer to her".

Chick took up the state's challenge of overseeing the massive expenditure of American Recovery funds though her Office was given very little resources. With a handful of auditors borrowed from other state departments she scrutinized local agencies across the state. Chick released nearly 30 reports uncovering misspent stimulus funds totaling millions.

Personal life[edit]

Before entering elective office at the age of 49, Chick had already been a stay-at-home mom, manager of a family-owned retail business and social worker. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in History from UCLA and a Master’s in Social Work from University of Southern California.[6] Chick moved to Kennsington, California, near Berkeley, in 2011 where she still lives.[7][8] Chick is Jewish.[9][10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Schwada, John; Jack Cheevers (1993-02-02). "Picus Rival Leading in Campaign Funds Race : City Council: Laura Chick has raised $52,000 in her bid to unseat her former boss in District 3. Raymond J. Magana leads green-paper chase in District 7.". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-03-01. 
  2. ^ Laura Chick Biography, LA City Controller
  3. ^ "Gov. Schwarzenegger Creates First-in-the-Nation Recovery Act Inspector General" (Press release). Office of the Governor. April 2009. Retrieved 2012-03-01. 
  4. ^ Reston, Maeve (2009-04-09). "L.A. Controller Laura Chick named to new state post". Retrieved 2012-03-01. 
  5. ^ Behrens, Zach (2009-04-09). "Laura Chick to Become State's Stimulus Fiscal Watchdog". laist. Retrieved 2012-03-01. 
  6. ^ Laura Chick biography, Inspector General
  7. ^ Deady, Tim (1992-04-20). "Robert Chick". AllBusiness.com. Retrieved 2012-03-01. 
  8. ^ Brodie, Leslie (2011-11-30). "2010-Laura Chick's Former Husband-Robert Chick of Lawyers’ Mutual Insurance Company-to Serve on LACERS Board of Administration". The Leslie Brodie Report. 
  9. ^ Tom Tugend (June 8, 2001). "Three Jews win races in L.A.; Jewish voters split on mayor". Jweekly. Retrieved 27 September 2013. 
  10. ^ Raphael Sonenshein (June 19, 2013). "The role of L.A.’s Jewish electorate is changing". Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles. Retrieved 27 September 2013. 

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Rick Tuttle
City Controller of Los Angeles, California
July 1, 2001 – July 1, 2009
Succeeded by
Wendy Greuel
Preceded by
Joy Picus
Member of the Los Angeles City Council
from the 3rd district

1993–2001
Succeeded by
Dennis Zine