Now that every Oscar attendee has been freed from Spanx hell and the self-aggrandizing celebrity beatoff ceremony has come to a close, we can return to discussion of who's hot in Los Angeles and who is a wet pile of poorly performing public duties. Hot off the presses: the LAFD has been sleeping on the job.
In an independent report published by PA Consulting and in response to public mistrust of the Los Angeles Fire Department, it was revealed that 24 percent of LAFD firefighters were sons or nephews of other Los Angeles firefighters. As the Los Angeles Times reported last week:
Mayor Eric Garcetti's office called for an investigation into the recruitment process. Interim Chief Jim Featherstone also reassigned two commanders after he found they oversaw a recruitment process that allowed their own sons to advance while thousands of other applicants were eliminated. The criteria: the applicants did not turn in paperwork during a 60-second window.
LAFD firefighters can earn up to $143,000 a year, with $43,000 of that sum being found in overtime alone. As for diversity in the department, the numbers are grim. As of 2013, about 11 percent of LA firefighters are black; 31 percent are Latino; and 50 percent are white; only 3 percent of the force are women. Last year, the LAFD put out a call to "diversify," after which they hired fewer than 1 percent of a 13,000 people applicant pool, probably saving spots of their cousins.
Interim Fire Chief Jim Featherstone says he's working on it.
"I am committed to enacting meaningful and effective changes to the structure and operations of the Los Angeles Fire Department, in order to continue providing the highest quality emergency medical and fire protection services to the citizens we serve."
L.A. councilman Mitchell Englander, when speaking on the nepotism in the department, took the words right out of our mouths.
"The numbers are so high," he said. "It's my suspicion that where there's smoke, there's fire."