Los Angeles Firefighter Earned $360,010 with overtime pay, LA City Audit Discovers

Los Angeles City Hall
Los Angeles City Hall

A new City of Los Angeles audit has revealed the impact of city employees’ overtime pay. Of particular note are 18 sworn LAFD employees who each earned more than $200,000 in overtime pay last year and 11 civilian employees who each earned more than $100,000 in overtime; including one firefighter who earned $360,010 in just overtime pay.

According to an audit released Wednesday by City Controller Ron Galperin, of the currently active police and firefighters employed by the city, over 91 percent received overtime in the fiscal year 2019, earning an average of $27,737 per employee.

Civilians and a small number of sworn employees, excluding LAFD and LAPD, accounted for 23 percent of the City’s overtime pay, but well under half the employees in those departments earned over time and those that did collect $7,528 on average. 

City Controller Galperin remarked in his report:

“Although my office concluded that departments properly approved and substantiated the majority of sworn and civilian over time, there is clearly a need for better oversight and regulation to improve staffing, protect City employees from burnout and fatigue, and ensure that taxpayer funds are spent effectively.”

The audit, consisting of 17 pages in total, did not analyze overtime pay at the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, but did note that overtime pay has also risen for Los Angeles City’s Sanitation department by “roughly 2 million year-over-year, from $12.5 million in FY ‘14-15 to $19.6 million in FY ‘18-19.” 

The report found that out of the city’s total payroll of $4.3 billion, 10.9% or $470 million was overtime earned and paid.

At present, the audit has been given to Mayor Eric Garcetti, City Attorney Michael Nelson Feuer, and the Los Angeles City Council’s office for review, comments, and consideration.