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SoCal Connected: Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (HACLA)

Just in from the “maybe the weighty people at the VNC will try and shut down KCET next!” department:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: A SOCAL CONNECTED “SHOW ME THE MONEY” –A SIX MONTH INVESTIGATION EXPOSES ANOTHER CITY AGENCY GONE WILD ALL NEW EPISODE AIRING MARCH 24 AT 9:00 PM

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Los Angeles – March 22, 2011 –This week, the SoCal Connected team takes a hard look at the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (HACLA). This billion dollar agency is responsible for providing shelter for LA’s most vulnerable residents, but as our investigation shows, some of that money is being used to pay for the frills and perks of top staff.

We’ve spent six months reviewing documents of HACLA’s leaders and you may be shocked at where the taxpayer dollars are being spent. Fancy trips, four hundred dollar lunches, shopping sprees are all being paid with the public money, money that is supposed to be helping LA’s poorest people. But that may be just the beginning of the story.

At the center of the controversy is the housing agency’s chief executive, Rudolf “Rudy” Montiel, just relieved of his job and put on administrative leave, who received an employment package worth $450,000 with bonuses.

Our exclusive investigation talks with insiders who describe Montiel as a man prone to paranoia, who managed the agency by using fear as a weapon. That management style seems to be costing taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars in lawsuits as you will see in our story.

When we spoke to Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA), senior member of the Committee on Finance, about our investigation into Rudy Montiel, Grassley told SoCal Connected,” How outrageous that is…He’s probably doing better than a drug kingpin.”

Tune-in to the SoCal Connected Special Investigation “Show me the Money,” where correspondent Laurel Erickson will expose the financial skeletons of the housing authority and the leader some have dubbed “The Junketeer,” airing Thursday, March 24th at 9:00 p.m.

Online at kcet.org/socalconnected, you will find additional resources and episodes available on-demand.

“Show me the Money…The Junketeer” is reported by Laurel Erickson and produced by Karen Foshay. Executive Producer of SoCal Connected is Bret Marcus. Co-Executive Producer is Justine Schmidt. The anchor is Val Zavala.

SoCal Connected, winner of the Peabody and duPont-Columbia awards, 11 Emmy® Awards, 15 Golden Mikes, 18 LA Press Club Awards, the Edward R. Murrow Award for Best News Documentary and Los Angeles Magazine’s “Best New Local TV Program” of 2009, airs Thursdays (9:00 – 9:30 p.m.) with encores on Fridays (8:30 – 9:00 p.m.), Saturdays (6:00 – 6:30 p.m.), and Sundays (6:30 – 7:00 p.m.) exclusively on KCET. For more information, to view episodes online or to post comments, please visit www.kcet.org/socalconnected.

SoCal Connected is made possible through the generous support of The Ahmanson Foundation, serving the Los Angeles community since 1952; Jim and Anne Rothenberg; The Maddocks-Brown Foundation; The Elizabeth Hofert-Dailey Trust; The John Randolph Haynes & Dora Haynes Foundation; Akaloa Resource Foundation, The City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, UCLA and U.S. Bank.

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