"Fleishman-Hillard treated the ratepayers of Los Angeles like a cash cow, milking them for millions," said city controller Laura Chick. Chick's audit of Fleishman-Hillard's work for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power concludes the PR firm overcharged the city $4.2 million over 5 years, through "unsubstantiated, unsupported and questionable" billings. Fleishman-Hillard, whose regional head "acknowledged for the first time in public Tuesday that some of the firm's bills were not supported," contends the overcharging amounts to $652,457. Mayor James Hahn has been criticized for his relationship with Fleishman-Hillard; the firm "provided free public relations advice to the mayor's office worth tens of thousands of dollars."
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