Malibu’s Mayor Earned $260,000 in Overtime as an LAFD Captain Last Year
On Wednesday, California County News covered a Los Angeles Times investigation into excessive overtime pay at the Los Angeles County Fire Department. As it turns out, one of the LAFD’s high overtime earners is also the mayor of L.A.’s 10th largest city.
Lau is referring to Rick Mullen, a retired U.S. Marine Corps colonel. In addition to his duties as Malibu’s mayor, he worked 6,599 billable hours as a fire captain in 2017. That’s “the equivalent of working five 24-hour shifts a week for the entire year,” notes the Times.
He said he took extra shifts in many cases voluntarily, in part to avoid being recalled to duty on days when the City Council meets.
“I’m used to working a lot,” he said, recalling his career as a military helicopter pilot, which required long hours in the air and a tour in Afghanistan.
Mullen, who supervises a team of three, said fatigue is a valid concern. But his station isn’t generally disturbed by emergency medical calls at night, allowing sleep — time for which he and other firefighters get paid — but still requiring many hours away from home.
“My wife certainly tells me that I need to be around more,” he said.
An audit of the department’s overtime costs and procedures is currently underway, but the results are not expected for another few months. According to the Times investigation, overtime costs at the LAFD have increased 36% over the past five years.
Read more here.