I had lunch with Los Angeles Unified School District Supt. David Brewer earlier this year at a restaurant near downtown Los Angeles and almost choked. Not on the food, but the prices.
I wasn’t that hungry, fortunately, so I had the Chinese chicken salad, which cost an eye-popping $28.95. Brewer wasn’t famished either, so he just had an appetizer, the crab cakes, and those ran $16.95.
Over lunch, he defended himself against widespread criticism that he was the wrong man for the job and had been a big disappointment. But instead of talking about students, he went on and on about building a “matrix” system and “vertical” as well as “horizontal articulation.” By the end of it I had an expensive stomachache.
The L.A. Times picked up the tab, but Brewer had chosen the restaurant and he seemed to know his way around there, so I started wondering if his tastes always ran so high-end. To find out, I called the school district and requested all of his expense reports dating back to his hiring in 2006.
When the documents arrived, much of the information had been blacked out. Why? Because several high-level officials use the same credit card account, I was told, and I hadn’t asked for their expenses; only Brewer’s.