IF the response to the fires raging though Southern California showed government at its best, L.A.’s settlement with Gloria Jeff showed it at its worst. Jeff, the former general manager of the Los Angeles Department of Transportation, hired high-profile attorney Gloria Allred after the mayor showed her the door. Together they shook down the city for $95,000, while never showing she was unjustly terminated. These payoffs are setting a bad precedent that the city rewards incompetence with a sweet goodbye gift. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa wimped out when it came to voting on the payout. After hearing complaints about Jeff from nearly every City Council member and seeing the lack of progress in finding traffic solutions, the mayor acted decisively. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.But then the same council members whined publicly that Jeff wasn’t treated fairly, and put the mayor in an impossible position with the specter of race hanging over the issue since Jeff is an African-American. Her claim against the city went to a three-person claims board, which consisted of a representative of the council, the Mayor’s Office and the city attorney. Councilman Bernard Parks naturally stood up for Jeff and City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo’s representative as usual was happy to settle. They came up with the $95,000 figure to keep the payment under the $100,000 level that would have made the full council take up the issue. Even though it would have made no difference in the outcome, the mayor should have stood up for his decision and personally voted against the settlement. The end result is that once again City Hall has shown its utter contempt for taxpayers, its indifference to public policy and its utter disregard for standards in the workplace.