Times investigation: Controversy at the L.A. Department of Water & Power

<b>Times investigation: </b>Controversy at the L.A. Department of Water & Power
Lawyers call DWP billing settlement 'half-baked,' urge court to reject

Attorneys representing several Los Angeles residents who sued the Department of Water and Power over the disastrous rollout of its new billing system are balking at a proposed settlement that the utility reached in a separate lawsuit over inflated and erroneous bills, calling it ¿half-baked.¿

DWP nonprofits slow to make reforms called for in city audit

Months after promising swift reforms, leaders of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power have done little to change practices at two utility nonprofit trusts accused by auditors of ¿cavalier¿ spending after receiving more than $40 million in ratepayer money, records show.

Head of DWP apologizes to Mayor Garcetti for criticizing audit of nonprofits

The head of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power offered an unusual public apology to Mayor Eric Garcetti and other officials Tuesday, saying her

DWP trusts paid for steak dinners, trips to Hawaii, Las Vegas, audits find

A pair of nonprofit trusts, created by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and financed with more than $40 million from ratepayers, doled out millions to vendors without competitive bids and let a handful of highly-paid managers use trust-issued credit cards to buy gas for their personal vehicles and travel without filing expense reports, a city audit reported Thursday.

  • First & Spring
Lawsuits threaten DWP payments to city

DWP still struggling with fallout from billing fiasco

Lois Gass didn't realize it at the time, but when she and thousands of other Los Angeles residents saw their utility bills suddenly rocket out of control, her

Four L.A. residents file class-action suits over DWP billing errors

At least four Los Angeles residents have sued the Department of Water and Power alleging that the utility overbilled them and made other errors during the rollout of a new computer billing system.

6,000 DWP customers still don't have up-to-date bills, executive says

Nearly a year after the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power installed a faulty new billing system, customers are still plagued with billing issues and lengthy wait times when they call with problems, utility executives said Wednesday. The DWP General Manager Marcie Edwards told the City Council's Energy and Environment Committee there are still 6,000 customers who have not received a bill in about 7 months and are in line to get a big cumulative bill down the road.

L.A. lawmakers name conditions for paying $4 million to DWP trusts

Five Los Angeles lawmakers are proposing that the city provide a $4 million payment that is due to two controversial nonprofits affiliated with the Department of Water and Power only after city auditors are given ¿unfettered access¿ to their records and a long list of other conditions are met. For months, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 18 has been locked in a legal battle with the city over transparency at the nonprofit trusts, which are run jointly by labor and management-appointed trustees.

DWP nonprofits ordered to recognize Garcetti allies as trustees

A Superior Court judge is ordering two Los Angeles Department of Water and Power nonprofits to recognize trustees allied with Mayor Eric Garcetti, the latest twist in an enduring saga over the details of their spending. The mayor's office heralded the decision as a victory. "With today's ruling, DWP trustees can take their seat at the table to make sure ratepayer money is not misspent," Garcetti spokesman Jeff Millman said in a written statement.

L.A. asks for court-appointed receiver to take over DWP nonprofits

L.A. city leaders sue to have a court-appointed receiver take control of two Department of Water and Power-affiliated nonprofits.

DWP union chief warns L.A. officials not to withhold trust payment

Union chief Brian D'Arcy warns L.A. officials not to halt a payment to Department of Water and Power-affiliated nonprofits

Downtown L.A. streets blocked for union demonstration at DWP building

Union workers protest attempts by city leaders to examine records of nonprofits linked to Department of Water and Power

DWP to refund late charges to customers who pay off bills in full

The LADWP is refunding all 2014 late payment charges to customers who pay off their bills in June.

Wall Street rating service dings plan for DWP from LA 2020 panel

A credit rating service gave an unfavorable review this week to a recently released proposal for reworking oversight of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. Moody¿s Investors Service said the Los Angeles 2020 Commission¿s recommendation for creating a full-time Los Angeles Utility Rate Commission would be a ¿credit negative¿ for the DWP, the nation¿s largest municipally owned utility. The change would add ¿another level of complexity¿ to the city¿s procedure for hiking water and electricity rates, the rating service warned.

Judge in DWP case: The public should know how public money is spent

A judge denied the request from the IBEW to block subpoenas to find out about $40 million two nonprofits received.

Judge signals he will order DWP union to turn over financial records

A Los Angeles judge signaled Tuesday that he intends to order Department of Water and Power union chief Brian D'Arcy to turn over financial information showing how two nonprofit trusts he co-directs used $40 million in ratepayer money.

Judge may order DWP to turn over nonprofits' records

The two trusts have collected $40 million in ratepayer funds, but union chief Brian D'Arcy is fighting a subpoena demanding files on expenditures.

Garcetti says 'mandate' to reform DWP goes beyond recent billing woes

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said Tuesday that he was bent on writing ¿a new chapter¿ for the Department of Water and Power with the help of its new leader Marcie Edwards -¿ a task that goes beyond cleaning up its woebegone billing system, he argued. In the race that led to his election, ¿Los Angeles voters really gave me a mandate to reform the DWP,¿ Garcetti told a roomful of business leaders and reporters Tuesday. Even his own father -- one-time Dist. Atty. Gil Garcetti -- had complained to him about being on hold with the agency for more than 40 minutes, the mayor said.

Legislative committee orders audit of troubled LADWP billing system

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power will undergo a state audit of its troubled computer billing system after a committee of state lawmakers voted Wednesday to examine what went wrong. The state audit, proposed last month by Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra (D-Pacoima), will scrutinize the rollout, costs and fallout of the system that sent erroneous and inflated bills to some customers.

Garcetti hoping for changes at DWP under new chief Marcie Edwards

Mayor says reforms will go beyond fixing the billing system and that rate increases would be hard to sell unless public confidence is restored.

DWP makes little progress on phone call delays

A utility website shows that callers wait an average of 29 minutes for customer service, an improvement of two minutes over November, when officials promised to fix the system.

Facing $300-million shortfall, DWP resumes automatic bill collections

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power resumed sending out automatic notices to customers who are short on their bills this week, months after halting the practice amid alarm over erroneous charges. The effort is meant to help mop up a revenue shortfall of more than $300 million.

L.A. City Council approves Anaheim's Marcie Edwards as new head of DWP

The Los Angeles City Council confirmed Marcie Edwards as the new general manager of the Department of Water and Power on Friday, tapping the Anaheim city manager to take the helm of the municipal utility as it grapples with ongoing controversies. Edwards, who was recommended for the $345,000-a-year job last month by Mayor Eric Garcetti, previously ran Anaheim¿s utility and worked at the DWP for more than two decades beforehand -- beginning with the job of clerk typist, which she took at the age of 19.

State lawmaker presses for audit of troubled DWP billing system

An L.A.-area lawmaker wants a state audit to determine how a error-ridden billing system was rolled out at the city Department of Water and Power.

Garcetti names new DWP head, dismisses senior official

The mayor appoints Anaheim City Manager Marcie Edwards to lead the agency and announces administrative leave for Aram Benyamin, a close ally of IBEW executive Brian D'Arcy.

District attorney joins battle over DWP nonprofit spending records

An official said the agency is 'participating in an effort to obtain the records and determine whether a crime has been committed.'

DWP union boss subpoenaed over nonprofit spending of ratepayer money

Los Angeles police served the leader of the biggest union at the city Department of Water and Power with a subpoena on Friday for records on the spending of millions of dollars in ratepayer money by two secretive nonprofits that he co-manages. At the same time, Mayor Eric Garcetti took exception to union leader Brian D¿Arcy¿s reported threat that he would sue the DWP¿s general manager personally if he disclosed the nonprofits¿ spending records.

DWP chief Ron Nichols resigns as controversies mount

Unable to account for trusts' spending of $40 million and enmeshed in a flap over billing errors, general manager Ron Nichols is stepping aside