L.A. Now
LOCAL L.A. Now

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

When the union representing most Los Angeles Department of Water and Power employees became the biggest spender in the 2013 mayoral race, The Times took a look at pay and benefits at the city-owned utility. Among the findings: The average DWP employee made more than $100,000 in 2012 and could take an unlimited number of paid sick days. On Jan. 9, Ron Nichols announced his resignation as the DWP's general manager after he was unable to produce records showing how two nonprofit trusts created to help improve relations with the utility's largest union have spent more than $40 million in ratepayer money over the last decade.

  • L.A. can audit controversial DWP nonprofits, appeals court rules

    L.A. can audit controversial DWP nonprofits, appeals court rules

    For more than two years, union leaders at the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power have fought a bitter legal battle to keep secret how two utility-affiliated nonprofits have spent more than $40 million in public money. On Thursday, a three-judge appeals panel dealt that effort a major blow,...

  • Judge holds off on approving DWP billing settlement amid legal feud

    Judge holds off on approving DWP billing settlement amid legal feud

    The legal fight over bloated bills from the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power will stretch into fall, after a Superior Court judge held off Friday on giving preliminary approval to a settlement that would credit or refund tens of millions of dollars to customers. The proposed deal, reached...

  • Department of Water and Power takes rate proposal to social media

    Department of Water and Power takes rate proposal to social media

    Nothing brings the Internet together like a good video. A cat dressed as a pirate? Yes, please. A bit from last night’s “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert”? Sure, why not. But videos about the structural integrity of the Department of Water and Power’s water pipes and electrical poles? Vimeo videos...

  • Lawyers call DWP billing settlement 'half-baked,' urge court to reject

    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.” The...

  • Controversial DWP nonprofits to keep $11-million 'rainy day' fund

    Controversial DWP nonprofits to keep $11-million 'rainy day' fund

    Two controversial Department of Water and Power nonprofit trusts have decided to keep more than $11 million as a “rainy day” fund, despite a city auditor’s recommendation that they spend the cash before receiving any more ratepayer money. The nonprofits, which are jointly run by DWP managers and...

  • DWP wants a rate hike, but what about Mayor Garcetti's 'mandate to reform'?

    DWP wants a rate hike, but what about Mayor Garcetti's 'mandate to reform'?

    Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti took office claiming a "clear mandate to reform" the city's Department of Water and Power, a little-loved bureaucracy that Garcetti bashed time after time on the 2013 campaign trail. Today, as the DWP — the nation's largest government-run utility — prepares to ask...

  • DWP clears a hurdle in legal fight over faulty billing system

    DWP clears a hurdle in legal fight over faulty billing system

    The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power has scored a legal victory in its case against a large consulting firm hired to rollout a multimillion-dollar billing system that produced thousands of erroneous bills. The city sued PricewaterhouseCoopers in March, alleging fraudulent inducement and...

  • Attorneys fire back in feud over proposed DWP billing settlement

    Attorneys fire back in feud over proposed DWP billing settlement

    Lawyers are feuding over a proposed deal to settle lawsuits over the bungled rollout of a new billing system at the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.  The utility was sued by several residents unhappy over receiving erroneous or inflated bills. When DWP announced a proposed settlement...

  • Behind the DWP rate hike: Where will that money really go?

    Behind the DWP rate hike: Where will that money really go?

    The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power is asking customers to pay significantly higher rates over the next five years — from 13% to 34% more — to meet a crush of environmental regulations and fund long-delayed infrastructure upgrades and renewable energy projects. But what the DWP hasn't...

  • Overcharged DWP customers would get tens of millions back under settlement

    Overcharged DWP customers would get tens of millions back under settlement

    It was hailed as a modern makeover of an aging, inefficient way to bill customers. Instead, the new system at the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power became a nightmare, spewing out thousands of faulty bills, some wildly inflated.When upset customers called the utility for help, many languished...

Loading
62°