Brian D’Arcy, head of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s largest employee union, is heading to court to try to fight a subpoena ordering him to explain how two nonprofits he co-manages have spent more than $40 million in ratepayer money since 2000.
D’Arcy sent a letter to City Controller Ron Galperin and City Atty. Mike Feuer on Friday announcing his intention to ask a judge to stay enforcement of the subpoena, which was issued last week. D’Arcy’s lawyer has asked for a court hearing Tuesday morning.
Galperin was not surprised by the move, said spokeswoman Suzy Jack. “But he is disappointed at the continued efforts to stonewall and waste time and taxpayer resources, when [the union] should just come clean,” Jack said.
“We anticipated this all along, and we will be ready,” Feuer said.
City officials have been trying to find out where the $40 million went since The Times reported in September that DWP and union officials, who jointly run the nonprofits, refused to release financial records or explain what the groups have accomplished.
“The city has the right to follow the money. This is ratepayer money, and the ratepayers deserve to know exactly how it is being spent,” Mayor Eric Garcetti said.
The Joint Training Institute and the Joint Safety Institute were created after a tense round of job cuts at the city-owned utility in the late 1990s, and have received up to $4 million per year from ratepayers since. There has not been a public accounting of how the money has been spent.
As the list of public officials demanding disclosure has grown in recent months -- Mayor Eric Garcetti, Galperin, Feuer -- D’Arcy’s efforts to thwart them have intensified.
DWP General Manager Ron Nichols, who has been unable or unwilling to publicly account for the money, announced his resignation last week, a day after he spoke to city auditors about the nonprofits. Nichols said his resignation was for personal reasons.
D’Arcy had been invited to the same meeting with the auditors but did not come, prompting the subpoena.
D’Arcy did not return a call requesting comment Friday afternoon.