Judge in DWP case: The public should know how public money is spent
DWP union boss Brian D’Arcy had his day in court Tuesday and lost. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge James Chalfant denied the request from D’Arcy and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 18, to block subpoenas issued by City Controller Ron Galperin.
Galperin is trying to audit two joint Department of Water and Power and IBEW nonprofits that have received $40 million in ratepayers funds over the last decade with virtually no public accounting for how that money was spent. The trusts are supposed to address safety and training issues for the utility’s workers.
D’Arcy has refused to turn over financial records or allowed himself to be interviewed by Galperin’s auditors. Instead he went to court.
But Chalfant said pretty much what everyone else has been saying: “This is all about knowing where your money went,’' Chalfant said, according to City News Service. “I don’t see how the city controller doesn’t have that authority.”
The judge also included a justified dig at DWP managers for providing no supervision and exerting little control over the nonprofits’ spending.
“This failure is serious and has resulted in well-warranted public scrutiny as to how $40 million of public funds was spent,” Chalfant wrote, according to The Times.
I would add that the failure should also extend to the previous mayors and council members who voted to fund the trusts and ignored news reports from nearly a decade ago that raised concern about nonprofits’ lack of transparency.
But that was a different time for D’Arcy. He backed Antonio Villaraigosa over incumbent James Hahn and then enjoyed a close relationship with the new mayor. In the last election, however, D’Arcy and IBEW supported Garcetti’s opponent and this time the new mayor made DWP reform a top priority and pledged to take on the IBEW’s entrenched power within the utility.
The question now is whether D’Arcy will continue his fight against Galperin’s audit and against revealing how public money was spent despite the judge’s ruling and the city’s political leaders’ unwillingness to yield on this one. The answer, unfortuntately, is most likely yes.
Must-read headlines from L.A. to CA:
Aspiring L.A. firefighters feel cheated by aborted hiring program, Los Angeles Times
Some applicants who advanced to the final stages of the yearlong vetting say Mayor Garcetti’s decision to scrap the process is unfair to them.
Latest Republican Effort to Defund HSR Fails, California High Speed Rail Blog
This is becoming an annual ritual for the Assembly – Republicans try to defund HSR and Democrats refuse. It’s a good sign that Assembly Democrats remain strongly supportive of the HSR project, and they have consistently been better on HSR than their Senate Democratic counterparts.
Kashkari unveils jobs plan he says would ‘unleash’ the private sector, Los Angeles Times
The GOP candidate for governor calls for corporate tax breaks, fracking of some oil deposits and reduced regulations on business.
War of words erupts over Fourth of July event, Los Angeles Times
L.A. Councilman Bernard C. Parks accuses colleague Curren Price of trying to cut Parks out of a Fourth of July fireworks show Parks founded more than 10 years ago.
MAP: The 102 Los Angeles medical marijuana dispensaries closed since Proposition D, Los Angeles Daily News
A cure for the common opinion
Get thought-provoking perspectives with our weekly newsletter.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.