The day before Glendale Water & Power General Manager Glenn Steiger resigned on Wednesday, city officials were investigating a case of possible double-billing based on expense receipts he submitted to another public agency, according to records and interviews.
Steiger and city officials on Wednesday said his resignation was based on personal reasons that they declined to elaborate on.
But on Tuesday, city Human Resources Director Matt Doyle emailed the Southern California Public Power Authority for expense reports Steiger submitted for a March conference he attended on behalf of the authority, where he served as president, according to records obtained through a public records request.
On Wednesday, the authority's executive director, Bill Carnahan, said in an interview that Glendale officials “did mention to me that there was a concern there may be double-billing.” The implication is that Steiger's expenses may have been reimbursed by both the city and the authority for the same conference.
According to documents provided by the SCPPA, Steiger submitted receipts for the conference in Monterey that totaled $1,164.02 for lodging, parking and mileage expenses.
According to the city's latest schedule, the salary for utility's general manager, not including benefits, ranges between $179,508 and $224,388.
Carnahan said it was the first time Glendale officials had asked to review expense reports submitted to the agency.
In his email, Doyle asked Carnahan to “treat this matter with the utmost degree of confidentiality.”
The next day, Steiger resigned from the city and his position as president of the Southern California Public Power Authority, citing personal reasons.
When asked about the double-billing issue later that day in a phone interview, Steiger said it was “just a rumor.”
The city's spokesman, Tom Lorenz, declined to comment Thursday on the double-billing issue, referring instead to earlier reasons given for Steiger's decision.
“He's resigned and he's resigned for personal reasons,” Lorenz said.
Steiger, 63, championed new technology during his tenure and was a key figure in bringing $70 million worth of so-called smart meters to the city. Despite budget challenges facing Glendale Water & Power, city officials hailed Steiger for his leadership the utility after the announcement of his resignation.
For the Record, May 24, 8:35 p.m.: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated Steiger would have been eligible for the city's early retirement option.
Steiger's departure comes roughly two months after the City Council approved raising water rates over the next four years to lift the water side of the utility out of an estimated $21-million budget hole.
Steiger has told the council that the utility also needs to raise electricity rates and issue tens of millions of dollars' worth of bonds to prevent laying off 85 employees.