KOREATOWN (CBSLA.com) — The battle between the City of Los Angeles and the union representing workers from the Department of Water and Power over audit documents is far from over.
The business manager of IBEW Local 18 Thursday posted documents online he hoped would settle the controversy about how millions of rate-payer dollars were used on a training institute and a safety institute.
But KCAL9’s Dave Bryan reports the move has been rejected by city officials, who have been pushing hard for the financial details since it was revealed DWP-related trusts have received $43 million in rate-payer funds since their founding more than a decade ago.
Brian D’Arcy, whose local union represents more than 8,500 DWP workers, addressed the hotly-contested financial documents in an op-ed piece published Thursday by the L.A. Times.
“I have decided to release online… a new and comprehensive audit report,” D’Arcy wrote, in what he called a gesture of transparency.
“This audit should dispel any doubt about how the trusts are spending their money… I fully expect this will confirm that there has been no wrongdoing whatsoever,” D’Arcy continued.
But when City Controller Ron Galperin went over the documents, he found there was nothing new his department had not seen before.
“This is just a rehash of the same thing, and it may be an attempt to look like they’re being transparent, but it’s nowhere near transparency at all,” Galperin said.
City Attorney Mike Feuer said the documents posted by D’Arcy are a summary – not complete audit results – and do nothing to determine whether the money was spent properly or not.
“It raises questions in addition to answering very little,” Feuer said.
“It notes $175,000 was spent on travel, without testifying how spending that money advanced the cause of worker safety and worker training.”
The controller says, for example, he found big dollars being spent on salaries and benefits for a few administrative employees, raising further questions.
“This is for basically two administrators, one clerk typist and a management analyst that is shared between the two trusts. So basically, we’re talking about three-and-a-half people, and those three-and-a-half people came to more than $1 million, just for the last year,” Galperin said.
A spokesperson for Mayor Garcetti echoed Galperin’s comments, saying the documents posted Thursday are “insufficient.”
“A summary is not good enough. The city has a right to follow the money, and that’s why we are seeking a public accounting of individual expenditures by the trusts,” Garcetti’s spokesperson Jeff Millman said.
The city attorney said he would continue to defend subpoenas for the audit documents.
“The rate-payers of our city are entitled to know how public funds were spent, and it’s about time the controller was allowed to do its job,” Feuer said.
A spokesperson for the union has not responded to multiple requests from KCAL9 for an interview.