LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Hidden cameras caught Los Angeles Department of Water and Power employees taking big breaks on the same day the LA City Council gave preliminary approval to the department for a rate increase.
On March 2, CBS2 Investigative Reporter David Goldstein found a group of DWP employees eating breakfast at 8 a.m. — just an hour and-a-half after clocking in. They exited the diner an hour later.
The department stipulates that employees should not take breaks early in their shifts. Workers are allowed two 15-minute breaks throughout the day, and a half-hour for lunch.
Later that day, the city council voted 12-2 to give preliminary approval for the increase, under which the average customer will see a 4.76 percent annual increase over the next five years. The council gave final approval for the plan March 16. Part of the money will go towards upgrading the city’s aging pipe system.
The typical single-family household in Los Angeles could see monthly electricity bills go up a total of $12 over five years.
Goldstein found some of the same DWP workers taking another meal break just hours later, and some were also seen returning to the breakfast location on other days.
Asked whether they were supposed to be eating while on-the-clock, a worker said he had no comment.
Mayor Eric Garcetti said he has ordered the DWP to investigate the incidents.