LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Mayor Eric Garcetti announced Thursday that the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power will create an Office of Inspector General in an effort to improve accountability and transparency at the utility.
“Accountability and transparency are crucial to running a public utility that Angelenos can count on and trust,” Garcetti said in a statement. “An inspector general at the DWP will help us make certain that the organization is always working to uphold the highest standards of integrity and improve customer confidence.”
Garcetti said the office will be part of LADWP’s senior leadership team and would handle contracting oversight, ethics and whistleblower complaints. The office will also have the power to initiate new investigations and oversee the department’s Internal Audit Division, Special Investigations Unit and ethics compliance staff.
The move came after agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation raided LADWP headquarters in July that was part of a probe into how the city handled a settlement over the botched roll-out of a new billing system that led to multiple cases of massive over billing.
The LADWP settled with ratepayers for $67 million.
Garcetti said that the creation of the office will be overseen by Dan Schnur, former chairman of the California Fair Political Practices Commission, who will conduct a 90-day review of the utility’s internal processes, and provide recommendations.