Who is watching cash-register politics in the second largest city in America? No one, judging by the size of the city’s perpetual scandals, including massive over-billing problems and sweet heart deals at the City’s Department of Water and Power.
The indifference of public officials to Angelenos’ made us angry. That’s why we’ve created LA Watchdog: to expose, confront and change the corruption at City Hall and DWP.
What got us going was how LADWP stumbled ineptly through a massive overbilling scandal, threats to shut off the power of innocent victims, and sweetheart deals to settle the dispute. Consumer Watchdog jumped into the fray to publicize the stories of consumers harmed by the utility’s callous disregard. By exposing DWP’s outrageous conduct, Consumer Watchdog opened Angelenos eyes to a self-dealing DWP power-grab initiative on the November 2016 ballot, Measure RRR, which went down to defeat.
LA Watchdog will expose DWP outrages and other corruption in Los Angeles government and work to fix them.
Santa Monica, CA — The Board of Water and Power Commissioners for LADWP has put on its agenda a Tuesday vote to transfer nearly $242 million from “surplus” power rates — overcharges to ratepayers — to fill a hole in the city budget without voter approval at the ballot box.
Consumer Watchdog said such a so-called “transfer fee” should be illegal under Prop 26, which requires voter approval for such fees because they are really taxes.
Mayor Eric Garcetti just sold out Los Angeles by pushing through the Delta Tunnels. Two of his five appointees to the Metropolitan Water District (MWD), the giant water wholesaler for the region, voted yes on diverting water from the Sacramento River under the San Francisco Bay Delta to the South, helping to ensure an overwhelming majority vote.
Santa Monica, CA — Consumer Watchdog, Food & Water Watch, DWP ratepayers and other advocacy groups rally today in front of City Hall to urge the Los Angeles City Council to fire DWP ratepayer advocate Fred Pickel for selling out ratepayers instead of protecting their interests.
“Pickel is an energy consultant whose bread has always been buttered by utilities," said Consumer Advocate Liza Tucker. "He has taken every opportunity to support LADWP while disregarding ratepayers and providing dismal customer service.
Los Angeles, CA -- The Los Angeles City Council should reject a recommendation by Fred Pickel, Director of the Office of Public Accountability at the LADWP, that the city back tunnels altering water diversions South from the San Francisco Bay Delta, and should fire him for once again favoring utility over ratepayer interests, Consumer Watchdog said today.
“Pickel’s assertions that the Delta tunnel project is affordable for ratepayers is pure fantasy,” said Consumer Watchdog Advocate Liza Tucker.
Santa Monica, CA---Consumer Watchdog today urged City Council President Herb Wesson to name a consumer advocate to the citizens’ committee that will nominate the next ratepayer advocate at the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. DWP’s first ratepayer advocate, Fred Pickel, is a power industry insider and former consultant to Enron who has failed ratepayers by consistently putting DWP’s interests above consumers, said the group.
Santa Monica, CA -- Consumer Watchdog wrote Mayor Eric Garcetti today that last-minute revisions to a DWP ratepayer overbilling settlement now boost attorneys’ fees 46 percent to $19 million from $13 million, but shortchange ratepayers who should be paid interest on refunds owed them for three years.