City of LA Drops DWP Overbilling Lawsuit, Leaving Ratepayers on the Hook

Consumer Watchdog Says Sad Day For LA When FBI Has To Show Up At DWP To Deal With Billing Problems

Los Angeles, CA – Consumer  Watchdog responded to news that the FBI had served search warrants on the City Attorney and DWP by saying that it was critical that evidence was being preserved in what is likely a case of conspiracy to defraud the courts and the ratepayers.  However, the nonprofit group expressed remorse about how LA leaders handled the crisis it has exposed over the last three and one half years.

LA City Attorney Failed to Disclose $242 Million DWP-funded City Slush Fund, Says Consumer Watchdog Legal Appeal  

Los Angeles, CA – Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer supported a deceptive notice to ratepayers in a class action settlement over the transfer of hundreds of millions of dollars in what amounts to a City slush fund, according to attorneys for Consumer Watchdog.

AG Xavier Becerra Should Take Over Public Corruption Probe At City Attorney’s Office About DWP Misbilling & Fraud That Led To Two Resignations

Los Angeles, CA --  Consumer Watchdog has called upon Attorney General Xavier Becerra to take over a public corruption investigation at the LA City Attorney's Office involving a conspiracy by just-resigned special counsels who colluded in a conspiracy to defraud ratepayers of relief in an LADWP mis-billing lawsuit.

Public Corruption At City Attorney’s Office Over DWP Misbilling, Self-Dealing & Fraud Leads To Two Resignations

Los Angeles, CA —  Consumer Watchdog has called upon City Attorney Mike Feuer to fully respond to revelations in LA Superior Court that his top attorneys and special counsels colluded in a conspiracy to defraud ratepayers of relief in an LADWP mis-billing lawsuit.

Former Enron Consultant To Be Reappointed As DWP Ratepayer Representative Without Job Review

Los Angeles, CA – Consumer Watchdog called the City Council’s vote to reappoint Fred Pickel as the head of the DWP’s Office of Public Accountability without a job review a power play and public disgrace that will leave them without a voice. Mayor Garcetti  will still have the opportunity to reject Pickel.

Watchdog Calls Garcetti Out On His “Pickel Problem” On #NationalPickleDay

Los Angeles, CA – Consumer Watchdog called on Mayor Garcetti to support a new city council motion by council members Koretz and Bonnin requiring a job review for the DWP Ratepayer Advocate Fred Pickel before his rehiring to the $298,000 per year job heading the DWP’s Office of Public Accountability. Pickel has not had a job review in his 6 and-a-half years on the job.

Re-nomination of Current DWP Ratepayer Advocate A Betrayal of Ratepayers, Consumer Watchdog Says

Los Angeles, CA -- The re-nomination for a second term of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s ratepayer advocate, Fred Pickel, by a city-appointed committee is a betrayal of all of the municipal utility’s ratepayers, Consumer Watchdog said today. The Mayor and City Council should reject the recommendation or abolish the Office of Public Accountability that Pickel heads, the group said.

Consumer Watchdog Calls For Audit Of Tainted Process In Search For New LADWP Ratepayer Advocate

Los Angeles, CA — Consumer Watchdog today called the process of picking a new ratepayer advocate to head the Office of Public Accountability at the LA Department of Water and Power biased and called for an immediate investigation by the LA City Controller.

“We write with evidence of misconduct in the selection of a new Ratepayer Advocate and call upon Controller Galperin to investigate immediately,” Consumer Watchdog's Jamie Court and Liza Tucker wrote in a letter to Mayor Eric Garcetti and City Controller Ron Galperin. 

New Report: LADWP’s Ratepayer Advocate Is Costing Angelenos Nearly $7 Billion Extra And Should Be Fired

Santa Monica, CA — Instead of pushing the country’s largest municipal utility to be leaner, greener, and meaner, Fred Pickel, the first ratepayer advocate ever appointed to protect the interests of LADWP ratepayers, has fallen down on the job. A new report, “The Price of Pickel” by Consumer Watchdog, finds that his failure to speak up for ratepayers against unreasonable rate hikes and bad projects is costing ratepayers nearly $7 billion.

For the report, click here.

Lawyers Get The Dough And DWP Ratepayers Get The Shaft, Sound Familiar?

A Superior Court Judge today approved a settlement of a class action lawsuit brought against the Department of Water & Power (DWP) and City of Los Angeles for illegally taxing ratepayers billions of dollars on their power bills and using it for city services, rejecting our objection. Under 2010’s voter-approved Prop 26, money raised from power rates that is not used to improve utility service is an illegal tax and to make it lega

Consumer Watchdog Challenges City Attorney Mike Feuer To Stand Up For LA Ratepayers Not Politicians In DWP Transfer Case To Be Heard Wednesday

Santa Monica, CA — Consumer Watchdog has urged LA City Attorney Mike Feuer to oppose a deceptive and inadequate Notice to ratepayers in a class action settlement over the transfer of hundreds of millions of dollars in power rates to City coffers.