LOS ANGELES – Capping more than a year-long legal battle, City Attorney Mike Feuer’s office today won a major victory for transparency and openness in city government, securing a court ruling that two trusts funded by the ratepayers of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power are subject to audit by the Los Angeles City Controller. Specifically, the Second District Court of Appeal has held that the City Controller has the right, pursuant to the trust agreements, to conduct annual audits of the Joint Department of Water and Power – International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers trusts a right which the Union has adamantly opposed since the Fall of 2013.
In commenting on the Court of Appeal’s ruling, Feuer stated, “Today, our Office has vindicated a critical right of the ratepayers of the Los Angeles’ Department of Water and Power: to know how over $40 million of their money has been spent by the two DWP-IBEW Trusts. We are certain that the audit of these Trusts by City Controller Ron Galperin will finally guarantee the ratepayers the transparency they deserve.”
“The Court of Appeal’s decision is an important victory for transparency, accountability and the simple notion that anyone who receives public funds must account for their use of those funds.The Appeals Court acted just as the previous court did, affirming my authority as Controller to audit these two DWP trusts,” said City Controller Ron Galperin
Feuer has been involved in this effort since 2013, when he issued a City Attorney opinion affirming the right of the City Controller to audit the DWP-IBEW trusts. His office has subsequently led successful court battles to uphold that right, culminating in today’s ratepayer victory for ratepayers and transparency in the Court of Appeal.