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August 14, 2014

L.A. Council OKs Plan to End Feud With Union-Tied Nonprofits

The Los Angeles City Council approved a proposal Wednesday aimed at ending a nearly year-long legal and political fight over the financial records of two nonprofit groups affiliated with a major public workers' union, reports the Los Angeles Times.

Lawmakers adopted a list of conditions that would have to be met for the city to release a contracted $4-million payment to the Joint Safety Institute and the Joint Training Institute, which are co-run by the municipal Department of Water and Power and Local 18 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.

Mayor Eric Garcetti and other City Hall leaders are feuding with the union over its refusal to open the nonprofits' books to city auditors. The organizations, formed a decade ago to improve labor-management relations at the utility, have received $40-million from Angelenos' water and power bills with little oversight of their spending.

Mr. Garcetti and City Controller Ron Galperin declared their backing for the council proposal, and union leader Brian D'Arcy said he supported the "principles" behind it. Under the plan, both sides would drop lawsuits related to the dispute, the nonprofits would agree to regular audits, and City Hall would abandon an effort to seat two allies of Mr. Garcetti on the groups' boards.