The Los Angeles City Council unanimously approved an agreement Wednesday that will give officials unfettered access to the financial records of two controversial nonprofits allied with a powerful public workers' union, the Los Angeles Times reports. The deal ends more than a year of legal wrangling between city leaders and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 18, which represents employees of the municipal Department of Water and Power.
The union had fought city efforts to audit the books of the Joint Training Institute and the Joint Safety Institute amid questions over how the groups have spent $40-million in city funds drawn from ratepayers' bills. The nonprofits arose from a 2000 labor fight and are jointly managed by the union and the utility. The pact also clears the way for release of the city's annual $4-million payment to the institutes, which Los Angeles Controller Ron Galperin had withheld during the dispute.