Elsewhere online
September 23, 2015

L.A. Utility's Nonprofits Keep $11 Million 'Rainy Day' Fund

Nonprofit, publicly funded affiliates of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power that have been at the center of a two-year controversy over their spending and lack of transparency have decided to maintain an $11 million "rainy day" fund, writes the Los Angeles Times.

City Controller Ron Galperin criticized the two trusts, co-run by the utility's management and its employees' union, for "hoarding this money."

Mr. Galperin and Mayor Eric Garcetti  have battled union leaders for access to the nonprofits' books to determine how the groups have used $40 million in ratepayer money since they were established in the early 2000s to run worker safety and training programs. Under city contracts with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 18, the nonprofits receive $4 million a year in public money.

City auditors who were allowed to review the groups' accounts going back four years under an agreement with the union questioned numerous expenditures and recommended that the trusts get no more city funds until they spend the cash on hand. Marcie Edwards, the utility's general manager and a trustee of the nonprofits, said in a report to the agency's commissioners that the rainy-day fund is aimed at covering programs in future years should the city contribution be cut.