L.A. city attorney’s office, DWP participated in ‘sham lawsuit’ over billing errors, report says

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The downtown headquarters of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power is seen in a file photo. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

The downtown headquarters of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power is seen in a file photo. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

A court-appointed investigator on Tuesday released a sweeping report on the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and the city attorney’s office, finding that attorneys participated in a scheme to settle litigation sparked by a faulty billing system and turn around the DWP’s battered image.

The “evidence supports a finding that the city directed and assisted in the city suing itself with a sham lawsuit,” wrote investigator Edward M. Robbins in a 595-page report.

Robbins found that the scheme allowed opposing attorneys to ultimately collect $19 million in fees, an amount he called “excessive, unjustified and a misappropriation of taxpayer funds.”

Following the botched rollout of a new DWP billing system that overcharged a wide swath of customers, the city in 2015 sued PricewaterhouseCoopers, blaming the consulting firm for the debacle.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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