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LA Watchdog

LA Watchdog

Who is watching cash-register politics in the second largest city in America? No one, judging by the size of the city’s perpetual scandals, including massive over-billing problems and sweet heart deals at the City’s Department of Water and Power.

The indifference of public officials to Angelenos’ made us angry.  That’s why we’ve created LA Watchdog: to expose, confront and change the corruption at City Hall and DWP.

What got us going was how LADWP stumbled ineptly through a massive overbilling scandal, threats to shut off the power of innocent victims, and sweetheart deals to settle the dispute. Consumer Watchdog jumped into the fray to publicize the stories of consumers harmed by the utility’s callous disregard.  By exposing DWP’s outrageous conduct, Consumer Watchdog opened Angelenos eyes to a self-dealing DWP power-grab initiative on the November 2016 ballot, Measure RRR, which went down to defeat.

LA Watchdog will expose DWP outrages and other corruption in Los Angeles government and work to fix them.

 

Re-nomination of Current DWP Ratepayer Advocate A Betrayal of Ratepayers, Consumer Watchdog Says

Los Angeles, CA -- The re-nomination for a second term of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s ratepayer advocate, Fred Pickel, by a city-appointed committee is a betrayal of all of the municipal utility’s ratepayers, Consumer Watchdog said today. The Mayor and City Council should reject the recommendation or abolish the Office of Public Accountability that Pickel heads, the group said.

Consumer Watchdog Calls For Audit Of Tainted Process In Search For New LADWP Ratepayer Advocate

Los Angeles, CA — Consumer Watchdog today called the process of picking a new ratepayer advocate to head the Office of Public Accountability at the LA Department of Water and Power biased and called for an immediate investigation by the LA City Controller.

“We write with evidence of misconduct in the selection of a new Ratepayer Advocate and call upon Controller Galperin to investigate immediately,” Consumer Watchdog's Jamie Court and Liza Tucker wrote in a letter to Mayor Eric Garcetti and City Controller Ron Galperin. 

New Report: LADWP’s Ratepayer Advocate Is Costing Angelenos Nearly $7 Billion Extra And Should Be Fired

Santa Monica, CA — Instead of pushing the country’s largest municipal utility to be leaner, greener, and meaner, Fred Pickel, the first ratepayer advocate ever appointed to protect the interests of LADWP ratepayers, has fallen down on the job. A new report, “The Price of Pickel” by Consumer Watchdog, finds that his failure to speak up for ratepayers against unreasonable rate hikes and bad projects is costing ratepayers nearly $7 billion.

For the report, click here.

Lawyers Get The Dough And DWP Ratepayers Get The Shaft, Sound Familiar?

A Superior Court Judge today approved a settlement of a class action lawsuit brought against the Department of Water & Power (DWP) and City of Los Angeles for illegally taxing ratepayers billions of dollars on their power bills and using it for city services, rejecting our objection. Under 2010’s voter-approved Prop 26, money raised from power rates that is not used to improve utility service is an illegal tax and to make it lega

Consumer Watchdog Challenges City Attorney Mike Feuer To Stand Up For LA Ratepayers Not Politicians In DWP Transfer Case To Be Heard Wednesday

Santa Monica, CA — Consumer Watchdog has urged LA City Attorney Mike Feuer to oppose a deceptive and inadequate Notice to ratepayers in a class action settlement over the transfer of hundreds of millions of dollars in power rates to City coffers.

Wildfires Should Ignite Crackdown on State Farm To Be Better Neighbor

The wildfires devastating Bel Air, Ventura and Southern California's canyons are destroying homes in their path. Unfortunately, many of those homeowners are going to find that when they try to rebuild their homeowners' policies may not cover the real costs.

It's a sad cycle that happens after too many wildfires, include the historic devastation fires wrought recently in Sonoma and Napa Valley. 

DWP Rubberstamps $242 Million Tuesday Takeaway from Ratepayers In Violation Of Their Rights

Santa Monica, CA -- Today’s vote by the Board of Water and Power Commissioners for LADWP to transfer $242 million in ratepayer money to the City’s coffers is an illegal tax that should be either rebated or plowed into the LADWP’s electric infrastructure, said Consumer Watchdog and LADWP Advocacy Committee President Jack Humphreville.

Consumer Watchdog said that it was exploring legal options to have a court prevent the money from being taken from ratepayers to fill a city budget hole rather than for utility services.