Suspected Wrongdoing at the DWP and City Attorney’s Office Is Uncovered

By Sue Pasco, CIRCLING THE NEWS

March 10, 2021

https://www.circlingthenews.com/suspected-wrongdoing-at-the-dwp-and-cit…

The following tale, which has more turns than a mystery novel, involves the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, misconduct at the City Attorney’s Office and the increasingly high utility rates paid by residents.

Google Algorithm Biased Against California Privacy Initiative Prop 24; Consumer Watchdog Calls For Investigation And Hearings

Los Angeles, CA -- Consumer Watchdog today called for the Senate Elections Committee to investigate why a Google search for Prop 24 was, until last night, the only one of 12 ballot initiatives where the result for the nonpartisan Secretary of State reflected the “Con” argument’s negative propaganda.

Judge Fines L.A. $2.5 Million For ‘Serious Abuse’ In Handling Of Evidence In DWP Case

By Dakota Smith, LOS ANGELES TIMES

October 6, 2020

https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2020-10-06/la-fined-serious-ab…

A Superior Court judge on Tuesday ordered the city of Los Angeles to pay a $2.5-million fine, ruling in favor of a consulting firm that accused City Atty. Mike Feuer’s office of concealing evidence in a high-profile lawsuit involving the Department of Water and Power.

CalGEM Regulators Divest Oil Stocks In Wake Of Consumer Watchdog Conflicts Probe

 Los Angeles, CA — Oil and gas regulators at the California Geologic Energy Management Division (CalGEM) no longer hold oil stocks or other interests in the sector that they regulate in a radical departure from past practices, Consumer Watchdog said today.

A new conflict of interest policy at the division’s parent agency, the Department of Conservation (DOC), now prohibits such investments without explicit written approval by DOC’s director.

City of LA Drops DWP Overbilling Lawsuit, Leaving Ratepayers on the Hook

Consumer Watchdog Writes Attorney General & District Attorneys To Investigate IC Ricardo Lara Over Bribery and Money Laundering

Los Angeles, CA – The nonprofit group Consumer Watchdog has written California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and the District Attorneys of Sacramento, San Francisco, and Los Angeles calling for an investigation of money laundering and bribery relating to the fundraising scandal engulfing California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara.

Fair Political Practices Commission Investigates Two Oil Regulators For Conflict Of Interest After Consumer Watchdog Complaint

 

Los Angeles-- The Fair Political Practices Commission is investigating two regulators at the Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources for conflicts of interests raised in a July complaint by Consumer Watchdog.

Consumer Watchdog Asks Attorney General And DAs To Investigate CA Insurance Commissioner Over Apparently Illegal Payments For Second Home In Sacramento

Los Angeles, CA –  Following a Politico report that California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara billed the state for his Sacramento apartment, Consumer Watchdog has called on Attorney General Xavier Becerra and the District Attorneys for Sacramento, Los Angeles and San Francisco counties to launch an investigation over the potential theft of public funds.

Ricardo Lara’s Troubles Aside, Reverting To An Appointed Insurance Commissioner Would Hurt Consumers

Where the troubling trail of accusations dogging Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara will lead is hard to tell. State records show that insurance industry executives and their relatives gave tens of thousands of dollars to Lara’s campaign committee–even as he intervened on their behalf in cases before his agency. 

We’ll know more on Aug. 31. That’s when Lara has promised to make public his communications and calendars of meetings with the executives.

Insurance Commissioner Lara Delays Calendar Release Another Month

Los Angeles, CA – Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara’s office will delay disclosure of the Commissioner’s calendar or records of his meetings with insurance companies to August 31st, according to a communication sent to Consumer Watchdog.

Commissioner Lara said that he would disclose his calendars in response to revelations that he took $54,300 in campaign contributions from insurance executives and their spouses, took actions that benefited the insurance company connected to three of those donors, and met with the company’s CEO.

Consumer Watchdog Seeks Disclosures Regarding Influence-Peddling Scandal Under Public Records Act

Los Angeles, CA -- The non-profit, non-partisan Consumer Watchdog gave California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara until July 31 to produce public records related to his meetings with insurance industry representatives who gave him $54,300 in campaign contributions in a letter sent late last week. 

Watchdogs Call For Resignations & Permit Freeze As California Oil Regulators Approve Surge In Well Permits While Personally Invested In Oil Companies

Los Angeles, CA -- A review of state conflict of interest forms shows that eight regulators managing the state’s oil and gas well approval and inspection process have hundreds of thousands of dollars invested in the oil companies they regulate.  One of the regulators is among the top three in command at the State’s Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR).

Insurance Commissioner Lara Gives Insurance Industry Money Back, But Questions Remain About Circumstances Of Influence-Peddling At Agency

Los Angeles, CA -- Consumer Watchdog said Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara’s decision to return over $54,000 in contributions from donors tied to a company seeking the Commissioner’s approval for an acquisition was an “important first step that protects the credibility of the elected position you hold.” The non-profit advocacy organization urged the Commissioner to return the money in a letter yesterday.