DWP GM resigns

DWP General Manager Ron Nichols

DWP General Manager Ron Nichols

Department of Water and Power General Manager Ron Nichols has resigned amidst controversy over two organizations that he and the DWP Union Chief co-managed for the past three years. Those groups spent $40 million over ten years with no explanation on how the money was spent and what was accomplished in spite of demands by the DWP Commission and City officials.

The Union Chief, Brian D’Arcy has failed to turn over financial records of the controversial organizations and reportedly failed to show up at a meeting of auditors this week.

According to the Los Angeles Times, in spite of demands from the DWP Commission and others, Nichols “has been unable to produce records showing how two nonprofit trusts created to help improve relations with the utility’s largest union have spent more than $40 million in ratepayer money over the last decade.” The Times also reported that Nichols has struggled with a new $162 million computerized billing system that sent out as many as 70,000 late or inaccurate bills in recent months.

LA Mayor Eric Garcetti was quoted as thanking Nichols for his service and said he is focused on reform of DWP. Nichols was the sixth general manager of DWP in five years. He played a vocal role in attacking the Great Basin Air Pollution Control District with several lawsuits over the Owens Dry Lake. Under Nichols’ watch, DWP also sued Mammoth Community Water District to try to claim Mammoth’s creek rights. Mammoth ended up paying DWP $3.4 million now and $2.4 million more over 50 years in a settlement.

Mayor Garcetti will now proceed to find a new DWP General Manager, reportedly outside the organization.

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Desert Tortoise
Desert Tortoise
8 years ago

I don’t know how LA is able to recruit any thinking person for that position. It has been a revolving door for a long time now. Mr. Nichols outlasted his immediate predecessors but to succeed in that position requires as much and perhaps more political skill than engineering and organizational… Read more »

allen berrey
allen berrey
8 years ago

I got to know Ron Nichols in the mid-1980s, when I was going to law school in Sacramento; I thought then and believe still that he is a good man. That said, what is missing from this article is an important fact, as reported in the January 9, 2014 edition… Read more »

Water Moccasin
Water Moccasin
8 years ago
Reply to  allen berrey

SW,The Times, and you fail to mention Mayor Garcetti’s role in this Ménage A Trois. As a member of LA City Council for ten years, Garcetti approved creation and funding of these trusts. Only after his falling out with Union did he decide there needed to be an audit of… Read more »

Desert Tortoise
Desert Tortoise
8 years ago
Reply to  Water Moccasin

DWP employee? 😮

Water Moccasin
Water Moccasin
8 years ago

Desert Tortoise, you disappoint me. You usually have better rebuttals of my opinionated diatribes, and often have a bigger view of the picture the media presents.

Trouble
Trouble
8 years ago

Hey maybe Rusty and Ron can form their own little union.

Philip Anaya
Philip Anaya
8 years ago

Even without knowing this man, even without fully comprehending the responsibilities of the Management of the LADWP, not even understanding the 6 figure pay check, I am thinking that resignation would not be my voluntary bail out. I hate to say it but Mr. Nichol’s decision to resign might have… Read more »

Desert Tortoise
Desert Tortoise
8 years ago
Reply to  Philip Anaya

This had absolutely nothing to do with anything happening up here. The DWP and it’s major union had been funding two so-called non-profit organizations to the tune of some $40 million over the years. The City Attorney was demanding records of how the money was spent. Being a city employee… Read more »

Ted
Ted
8 years ago

Don’t let the revolving door hit you in the butt.