Friday, July 23, 2004

Who Will Stop This?

DWP commissioners respond to crisis of mistreated workers by Christine Pelisek

We asked the Board of Commissioners of the Department of Water and Power about discrimination at the DWP and the city attorney’s use of secret settlements in racial- and sexual-harassment lawsuits by employees.

DWP’s Public Relations Boomerang

The plug is pulled on Fleishman Hillard’s power by Robert Greene

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power was so unpopular, it hired the public-relations firm of Fleishman-Hillard to improve its image. Trying to figure out why is sort of like a metaphysical brainteaser. It was unpopular because it raised water rates while at the same time arrogantly frittering away the money it got from customers on things like a $100,000 bash to celebrate the reopening of Los Angeles City Hall and $75,000 to sponsor the L.A. Memorial Coliseum. And blowing more than $20 million, over six years, to Fleishman-Hillard, to improve its image.

Monday, July 05, 2004

Power Crisis II

New problems could short out Dave Freeman and his DWP legacyby Bill Bradley

THE L.A. DEPARTMENT OF WATER AND POWER'S glistening new reputation as a "good guy" Green utility is fading in the summer sun. Despite extremely lofty goals, the DWP's solar-electric program has gone into a sudden and hard-to-pin-down eclipse. It's part of what some environmentalists and informed sources inside the DWP describe as a "Green malaise" afflicting the massive publicly owned utility after the departure of DWP chief and legendary public-power executive David Freeman to serve as Governor Gray Davis' energy czar. And it comes just as a malaise of sorts appears to have afflicted the career of Freeman himself, whose confirmation as chairman of the new California Power Authority is now in jeopardy. Which in turn points up growing questions from state investigators about the practices of the DWP.