Over two weeks ago, the DWP commission requested spending records from the two nonprofits controlled by the utility’s IBEW18 union.
The nonprofits operate with the blessings of DWP management, including GM Ron Nichols who serves on the boards overseeing them. Union boss Brian D’Arcy also serves. The nonprofits have reportedly spent over $40 million since they were established in 2000 and 2002 by ordinances passed by the City Council.
The commission granted two weeks to the nonprofits to provide information on how the $40 million has been spent. No one in either City Hall or the DWP seems to know. The time has passed and nothing was provided.
It was a reasonable request – the nonprofits have been producing financial statements and have filed 990s with the IRS. The financial data, then, should already be organized and available .
The IBEW, controlling half the seats on the oversight boards, wants a month to self-audit the records.
Self-audit: a contradiction in terms on steroids. A more appropriate term is in order – sanitizing.
The commission and City Controller Ron Galperin need full, unimpeded access to the books. They cannot rely on anything less.
Whether the city has the authority to audit the entities is unclear. However, what’s to stop the city ordering the DWP to suspend its financial support to the nonprofits?
I say pull the plug and let them know that stonewalling has a price.