On Wednesday, Controller Ron Galperin indicated that he will not authorize the “improper” payment of almost $4 million to the Joint Safety and Joint Training Institutes because these two nonprofits have refused to disclose how they spent in excess of $40 million of Ratepayer money over the last fourteen years.
Later in the day, City Attorney Mike Feuer filed a lawsuit requesting that the court appoint a receiver to oversee the trusts’ activities as these two dysfunctional entities are a “personal fiefdom” for Union Boss Brian d’Arcy, the business manager of IBEW Local 18, our Department of Water and Power’s union.
Mayor Eric Garcetti is also playing team ball: “On behalf of the Ratepayers, I urge the Court to appoint a receiver to run these trusts to restore oversight and transparency. This is the Ratepayers’ money, and they have a right to follow their money.”
Controller Galperin and d’Arcy are also duking it out in the courts as a result of d’Arcy’s unsuccessful effort to squash Galperin’s January subpoena for the financial records of the two tax exempt trusts and d’Arcy’s subsequent appeal of the Superior Court’s ruling in favor of transparency.
But all this litigation and posturing is no doubt costing big bucks, all of which, including the IBEW’s share, will be footed by the Ratepayers, one way or other as the Ratepayer funded trusts are paying the bill for d’Arcy’s unilateral decision to contest the Controller’s subpoena without the consent of the DWP trustees.
Union Boss d’Arcy has also threatened to cause “trouble” if DWP does not make the payment that is part of last year’s collective bargaining agreement. Of course, some would say it is just more “trouble” as the IBEW has been less than cooperative in the implementation of the Power Reliability Program that is designed to improve the Power System’s aging infrastructure.
Despite these very real threats, Galperin, Feuer, and Garcetti must continue in their efforts to enforce the law that requires the full and complete disclosure of the trusts’ financial records as the Ratepayers and voters are convinced that d’Arcy is trying to cover up a major league misappropriation of our hard earned money.
This trio of elected officials need to hold d’Arcy and the other IBEW appointed trustees accountable for their actions by holding them personally liable for any and all expenses associated with the litigation and the misuse of the trusts’ assets.
They need to form an alliance with the Ratepayers and voters to “encourage” the City Council to join their efforts to require the full and complete disclosure of the trusts’ financial data, no strings attached. But this may prove difficult as at least ten of its members have been beneficiaries of d’Arcy’s campaign slush funds.
They must convince the County Federation of Labor and other local unions that the failure to make the $4 million payment to the trusts is not a violation of the collective bargaining process, but an ethical issue involving transparency and the possible misuse of Ratepayer funds.
Our elected officials must also play real hard ball by working with the District Attorney and the Internal Revenue Service to see if the trustees, the trusts, and IBEW Local 18 local have violated the law or engaged in tax fraud.
Finally, union members need to demand that Local 18 put an end to this mess that is an embarrassment to the City, the DWP, and all of its employees.
After all, if d’Arcy’s hands are clean, full and complete disclosure is not a problem.
Cross-posted at LA City Watch.