UPDATE: FBI Agents Raids LADWP, LA City Hall over DWP Billing System

July 23, 2019 - 7:25 am
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Raids were carried out by FBI agents in LA at both LA City Hall in the City Attorney's Office and the LADWP office in downtown Los Angeles Monday morning.

Federal sealed search warrants were served at both locations. No arrests have been made.

Authorities earlier Monday declined to specify the nature of the search.

The raids at the LADWP and LA City Attorney's offices were related to warrants served to staff over the class-action litigation and settlement surrounding the troubling rollout of new DWP billing system in 2013 and a separate city's lawsuit against PricewaterhouseCoopers.  

A warrant used for the searches says they were part of a probe into the utility's troubled rollout of the new billing system that led to an eventual lawsuit and big settlement.

The City Attorney spokesperson said in a statement Monday afternoon that: "The warrants served on our staff relate to issues that have arisen over the class action litigation and settlement surrounding the DWP billing system, and the City's lawsuit against PwC. We have and will continue to cooperate fully with the expectation that the investigation will be completed expeditiously."

A spokesperson with the FBI in Los Angeles says, "We are confirming a search warrant at Los Angeles DWP in downtown Los Angeles, but are prohibited from commenting further because affidavits involved in the warrant are sealed."

It's part of an ongoing investigation but few details are available because the warrant is under seal.

There is an ongoing federal corruption probe that prompted raids - late last year - at the offices of Councilmember Jose Huizar. There have been no arrests or charges in that case.

A different investigation is focusing on the handling of a $67 million dollar settlement worked out with ratepayers over DWP billing errors.

The LA Times reports a court is looking at whether attorneys worked both sides of the deal and benefited financially from it. It's unclear whether today's raids have anything to do with either of those investigations.

There have been no comments from DWP or the City Attorney.

A spokesman for Eric Garcetti says in a statement "The Mayor believes that any criminal wrongdoing should be investigated and prosecuted. His expectation is that any City employee asked to cooperate will do so fully and immediately."